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Routes in The Watchtower

Megaforce (aka Magnum Force) T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Princess, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Thief, The T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Type: Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Mark Chapman and Kevin Worral, 1975
Page Views: 1,729 total, 23/month
Shared By: Lou Hibbard on Nov 1, 2011
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Closures for Peregrine Falcon Protection Details


This climb has an ugly beginning and end but a stellar middle.
Pitch 1 A short approach pitch the guide book lists as 4th but is harder than that. Ugly and loose.
Pitch 2 A hollow sounding flake to start, then sustained good rock. Next are a couple of offwidth pods with a crack in the back. Sustained. Get one rest right before the crux. An optional intermediate belay to an ugly finish with more loose flakes.


Appr. 1/2 hour approach from Bridalveil Falls Parking area. If you have Reids guide note the photo of the Watchtower. To the left of Leaning Tower.
Rappel the route.


Standard rack. Extra 1/2 to 2". Bring at least one #3 camalot size, maybe two.


Hey climbers

I don't usually comment here, but whoever wrote the route description must've botched the approach and groveled up the slot between The Joker and The Thief. It's more direct, but a better, cleaner, smarter way is to the right and then a short down climb to the start of the pitch. Casual to 3rd class.

As for an ugly finish? The photo looking down at the splitter crux is taken from the belay, That IS the finish. I think that says it all.

There is no second pitch or continuation on loose flakes, or Mark and I didn't do one on the FA.

One of the best single pitch thin cracks in The Valley. Apr 18, 2015
San Jose
Alexey   San Jose
the best way to approach the Thief is to follow Leaning Tower approach trail from Bridaveil parking lot. As soon as you approach via talus the base of the wall, skirt the base down to Watchtower (Leaning Tower approach continue up).
We found that it is easier to approach Thief from right side of Watchtower [ book show 4th class aproch from left]. You climb class 4, easy 5 ( next time I will rope up for this) basically to the base of Megaforce and than do one short rappel down to the base of The Thief.

For average and smaller hangs crux on the Thief can be at the very beginning of the climb when reaching main crack system from the base. At the top of p1 new shiny bolts now, and second pitch can be avoided. The route itself is so good- that it is OK just to go there for this one pitch, since not much good climbing around. Aug 7, 2012