New Route in the Fisher Towers

Paul Gagner leading the second pitch of Return of Mudzilla. Photo by Jeremy Asklaksen

Paul Gagner leading the second pitch of Return of Mudzilla. Photo by Jeremy Asklaksen

5/3/13 - Jeremy Aslaksen and Paul Gagner have completed their sixth new route in the Fisher Towers of Utah in three and a half years. The Return of Mudzilla (V A3, 5  pitches) climbs a line up the northwest face of the King Fisher, between Dead Again and Hazing, linking thin features connected by short bolt ladders to a "money crack system that shoots uninterrupted to the cap rock," Gagner said. The route required several trips to the Fishers for Aslaksen and Gagner, who live in Albuquerque and Boulder, respectively.

The two men had already done one new route on the King Fisher, Weird Science, on the opposite side of the tower, back in 2009. Over the next few years, they then climbed new routes on each of the five major Fisher Towers:  King Fisher, the Titan, Cottontail, Echo, and the Oracle.

The Return of Mudzilla

The Return of Mudzilla. The last pitch is just right of the final pitch of the classic Colorado Northeast Ridge. Photo courtesy of Paul Gagner

After the last route, Beak to the Future on the Oracle, "My wife sighed in relief, expecting me now to retire from Fisher Towers climbing," Gagner said. "However, during one of our trips for the Oracle climb, Jeremy and I had scouted another new route on the front face of the King Fisher. At the end of March I made a solo recon trip and carried a bunch of gear and water to the base." After two more trips to push the route up the wall, they summited on April 21.

"As with all of our routes, be prepared with 45 to 50 Peckers and Specters," Gagner said.

Date of ascent: April 21, 2013

Source: Paul Gagner