Peak Name: Franklin Butte aka "Sitting Hen"

Peak Height: 5,179'

Location: Valley of the Gods, Utah

Route: Mr. Stubbs

Difficulty: 5.9 C0

Round Trip Stats: 2 mi, 400 ft

Date Climbed: 11/20/2016

Like many of the formations in Valley of the Gods, this peak goes by at least two different monikers. Its official name on the USGS map is Franklin Butte. However, Bjornstad's Desert Rock IV refers to it as "Sitting Hen". To add to the confusion, Bjornstad has mistakenly shifted the USGS name Franklin Butte to a neighboring formation to the west that is really named Battleship Rock. But wait, that's not the end of it! Another tower in the vicinity is named Setting Hen Butte on the map. Whether Bjornstad also mistakenly shifted that name to this butte, at the same time screwing up the spelling (its actually Setting Hen on the map and he calls this Sitting Hen), is unclear. Or was Bjornstad not to blame at all and simply quoting names from some older map? Head spinning yet? Personally I like the name Sitting Hen for this one.

I first climbed Franklin Butte with Derek on our initial trip to Valley of the Gods in 2014 and we both found it to have a lot of charm. Two pitches get you to the top. The first is a wide 5.9 crack in a corner made from some of the best rock the valley has to offer. The second is a short bolt ladder with a few heady free moves (no harder than 5.8) at the topout. In the two years between my ascents someone added beefy rivet hangers and washers to the original stubs, a nice improvement! Now you don't have to entertain the prospect of decking if one of your hangers slips off. A double rope rap gets you down.

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