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6. The Tower Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Any Which Way But Down/Ex-traction T 
Arrowhead TR 
Back to the Gym TR 
Back to the Wall T 
Crefeld Crank TR 
Dead Tree Dihedral TR 
Ex-traction Slab TR 
In & Out T,TR 
Johnson Route T,TR 
Manticore Dihedral T,TR 
Manticore Face TR 
Manticore Upper Arete T,TR 
No Rest for the Wicked TR 
Ogre Arete T,TR 
Rachel's Crack T,TR 
Red Knob, The T,TR 
Rock Romancer TR 
Rossinator, The TR 
Tower Wall Direct T 
Unrest of the Witches TR 

Manticore Upper Arete 

YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.3 French: 3+ Ewbanks: 10 UIAA: III ZA: 9 British: VD 3a [details]
FA: Ken + Sharon Roberts 2015 (first Recorded)
Page Views: 378
Submitted By: kenr on Aug 22, 2015

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BETA PHOTO: Routes overview Right side Tower Wall A - Rachel's...


Lots of interesting thoughtful low class 5 moves in a special rock situation. Too bad that difficulty level does not extend all the way to the bottom on the main Tower Wall ledge.

Reach the Start: Could join this route a bit higher than its bottom starting ledge, by first climbing the lower part of the Access Scramble route, then traversing Left to the arete. More interesting might be to start from Sunny Picnics area using Mushroom block (on a rope belay) to join the Access Scramble route - see the Mystical Mushroom Tour route.
Or could reach it by traversing right from the Red Knob route -- See the route In & Out .

The starting ledge could be reached by rappeling in from the top of the cliff (perhaps also using the Manticore Face tree anchor below the top).
Or by climbing up the (much more difficult) Manticore Dihedral route (or perhaps the Picnics Dihedral route).
Less-strong climbers possibly could be enabled to climb the Manticore Dihedral with a lower requirement of strength and technique -- if a stronger Trad Lead climber attaches an etrier / aid ladder to one or more pieces of Trad protection placed in the dihedral (or the etrier could be placed on rappel).

Route: Starting 20 feet off the ground from the ledge on the arete, go up to another ledge, and another. Diagonal right a few feet to temporarily avoid the crest of the arete, soon back Left across the crest to an interesting crack by means of a tricky step on sloping rock. Up that crack, then slab footwork to a tree anchor (nice for top-roping other routes), or to the top of the cliff.

Variation: Staying directly on the crest the whole way includes a sequence around 5.6
. . . [ Manticore? | images ] . . .

warning: The rock on and around this route has not been climbed much yet, and much of the rock is still breakable and loose -- so the belayer and other people should stand far away from underneath the climber.

. . . (Lots of vegetation on this rock as of 2015. Be prepared when climbing to navigate around protruding trees and branches, and dealing with holds slippery with grass, lichen, moss, dirt).


The far right edge of the Tower Wall, about 25 feet Right of the Dead Tree Dihedral.
But this route starts up on a ledge (just below some bushes) 20 feet above the main Tower Wall base ledge, so need to use a thoughtful strategy to get up to the start - (see above under "Reach the Start").


Lead: Protection for trad Lead is mostly small and medium-small cams and stoppers. The direct Variation about half-way up is not well-protected.

Top-Rope: Top anchor can be set up with a static line from one (or two) trees -- might need to use two trees to handle the angle. Or control rope angle by using a sling from the tree anchor for Manticore Face: twenty to thirty feet below the top of the cliff, about ten feet climber's left (west) from the arete (requires a low class 5 move to get from the top of the cliff down to this tree, so recommend using a rope to reach it).

Might need Trad directional protection to prevent a falling climber swinging toward climber's left (west).

The rock is high-friction, so think about how to minimize rope drag for Top-Roping. If belaying from the bottom, seems like having the belayer stand below right from the Manticore Dihedral helps reduce rope friction.

Photos of Manticore Upper Arete Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Manticore Dihedral with etrier aid ladder to enabl...
BETA PHOTO: Manticore Dihedral with etrier aid ladder to enabl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Manticore Upper Arete with Top-Rope
BETA PHOTO: Manticore Upper Arete with Top-Rope

Comments on Manticore Upper Arete Add Comment
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By kenr
Oct 26, 2015

Largest pieces I used for leading it were a BD Camalot C4 0.75 and BD Stopper #8.

. (We saw evidence that someone else in years previously had done some trimming of vegetation along the line of the route, so seems likely they also climbed up it, perhaps on Top-Rope which would be the obvious way to do trimming - or perhaps on Lead. Therefore the FA entry above is only for the first Recorded ascent).

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