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Routes in Foolproof Tower

Animal Magnetism T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Buford's House of Liver S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
High Strung T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Rice Cake Roof T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Type: Trad, 80 ft
FA: Herb Laeger and Rich Smith, March 1977
Page Views: 6,497 total · 40/month
Shared By: C Miller on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: C Miller, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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102 Opinions

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This climb takes the striking crack on the left side of the formation's east face and is a definite must do for the grade.

The start is a somewhat bouldery move into a thin crack that slowly widens throughout the length of the climb. Those not well-versed in wider cracks may desire something larger than suggested to protect the upper section. The climb ends on a nice ledge with anchors which give quick and easy access back to your packs.

Continuous and varied, this splitter is one that should be on your list of climbs to do at this grade - you won't be dissapointed.


pro to 4", bolted anchor/rap
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
There are two cruxes, the bottom, and then again passing the line where the flake on the right "squeezes" the crack line. The wide moves up top are #3.5 to #4 camalot, but are probably only 5.7 and get progressively easier to the top, as the angle kicks back. Nice fun 5.9. Jan 13, 2004
The Gray Tradster  
This one is located conviniently as a warm-up/down for the Astrodome routes. Crux thin move at the bottom. Jan 14, 2004
Crotch Robbins  
This is a fantastic 5.9, maybe as good as Room To Shroom, but not as classic as Pope's or Touch And Go. Mar 22, 2005
The rappel is 100 feet. A single 60 meter rope is needed. The ow at the top is only 5.7 or so. May 5, 2005
Darshan Ahluwalia
Petaluma, CA
Darshan Ahluwalia   Petaluma, CA
a big red (number 5) friend protects the top well, while small nuts (or aliens) protect the start; bring lots hands and fist-sized cams for the middle section. Feb 26, 2007
Will S
Joshua Tree
Will S   Joshua Tree
We climbed a variation to the start of this route on 11/27. If you find yourself without small enough cams on the rack to pro the normal start (~ blue tcu), this works as a protecable alternative and is roughly the same difficulty.

From the regular start, move right/down into the chimney and then up to an obvious belay perch at the base of a left leaning fist crack flake with a splitter finger crack on the main face just to the left. Up these cracks 10' or so to the ledge, walk left across the big ledge and join the rest of High Strung. While you skip the crux of High Strung, the climbing isn't really any easier. Dec 1, 2009
Bowie Pearson
Portland, OR
Bowie Pearson   Portland, OR
I can't believe this doesn't get more stars...In my opinion this is one of the best 5.9's in the park (better than Touch and Go and Pope's Crack, if you ask me!). Tips, to fingers, to off-fingers, thin hands, hands, fists, off-width. Perfect smooth granite splitter!! Apr 4, 2011
Simon H
Oakland, CA
Simon H   Oakland, CA
Climbed this the other day, and it is stellar. The crack is as splitter as O'Kelleys, and has everything from tips to fist-stacks. The approach (which is actually pretty mellow) and lack of "classic" status in the guidebooks keeps away the crowds.

The route receives afternoon shade and morning sun

Ideally, you'd bring 1 #4 and 1 #5 camalot. We did it with 2 4's, (setting one and walking the other), and the last place the upper four fit was about 12' before the topout . I wouldn't want to climb it with anything less. For the bottom crux section, I was happy to have a Green 0 C3. Apr 17, 2011
Colin Schour
Big Bear Lake, CA
Colin Schour   Big Bear Lake, CA
BEAUTIFUL crack. Mar 12, 2012
AWESOME climb! You can protect the bouldery start with some smaller wires (I think BD #5-7), and it is beautiful the whole rest of the way. Walked a #4 up the OW, would have been happier with a #5, but the OW is very easy (5.6-7). Beautiful line, go do it! Nov 22, 2012
El Segundo, Ca
Mtnfly   El Segundo, Ca
Definitely solid Josh 5.9. Tricky start as fingers are thin at start, but there is one good finger lock.....then reached to the next one in order to get feet on crack. Some Loose blocks that form excellent finger locks, but didn't place gear in them. Just bring a BD 5 you'll be glad....he'll I'd bring 2#4s also. Classic... Apr 17, 2013
Anouk Erni
Portland, OR
Anouk Erni   Portland, OR
I'm not a fan of OW so the first part of the top was a challenge for me, as was the start. Wished I had 2x Camalot #5s so I didn't have to push up the protection. It's fun to do once, though. I found the thin crack down low a bit greasy from traffic, which made it tougher than it looked. Also, one of the bolts at the top anchor is loose. Mar 10, 2014
Los Angeles, CA
dhayan   Los Angeles, CA
The crack itself is fantastic but the climb not as classic as it should be because of the many ledges/rests from the giant leaning flakes along the way. Mar 23, 2015
Phil Esra  
My taller partner fiddled a small nut and a ball nut into the crack to protect the start for me. I avoided touching the higher blocks at all costs, and even doing that the first few moves still felt like the crux to me. Did it with a single #3 and had to run out the top section for a long, long way. At least a single #4 and #5 would be nice to have; a second #3 wouldn't be all that useful.

As of 4/5/15, there was a gross-looking mass of something (looked like greasy, wet cat turds) in a hueco on the underside of the giant leaning flake at the start. Not sure what it is--looked too big to be bat guano or rat poop, but too gravity-defying to be from a cat or other flightless critter. Weird. Apr 7, 2015
Amazing crack, I was a bit put off by the first leaning flake but that section would have been just as easy without it. The second one was really fun to work around and that made up for it interfering with 5 feet of perfect hand jambs. The wideness up top was at least 2 or 3 number grades easier than Orange Crack on Saddle Rock, so 5.5- 5.6. I believe the poo in the hueco is woodrat poo, it is in almost every hueco at the City of Rocks. Apr 21, 2015
Fernando Cal
Long Beach, CA
Fernando Cal   Long Beach, CA
Solid and sustained 5.9, especially if not versed in OW. Top of crack widens to 4 and 5 cams. I left mine at the bottom for some odd reason, and ran out the last 30 feet or so with the last pro being a half-assed 3 cam placement as hgh as I could place it. Take your big gear! Early crux, good gear all around. Nov 28, 2016
Fernando Cal
Long Beach, CA
Fernando Cal   Long Beach, CA
There's a large loose block halfway up the route. Faintly marked X with chalk, a pull can cause it to move. Nov 28, 2016
Dan Evans
Phoenix, AZ
Dan Evans   Phoenix, AZ
OW up top is so low angle that I laughed when I got up there. A 4 and 5 were still nice to have though I suppose. The start of this climb was harder than I anticipated but it was also the first climb of the day. Gear smaller than .3 protects the crux. Room to Shroom was a much better climb in my opinion and more of a true splitter and area classic. The climbing on this is too broken up and ledgy with multiple death blocks to be considered a classic. I don't think I would repeat this route or recommend it to a friend. The climbing is basically over once you pass the first horizontal dike 20 ft up. It's a good warm up if in the area but not worth hiking to by itself in my opinion. Pictures were a bit deceiving. Jan 2, 2018

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