Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Mike Colacino, Doug Donato, Bill Duncan
Page Views: 402 total · 9/month
Shared By: Bill Duncan on Mar 31, 2015
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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The Scoop

The route climbs through the massive chimney splitting the 2 towers that comprise Turkey Tower, from the south.
P1: Climb the first pitch of the South Face route, 5.6, 50'. Belay at the anchors.
Alternate P1: Climb the very nice jam crack in the dihedral 20' to the right of P1 of the South Face, 5.9-. The first 20 feet are great, then you get into some choss.
P2: Climb up and left into the Turkey's Crevasse. Tip toe carefully through the talus and scree in the chimney. Some of it looks ready to go. There is one move of 5.9 just as you are entering the chimney. 200', belay at the nice crack just below the large chockstone.
You may want to move the belay on top of the chockstone for the next pitch. If you have 70m ropes, you will be able to make it to the top of the chockstone at the end of pitch 2. Maybe one 5.7 move.
P3: Climb up the very nice jam crack with some good stemming to the summit. 5.9+, 60'

Rap the Swiss Gentleman route off the NE side of the tower. Recommend using the 1st set of anchors you see on the 1st rap, as the next set is a hanging station. New webbing on 1st rap station as of March 2015. 2nd one starting to look a little bleached.


Climbs the obvious chasm between the towers from the south -left of the South Face.

Fun fact: cell phones don't work at the base of the tower, but do on the summit!


Standard desert rack, with extra hand sizes. A large piece or two is also handy.


This route almost has it all: Great camping, a fine V-sign tower, 10 minute approach, terrific summit views and a relatively stress free rappel; alas, the route itself sandwiches two good pitches around an unpalatable choss filling.

The P1 fixed anchors are hard if not impossible to see from the ground. There are visible anchors much higher up on the South Face route which can cause confusion when trying to ID Turkey's Crevasse from the ground.

Doing the climb in three pitches seems like a dubious proposition as the proposed 70 meter linkup of pitch two took us three pitches. Despite using long runners on every piece, we were forced by rope drag to belay after about 100', at the first large chalk stone. This left a 100' class three pitch to the base of the second chalk stone where there is good gear. The moves around the 2nd chock stone are not trivial and, due to the low angle nature of the preceding section of chimney, are only safely belayable from nearby. From our belay at the base of the 2nd chock stone to the base of the 9+ pitch was about 30'.

Notes on the 5 pitches we did.

P1: 5.6, 50'. Relatively solid rock and enjoyable climbing.
P2: 5.9, 100'. Horrendous choss (and that opinion is coming from someone who considers himself a choss master), basically angle of repose talus. Fortunately, the belay at the end of P1 is well out of the fall line. Virtually the only solid part of this pitch was the 10' comprising the 5.9 move which is well protected with the key piece a .5 Tricam which was fixed when we climbed it.
P3: 3rd class, 100'. More talus but low angle enough that inadvertent trundling onto the belayer is not a concern.
P4: ~5.7, 30'. The 1st 10', around the chock stone is fun and solid; the rest is more unconsolidated talus.
P5: 5.9+, 100+'; enjoyable climbing on relatively sound rock. After topping out of the crack, the summit is about 30' to the north, the first 20' of which are walking. The last 10' are very exposed, easy class 5 on the east side of the summit. In order to protect this move without inducing can't-move rope drag, I tied into the trail rope and was belayed on it for the last move.

Descent: The raps on Swiss Gentleman are well set up and the slings were in good shape. The first set of anchors are about 90' below the summit anchors and about 190' above the ground. There is a rope eating crack about 100' above the ground.

Gear: We had a #5 and a #6 Camalot, both of which were placed multiple times. Don't know why OP called for extra fist sized pieces as we did little to no fist jamming or cupping. P5 did have a lot of hand jamming. We placed a couple of nuts and used about 2.5 sets of cams from .4 to #2 Camalot, 2 each #3 & #4 Camalot and 1 each #5 & 6 Camalot. Extra full length runners recommended for pitch two. May 4, 2015