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Shark's Head Tower

Shark's Head Tower Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 9,500'
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Administrator: Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ken Trout on Nov 5, 2015

25° | 18°

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Even though its not the most impressive of the Leaning Towers, Shark's Head is a rock climber's summit that gets positive reports. There are two summit blocks and the higher one requires straddling a knife edge (au cheval).
Rock Climbing Photo: by A A McCoubrey found in CAJ 1933
by A A McCoubrey
found in CAJ 1933

Instead the west side to north col route used by the first ascent, try the Southeast Ridge if coming from the south end of the range (Dewar Hot Springs). Patrick Morrow reported one long pitch of excellent 5.7 (CAJ 1972). Others report 5.8 (CAJ 1992)! All say it is a great crack and that the second pitch is a wild too. Traverse right to nice final move onto a sub-summit. To get back to your snow shoes, reverse the traverse, then one long rappel down to the glacier travel.

In 2015, Shark's Head got a new 5.9/blue ice route up the east face (Bury-Mauther Expedition, CAJ 2015). The real news is that they avoided down-climbing glacier ice by fixing a bunch of rappel stations with pins, nuts, and slings. From the saddle between the summit pyramids, a few rappels north toward Hall Peak end at easier ground. Last but not least for commitment, find a few more rappels to get down the lower east face.

Please go to the Leaning Towers.


Climbing Season

For the Columbia Mountains area.

Weather station 17.6 miles from here

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