Trip Report
A Taste of Desert Towers
Monday November 12, 2012 5:10pm
When I get my fix I feel better - for a while. But after a few weeks away from the mountains my thoughts inevitably turn to sketchy runouts, bomber hand jams and big exposure. I start perusing trip reports on internet forums and training hard in the gym.

With winter coming and the draw of the mountains pulling I caved in a major way. Draining a significant portion of my bank account I purchased a plane ticket to Puerto Montt, Chile to climb for the month of February in Cochamo Valley, Chilean Patagona. With that trip on the horizon, it seems only logical to get out as much as I can to get myself into good climbing shape. So naturally, more plane ticket purchases quickly follow. Last weekend, for example, the destination was the desert towers outside of Moab, UT.
almost there...
almost there...
Credit: Pcutler
Leaving Des Moines, IA at 6:30 Thursday morning and touching down in Denver at 7:30, we rent a car and drive west, which lands us in castle valley by 3:00 and ready to climb. Since the chosen campsite was a small area directly under the Fisher Towers it made sense to take a run up the famous Ancient Art.
Credit: Pcutler
The climbing of this route is slightly…whats the word… Shitty. But the last ‘catwalk’ and summit make the outing more than worthwhile.
what a summit!
what a summit!
Credit: Pcutler
Its gotta be the coolest summit I’ve ever stood on. Its hard not to stand in awe while looking out at the massive valley, with a sea of red sandstone stretching out as far an your eye can see. The winding river meandering its way through the bottom of the canyon, an oasis of green, as the cottonwood trees hug close to the shores.
Credit: Pcutler
The following day the tower of choice was The Honeymoon Chimney on The Priest.
the approach to the priest
the approach to the priest
Credit: Pcutler
Starting up the initial offwidth, the climbing led to an old drilled pin on the face. I should have left the rack behind because I would soon find out that this was to be about the only gear on the 100 foot pitch. Grunting, cussing and thrashing my way up the 30 feet of unprotected 5.10 squeeze / offwidth that followed sure got my heart pounding! Eventually making it out another one and a half pitches through the chimney system lead to an incredible stem, wildly exposed between the main tower and the subsidiary. I make a committing leap onto the aręte of the main tower and crimp up a few moves of 5.11 – the exposure is wild and the wind almost blows me off balance while standing on the minute foot chips. This is what I came here for! With my heart pounding in my head, and fingertips quickly greasing, I desperately cling to the holds, making my way to the next belay ledge and build my anchor. Whew!
Credit: Pcutler

The remainder of the day was wasted away with a `12 pack of beer and some site seeing in Canyonlands and Arches National Parks. And the rest of the weekend was filled with more hand jams, arętes, offwidths and laybacks. Some clean, classic splitters and some not-so-classic, loose, run-out-cluster-f*#ks.
Credit: Pcutler
It was a perfect weekend with the just enough adventure to be exiting, just enough downtime to be relaxing, and enough climbing to keep me psyched about my upcoming winter trip. Bring it on Patagonia!

  Trip Report Views: 750
Pcutler
About the Author
Pcutler is bored right now so he is spending way too much time typing up uninteresting trip reports from less-than-extreme places for complete strangers who will probably never read any of it anyways.

Comments
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Jeremy

climber
  Nov 12, 2012 - 05:30pm PT
BAM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Nov 12, 2012 - 06:58pm PT
Ummm... look familiar ..... we just returned from two weeks in Moab...perhaps we crossed paths. Didn't do Ancient Art this time...have done in years past. Heard that the perch is getting wobbly, due to all the traffic since the Citibank commercial.
The Cobra is right next to it, wobbly now too maybe.

Thanks for the pictures, still sorting through mine. Enjoy your trip down south, totally, totally jealous.

Susan
fosburg

climber
  Nov 12, 2012 - 07:19pm PT
Nice! The Honeymoon Chimney is a wicked sandbag at 5.9 I think!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Nov 12, 2012 - 07:21pm PT

AWESOME!!!!
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Nov 12, 2012 - 07:37pm PT
Good stuff....Thanx for sharing...........

Stevo
this just in

climber
north fork
  Nov 12, 2012 - 10:09pm PT
Hell yeah, thanks for the tr and can't wait to see the Patagonia one. That summit pic is awesome.
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Nov 12, 2012 - 10:14pm PT
Thanks for posting!
Jeremy

climber
  Nov 12, 2012 - 10:50pm PT
You need to move.
Todd Gordon

Trad climber
Joshua Tree, Cal
  Nov 12, 2012 - 10:52pm PT
He shoots;...he scores.....(thank you...)..
Pcutler

climber
Iowa
Author's Reply  Nov 12, 2012 - 11:07pm PT
haha yea dude the top of that perch is totally loose! it wobbles when you stand up on it
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Nov 12, 2012 - 11:21pm PT
Awesome TR, more pics please....:)
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