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mneagle

[TR] Moab Area- Monster Tower - The Rectory - Castleton Tower 5/21/2005

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Climb: Moab Area-Monster Tower - The Rectory - Castleton Tower

 

Date of Climb: 5/21/2005

 

Trip Report:

My buddy Rich and I blew off the forcast for 100 degree heat and headed for the Desert in the middle of May. I'm moving to Colorado and we decided that this may be our last chance to get some of our major ticks in. To thwart the heat we carried a total of 13 liters of water to the base of each climb. Despite this we were still peeing dust by the end of the day.

 

We started out with our biggest objective, the North Ridge of Monster Tower. The road was rough but the Outback did the job. At the pull-off we encountered a party of 2 going to climb Washer Woman (1 of only 2 parties we saw all weekend). The hike up was quick. We loaded up a few liters of water and set off. The 1st pitch of 5.9 was fun and painless (a far cry from what was waiting above).

 

Monster Tower (left) Washer Woman (right)

3102towers-med.JPG

 

I took off on the second pitch (5.10+ fist) that really starts the buisness. Insecure fist jams were well lubricateed with blood by the time I reached the rest stance. Not wanting to belay off the pathetic bolt here I ran it out up the 5.7 off-width to a huge ledge where I catered to my wounds before bringing up Rich.

 

Pitch 2

310MT5_10-med.JPG

 

View of Washer Woman from top of pitch 3. The classic 5.10 route (can't remember the name) is in the shadowy chimney leading to the exposed face climbing to the summit.

310WWfromMT-med.JPG

 

Rich then set off on the crux lie-back 11a. Strenuous climbing with insecure footholds led to yet another offwidth. This one was a bit less thirsty for blood than the last.

 

Crux 3rd Pitch

310MTCrux-med.JPG

 

After more enjoyable climbing I was set to finish the route off with the final 11a pitch. After doing some really fun 5.10 climbing I reached the supposed 11a face climbing. Convinced it would take levitation to get up the holdless face I was prepared to aid it. Rich pleaded for an onsight try, so I brought him up. After 10-15 minutes of not getting 2 feet up, he relented and finished the pitch on aid followed by some run out slab/face climbing.

 

Summit

310MTsummit-med.JPG

 

On the summit we admired the beauty of the Canyonland's White Rim and read through the summit registry while baking in the 90+ degree sun. We came accross an entry by Jim Beyer who made a note that (due to erosion) the last pitch of the North Face route is now rated 5.10 A1. That was good enough for us. A few raps on some suspect anchors led us back to our water and salvation.

 

The next morning we decided that since it was going to be even hotter that we should try 2 towers. We decided to hit Fine Jade on the Rectory first and then move over to the North Face of Castleton Tower in the afternoon. We headed off early in the morning and found the trail to be the best approach trail next to the paved track around Devil's Tower. In no time we were racking up at the base of Fine Jade. What a route! Once past the first 2 pitches it eased off considerably but every pitch had memorable moved. Rich got revenge on the 1st pitch off-width and I led the 11a finger crux. Some of the best climbing ever.

 

Getting psyched for the second pitch finger crack crux.

310FJCrux-med.JPG

 

Unfortunately, the camera ran out of film at this point, but you've probably all seen a shot of the 5.8 hand traverse anyway. It was very cool. I lead all the way to the top on one rope and threw the other over the edge which made seconding no problem at all for Rich. Another beautiful, solitary and baking hot summit warmly (ha ha ha...) met us.

 

After rehydrating, we packed up and headed accross the way to try our luck on the North Face of Castleton. We had heard a party on the North Chimney who we met and exchanged pleasantries with before getting on with things. Rich had done the 1st pitch before and granted it to me with a knowing grin. After a full rope length of hand to fist to offwidth chimney/crack involving nearly continuous body tension, I underclinged for dear life out the 11- roof and slid onto the belay ledge in a pool of blood. I coudn't tell if I was dehydrated or anemic. Rich made quick work of the 2nd 5.10 pitch that involved a scary yet fun mantle. The last pitch was more run out 5.10 that just seemed to drift as did yet another 5.8 chimney. Being alone on the summit of Castleton is a rare and magical experience. We sat for a while admiring the beauty and danger of the desert before making our way down and heading back to SLC.

 

Gear Notes:

Double rope and cams...lots of cams.

 

Bring at least 5 blue Camalots for the North Face of Castleton.

 

Monster Tower protected well with cams to #4 Camalot. Bringing a bolt kit to repair the rap anchors would be a a good community service project.

 

Approach Notes:

Super easy.

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"Washer Woman from top of pitch 3. The classic 5.10 route (can't remember the name) is in the shadowy chimney leading to the exposed face climbing to the summit."

Wondering if that's "In Search Of Suds" III 5.10+ you got in the photo?

 

Awsome TR!! Thanks for posting.

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"Washer Woman from top of pitch 3. The classic 5.10 route (can't remember the name) is in the shadowy chimney leading to the exposed face climbing to the summit."

Wondering if that's "In Search Of Suds" III 5.10+ you got in the photo?

 

Sir, you are correct.

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