Kachina Tower South
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The entertaining approach into Hell Roaring Canyon...
First... Bjornstad's description is backwards in Desert Rock IV regarding the north and south towers. This route is listed as "Kachina Tower North," in his guide.
This seemingly minor detail cost me many hours of route finding! I also made the mistake of thinking the topo for "Beyond the 80th Meridian" belonged to this route. After aiding half-way up a loose crack right of the 80th Meridian route... the epiphany came! - this route does not start at the base of the tower!
From the descent into Hell Roaring Canyon, walk downstream past the obvious Kachina Towers above. A major wash leads up and left into a basin below the towers. After following this wash you will be forced to hike left (south) on slickrock toward the notch between the towers (80th Meridian), or right and up toward weaknesses in the cliff above (this route).
P1: 200' 5.5. Climb an angling ramp / crack that provides easy access to a bench 20' above you. Once on the bench, look for a tree to belay from. Nearly every tree has rap-tat on it.
P2: 60' 5.7. Climb a short hand crack leading to yet another bench above. Again, belay at a tree.
P3: 500'? 4th class - 5.7. Traverse on the ledge you have gained toward the towers. After one rope length, you will find yourself in a huge bowl. Continue toward the towers. (We unroped in this bowl and hiked the obvious ridge toward the South Tower.)
P4: 50' 5.7 Climb an obvious off-width crack (4" - 7"). Belay at the top of the crack.
P5: 100' 5.8 A0. Climb the bolt ladder to the summit. This requires a few free moves onto ledges. There is a single bolt and slung blocks to belay from at the summit.
One single rap to the north leads to the opposite side of the tower (you may wonder how the tower is even standing after viewing this side).
An additional single rap from a slung boulder leads to the notch between the towers.
A double rap from bolts leads to the ground. There are additional anchors about half-way down. Maybe this could be done with one rope? I didn't try.
Single Rack: 0.4" - 4", stoppers, etriers, a few tie-offs and double ropes for rappels. A 5"-7" piece would be useful on the fourth pitch, but is not necessary. Cordellete/webbing to back-up rappels.
BETA PHOTO: last pitch with me on top
view from the fence of the decent into the canyon
the start wash and route
closer look at P-1
the money pitch, just under the first mando free m...
rap to the largest pine tree and then to the deck ...
|Comments on Kachina Tower South
|By Ian Pierce|
Jul 3, 2012
rating: 5.7 C0 PG13
Fun route, the approach was exciting (although scorching hot on the return in July)
We used 2 #1, 1 #2, and 1 #4 camalot for the 2nd pitch.
The first pitch wasn't protectable, same with third pitch,
The fourth pitch is also hard/unprotectable, only piece we got on this was a #2 TCU half way up(although not sure we did the right OW crack, there are several.)
I believe there are 7 or 8 pitons/bolts on the final pitch, I recommend not clipping the final one to avoid rope drag.
|By Alison Conrad|
Apr 2, 2013
Another fun tower tick. The downclimb to the basin is tricky to find, but once found goes fairly easy. The climb is the basin at the very end where all the trees and ledges are. Mostly scrambling with 5th class climbing. I was able to tunnel in the ow and exit out the backside- I had to remove rack and helmet. The aid pitch was interesting.
|By Dana Prosser|
Apr 4, 2013
Descent into canyon: from where you park look directly across arm of canyon to north side. This series of ledges (looks improbable) leads you down to valley floor. The picture on route description shows a ledge that is crawled on to get there..
Route location: this route is located on the west side of the formation.
Route starts about 500ft to the right of beyond the 80th meridian. Climb several hundred feet up to the start of this route on slabby low angle rock.
Fun mellow adventure!
|By paul bucher|
From: moab, utah
May 7, 2013
rating: 5.9+ A0+ PG13
crazy good stuff. a bit of a sandbag. the directions sound a bit vague but work well enough if your there and follow them. although, from the other comments it sounds like we pulled it a little differently. we pulled the left side of the wash from the tree and talus high point. angled up and right on a crack/ramp like it said. poor pro and harder than 5.5. more like 5.7. pitch #2 was easy enough (5.6) and the best 15 feet of crack on the thing. pretty much a scramble to the base of the off width from there. we agree with the 5.7 for the O/W. bondo placed a 4, 5, and 6 camalot on that one. bring a least one fattie or your going solo. the money pitch had the usual pins hanging 1/2 way out. i felt the first bit of mandatory free climbing was about 5.8. however i thought the move off the last pin was a lot closer to 5.10 than 5.8. perhaps i pulled it wrong. we rapped off the south side to the base of the O/W with a single 70. then walked back above the route and made 2 easy raps from trees to the deck. cleaned and replaced webbing and added rap hardware. if your rapping the north side, bring 5 miles of webbing. it's a mess from the top down. sic little bag. big adventure. fun. good air and great location with stellar views.