About the Climb
South Six Shooter is a small but beautiful tower resting atop a huge talus cone in Indian Creek. The South Face is perhaps the easiest tower climb in the desert and it’s a good introduction to moderate multi-pitch desert climbing in a spectacular setting.
There are only a few technical sections up this short, meandering 3 pitch climb, but the summit and hike are very cool and offer incredible views, making it a popular outing. The crux on South Face is a mantel onto a small stance on the last pitch, and some might feel that it is harder than 5.7, depending on your flexibility and height.
As a payback for the long hike, it is possible to extend your day by climbing the other summit just to the right, or by climbing various other quality pitches just right of the original start. Our Gearlooptopo for South Six Shooter also includes:
The obvious Diagonal Crack (5.10b), just right of the original start, which is highly recommended. It can be climbed as a direct start variation to the standard South Face, or simply toprope it on the way down as your rope will be perfectly set-up. The other wide crack just to the right (5.10) offers strenuous wide hands to fist to offwidth and large gear is required.
South Face Direct (5.9, 2 pitches) is also highly recommended. It offers a more direct and sustained line to the right summit if you want to climb both spires in a day. The first pitch is a quality, continous hands to fists corner with good rests, sparse face holds and offers excellent protection.
South Face Right (5.9+) is another fun 1-pitch variation. It starts on the far right side of the face, just around the corner, and ascends thin hands cracks into a fun chimney. It also allows you to continue up left to both summits too.
If this is your first desert tower and/or you're looking for more moderate routes, the logical progression should bring you to Otto's Route (5.8+), located on Independence Monument. It has a good amount of low angle climbing and almost no cracks, and the cruxes have fixed protection. North Chimney (5.9-) on Castleton Tower is certainly a notch above in difficulty and will demand a good mix of jamming and chimneying techniques. Another popular moderate climb is Stolen Chimney (5.10c or 5.9 A0) on Ancient Art. This classic desert climb has a very fun 5.8 chimney second pitch on soft "muddy" rock and an incredible summit. It also features short sections of well protected face climbing that can easily be aided.
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