Avg: 2 from 1 vote
|Type:||Trad, Alpine, 350 ft (106 m), 4 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Dakota Walz & Matthew Eckelberg, 7/2016|
|Page Views:||761 total · 14/month|
|Shared By:||Dakota from North Dakota on Jul 14, 2016|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
For additional information about raptor closures, please visit the Rocky Mountain National Parks area closures website.
The rock is quality alpine and even forms similar to Clear Creek in some sections, while the beginning is reminiscent of fun slabby romps on the Flatirons.
We failed to find any recorded ascents of this tower online or in any RMNP guidebook from 1981-2015. In fact, only one book (Gillett, 2001) made reference to it, calling it an "unclimbed satellite spire". On top of that, we couldn't find any signs of a rap station (or any other way down) on the compact car-sized summit. If anyone has record of this being climbed before, please let me know, so I can adjust the info here for historical accuracy.
Take the Glacier Gorge trail to Green Lake, and hike up the grueling North Gully between the Keyboard of the Winds and Pagoda Mountain. After reaching the base of Sievers' Tower, hike East across the base of the Keyboards until reaching Wind Chill Tower marked by three distinct white stripes.
P1. From the saddle at the base of Wind Chill tower, cruise straight up an easy slab following a fun string of left-facing flakes. Belay at a nice broken ledge (5.4, 30m).
P2. From the ledge, face climb up and right toward the edge of the tower. Pull a couple of tricky moves on jugs, and trend back left to another broken ledge below a small roof and right-facing dihedral (5.8, 30m).
P3. Climb straight up to the steep dihedral placing a solid 0.3 under the mini-roof. Utilizing high feet and a suspect, left-pointing horn, climb out of the mini-roof and onto the edge/face of the dihedral. From here, place a decent 0.75 before delicately hand traversing directly right using crimps and mini-jugs across the steep, protectionless face. A fall here could be a real bummer. After gaining the edge of the tower once again, place a poor finger size piece and run it out over the slabby, juggy, and lichen ridden face to the very large ledge at the base of the summit block. Following this pitch can be just as exciting as leading it, so be solid at 5.10 in the alpine. (5.10 PG-13, 30m).
P4. This pitch could be linked with the last, but rope drag could make it a real pain. Follow a thin seem that cuts diagonally up and to the right of the summit block before reaching its edge, then cruise a few jugs to the final summit (5.8, 15m).
A single rope rap on the towers south side drops you on a large ledge next to a huge, teetering boulder. From here, scramble up a series of ramps to the top of the Dark Tower, and hike across the rim back to the North Gully.