Sunday, April 16, 2017

Lavender Towers

While climbing in the creek last week, Luke and Tim pointed out a few towers.  So this week I drove back out to check them out.  I ended up climbing the Lavender Towers.  

Hike up wash until you encounter a ridge line that heads straight to the base of the towers. 40 min to base with a heavy pack. The approach pitches start right of the towers and ascend the gulley behind the towers.  Cairn marks the start.

Pitch 1- 
Climb up and right on loose blocks and ledges then left into a chimney to its top. Walk down the slope to the gulley.  100ish feet, gear belay, 5.easy.  

Pitch 2- 
Climb up a crack system to under a giant chockstone. Traverse right on the face then up to on top of the chock stone.   Hike up slope to a shrub/tree belay. 60ish feet, 5.7. (The route on West Lavender starts in the notch and climbs the north face).
Pitch 3- 
Climb loose terrain up the gulley to the next lower angle terrain. Belay at tree/shrubs. 60' 5.7.
Pitch 4- 
Climb up the shallow rotten corner that starts out wide. Continue up to the two giant chock stones. Move right and mantel onto the right side of the first. Traverse up and left across the chockstone. Step left onto the small arĂȘte and climb up to the notch on friable rock. Climb North Lavender first so the rope pulls clean on the way down.  Scramble across the loose notch and climb the south face of North Lavender passing two protection bolts on the way.  Belay at 2 bolts.  The summit is a 15' scramble away.  5.9+ C1.  Enjoy the view and scope out South Lavender. 
Rappel 50' to notch and build a gear anchor.
Pitch 5- 
Once back at the notch aid up the thin north facing crack on South Lavender.  The crack gradually widens to #1 and is capped with blocks. Mantel up and right on to ledge avoiding the blocks. Move right across the ledge 10' and climb the short wide crack to a small ledge. Carefully traverse left around to the NE face. Place gear in a horizontal crack and face climb to the top of the tower. Belay at two bolts on the NW side.  5.9 C1
Rappel 200' to the top of pitch 2. 
Pitch 6- 
Climb up to notch then onto a spaced out bolt ladder on the north face of West Lavender. Belay is two bolts. (One of which is the last bolt in the bolt ladder.  An additional bolt on the summit would be a nice addition.)  
Rappel 100' to the ground, landing 100' left of where you started.

Double set of cams from .1-3 camalot, single 4 & 6, single set of stoppers, runners, two 60m ropes.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Plan G......and F

Jeff and I met Trevor and Emily while getting permits to climb the Incredible Hulk last summer.  Since we were both climbing the hulk twice we were able to hang out around camp for a few evenings and talk about our shared love of desert towers.
Then in January Emily joined Amanda and I for a few days of Limestone sport climbing at the Homestead.  Trevor unfortunately was unable to join us on that trip.
Finally after some failed attempts our schedules meshed and Amanda, Trevor, Emily and I were able to plan a trip to Moab.  We decided on Horsethief Tower which is on the wrong side of the Green River.  Luckily Trevor had a raft from his dad.
Happy times pumping up the raft with Horsethief in the background!

Sad times moments later when the raft exploded.
 The weather was cold enough that a swim across the river was out so we took some time to brainstorm our options.
Amanda and Emily.
After looking at many other options, both in person and in the guidebook we settled on Thracian Mare and The Ark.  Not surprisingly Eric's description for the 'North Face' route on Thracian Mare wasn't exactly spot on.  We kept moving and climbed the Ark, which went smoothly with Trevor and Emily leading.  We were going to call it a day and head back to the truck but last minute decided to check out the "North Face" route.  After 100' of climbing I yelled down to Trevor that the pitch 1 anchor was only 20' away.  He promptly responded that I had only used half the rope.  Damn.  That was logic I couldn't argue with.  So, wanting to be a good partner I pushed on past the anchor and linked both pitches.
Starting up Thracian Mare
We made it back to camp but only after the sun had set and the wind and rain had gotten nasty.  We decided to pack up camp and head to town for some well deserved food.  Can't wait for the next adventure with this crew!
L to R Aphrodite, Zeus, Ark, Moses, Thracian Mare.
Oh yeah and some people in the foreground.

El Protrero Chico

Protrero is a classic climbing area that I had been hearing about for years.  It had always been on the list of places to check out but things never worked out.  So last fall when our longtime friends told us they were going to make a trip Amanda and I promptly invited ourselves.  
Geoff and Janice drove down from Los Alamos with their two dogs and camper, while we flew.  Amanda had tweaked her finger before the trip but fortunately the angle of many of the routes in Potrero puts most of your weight on your feet.   Super fun to hang with good friends and check out a world class climbing destination!
Amanda following 'Pancho Villa Rides Again'.

Hiking up past the 'Outrage Wall' to the 'Surf Bowl'.

Geoff climbing up the cleared highway on 'Space Boyz'. 

Janice high on 'Space Boyz'.


Amanda crushing on 'Don Quixote'.

Still can't figure out why Amanda insists on calling climbing trips "vacations".