OverviewHindu - also known as The Sentinel or Totem Pole (latter name appears on USGS maps) - is the most prominent of three towers making up the Onion Creek Towers cluster (the others being Sari and Mongoose). The tower stands at the end of a narrow and exposed "side walk" extending on its southwest side. At its lowest point (from summit to "side walk") the formation is about 175 feet tall and overhangs on all sides. Qualitatively the sandstone feels comparable to the higher quality stuff seen in the Fishers (or better).
The idea of going for this tower came to us after reading Brad's TR on his solo climb of Maverick. We double checked his TR for beta in Moab the morning before the climb as well.
DON’T SPOIL THE SOIL!
Much of the SE Utah desert including the Arches National Park is home to Cryptobiotic Soil Crust. Watch where you step as this stuff is extremely sensitive and this “stuff” is also what’s keeping erosion at bay on hillsides. The NPS recommends using established trails, sandstone slabs, and/or sandy washes for your foot travel throughout the park. For further information see the many links provided by Dr. Brian Jenkins: link 1, link 2, link 3, link 4, link 5, link 6
While on the topic, don’t soil the soil either! Don’t be a filthy animal and pack out your solid waste!
See Scott's Fisher Towers/Onion Creek Towers page under Getting There section.
From West (Moab, UT): Just beyond the northern outskirts of Moab along US 191, make right (northeast) onto highway UT 128 (a.k.a. River Road). Follow this highway for about 21 miles for a marked turnoff for Taylor Fisher Valley Ranch (right hand side; possibly also marked as Onion Creek). Books claim that this is 0.9 miles BEFFORE the marked Fisher Towers turn off (untested). If you see Taylor Creek Ranch Road you've not gone far enough on River Road.
From East (Colorado): From I70, take exit 212 (in Utah) and turn right onto frontage road. Follow this road SW through ghost town of Cisco (c. 5.7 miles from exit) and until you reach UT 128 (River Road) at 8.3 miles. Turn left onto River Road and follow it (for 20+ miles from exit) to the marked Fisher Towers turn off. From here, reset your odometer and continue for another 0.9 miles (untested) to a marked turnoff for Taylor Fisher Valley Ranch (left hand side; possibly also marked as Onion Creek). If you see Taylor Creek Ranch Road you've gone too far.
Turn onto this road and follow it for about 3 miles (depending on your odometer). Park at one of the wide pull-offs just west of the formation (that's the side you will first come to on your drive in) - which should be towering directly ahead. The road crosses Onion Creek more times than I can count but it SHOULD be doable in a low clearance vehicle (have not tried though).
For Maverick (starting on south face of tower). Starting on the west side of tower, hike up dirt and slabs heading roughly SW and aiming for the right end (closest to parent cliff, not the tower) of the "side-walk". There is a cliff band that needs to be passed. We surmounted this obstacle via a 4th class 25 foot chimney (right side of cliff band as you're looking up). There might be other (better?) ways through the cliffs. Once you reach the right side of the side walk, traverse it left to the base of the south face of Hindu Tower. Approach time from trailhead to base of Maverick is about 20-30 minutes.
For Shiva (a.k.a. North Face) (starting on north face of tower). I have not done this route. If you have beta, post here and I'll give you credit.
Red TapeNone. Tower is located on BLM land. Practice leave no trace behavior and avoid trampling the crypto soil (see above).
CampingUnofficially, you can find very good camping at large on BLM land especially in Castle Valley. Good primitive camp sites can be found at the standard trailheads for Castleton Tower.
Mountain ConditionsThe only possible source of up-to-date beta is the local climbing climb shop, Pagan Mountaineering located in Moab, UT. Their number is 435-259-1117.
Also check: Moab Climate Summary Page.
Routes And Guidebooks OverviewIn addition to Maverick, there's a second route on the formation that is reported in literature: Shiva a.k.a. North Face (III 5.8 A2 or 5.12a). Relevant guidebooks (along with a summary of what they cover) listed below:
(1) Classic Desert Climbs by Fred Knapp (ISBN 1-892540-17-7). Describes both Maverick (II 5.9 C2 or 5.13a) and North Face (III 5.8 A2 or 5.12a). No topos.
(2) Selected Climbs In The Desert Southwest, Colorado & Utah by Cameron M. Burns (ISBN 0-89886-657-X). Describes Maverick (III 5.8 C2 or II-III 5.13a). Good topo & photo.
(3) Desert Rock III: Moab To Colorado National Monument by Eric Bjornstad (ISBN 1-56044-754-0). Describes both Maverick (III 5.8 C2 or 5.13a) and North Face a.k.a. Shiva (III 5.12a). No topos.
Stewart Green's Rock Climbing Utah does NOT have any information on Maverick.
External Links(1) The Hindu page on mountainproject.com site (formerly climbingmoab.com). A few photos and Maverick route (West Face) description.
(2) Maverick TR from piquaclimber.com. Excellent selection of photos and a nice write-up from Brad's solo ascent of this route.
More when I find them...