Every person driving from Salt Lake through highway 6 and beyond has seen this funny looking tower driving through the town of Helper. The town even has a restaurant named after the tower (https://m.facebook.com/Balance-Rock-Eatery-Pub-132662266800860/). Most people hike to the cliff before the tower, but several people have climbed the tower itself. There is only one route to the top. The climb involves trad gear and several ropes and I have rated it as 5.7 R/X. The first section is very sketchy, but once past is great and well protected climbing. This has been one of the strangest climbs I have ever done. Definitely a great adventure, even if only going to see the tower from the top. Message me if you'd like to add any information.
See the well written link in the external link section.
After following the route to get there, rappel twice from two notches. Each rappel is about 40-60 feet. The first rappel will require a sling off a tree, whereas the second rappel is off of obvious bolts. If returning the way you came, leave ropes to re-ascend. Once down from the second rap, hike along the ridge to the south side of the tower. You will see bolts at the base of balanced rock. From here begins the climb:
It can be broken up in one medium length pitch, or two small pitches.
Pitch 1 (5.6 R/X): Climb up to a ledge for about 15-20 feet on VERY chossy rock. There is no protection. At the base of the tower is two bolts for the belayer to anchor to. At the ledge you can use a several sized cams (0.5-3) in a giant and obvious crack.
Pitch 2 (5.7+): From here is very fun and well protected climbing for about 30 feet. Pockets and nice holds. Take a rack of cams (0.5-3) and you'll feel very safe. At the top are two bolts to belay & rappel from.
Descent: Either ascend up the ropes you left and return the way you came, or rap down the cliff for a quick descent. This path is a bit tricky, but you'll be down in no time. Looking back towards the notches you rappelled from, go right along the cliff. Find a large boulder to tie webbing or a sling around and rap down the cliff from here (150-200ft rap). From here, walk along the cliff and take the path of least resistance down. Several options, nothing too crazy.
When to Climb
Feb - Nov