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North America, United States, Utah, San Rafael Swell, La Piñata

San Rafael Swell, La Piñata. On November 9, Franziska Garrett and I were surprised to find the big hulk of a desert tower adjacent (west-northwest) to Mexican Mountain still unclimbed. After driving the Mexican Mountain Road and parking at its terminus, we waded across a shallow section of the San Rafael River. We then weaved our way up the northern flank of Mexican Mountain before traversing westward to the tower. Unsettled weather steered us toward the eastern side, where we climbed a short pitch (5.10 AO) to a prominent ledge on the south ridge. Then, a 60-meter pitch led over 5.8 slabs to a short, steep A1 bolt-hole-bolt section and some nailing and free climbing to the top (5.9 A1). We rappelled the route, La Piñata (II 5.10 A2), after savoring wide-angle views of the Swell.

James Garrett