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Andrea Gordon on Bubo. Photo by Todd Gordon
Get to the North Face of Bubo Tower from Balanced Rock as described on the "Rock Page." There is one feature on this face... a yawning chimney that splits it.
Climb up a soft slab for perhaps 10-20 feet, I don't recall exactly how high... and enter the chimney.
I slowly picked my way up this, first more or less squeezing, then with my back on one side and feet on the other, then finally in a near-splits, which was slow-going. Much to my surprise, my partner followed at great speed as he got to the top- with hands on one side and feet on the other- walking up that way. Of course, placing gear like this would be no fun.
The route was originally 3 pitches. Given the little amount of gear and shortness of the climb, doing it in a single pitch as we did seemed much better.
Rap from anchors on the top via 2 ropes (50M will do). A single 70M might get you down. The condition of the webbing on the anchors up top is unknown. It was total crap when I did the climb and I replaced them, but that has been 7 years of desert sun and wind atop a tower.
As always when doing towers, take some new red/brown webbing just in case.
Not much for pro. You can get a few large cams here and there, and a few smaller pieces in cracks in the side walls. The best plan is to take a light rack + a few big pieces and plan on running it out a little.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Mar 18, 2003
This area is off limits right now for anyone who is wishing to lead it.
|By Sam Lightner, Jr.|
Oct 14, 2006
I believe it is closed seasonally for the cliff chickens. I don't think it is closed all the time (I hope not, or "oops").
The recent rains have really softened up the Entrada, and this chimney was obviously running with water. I would call it 5.8 X. There is no gear at the top and you are facing a very long fall into a chimney. There is no way to get in gear up there, unless you own a #14 Friend, and you have to do some smearing on the entrada. I'm 5'10" and was in a wide stem. My girlfriend is 5.4 and could not stem wide enough... if you are much shorter than me this is gonna be 5.9X.
I got in a couple of mid size pieces on the first pitch and at the start of the second pitch, but other than that there wasn't much gear.
|By Ben Kiessel|
Oct 31, 2006
I climbed this a few years ago, and would agree with the comment about the bad fall at the top of the chimney. If you fell at the top, it seemed to me that you would deck on the chimney floor below you. Although the rock is soft and sandy, the climbing is not overly hard.
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 25, 2007
I did this climb with my wife (to be) in March of 1999 and we were surprised at just how hard and scary 5.7 in Arches can be. It's not a horror show, but it was a bit tricky and "head's up" for the 5.7 rating. We liked it!
Oct 14, 2009
rating: 5.8 R
I did not consider the chimney exit too bad. I considered the 1st pitch more scary as the rock quality was suboptimum, the climbing somehow delicate technical and not clear, and hardly any pro.
I had only one 60m rope, so I abseiled inside the chimney to the beginning of the chimney where some abseil slings were to further get down.
|By Dougald MacDonald|
Nov 11, 2009
rating: 5.7+ R
My partner and I both thought this route was much better than these comments would suggest. (But he was English, so his opinion is suspect.) It goes in one long pitch with careful rope management. The first part is better than it looks, and the lower chimney is very cool; all of this is reasonably protected. The upper chimney is poorly protected, but you could place a 4.5 or 5 Camalot, off to the left, about 8 feet below the exit moves. It wouldn't prevent a nasty fall from the exit moves, but you wouldn't hit the chimney floor. A 70-meter rope just gets you to the ground in one rappel.
Nov 12, 2010
rating: 5.7 R
Climbed this today - actually not that bad of a route. You can protect the upper chimney with an old #5 camalot. I placed a blue TCU in a small horizontal for the exit moves, but it wasn't the best placement. I thought the crux was actually the loose stuff lower down, but I am 6'2", so the upper exit was easier for me. The anchor up top is two drilled angles. We did have to replace the tat up there. The right rack for this route would be a few small TCU's and a single set of camalots .5 - 6. Doing it in one pitch with a 70m is the way to go. I would give this a 5.7R rating; 'R' because of the topout.