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The Cuban Missile Tower is found lurking along the vague ridgeline between Big and Little Willow Canyons near 8000 feet. Cuba and Russia would be proud to collaborate on this one. It is a partially unstable mass of teetering rock that will probably tumble in the next major geologic event. The summit mass (Fidel’s Cap) is detaching from the lower formation about 20 feet below the summit at an apparent epiphyseal joint.
The Cuban Missile Tower is the first climbable piece of granite found along the vague ridgeline between Big and Little Willow Canyons. There are two approaches. First (preferred but hot), follow the Big Willow Trail approximately 1.5 miles, passing the Avalanche Warning sign in Little Willow, finally reaching the ridge crest where the trail takes a sharp turn east into Big Willow. At this point there is an old trail hidden in the bushes that leads up the ridgeline. Follow this trail for ~1/2-1 mile until it disappears in the brush. Continue up the ridgeline- the obvious Cuban should quickly come into view. Or secondarily, continue on the Big Willow trail past the ridge crest into Big Willow for another mile. Before the trail cuts back north, crossing the stream, strike out south through occasionally steep and dense brush to gain the common ridgeline. Either way, expect brush and 2-3 hours of approach time.
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Probably not recommended but was a fun adventure. Climb from the notch on the east side of the formation up a wide chimney with rotten rock. Belay on a large ledgy section just below and east of the summit pinnacle. Climb across and down the ledge system, through an eroding cave, and mantle onto the spine of formation at about the middle of Khrushchev’s pitch three. Clip a bolt and continue to the summit following Khrushchev’s last pitch. Rope drag will be a killer on this pitch. Rap as pe...[more] Browse More Classics in UT
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