American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

North America, United States, Colorado, Colorado National Monument, Western Colorado, Various Ascents

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Climb Year:
  • Publication Year: 1999

Western Colorado, Various Ascents. On August 4, Jesse Harvey, Pat Goodman and I made the first ascent of a yummy 350-foot flake of rotten sandstone, limestone and shale that we dubbed Putterman’s Flake. It sits a couple miles north of (the Cameo) Exit 46 on Interstate 70, east of Grand Junction in Debeque Canyon, and is easily viewed from the highway unless you are paying attention to the road. The flake had been eyed by many Colorado climbers for years, and some were under the impression that it lies upon private land. It does not. Some were under the impression it wasn’t worth climbing. It was. Our four-pitch route, The Snows of Puttermanjaro (III/IV 5.9 A2-), climbs the northern edge of the flake, then proceeds into the weird, cavernous notch between the flake and the canyon wall, then wraps around the outside of the flake, finishing up an overhanging wall, which Harvey (wearing his signature Hawaiian floral print shirt) led in 100°F heat.

Two other towers of note: in late June, Harvey and I climbed the 160-foot Jolly Tower, a beautiful free-standing pinnacle 800 feet west of Liberty Cap, in Colorado National Monument, via Marital Bliss (IIA2-). And, in early August, Harvey, Jon Butler and I climbed the 250-foot Oompah Tower, just a few hundred feet south of Jolly Tower, via Ethan Putterman and the Chocolate Factory (III 5.9 Cl).

Cameron M. Burns

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