Trip Report
The 56 year old Desert Virgin! aka Rick's first trip to the land of towers...
Saturday October 29, 2011 12:03am
Sunrise/moonset just outside Castle Valley, UT
Sunrise/moonset just outside Castle Valley, UT
Credit: BrassNuts
The story of the 56 year old desert VIRGIN begins over a cold one at Old Chicago's in Louisville, CO... I'm sitting next to Rick A., a very long time climber from a galaxy far far away (e.g. Yosemite/Josh/Tahquitz etc. in the 1970's) and we chat a bit about upcoming adventures. Rick says "yeah, I'm thinking about heading out to Moab next weekend" - with my new full time life in the land of corporate cubes I'm totally jonesin' for any adventure I can squeak in, so I ask him, "you got a partner??". He says no and that actually, he has NEVER been climbing in the desert (e.g. the Colorado plateau). I say WHAT?? NEVER been to the desert?? Dude, let's go do some TOWERS! You'll love it! Rick says yes and the next thing you know, he's waking up in the dirt, with the first day's objective looking right at him.
The true meaning of "dirt bag"...
The true meaning of "dirt bag"...
Credit: BrassNuts
On the drive out after work on Friday, I throw out a few options for packing in a bunch of fun over a very quick 2 day trip to the dez. I suggest warming up on the North Chimney on Castleton, then head over and climb Fine Jade for our first day. Rick says that sounds good, so we load up the packs and start up the talus cone.
Castleton from the trailhead/cramped camping area
Castleton from the trailhead/cramped camping area
Credit: BrassNuts
I can see he is enjoying the morning 'warm up' hike up the talus as we take in the killer views all around.
Looking over at the Rectory on the hike up - Fine Jade is on the end o...
Looking over at the Rectory on the hike up - Fine Jade is on the end of the buttress in the sun
Credit: BrassNuts
We gain the ridge along the base of the towers, then head over to Castleton to see if anybody is on the North Chimney.
Got Towers?
Got Towers?
Credit: BrassNuts
We get close and unfortunately, the North Chimney is already packed with 3 parties (it's about 9:30am). The Kor Ingalls route is also busy, so we decide to head over and start the day with Fine Jade, one of the best routes in the desert (IMO anyway)...
Rick walking towards Fine Jade
Rick walking towards Fine Jade
Credit: BrassNuts
Now, while the North Chimney on Castleton is a good warm up tower route, Fine Jade packs a bit more of a punch, especially first thing in the morning. The first pitch is pretty physical and gets the blood flowing. Here is Rick coming up P1 (5.10d/11a), just past the very steep crux section which is out of the pic due to the angle of the dangle...
We be jammin
We be jammin
Credit: BrassNuts
Desert "crack"!
Desert "crack"!
Credit: BrassNuts
We did the route in 4 pitches, but it can certainly be done in 3, or stretched out to 5 short ones. We were in no hurry, so I opted for the nice stations and kept the drag on the sharp end to a minimum since I was packing a few corporate pounds that made the climbing a bit more challenging. Here is Rick coming up P2:
The fine thin cracks on P2 of Fine Jade
The fine thin cracks on P2 of Fine Jade
Credit: BrassNuts
The next pitch involves some strenuous finger locks over a bulge (5.11a) followed by cool thin cracks and a small roof. Sorry, no pics on that one, hard to get good shots from above. I combined a short section of the next pitch with the 11a/b bolted headwall finish to get us to the top in 4. I've done this route a number of times, but I'd only done the bolted face finish once and I remember it being pretty hard and reachy for me, as it proved so again. I even had to employ the "multi colored rest" at one point, how shameful! Rick found it a bit much as well, but gave it an excellent try. Here he is, just below the summit:
Rick coming up the final difficult face section on Fine Jade
Rick coming up the final difficult face section on Fine Jade
Credit: BrassNuts
As many of you know, the summit is very cool, with great views in all directions. We cruised around a bit and took the obligatory summit photos. Rick enjoyed his first desert tower summit - a desert virgin no more!!
Credit: BrassNuts
Check out all the calcite "drool"...
Check out all the calcite "drool"...
Credit: BrassNuts
Credit: BrassNuts
"Team 107" on the summit of Fine Jade (our combined ages - pretty ...
"Team 107" on the summit of Fine Jade (our combined ages - pretty frickin old eh?)
Credit: BrassNuts
The temps were pretty warm, so we rapped off and enjoyed some water and snacks at the base. We contemplated heading over to Castleton for round 2 for the day, but the draw of a cold one down at the car won the coin toss, so down the choss cone we went... We ended up going into Moab for dinner and the town was a zoo! Apparently, there was a marathon scheduled for the morning that would close off the road back into Castle Valley, so we opted to go cush and stay in town for the night. We decided day 2 of the adventure would be in Arches National Park. Our first climb of the day was the Right Chimney on the 3 Penguins. Here is Rick on the heinous start of the approach:
Park on the side of the road, head towards the Penguins...
Park on the side of the road, head towards the Penguins...
Credit: BrassNuts
The aptly named 3 Penguins:
The 3 Penguins and the setting moon
The 3 Penguins and the setting moon
Credit: BrassNuts
Racking up at the base of the route, right above the road. You could drop a cam into an RV if you had a steady hand!
Racking up at the base of the 3 Penguins, Moab in the distance.  A sem...
Racking up at the base of the 3 Penguins, Moab in the distance. A semi urban location for a desert tower adventure.
Credit: BrassNuts
The Right Chimney consists of 2 short 5.10d pitches. The first is a steep corner that goes from fingers to fists just below the belay. Here is Rick waking up desert style on P1...
P1 on the 3 Penguins
P1 on the 3 Penguins
Credit: BrassNuts
The 2nd pitch starts out with some steep hands to fists, then goes to OW. Not my favorite, but I'm thinking it shouldn't be tooo bad, right?
Above lays the morning thrash section...
Above lays the morning thrash section...
Credit: BrassNuts
After about 25 minutes of thrashing around and scraping various body parts, I emerge at the top of the wide stuff and top out on the very cool summit. I am sad to report however, that a couple of rests on the rope were required - I'm not so good at rounded 6" cracks me thinks! A bit degrading, but what the hell, it beats cubeland! Rick came up second and demonstrated his arm flexibility by styling the wide section with a series of quality "chicken wings" and soon he joined me on top where we were quite the hit with the tourons below!
On the summit of the 3 Penguins
On the summit of the 3 Penguins
Credit: BrassNuts
Rick on the East summit, on the way down.  Posing for tourist photos.....
Rick on the East summit, on the way down. Posing for tourist photos...
Credit: BrassNuts
After descending, we decided to do one more short route before heading home. We drove over to the Park Avenue area and hiked to a one pitch Indian Creek style crack called Heart of the Desert.
The view from the base of Heart of the Desert
The view from the base of Heart of the Desert
Credit: BrassNuts
This was a pretty fun and somewhat strenuous hand to fist crack in a corner, about 90' to a fixed belay. Here is Rick jammin' away:
Heart of the Desert, Arches NP
Heart of the Desert, Arches NP
Credit: BrassNuts
Well, after that it was time to pack up the car and head home for another exciting week in cubeland. However, we had a great time in the desert and Rick was no longer a 56 year old desert virgin. He'll be back...........
Team 107 after a quick weekend of fun in the dez.  Argon tower in the ...
Team 107 after a quick weekend of fun in the dez. Argon tower in the background.
Credit: BrassNuts

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BrassNuts
About the Author
BrassNuts is a trad climber from Save your a_s, reach for the brass....

Comments
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Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:07am PT
Nice! A few corporate pounds? You mean your body fat is now up to 3%? :)
eKat

Trad climber
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:08am PT
Beautiful!

ThanksForPostinUp!

:-)
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:11am PT
Good sh#t, as usual!

Nice pics of the routes.
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:19am PT
cool jets!
but I've got RickA beat by a year for that kind of virginity...

survival

Big Wall climber
Terrapin Station
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:19am PT
GREAT GREAT GREAT!!

Keep it up boys. Good for you both.

Thanks Brass!!
Slater

Trad climber
Central Coast
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:25am PT
POP! way to surrender!

old guys rule

nice work fellas! great pics and climbing

ps- you're too clean to be a true dirt bag
Wayno

Big Wall climber
Seattle, WA
  Oct 29, 2011 - 01:11am PT
I always enjoy your trip reports, Brassones. Lots of cool pics.
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Oct 29, 2011 - 01:47am PT
Nice! Psyched to be headed that way shortiy.

drljefe

climber
El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
  Oct 29, 2011 - 02:37am PT
Awesome guys!
Big Mike

Trad climber
BC
  Oct 29, 2011 - 06:10am PT
Nice TR and Excelent looking climbing. Good work!
Dingus Milktoast

Gym climber
Maestro, Ecosystem Ministry, Fatcrackistan
  Oct 29, 2011 - 06:45am PT
Sweet!

eeyonkee

Trad climber
Golden, CO
  Oct 29, 2011 - 08:13am PT
Nice TR. Way to go Rick! I'm assuming you'll now keep coming back (and, thus, another potential climbing partner).
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Oct 29, 2011 - 10:24am PT

The angle of the dangle. Only BN could come up with that!!!
Stellar!
Fritz

Trad climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 29, 2011 - 10:43am PT
Great trip report! Thanks for sharing the photos and story.
thedogfather

Trad climber
Somewhere near Red Rocks
  Oct 29, 2011 - 10:47am PT
Great report Dave. I can see you are totally sandbagging your fitness before your Vegas trip. I better start doing some more chinups.
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
  Oct 29, 2011 - 11:00am PT
Old Guys Rule!
steelmnkey

climber
Vision man...ya gotta have vision...
  Oct 29, 2011 - 11:23am PT
Pretty nice!
Excellent as usual!
Not bad for old doods!
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Oct 29, 2011 - 11:28am PT
Dave is a great climber and a gentlemen too. He is too polite to mention the several crux sections where I was hanging on the rope like dead meat on a butcher's hook. Dave led everything, took excellent photos, did all the night driving, and was a very energetic and enthusiastic guide.

The climbing was incredible and brought back memories of crack climbing in the Valley, for example, the scab you get on the back of your shoulder from off widths.

Thanks again, Dave, for a brilliant weekend.

Credit: Rick A

Credit: Rick A
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
  Oct 29, 2011 - 12:20pm PT
Phuntabulouski BNuts you sans sock sandaled cherry buster you.
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 29, 2011 - 01:40pm PT
Awesome, thank you hard nut brassnut!
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Oct 29, 2011 - 02:43pm PT
Thanks...nice report...as I am currently sitting here in
Moab!

Susan

Zander

climber
  Oct 29, 2011 - 04:32pm PT
Whoo hoo!
Z
socialclimber

climber
CA
  Oct 29, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Excellent bit of climbing and friendship!

Charles
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  Oct 29, 2011 - 04:53pm PT
Looks like a great trip. TFPU.
moacman

Trad climber
Montuckyian Via Canada Eh!
  Oct 29, 2011 - 05:39pm PT
Good job you guys. It's better to be over the hill than under it...Keep up the good work.......

Stevo
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 29, 2011 - 06:09pm PT
*Like*
pc

climber
  Oct 29, 2011 - 08:01pm PT
Outstanding!

Gives me hope for my platinum years.

BrassNuts

Trad climber
Save your a_s, reach for the brass...
Author's Reply  Oct 29, 2011 - 09:04pm PT
Ed H - get your arse out here to the desert, I didn't realize there were more elder virgins out there! :-)

Rick A. is now "Captain Chicken Wing" in my book as he schooled me on how to do 6" rounded OW! I better stick to the thinner stuff.

Dogfather - I'm serious, this corporate thing is killing me. I went for a hike this morning and I felt my stomach jiggle - yikes! It's like what Fat Bastard said in the Austin Powers flick; "I eat because I'm unhappy and I'm unhappy because I eat"...

Happy Halloween weekend everybody!
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Oct 30, 2011 - 12:22pm PT

What a trip that'd be--BN, Ed, get Jaybro and Pamela and I'd go along just to watch!!! (Knott)!!!!
philo

Trad climber
Is that the light at the end of the tunnel or a tr
  Oct 30, 2011 - 01:26pm PT
I'm serious, this corporate thing is killing me. I went for a hike this morning and I felt my stomach jiggle
Dude, you walking muscle, that wasn't a jiggle it was gas.
Toker Villain

Big Wall climber
Toquerville, Utah
  Oct 30, 2011 - 01:51pm PT
I heard that they needed more virgins in the desert because each suicide bomber has been given 72 in paradise, but it appears at this point that they seem to be scraping the bottom of the barrel!
Ed Hartouni

Trad climber
Livermore, CA
  Oct 30, 2011 - 03:42pm PT
hopefully it's only the barrel bottom they're interested in, not my bottom...

ok, ok, it appears I may actually have to do this soon...

ontheedgeandscaredtodeath

Social climber
SLO, Ca
  Oct 30, 2011 - 03:53pm PT
Great tr- thanks!
Prod

Trad climber
  Oct 31, 2011 - 12:04am PT
Nice 1.

Prod.
Dos XX

Trad climber
Los Angeles, CA
  Oct 31, 2011 - 09:09am PT
Inspiration for all us high-mileage dudes!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Oct 31, 2011 - 09:15am PT
You know we have room for you Ed H. Get on out here!
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Nov 6, 2011 - 10:35am PT
Bump for a fun TR
mooser

Trad climber
seattle
  Nov 6, 2011 - 11:19am PT
Great TR! Very cool that you guys got to hit the desert like that, and congrats, Rick, on your first time out there! One of these days, I'll get out there myself.
cowpoke

climber
  Nov 7, 2011 - 07:32am PT
mmm, fine jade bump.
Brian in SLC

Social climber
Salt Lake City, UT
  Nov 7, 2011 - 11:39am PT
Great TR, weekend warriors!
10b4me

climber
  Mar 13, 2014 - 04:12pm PT
bump
Crimpergirl

Sport climber
Boulder, Colorado!
  Mar 13, 2014 - 04:19pm PT
When is the sequel? We need to know!
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 13, 2014 - 07:06pm PT
Very fun TR, BN! RickA seems to have been holding his own well!

When Fritz and I climb with Donini this Summer, we'll be team 209!
Jaybro

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
  Mar 13, 2014 - 09:08pm PT
Nice Work Men!

Ed, about that desert virginity thing... Right now is a good time to care of this!
troutboy

Trad climber
Newark, DE
  Mar 13, 2014 - 09:13pm PT
Cool report, great pics. Thanks for sharing with another 56-year old virgin.
Jingy

climber
Somewhere out there
  Mar 13, 2014 - 09:34pm PT
Adding yet another to the long list of truly awesome TR's I've come across from the Brassman...

Where was I when this thing first went up? Oh, wait... That's right I was totally oblivious...

Thanks for taking me to the towers with you with the photos. Love it!!

Cheers all
SteveW

Trad climber
The state of confusion
  Mar 13, 2014 - 09:48pm PT

Great to see this bumped back up!
Still Stellar!
JOEY.F

Gym climber
It's not rocket surgery
  Mar 13, 2014 - 10:41pm PT
I enjoyed that..,Thanks!
fosburg

climber
  Mar 13, 2014 - 10:49pm PT
+1, cool report!
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Mar 14, 2014 - 07:08am PT
Whooot!

Great job by a couple of the village elders. Not been there yet, but I've gotta go!

Steve
Rick A

climber
Boulder, Colorado
  Mar 14, 2014 - 09:16am PT
Oh to be 56 again...
Blakey

Trad climber
Sierra Vista
  Mar 14, 2014 - 09:19am PT
I thought he may have sold you short...... ;-)

Steve
Brokedownclimber

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
  Mar 14, 2014 - 11:06am PT
Rick- ^^^^^^

That's what I say every morning when I look in the mirror...
Trad is Rad

Trad climber
San Luis Obispo California
  Mar 14, 2014 - 10:36pm PT
Towers and no helmets.......I like it!
phylp

Trad climber
Millbrae, CA
  Mar 15, 2014 - 12:13am PT
Beautiful!!!
I just love seeing them happy faces.
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