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keenwesh

[TR] Moab Tower Cragging - A plethora 3/17/2013

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Trip: Moab Tower Cragging - A plethora

 

Date: 3/17/2013

 

Trip Report:

The desert is one of my favorite places, so when the weather at Devils Tower went to shit 2 days before launching the decision to change locals to Moab was an easy one.

 

My ipod broke awhile ago and computers die after a few hours, so the only real reliable source of music for the drive was a CD mix that Justin made in middle school. We listened to 'Ms. New Booty' 'laffy taffy' and some song about how this angsty guy is so addicted to his girlfriend going down on him in between the sheets. Needless to say, I never need to hear any of those songs ever again.

 

The forecast called for precip on Saturday, so we planned on starting in the Fishers as the rock quality is pretty crummy to begin with. The Titan has always been something that I have feared, so naturally we went for that first.

 

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Justin is probably the most stoked person I've ever met, it is for sure due to his drive that we didn't take a single rest day the entire week. So when I suggested the Titan he was game, even though he'd never done any aid climbing before. We rolled into the Fishers campground at 3 am and got a couple hours of shut eye before getting up to watch the sunrise. Stoke was high.

 

On the first day we climbed and fixed the first 3 pitches, both taking serious note of the crumbly nature of the rock and unnerving fracturing around each cam placement. Nothing popped fortunately and we rapped and retreated back to the car for the evening.

 

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Day two had us up early and hiking back to the base. Jugging 300 feet of rope got the blood flowing and I had the nerve wracking 5.6 traverse with massive exposure for breakfast.

 

Mega!

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The fixed mank added to the sense of imminent doom

 

What the fuck is this?

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mmmm, star drives and half in drilled angles!

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Aiding out of the overhang on the fixed tricams was strenuous (and scary)

 

The pitch out of the Finger of Fate notch was a grunt, Justin had the pleasure of putting the rope up for that one

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By this point we were getting a ways up the spire

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The last two pitches out of the notch featured wildly exposed fixed gear, with one mandatory free mantle onto a gargoyle. Crap gear was interspersed with bomber bolts placed by the ASCA in 2004, exciting but safe

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The last 15 feet are in the capstone rock, which is much more solid, but goes at 5.8 with no gear. I made it up as my whimpers were blown away by the wind.

 

Justin dragged the rope up the easy scrambling to the summit, where the sun was sinking low on the horizon

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My pathetic attempts at a summit shot

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After quickly signing the register we began rapping off, a 60 meter rap got us back to the notch, where a incredible sunset quickly faded into blackness

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Three long spooky (but casual) raps down the gully brought us to the base

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The next morning we headed down to Indian Creek to see what the good rock would offer. A afternoon session at the Supercrack Buttress was absolutely fantastic

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As good as I imagined times ten

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We spent the next day roasting in the sun and jamming splitters in Donnelly Canyon.

 

Thursday it was off to the Lightning Bolt Cracks on North Six Shooter, which we had all to ourselves.

 

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Justin floated the first pitch

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P2 was kinda funky, a runout left to avoid a hard finger crack and then a swing back right to burly cupped hands though a roof.

 

P3 was some fun easy laybacking up to the alcove below the lip of the huge roof.

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P4 pulled the lip of the roof to fun exposed 5.10 and then a horrendous 5.9 squeeze chimney. I barely fit and grunted my way up it, slowly. Have the small guy lead this one.

 

Fantastic vista from the summit, looking into Canyonlands.

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On Friday we climbed Castleton via the Kor-Ingalls

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We swung leads up the route. After my guttural affair on North Six I wised up and stemmed on the outside of the chimney to avoid getting suckered deep inside. Pleasant and enjoyable, a quick lead by Justin.

 

For Saturday we decided to climb with some buddies from Bozeman in Arches. A quick romp up Owl Rock and then hiking into Dark Angel, a slender spire that stands off by itself after a beautiful hike past some of the renowned arches. (So beautiful that I forgot my camera)

 

(not my picture)

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Justin took the crux 5.11 second pitch and onsighted the tricky crumbling sandstone crimps, I managed to follow with one hang after finding a key hold far out left. (It also goes at A0 if you pull on the bolts/drilled angles).

 

It was decided to blast back to Bozeman, driving all night. Arrived to a early morning blizzard, making the last 30 miles take a full hour.

 

Gear Notes:

Cams cams and more cams. Also, the guidebook might sandbag you, a couple gear lists for routes in IC were a size off the mark, unnerving when you only have 2 cams that fit for a 70 foot pitch.

 

Approach Notes:

Use your feet

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Nice report K. Became one of my favorite places too after the first visit.

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Looks like a fun trip!

 

Also, the guidebook might sandbag you, a couple gear lists for routes in IC were a size off the mark, unnerving when you only have 2 cams that fit for a 70 foot pitch.

 

Is this a case of confusion between Friend sizes and Camalot sizes? I've certainly made that mistake.

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Is this a case of confusion between Friend sizes and Camalot sizes? I've certainly made that mistake.

 

It is entirely possible. We considered that option and just continued grabbing equivalent C4 sizes because that's the idiotic thing to do.

 

Also, not a college trip! Justin ain't even 18 yet! Still, my facebook newsfeed has a nauseating number of Moab themed pictures popping up, seems like a popular destination for the crowds from Bozeman.

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