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The Tower
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Standard Route T 

Standard Route 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c R

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Bill Forrest
Page Views: 1,054
Submitted By: Stu Ritchie on Mar 27, 2009

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The unprotected, technical crux of the first pitch...

PLACING BOLTS IS ILLEGAL IN THE SUPERSTITION WILDERNESS! MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is an "old-school" serious route. The first pitch climbs 25-30 feet of overhanging, unprotected rock to the first gear placement, and ends in a saddle about 40 feet higher at an old 2-bolt belay. The second pitch climbs an arete similar to that on the Razors' Edge for about 60 feet to a large block. From here, one can either move right into a loose gully and to the top, 40 feet 5.6, or swing left out onto a headwall and climb poorly protected 5.8 face to the top. A fixed rap anchor is found on the West side of the summit. One double/rope rappel gets you back down.

Location 

The route is found around the back-left side of the Tower as viewed from the saddle between the Tower and the Hand.

Protection 

The protection on this route is vary sparse! It is possible to place a few wires and medium cams on the second pitch. The first pitch is a virtual solo until the difficulty eases!


Photos of Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
Jared doin a little shout out to his SLC Crew! YO! West Side! Check it! YEH!
Jared doin a little shout out to his SLC Crew! YO!...
scott starting the Tower
scott starting the Tower
Checking out the Valley View at the true Summit of the Phallus aka The Tower
Checking out the Valley View at the true Summit of...
Just off the ground, and passing the only piece I could get in for the first 25 feet!
Just off the ground, and passing the only piece I ...
Jeff leading the second pitch. At this point, you either move right into the rotten gully, or out left onto the headwall.
BETA PHOTO: Jeff leading the second pitch. At this point, you ...
Photo Taken from the belay stance at the start of the 2nd pitch.   <br /> <br />This pitch is interesting because it pretty runout in sections, with 10-20 feet between bolts in some places.  Most of the bolts are shiny and new, so you should be able to feel confident on the run outs.  The first bolt was left original in all of it’s rusty glory to keep the ascetic of the 1970′s era route.  When you get past the 5th bolt, you can choose: <br /> <br />The popular way and head right into the gully.  There is a crux move from the 5th bolt into the gully, with a garbage piton at the base of the gully that is there to make you feel good, I’d avoid falling on it at all costs. <br /> <br />The less popular and more dangerous left handed face.  This face is protected with one piton at the base of the saddle, yet again another relic of the 1970′s era route.  There are two pretty cruxy sections on this face, one right above the piton and another about 10-15 feet higher then the piton.  There isn’t much in the way of protecting this face except for a couple places for micro-stoppers on the far left hand side of the arrete.  If you’re not a fan of highballing…. go through the gully. <br /> <br />The top of the spire has two great belay / rap bolts with a few lengths of chain.  You want to double line rappel this back to the middle belay ledge to be safe.  It is possible to rap off the left hand side of the spire and hit the ground using two 70m ropes, but make sure you put some knotts in the ends of the ropes to be safe.  (Pulling the rope from these chains is TOUGH… a lot of the time it feels like your just pulling on the dynamic reaction of the rope. Just keep yanking and it will fall.)
BETA PHOTO: Photo Taken from the belay stance at the start of ...
Half way up the summit pitch
Half way up the summit pitch
Jeff leads up the final headwall!
Jeff leads up the final headwall!
You never know what you might find...a Bandito bolt hanger on the summit anchor of the Tower!
You never know what you might find...a Bandito bol...
2nd Pitch Belay Stance.... <br /> <br />Gets a bit crowded with three people up there. <br /> <br />The bolts are new but the chains are pretty rusty.  They are just fine though.
BETA PHOTO: 2nd Pitch Belay Stance....

Gets a bit crowded wit...
A slung horn Scott's first peace of pro
A slung horn Scott's first peace of pro
Moving over to the 1st stance.
Moving over to the 1st stance.
nearing the anchors
nearing the anchors
Nearing the summit chains on the left block
Nearing the summit chains on the left block
Headed to the gully with not much in way of protection
Headed to the gully with not much in way of protec...
The 2nd pitch belay ledge, with only the last 10 feet of class 4 scrambling visible.  Right below this is a gully and the last piece of pro is about 15' down in a smaller pocket (I was able to get a .5 BD C4 in there).
The 2nd pitch belay ledge, with only the last 10 f...
View of "The Hand" from the 2nd pitch belay ledge on "The Tower - Standard Route".
View of "The Hand" from the 2nd pitch belay ledge ...
Panorama of the view from the 2nd belay stance.  The Hand Spire is visible in the middle.
Panorama of the view from the 2nd belay stance. T...
Previously uploaded image with the beta crap all over it.
Previously uploaded image with the beta crap all o...
Stu Ritchie glad to be at the belay of pitch 1!
Stu Ritchie glad to be at the belay of pitch 1!
Belaying from the top using an ATC guide.
Belaying from the top using an ATC guide.
J DOG Chillaxin at the top of the 1st Pitch of the Phallus AKA The Tower.
J DOG Chillaxin at the top of the 1st Pitch of the...
Nate and Baur nearing the summit.
Nate and Baur nearing the summit.

Comments on Standard Route Add Comment
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By Mike Diesen
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Oct 12, 2009

Not as serious as the guide book suggests. Climb about 8 feet off the ground and there is a bomber tri-cam placement. About 5 feet further and place a bomber nut in a crack. After the ledge follow a nice crack that takes lots of pro to the top of the first belay. The second pitch felt a lot more serious and run out on old bolts and a few pieces. If you find a placement do not pass it up on this route. The rapel is probably closer to 175 feet I would suggest 2 60s not 50s. We thought a 70 would be enough and I ended up lowering my partner off to run back to the car for the other rope while I waited on the summit. Very fun and scary adventure. We combined it with the Razors Edge for a full scare-fest day. Perfect for October.
By bio
From: mesa, az
Dec 21, 2010

I went out and did this line today, expecting the rusty mank but pleasantly discovered that all three bolts and both anchors had been replaced. It's still plenty scary and runout. We had a 70m and did 2 raps down the route.
By ldsclimber
From: Queen Creek AZ
Dec 21, 2010

After 8 or so years I had had enougBold Texth time to forget how scary the Tower was so I went back for another old school lesson in terror climbing. Pitch one was exactly as I remembered, run out. A couple of good pieces up high would prevent a decking fall. A BD .4 works well in an obvious pocket 15' off the deck followed by a micro nut slotted in to a tiny crack just another 5' further, it may or may not blow in the case of a fall. The rest of the pitch was protected with marginal gear at best on thought provoking terrain. However once you get to the top of that pitch or the second saddle, as well as the old rusted Leeper anchors were 2 3/8" confidence building rap chains. It was a bitter sweet, as it was the end of the bold 5.8+ R/X route.

Looking up the second pitch you could see another new bolt 20' up. It was next to the old second bolt off the belay. After clipping that and climbing on the arete for aprox 30' there was another new bolt, again near the old bolt. There was also one bolt where there used to be an old rusted piton and a button head that you needed to put a slider nut on. It more or less protects the traverse right into the chute. The old pin that is on top of the horn is still there so going out left is still a bit of spicy undertaking. The old rapp station that took you off the back side is not there but there are chains now so that you rap the route. (2) 60m ropes should get you all the way to the ground right near your packs I think...;) or (1) 70m will get you to the top of the first pitch. To be safe just go to the second rap station. All in all the new bolts are an added comfort and safety. The falls are still BIG and probably not very nice if you come off, so I recommend you don't fall. Now its not a solo and you won't rip your partner off their belay if you fall. You'll need a standard rack and lots of slings to help with rope drag.

IMHO this is a 5 star Superstition route!!! Every bit as cool as the hand, just harder and way more heady:)
By Nate Young
From: Phoenix
Jan 2, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X

Can anyone say if the belay stations are protected with bolts or are these self placed gear anchors?

Edit: Just ran up this route. All belay stations are new bolts with chains.