OverviewMonster is an imposing Windgate skyscraper lurking in the east end of the Island in the Sky district. Monster, and its nearest neighbor Washer Woman, offer excellent wilderness climbing on 600 feet of high quality sandstone. Although there are four established routes on Monster, the most commonly visited route lies on North edge of the tower. Potential suitors should have thorough grounding in crack technique and desert climbing before doing battle with the Monster.
For a general introduction to the area, please visit the Island in the Sky page; for beautiful photos and and an excellent introduction to the Washer Woman and Monster area please visit the Washer Woman page.
Getting ThereFor excellent directions on getting to Monster see the Washer Woman page. Do not use the Schafer trail entrance when it is wet or you and your vehicle will likely become part of the talus cone.
Route Overview1) North Ridge (III 5.11) – Six pitches of picturesque splitters ranging from ½ to 12 inches with some nice face climbing to boot. The first ascent of this route was done by Ken Trout and Kirk Miller in 1981.
2) South Ridge (IV 5.11 or 5.10 C2) – Seven pitches of miserable grovel up dirty rock with tricky route finding from what I have heard. Please contribute any information you have about this route. This was the first line on the tower put up by the prolific Layton Kor with Larry Dalke and Cub Schafer in 1963.
3) Please contribute info, I do not know the other routes.
4) Please contribute info, I do not know the other routes.
LogisticsMonster, like all of the towers off of the White Rim Trail, requires some special logistical considerations. A round trip from Moab entails about 50 miles of high clearance four wheel drive trails. Be sure that you have sufficient water, fuel, food, warm clothing, and equipment to deal with emergencies. This is particularly important in the off season or during the week when you are likely to be the only one in the area. If you get into trouble, help is a long way away.
CampingAlthough it is possible to camp in Island in the Sky, the permitting system and sparsity of campsites makes camping impractical. Do not bandit camp as you will get caught by the wily rangers who stock the park under the cover of darkness. The best approach is to camp in Moab and do your climbing as a day trip.
When to climbSpring and fall are the best seasons for desert climbing. Summer temperatures make the Moab area unpleasant and winter precipitation can make the rock unsafe. Climb when it is warm and dry.
Red TapeCanyonlands has numerous restrictions regarding climbing, camping, and any activity that could be considered recreation. The most pertinent restrictions for climbers include the following:
1) Anything that requires a hammer is forbidden (i.e. no pitons and no new bolts).
2) A permit is required to enter the park.
3) Camping is only allowed in designated places and requires a special permit.
More information can be found at the National Parks Service Website.
Please take the rules seriously or you will jeopardized the future of climbing in the park.
External LinksMountain Project's page on Monster Tower
A good trip report with a play by play description of the climbing can be found here.
An alternate trip report with some pictures can be found here.