The next day while working on a wooden bridge, that connects the cliff dwellings to the native stone shelter, I mentioned the top of the tower. Checho's incredulous reaction soon turned into an understanding nod. The trail work stopped.
Without a word we headed around towards the back side of the tower. Fighting dense thickets of bamboo and bramble we searched for some sort of chink in the tower’s seemingly impenetrable armor.
Finally on the southeastern corner we found what looked like a possible route. It started with a sheer 80 foot wall, broken in the middle by a ledge large enough to comfortably stand on. It looked as if we could just make it past those first two pitches, we could probably bushwhack and boulder scramble the rest of the way up.
Scouring the area, Checho found a six inch diameter log stripped of limbs and bark. It looked long enough to reach the first ledge and light enough to move. We wrestled it up against the wall and shinnied up up to the first ledge. We then pulled the log up. Unfortunately when we placed it up against the second wall it was a few feet short necessitating a free climb of the final few feet.
I went first. Being tired made the final scramble much more difficult then it actually was but I made it up. All was going smoothly with Checho until he began to tire a few feet from the top. I knew something was wrong when he began muttering something in Spanish I couldn’t understand. Rather than giving up and sliding back down, I imagine the intrigue of reaching a place he had spent his whole life below was too great not to continue. He wildly lunged for the top grabbing it with one hand. I grabbed it and he began kicking wildly sending the log crashing down. Time paused for several minute like seconds. Finally I was able to inch and drag him to safety.
Checho bent over trying to catch his breath while I contemplated our predicament. The log was now laying uselessly on the shelf halfway down. It was small solace that it had stopped there. Shaken but with renewed resolve, Checho signaled that he was ready to continue. I nodded, at this point there was really no reason to worry about getting down.
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