Our rest day resulted in us attempting Castleton Tower. Now I say attempt as we were repulsed not by the climbing, not by the heat but by a desert storm. We started out by driving there and decided rather than wait for the next day we would climb it that day, as my boredom threshold would face waiting round for an entire day. So we walked up through layer upon layer of geological time.
It is a major irony with Utah, home of numerous religious believes that have creationism at there hearts, yet everywhere i look there are signs that scream out that evolution has occurred. Those layers of sandstone we walk through are visible everywhere, do these guys have their eyes closed, that and the mass of ‘dinosaur museum/relic shops’.
Anyway we headed up to castleton Tower in the sun, and by the second pitch it was thundering about five miles away, determined to keep going I grabbed the rack, and didn’t give llion much of a choice, despite his protesting. Halfway up the 5.9 off width pitch llion screamed that we needed to get out of there, as the lightning was getting mighty close. It suddenly dawn on me that we were climbing a massive lightning conductor. In my haste I tangled myself in a bit of a knot, and had to rest to untangle myself. I am sure they heard the ‘take’ in Moab.
I complete the pitch still determined to get to the top, with one thing that would stop me. the first drops of rain would indicate the storm really being upon us. Llion was halfway up the pitch when those drops hit, and we went into full on retreat mode.
We got down as the winds hit gale force, and the rain start to hit properly. We were one pitch off the top, but I guess making sure you live another day to climb these things rather than be potentially fried by lightning are more important. We head off to Indian Creek, and will have to return for the castleton summit at some point.