My son and I enjoy climbing in the Fisher Tower area, despite loose crumbly rock, because they are so beautiful. The Titan soars majestically above all other towers. When Tristan first saw the Titan he said, “I want to climb that!”
I explained that the Titan required difficult aid climbing on treacherous rock, over several days, with bivouacs on small, lumpy ledges, and that perhaps we should start with smaller towers.
The first tower that greets visitors as they step out of their car is Lizard Rock, a diminutive and inconsequential “tower” only 60 feet tall as compared with the Titan, which rears 900 feet into the sky.
Lizard Rock would introduce Tristan to the joys of footholds that break off, handholds that come loose, and protection gear that’s difficult to place and not confidence-inspiring. The west face of Lizard rock appears lackluster and mundane. I never understood why it’s called “Lizard Rock” until I hiked up the hill behind the tower. I dropped down a steep, crumbly scree slope into the canyon and saw a different east side of the appropriately named Lizard Rock.
Lizard Rock, the first formation that we climbed in the Fisher Towers, provided a good introduction to the loose rock and steep mud that are the norm in this area. Few other guidebooks include phrases such as:
“Stem in mud, 5.7, with poor protection”, or
“continue up a sandy ramp …”
“Belay from a rope lassoed around a horn”
Lizard Rock provided easy climbing, with a minimum of loose rock and decent gear placements. We easily reached the top of the small tower and headed to other towers.
“I still want to climb the Titan, Tristan announced.