Death of the leaning tower of pitons
Photo obtained from: The Missoulian
Well, Billings has done it again. It started in the early 2000's when Billings allowed the rich to destroy the Carter's boulder so they could build a McMansion directly under the rims. The homeowners failed to have the insight to see how this boulder arrived where they wanted to build their precious house. A month ago the rims let loose some natural rockfall (the source of the boulders we love to climb on).
Video of the rockfall
This act of nature scared the Billings collective conscious to such a level that Billings hired a 3rd party to knock over anything that looks like it could topple over. Unfortunately this included the Leaning Tower of Pitons (Monkey face), and the Santa Clause tower (which I thankfully got the chance to climb on last month). The two classic desert tower routes in Billings are no more... Personally I will miss the Monkey face tower a lot. But on a happier note I have found two areas that are chock full of sandstone towers within an hours drive of Billings/Red Lodge. This is my Ode to the Towers.
The great irony is that the local news paper, Billings Gazette, recently ran an article titled (click to read) "Our marker of our place': Rimrocks linked to Billings' identity from the start". In canyonlands towers like this are respected as a finite resource. If Billings cared for the safety of its population it would reduce the fast food chains and the petrochemical industry prevalent in the city, but that's a different and long conversation.
Leaning tower of pitons
Olin and Bridget on the Leaning tower or pitons
Santa Rock - also destroyed