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North America, United States, Utah, The Desert, Various Activity

The Desert, various activity. Eric Bjørnstad reports that three previously unclimbed towers saw ascents in the fall:

Tchaikovsky Overture (425', IV 5.11 A3, Dave Mealey and Joe Slansky) is located southeast of Moab, on the Wingate Sandstone between Mill Creek and Kane Creek. Approach up the right side of Mill Creek.

Odyssey (500', IV 5.11 A3, Dave Mealey et al.) is located on the north side of the Colorado River, across from mile marker 2, up Scenic Byway 128 (the River Road) northeast of Moab.

Chimney Rock (500', 5.11, A3, Layne Potter and Sheridan Potter) is obvious in the Cedar Mountain Box Flats, northeast of the San Rafael Swell.

According to other sources, the following two large, high-quality routes were established on the Amphitheater Wall near Moab:

The previously unreported Trail Of The Navajo (8 pitches, IV/V 5.11c/d, Leonard Coyne and Keith Reynolds, Spring 2002) climbs an obvious and beautiful corner system, located approximately two miles from Moab on the River Road, across the river from the highway.

About .25 miles upriver from the Trail Of The Navajo, The Hyena (9 pitches, V 5.12/5.13, Leonard Coyne and Mick Haffner, Spring 2005) ascends the largest portion of the wall, via a

discontinuous series of dihedrals linked by face climbing and ledges. The climb ends on the summit of a detached pillar.

In the northern San Rafael Swell, in May, Layne Potter and Paul Ross put up The Worse the Heat, the Better the Beer (300' , III 5.10 C2) on The Pinnacle. In the Eagle Canyon area they climbed a previously virgin 600' tower, which they called Toviah Tower (III 5.8+R). Ross and others established many shorter routes in the region, as well. Ross reports: “There are now over sixty routes on the San Rafael Swell Eastern Reef, ranging in difficulty from 5.5 to 5.12 and in length from 300' to 2,000', bringing the total footage of the routes to over 50,000'.”

For information on many of the routes in this region, see www.mountainproject.com Arch Canyon, Dreamcatcher Tower, Broken Dreams. In beautiful Arch Canyon south of Blanding, after two previous attempts with my son Andy and Cameron Burns, I climbed the final pitch of the previously unclimbed Dreamcatcher Tower, by a route named Broken Dreams (IV 5.9 C2). This tower is close to the well-known Dreamspeaker Tower. Andy led the first pitch in November 2004, but we retreated due to cold (north face). We returned in September, and I led the second pitch, Andy the third. We ran out of time, water, and bolts, needing more for the descent. Finally, one year after the first attempt, I finished the final pitch to the top.

Paul Ross