Neither Dale nor I had climbed a desert tower before and we were both itching to tick one off the list during our road trip. While in Moab, the perfect opportunity presented itself—Castleton Tower. One of the 50 classic climbs of North America goes up the South face for four pitches at 5.9 and is called the Kor-Ingalls Route.
Anticipating a crowd on Saturday morning, we got an early start and made it to the parking lot in Castleton by 7am to find no one there. A beautiful hike brought us up the scree slope to the base of the first pitch where we began our morning of offwidth crack climbing with lots of chimneying thrown in.
Dale led the first two pitches and I decided to man up and lead the third pitch, which included some seriously funky and heady climbing, but was quite fun. We hit the summit by noon and didn't spend too much time up there on the massive lightning rod because we saw some clouds moving in.
We could both see why it's a classic climb and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves for the whole adventure. The rest of the day only built on the morning as we succeeded in swimming in the Colorado to cool off, drinking some delicious beers, passing out in a park, and watching a sweet cover band.