The Southwest Face
Avg: 1 from 1 vote
|Type:||Trad, 5 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Unknown, circa 1940s|
|Page Views:||87 total, 8/month|
|Shared By:||Gunkswest on Jan 31, 2017|
|Admins:||Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick|
Check with the park for the latest information on climbing and backcountry use. Details
DescriptionThis is perhaps the original route to the summit; it involves lots of scrambling and traversing to avoid the major difficulties.
From the floor of the hidden valley mentioned in the approach description, hike up the west face of the tower's base to brown cliffs. Continue straight uphill to a yellow ramp leading up left, and follow this to its top. Traverse straight right (SE) under a steep wall for about 500 feet, passing a small pinnacle enroute.
P1) Start just left of a cave-like formation, turn a corner, then climb up a ramp/waterchute (Variation 1) to a single bolt belay on a ledge above. 50 ft; 5.3
P2) Go up and left (N), passing two short steps to reach the midheight meadow. 80 ft; 5.1
P3) There are many options from here. The easiest route is to traverse about 200 feet left (N) and follow the upper portion of The NW Chimney Route to the summit (5.4).
P4) On the NW corner of the tower an obvious ledge system can be seen leading up and left (east). Climb up in the back of an alcove to the ledge, then follow this left past a good ring piton (5.4 traverse move past the pin) to another step. Surmount this (bolt & fixed wire), and continue left to a large, sheltered ledge in a corner (sling thread & cams in pockets for the belay). 100 ft; 5.4
P5) Move left (E) around the corner into a chimney, then straight up lower angled rock (passing a two bolt anchor) to a shallow right leaning corner and the summit. 150 ft; 5.4
V1 The left-hand chimney has a bush growing at the base and is 5.6.
LocationFrom the floor of the hidden valley mentioned in the approach description, hike up the west face of the tower's base to brown cliffs. Continue straight uphill to a yellow ramp leading up left, and follow this to its top. Traverse straight right (SE) under a steep wall for about 500 feet, passing a small pinnacle enroute.
There used to be a rappel route down the SW face of the spire, but the rock has become too loose to trust. This leaves but one option:
1) Downclimb to the two bolts on pitch five of The NW Face Route, and then rappel from there to the traverse ledge with one rope.
2) Reverse the traverse to the bolt and fixed wire. Rappel down to the mid-height meadow with one rope.
3) Scramble down to the north col or reverse the lower portion of The SW Face Route.
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