This oddly-named route is on a historic tower in Utah’s Echo Canyon.
Climbers refer to the tower as The Pierced Nipple (and the route on it is called Piercing the Nipple), but it’s known to everyone else as Monument Rock (there’s a sign in front of the tower calling it Monument Rock). It was named by Mormon pioneers passing through the canyon in 1847 on their way to the Salt Lake Valley.
This is a photo of the tower taken in 1869. Note the guy there for scale.
I made a roped solo ascent of the route. It’s 2 pitches long, even though the first pitch is the only real pitch. It goes free at 5.12c-ish but I climbed it at about 5.4 A0. The majority of the route is a bolt ladder made up of a wide variety of “bolts” ranging from glued pitons to drilled ice screws. Here’s some more info:
Pitch 1: Has exactly 39 (!) bolts, 2 of which do not have hangers. Follow 34 or so bolts up the vertical to overhanging face, then you’ve got some, uh, interesting climbing. There are a couple steps you need to climb over that are interspersed with horrible, disintegrating mud that you literally have to kick steps in. Awesome. The 3-bolt anchor is bomber. I replaced some of the webbing.
Pitch 2: This “pitch” is all of 15 feet long. From the ledge, climb past a single bolt up to the boltless summit (well, there are the old quarter-inchers from the other route). Then downclimb back down to the belay and rappel from there.
You can’t rappel directly to the right/east with a single 70m rope. I tried. But you can use a single 70 to rappel down the grassy gully thing on the back side of the tower (facing away from the road). You could probably even use a 60 for it. The pull is easy.
The route gets afternoon shade.
I climbed the first pitch (the steep part was all a bolt ladder and then there were free moves at the top on horrible rock), climbed the second “pitch,” and then downclimbed back to the belay at the top of pitch 1. I then rappelled my rope down to the ground and ascended back up the rope, cleaning all of the gear along the way. Then I tried rappelling down the right side of the formation with my single 70 m rope but it didn’t quite reach (I’d tied the rope off in the middle and rapped down to where I could see if the ends touched down or not, then ascended back up the rope). I ended up rappelling off the back side down a little gully thing.
Here are the pics. As always, you can click any photo for a larger version.
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