Peak Name: De Gaulle and His Troops aka "North Tower"

Peak Height: 5540'

Location: Valley of the Gods, Utah

Trailhead: VOG loop road

Route: Serendipity

Difficulty: 5.11 C1

Round Trip Stats: 2 mi, 700 ft

Date Climbed: 10/19/2016

Peculiarly named De Gaulle and His Troops is one of the more dramatic looking towers along the Valley of the Gods loop road. Perhaps this is the reason it was THE first formation to be climbed here. In typical VOG fashion, this formation has an alternate name that might even be more widely recognized: "North Tower" (likley because it's the northernmost major tower in the Valley). I'd be surprised if most climbers are even aware of the official USGS name for this peak; it's simply North Tower to them. Maybe someday I will find an explanation as to how this double naming scheme came about.

Eric Bjornstad & Ron Wiggle made the first ascent of North Tower in 1974, establishing a 5.7 A3 route on the northeast side which they coined Serendipity. In 1982 the route saw a free ascent, and although Bjornstad gives it a 5.10a rating in his Desert Rock IV, consensus seems to be 5.11. Derek and I climbed the route at something like 5.7 C1 (no rock shoes needed).

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