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Monster Tower
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Kor Route T 
North Ridge T 

Kor Route 

YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R

   
Type:  Trad, Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10 French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Layton Kor, Larry Dalke
Page Views: 2,153
Submitted By: Frank Stock on Apr 28, 2002

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Monster and Washerwoman at dusk, from the parking ...

Description 

The route starts in the obvious huge chimney system on the East side of the rock, on the opposite side of the tower as Washer Woman. Scramble up some loose 4th/easy 5th class to a piton hammered at the base of the chimney. This is the last fixed gear you will see until the final bolt ladder. Midway up the tower the route traverses 1/4 way around the tower to the left, and then again traverses left before the last two pitches.

P1: 5.8? Climb the easy 5.6 narrow sloping chimney with poor gear to gain the obvious big full stem chimney. Grovel up the ramp in the large chimney, passing huge loose death blocks to gain a crack system. Climb the wide chimney protecting in the crack to a huge chock stone. Set a belay using cracks on either side while perched on a wobbly stone. (note: there are no slings around the really big boulder as it says in the Burns guide).

P2: 5.8? Finish the chimney, exiting by pulling over more big, loose piles. If you are belaying, where a helmet and don't look up-your belay holds you directly below any falling junk.

P3: 5.10 dirty and loose. This is the cool looking splitter that you see in both Burns guide and from the ground. Beware the large pillar in the corner. It broke off and fell into the corner when I touched it. Climb the loose hands to good hands crack that is filled with dirt. A mantle onto a ledge with 3" of dirt finishes the pitch.

Now traverse left around the corner on 4th class to the obvious crack.

P4: Climb the crack which ranges from fingers to OW, heavy on the hands. Beware loose stuff, especially head sized blocks sitting right in the route about 20 feet above the belay. Slings are helpful.

P5: (we combined this with P4): Continued up the crack-Burns calls this pitch loose which is an understatement. This would be a great pitch if it were clean, however it isn't and it sucks.

Now traverse way around until you are on a ledge, below a difficult looking crack, with Washer Woman directly across from you. You will pass a crack that may seem correct with a fixed anchor - it is not.

P6: Finally, the rock is better. Climb the thin crack, which looks hard (it's not) but gets constantly harder. I suppose you could set a belay midway, but we linked it with P7 as the belay would suck and you really are only up about 50 feet off the belay.

P7: Bolt Ladder to a 5.9ish free move and then 5.5 slabby to the last anchor.

P8: Not really a pitch-there are no summit anchors so you have to scamper up an easy cone to the top and then downclimb.

Descent: Rap the North Ridge. A single 60 gets you back to the last belay from the top. From there you can do three single rope raps or one single and a double. From there, a double rope gets you to the ground-I didn't see an intermediate anchor enabling a two rope rap. I also think you could rap to the saddle between Washer Woman and Monster and then do low 5th class downclimbing to get down.

Comments: Great view from top, but a poor choice of routes to get there. Bring goggles. Also, Monster Tower and Washer Woman sit in a wind tunnel. Watch your ropes on the rap.

Protection 

Fixed gear on the last pitch. Two sets of friends through #4 with an extra piece in the 1" size. Set of stoppers. Bring a couple long slings.


Photos of Kor Route Slideshow Add Photo
Spud leading the final pitch.
Spud leading the final pitch.
Summit view of the La Sal Mtns and Canyonlands. In 1992, we were only the 25th summit party in 29 years.
Summit view of the La Sal Mtns and Canyonlands. In...
Maurice Horn entering initial chimney.
Maurice Horn entering initial chimney.
Maurice near the top of pitch 4
Maurice near the top of pitch 4
3rd pitch, Andrew Carson changing cracks
3rd pitch, Andrew Carson changing cracks
Washerwoman and Monster Tower from the west.
Washerwoman and Monster Tower from the west.

Comments on Kor Route Add Comment
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By Brad Schildt
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 20, 2002

The bolt ladder if done free (we did not) is 5.11. The traverse between P5 and P6 is long. Keep traversing until you can't go any farther. We did not have this beta and flailed miserably on various variations until we finally walked all the way around and saw the bolt ladder.
By Ben Kiessel
Jul 4, 2006

I did this route 2-3 years ago and led everything but the chimney, and it is not that bad. There is some loose rock but there is fun climbing also. It would not be a good first tower but a fun outing and I'm glad I did it. IMO do some towers, get use to some loose rock, and then climb the Kor route.
By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
May 29, 2007

We tried the Kor Rt. on Sat., 5/26/07. Driving out the Potash Rd. took us over three hours, killing way too much time. We did not start climbing till after ten, but there we were, so why not try? The following comments relate to the description and what we found.
The first pitch is very dusty and dirty, and after that every pitch gets better. The Burns topo is helpful, also. Go past the big chockstone about 20' so you can belay on a big ledge on the right side, and outside, the chimney. (BTW, we climbed behind the chockstone, where it's a pretty tight squeeze. Might be easier outside the stone. Or, maybe not!). It's totally out of the firing line. A 60 m rope left alot of line. There is one bolt inside the chimney, as indicated by Burns' diagram. The climbing is ok, just very dusty, and yes, loose. Take heart.
Make a very short pitch over another scary chockstone to easy ground and the ledges below the third pitch. We made one stopper aid move to avoid touching the chockstone, going up on the right and stemming above it. Whew. There's a rap station with at least one drilled angle just before the big shoulder.
The third pitch is good climbing in the corner to a wide crack, just too wide for #4 Cams, they're nearly tipped out. A 4.5 or 5 would really help. The handcrack left of the corner takes #1's and 2's. Once on the dirty ledge, there are two old star drives up and left, facing left, , not right in front of you ala Burns. There is a single old bolt up and right, but it's not in a useful place. My partner placed those star drive bolts in the early 60's on the first attempted ascent of the Monster. Think about it, old star drives.... with rap slings.
Go around the corner and climb the obvious and good crack to another ledge. Short. Above is another really good corner. At least we liked them. We found doing them in two pitches went well, though they could be combined for sure. Quite varied in technique, good pro.
Now the last traverse. The first feasible crack has fixed gear alright -- at the top, under the roof where someone bailed. The next crack, very near the north edge, is thin and in the back of a flare. The crack on the north edge is tempting but the middle one seems right. That's as far as we got --- 6 p.m. and we needed to bail. From the rap anchors you can see the bolts above the middle flared crack. That's what I'd take.
The rap goes to a huge ledge. According to the desription, you can make another one rope rap, but we did a double-rope rap and did not see an intermediate anchor. We reached a decent ledge with webbing that's pretty weathered. One full rap from there puts you on the ground. I walked south around the tower to the base of the climb, and Maurice went through the saddle between Monster and Washerwoman, reliving his last visit here on the first ascent of Washerwoman.
We thought this was a really good route as far as we got, and a great route if not for the chimney to start with. Maybe this autumn we'll get back. Don't discount the drive -- we'll stay and do another route or two the next time.
Oh, one additional thought, having been talking with Maurice over the weekend.... we both noticed that the last bolt you can see from the rap station has a biner on it. There are many reasons why someone might bail, but one of them is that the next bolt, or bolts, are gone. Maybe being prepared for such an eventuality wouldn't hurt. We don't know for sure but did assume they are the original bolts Kor and Dalke put in.

By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Jun 3, 2008

After last year's try, Maurice Horn and I got a campsite at Airport and finished the ascent on a great day, 5/27/08. The last pitch is still a mystery. We didn't see a fixed pin as mentioned in Burns' guide, but that could have succumbed to gravity and erosion. Still, I wandered up until finally spotting fixed gear way to my left. I skittered along a 'crawl' ledge to the bolt ladder, which has some old star drives, a modern bolt, a drilled angle, and finally a half driven bugaboo. Stepping off the bugaboo into free climbing is very exciting! We belayed on the ledge 20' left of the bolts, and made one short lead from there to the top rap anchors. There, we added chains to the one modern bolt, and with equalized star drives, felt good about that rap station. Four raps to the ground, the last two being quite long, with 60m ropes.
Calling this route a Grade II is a little light, in my opinion. Seven pitches in the desert, plus descent, is a workout. We thought the pitch ratings in Burns pretty fair. The last pitch, for us, was "french free" at 5.9 A0. If the bugaboo ever pulls, well, it will call for creativity.