Type: Trad, 230 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Hong and Budding 1979
Page Views: 4,061 total · 22/month
Shared By: Paul Heyliger on Nov 24, 2003
Admins: Peter Gram, Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg

You & This Route

27 Opinions

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Access Issue: June Voluntary Climbing Closure and Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


This route takes the typically combined Hong Variation to McCarthy West Face, and is yet another brilliant route that graces the West Face. Begin two cracks left of the start to the obvious El Matador, and pass two cruxes on the first pitch: a layback/finger crack over a roof (11b), and then just below the belay ledge is a slightly easier (11a/b) mantle/face problem. The stunning second pitch (11c) takes the much-photographed splitter on the right, starting with thin hands and then stemming out left and up the thinning crack to a final crank up and right (crux) to the top of the column. Bomber gear the whole way. A beautiful and extremely fine climb.


RP's, many small-large stoppers, and small-medium Friends


John Gunnels
Gillette, WY
John Gunnels   Gillette, WY
Awkward crux that totally BAFFLED me...

SPECTACULAR views... Apr 8, 2006
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
My comments are for p.1 only- haven't tried the 2nd pitch (McCarthy West Face route)...

A little different from most Tower pitches that I've climbed, this one features a stress-type fracture that runs up and down one particular column (as opposed to the typical crack here that actually separates the columns). Interesting and sustained climbing, but with a couple of good rests. A #1 and a couple of #0.75 camalots for the thin hand crack below the roof, with doubles of smaller cams and some stoppers for the rest of the pitch above that. Sep 7, 2006
I think you can do the crux at the top of pitch 2 two different ways. I have seen people exit the actual crack to the right just before the top as per the route description above. I stemmed the crack all the way to the top of the pillar. That felt about 5.12- to me. Jul 14, 2011

have only done the first pitch a few times. 3 cruxy spots - barn door roof sort of deal, then a short section that looks really easy but feels kind of tough, then blankish spot that you just kind of have to 'float' through. we always seem to run out of time before being able to try that spectacular looking 2nd pitch. need to get out of bed earlier. Sep 23, 2011
Lucas Barth
Yosemite, CA
Lucas Barth   Yosemite, CA
1st pitch is awesome and unique climbing for the tower, not too sustained. 2nd pitch is the original mccarthy west route I believe and is awesome as well. So splitter! Oct 4, 2016