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Mike Weis surveys Squaretower before the first att...
From Granite Lake, scramble and climb to the large grassy ledge at the base of the upper wall. Getting to this ledge is harder than it looks. The first ascent party roped up for some of this approach.
The route climbs cracks and chimneys on the east side of the wall for several pitches, then crosses left across the middle of the wall to attain the base of the big corner on the left side of the face. Follow this corner to the top in a long pitch and traverse more or less horizontally right from under the big roof to the east edge of the wall. Climb the east edge to the summit and rap into the notch to finish the route.
The first ascent was completed in ten pitches. Some were short to take advantage of ledges and to avoid rope drag, especially in crossing right to left in the middle of the route. The last pitch or so, out on the east edge, were also short.
The crux is the long corner high on the left side of the face, capped by a huge roof. It involves several smaller roofs and a wide section. Some of the face climbing in the middle of the route doesn't offer alot of pro, but the rock is quite good.
There is a loose block a short ways up the second pitch, but there are choices of cracks here and other parties may select equally attractive alternatives to that of the first ascent team.
The route to date has not been repeated. Although the f.a. party felt it to be a very fine day, its quality remains to be verified by others.
The vast east face of Squaretop has a deep bay cut into its south end. On the south side of this bay the wall sweeps out in a huge fin, at the end of which is a detached tower called Squaretower. The route climbs the south face of the tower.
Once on HTIL Ledge, go down and right, past a conspicuous cave in the wall, and begin at a staight-in 5.8 crack. This start can be skipped by traversing in from the left on a 4tch class ledge that crosses above the cave.
It is easily viewed from Granite Lake, a good base for this and other routes, with good fishing and pleasant camping.
From the top of the tower a rappel is necessary to reach the notch between Squaretower and the main summit plateau. Two pitches out of the notch, with a little 5.7 to start the first of these pitches, gains the summit meadows. It's an easy descent to the south and east back to Granite Lake.
A standard rack of stoppers and cams to 4". Parties interested in climbing through the big roof blocking the upper corner might consider some bigger cams. There are no bolts or other fixed gear other than the rap anchor on top, which consists of slung blocks.
By Jason Funk
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 30, 2009
Nice route, yeah I noticed Squaretower looking down from the edge of the summit meadows and was wondering if any routes went up that part of the formation. How is the climbing on the upper pitches, is this the 5.10 section of the route?
Even with the steep trudge up from the Green River, it's hard to beat Granite Lake as a basecamp for climbing squaretop. Future visitors should try and tread lighly and use existing campsites around the Lake to minimize impact on this unique spot.
By Andrew Carson
From: Wilson, WY
Jan 3, 2010
The pitch leading to the big roof has some 10, probably the only section on the climb. There are a few 5.9 stretches -- I'd have to go find the topo to be more precise. Fairly sustained but also good ledges.