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Routes in Wigwam Tower

Lady Liberty T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

Description

Wigwam Tower is a massive fang of rock that pierces the sky far above the dark forests of Lost Creek Wilderness area. Climbing this tower provides a wild adventure in a beautiful setting that you will not soon forget. Located 6.5 miles from the nearest trail head and a long bushwack from the trail, Wigwam Tower is remote and the routes are serious business. Most parties will want to camp near the base. Routes up the Tower follow seldom climbed crack systems that will throw all sorts of challenges your way from offwidthing to swimming through bushes. Don't let this diswade you, there is excellent climbing to be found on most of the six routes that scale the tower and the summit is a very worthy goal. There is a free standing pillar called the Cap Rock Spire directly in front of the Tower which offers a wild aid route up to it's tiny teetering summit. Depending on the year, the trail is generally passable by late April and most routes face South East. The only descent from the summit is via rappel. There is a set of rusty button head bolts that I would not suggest using. My party chose to rap into the gully between Keystone Buttress and Wigwam Tower in one 185" rappel from our own gear, this involved some airy down climbing from the summit for about 15' and a spooky jump across a gap. You can scramble down the gully between Keystone Buttress and Wigwam Tower without much difficulty after rappeling. Plan on replacing all webbing on fixed anchors if you choose to use them. You will not regret a trip into Wigwam Tower if you enjoy South Platte climbing in a wilderness setting, the views of Pike's Peak and Lost Creek are worth the hike alone. Enjoy!

Getting There

If you own Peter Hubbel's book on the South Platte you might as well leave it in your pack until you reach the base of the rock. He has Wigwam Tower and Keystone Buttress incorrectly drawn in on his map and his description is very misleading. They are both on the South side of Wigwam creek, not the North as he suggests. Start at the Wigwam Creek trail head and hike the Wigwam trail West along Wigwam Creek. Pass Wigwam Dome at 2 miles and continue on for about 2.5 more miles to a junction with the Goose Creek trail in an open meadow. Look South and you can see the tower and the obvious free standing cap rock spire in front of it. Turn left (South) on Goose Creek trail and cross Wigwam Creek. There is good camping on the South side of Wigwam creek before the trail starts to climb. Continue uphill on the Goose Creek trail towards Refrigerator Gultch following a small creek through a thick pine forest for another 2 miles. You will reach another open meadow before the trail starts to descend and the tower will be very obvious on your right. Bushwack up the steep hill through thick ground fall heading for the cap rock spire and arrive at the base after about 1/4 of a mile.

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Brian Milhaupt
Golden, CO
Brian Milhaupt   Golden, CO
Yeah remember we discussed who was the lightest and had to rappel without the cam to back it up. Jul 26, 2009
That's probably the hex I left in 2002.... May 31, 2009
craigw
Golden, CO
craigw   Golden, CO
As of 10/07, there is still a fixed hex to rappel of the back side. We backed it up with a stopper and added some webbing. One rap with 2 ropes. It took us a little over two hours for the approach. Oct 14, 2007

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