More Mud Nailing--Sugar Daddy first ascent--TR


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Social climber
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 9, 2009 - 06:02pm PT
The Sugar Daddy

Iíd been driving past this rock, near Hanksville, for years. Itís just begging to be climbed. Iíve even walked around the thing a couple of times, but dismissed it as impossible without drilling huge numbers of large holes for spikes (rebar? footing stakes?) of some kind. The ďrockĒ appeared to be too soft and flaky to nail, too crumbly to bolt. There were a few traces of seams, but crumbly and vague, leading into blank shields of peeling pastry. A untidy frustration, at the back of my mind; that damn thing is right by the highway, flaunting itself.

Last year, yet another token reconnaissance, to laugh at this ridiculous tower, was different. Itís easy to read the hard rocks, like granite, but reading the hieroglyphics of of the more esoteric desert rocks takes more time and practice. Previously, just a few words here and there made vague sense. Last year, words became sentences, then whole paragraphs jumped into a kind of structure. Of course, once you learn to read, you have to work out what itís saying, all the way to the end. So in May last year, Chip and I returned with huge piles of gear, and started up a prominent crack on the south side.

Hereís the formation, back right:

Itís not changed much in 50 years:

This is what we found close up:

I started off the ground, and this is Chip on the second pitch. I elected to belay from the ground, so as to out of the way of any falling debris, so this is taken with a telephoto lens.

A view of Chip from further out from the cliff:

Chip actually hammered in a couple of texas tacks on his pitch.

We left, and came back next weekend to finish. It was hot, 95 degrees in the shade, of which there was none. It was my lead, but up on the climb was actually better than being broiled at the reflector-oven base. The last pitch was a doozy, starting with tipped out #5 Camalots under a temporary-feeling flake roof. After a while, the crack turned to dust, twigs and dead insects, so I started nailing Toucans straight into a calcite seam in the flake, hoping that the whole thing, trembling with the hammer blows, would not fall off, with me under it. Hereís looking down from near the summit.

Hereís a neat calcite seam placement: a stacked Toucan.

At the top, there was nothing to anchor to. With about 2 hours daylight left, I spent about one hour enhancing a natural bollard, and we ended up leaving part of my lead rope as the rap anchor:

The summit pic.


Mar 9, 2009 - 06:07pm PT
WOW!!! Sweet TR, and cool historical shot. Was the texas tack made by UP?

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:14pm PT

Trad climber
Lake Oswego, Oregon
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:14pm PT
It is the End of Days... climbers are now ascending piles of dust.

Impressive in a weird "glad I wasn't there" kind of way.

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:18pm PT
Nice TR. Looks a little loose though.

Trad climber
Anchorage, AK
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:23pm PT
I will no longer complain about our local choss, it appears that what we climb is solid.

Nice TR, I can appreciate climbing stuff that most folks avoid.
Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:24pm PT
that is some awesome choss! makes all the ocean rock near my house look bomber!

Sneaking up behind you...
Mar 9, 2009 - 06:25pm PT
Best Bollard EVER!

A long way from where I started
Mar 9, 2009 - 07:19pm PT
Whew! I'm glad you guys took that one off the unclimbed list. What a nightmare.

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2009 - 07:25pm PT


Bishop, CA
Mar 9, 2009 - 07:31pm PT
Cheers for that. Wow! That is some inspiring choss climbing.

Trad climber
A place w/o Avitars apparently
Mar 9, 2009 - 07:35pm PT
That or you aren't right!

But I'd be proud of that.


Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Mar 9, 2009 - 07:47pm PT
holy craposis

mud meisters are humbled all over the world today.

glad no one died. :)

an entirely different mind set.
don't have one

Mar 9, 2009 - 09:36pm PT
Crusher = Master of Choss
Well done!

Mar 9, 2009 - 09:41pm PT
Boy, those Streaked Wall guys are gonna soil when they see that Toucan stack! Gnarly climbing!

Trad climber
The state of confusion
Mar 9, 2009 - 09:45pm PT
You guys is crazy!!!!!


I'll never go!

Trad climber
One Place or Another
Mar 9, 2009 - 09:48pm PT
Awesome chossaneering bump!

Boulder climber
Salt Lake, UT
Mar 9, 2009 - 10:28pm PT
Yikes. That is some chossy choss. If you can get up that, you must have eyes on all sorts of things in central UT.

Looks like you could well have used ice gear.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
Mar 9, 2009 - 11:24pm PT
Fabulous.....(anyone can climb on deflon and guys rock!)

Trad climber
Mar 9, 2009 - 11:28pm PT
Oh man! You are my heros!
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