I’ve wanted to climb this thing for a decade.
I just hadn’t gotten around to it till this week, though, because it’s in the middle-of-freaking-nowhere in far southern Utah on the Arizona border. Between Salt Lake and there are about a billion other world class climbs and climbing areas. But I decided to finally knock the bugger off a couple days before Thanksgiving.
I left Salt Lake at 4 am, drove 5.5 hours, climbed The Cheesebox, drove another hour or so, and finally got to Mexican Hat.
I backed up the belay bolt (drilled pin) with a .4 Camalot (gray) because I was soloing and needed a better anchor. I’ve soloed a few other little towers like this one and it’s always fun. I stick-clipped the first bolt with a stick I brought (there was a stick up there, and there was a pile of rocks to stand on under the first bolt) and then just went up the thing. The climbing went super fast because the route consists of 5 closely-spaced bolts. It took less than 10 minutes. I spent a few minutes on top, fixed the rope, and rappelled down. I cleaned the route as I rapped down, which made it so I didn’t have to re-lead it or do funky jugging. After cleaning it and getting back down to the base, I jugged up the now free-hanging rope back up to the top. I chilled on the top, signed the summit register, rappelled down, pulled the rope, packed the gear, and headed back down to my car.
The whole thing took about an hour and twenty minutes. I then drove to Moab (2 hours) and made it there just before dark, making for a looooong day.
Was it worth the 6.5 hour drive? Well, it was fun. It’s something I’d been wanting to do for a while. It’s an iconic tower of the desert southwest. And it’s in a stunning part of Utah that I’d never been to before.
Totally worth it.
This was desert tower #29 for me and I think the 7th one I’ve soloed.
If you don’t want to download the PDF for some reason, here’s a larger JPG.
And here’s a video panorama from the top [click here if you can’t see the video]: