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Moab Rim Tower is a Navajo Sandstone spire, detached from the main wall of the Moab Rim. There are actually 2 routes on the tower. The original, thought to have been established by Jimmy Dunn, shares a starting pitch with this route, then climbs a crack system left of Requiem. It is mid 5.12, with a soft, face climbing crux on bad bolts at the top of the spire. The pitches below that are ok, but not what you would write home about.
Requiem follows the crack and face up the front of the tower. It is very exposed and is a beautiful line. Unfortunately, the last pitch is on fryable rock and despite its "Redrock" looks, is of questionable character. To large degree this is to be expected as it is Navajo, not Wingate. Moab RIm Tower is probably the tallest of the Navajo Towers in the Moab Area. Josh and I established the route this fall, but the fixed pro was placed in the past.
Other than Castleton in Spring, when the fields are green and there is still snow on the La Sals, I would have to say this is the most scenic climb I have done it he desert. The views are just beautiful.
Pitch 1 = Climb up and left passing a bulgy slab on soft rock. The crack is quite soft near the top, but is not difficult. But be careful. A fixed anchor exists on the next ledge. 5.11-, 60 feet
Pitch 2 = Climb the crack above the anchor on relatively good rock, passing a small roof on fingers. Tunnel through and pop out on a perfect belay ledge with a fixed anchor. 5.10, 75 feet
Pitch 3 = Climb up and left to reacha finger crack. Ascend this througha bulge, then gain a bit back on a slabby section. Mover further on to a dihedral and arete doing technical and pwoerful moves on mixed ground. Your on pretty good rock here and the pro keeps you safe, but its very difficult climbing. Exit to a ledge on technical face climbing on the arete. 5.12+, 110 feet
Pitch 4 = From the most exposed ledge in the desert, from which you feel you could step off and land in the Colorado 1000 feet below, follow face holds to the summit. This pitch was not redpointed as we continued to break holds. They look solid and if they were on Potash, where they are protected from the elements, this would be a hyperclassic bit of desert climbing. As is, its 5.10 A0. You can, with some stretching and a move here and there, you can aid through on excellent protection. There is a stinger in its tail though; the last 25 feet is not as difficult as the rest, but its questionable rock and is 5.10-. For those wondering, we feel the grade would probably be 12c if you could redpoint it without breaking a hold and weighting the rope. 5.10, A0, 80 feet
Rappel the route on a single 70 meter cord. Thats a seventy, as in longer than a sixty. Be very careful on the rap of the crux pitch as it is a stretcher.
Moab Rim Tower is along the Moab Rim above the 4 wheel drive trail of the same name. Park in the BLM parking area on Kane Springs Road a couple miles from town. Hike up the jeep trail about a 1/4 mile, then turn up slope and pass through the bands about 250 yds to the right of the tower. Traverse the wide ledge to the towers southwest facing base.
One 70 meter rope and a dozen quickdraws.
2 X .5 friends
4 X .75 friends
4 x 1.0 friends
1 X 1.5-2.5 friends
Looking down the last pitch of Requiem... oh what ...
Following Josh on the crux 3rd pitch
why am I required to describe this
Josh beginning the second pitch
If you would quit staring at my gorgeous mug, you ...
Josh pulling hard in the crux. I had him on a gri ...
Moab Rim Tower from the road
Oct 23, 2009
Good one... looks like a great route up a neglected tower ...and so near Moab . Yes Jimmy Dunn ,Billy Rothstein and I did the first ascent of this tower October 1999. We graded our route 5.10 A2... left of yours ..looks like the same start? Cheers Paul Ross
|By Sam Lightner, Jr.|
Oct 26, 2009
Thanks Paul. I didn't know for sure who was on the FA. It was only a rumor. Amazing this tower wasn't climbed until then as its in such a beautiful, accessible place.