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5.10b, Sport, 90 ft (27 m),  Avg: 3.6 from 258 votes
FA: Scott Ayers, Mike Strassman & Eric Rhicard 1989
California > Sierra Eastside > Bishop Area > Owens River Gorge > Upper Gorge > Gorgeous Towers
Access Issue: Bridges Out! IMPORTANT LADWP NEGOTIATIONS!! Details


This is the beautiful and prominent arete of the tower. It is tricky and sustained right from the start. A stick clip is a good idea if you're not solid in the grade (or even if you are). The rock is slick and somewhat polished making the small footholds tricky. Figuring out when to switch sides of the arete is important. At the 6th bolt things ease a bit leading to the spicey but easy run to the anchors. A definite must do classic.


10 quickdraws, anchors, stick clip (optional)

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Kaleigh Carlson on Gorgeous
[Hide Photo] Kaleigh Carlson on Gorgeous
Gorgeous Tower North West face topo
[Hide Photo] Gorgeous Tower North West face topo
Arete climbs are FUN.
[Hide Photo] Arete climbs are FUN.
Higher up on a terrific line.  <br>
Photo, R. Walling
[Hide Photo] Higher up on a terrific line. Photo, R. Walling
this is one of the best aretes ive ever pulled
[Hide Photo] this is one of the best aretes ive ever pulled
obvious line but very good.
[Hide Photo] obvious line but very good.
An absolutely amazing route.
[Hide Photo] An absolutely amazing route.
gorgeous from any angle indeed
[Hide Photo] gorgeous from any angle indeed
Eric Foltz on Gorgeous 5.10a
[Hide Photo] Eric Foltz on Gorgeous 5.10a

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Oakland CA
[Hide Comment] .10b now? sounds right, felt like a sandbag at 10a... Jan 6, 2007
[Hide Comment] I agree, may have even been 9 in the '90 guidebook.

Stick clip is a great idea if yer just breakin in to the grade (lead). Mar 26, 2007
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] My favorite line in the Gorge...a very fun route indeed. The guidebook I have lists it at 5.10a which felt about right. (Hey, if a punter like me can lead it, it can't be all that hard, right?) I had good beta though--might feel like 10b if you're doing a true on-sight. Jun 25, 2007
Dave Daly
Kernville, CA
[Hide Comment] HAAAA!! Sanbdbagged? It's sustained 5.9 climbing at its finest. .10b
??? HAAAAA! Oct 1, 2007
susan peplow
Joshua Tree
[Hide Comment] Wow, I never noticed the FA team before. Ayers, Strassman and EFR? May 28, 2008
[Hide Comment] When I was there this past week it appears the last bolt to the anchors is no longer there, making a nice little 20 foot runout to the anchors. Great climb! Jul 10, 2009
Euan Cameron
Mammoth Lakes, CA
[Hide Comment] A great climb. The difficulties are definitely in the first 30ft, but the climbing after that remains engaging. The run out to the anchors would seem long if you are feeling pumped. Apr 17, 2011
Owen McGrath
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Really beautiful climb. Pretty slick down low, and then interesting as it moves back and fourth over the arrete a few times. This being at my upper limits on lead, the runout at the end (20'?) raised my pulse a bit... Apr 29, 2011
[Hide Comment] awesome arete.....saw this one and had to do it. great climb.......classic. did a nice 11 something or other just to the right of it also that i remember being mixed pro (or i was just being a wuss). and as the front page for the gorge says those nettles. i never wear shorts and i found out what they were first time i decided to.....damn calves stinging for hours. Jul 26, 2012
B.S. Luther
Yorba Linda, CA
[Hide Comment] Awesome arete, polished probably because it's so awesome which adds a dimension, if I remember correctly. I climbed this a couple years ago but the comments reminded me of the gap between the last bolt and the anchors.. I just remember thinking, "those bastards" upon discovering there was no bolt where I expected.. haha, a good memory though and still safe if scary (I scare easy though). Definitely go for the onsight if you have the chance, beta is a ton of fun as you meander up the arete looking for the next moves. Sep 21, 2013
Jeff Scheuerell
[Hide Comment] The 5th or 6th bolt is crazy bent. Can't imagine how it could get so f'ed up. Nov 14, 2013
Jeff Scheuerell
[Hide Comment] My buddy Dan replaced the Fd up 5th bolt today. Oct 23, 2014
Simon W
Nowhere Land
[Hide Comment] Way to go Dan! That bolt was worked!! Still clippable, but not exactly confidence inspiring... Someone was probably around the corner and fell on it or something =/ Jan 17, 2015
Adam P
San Jose, CA
[Hide Comment] Apparently, the route has been retrobolted:…

Double check the number of quickdraws you bring. May 11, 2018
[Hide Comment] On-sight, WOOT! Wanted to tick this forever. Better rests than I expected. Mega. Mar 4, 2020
Benjamin Chapman
Small Town, USA
[Hide Comment] Good job. Way to go, BAd. Dec 16, 2020