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Routes in The Watchtower - First Tier

Joker, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Mothers Day T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
North Crack T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Shelob's Lair T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Watchtower Standard Route T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Trad, 180 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Pat Callis, Jerry Kanzler Mothers Day 1969
Page Views: 883 total · 10/month
Shared By: grk10vq on Aug 25, 2010
Admins: grk10vq

You & This Route

18 Opinions

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A fully traditional work out, Mothers Day is an adventure of yesteryear. . . today! True value, this route comes full circle with a variety of climbing styles and techniques. With three wandering pitches, good route finding skills are a must as well as a balanced knowledge of building anchors.

P1: Begin on the north, front face with a hand sized crack that climbs about 15 feet before it turns into a bushy, tree filled section, climb past this to a large, clean belay ledge. Build an anchor. Dirty, vegetated, and barely worth it, protection here is decent and the climbing is mellow. 50' (5.6)

P1-a: Alternatively, a better way to begin is up and around the north side corner on a clean face where three more obvious variations exist.

P2: Move up and right to a small stance and continue straight up to a broken left-facing corner. Climb this until it "empties out" and cross right, back onto the face to a hand sized crack that ends at another obvious and clean ledge. Exciting climbing up a clean line with good and spacious gear. Build an anchor. 55' (5.7)

P3: Continue up and right through a short corner (more direct) or traverse immediately right off the belay onto the face and gain a large groove or "birth canal", being it Mothers Day and all? Make a straight shot following the crack towards a flake on a small bulge (crux). Fire the roof, top out, and fashion a belay. Grunting and groveling on this pitch are not uncommon. Good rock, good line, good fun. 65' (5.9)

Descent: Descend via a long walk-off to the left or right of the buttress or just walk 15' to the south and rappel using The Watchtower's Standard Route anchors if they aren't occupied.


Mothers Day begins on the north most front face of the lower Watchtower. Its the farthest most route on the front face and sits on the lookers left of the large "elevator shaft".


Bring a handful of slings, a cordelette, and a set of stoppers and cams to three inches- two #2 camalots or equivalent are nice for pitch three. A 60 meter rope is adequate.


Had a bit of an issue with the 3rd pitch. Struggled through the "birth canal", then went into the off-width flaring crack which is the crux move. I'm not sure if a hold might have broken off, but I took a pretty good fall off the off-width because I couldn't find any more holds to continue on and gear placement was not good at that point. Fortunately, there is a bomber placement for a BD #3 just below the crux. I may have missed something, but I thought the crux was way harder than 5.9. Dec 18, 2016
Greg Sievers
Bozeman, MT
Greg Sievers   Bozeman, MT
old school quality, style, and grade. pretty descent route tho. be experienced at flairing cracks and have some OW skills. only used a few medium nuts but found a double rack of BD .5 thru 3 about right. dont forget your slings cuz QD's only might hose you.
Rapping the Standard Route can be done with 1 x 60m rope. Jul 13, 2015
W.S.   Montana
Glad I did it, probably won't repeat it. This route eats up nuts, everything protects very well. Also, this is not 5.9, but classic canyon 5.8+. I recommend an immediate traverse for the third pitch and long sleeves. Sep 19, 2010
Bud Martin
Bozeman, MT
Bud Martin   Bozeman, MT
Fun route. Well protected crux pitch. Sep 19, 2010