Type: Trad, Alpine, 1200 ft (364 m), 12 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Harry Daley , Jim Yensan 1962. FFA Harry Frishman, Juris Krisjansons
Page Views: 94,474 total · 427/month
Shared By: Mark Boissevain on May 18, 2006 · Updates
Admins: Mike Snyder, Taylor Spiegelberg, Jake Dickerson

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Description Suggest change

Classic Wind River climb! Incredibly consistent, classic, sustained (at the grade) backcountry climbing in the west. Classic enough that it made the 50 classicly crowded climbs book, so expect parties to be in the area vying for the early slot. Be prepared to start early anyway to avoid afternoon t-storms that one can't see until they come over the formation from the southwest. You'll see what the fuss is over, though, with the great views, exposure, and beautiful climbing that every pitch offers. Route finding skills will be put to the test in a couple key locations, and retreat after the first 300 feet will be a challenge.

Head up the 3rd class ramp that heads toward the sloping ledge system, traverse and/or downclimb to reach the ledge, thinking about the 2nd as you place gear. Belay just past the ledge where good pro presents itself in the left leaning ramp that leads to the dihedral with a prominent roof.

Climb the dihedral, either belaying below or after the roof.

Climb a long pitch, starting first right, then back left to a fun 5.8 crack and belay.

Ascend the left leaning system of ledges and dihedral cracks for at least 2 pitches (even with a 60m). The Kelsey topo forgets how long this section is. Going right early will end in a dead end.

Do finally head right with some spaced pro up the ledges until the 5.8 flare and 5.9 3" variation become unmistakable back to the left. Struggle up the flare to easier ground and belay left at the ledge.

Continue straight up, not right, past a large flake and up to belay at the base of a crack leading to a chimney continue up or step again left and continue the crack system to for a long pitch and belay.

Head up to the base of a short chimney with a rattly hand crack in the back. Grunt up this short crux to the east summit ledges platform. Coil the rope and walk to the summit. 

Walk/scramble over then down the 3rd class gully to the south to reach the South Face/K cracks rappels (two ropes recommended) 3 or 4 raps lead to the ledge that heads further left to the South Buttress descent.

Location Suggest change

Cirque of the Towers. Find trails at the north side of the lake at the base, hike left of stream into rock field and scramble left, left of the prominent base of a gently curving ledge that becomes a long dihedral ending at a roof. Rack up on the low-angle rock, then head left up the 3rd-class ramp. Don't be surprised if the start seems somewhat exposed as you head to the left.

Protection Suggest change

Standard Winds rack, pro to 4" (for the 5.8 flare it's nice to have). Nuts and cams to 1" come in handy, and doubles 1" to 2", one 3", one 4". Little fixed gear, and you probably should prepare to back that up.

This will be 12-13 long pitches with a 50m rope, even though the Kelsey topo shows 11. A 60m rope can conveniently reduce that by 2.