CLIMBING DESERT TOWERS

Multi-pitch climbing to summits where only birds and climbers can go

On the summit of Monolith Spire in Colorado National Monument

Colorado National Monument is home to dozens of sandstone desert towers. Here are some of our favorites:

Otto’s Route on Independence Monument – 5.8, 400 feet tall – One of the easiest and most famous desert tower routes around. There are other fine routes on Independence Monument, such as Independence Chimney and Sundial Dihedral, but Otto’s Route is the one that gets climbed over and over again because of its relative ease and storied past.

The Kissing Couple – 5.11 (one move of 5.11 and the rest is 5.10 and under), 301 feet tall – this is the only tower that legendary climber and first ascentionist Layton Kor climbed twice!

Medicine Man on Sentinel Spire- 5.12, 300 feet tall – This is one for the hard climbers but it’s worth the effort as it’s widely recognized as one of the best desert tower routes around! The approach is also about as short as you can get for a tower. Combine this with Fast Draw (below) for a really big day!

Fast Draw on Sentine Spire – 5.10, 150 feet tall – If you like the short approach, this is your route. A Layton Kor classic with a bit of challenging climbing but a casual 2 minute stroll and rappel to the base.

Southwest Defile Route on Grand View Spire – 5.8 C2, 200 feet tall – This is the tower to climb if you want to combine a variety of adventure. A short approach leads to a rappel to the base. A bit of aid climbing mixed with plenty of free climbing. The icing on the cake is the airy Tyrolean traverse back to the rim. Not to be missed!

Remnants Tower – 5.9, 150 feet tall – This is one of the shortest and easiest desert towers you’ll find. If you want a sampling of a desert tower climbing experience in a half day, this is your tower!

Ratio: 2:1 on towers, over 2 requires a second guide

Cost:

“Easy Day” (ex. – Remnants Tower) = $350 for 1 person, $75 for additional person

Full Day (ex. Otto’s Route) = $375 for 1 person, $100 for additional person

Full-Full Day (ex. Kissing Couple) = $400 for 1, $100 for additional person

Note: Prior experience required for desert towers and a prep day of single pitch climbing for instruction and training may be required.

Call 970-319-0656 or email at climb@glenwoodclimbing.com

Topping out Remnants Tower in Colorado National Monument