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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
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Type: Trad, 150 ft
FA: Doug and Maurice Reed (1983)
Page Views: 237 total · 3/month
Shared By: Bryan G on Jun 9, 2012
Admins: M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes

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Access Issue: Yosemite National Park climbing closures and conditions Details


I’m not sure of the correct name for this route; the Reid guide uses “Megaforce” in the main content, but “Magnum Force” in the First Ascent Index. Whatever its name, this route climbs the steep orange flakes on the face to the right of The Thief. The flakes on the first half of the route are probably not solid enough to hold gear, making this a dangerous lead. It can be toproped/top belayed after climbing The Thief all the way to the ledge.

To reach the base of the climb, scramble up 4th class on the right side of the terrace. The route begins with a bit of face climbing to reach the first flake. Handjam and then move up and slightly left through a bulge to transfer to another flake. More jamming leads to the top of this flake where a tricky traverse must be made to another flake out left. The crux is knowing where to make this traverse because it is impossible to look into the crack you are moving into. If you find the secret foot jam and accompanying finger lock it’s not too hard. If not, expect a brutal lieback with terrible feet on lichenous rock. Either way this flake leads up through some knobs and shelves to easier ground and the top.

The rappel anchor consists of two rusty nuts, two old pitons, and a 1/4” bolt all brought together in a giant clusterfuck of tattered webbing. From this you can rappel back to the top of the terrace with two ropes, or rappel with one rope over left to the bolted anchor on The Thief.


Pro to 3"


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