Type: Trad, 900 ft, 6 pitches, Grade III
Page Views: 1,291 total · 14/month
Shared By: Jaaron Mankins on Aug 21, 2011
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This route features some of the best crack climbing on the tower and was the first route on the tower climbed. The crux comes on the overhanging handcrack on pitch 3. The first three pitches are awesome, and then the angle eases and the climbing is quite easy to the top. Would like to get some anchors on this one soon. The line is not really obvious, and numerous lines can be climbed off of each ledge system.

P1: start up wide, wet crack and go straight up or left, then up handcrack next to a small cave to large ledge and belay. 5.9, 180'.

P2: this pitch is killer. Climb straight up stembox that looks much harder than it is and exit at top right of stembox on giant jugs and great gear. Follow smaller dihedrals and overlaps up to ledge and belay. 5.9, 200'.

P3: this is the sweet, overhanging handcrack that one can see from below on the approach. It starts out 0.75 and goes up to a #3 Camalot at the top-slightly overhanging and strenuous. Belay??? with not much for an anchor. 5.10+, ?'.

P4-6: climb up to the top of the tower after the crux pitch. 5.4-5.7, 400'.


Follow trail as for the Nuggernaut. Go past the 'naut and follow the cliff down and to the south. Keep walking until you come to a nice amphitheater with a few climbable lines. There are numerous ways to start the first pitch, and there are many caves in this area. The first ascent followed the slightly wet crack up and around to the left.


Standard trad rack with extra hand-sized pieces and long runners. There are no bolts or anchors on this one yet. There may be some fixed nuts at the ledge below the crux handcrack.


Gary N
Durango, CO
Gary N   Durango, CO
A few notes:

Approach - from Nuggernaut, you'll pass a fairly large amphitheater with a huge cave, continue past this one to a smaller amphitheater just 'up and around to the left'. See the photos.

Climb - for pitch two, I believe we were just a tad too far right. A fun line but certainly not 'killer'. I'm excited to go back and check out the actual pitch two, as this certainly looks to be the best pitch of the climb. See the photos. The crux pitch was so-so, too short. After this, we ended up soloing to the summit. Basically, this climb is over once you finish the short crux crack.

Descent - follow cairns from the summit southeast-ish to a bolted rap anchor. Make one single rope rap to a large tree with webbing. From here, make a double rope rap to a small, singular tree with webbing. Another double rope rap will get you to a bolt and fixed nut (webbing/cord could use an update). From here, make a double rope rap to a large terrace with a two bolt anchor. One more double rope rap will get you to the base of the Nuggernaut.

Gear - I believe a generous rack would be doubles to #4 C4, nuts, slings, and two 60m ropes. Next time I head up there, I'll probably bring a single set to #4 C4, nuts, hexes, and tri-cams. Fun stuff.

As of now, I prefer the Nuggernaut route but am anxious to give the standard pitch two a go. The Nuggernaut offers what I believe to be a more direct line/route finding and more sustained climbing at about the 5.7-5.8 level. Five good pitches of more technical climbing vs. 3 pitches and some scrambling.

A great adventure either way. Apr 24, 2013
Connor F-M
Lafayette, CO
Connor F-M   Lafayette, CO
40 ft of splitter crack climbing and 860 feet of chossaneering. The rock on the right side of cliff looks cleaner, but this route had some fun climbing and is a little choose-your-adventure. Wear a helmet for this one. May 21, 2018