(TR) Desert Towers Rule!

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joepuryear

climber
Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Topic Author's Original Post - Nov 5, 2009 - 02:41pm PT
I just got back from another fun-filled tower climbing adventure. This trip was a bit shorter than the last, at only 3 weeks, but I still managed to squeeze in 24 towers.

Here are the links to the last two SuperTopo trip reports I did on tower climbing:

Utah Desert Tower Tour
I love the Desert


My wife Michelle and I drove down to Moab in early October and decided to warm up with a couple towers in Arches National Park.
First off was Dark Angel, West Face (5.10+), a very prominent tower in the north of Arches, with a pleasant and scenic 3-mile approach.

Dark Angel is the prominent tower in the center. <br/>
Arches National Par...
Dark Angel is the prominent tower in the center.
Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Dark Angel from the west.  The route follows the center chimney to a s...
Dark Angel from the west. The route follows the center chimney to a short crack, then left to the horizon and up bolts to the top.
Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The next day we met up with our friends Steph and Drew and hopped on the Three Penguins, Right Chimney (5.10c) a cool 2 pitch tower right over the road.

The Right Chimney Route ascends between the right and middle penguin. ...
The Right Chimney Route ascends between the right and middle penguin.
The Three Penguins, Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

An enjoyable hand crack led to a fun off-width.

Elbow up on the first pitch of Right Chimney. <br/>
Three Penguins, Arches...
Elbow up on the first pitch of Right Chimney.
Three Penguins, Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Steph leading the 5.10 offwidth on the second pitch. <br/>
The Three Pengu...
Steph leading the 5.10 offwidth on the second pitch.
The Three Penguins, Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear


The next day we headed down to Valley of the Gods, a remote and desolate canyon just north of Mexican Hat.
The first day we all climbed Petard Tower, Hurley-Rearic Route (II 5.10-). It's a fun little route on a truly freestanding tower.

The east face of Petard Tower, a.k.a. Prairie Dog on a Mound. <br/>
Valley...
The east face of Petard Tower, a.k.a. Prairie Dog on a Mound.
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Steph leading the 5.10 3rd pitch just below the summit. <br/>
Petard Tower...
Steph leading the 5.10 3rd pitch just below the summit.
Petard Tower, Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The next day Michelle and I climbed Putterman on the Throne, Supercalifragilisticexpialiputterman (III 5.9 C1) and Putterman in a Bathtub, It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Putterworld (II 5.9 C1), while Steph and Drew climbed Eagle Plume Tower across the way. Both routes were super-cool and had awesome summits.

Putterman on the Throne &#40;center, left&#41; and Putterman in a Bath...
Putterman on the Throne (center, left) and Putterman in a Bathtub (center, right).
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Here's another shot with Eagle Plume Tower for perspective.

Putterman on the Throne &#40;left&#41;, Putterman in a Bathtub &#40;ri...
Putterman on the Throne (left), Putterman in a Bathtub (right), and Eagle Plume Tower (center).
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Looking down at Michelle from the summit of Putterman on the Throne. 
...
Looking down at Michelle from the summit of Putterman on the Throne.
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Michelle on top of Putterman in a Bathtub. <br/>
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Michelle on top of Putterman in a Bathtub.
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The next day we climbed the ultra-classic Eagle Plume Tower, South Face (III 5.10), the Castle Tower of Valley of the Gods.

The south face of Eagle Plume Tower.  The route follows the weakness i...
The south face of Eagle Plume Tower. The route follows the weakness in the center of the tower.
Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

While not as solid as its northerly neighbor, it offers thoughtful, sustained and varied climbing right to the summit.

Michelle coming up to the belay on top of pitch 3. <br/>
Eagle Plume Tower...
Michelle coming up to the belay on top of pitch 3.
Eagle Plume Tower, Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Michelle coming up the splitter 5.9 corner on the 4th and final pitch....
Michelle coming up the splitter 5.9 corner on the 4th and final pitch.
Eagle Plume Tower, Valley of the Gods, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

No trip to this part of the desert would be complete without a run up Mexican Hat, Bandito Route (C1)

The Bandito Route climbs up a 5-bolt ladder left of center. <br/>
Mexican ...
The Bandito Route climbs up a 5-bolt ladder left of center.
Mexican Hat, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Drew leading the Bandito bolt ladder. <br/>
Mexican Hat, Utah.
Drew leading the Bandito bolt ladder.
Mexican Hat, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

On our way back north we decided to have a look at Magic Man, Prayer Stick (III, 5.10+) on Comb Ridge, a cool propped-up tower in the middle of nowhere.

The Prayer Stick, Comb Ridge, Utah.
The Prayer Stick, Comb Ridge, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The 2nd pitch is the crux, a brutal wide crack that goes from 100' of fists and larger to a crux 10" section up high. Overall a super high-quality pitch though and a fun route overall.

Steph, Drew, and I on the 3rd pitch. <br/>
Magic Man, Prayer Stick, Comb R...
Steph, Drew, and I on the 3rd pitch.
Magic Man, Prayer Stick, Comb Ridge, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Michelle had one more day to climb before flying back home from GJ, so we revisited Colorado National Monument for a quick climb of Sentinel Spire, Fast Draw (II, 5.10).

Fast Draw climbs a crack system on the right side of the prominent tow...
Fast Draw climbs a crack system on the right side of the prominent tower.
Sentinel Spire, Colorado National Monument, Colorado.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The first pitch is a splitter 100' hand crack, then two fun chimney pitches lead to the summit.

Michelle following the first pitch hand crack. <br/>
Fast Draw, Sentinel S...
Michelle following the first pitch hand crack.
Fast Draw, Sentinel Spire, Colorado National Monument, Colorado.
Credit: Joe Puryear

After Michelle left I took a rest day before meeting up with my best tower-climbing buddy Stoney and the infamous Tom Payne.

We warmed up with a blustery morning climb of Dolomite Spire, Kor Route (III 5.9 C2) and Lighthouse Tower, Lonely Vigil (II 5.10-).

Dolomite Spire, Lighthouse Tower, and the Colorado River. <br/>
River Road...
Dolomite Spire, Lighthouse Tower, and the Colorado River.
River Road, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

A close up of Dolomite Spire &#40;left&#41; and Lighthouse Tower &#40;...
A close up of Dolomite Spire (left) and Lighthouse Tower (right).
River Road, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Dolomite was a nice mix of free and aid climbing.

Stoney leading the first pitch. <br/>
Kor Route, Dolomite Spire, River Roa...
Stoney leading the first pitch.
Kor Route, Dolomite Spire, River Road, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Lighthouse started with a nice long 5.10 pitch, followed by a steep chimney.

Stoney hanging out in the chimney on Lonely Vigil. <br/>
Lighthouse Tower,...
Stoney hanging out in the chimney on Lonely Vigil.
Lighthouse Tower, River Road, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The summit of Lighthouse is pretty small, just big enough for the three of us. The fun part was downclimbing back down off the summit, since there are no anchors on top.

Me starting the downclimb from the summit of Lighthouse Tower. <br/>
River...
Me starting the downclimb from the summit of Lighthouse Tower.
River Road, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The next day we headed out to "scout" the route for the Doric Column out in the Mystery Towers. That afternoon we came back and climbed The Hindu, Maverick (II 5.9 C2), an excellent 2 pitch route on one of the best looking towers.

The Hindu, Onion Creek, Utah.
The Hindu, Onion Creek, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Me leading the first pitch. <br/>
The Hindu, Maverick, Onion Creek, Utah.
Me leading the first pitch.
The Hindu, Maverick, Onion Creek, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Later that evening we headed on over to the Fisher Towers and took a few laps on Lizard Rock, Entry Fee (5.8) and the other variation to the left.

Tom dynoing the crux. <br/>
Entry Fee, Lizard Rock, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Tom dynoing the crux.
Entry Fee, Lizard Rock, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The next day we climbed Echo Tower, Phantom Spirit (IV 5.9 C2). This was one of the best aid route's I've done in the Fishers. It's pretty much all natural gear (no bolt ladders) and goes clean easily.

Phantom Spirit takes the stunning line on the left side of the tower. ...
Phantom Spirit takes the stunning line on the left side of the tower.
Echo Tower, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Me on the first pitch of Phantom Spirit. <br/>
Echo Tower, Fisher Towers, ...
Me on the first pitch of Phantom Spirit.
Echo Tower, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Cool morning silhouette of Ancient Art. <br/>
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Cool morning silhouette of Ancient Art.
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Tom can't decide whether it's thumbs up?... <br/>
Echo Tower, Fisher Tower...
Tom can't decide whether it's thumbs up?...
Echo Tower, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Or oh shit!!, on the narrow summit ridge of Echo Tower. <br/>
Fisher Tower...
Or oh shit!!, on the narrow summit ridge of Echo Tower.
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

That afternoon we took some laps on some of the towers beneath Ancient Art. We climbed Boxtop (5.10), The Cobra (5.11), and the two shorter towers just west of the Cobra, one of which was just a boulder problem, the other actually had some hard, loose climbing. (Edit: Anyone know the names of these two?)

Me atop Boxtop. <br/>
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Me atop Boxtop.
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Tom leading the Cobra, before it threatened to fall over... <br/>
Fisher T...
Tom leading the Cobra, before it threatened to fall over...
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

A warning to all about the Cobra: the Cobra shuttered and swayed twice, while we were on it. I've never heard of or had that do that before. Fun times...

The next mission was River Tower, North Face (III 5.8 C2), a really cool tower just north of the Fishers, made of the same Cutler sandstone. The route is a good introductory to this type of climbing with no real difficulties, but a nice location and great views.

Stoney leading the first pitch. <br/>
North Face, River Tower, Fisher Towe...
Stoney leading the first pitch.
North Face, River Tower, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Stoney on the first pitch, amidst a sea of cutler. <br/>
North Face, River...
Stoney on the first pitch, amidst a sea of cutler.
North Face, River Tower, Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

On top of River Tower. <br/>
Fisher Towers, Utah.
On top of River Tower.
Fisher Towers, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

That afternoon we drove down the road and climbed Crooked Arrow Spire, Longbow Chimney (III 5.8 C1). This has got to have one of the funnest (and easiest) chimneys in the desert.

The route climbs up the obvious deep chimney, then up a bolt ladder to...
The route climbs up the obvious deep chimney, then up a bolt ladder to the summit.
Longbow Chimney, Crooked Arrow Spire, Parriott Mesa, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Getting sucked into the chimney. <br/>
Longbow Chimney, Crooked Arrow Spir...
Getting sucked into the chimney.
Longbow Chimney, Crooked Arrow Spire, Parriott Mesa, Utah.
Credit: Tom Payne

Next it was another quick visit to Arches. Both Stoney and Tom had already climbed Tower of Babel, Zenyatta Entrada (IV 5.8 C3), but agreed to let me short-fix them up it. It was a great 3 hour session of excellent straight-forward clean aid climbing.

Zenyatta Entrada climbs straight up the middle of the face. <br/>
The Towe...
Zenyatta Entrada climbs straight up the middle of the face.
The Tower of Babel, Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Looking down from around the 4th pitch. <br/>
Zenyatta Entrada, Tower of B...
Looking down from around the 4th pitch.
Zenyatta Entrada, Tower of Babel, Arches National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Another rest day, then our final destination was to be Canyonlands. First order of business was Charlie Horse Needle, North Face (5.10 C1). Wingate climbing is nice too.

Charlie Horse Needle is the right most tower. <br/>
Canyonlands National P...
Charlie Horse Needle is the right most tower.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Stoney leading the second pitch. <br/>
North Face, Charlie Horse Needle, C...
Stoney leading the second pitch.
North Face, Charlie Horse Needle, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Next we ghost rode the whip around the White Rim to do Tiki Tower, Brave Little Toaster (III 5.9 C1). Tiki is a little known tower that sits on the western end of a ridge of forming towers behind the larger Airport Tower.

Tom on top of pitch one of Tiki Tower. <br/>
Canyonlands National Park, Ut...
Tom on top of pitch one of Tiki Tower.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Stoney leading the tension traverse on pitch 2 of the Brave Little Toa...
Stoney leading the tension traverse on pitch 2 of the Brave Little Toaster.
Tiki Tower, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

On the summit of Tiki Tower. <br/>
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
On the summit of Tiki Tower.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

One of the main objectives of this trip for me was Islet in the Sky, Original Route (IV 5.10 C3), one of the best looking towers out there and with a real big-wall feel.

Islet in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Islet in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

After a wandering and sustained 5.10 hand/fist crack on the first pitch, the climb does a horizontal traverse left out onto the north wall of the tower, giving it a real airy feel. It then climbs a 2 pitch splitter seam, then a short free pitch to the summit.

Stoney leading the 2nd pitch horizontal traverse onto the tower. <br/>
Ori...
Stoney leading the 2nd pitch horizontal traverse onto the tower.
Original Route, Islet in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Me looking down the thin 3rd pitch. <br/>
Original Route, Islet in the Sky...
Me looking down the thin 3rd pitch.
Original Route, Islet in the Sky, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The shadow of Islet in the Sky. <br/>
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
The shadow of Islet in the Sky.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Another huge objective for me was the Pixie Stick (III C3). My friend Dougald (who made the first ascent with Paul Gagner), turned me on to this slender little spire in a remote section of Monument Basin.

The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

I got to lead both pitches, Tom belayed, and Stoney took the photos.

Me starting up the first pitch. <br/>
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Can...
Me starting up the first pitch.
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Me at the crux of the 2nd pitch. <br/>
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Ca...
Me at the crux of the 2nd pitch.
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

What a really cool climb - and still awaiting a free ascent...

On the summit! <br/>
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National...
On the summit!
The Pixie Stick, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

While we were out there we found a splitter 200' hand crack on the White Rim that we each took a turn soloing...

Splitter hand crack on the White Rim... <br/>
Canyonlands National Park, U...
Splitter hand crack on the White Rim...
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Finally it was time for some free climbing on The Mock Turtle, Mud Wrestling (IV 5.10+). The Mock Turtle is the highest free-standing tower in Monument Basin, and is uniquely capped by five feet of the white rim sandstone.

View of Monument Basin.  The Mock Turtle is the center tower.  Stagger...
View of Monument Basin. The Mock Turtle is the center tower. Staggering rock is in the left distance and Bruce Smith is on the right.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

A got sandbagged into linking the first two crux pitches together into one mega 190' mud fest. "Yeah Joe, just keep climbing, you can make it to those next anchors..."

Me leading pitch 1 and 2 on Mud Wrestling. <br/>
The Mock Turtle, Monument...
Me leading pitch 1 and 2 on Mud Wrestling.
The Mock Turtle, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Gotta love those #6's. <br/>
Mud Wrestling, The Mock Turtle, Monument Basi...
Gotta love those #6's.
Mud Wrestling, The Mock Turtle, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Stoney led the next pitch, a super-squeeze chimney. He ended up having to remove every last piece of gear from his harness, helmet off, and retie his rope below his waste to fit through.

Stoney starting up the 3rd pitch of Mud Wrestling. <br/>
The Mock Turtle, ...
Stoney starting up the 3rd pitch of Mud Wrestling.
The Mock Turtle, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

Me barely fitting through the chimney on the 3rd pitch. <br/>
The Mock Tur...
Me barely fitting through the chimney on the 3rd pitch.
The Mock Turtle, Monument Basin, Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

We were treated to some cool wildlife while down there.

Big Horn Sheep in Monument Basin. <br/>
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Big Horn Sheep in Monument Basin.
Canyonlands National Park, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear

And for a parting shot, I went around and took some photos after climbing and took a shot of Six Shooter Lake in Indian Creek:

North Six Shooter and Six Shooter Lake. <br/>
Indian Creek, Utah.
North Six Shooter and Six Shooter Lake.
Indian Creek, Utah.
Credit: Joe Puryear



Desert Towers rule!
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Nov 5, 2009 - 02:59pm PT
Damn, dude, that's like a year's worth of climbing!!!

Badass indeed. Nice shots.
Hoots

climber
Toyota Tacoma
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:02pm PT
DOOOOOOOOOD! You get it done. I love the pics of these obscurities. Thanks for sharing.
TKingsbury

Trad climber
MT
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:14pm PT
VERY nice!

Great pics of some cool out of the way ones too...

Thanks for posting up!
Pate

Trad climber
?
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:18pm PT
Super bad ass road trip. I could read this TR over and over again.
Jingy

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:28pm PT
SUPER FRIGGIN' AWESOME TR!!!!

Bravo to all who sent here!!!


Love that aiders shots looking into the sunlight... that's a keeper...

I think this is the shot
http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs7NTs7KCgj

other notable shots (the ones I really like)
http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs0Pz44JCkn

Super siloette!
http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs0OD0_ICYj


http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs0ODw5IyMi
uhm... was this thing really meant to be climbed... I mean... It's almost tipped over already! yikes!

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs0OzY8KCcg
This guy is a machine!!!
Right On!

http://www.supertopo.com/inc/photo_view.php?dpid=Pzs0Oj45Iycq
Ok.. now you're just being funny!!!



Excellent TR, I will be back to read more...

Cheers


incredible!


Post Shite Edit: I can't get the pics to show here.. pulled from above, you've already seen them.. don't need to see them again... but you can click the link to see what I was commenting on.
franky

climber
Davis, CA
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:49pm PT
Man, utah is great.
MH2

climber
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:55pm PT
Deserves some kind of climbing/photography biathlon prize.
Jeremy

Social climber
Hanging with your mom...
Nov 5, 2009 - 03:59pm PT
JOE KICKS ASS!!!!!!!!!!!

SWEET DUDE!!!!!!!!

Great to meet you guys out there!

GREAT pics!!!!!!!!!!!!

WOO FRIGGING HOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Jeremy
eKat

Trad climber
BITD2
Nov 5, 2009 - 04:09pm PT
Well. . . YAY!

Thanks for postin' up!

ox

eKat
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Nov 5, 2009 - 04:10pm PT
UNREAL!!!!

thx much!!!


Pixie Stick looks amazing! WHat a prize!
schwortz

Social climber
davis, ca
Nov 5, 2009 - 04:26pm PT
awesome

and i thought 7 towers in two weeks was a pretty good road trip...nice slice of humble pie....

awesome stuff
great photos
i love the desert
thanks
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Nov 5, 2009 - 05:05pm PT
Dang, that's a lot of towers for one trip! How many days?
Phil_B

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Nov 5, 2009 - 05:14pm PT
Awesome!

That's a lot of climbing in that 3 weeks. Thanks for sharing.
miss.julienne

climber
Capitola, California
Nov 5, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
RAD!!! I wanna go
Dirka

Trad climber
SF
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:00pm PT
What an adventure! Thanks for posting up!!!!!
Elcapinyoazz

Social climber
Redlands
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:01pm PT
Beautiful pics. Love that ancient art in profile.
Tea

Trad climber
Behind the Zion Curtain
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:18pm PT
Proper! Thanks for sharing! Islet in the Sky is proud!
goatboy smellz

climber
लघिमा
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:21pm PT
What a TRIP!
Barcus

Social climber
San Luis Obispo, Ca.
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:39pm PT
Awsome trek!
thanks much for sharin.
Marcus
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Nov 5, 2009 - 06:46pm PT
Since when is Charliehorse Needle an obscurity Hoots?
Easy to get to, reasonable.
The desert holds stuff far more obscure.

Nice job, Joe.
gcclimbing

climber
www.Arizonas-Vertical-Web.com
Nov 5, 2009 - 10:07pm PT
I'll drink to that...and that crazy green Bandito vortex, bottom center of the Mexican hat pic...
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 5, 2009 - 10:13pm PT
Hoh man!. I'm out the door to eat, but i will be back to comment. Short story; nice work!
le_bruce

climber
Oakland: what's not to love?
Nov 5, 2009 - 10:40pm PT
Islet looks phenomenal, and the pic of the traversing pitch is a wild one. Thanks so much for sharing.
mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Nov 5, 2009 - 11:02pm PT
Fuc*ing A man!

Lotsa good climbing there huh?

Way to get those toothpicks knocked off!

Mucci
Erik of Oakland

Gym climber
Oakland
Nov 6, 2009 - 12:49am PT
please talk about the photo rig
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Nov 6, 2009 - 12:57am PT
Once again, this is my FAVORITE post on supertopo EVER......and the reason Joe AND supertopo RULE!......in 3 weeks, you climb what took me 30 years of desert climbing.....Joe; you thew it down.....a mind boggling inspiration to all climbers...and your pictures are fantastic. Job well done. (sidenote......as you are in Leavenworth;....look up Dr. Tom Michael(D.D.S) in E. Wenetchee....a climber of similar drive and motivation as you....I'm sure you guys would hit it off and get the job done...)...ONce again;..thank you for sharing your awesome trips up these wonderful towers...
Porkchop_express

Trad climber
Currently in San Diego
Nov 6, 2009 - 01:03am PT
That is some beautiful photo work and a hell of a lot of climbing to boot! I particularly appreciate the ancient art profile...WOW. Great stuff.

Steve
crossman04

Trad climber
san diego, ca
Nov 6, 2009 - 02:40am PT
I think you just made every climber on this website jealous. Freakin' sweet man.
Big Piton

Trad climber
Ventura
Nov 6, 2009 - 10:55am PT
Talk about a trip. Oh Man. One day watching El Cap pics.
Then this great report from the towers.

Thanks for all your hard work

MMM
Jeremy

Social climber
Hanging with your mom...
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:09am PT
BAD ASS BUMP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

And hey...it's CLIMBING RELATED!!!!

THE HORROR!!!!!!!!

WOO HOO!!!

Jeremy
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:20am PT
I'm SOOOO jealous.....

Thanks for pulling down and then posting up!
mojede

Trad climber
Butte, America
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:29am PT
Holy towers, Batman--those are some mighty fine looking climbing locales to play on.
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:36am PT
A gorgeous raft of incredible edible pictures.
Some super gems in there....
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Nov 6, 2009 - 11:36am PT
wow.... maybe even tops my favorite trip photo trip report ever" I Love the Desert... wait, you wrote that one also. you on fire!
habitat

climber
grass pass
Nov 6, 2009 - 12:12pm PT
Nice!

Great partners make it all happen...the comaraderie is evident, really comes through in the photos and story.

Thanks!

pFranzen

Boulder climber
Portland, OR
Nov 6, 2009 - 12:18pm PT
I don't think that I climbed as many boulder problems on my last road trip as you climbed towers on yours. Holy crap!
Gagner

climber
Boulder
Nov 6, 2009 - 12:24pm PT
Joe-Dang - way to get after it. Like Todd said, you got soooo many towers done in such a short period of time - after 30 years of climbing in the desert I still haven't done a bunch of those. Great job and good to meet you in the Fishers!!

Paul
Fletcher

Trad climber
somewhere approaching Ajna
Nov 6, 2009 - 01:26pm PT
Love it.... just the treat to start out the holidays!

Eric
crunch

Social climber
CO
Nov 6, 2009 - 01:40pm PT
Fantastic. Several years' worth of towers in one crazy desert trip. Great photos of the Valley of the Gods.
Buggs

Trad climber
Eagle River, Alaska
Nov 6, 2009 - 02:36pm PT
Awesome TR, Joe. Nice shots, excellent descriptions, beautiful climbing. Makes one want to venture west!!

I need to climb the Brave Little Toaster just for grins.

Nicely done.
Julie-Bird

climber
Bend Oregon
Nov 6, 2009 - 06:12pm PT
Great pics Joe! You rock!!
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Nov 7, 2009 - 11:51am PT
Outrageous! You are a lucky man to be able to climb all those towers! I'm a lucky man to be able to read your TR.
Zander
Rhodo-Router

Gym climber
obsessively minitracking all winter at Knob Hill
Nov 7, 2009 - 02:58pm PT
Staggering...like a one-man desert tower tour guide, and I can watch it all from my couch.

Which I must leave. Now.


Thanks!
Phil_B

Social climber
Hercules, CA
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:04am PT
Bump for a cool TR
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:19am PT
Yowza!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Nov 8, 2009 - 11:21am PT
i'm a lucky man to have a friend like young Zander...
joepuryear

climber
Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Topic Author's Reply - Nov 8, 2009 - 07:55pm PT
Hey, thanks everyone for the cool replies. Jeremy and Paul - great to meet you guys too. These guys were putting up a hard new route on Kingfisher the day we climbed Echo. If you missed it, check out their TR here: FA of Weird Science
Erik of Oakland in answer to your inquiry about photo rigs - Canon 50d for anything taken from the ground; Nikon P5100 for anything taken on a tower.
stich

Trad climber
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Nov 8, 2009 - 08:22pm PT
That is a sheet-load of towers!
HighDesertDJ

Trad climber
Arid-zona
Nov 8, 2009 - 10:03pm PT
I wish my wife lead 5.10 offwidths dammit.
Fluoride

Trad climber
Hollywood, CA
Nov 9, 2009 - 11:22am PT
BUMP for one of the BEST TR's in the history of ST.

Seriously guys/gals, you're my heroes. Brilliant, simply brilliant trip. Gorgeous photos, descriptions, I could read this TR over and over. I want to live it. Done a few of the stuff in here but not in one fell swoop. Sounds like a trip of a lifetime.

Great stuff.
seneca

climber
jamais, jamais pays
Nov 11, 2009 - 02:09am PT
Nice job! What a trip.
froodish

Trad climber
Portland, Oregon
Nov 24, 2009 - 02:42am PT
Bump for a seriously rockin' TR.
powderdan

Social climber
mammoth lakes
Nov 24, 2009 - 10:37pm PT
jealous!
djake

climber
CT
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:13pm PT
Thanks for sharing! I'm an envious "Toad".
Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:27pm PT
OMG that was so fun to see. The Pixie Stick looks like an amazing thing to climb.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Dec 18, 2009 - 05:52pm PT
god damn this is a good set of photos.

thx for the rebump
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 18, 2009 - 06:12pm PT
Fantastic!

-Brian in SLC
froodish

Social climber
Portland, Oregon
Aug 26, 2010 - 02:17am PT
Bump for a great TR
Marla

Trad climber
Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 11, 2010 - 12:14pm PT
Outstanding! Taking care of business! Awesome pics!! Want lots of these towers under my belt too! =)
Barto

climber
Minneapolis, MN
Oct 11, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
What beautiful photos! Thank you.
scott baxter

Gym climber
sedona, arizona
Oct 11, 2010 - 07:23pm PT
Man oh Man. Back in my day we would have been happy with any ONE of those towers...you guys bagged a whole haul sack full! And you went for some obscure. I especially appreciate the beautiful mix of climbing and nature shots...I'm still breathless. Kor's gotta see this. Has Kor seen this?
crunch

Social climber
CO
Oct 11, 2010 - 08:49pm PT
Kor's internet is down. I just talked to him....
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Oct 11, 2010 - 09:05pm PT
He hasn't seen it, but he knows about it now.
He wants info on any moderate routes with easy approaches at Xmas Tree.
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
Oct 11, 2010 - 09:18pm PT
nice trip slackers.
tolman_paul

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Oct 13, 2011 - 01:29pm PT
Bump

Waiting for the icycles to form, and dreaming of the desert.
Bruce Kay

Gym climber
BC
Oct 13, 2011 - 01:47pm PT
whoa .... none of that light weight Indian Creek stuff for you guys eh?

that sheep pic is awesome!
ydpl8s

Trad climber
Santa Monica, California
Oct 13, 2011 - 01:55pm PT
Didn't Joe die in the Himalayas about a year ago?

Edit: Tibet
dirt claud

Social climber
san diego,ca
Oct 13, 2011 - 03:33pm PT
yeah, he seamed like a very cool guy from the stuff I've seen here on ST. Hope his close friends/relatives are dealing with his passing ok.

http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1302372/Joe-Puryear-killed-in-Tibet
crunch

Social climber
CO
Oct 13, 2011 - 04:15pm PT
What a great thread! I'd forgotten about this.

RIP Joe. Gone far too soon.

Castleton Tower
Castleton Tower
Credit: crunch

Credit: crunch
Reeotch

Trad climber
4 Corners Area
Dec 28, 2012 - 06:00pm PT
Credit: Reeotch
Brandon-

climber
The Granite State.
Dec 29, 2012 - 02:44pm PT
Wow. Joe seems like he was a brilliant shing star of energy.
Roxy

Trad climber
CA Central Coast
Dec 29, 2012 - 02:51pm PT
damn! now that's a trip!

Miles of rock. some great shots.

Heeza Mainiac

climber
Truckee, Ca
Apr 6, 2014 - 03:21pm PT
Just curious, on Tiki which way did you go on the last pitch? Seems like there's a few options...

And, I'm glad I didn't get suckered into linking those two pitches on Mud Wrestling...I had one #3 left on my rack anyway...would have put me in chocker hold for sure!

Great pics and TR!

Can't wait to get back there!


Correction:

My condolences to Joe's family and friends....never met him but I would have liked to...rest in peace.
jonnyrig

Trad climber
formerly known as hillrat
Apr 6, 2014 - 04:47pm PT
nice!
crunch

Social climber
CO
Apr 6, 2014 - 05:04pm PT
One more summit!
One more summit!
Credit: crunch
Spider Savage

Mountain climber
The shaggy fringe of Los Angeles
Apr 6, 2014 - 07:08pm PT
Great bump! Made my day.
tradmanclimbs

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Apr 6, 2014 - 09:18pm PT
Wow! what a cool revisit!
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