(TR) I Love the Desert


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Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Topic Author's Original Post - Apr 27, 2008 - 08:31pm PT
This spring I was fortunate to make a really fun desert Southwest tour with my wife Michelle and a few other friends. We visited Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and Nevada. During the trip I climbed 32 desert towers and a half dozen other routes.

First stop was Colorado National Monument. It was pretty cold,
but we managed to climb Independence Monument, Otto's Route (III, 5.9).
Colorado National Monument, with Independence Monument on the right:

A close up:

The route was pretty "cool" with snow all over the ledges,

But fun none-the-less. Love the history of the route with all the manufactured holds and staircases. You can see one of the staircases in the pic below, and Michelle is grabbing on to an old pipe hole:

With temps dipping down to 10-degrees, we decided to head farther south to the Moab area.

We did a quick climb of South Six Shooter, South Face (II, 5.8). On South Six Shooter Peak, with North Six Shooter in the distance.

It snowed on us, so dreaming of warmer weather we decided to head farther south into Arizona. We had long wanted to climb in the Superstition Mountains outside of Phoenix.

The Superstitions. The Hand, the Tower, and the Prong are the first three towers on the lower left. The larger Grandfather Hobgoblin Spire is on the right, but blends in a little with the cliff behind:

The rock at the "Supes" is really interesting, some kind of crazy conglomerate. The protection is often sparse, and when there are bolts, well...

One of those plant towers:

The first day we did a collection of towers on the northwest side of the range. We climbed The Hand (5.6), The Tower (5.8 R), The Pickle (5.4), The Periscope (5.4R), and The Prong (5.6). All of them were unique little climbs and summits. Very cool.

The Hand:

Here is Michelle at a small belay on The Hand. The 3-pitch route we climbed was called the Razor's Edge and the climbing was on a 3-foot wide, steep ridge crest:

The Tower had 25-feet of unprotected, overhanging 5.8 climbing to start the route, then a long and thoughtful 5.7R pitch above that. It felt good to get on top of that sucker.

The Pickle was fun - it looks steep and hard from the base but it really is only 5.4. The climbing is on huge cemented together conglomerate rocks.
Michelle rapping off the Pickle.

The next day we woke up for two more climbs of Grandfather Hobgoblin (III, 5.9), and the really fun North Buttress, Spider Walk (III, 5.6).

Here is Grandfather Hobgoblin, the 4-pitch route climbs up to the notch on the left, then right up to the summit:

Looking down at Michelle atop the first pitch:

View from the summit out towards the suburban sprawl:

After rapping down we went directly over to the North Buttress. Spider Walk takes an improbable looking line (for 5.6), meandering up 4 pitches of run-out slabs, with hard to find bolts, then up a chimney/crack system up a very cool feature.

Here's a shot of the North Buttress. The route starts on the left side, then works its way up to the chimney near the top:

Michelle following the second pitch:

At the end of the route, you can scramble up to a high spire that overlooks everything.

A final sunset:

Next stop was Red Rocks, Nevada.

We spent a few days climbing Dark Shadows (5.8), Frogland (III, 5.8), Sour Mash (III, 5.10a), then met with our good friends Chin and Raleigh and climbed Eagle Dance (III, 5.10c A0) and then a twisted variation of The Gobbler and Yellow Brick Road (III, 5.10c) on Black Velvet Wall (this to bypass the cluster on Dream of Wild Turkey's and other routes).

Hiking up to Eagle wall:

Me leading the second pitch of The Gobbler, with Raleigh belaying:

Michelle following Sour Mash:

All in all we had a great week in Red Rocks, with splitter weather and pretty moderate crowds.

Next stop: Zion. I really love Zion, and this is partly why:

We only had a chance to spend two days here. The first day was a bit of a lazy day. We rode up canyon in the shuttle and climbed The Pulpit, Original Route (5.9, C1) - a cool little spire at the end of the road.

Here's Michelle following the one and only pitch:

Day 2 we climbed the Iron Messiah (III, 5.10) a 10-pitch route on the Spearhead. You gotta love chimneys to like this route:

High on the route (see Michelle at bottom of crack and shuttle bus below), the second to the last pitch was a stellar 200-foot corner.

It had been a few years since visiting Zion and I was really psyched to climb there again if only for a couple days. Michelle had to head back home and my buddy Jim flew down to meet me for some climbing around Moab.

Our first stop was the Bridger Jack Towers in Indian Creek. In two days we climbed Sparkling Touch Tower (5.11-), Thumbelina Tower (5.11), Sunflower Tower, East Face (III, 5.10), Easter Island Tower (5.10), and King of Pain, Vision Quest (III, 5.10+).

Shadow of the Bridger Jacks on the desert floor:

Jim's picture of me leading Thumbelina, a great single pitch of 5.11, and a cool spire to boot!

Jim's picture of me leading the first pitch of Sparkling Touch:

The King of Pain. Vision Quest climbs the split between the two towers:

Here's Jim in the 5.10 slot on Vision Quest. After this pitch, I won't disagree with the guidebook description calling the route "burly".

Jim taking the lead on the last pitch of Sunflower Tower. South and North Sixshooter can be seen in the distance.

I was psyched to finally climb on these towers. The ease of access, quality rock and routes, and relaxing atmosphere made for a great couple of days (and a great warm up for Jim!)

Next we headed into Canyonlands National Park. We stopped by the ranger station and got a permit to camp down on the White Rim for a couple days, then later that afternoon we climbed Washer Woman, In Search of Suds (III, 5.10+). The route was super-classic just like everyone said it would be. Gotta be one of the most unique looking towers in the desert. Can't wait to see what it looks like when that chock stone falls out!

Washer Woman and Monster Tower:

Looking down from the last pitch, with Monster Tower behind:

Jim's pic of me leading the final summit block:

Gotta love that rappel!

Next we headed into Monument Basin.

Our first objective was the ultra-classic Standing Rock, Kor Route (III, 5.11). You can tell this route gets climbed a ton because there is no loose rock or mud typical of the area to speak of. I can only imagine what it must have been like on the first ascent.

Jim's pic of me leading the great roof (way easier than it looks from below):

Jim following the second pitch:

That afternoon we climbed the Shark’s Fin, Fetish Aręte (III, 5.10c R). This route doesn't seem to get as much traffic and one gets a taste for some more authentic Monument Basin climbing. This picture was taken from Island in the Sky. The route follows the lower angled right side for 5 fun pitches:

Jim's pic of me starting up the first pitch:

I thought the 1st and 3rd pitches were more R rated than the 5.10b R second pitch according to the guidebooks.

Jim rappelling off of Shark's Fin - awesome rock striations:

A big rain storm ruined our shot at Monster Tower so we headed back out to Moab to reconnoiter. Our final objective was going to be the Titan in the Fisher Towers, but thoughts of wet mud made us cringe so we headed to Castle Valley instead. Neither of us had climbed the Priest, so it seemed like a worthy objective. We started on The Priest, Honeymoon Chimney (III, 5.11).

The route follows the ow/chimney in the middle of the picture:

Does this look like an Alien/Predator head to anyone else?

Entering the Alien's layer - looking up the upper chimney:

The classic shot of the second pitch:

That afternoon I decided to give a shot at The Nuns, Bad Habit (II, 5.11c). The first pitch was strenuous and I wished I had (a lot) more #1 Camalots!

Jim had to fly back home and I had a few days before my next partner was going to show up. I really wanted to climb in the Fishers on this trip (especially the Titan), so I decided to give The Titan, Finger of Fate (IV, 5.9 A2) a try solo. It went amazingly well and I was able to complete the climb in 8 hours 53 minutes (10:04 base to base).

The Titan, looking up the route:

Of course, pictures of soloing are pretty boring cause it's hard to get a person in the pic, but anyways, here's the belayer at the top of the second to the last pitch:

I hauled a ton of crap up the route, not knowing exactly what I would need. The hardest parts for me were the small bits of mandatory free climbing. Because of the wandering nature of the climb, I couldn’t tag gear, so I started up each pitch with pretty much all the gear I had and the entire lead line in a rope bag off my harness. It made for a few interesting moments, but overall I enjoyed really quality climbing and a superb summit.

My friend Stoney showed up for some final tower antics. We warmed up in Arches National Park on some fine Entrada sandstone (which I think is way more ass-kicker than Cutler). Our first stop was The Three Gossips, West Face (III, 5.11) - a splitter crack system, followed by a cool chimney pitch up the split summit block.

Later that day we got on Argon Tower, West Face (II, 5.11). What a great route for the grade, climbing some authentic Arches “sand”.
View to the south with Argon Tower in the center:

Rappelling off Argon Tower with the Three Gossips in the distance:

The next day we headed out to Tusher and Mill Canyons. There we climbed The House of Putterman, Walden’s Room (II, 5.10+), our first Putt-route. This is a desert classic with probably the easiest approach in the entire region.

The House of Putterman:

Later that day we climbed Echo Pinnacle, Window Route (III, 5.11a).

Echo Pinnacle. The route ascends a system just right of the sun/shade line. The left side is detached, forming a series of windows to look through to the other side:

Stoney leading the first pitch (gotta love a tower that is composed of Entrada on top of Dewey Bridge!)

The next day it was back to Canyonlands again where we went right for Monster Tower, Kor Route (IV, 5.10 C2).

Monster Tower and Washer Woman at Sunset:

Another shot of Monster Tower, Washer Woman, and the Sandcastle from up canyon:

It was a neat route as it cork-screwed around the tower, starting on the northeast side and finishing on the northwest. Stoney leading around the 4th pitch:

The next objective was Chip Tower and Dale Tower. We started with Chip Tower, Stuffin’ Nuts (III, 5.8 C1).

Chip Tower and his big brother Dale Tower. The route on Chip Tower ascents the other (south) side, while the route on Dale Tower climbs the large chimney system on the right, then bumps over and climbs a pitch of off-widths to the summit.

Stoney leading the 2nd pitch of Chip Tower:

Later that day we climbed Dale Tower, Boy’s Night Out (III, 5.9 C1). Another fun and "wide" tower.

Stoney's pic of me on top of Dale Tower after a long happy day:

We went down into Monument Basin for some more, uh, fun. First up - the Meemohive (III, 5.9 C2). We both really enjoyed this tower - the climbing was moderate but classically Monument-esque. The route climbs up the right-side chimney, traverses left on the ledge near the top, then takes a steep hand-crack through a roof up the central crack system to the top.

Stoney leading the second mud chimney:

and following the 3rd pitch ledge traverse:

On top of the Meemohive, we looked over and saw something terrible:

The Enigmatic Syringe... If the name alone wasn't enticing enough...

So I had a go at the Enigmatic Syringe, Altered Sanity (III, C3). I was able to do both pitches clean, bypassing some of the really bad sections with free climbing.

Stoney's pic of me leading pitch one of two:

and, me hoping not to deck on pitch two:

It was super-windy all day and it gusted up to 40+mph. We are obviously noobs to this kind of climbing because we didn't bring any goggles in the kit. Next time...

We had time for one more while on the White Rim and decided to try out Blocktop, Original Route (IV, 5.10 C2), just cause it looks really, really cool.
Islet in the Sky and Blocktop. The route on Blocktop goes right up the crack that splits the tower literally in half:

Stoney's pic of me leading the hand/fist/ow/squeeze/chimney pitch:

Looking down that same pitch from one of the best belays in the desert:

Yep, it was as cool as it looked.

Finally with one day of climbing left, neither of us had climbed North Six Shooter, Lightning Bolt Cracks (III, 5.11a), so we made the drive down to Indian Creek to give it a go.
Looking down the first half of the last pitch (I linked this all the way to the top) from the obvious picture taking stance:

The route was definitely as classic as could be, though a bit disappointingly short.

All in all, another amazing adventure in the great lands of the desert Southwest.

I love the desert!


Trad climber
Lee, NH
Apr 27, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
All my desert trips are that long and successful, too! Not.

I love even vicarious desert trips, though.

Social climber
The West
Apr 27, 2008 - 08:58pm PT

i think it took me 32 years
to climb 32 towers,
If I've climbed that many.

No Weaver's Needle?

Trad climber
Memphis, TN
Apr 27, 2008 - 09:01pm PT
Dammmm, fine stuff. Thanks for the TR. The pics were amazing. We hit Castleton tower last spring. Heck, the approaches were enough to flip me out. Back to the point, it looks like a hell of a trip. Good on ya!

Trad climber
Longmont, CO
Apr 27, 2008 - 09:07pm PT
Sheesh. It took me 20 years to climb 75 percent of that stuff. Nice trip!!

Apr 27, 2008 - 09:15pm PT
Holy cow...now that is a trip! thanks for sharing the report and the great pics too.

Apr 27, 2008 - 09:17pm PT
Really great TR.


The salty ocean blue and deep
Apr 27, 2008 - 09:38pm PT
Joe Doooooode--you are a climbin' fool!!! And I mean that in the best way possible. Great TR, and those photos were simply amazing.

I can't believe the vertical mileage you put in, and most of it on lead. Holy cow...you sure are raisin' the endurance bar.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Apr 27, 2008 - 10:44pm PT
Slackers.......(You guys are amazing......what a trip!......you did 2 decades worth of climbing in 10 days......).....Think I'll have another twinkie..........golf anyone?.......

Trad climber
Apr 27, 2008 - 11:08pm PT
10 days?! Did you really do all that in 10 days?!

This TR should be sub-titled "A Sandstone Primer"

Big smiles, cheers, thankyousoverymuch for this!

(I stole the vegetation tower photo, just for my computer, it is stunning!)
nick d

Trad climber
Apr 27, 2008 - 11:14pm PT
Wow! You are one motivated super-stud! Thanks for the vicarious living. What a trip!

Apr 27, 2008 - 11:28pm PT
Well, better luck next time. Maybe with a bit more focus and psyche you can get more done.

Sarcasm, of course. That there is a damn prolific road trip. Well done.

Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Apr 27, 2008 - 11:33pm PT
Ho Man, when you do a trip, you do a trip! That was absolutely wonderful to take in. Thanks for the effort on the report. A beauty!

Social climber
On my way to Boulder
Apr 27, 2008 - 11:36pm PT
Whoa. What a trip. And what a report. This is like a super Trip Report! Thanks for posting...
Double D

Apr 27, 2008 - 11:51pm PT
Nice TR and great pics...thanks!

Stoked OW climber
San Jose, CA
Apr 28, 2008 - 12:53am PT
Damn I got tired reading it. What do you do in the off-season that leaves you able to pull that on a vacation tour?

I'm saving this for a lifetime desert towers tick list.

hanging by a thread
Apr 28, 2008 - 01:02am PT
very good tr. we need more of these.
John Moosie

Apr 28, 2008 - 01:23am PT
GREAT GREAT GREAT trip report. Thanks for putting in so many photos. What a bunch of beautiful places. Yowzer.
J. Werlin

Apr 28, 2008 - 08:47am PT
Way to get it done. Thanks for a very excellent TR.

Trad climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 10:43am PT
Allright! Great Trip Report. Thanks for putting it together.

Trad climber
So. Cal.
Apr 28, 2008 - 11:05am PT
Outstanding TR!


Trad climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 11:34am PT
Just what I needed this morning.

sweet damn thats alot of towers...NICE
handsome B

Gym climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 12:54pm PT
Your desert trip is most peoples desert lifetime!

Nice work, thanks for the TR.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Apr 28, 2008 - 01:02pm PT
What a great TR. I really enjoyed the abundance of photos and locations.
I can't wait to get to New Mexico...

Las Vegas
Apr 28, 2008 - 01:50pm PT
Fantastic ,Thanks

Social climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 04:00pm PT
Incredible photos and excellent story. Now I have some towers in mind, thanks.

mars...it's near nevada...
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:34pm PT
sweeeet pics !! looks like one hell of a trip ;-)

bay area
Apr 28, 2008 - 07:45pm PT
really awesome TR, thanks!

Trad climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 08:04pm PT
Schweeeet Pics, very impressive trip!
Wish I coulda been there!

Trad climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 09:05pm PT
best tr ever.
rich sims

Trad climber
Apr 28, 2008 - 10:11pm PT
Way cool TR!!
Can't wait till the end of the week for another go at some towers.
The pictures made me want to go back noW Friday is so faraway
Patrick Sawyer

Originally California now Ireland
Apr 29, 2008 - 09:18am PT
All I can say is...

... I am ennviiioouuussss.

Darn, that's a fine TR.

Social climber
My Inner Nut
Apr 29, 2008 - 09:38am PT
Excellent TR as usual, Joe. Those Alaska winter really make one want to go get it!

Seen Roger and Merridy lately?

Let me know if you ever come through Flag.

Erik Wolfe

Trad climber
Apr 29, 2008 - 09:57am PT
Wonderful pics, thanks for posting.


Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Topic Author's Reply - Apr 29, 2008 - 03:19pm PT
Thanks everyone for the cool replies. Erik - we drove through Flag - didn't know you were there these days. Next time...
Btw, it took just a little longer than 10 days. And after few trips down there now and looking around, I really feel like I've just barely scratched the surface. But I love sharing the pics of what I think is one of the greatest places on earth.

New Hampshire
Apr 29, 2008 - 03:43pm PT
Joe, excellent Trip Report! It was great meeting you and Michelle at the Superstitions and sharing some rappels! Thanks, Eric

Trad climber
Apr 29, 2008 - 06:34pm PT
What a FANTASTIC trip and TR!
Holy Sh#t you climbed a lot of awesome towers!

New Hampshire
Apr 30, 2008 - 02:40pm PT
Joe and Michelle on Spider Walk in the Superstitions.


Trad climber
Gunnison, Co
Apr 30, 2008 - 07:06pm PT
That is a freakin' trip to the desert!

Apr 30, 2008 - 09:02pm PT
the motto must have been "we shall leave no visible tower unclimbed".:-)

Great stuff, thanks for sharing.

The Eye of the Snail
May 1, 2008 - 12:10am PT
One more bump for the badness.
Irish Climber

Big Wall climber
Wexford, Ireland
May 1, 2008 - 06:25am PT
Looks like a great trip, can anyone help me out here, I am flying into Utah in October, To cover the areas in this trip what are the best guidebooks to look for, Can't wait it just looks fantastic, not much desert in Ireland

Social climber
My Inner Nut
May 1, 2008 - 09:24am PT
Cool, Joe. Thanks for the response.

Ping me next time you come through Flagstaff: wolfeboxatyahoodotcom.

Cheers, Erik

Leavenworth, WA and Talkeetna, AK
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2008 - 01:10pm PT
Cool Erik - will do.

Thanks for the great shot emac. Awesome again to meet you guys and thanks again for sharing the raps with us :)

"Looks like a great trip, can anyone help me out here, I am flying into Utah in October, To cover the areas in this trip what are the best guidebooks to look for, Can't wait it just looks fantastic, not much desert in Ireland"

Of course you've got to get SuperTopo Southwest Desert Towers Select - it's a great place to start your adventure. After you run through all those, I really like Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest by Cameron Burns (of course Cam might have something to say about that :) Then of course Eric Bjornstad's series of desert guides is the ultimate resource - Rock Climbs in the National Parks and the original Desert Rock (out of print) are great for these areas.

Social climber
May 1, 2008 - 02:00pm PT
What a fantastic trip; That's nearly a decade's worth of towers at my usual pace. You guys were not just picking the easiest ones either.

What's more, you get bonus style points for looking impossibly dapper, even in the wilds of Monument Basin. For comparison, here's a self-portrait from the first ascent of the Meemohive:

Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
May 1, 2008 - 02:09pm PT
Using a guide book to go desert climbing is like killing a fox.

Trad climber
Sep 10, 2008 - 12:40pm PT
Bump for the best desert tower TR ever posted on Supertopo.

Have you ever tried fox? It's pretty damn tasty!
dee ee

Mountain climber
citizen of planet Earth
Sep 10, 2008 - 10:56pm PT
Slow down a little or you won't have anything left by the end of a few more trips!

Took me 20 years to do most of those, there are others though.
My first was the Titan, complete with bivvy. My dog Washoe sat at the base for 30 hours.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
Sep 11, 2008 - 12:15am PT
Aw hell, I'm not a killjoy, but the point in a fox hunt is the hunt. You don't kill them.

Anybody know where the term red herring comes from?

A long way from where I started
Sep 11, 2008 - 12:34am PT
Anybody know where the term red herring comes from?

Smoked (red) herrings were used to train young dogs to follow scent trails in ye olden dayes in Merrye Olde Englande

Trad climber
Sep 11, 2008 - 04:49am PT
That trip report is awesome! Lets get this tale back to the top of the page.
Thanks for sharing and did I mention that is one helluva great report?


Social climber
Sep 11, 2008 - 04:56am PT
hey there nohea... say, i was just off to go to sleep, here...

say, but i will say amen and second your motion to get this "trip post" to the top.... i love the dessert, too, (as the title says)...

i will have to see all the pics, tomorrow, though...

god bless, to all.... and good morning-night...

edit, before i sleep:

OH MY!!! I JUST SAW that one pic was of the superstitions... i love learning about them.. say, i did once ask, aways back, if anyone ever climbed on any of them rocks... i will be back sometime tomorrow... wow...

Mountain climber
The Dirty South
Sep 11, 2008 - 05:09am PT
Nice pics! Your trip agenda looks just like one of the ones I always plan but never seem to suceed in actually doing. You should figure out how to get paid for doing some of that stuff.
Isn't Independence monument the one Eastwood climbed in Eiger Sanction? Been so long I can't remember. You know : "If you hauled beer up this rock you're insane" . . . "I may be insane but I'm not stupid. I didn't haul beer up this rock, you did!"

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Sep 11, 2008 - 09:03am PT
Gosh, I don't know how I missed this previously, but
an awesome report. I've not climbed as extensively in
the Desert (only a couple of towers), but it is a sweet place
to be. Great photos! Thanks.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 11, 2008 - 10:16am PT
Now that is a Trip Report! Splendid work putting that together and thanks for sharing the hit list. The dez is the true shizzle with the sizzle!
handsome B

Gym climber
Sep 11, 2008 - 11:58am PT
The season is upon us.


Trad climber
Sep 11, 2008 - 02:09pm PT
Now that's a TR!


Social climber
Sep 11, 2008 - 03:58pm PT
piquaclimber you said it!

Wow 32 towers in one trip...?!?!?!

Nice going.

Stellar pics!

Where is this Utah you speak of?

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Sep 19, 2008 - 11:04am PT
Yarrrrg! Looks like summer is over up here.......bump.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Sep 19, 2008 - 11:08am PT
Steve, I think you deserve a purple heart for sticking it out in Seattle.

mars...it's near nevada...
Sep 19, 2008 - 01:22pm PT

Social climber
Sep 19, 2008 - 08:50pm PT
Right on! Wow! Am I really that lazy?

Putting together the game plan probably to way longer than executing it.

Best TR in a long time. Thanks

Trad climber
One Place or Another
Feb 25, 2009 - 01:55am PT
Almost bump-day bump

Trad climber
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:10pm PT

Social climber
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:36pm PT
hey there joepuryear.... say, i missed this, and it was only last year...

this is lovely.... such a long trip, too... and the most amazing photos...

sure hope it stays on the newer pages for awhile, as due to my slow download, which i keep stating so much these days, i sure miss some of the mid pics.... (as i tend to get the first and last post, okay... but takes longer to work my way through... still is a great TREAT to come back too!)...

very nice and lovely informed share... thanks so very much!

Social climber
Flatland, Ca
Mar 20, 2009 - 03:42pm PT

No I have a better appreciation for the desert as well!!!!

Thanks for taking me there!!!
Double D

Mar 20, 2009 - 03:48pm PT
That was a worthy bump. I'd love to have that many desert towers under my belt IN A WHOLE LIFETIME!

Great pictures!

Tacoma, Toyota
Mar 20, 2009 - 04:17pm PT
That made my day. SO MANY TOWERS! well done.
wayne w

Trad climber
the nw
Mar 20, 2009 - 06:34pm PT
If Joe hasn't made you feel light enough yet after reading this post check out his ascent list at joepuryear.blogspot.com...bad ass!!
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 20, 2009 - 07:51pm PT
This is the best post I have ever seen on Supertopo;.......and one of the reasons why supertopo and Joe kick butt...

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:21pm PT

I'm jones'n for a road trip.

dangling off a wind turbine in a town near you
Mar 20, 2009 - 08:48pm PT
I feel like a slug

Trad climber
Mar 20, 2009 - 09:39pm PT
Love this TR!

Trad climber
Santa Clara, Ca.
Mar 20, 2009 - 10:31pm PT
A perfect TR is lots of pics and just enough words.

* on this one. Kick ass!!!!!!!!!

Seattle, WA
Mar 20, 2009 - 10:41pm PT
Joe let two friends (Ben K and Dave O if he is reading this) crash on his floor on our way to check out some rare WA ice climbing last winter. He had a hugh hole in his lip from attempting to eat the head of an ice tool in his basement mixed climbing...um...structure. At one point he couldn't stop laughing despite the fact it hurt like hell...he ended up having to hold his lip out with his hand to get some relief.


Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 29, 2009 - 07:19pm PT
More towers.
More climbing!!!!

Trad climber
One Step Beyond!
Apr 8, 2009 - 11:50am PT
bump for one of the most sending TR's ever!

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Apr 8, 2009 - 11:51am PT
You be right about dat, MisterE!
adam d

closer to waves than rock
Oct 25, 2009 - 01:37am PT
yup...one of the best TR's ever. Prime candidate for migration to the TR tab...

oh wait...it's there!


Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
Oct 25, 2009 - 09:18am PT
Oh good, I was gonna ask...
Camster (Rhymes with Hamster)

Social climber
Dec 4, 2009 - 09:06pm PT
Joe, just saw this:

//Cool Erik - will do.
Thanks for the great shot emac. Awesome again to meet you guys and thanks again for sharing the raps with us :)
"Looks like a great trip, can anyone help me out here, I am flying into Utah in October, To cover the areas in this trip what are the best guidebooks to look for, Can't wait it just looks fantastic, not much desert in Ireland"
Of course you've got to get SuperTopo Southwest Desert Towers Select - it's a great place to start your adventure. After you run through all those, I really like Selected Climbs in the Desert Southwest by Cameron Burns (of course Cam might have something to say about that :) Then of course Eric Bjornstad's series of desert guides is the ultimate resource - Rock Climbs in the National Parks and the original Desert Rock (out of print) are great for these areas.//

Yeah, I might. Get the other books, not mine. Too many mistakes!

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Oct 27, 2010 - 03:02pm PT
Very very excellent TR.

Well worth a trip to the front page for our now departed amigo.

Thanks for the ride Joe, make sure the anchors are good on the other side.
dirt claud

Sport climber
san diego,ca
Oct 27, 2010 - 03:22pm PT
Thanks for bringing this thread to the front Survival.
Lets those of us who didn't know Joe, get a better idea of who he was. Really cool TR.

Trad climber
Lake Tahoe
Oct 27, 2010 - 04:20pm PT
This is so awesome, I've saved it
to my BEST OF file! Hope to follow in
your wake, sometime soon, Joe, thanks for the

RIP, Hardman.

Trad climber
Mountain View
Oct 27, 2010 - 05:53pm PT
Great TR and Photos.

Rest In Peace Joe



El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
May 11, 2011 - 11:12pm PT
Needed this again bump.

Oct 26, 2011 - 10:58pm PT
Been a year since Joe died punching through a cornice in Tibet. Wow. Vios con dios...

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Dec 16, 2013 - 11:47am PT

California dreamin' on the farside of the world..
Dec 16, 2013 - 01:02pm PT
“He was a nice guy, a good climber. He was a friend to a lot of people,” said Eric Simonson, co-director of International Mountain Guides.

This was SUCH a bummer to read today. Joe posted some of the best TRs on the Taco, and seemed like such a cool guy.

Vaya con dios, amazing one.

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
Dec 16, 2013 - 01:11pm PT
As a tribute to Joe, we should continue to bump this amazing TR with desert photos as well.

Still one of my faves, because it was a great evening with Lepton in one of my favorite places.
New Mexico Desert.

4 Corners Area
Apr 26, 2015 - 09:22pm PT

Just livin' the dream on the California coast
May 24, 2018 - 04:06pm PT
Joe and the Desert bump

Unbelievable photos

This should be under the TR tab...
Charlie D.

Trad climber
Western Slope, Tahoe Sierra
May 25, 2018 - 06:28am PT
Awesome, thanks for sharing!!!
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