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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, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,321 total, 23/month
Shared By: Jason Albino on Apr 19, 2013
Admins: grk10vq

You & This Route

21 Opinions

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Between Dog Buttress and The Joker you'll find a solid flat spot to belay this route (all these routes are right of Mother's Day). The first pitch doesn't look like much, and in fact is dirty and the solid pro opportunities are limited. Eyeball this first pitch closely to see if you're comfortable leading with minimal pro (probably goes at 5.6 depending on how creative you are with routefinding).

If you do, you'll be rewarded with the excellent final two pitches:

P2 has the crux - a thoughtful stem-left, then mantle sequence through the route's sole roof. After gaining the belay, P3 is an excellent, non-grunty chimney with great stem rests & pro, and several options for tackling its vertical.

If P1 were as good as P2 and P3, it might deserve four stars for the sheer fun and solid pro.

Rap the route via fixed bolts. A great afternoon multi in Gallatin Canyon if you get a late start or are looking for a mellower day, since it requires less approach hiking that most of the routes on the adjacent formations.


Rap the route via fixed anchors (look for traffic below before going, especially on the first rap).


Medium-to-wide gear. Bolted anchors.
Ryan Locati
Ryan Locati   Bozeman
Combine pitch 1+2 with a 70m rope. Good stuff! Oct 27, 2017
Matt Wenger
Matt Wenger   Bozeman
P3 is definitely the crux of the route, though the crux of the 2nd pitch is definitely airy and thrilling! You can escape right and go around the roof on P2, but don't do it. The roof is way more fun! P1 was such easy climbing, that the lack of gear wasn't worth worrying about. Mar 27, 2017
Stan Pitcher
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
Location: Just right of the 'elevator shaft' follow the obvious cleft for 100 feet and then exit right to the large ledge and bolted anchor. This pitch is clean enough where you climb and for the most part well protected (with big gear you could sew it up). Second pitch continues up the cleft and then passes the overhangs on the right (based on description here, I thought initially I was supposed to go thru left side). The 3rd pitch is the money pitch - excellent climbing up the chimney feature. Aug 3, 2016
Eli B.
Eli B.  
Pitch two might be my favorite pitch in the canyon. Pitch 3 is stout 5.8, lots of fun as well. Nice bolted anchors at the top of every pitch. Decent via rappel is much easier than walking off. Great climb. Apr 17, 2016
Greg Sievers
Bozeman, MT
Greg Sievers   Bozeman, MT
the raps can be done with one 60m rope, but its close. and the last rap to the ground will leave you about 5' off the floor with an easy scramble down a couple moves. Jul 13, 2015
Dana Prosser
Dana Prosser   Boulder
Pitch 3 is the crux. No wide gear needed, standard rack up to a #3 camalot Aug 18, 2013