Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Information on peaks other than the CO 14ers and 13ers.
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Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby Brian C » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:06 pm

Although not ranked peaks, these are pretty cool and are not for those with weak stomachs. The "Things of Beauty" are a collection of mud hoodoos on the slopes of Mt. Garfield and are serious pinnacles of adobe mud jutting precariously skyward. The towers are topped with small pieces of sandstone that protects the soft mud from rain and allows the weather to slowly sculpt these monstrosities. Many of the more "noticeable" formations were climbed by the Choss Pirate Paul Ross in the early 2000s and many of them have not been repeated. He pounded 8'' nails, aka "spikes", into the soft matrix and aided precariously upward. These nails still remain although many have eroded severely since when they were first placed.

Paul Ross on the first ascent of the Sword of Damocles

Me on the 3rd ascent of the Sword 10 years later

Last year, on our way to climb the Titan in the Fisher Towers, my buddy Noah and I stopped and did the 3rd ascent of the Sword and got a taste for the mud. This last Friday we went back and got the 2nd ascents on two of the towers, Tom Thumb's Tallywag and the Bug-Eyed Monster. Tom Thumb's leads up a arete of mud for 60 feet followed by a 15 foot pinnacle that is 1.5 feet wide and 1 foot thick. On the FA in 2002, Paul Ross stood on the summit and the tower began swaying back and forth. He noted that it was 3' by 1.5' (yes, twice as wide as it is now) as he quickly made his escape. Noah bravely led up to the summit block, tapped the top and quickly got out of there (much to my relief).

Noah on the 2nd ascent of Tom Thumb's Tallywag. Bug-Eyed Monster is above to the left.

After watching the scariest rappel I've ever seen (I even thought the tower moved slightly!!), we walked uphill and climbed the much thicker Bug-Eyed Monster. A scary mud traverse led to the first nail and upward progress went smoothly.

Me leading the 2nd ascent of the Bug-Eyed Monster

The Things of Beauty are sitting up there waiting for many first and second ascents! That's pretty hard to come by in Colorado these days.

Go get 'em everyone!!!
Brian in the Wild
Lists of John
"Nature never did betray the heart that loved her." - Wordsworth

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Re: Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby ajkagy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:18 pm

wow interesting. Love the palisade/grand junction/fruita area for all the biking, but didn't know they had some interesting climbing there.

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Re: Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby Dancesatmoonrise » Wed Sep 26, 2012 5:27 pm

You guys are crazy. :shock:

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Re: Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby ctomford1 » Wed Sep 26, 2012 6:46 pm

I love living in Grand Junction. I've climbed Mt. Garfield several times and it makes a great practice for 14ers. I have not done too much hiking along the sides or behind, but lots of exploring. The Palisade peaches are delicious too!

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Re: Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby Scott P » Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Those things are crazy objectives for sure.

There are several more of those hoodoos in Spring Canyon, just to the east and near Cameo.
I'm slow and fat. Unfortunately, those are my good qualities.

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Re: Things of Beauty - Palisade, CO

Postby ColoradoGuy » Wed Sep 26, 2012 9:46 pm

Wow! You guys are crazy. Great job!

I'll think of you when I hike Mt. Garfield next month. :)
It's a tough job, but someone has to photograph the mountain.

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