Castle Butte, or "Eagle Plume Tower" as its known to climbers, likely sees more ascents than any of the other formation in the Valley of the Gods. Viewed end on from the east or west the peak looks like a tall and narrow column, but its north and south faces are considerably broader. The most popular route climbs the steep south face in four to five pitches and requires a significant amount of 5.10 free climbing, most of which is a variety of crack ranging from fingers to offwidth.

View of De Gaulle and His Troops aka "North Tower" & "Arrowhead Spire" from the trailhead.

"North Tower" is on the right. The illuminated rock on the left is just an extension of the mesa top behind it.

"Tom-Tom Tower" is directly northwest of Castle Butte.

Parked on the north side of Eagle Plume Tower.

Traversing south facing slopes to the start of the route.

The climb starts near the center of the south face.

Graffiti on the southeast corner of the tower.

View east from the base of the climb.

The first pitch is a chossy wide crack system.

The tower sits on one of the crumbly bedding seams characteristic of the area.

Huh? This loose pitch is called 5.8 but it seemed nontrivial and awkward.

Working past a funky overhang.

Derek on the comfy and spacious belay ledge atop the first pitch.

Ready to start the second pitch.

Looking up the route from the base of the second pitch.

Derek tackling the route's crux, a short, thin 5.10 finger crack.

Derek at the second belay.

The start of our third pitch. Some parties apparently combine this with the previous one.

Looking up the third pitch.

The top of the third pitch.

Looking up the fourth pitch, also 5.10.

The Putterman Residence (left), The Hand of Puttima (center), Putterman in a Bathtub & Putterman on the Throne (right).

At the belay above the fourth pitch.

The final pitch is an aesthetic 5.9+ crack in a clean corner.

Looking east toward Battleship Rock from the base of the final pitch.

Derek at the belay atop the final pitch.

Climbing onto the summit plateau.

View toward Cedar Mesa to the west.

View east from the tippy top.

Derek on the summit.

View down to our vehicles on the north side.

The narrow summit plateau.

To descend we did one double rope rappel down the south face followed by two single rope rapels.

Final rappel down the first pitch.

Hiking back to the cars.

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