Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Sheep Creek
Select Route:
Tower Rock, NE Face (Brittle Power) T 

Tower Rock, NE Face (Brittle Power) 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a A1 PG13

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a A1 [details]
FA: James Garrett and Cameron Burns, 21 June 2008
New Route: Yes
Season: When weather permits
Page Views: 1,596
Submitted By: James Garrett on Jun 22, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (1)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
James rapping off.

Description 

This is the largest free standing desert tower in Sheep Creek and the Flaming Gorge area. Extensive recon and research into the climbing history on this tower proved useless, as obscure drilled sandstone threaded anchors were discovered only after arriving on the top!!

"Just saw your post on MP. That's a cool line you picked. The line we did was all free (~5.10R) and approached via the gully on the backside. I think 5 short pitches due to rope drag (lots of drag when the rope is slicing through every bulge). Good ledges, sketchy gear, some wild passages. The fixed gear is a mix of drilled army rings and v-threads all drilled free on the lead. I though we left a register on top but maybe it blew off. We gave our line a typically vulgar name, certainly something to do with sheep, but I can't remember what it is. Maybe Hank knows, he's less senile than me."

A Note we received from the legendary Verm himself after our climb....John Sherman writing about the FA with Hank Jones

Paul Tusting deserves the credit for showing us this one and he brilliantly led the first pitch during the first attempt in May 2008.
We left a summit register on top. I would suspect that this tower, for many reasons which will soon become apparent, could become quite a bit more popular than the San Rafael Swell's Lightbulb??

Pitch #1: A mixed pitch of free and aid climbing up the black and brittle steep slab of rock that leads to the NE shoulder and a two-bolt belay ledge. 5.9++, A1+, 45m.

Pitch #2: The way is obvious up the steep, mostly blank overhanging NE headwall, nailing where you can to a great ledge and two-bolt bomber belay (reassuring for the second!!!!). A1+, 55m.

Pitch #3: Scramble up the ridge past a rusted, fixed drilled ring angle (placed by Sherman's FA party....strong work, btw) to a unique and elaborate sandstone thread anchor and a beautiful desert tower summit. 5.7, 20m.

Location 

Park beneath it on the paved road about 50m down canyon from a road sign that says, " Tower Rock Viewpoint" with a camera on it. Wade across the creek and ascend a steep narrow gully on the north side about 10 minutes to a ramp /ledge system that traverses right... towards a shelf system that takes the climber to the base of the NE shoulder.

Rappel the route.

Protection 

All drilled holes left filled. QDs, many carabiners, slings, beaks, Camalots to #4, Toucans, KBs, long big Z-pitons, misc. piton assortment.


Photos of Tower Rock, NE Face (Brittle Power) Slideshow Add Photo
"James, he's a RINO." <br /> <br />("Republican In Name Only.")
"James, he's a RINO."

("Republican In Name Only."...
The Black Brittle slab down low coming out of the trees to the NE headwall.
The Black Brittle slab down low coming out of the ...
Making friends in the campground. ("Vote for Obamba").
Making friends in the campground. ("Vote for Obamb...
Line topo of Brittle Power
Line topo of Brittle Power
Tower Rock from the road with the route on the left skyline.
Tower Rock from the road with the route on the lef...
James on pitch 2.
James on pitch 2.
James G. signing the summit register he brought up for the climb.
James G. signing the summit register he brought up...
Tower Rock from the road.
Tower Rock from the road.
V-thread anchors on the summit.
V-thread anchors on the summit.
Tower Rock from another perspective
Tower Rock from another perspective

Comments on Tower Rock, NE Face (Brittle Power) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Paul Tusting
Jul 1, 2008

Way to finish it up James, particularly in the heat. Also, kudos to The Verm and Hank as I did a ton of recon to scope for signs of previous ascents. That fact that they did it all free and minimized signs of passage is pretty bad ass. I think that rock is straight up sketchy.

While leading the first pitch of Brittle Power, I popped a 1/2" removable bolt high-steppin’ and the 1/2" X 3” bolt that held the fall almost pulled (I could peer into the hole and removed it with a nut tool). I replaced both these with new bolts, so there are two open holes on the first pitch (I think there are about 5-6 bolts on the first pitch).

Also, the exposure at the notch is a surprising Mind F*ck. Going from a protected slab to a windy notch and a very steep pitch on a 500’ tower is dramatic.

If you go visit this place, please watch the erosion in the approach gully. I could see my footprints from a recon last fall, when James and I went up this summer. For photos from our first attempt and another (little) tower near by, check out:
facebook.com/album.php?aid=200...
By Stephanie Newsom
Dec 12, 2013

The V-thread at the top was left by Albert Harris most likely. A few WY climbers have been in and around the Flaming Gorge and Sheep Creek areas for some years.
By Ben Folsom
Dec 13, 2013

The V-thread was placed by John Sherman and Hank Jones in 2008.
By Stephanie Newsom
Dec 19, 2013

Oh I didn't realize that it was that recent (2008) of a placement. Thanks