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Routes in The Watchtower Faces

Auto Da Fe T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Brolga T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Hot Flap T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Mr. Chicken T Easy 5th 1+ 3 I 5 M 1c
Watchtower Crack T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Miller & Carrigan - 1982
Page Views: 1,210 total, 9/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jan 21, 2007
Admins: Nate Ball

You & This Route

13 Opinions

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On the right Watchtower Face. The classic trifecta of slab climbs at Arapiles are Brolga (5.8), Auto Da Fe (5.10d/5.11a), and Tjuringa (5.12). Auto Da Fe is quite simply brilliant. It is also a testpiece. While I was at the Pines a European climber fell from the crux and broke his ankle, and apparently this is a common occurance. Begin at a clean streak of rock 25' right of Watchtower Crack. There is a circular hole ten feet off the ground which is the first hold of the climb. The crux might actually be moving off of this hold!

P1: Jump for the hole and attempt to mantle up past it. I begrudgingly blame my partner for ruining my onsight by breaking out in hysterical (and contagious) laughter while I was attempting to do this move. At least the antics of leaping for the hold and slapping your entire body against the rock in the process helps to break the ice on this unnerving climb. Continue up to a ledge with bolts, placing Aliens and the like in horizontals. 75', 5.10d.

P2: Climb straight up through a small roof and continue up the clean streak through a bulge just above a delicate flake. Passing this section is the mental and technical crux. Continue up and stretch the rope out to the top of the wall. 200', 5.10d.


Standard rack, extra TCUs/Aliens.


- No Photos -
john strand
southern colo
john strand   southern colo
10C- was this not originally graded 19 or 20 ??? The kind of route Rp's were invented for, just make sure to bring your #1's. Really good !! Jan 7, 2009
John McNamee
Littleton, CO
John McNamee   Littleton, CO  
This is a great route and can be easily protected with RPs and some tricams. I've climbed it many times and wouldn't call it 5.11 unless some holds have broken off. More like mid 10. Feb 8, 2007
C Miller   CA  
Robin Miller (of the FA party) is reported to have spent 20+ hours wirebrushing the face clean prior to the first ascent. Some even claim the streak is visible from space... Jan 24, 2007
The crux off the ground is easily and obviously avoided a few feet to the left. The P2 crux is a about 10c vertical face climbing with a very small RP at your feet -- didn't seem like ankle breaking territory, but the record says otherwise. Long slings recommended for the upper half of P2 where there is a zig-zag traverse. Jan 23, 2007