Planet X is located a few miles north of Hanksville, on the east side of the road, a half-mile south of the Viewfinder Towers pullout. It is a nice free-standing formation. Approaching from north or south, it looks like a pyramid, but is very thin viewed edge on.
The climbing is thought-provoking Fisher-Tower-style aiding on a fine-grained Entrada sandstone. It follows a series of mostly splitter cracks, in mostly "good" rock, to the summit. The climbing is a lot of fun; some tricky placements, yet regular bomber pieces. The ambience is pleasant; a roadside location, yet with a quaint backwoods feel. So maybe more or less worthy of two stars. The first ascent was spread over two afternoons, but they sure seem to go quick in mid-December.
The route starts in the middle of the north face. The pitch meanders; watch out for rope drag. The two belay/rappel bolts are 4" x 1/2" Rawls.
1. Follow a bulging crack angling up and left to a ledge, from where a thinner crack gains a rotten band, fifty feet up. Step right to another good crack, which leads to a higher rotten band. Continue to better rock, and tension right to a ledge and a final crack leading to the two-bolt rappel/belay station (100', A2+).2. Step high, then throw a length of rope around the summit block. Tie this off, and belly up onto the summit (10', 5.5).Descent: Downclimb to the belay. Rappel 110' down the north face.
Gear: Three or four sets of cams from the smallest to #4 Friend. Two #4 Camalots, one each #4.5 and #5 Camalot. Ball Nuts, wires (with extra medium sizes), 2 Toucans, 1 Bugaboo, 4 Lost Arrows, 2 Standard Angles, extra shoulder-length slings.
This is, clearly, a non-action shot.
Sunset, showing the south side of Planet X, unclim...
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