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Clevenger Route 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 350', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Vern Clevenger, Dennis Hennek, and Galen Rowell 1972
Season: spring and fall
Page Views: 407
Submitted By: Josh Cameron on May 15, 2012

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The crux of the climb, just a couple of moves away...


Like with the Ordinary Route, this is adventure climbing. If you want to retain the adventure, then don't keep reading.

Pitch 1 (5.7): The climbing starts out easy enough up a right facing corner. At some points, it is tricky to place pro as the crack flares inward. There were packrats living in this crack when we were there, so handjam with care. The crux is about 3/4 of the way up the initial corner. The corner steepens and you have an intermittent finger crack. The crack looked like it would only take marginal pro from me, but you might be able to get a solid piece here. Above the crux, the route enters a long and fun traverse up and right, again with intermittent pro. Take care with the bushes; some of them have little thorns! Belay either below pitch 2 on a small stance or a bit to the right on a spacious sandy ledge. It's 190 feet to the ledge.

Pitch 2 (rated 5.9, but felt 5.10): There are two finger cracks, one in the right facing corner and one a little farther right in the middle of the huecoed face. We climbed the one in the middle of the face with good finger jams. The first crux on this pitch is pulling over a bulge with good fingers, but poor feet. After this section, climb up under the roof: what comes next is the business of the entire climb. There are two horizontal hand cracks followed by a vertical flake to help you through; both take solid pro. The feet are poor at best; the face here is slicker than glacier polished granite! The crux is when you realize you can no longer climb up and now have to traverse to the right. I used some strenuous chimney moves to make it to the rest stance on the right of the roof. Climb to the top of the tower and build your belay where you see fit.

Pitch 3: We did not finish with the standard 5.6 finish. Instead we finished with the last pitch of "All Along the Watchtower," which is described here. Climb up easy face and steep blocks until the blocks begin to trend left. For the standard finish, continue heading left following the blocks. Eventually, you'll want to head up and right on a dike. For "All Along the Watchtower", continue climbing up the face on good patina flakes following the bolts to the top. About 30 feet from the top is the crux: switch your climbing into slab technique (rated 10a, but after the second pitch felt like 5.9).


From the parking area, it is the prominent right facing corner just right of the obvious lone pine.


Finger sized pieces to hand/fist sized. I brought a set of nuts and doubles of cams from .3 BD C4 to #3 C4 and a single #4 C4. I used the #4 once, but a #3 would probably have worked just as well.

Photos of Clevenger Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Clevenger Route begins in the right facing cor...
BETA PHOTO: The Clevenger Route begins in the right facing cor...
Rock Climbing Photo: The initial fun crack and stemming moves of the cl...
The initial fun crack and stemming moves of the cl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh below the crux on pitch 1.
Josh below the crux on pitch 1.

Comments on Clevenger Route Add Comment
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By Jeff Scheuerell
Aug 26, 2015

I just climbed all three pitches of All Along the Watchtower a few days ago. Well at least I think I did. I know I did the first 2 but the third pitch was nothing like you described, so maybe I was off route. The pitch I did had 1 bolt near the top of the pitch as per Marty's guide but was a bit left of the line on his topo. That being said it was a stellar pitch. Very hard for 10a. The pitch initially protected well along a nice finger crack that turned into runout face at the top. The bolts on the route were questionable and the bolt on the lst pitch was next to a bomber pink tricam so I skipped the 1/4" bolt. I just wished the bolt was 10' lower, then the whole pitch would have had great protection.
By Josh Cameron
From: California in my Mind
Jan 17, 2016

Who knows what I did, except it was a fun finish. When I did Clevenger Route, I checked out the first half of the 2nd pitch of All Along the Watchtower and it looked stellar though a bit sketch!

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