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As the only free option on the Watchtower, the Timex Route is undoubtedly the most popular choice. That being said, this route is no give me for a 5.9 leader. The crux pitch is insecure and the protection isn’t always bomber. It’s also worth noting that there is vegetation on nearly every pitch of this route.
On the other hand this is an awesome alpine adventure route within two easy miles of the car. It climbs the best looking face in a beautiful alpine cirque and offers some extraordinary views of Tokopah Falls.
The best route beta is the overlay photo which I marked the day after we did the climb. The route can be broken up several different ways. Here’s what we did with 60 meter ropes and a tiny bit of easy simu-climbing on pitch one.
Pitch one – Start 20 feet right of the biggest tree. Climb up and right past a short bit of harder climbing and continue up and right for an entire rope length ending on a small ledge.
Pitch two – Continue up and right until near the top of the giant, triangular crack system. About 20 feet from the actual apex cut up and left via a series of shallow dihedrals. This is the crux and it feels somewhat insecure in places. Climb until out of rope.
Pitch three – Make a few moves up and left to reach a crack that cuts back right up and across the face above. Hand traverse out this crack and continue up and right until the climbing above you looks like 5.10. You’re standing on some broken ledges here. Traverse right and slightly downward at one point to another crack system 20 feet away. Climb this crack a short distance until you run out of rope. Watch for rope drag here.
Pitch four – Climb past a couple bushes and a layback and chart a course aiming for the right side of the giant, light colored pillar that is looming above. Look for a good belay when you are near the end of your rope.
Pitch five – Climb over a small 5.9 roof with good gear and continue to a large, loose ledge area and build a belay. This pitch is not a full rope length.
Pitch six – Climb up and left via several cracks to a ledge. From the ledge, make a few harder moves and then run out the rope heading up at first and then up and right. Belay on a large flat ledge with a gash on the back side.
Pitch seven – Down climb into the gash and out the other side to easy scrambling. We ran the rope out on this pitch going up and right and belaying at the top of the large notch.
From here an easy scramble to the west will put you on the Pear Lake trail which you can follow to Wolverton and then back to Lodgepole in a little over three miles.
See photo overlay.
A double set of cams from black alien to #3 Camalot. One #4 Camalot (C4). One set of nuts.
The Timex Route.
Jason on the second pitch.
Exiting the gash on pitch seven.
BETA PHOTO: Routes