Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

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Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby Ryan Marsters » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:49 pm

https://listsofjohn.com/peak/6538

I think it is ranked. We measured it conservatively by rappel/rope length at about 310 ft from summit to (narrow and thin slot) saddle with Dirty Old Man. Realistically somewhere between 310-320 ft. I'd recommend a disto or something for the next person up there. Aka Furthermore.
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Re: Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby John Kirk » Mon Dec 18, 2017 3:36 pm

Maybe you've already taken this into account, but... How much horizontal distance does the rappel cover (what's the vertical leg height after pythagorean calc)? If 158' horizontal as depicted on the map is accurate, then 265 is also more/less accurate for a saddle to summit hypotenuse of 310'. 158^2+x^2=310^2; x= 266.5
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Re: Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby Ryan Marsters » Tue Dec 19, 2017 2:02 pm

Taken into account thanks. The rappels require horizontal ledge traversing after roughly straight drops, so it's pretty easy to remove those from consideration.

I think the 265' was a visual/aerial stereo approximation from the summit to what appears to be the saddle from below. In reality, the saddle is quite a bit lower due to a fissure. From the other side, it is roughly here:

Monument_Canyon_Trail_IMG_2176.jpg


Naturally, I don't see anyone surveying this or getting a decent GPS read at the saddle, but a disto or such might help.
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Re: Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby John Kirk » Tue Dec 19, 2017 3:49 pm

Saddle elevation before was a guess (interpolation) since the intermediate contour lines are void at the saddle. Your point seems legit as far as the fissure and being at the base of these two contours, so it's been promoted. Guess that makes this the hardest known ranked CO peak. Seems to have a reputation for run-outs and committing moves.
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Re: Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby Tom Pierce » Wed Dec 20, 2017 2:51 pm

I can't say I'm surprised, I've long suspected that there were such "hidden ranked" 5th class towers, i.e. towers not on the ranked 5th class list but which on further inspection meet all of the criteria to be on the list. I've seen a few suspects in various desert canyons over the years but haven't bothered to see if they have a closed contour, 300+ feet of prominence, etc.

But that one, ugh...It's not so much the difficulty to climb (although in my current state it'd be a struggle as a free climb), it's the rock climb vs. adventure climb that's disappointing. No adventure in figuring out the route or access, a purely athletic endeavor. Again, ugh...thought I was done with that. Oh well, time to hit the gym... :roll:

BTW, congrats on your ascent, Ryan!

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Re: Kissing Couple, CO National Monument

Postby Ryan Marsters » Thu Dec 21, 2017 11:56 am

Thanks John - the runout spots weren't bad actually. The first one (P2) is quite secure and a fall would be more of a slow skitter with no real consequence. The second (P4) runout is wildy exposed and cool but realistically only 5.6. Much of it could be aided and I had to aid the crux itself. The intermediate sandy feet are gone but my taller partner was able to use lower decent feet.

Tom - I haven't done too many towers, but this was probably my favorite despite lack of adventure. Certainly unique. I guess like Ancient Art - the climbing position is far more memorable than the moves themselves. Bonus for no conga lines. I agree desert country likely has all sorts of hidden ranked summits based on the 300 ft criteria.
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