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Wind Tower - SW Face
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YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 18,799
Submitted By: Dawn DuPriest on Jun 6, 2001

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BETA PHOTO: The Southwest face of the Wind Tower, showing the ...

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  • Description 

    Getting to the climb: Hike across the bridge to the Wind Tower trail, marked by a sign that shows falling rock. Continue north and uphill along this trail and go around the start of Wind Ridge to the north side of Wind Tower.

    There are two starts to Breezy: The 5.6 start ascends a dihedral that is sometimes used as the start to Wind Ridge. To the left of this dihedral, the 5.5 start is at the base of a rock scramble below a skinny juniper tree.

    P1: Ascend boulders past the skinny juniper tree. Just above the tree, put in a directional piece of pro (an alien works well) and do a hand-traverse right on a thin ledge, then scramble up on a boulder. A second hand-traverse and scramble up will give you access to a west-facing crack system, and here you can see the belay ledge for Wind Ridge. Go left around the corner and up cracks and boulders about 15 feet to the first belay, which is marked by a short, twisted juniper tree.

    P2: Follow the west-facing crack system up. Climb up to a thin ledge, then hand-traverse left on thin edges and crystals for your feet. Clamber up to a hand-crack on the left and a finger-crack on the right. A Friend was stuck tight in the finger-crack when we were there, and made for a quick clip-in. Jam and stem your way up, and choose between a narrow chimney jammed full of chockstones on the left, or a clean face & dihedral on your right. The chockstones make for easier climbing and easy natural pro, but possible rockfall! Scramble up and over one last clean move to reach the walk-off top. Wrap a big cordelette or 20' webbing around the boulders at the top to start your anchor, back it up with cams / hexes, and belay your second up!

    The descent is a walk-off down the well used trail. Careful of loose rock and dirt on the ledges, and be ready to put inexperienced climbers on belay if the descent is a little scary.

    A fun, mixed climb with great pro. This climb is often in the shade, so bring a jacket in the evening. Really be careful of loose rock on this side of the Wind Tower.


    Excellent placements for Aliens and hexes! Camming devices up to #3 Camalot are useful. A couple of stoppers, and webbing slings (trees & chockstones make good natural pro).

    Photos of Breezy Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Breezy and Wind Ridge.  Walk off after two pitches...
    BETA PHOTO: Breezy and Wind Ridge. Walk off after two pitches...
    Rock Climbing Photo: 2nd pitch highlight of the climb. Takes plenty of ...
    2nd pitch highlight of the climb. Takes plenty of ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Top of the second pitch.
    Top of the second pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starts of Breezy and Wind Ridge. The purple line i...
    BETA PHOTO: Starts of Breezy and Wind Ridge. The purple line i...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mary Anne Curtis moving into the corner at the top...
    Mary Anne Curtis moving into the corner at the top...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Leading 1st pitch of Breezy. 'Twas rather easy.
    Leading 1st pitch of Breezy. 'Twas rather easy.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on Breezy on 6/2/15.
    Unknown climber on Breezy on 6/2/15.
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the top of the second pitch on a somewhat wet d...
    BETA PHOTO: At the top of the second pitch on a somewhat wet d...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of optional 3rd pitch, described in Stev...
    BETA PHOTO: Beginning of optional 3rd pitch, described in Stev...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Cruising up Breezy.
    Cruising up Breezy.
    Rock Climbing Photo: About halfway up the second pitch of 'Breezy'. Ver...
    About halfway up the second pitch of 'Breezy'. Ver...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Breezy with the direct start.  Most climbers walk ...
    BETA PHOTO: Breezy with the direct start. Most climbers walk ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mary Anne Curtis climbing the crack near the top o...
    Mary Anne Curtis climbing the crack near the top o...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brendan Freedman near the top of Breezy on his fir...
    Brendan Freedman near the top of Breezy on his fir...

    Comments on Breezy Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 9, 2017
    By Barry Gereb
    Jun 8, 2001

    Led this 6/7/01, an excellent climb! Ample protection and lots of variations possible. I highly recommend the 5.6 start as the moves are well-protected and fun. By not using the crack for holds, you can make sections of it a 5.7-9 face climb at the top slab w/ great pro in the finger crack, or step left out onto the arete for a little exposure.
    By Kreighton Bieger
    Nov 8, 2001

    This can easily be led as one pitch with a 55 meter rope, probably shorter; I don't recall exactly how much rope was left. There will likely be some character-building drag at the top though.
    By Scott Thompson
    Nov 25, 2001

    Easy Breezy! A better and IMO easier way to do this climb is as follows: Gear up and shed packs on the trail by a tiny juniper tree, about 30 feet up from the Wind Ridge start. Traverse/scramble right (kind of awkward with a pack; no need to be roped up) and belay on a nice ledge, 5 feet left of the insloping belay ledge atop P1 of WR. Work up the crack(s) passing a short juniper, and on to the top! Beautiful climb with fun moves. I can't wait to try the 5.6 variation!
    By Andrew Gram
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Aug 25, 2002

    Rossiter calls this 5.4 and I have to agree (and I think everything at Eldo is sandbagged). I also thought the direct start was only 5.4 but was very fun and much more logical than traversing in. Really nice climb, and very little rope drag when done as one pitch with the direct start.
    By Adam Hicks`
    Sep 6, 2002

    I did it with the direct start, one 60m rope and not an ounce of rope drag...I guess I just placed well, with everything in line and all, and I didn't place too often. The upper cracks need some close protection, but after the small crux stemming between the hand and finger crack, it seemed there wasn't too much need for pro every few feet. Anyhoo, also wanted to mention a cool finish that Rossiter mentions. Go straight up from the top of Breezy (standing on walk off ledge, of course), using a nice V-slot, left facing dihedral. Pass the old, twisted, dead tree on it's left, working out onto the face via a nice foot ledge to join up with West Ridge for the last 40 feet. Once you work out above you is a sweet 40 feet of juggy face climbing to another tree. You can scramble up and over it or you can belay from a cave either below it or right next to its base but above the roots. We did this belay so we could rappel easily from the tree to the walk-off ledge at the top of Breezy. Alright, that's it! Happy climbing!
    By Stephen Allen
    Mar 16, 2003

    The crux of this climb is right at the start! We started right next to the start of Wind Ridge (the spot where the giant dihedral would touch the ground) and it was definitely a tricky move - be ready to put in pro (green alien works well) right above your head so you can pull up through the first move. The rest of the pitch is super easy (I put in a #1 camalot as a precaution). P2 is a lot of fun! Good protection in big cracks all the way to a huge ledge from which you can walk down. There always seemed to be a hold right where you needed it.
    By Chris Mueller
    Jun 20, 2003

    Fun climb. I've used it many times as a first climb or lead for people. Going right after the wide crack into the left facing dihedral at the top spices things up a bit (5.7?). Can easily be led in one pitch using the 5.6 start and a 60 M rope with almost no drag (use shoulder length runners).
    By Sally Cummings
    Jun 29, 2003

    I did this route today with my friend Rick, who just moved to Arvada from back east, and we both thought it was a great time! Lots of neat moves on solid rock, with plenty of great gear - at least Rick said so :-)
    By James Garnett
    From: Bellingham, WA
    Jul 3, 2003

    Agree that this is a good route, but don't know if it's such a great first lead unless the leader has good beta. The exposure can be threatening, and it's easy to wander into harder-than-5.5 territory--at least, that is, past the big ledge. If you do this in two pitches, then, assume that the second pitch will be the spicy one. Anchoring at the top walkoff can demand [creativity] if you came up with a thin rack.
    By Steve Matthys
    Aug 23, 2003

    You can easily anchor at the top of the 2nd pitch by wrapping the large boulder that is right in front of you when you pop up onto the ledge. Took me a few times to figure this one out, but if you got a thin rack it works great.
    By Jeff Gustafson
    Jun 1, 2004

    Another great moderate route on Wind Tower. This route felt better, harder, and more exposed than The Bomb, and took better gear, IMHO. If The Bomb is 5.4 this route is at least 5.5. I really enjoyed the exposure and the moves going up this route... If you have a couple of leads under your belt, this is a good one to try...
    By Danny
    Jun 7, 2004
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    This route is super fun. The walk-off is nice too. I did it in one pitch with minimal rope drag, although like most of the routes on wind tower, communication with your partner is problematic. The left finger crack feels harder than the dihedral but has ample pro. The exposure on the left crack is good.
    By DanMoore
    Sep 6, 2004

    Did this today, direct start. Other than one or two moves at the beginning, the first pitch is very mellow. Setting up a belay at the gnarled tree is a bit sketchy--you have the tree, and a nut above your head, but I couldn't find any other solid placements. The second pitch, however, makes it all worthwhile. It's super fun, easy jamming.
    By Buff Johnson
    Jun 19, 2006
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    Fun Second Pitch, try the climber's-right fingertip semi-variant dihedral to finsh this pitch out (blue Alien).
    By Livia
    From: Moose Jaw, SK
    Jul 17, 2006

    Comment on the 'good for new leader?' question: I would suggest this as a perfect lead for someone new to trad leading but with a fair amount of sport leading (at higher grades than this) under her belt. My reasoning is that even if the moves can be spicy (love that word, thanks) for someone nervous on lead, the climb has ample protection friendly to a new trad leader to place in. It was my second trad lead and was just exposed enough and with enough 5.7-if-you-arent-using-Eldo-ratings moves to really grab my attention but had enough easy placements to set my mind at ease.
    By Merlin
    From: Grand Junction
    Mar 21, 2007
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    I was out climbing yesterday and ended up doing the first pitch of Wind Ridge, but, having climbed the whole thing too many times, decided to try the second pitch on Breezy out. I have to say I found it to be absolutely stellar. It may be the most fun I have ever had on a 5.5. It has bomber pro, great cracks, and is very nicely sustained for the grade once the climbing starts. I think this route is the epitome of

    My friend who follows Eldo 5.8s well enough thought it might be a bit spicy for a first lead at the grade, but I'd say go try it out. It protects well enough that it would be a good bit of spice for a newer leader.
    By Chris JD
    From: Golden, Co
    Aug 6, 2007

    The twisted juniper at the top of P2 is now only a twisted juniper root. Belay at a good comfortable ledge in the dihedral.
    The first pitch was good and the finger crack system on the left was lotsa fun!! I think this went at closer to 5.6 than 5.5
    By Mark Griffin
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 29, 2007

    After the fun move at the start of the 5.6 variation, the rest of "pitch 1" is a slog, try not to get your shoes too sandy in the gully. We did the route as one pitch with a 60m rope. The upper half however is great fun and worth the scramble up the pitch 1 gully.
    Found 3 solid placements in the small crack at the back of the ledge in the left facing corner. Has anyone climbed that corner? It seems to have a pin scar near the ledge.
    By Ben Burnett
    From: Colorado
    Jan 30, 2008

    I would tend to disagree with some of the "first lead" comments. I find gear to be easy at the cruxes and throughout the second pitch. Much of the first pitch is easy climbing (maybe 4th class), but the gear seems sparse and tricky to me. This makes the route a good lead for the grade if you are a confident trad climber but not if you are a sport climber who isn't used to scrambling easy terrain with little protection.

    I think Breezy is a little harder than The Bomb (5.4), and about like Swanson's Arete (5.5).
    By Julius Beres
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 11, 2008
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    This climb is really fun for the grade. It also stays in the shade longer than most of the climbs on the face, so it was a good climb to do in the late morning as the rest of the face was getting really hot.

    I did both pitches in one with a 60m rope and some rope to spare. There was a bit of rope drag (I really needed two longer slings) but it was ok.

    A great place to take gym climber to practice some bomber hand jams on the second pitch.

    Nice easy walk off from the top (I've done Wind Ridge before and it really isn't worth going to the top of the tower from the walk off ledge... just one 5.5-5.6 move getting of the ledge and then a cruise up to the crumbly top which you have to some how get off of...)
    By Petsfed
    From: Laramie, WY
    Feb 8, 2009
    rating: 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c

    Now that the tree is gone, getting a good anchor at the top of the first pitch is a bit trying. Especially if you don't want a semi-hanging belay (in deference to my partner, I tried to avoid it). I elected to go in one continuous pitch, but I didn't sling the lower section well enough, so that upper section of 5.4 crack climbing felt A LOT harder. That or I really am totally weak this winter.

    There is still some loose rock on this climb, not too much and not big, but (as with most easy-moderate things in Eldo) a helmet is worthwhile.
    By Kevin Wood
    Jul 24, 2009

    Great easy route! I'm kinda surprised that there isn't more about the last pitch which I did today for the first time with my dad. I think its as good, if not better, than pitch two because the finish has some nice exposure and great featured rock. The first 20 feet or so is a bit scant on the pro (it's super easy) but after that its solid. The only real trick is getting to that rappel which is climbers left of the summit and requires a 4th/low 5th class traverse over some exposed terrain but is still a blast. Try it, its worth the time!!!
    By Dave Swink
    From: Boulder, Co
    Jun 9, 2010
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    I led this very enjoyable route today. The third move off of the ground was a bit challenging and off-balance but protectable. After that, the first pitch was easy.
    The second pitch was awesome crack climbing on clean rock.

    Cheryl followed but took the variation at the end of the pitch into the dihedral with the finger crack. Be aware there is a loose hold (currently marked with an X) at the beginning of that short dihedral.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Mar 12, 2011
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    I've climbed this several times and regard it as a date-climb. Not terribly challenging or continuous.
    By Canon
    Jun 23, 2011

    Building an anchor at the top of P2 is problematic if you have a full rack but not a lot of cordelette. Great climb otherwise, went all the way to the top.
    By I Man
    Dec 3, 2012

    I climbed this route on 12/1/2012. I found it difficult (at the time) to locate the start and wound up traversing in, without pro, from the left before gaining entry into the crack system. Once in the crack, it is easy 5th class, huge ledges separated by easy moves. The gear was abundant.

    The second pitch was the "real climbing," in my opinion. I moved into the crack on the left before placing a nut in the finger crack on the right and stepping back toward it and onto the face. I am a new leader, and this was the first "real" route I led in Eldo. I thought the exposure was healthy, but the moves were manageable and the pro was good.

    We used the walk off, and I easily built an anchor with a stopper and a #3 Camalot.
    By Lucien Heart
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 8, 2013

    Good for new leaders to read the beta. On pitch two I climbed into some trickier 5.7 climbing by going off route to the right in the gully having to make a very exposed traverse back onto the face to get back into the crack system, but the highlight was an impromptu appearance by Joe Huggins hiking in the middle of the thunder and downpour as he looked up at us and said... "You guys sure know to party!"
    By David Mattingly
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 24, 2013

    I've led a few routes in Gregory Canyon, Flatirons, and elsewhere, but they were pretty easy. This was my first lead that felt real and first multi-pitch lead. I chose it because I had seconded it before, and Levin's guidebook said it was a good beginner lead. The description here is right on. The first pitch is pretty easy, but the second pitch got interesting at the hand crack. This route is a good place to practice placing tri-cams. Walked off after 2nd pitch.
    By ZackB
    From: Littleton, CO
    Jun 13, 2013
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    Just to reiterate the comment about the belay ledge at the end of pitch one no longer has a twisted juniper tree. Only the root remains. Only matters if you want to do it in two pitches, and it could easily be done in one pitch with minimal rope drag with the direct start.
    By Charles Truslow
    From: Boulder,CO
    Mar 5, 2014

    This was also my first real lead in Eldo. I did it on a rather wet day which added to the spice. The opening moves and last 30ft or so of the climb were real climbing. Felt more like 5.6 at least to me but what a rush! A great lead for someone with at least some trad leading experience. The moves at the end required some balance work on the thin and somewhat exposed traverse, and the remainder of the climb after required some respectable jamming. Definitely a good mental game between mild exposure and climbing for the newer climber. The end is steeper than it looks. Hint: small stoppers and cams are a big help. Happy climbing!
    By Dom R
    From: Estes Park, Colorado
    Jul 11, 2014

    Probably one of the best routes of the grade in Eldo for sure. Incredibly fun and varied climbing, we did the traverse in start and did the whole climb as one pitch. With a 70m rope, we still had like half a rope left and drag wasn't that terrible. I'm currently using the old Rossiter guidebook that calls this 5.4, and I agree with others that it definitely feels stiffer than that, especially compared to The Bomb. Either way, don't pass this one up.
    By Scott McMahon
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 2, 2014
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    Start is a little awkward on the right up the left-facing ramp, but it is a fun climb. Do it in one pitch, stopping is a waste as it was shorter than I thought with a 60m. Pretty correct for the grade, but for new leaders, have your crux gear placing together. Gear is all there to protect the moves and there is some fun crack climbing. The only part that felt exposed is gaining the ramp up into the face as it was left leaning. (BETA) I threw in a blue TCU at the start and a BD 0.75 to pull the move around onto the face. Eats gear like crazy and takes lots of smaller stoppers.

    Fixed pink tricam up there if anyone is bored and needs it. Looks pretty new, although people have worked on it.

    Per the description, the descent from the second pitch isn't really anything. Hiking to the Whale's Tail is considerably more exposed. No worries.
    By Ryan-T
    From: Edgewater, CO
    Sep 17, 2015
    rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

    The pink tricam is still there, looks like people wailed on it pretty good, a 1 C4 is also nearby. I really enjoyed the second pitch on this route. Neat climbing with good protection. I did the third pitch from Levin's book. It was interesting to say the least... I enjoyed it a lot but found the start to be a little intimidating and the top run out. Overall, I'd say a good beginner lead.
    By Dan Evans
    From: Phoenix, AZ
    Sep 23, 2015
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    The direct start to this climb was thought provoking and a bit stiffer than I expected (would call it a 5.6+ one move wonder to gain the ramp). That been said, you can place a #1 C4 to protect it (if not for you, place gear for your second to prevent a pendulum). Once on the ramp, the climbing is 5.1-5.2 up the ramp to the crack system. I belayed my second from the start of the crack system on P2 as the only thing below was a small flake I didn't trust. Rope drag was a non-issue doing it this way and allowed for a stellar drag-free second pitch. Pitch 2 is probably one of the funnest 5.5 pitches I've climbed to date. Highly recommend pitch 2 for the new trad leader. Solid hand jams, eats pro, and all the placements are on solid rock. On a humorous note, when I got up to the pink tricam that was supposedly stuck, I literally just picked it up and it came right out. So thanks to whoever did all the work prior to my arrival. The #1 C4 is still there however. Didn't feel like cheese grating my hands trying to get it out.
    By ROSE Summers
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 9, 2017

    This was my first climb ever, it's really fun and enjoyable.

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