Fun Route, though the carved hand holds and foot holds everywhere almost make it too easy.
I felt most of the route is 5.4 - 5.6 except the very last move to get over the overhang on the last pitch.
I took #0.4-#4 for the large block to chimney transition on the second pitch, but it can be protected with a #3. I didn't have any tri-cams, which could have been nice for the pockets on the last pitch before the bolt (~40feet runout on easy climbing), but isn't necessary. Bring 5 quickdraws.
The summit is huge. you could fit 100 people up there for a sweet dance party.
Two double length rappels are easy, and gets you to the base with 10+ feet to spare.
Approach was a solid 1 hr hike uphill in the sun.
Even better than the route back in the 70's was finding the boulder John Otto was reported to have carved the Declaration of Independence in. Searched all over and finally climbed up on a boulder near the base of Ind. Pinnacle and found it topped with a 30 degree slab with a jagged edge at the top. Otto had carved just the last sentence of the DOI, and the signers names, starting at the jagged top edge, making it look like the rest had fallen off above. Pretty cool. Otto's carving had lichened over and worn down, so I went back with a bolt drill to return it to its former state but got told by the Monument Popo to stop. Probably just as well, doubt you'd even see the letters today.
For Indp Monument, you mention somewhere that it's possible to rappel
two pitches at once. But the rope can easily be stuck which such a
distance that it was almost impossible to pull it afterwards. I think
it's better to go from one pitch to another.
Otto's route is a must do for anyone climbing in the Grand Junction area. The last pitch is a mental wake up and the perfet way to end the route. You only have to do two raps if you have two 60m ropes. Rap 1 off the top and walk through the tunnel. Rap 2, off anchor below the tunnel go down the west side off the tower. With the rope stretch you'll have just enough to get you to the bottom. Loose the ego and have fun climbing Otto's pockets.
This was my first desert route and later on it was my girlfriends first too. Thanks to Otto's handywork, nowhere else will you find 5.8 sandstone like that. Perfect intro to a get a feel for the rock and soak in some amazing views. The last pitch is classic, super airy prow with the sporty feeling overhung 5.8/9 finish to make you earn the summit. Otto had some patience drilling those holes. . . .
Lots of tunnelling behind huge flakes, weird manufactured holds--perhaps historic but far from classic climbing. The fewest cool moves on any tower I've climbed. If this was what they were all like, nobody would climb these things but via ferrata fans. The formation and its location are undeniably cool, however.
Creepy guy with binos on the rim watched us get naked on top.
this route is shady - a good time of year right now. traditionally an 8, certainly no harder than 9- the only mandatory runout is 5.0 on the last pitch - everything else can be protected with creativity. this route is fine for the solid 5.8 climber.
Otto's Route from near the approach.
Photo: Chris McNamara
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