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[TR] Canyonlands - Towers 5/1/2013

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Trip: Canyonlands - Towers


Date: 5/1/2013


Trip Report:

I had the fortune of spending six days climbing in and around Canyonlands National Park with a long time friend and climbing partner. After two days in Indian Creek we retreated to the vast, lonely, impossibly quiet and and oh so beautiful White Rim Trail where some of the biggest and best Windgate Towers reside. No one but us with the occasional scorpion, red ants or bat to keep us company. After being harassed by brief squalls and thunderstorms we managed one more spectacular route just north of the park in an area called Mills Canyon before a really massive storm chased us back across I-70 bringing an end to the tour.


The Impeccable Indian Creek



Lighting Bolt Cracks - North Six Shooter - Start on the R finish on the L





Incredible Hand Crack



White Rim Trail



Musselman Arch





Basecamp below Washer Woman and Monster Towers



Starting up the North Ridge of Monster. Burly climbing left the camera neglected in the bag.



White Rim from the summit



Morning Approach



Islet in the Sky



Loose and burly 5.10...



...Leads to hanging belays and C3 pin scars



Foreshortening exists





450' x 15' x 20'



Quality Anchors abound



The amazing In Search of Suds climbs the foreground dihedral







Compulsory Ridgeline Shot



Echo Pinnacle in Mills Canyon - Window Route - One of the very best routes out there.



Absolutely beautiful tower and stunning landscape with high quality and varied climbing. towers2013-29.jpg


Kicking loose rock and sand on your partner is a common desert pastime.



The Window in the route



Amazing 5.10+ jamming



The bizarre and wonderful window/squeeze/bolt ladder/OW



Endless Towers



Gear Notes:

tape, #5 C4, BYOB


Approach Notes:


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Darin don't need to traing to send big. he just gets off the couch and climbs like a monkey.

Great photos as usual.


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Nice Darin, I am looking for a partner currently for such shenanigans.

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Nice Darin. Very inspiring. Can't wait to check out the desert in the future.


Since I am just about to embark on the joys of early fatherhood (any day now), perhaps I can enroll in the DBerdinka school of "how to be a good/responsible /loving parent and husband whilst being a rock crusher (or crusher at anything for that matter)".


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I know, Darin sets a high bar for us dads! Nice work, I need to get down there, preferably with Casey as my ropegun ;)


And, as usual, the images are fantastic!

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looks like you went left where we went right on the second pitch of North six, thats probably what you're supposed to do. That's quite a ticklist for 6 days. I can't wait to get back there. So much to climb, so many responsibilities...

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Great stuff!! Islet looks like an amazing tower tick...did you get a looksee at Boxtop's std rt?

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Boxtop looked great. #6 Camalots might be the largest piece you really need as it goes from about that size to chimney with no real intermediate width. Wish we had done it as well...another trip I suppose.


Just got the Desert Towers Book by Steve Bartlett. Amazing piece of work well worth the $50.00 for anyone interested in towers.

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thanks for the boxtop info - yeah, that's a great book to get the tower juices going no doubt

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Great pictures!! What camera did you use?


It's an Olympus XZ-1. Which is basically a higher end Point&Shoot. More importantly I shoot in RAW format and post process using LightRoom 4.


This allows a number of things.


1) Much better noise reduction than you get shooting jpegs.

2) Improved contrast with better shadow detail. Basically the "pop" in a photo.

3) And yes I sometimes up the saturation to get more of the desert color in there.


It's really the second point that I think makes for good internet pics.


What you'll see in the photos of really good photographers is a perfect distribution from bright white to very dark without any blown out highlights. While this takes good control of the actual camera when shooting it also requires skill with Schooping. See JasonG's images or the cascadescrusades guy.


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