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Jo Whitford on The Thief. Photo by John Bachar.
This climb has an ugly beginning and end but a stellar middle.
Pitch 1 A short approach pitch the guide book lists as 4th but is harder than that. Ugly and loose.
Pitch 2 A hollow sounding flake to start, then sustained good rock. Next are a couple of offwidth pods with a crack in the back. Sustained. Get one rest right before the crux. An optional intermediate belay to an ugly finish with more loose flakes.
Appr. 1/2 hour approach from Bridalveil Falls Parking area. If you have Reids guide note the photo of the Watchtower. To the left of Leaning Tower.
Rappel the route.
Standard rack. Extra 1/2 to 2". Bring at least one #3 camalot size, maybe two.
Looking down from the chains. Photo by edavidso.
From: San Jose
Aug 7, 2012
the best way to approach the Thief is to follow Leaning Tower approach trail from Bridaveil parking lot. As soon as you approach via talus the base of the wall, skirt the base down to Watchtower (Leaning Tower approach continue up).
We found that it is easier to approach Thief from right side of Watchtower [ book show 4th class aproch from left]. You climb class 4, easy 5 ( next time I will rope up for this) basically to the base of Megaforce and than do one short rappel down to the base of The Thief.
For average and smaller hangs crux on the Thief can be at the very beginning of the climb when reaching main crack system from the base. At the top of p1 new shiny bolts now, and second pitch can be avoided. The route itself is so good- that it is OK just to go there for this one pitch, since not much good climbing around.