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Tower Wall Direct

5.9+ PG13, Trad, TR, 100 ft,  Avg: 2.5 from 8 votes
FA: Matt Murphy, Norm Rasmussen 6/2/14
New York > Powerlinez > k. Tower Wall area > 6. The Tower Wall


It follows a plumb line alongside the black water streak and goes straight through the "vertically oriented" section of roof. There is a direct variation off the deck that clocks in around 5.11+ . The traverse from Rachel's crack to the route is unprotected.


Start on Rachel's crack and traverse left to meet up with a shallow, right facing corner. Traverse low on jugs with absolutely no feet, or place your feet on the jugs and use tiny crimps where the rock changes a bit. Either way - spicy opening moves!


FA was done with only nuts. Try and do that! If not a standard rack will work. Gear anchor at the top in a good crack.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

routes overview Left side Tower Wall<br>
A Risky Bear / Ex-Traction Slab<br>
B Any Which Way / Ex-Traction<br>
C Crefeld Crank<br>
D Back to the Gym<br>
E Back to the Wall<br>
F No Rest for the Wicked<br>
G Unrest of the Witches<br>
H TWD original Lead<br>
Hd TWD direct start<br>
He . . tired climber finish<br>
Htr TWD straight TR finish<br>
J Rachel's Crack
[Hide Photo] routes overview Left side Tower Wall A Risky Bear / Ex-Traction Slab B Any Which Way / Ex-Traction C Crefeld Crank D Back to the Gym E Back to the Wall F No Rest for the Wicked G Unrest of t…
Follow the rope!
[Hide Photo] Follow the rope!
Murph on the first ascent (for the records). We're sure someone, at some point, in the Tri-State area, has probably climbed this.
[Hide Photo] Murph on the first ascent (for the records). We're sure someone, at some point, in the Tri-State area, has probably climbed this.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Well, now that Matt Murphy did it ground up, it's not 5.8 and it's not PG13, since the 1st pro is like 20 feet up! Overall, I'd say that even the traverse-in variation is 5.9, and Matt gave that bottom move a 5.11d. Sep 4, 2015
  5.9+ R
[Hide Comment] I'm finding two different lines of worthwhile climbing in this section of the Tower Wall. In the lower one-third we've got the new direct start plus the original Rachel's Crack start.

In the upper two-thirds, one of the lines is the original First Ascent party lead, following near the black water streak up to vertically-oriented section of the top finish -- as described in the text above as of Sept 24, 2015 -- and as shown in the photo at the top right of this page.

My opinion is that that original FA lead line is not a "plumb line". Rather it trends toward the Left (West). A direct straight up "plumb line" in the upper two-thirds does not go through the "vertically oriented" top section. Rather the "plumb line" goes up through the big dark horizontal roof to the right of the vertically-oriented fins+cracks. My view of this straight up "plumb line" is based on what happens when I have set up a Top-Rope above that horizontal roof and allowed the rope to drop straight down.

There are two ways to take this roof. One is get on the right-facing corner at the left end of the roof (not harder than 5.6).
The more interesting (and difficult)
Variation is to attack just a bit right of the center of the roof at a diagonal break (more like 5.9). I think that's the most interesting finish to this TWD route.
See on Overview of routes Photo.

I'm glad to acknowledge that following the black water streak (and the photo at the top right of this page) is how the First Ascent party climbed it on their (impressive) lead. But I think the alternate true "straight up" line in the upper two-thirds is a better way to finish when doing it on Top-Rope (and fits better with the name "Direct").

So to me the name "Direct" fits better for the new 5.11+ start, linked with horizontal roof finish. And the line (shown in the Sept 24, 2015 version of the photo currently at the top left of this page) which starts on Rachels Crack and finishes up the water streak, looks to me more like "Tower Wall Indirect" (as in this photo from a different angle).
. (or perhaps the FA party will come up with a more interesting name that better fits the interesting quality of the climbing).

Whatever the names, there's two different lines of interesting climbing, and the useful thing is for more climbers to have fun with more of it.

Ken Sep 24, 2015