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a Climbers taking in the views from the summit of Moses after an early ascent of the tower. Ed Webster collection/AAC Library


In truth, the desert was, and still is, a vast place. In the late 1960s, there were still canyons and areas unseen by Anglo eyes. Lin Ottinger, a Moab-based tour guide, led Eric Bjornstad and Fred Beckey to a majestic, enormous tower, made from best-quality Wingate Sandstone: Moses. It took three visits over two years, for Bjornstad and Beckey to reach the summit in 1972 in an ascent that required scores of pitons. This was one of the last of the truly great desert towers to be ascended. It proved to be one of the very best.