The Titan, round one
Climbing in Utah and Colorado with Duncan Critchley in October 2004.
Attempt on the Titan
Duncan and I spent about a week camped in the Fisher Towers, attempting the Finger of Fate route on the Titan, the highest rock spire in North America. The gothic architecture and vast dimensions of the Fishers create a uniquely intimidating atmosphere and I spent most of the week struggling to maintain confidence. Ironically it had been my idea to try this route.
The Fisher Towers in the evening light with the campground centre and the Titan brooding behind on the right
Aid veteran Duncan admiring our rack
North side of the Titan showing the Finger of Fate route. The foreshortened image shows the first five pitches clearly but the last three pitches above the traverse section are much longer than they appear
Duncan at the end of pitch one
The twisted shapes of Fishers' stone play tricks with your mind. In a frayed mood whilst belaying at the end of pitch 1, I became convinced that this rock feature on the ridge near me was the egyptian god of the underworld, Anubis ...
Looking apprehensive whilst following pitch 2. I later regained enough composure to lead the easy pitches 5 and 6 but the excessive burden on Duncan of leading all of the rest of the climb inevitably meant that we ran out of time
The Titans evening shadow from our high point on top of pitch 7. We had about 60 minutes of daylight remaining at this point and eight rappels to negotiate to get off
Other routes
On the summit of Ancient Art on our first day (a route I'd climbed before in 2000). Standing upright on the summit is a Fishers' rite of passage. The available space is about a half-metre wide and the ground at least 100m below in all directions. The photo was taken by hikers who we happened to meet back on the trail later in the day
On the day of my thirty-tenth birthday we made a stress-free ascent of the 130m Sister Superior tower in Castle Valley by the classic Jah Man route. These photos show Duncan following the crux third pitch and the last pitch, leading the fourth pitch and on the summit with the Priest, Rectory and Castleton Towers behind