Peak Name: Seven Sailors

Peak Height: 4,860'

Location: Valley of the Gods, Utah

Route: Boracho Grande

Difficulty: 5.9

Round Trip Stats: 1.5 mi, 400 ft

Date Climbed: 11/20/2016

The Seven Sailors are the first formation one passes by when driving the Valley of the Gods loop road. This seven-summitted peak is very unique and the sailors piqued my curiosity at first sight. In his Desert Rock IV, Eric Bornstad refers to them as the Seven Drunken Sailors; unfortunately the USGS map doesn't support this colorful descriptor.

Despite their allure, tales of death defying jumps required to top out on the sailors kept me away from these guys for a long time. I hate jumping. But thanks to my dwindling list of unclimbed VOG summits, Dom was able to convince me to finally give them a try.

The outing turned out to be surprisingly casual by VOG standards. A single loose free pitch yields access to all of the sailors. Reaching the tallest sailor is done by first stemming between it and its slightly shorter neighbor to gain the neighbor, then jumping over the gap to the higher. The jump is heady with a tricky landing. If you blow it here you'll fall about 10 feet back down between the sailors onto flat, solid ground. Painful but most likely survivable. Instead of reversing the jump and stem on the descent it is possible to canyoneer down a tight chimney. You could also climb up this way, but it'd be quite strenuous and at least 5.9 I think. Its trivial to fix a line on the tallest sailor with large hand size cams. I had the luxury of jugging and rapping. No jumping! Thanks Dom.

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