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Routes in Smith Cabin. Nothern Reef area

Arch Tower: Knot in My Backyard T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Crooked Old Man of the Swell, The T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c A0-1
Type: Trad, 250 ft, 3 pitches, Grade III
FA: Steve Bartlett, Paul Ross (alt leads) Layne Potter. 03/01/06
Page Views: 1,269 total · 9/month
Shared By: USBRIT Ross on Apr 24, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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The Arch Tower has a detached arch on its west side, and was named in the hiking guide book by Allen.

"Knot in My Backyard" III 5.9. The route takes the obvious line of deep grooves and cracks on the east end of the tower. Start around the right corner (left end of the north face) up a right-facing flake/chimney.

P1) One move of aid on a 3.5 camalot leads to an awkward entry into the chimney. Continue up a nice hand crack over a bulge, then angle left and up easier terrain to a two bolt belay.130' C0 5.9

P2) Up the groove on the right to easier climbing and a two bolt belay. 80' 5.8.

P3). Scramble 4th class to the summit 40'

Rap the route, two ropes.


Northern Reef, Smith Cabin Area. From the parking area, walk west and in 5 minutes enter an open canyon with a stream. Continue and in 10 minutes the canyon narrows with rock walls and trees. Keep left and after 15 minutes pass large potholes. At 24 minutes go up the canyon on the right. At 30 minutes reach 4 way canyons, go left up slabs, and at about 45 minutes Arch Tower comes into view. Do not take the canyon on the right, but instead go around the rocky mesa to the left, and then diagonal up to the base of the tower. Total time from the parking area is about one hour and ten minutes.


One set of cams from 0.75" to 2.5" Four 3.0", One 3.5" and One #5 Camalot


Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Glad you had fun and it was worth the hike. Cheers Sep 8, 2014
Paul S
Fruita, CO
Paul S   Fruita, CO
Beautiful adventure tower. Two rappels with a single 70 m rope will get you down. I believe I did the 1st pitch slightly different than what's described here. I started on the east face, rather than around the corner. There wasn't a need to do a move of aid to get into the chimney, just some lie backing. Also, up towards the top of P1 I continued straight up instead of heading left after the bulge. P2 had some heads up climbing avoiding some death blocks, besides that the rock was surprisingly good! Sep 7, 2014