16z - Remote Crack

May 22 - 26, 2005

Dave Svilar, Will, Mason

In between the La Sal Mountains and San Juan Mountains there is a nice stretch of desert on the Colorado/Utah border that is just being developed by climbers (Charlie Fowler).  By the sounds and looks of it there are literally thousands of new routes just waiting to be climbed.  We headed to a remote climbing area named after the road on which it's located, 16z.  We followed a paved road to the middle of nowhere and then turned down a long dirt road that took us even farther into the middle of nowhere.  Finding the locale wasn't hard, and upon arrival at dusk we were pleased with the arrangements: a large pullout overlooking a large valley and the Dolores River, with the La Sals looming to the west.  The climbs were directly below where we camped, stretched out for almost one mile along the escarpment.  Junipers dotted the landscape, with a typical garnish of desert sandstone, and a big blue sky stretched out overhead.  The place oozed desert ambience.

Unlike Indian Creek where I can only climb a handful of routes, this place had more climbable routes than we had time to climb.  Even better, the routes were shorter, which simply meant you didn't have to put six racks together in order to properly protect the climbs.  There were several varieties of sandstone including one superb area featuring fine Wingate crack.  Unfortunately we picked the hottest days of May for our trip and we wilted in the heat after only a few hours of climbing in the morning.  I'd love to return under more manageable temperatures.  Enjoy the pictures.

Wingate Crack!  Will tries for a Black Diamond catalog photo.


Various photos showing the landscape.  Short cliffs, small bench and a large valley with the Dolores River below.  Photos by Will


Top: Dave doing the parking lot climb.  Photos by Will

Below: Will near sunset on the Wingate cracks of 16z.


Top: Mason stretching it out after a long day in the sun.
Below: Dave and Mason enjoying a semi-cool beverage by the campfire.  Photo by Will

- March 2006

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