April, 03



Humility and the Fisher Towers




    It was so simple. I would drive to the Fisher Towers and rope solo the Kingfisher.  Never mind that this would be my first real aid climb. The Colorado Ridge was the standard intro to aid climbing in the Fishers and at 5.8 C2, I knew it was within my abilities. There's nothing to it but to do it... right?

   Wrong! To make a long story short, I was two pitches up when I started having doubts. Rope-soloing up flaring sandy chimneys is scary!! There was another party on the route from the Front Range and they were bailing from the third pitch as I arrived at the top of pitch two. I offered to finish pitch three if one of them would belay me and we joined forces, fixing the first three pitches and calling it a day. Everyone involved wanted a beer. 

    The next morning, Derek and I jugged our lines to the top of pitch three and then finished the rest of the route. Judson didn't feel well and stayed on the ground. I got to lead the pitch over the cap rock which I though was the best pitch of the route. (see above picture) Afterwards, all three of us went to Moab for a nice meal and another beer. The next day we climbed in Long Canyon on Maverick Buttress and then bouldered in the afternoon at Big Bend.

    All along, the plan had been to meet Jason for some Moab climbing and he arrived only hours after Derek and Judson left. We spend a few days at Potash and at Big Bend. We both decided that Big Bend is an excellent (if small) bouldering area and that the climbing on Wall Street is worth putting up with the traffic.

    On our last day, we climbed the North Chimney 5.9 on Castleton and Ancient Art 5.9 C0. It was a great cap to an exceptional week of climbing in Moab.

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The Fisher Towers as seen from the parking lot. Click Here to see this picture with the towers named.

Rappelling from the top of the crux third pitch. We left this line fixed overnight. 

Derek below the route on the second morning.

Judson took these distance shots. In this picture, Derek is at the top of the second pitch and I am jugging the first.

Hanging out at the horse back saddle below the third pitch. The top of the flared chimney is visible below us.

At our highpoint from the first day. It's all fun now, sort of. :)

At the top of the jugging. I hate jugging.

The Titan, Echo Tower, and Cottontail Tower.

Derek starting up the fourth pitch.

Looking up at the fourth pitch.

The Kingfisher from the NE. Derek and I are barely visible in the shade. 

Jugging the fourth pitch to an airy hanging belay.

Getting out of the aiders to free climb a little. I love topropes.

Turing the overhanging cap rock that guards the summit. This was the best climbing on the whole route.

A summit self portrait with the Titan in the background.

Life is good!

Taking some laps on the Flakes of Wrath.

Climbing Shoot Up or Shut Up on Potash Road.

Jason at the base of Castleton with the Priest and Rectory in the background.

Looking up at the North Chimney.

Fun stemming in the upper chimney.

Looking down Castle Valley from the summit.

Jason taking a quick lap up Ancient Art after a morning of fun on Castleton.

Tired introspection after the climb...  Corona?..Sierra Nevada?..

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