Type: Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 700 ft (212 m), 4 pitches, Grade III
FA: Greg Sievers & Dougald MacDonald
Page Views: 2,505 total · 16/month
Shared By: Greg Sievers on Apr 24, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

You & This Route

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We geared up at the lowest, righthand, rock band.

P1 - climb steep snow for 300'. (solo or Simul. as conditions allow) - aim to left side of the huge cave, at the base of the chimney system.

P2 - begin M4 climbing left of the cave. (my original direct start was immediately left of the chimney. Quite thin, M5, and poorly protected) starting about 20' farther left will allow a safer, tiered start. You should fine a square horn that will girth-hitch quite nicely, then step right, over a deep narrow gap, and into the chimney proper. Climb the moderate snow gully for 150' and belay.
  • *Decision- if you belay at the square horn, a 60m pitch will allow you to climb the M4 wall on the left above the snow gully, and belay at a fixed pin/nut station w/ red sling. ** If you belay lower, on the snowfield, this pitch will end below the M4 climbing about 40' below the fixed station.** Either way, it flows well.

P3 - directly above the station the climbing is steep, but enjoyable w/ good pro. This is the ice Off Width. (see pic) continue up another moderate snow gully above, and climb up into the upper chimney. Likely belaying on the left.

P4- things get steep again, pro is good and we chose the left side of the chimney. aim for the big chockstone - you can see sky under it. This pitch ends in the col behind the summit of Forbidden Tower.

P5- 5.6 - about 40' of rock climbing will deliver you onto the summit. the view over the top provides huge exposure back down the face. I would suggest you remove your crampons first. I got my boot stuck in the OW slot and had to clip gear and bend over to remove the wedged crampon :(

The summit is really cool. It's about the size of a car.

A previous visitor had left a new new sling w/ fat, locking biner which will allow a full 60m rapple to a point about 30' above the pin/nut station. There is a purple 1" sling around a boulder that will allow the short hop down to the station. From the fixed station another 60m rappel will just barely allow you to step on to the snowfield.

Be careful on this one - once the snowfield melts, you may not be able to make this last rappel in one shot. If conditions allow, you can glissade the slope back to your stash.


Approach like you're going to Sharkstooth. Skis worked well, as that Gash snowfield will easily last into late May.

300' below the northern base of Sharkstooth, look 90-degrees to your right (west).

Forbidden Tower can be seen superimposed on the right side of that Gash Wall (see photo).

We skied up to the lower-right rock band, below the now obvious chimney system. This is a nice, moderate route for introduction to this grade of mixed climbing. Each pitch has a short crux, and the protection is good. There is very low rock fall or avalanche danger noticed.


A single alpine rock rack up to #3 Camalot, with several extra small TCU/Alien-sized pieces, and doubles in the small nuts also. No pins, maybe 2 stubbie screws (although I was able to stem past the ice).