Thursday, November 29, 2012

Million Dollar Tower

You can always count on the old wise desert rats to know where the unclimbed towers are.

Jeff had climbed 'Million Dollar Baby' and noticed that what the guidebook called "a beautiful 200-foot pinnacle" right next to him still didn't have a route on it.

According to the guide book Mike Baker had been to the area in 1997 and put up the route Jeff had climbed.  Mike Baker's name is all over obscure desert routes, and there had to be a reason that he put up a route right next to the tower and didn't actually climb the tower.  We assumed the reason was that it required to many bolts.

Jeff insisted he had spotted a line so Jeff, Ian, Bill, Amanda and I headed to the desert with Ian's drill and a bunch of bolts.  Leaving Durango at 5:30am the temp was 15 degrees F, by the time we got to Bluff it was a balmy 29 degrees F.  I might also mention that Jeff was joining us with an arm in a sling from a recent bike accident he had commuting home from work.  As I led Amanda concluded that what I was doing more closely resembled construction work then climbing.  After placing 18 lead bolts and 2 anchor bolts.  I might have to agree with her.  When Ian pulled onto the top of the tower he informed me that the the others all agreed the route would be called "The Compressor Route", obviously inspired by the famous route on Cerro Torre in Patagonia that was littered with bolts.  Although I'd be surprised if Hayden Kennedy and Jason Kruk waste there time chopping this route.  Jeff crushed it of course and jugged the tower with one arm.

EDIT: We have since discovered that Jeff was keeping quiet about how many towers he had climbed.  Million Dollar Tower was Jeff's 100th tower!  Good work Jeff!

Jeff and Amanda

Maybe not such a good idea.

Hucking some rocks.

Yeah, I was climbing that fast.

Half way.

The farther you reach the fewer you have to place.

Million Dollar Tower

Amanda jugging.

Bill and Jeff on top!
On the hike out Bill, Ian and I headed over to 'The Bant' for a quick ascent.  A fun free pitch and a free hanging rappel makes for a great end to the day!

'The Bant'


  1. The lounging picture made me laugh!

  2. Okay. I'm impressed. Totally cool. You all rock. Beautiful pics!