This is a spectacular route on a spectacular formation.
I climbed it in early June 2009 with Lee and Perin. We did it the day after the Three Penguins. I led the first two pitches as one pitch. The first is a burly 5.9++ offwidth — a crack too wide for fist james but not wide enough to fit your body into. I ended up climbing it an inch at a time with my left arm and leg wedged in there. It took me a long, long time to lead that pitch, and it was exhausting. At one point, my left foot got stuck and I struggled for a couple minutes to get it free. It was a very stout pitch, but classic nonetheless.
The second pitch was amazing. It was a classic chimney right in the bowels of the tower. I don’t have any pictures of my own of the second pitch, but here are one and two great pictures of it on Mountain Project. I set up an anchor and belayed Lee and Perin up.
Perin led the next two pitches as a single pitch, and it was still more amazing climbing. This section of the route is famous for the wild full-body stem with wild exposure. Eventually the gap widens to the point where you can’t stem across it anymore, so you have to lunge over to the main pillar. This is what that part looks like from above.
Anyway, just all aspects of the climb — the rock quality, the moves, the exposure, the location of the formation, the formation itself — are awesome. It’s probably my favorite desert tower.
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