OWL ROCK, WEST CRACK (I 5.8)

Climbing - - CLINICS GUIDE'S TIP -

Owl Rock perches high on the Arches plateau, with views south to the La Sal Moun­tains. It’s com­posed of the same soft En­trada sand­stone that forms most of the park’s arches.

“It was my first desert tower, and started the whole ad­ven­ture,” says Jay An­der­son, a guide who has climbed 30-plus tow­ers since Owl Rock, 34 years ago. “The next day I climbed Castle­ton … Owl Rock was my gate­way drug/tower.”

Fol­low the ob­vi­ous crack on the west face, pro­tect­ing in its depths and us­ing the oc­ca­sional hand jam be­tween slopey jugs. Though the climb­ing gets pro­gres­sively harder, pro­tec­tion re­mains rel­a­tively abun­dant. An in­ter­me­di­ate be­lay/rap sta­tion is set just be­low the sum­mit. FIRST AS­CENT: Ron Olevsky, 1968 RACK: Stan­dard sin­gle rack

RAPPEL: Rap to the ground with a sin­gle 70-me­ter rope from the an­chor just be­low the sum­mit.

GET­TING THERE: Drive 9 miles past the Arches en­trance, turn right at Win­dows Road, drive an­other mile, and turn le into a scenic pull­out.

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