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Texas Tower, East Face

Texas Tower has a big reputation, as it is one of the tallest pure sandstone towers in the desert southwest. The only existing route, first climbed in 1987 by Tim Toula and Kathy Zaiser on the west face, still seems to see as many failures as ascents. It was originally 5.10+ Al, but was free climbed in 1990 by Derek Hersey and Steve Bartlett at 5.11c R.

The east face was just as formidable looking and was an obvious desert project. As Ross (AARP, ex-pat Brit) was now in his 66th year, and seeing how the young lads of today did not seem too keen to leave their single-pitch routes, he recruited a not-quite-as-old friend from his New Hampshire days, Jeff Pheasant, now retired in Hawaii. The pair spent a delightful two days on the spectacular east face.

The seven-pitch route went smoothly at 5.10 C2. It may go free at a higher grade. Nobody fell off, died, etc. The worst pain was hangovers at our campsite.

Paul Ross