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North America, United States, Arizona, Oak Creek Canyon, Christopher's Tower and Lucifer's Tooth

Oak Creek Canyon, Christopher’s Tower and Lucifer’s Tooth. On January 13, Dan Stih and I climbed a freestanding tower in Oak Creek Canyon, just north of Sedona, Arizona. The line involved two mostly aid pitches on a steep compact face following comers and good splitter cracks. We feel it is the best climbing we have done in the Sedona area. We named the formation Christopher’s Tower (III 5.8 A2 C2) after my late friend Chris Clark who fixed the first pitch but was killed climbing in the Sierras before he could return to finish the tower.

Also in the same canyon, in late September, Dan Stih and I climbed another freestanding spire we called Lucifer’s Tooth (II 5.10+ or 5.9 C2). The line consists of four free pitches, the last of which was initially climbed on aid, but re-climbed free at 5.10+. We drilled no holes on the route, but fixed one piton on the second pitch to eliminate the need for a hammer on subsequent ascents. Both towers are located in a canyon just south of Slide Rock State Park.

Ron Raimonde, unaffiliated