The Sister Superior group is the bunch of crumbly looking towers farther down the same ridge that holds The Priest, The Rectory, and Castleton Tower. The tallest tower, Sister Superior, is amazingly thin and is the most popular summit of the group.
While Sister Superior is very close to Castleton, the views from Sister Superior offer much less evidence of man's footprint in the area. The hike is a little longer, and as a result these towers feel a little more wild than one would expect given the location.
The approach to Sister Superior is different than the approach to the Castleton Tower group. There is an unmarked dirt road (the Ida Gulch road) about 9/10ths of a mile past the Castle Valley turnoff (driving from Moab). Take this as far as you can up the wash. There are just a couple stopper points, otherwise the driving is pretty casual. Most people seem to stop at one point where a couple large rocks block the way, but more skilled drivers and/or specialized vehicles will be able to squeeze past this point.
Wherever you stop, the trail to the towers leaves the wash at a few obvious cairns. It heads up to an obvious low saddle, then along another relatively level section before heading steeply uphill. If you think the hike to Castleton is difficult, stay away from Sister Superior. The trail will deposit you below the start of the route Jah Man. Queue up.
The tower does not look like much from afar, but this route is steep, veeery steep and excellent, mostly thin hands at the cruxes. The top is very skinny and exposed. When you reach the base the route is obvious. Look for the squeeze chimney. Getting to it requires a first pitch of some difficult to protect 5.8-5.9 moves from the left. The hardest part of the second pitch is getting into the chimney, the rest is quite secure. The anchor is fixed.The third pitch heads straight up on 5.10, t...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Last weekend we were able to drive a Subaru 1.6 miles up the wash. There's a pullout on the right at that point. It didn't seem to bad to me just a couple of tricky spots due to low clearance, of course it wasn't my car either.
Last weekend the road was in pretty bad shape, probably from the heavy rain storms of the last couple years. Last time I was here it wasn't too bad and now it is a quite challenging drive.
I was able to drive most of the way up the ~2 1/4 miles to the start of the approach trail in a semi-stock Tacoma. There is a cruxy choke in the wash at about 1.8 miles in and there is a sketchy bypass around it. Probably better off with hiking in at that point.
Tom - There is a "NO CAMPING" sign at the entrance to the drainage. I don't know if it applies only to that particular area or if it applies to the whole drainage. There is a flat bench with a fire ring on it, which is ~1.5 miles in.
Also, I would certainly not camp there (or probably even drive in) if there was a forecast for rain storms. I imagine it could take several days to get back out if there were a downpour.
I drove up the approach road today (March 24, 2014) and was able to take a stock pickup truck to within a 15 minute walk of where the trail leaves the wash. At this point the was was blocked with a, what was for me, an impassable boulder. Wasn't too bad, just had to drive slow, but it was still quicker than walking.
Is there a new, bolted sport line on Sister Superior?
After rappelling over Jah Man on May 3, we saw a bolted line to the right of it. The line ascends the arete of the formation and looked very new. We could tell there was a first pitch to it, also bolted, and a second pitch. We didnīt look for a third pitch. Anyways, we tried to climb the second pitch and simply couldnīt get up it. It was really hard for us. The first moves are totally doable but once you get over the arete, there is a couple of moves that we couldnīt execute. Iīm trying to find some info on this line. Does anybody know? Is it still a project? It must be hard to find partners for your project with that kind of an approach ;-)