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Redgarden - Tower One
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Short Arm Inspection. T 
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Song of the Dodo T,TR 
South Face of Tower One T 
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Ytrid Deed, The T 

South Face of Tower One 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 320', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: Layton Kor & Bob Culp, 1962
Fixed Hardware: 3 Lead Pins [details]
Page Views: 154
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on Jun 9, 2002

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Tony Bubb on the Colorful S. Face of Tower One (5....

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  • Description 

    The South Face of Tower One begins from the top end of the Upper Ramp between Mellow Yellow and Exit Stage Left. All three pitches of this route are interesting and good, but the first two have some suspect rock. This route sees very little traffic and has much more lichen on it than chalk.

    Climb one of several routes to the Upper Ramp; (Super Slab leads right to it) follow the ramp to its top and look for a disjunct crack system with two bushes in it and a piton where the crack peters out.

    Pitch 1: 120', 5.10c S. Follow the moderate crack system past two bushes and move onto the face where the crack ends. Continue straight up some 5.9 face climbing with rather scant protection until you reach a piton about 60 feet off the deck. Clip the pin and move right on tricky, 10c face moves and continue up a thin flake and into a thin right leaning ramp/corner system. Follow the ramp system up and right, belay on the first decent ledge you reach.

    Pitch 2: 130', 5.9+. From the belay, continue up and right in the moderate crack for about 15' before cutting back left on face holds and move into the leaning roof system that cuts across the entire face. Stay below the roof and follow it up and left via underclings, liebacks and face moves for about 100 feet. There are a couple of old pitons on this pitch that should be backed up. When the roof system ends continue straight up past two pitons to a wide belay ledge just right of the arete on the Yellow Spur. This pitch is pretty intense for the grade.

    Pitch 3: 100' 5.6 Smove left and meet up with the last pitch of the Yellow Spur and climb the beautiful arete to the summit of Tower One or traverse off right via 4th class terrain to the anchor atop Smoke and Mirrors.

    Descend as for the Yellow Spur.


    Standard Eldo rack plus a #2 ballnut.

    Photos of South Face of Tower One Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Appoaching the pin and the crux.
    Appoaching the pin and the crux.

    Comments on South Face of Tower One Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 20, 2012
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 10, 2002

    Is the fixed pin on the first pitch worth anything? I seem to remember it being pretty questionable in 1999. Can you back it up?
    By Bryson Slothower
    Jun 10, 2002

    The pin is decent, it will hold body weight but I wouldn't want to fall on it. I didn't have much time to inspect it but my partner said it was driven into a block that didn't look very securely attached to the slab. I didn't see any way to back it up but I got a good ballnut about 6 feet below the pin and a good TCU about 8 feet above the pin. The rock through this section is solid but it is still relatively dangerous....
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 11, 2002

    How can a pin be decent despite someone not wanting to fall on it? But, and this is supposed to be reassuring, it can hold bodyweight? What good is that, except to bail? It's not an aid route. The pin is INDECENT!
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 11, 2002

    I agree, if the pin barely holds body weight, it is not decent! But I take Bryson's comment to say definitely take a screamer for that piton (not that you'll see me on this route).
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 11, 2002
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Bryson, Thanks for the info- I've been thinking about returning to this route. I was on this route in 1999 and I seem to remember being highly suspicious of the pin, which is why I asked. I also remember thinking that the right sized large cam (maybe #4) would have fit somewhere around the pin (above or below, can't recall) but I remember dismissing that thinking it might dislodge a block and send it as a missile at my belayer. Sounds like the same pin I saw. I think your comment added provides an assessment of the pin that is detailed enough for all to get your point.In hindsight, maybe this is a point to make in the original post about fixed gear. Hopefully that is taken as a constructive suggestion.

    I posted my question about the pin as an AC- Sorry about that. I forgot to click in my name. I am not the one, however, who was shouting about the pin later. I am sorry to see that an AC is trying to get some weird satisfaction out of slamming you.

    AC, For my own part, I try not to shout and I honestly try to sign everything I post and when I comment on a route. I also make sure I let people know if I have actually been on it or not- and base my comments on my own individual experience -- if the writers don't do this, it can get very difficult for readers to separate the hyperbole from the facts. For example, Bryson made his info clear, and George gave an opinion, but stated clearly that it was a general statement and that he'd not been on this route. I have no idea if you've done the route and if I had not, I'd be wondering just how bad the thing is, because you seem emphatic about how awful it is, but I don't know if you've ever even looked at it.

    Also, signing your name to a post is critical info, so that a pattern can be established. People may say "Gee-wiz, I can climb that because JohnDoe is very conservative about what he calls and S" or "I am not going to attempt that because in my experience, JohnDoe is a sandbagger." For my own part, I frequently use the FA information in guidebooks to make healthy decisions about my route choices. By way of example, I generally don't try to do Alec Sharp 5.11's or Derek Hersey S-rated routes while on-sight leading.

    Hopefully this can also be taken as constructive.
    By Bill Wright
    Jun 11, 2002


    Damn right about that comment on Alec Sharp 5.11s! It is amazing that guy could get off the ground with balls that big. His routes are, in general, extremely serious. Most of the time his routes are marked S or VS, though.

    By Bryson Slothower
    Jun 11, 2002

    AC, there are a lot of "good" pins that I don't want to fall on, I try to avoid falling. Which ones do you "want" to fall on? Sign your name.

    Decent does not mean good, [relatively] dangerous means just that.

    I appreciate the constructive suggestions, I really do not want to mislead anyone about this route, as I have said it IS dangerous. All things considered I should probably revise my [assessment] of the pin. I DO NOT KNOW if it would hold a fall, if you think you will end up testing it, don't try this climb. The pin holds body weight and this is significant even if it is not an aid climb because If you can take before the crux to help avoid a dangerous fall in my opinion it is worth noting. This route is not for everyone, the crux is not the only dangerous part. I am not trying to dupe people into trying a dangerous route and I am sorry if that is the impression people got. I enjoyed this route and will do it again. Tony, thank you for your suggestions, will consider what you said when adding routes in the future.Peace..................
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 21, 2002

    ...I replaced the pin a few months ago, on the lead, while doing "Mushy Peas." It was ...and came out very easy. Now there is a well-placed #4 Lost Arrow. The crack, however, is expanding so I wouldn't put much faith in the pin alone. When I whacked the pin in, the crack opened up enough to squeeze in a #0000 cam and a #3 Camalot can be placed about 1 ft. underneath it, so it doesn't feel as scary as when I led it 6 or 7 years ago. --B.B.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 14, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Some notes, having just done the first pitch Saturday before being rained off, then the whole thing on Sunday.

    The pin on the first pitch is not that great- It's OK, but not great. I'd loathe to fall far on it. THe #4 or #3.5 Camalot below is a decent placement in dubious rock. The next piece down is some distance. It is certain that to feel good about this lead you either have to be solid at the grade (confident you won't fall) or capable of convincing (fooling) yourself that the gear is good.

    Next note- this climb is easily done in 2 pitches with a 70M rope- one to the top of the tower above the first good ledge in the corner (~160') and then one out left under the roof and up the yellow Spur Arete (~215').
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Mar 11, 2005
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Finally led the crux pitch last weekend but didn't have time to do the last two pitches. The middle pitch is what I really want to do.

    This felt barely S to me, with 2 big cams below the pin and a nut at the pin. The move right felt easy to me, maybe 10a if you can reach far enough sideways. After the move right you can get a microcam in the flake that I'm sure would hold body weight, but not much more, since the flake is thin. This provides a bailout option if you need it. The moves above are only 8 or 9 to the shallow corner.

    The hard part for me was getting the gear in the corner. My fingers latched into the hole that takes the best cam. I got a decent brass nut higher, but wasn't totally happy. The moves into the corner are annoyingly difficult. Maybe only 9, but you don't want to risk falling.

    I know that my description makes this sound pretty much like an S climb, but I felt pretty safe as opposed to, say, on Backtalk, also 10c S, on which you risk a huge fall on climbing of similar difficulty with no chance for gear until the bad pin.
    By david goldstein
    May 28, 2005
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    A very worthy route, esp if you're tired of the same old, same old. Its rarely traveled status gives it an old time (licheny) feel.

    This reach impaired climber found the crux to be solid for the grade, for first thing that pops into my head comparison's sake, harder than XM. That said, the crux is literally one move with much easier climbing immediately before and after and it is well protected -- I was able with some difficulty to reach right at the start of the crux and place a solid #4 RP sized micro nut.

    I can't believe people don't rave about the second pitch which is continuous, well protected and somewhat out there. It might be possible to approach this pitch from the end of Body Tremors with a little downclimbing if you don't feel like messing with the first pitch.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Mar 2, 2008
    rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b

    I felt cheated on the crux pitch. With all of the hype the crux pitch gets, I was expecting some hard moves above iffy gear. This may be the easiest 5.10c at Eldo. If you bring the right gear, it is also very well protected. The money pitch is the 50-60ft roof traverse on pitch 2. I think this 5.9+ pitch is a more demanding lead than the "crux" pitch.
    By Bruce Diffenbaugh
    From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
    Mar 9, 2008
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    An old timie route with lots of hype not climbed much. Sounds good to me. Think I'll lead it this week. Cool.
    By Bruce Diffenbaugh
    From: Cheyenne,Wyoming
    Mar 17, 2008
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    So, I led this route last Friday. Cool, we had the whole canyon to ourselves, good line. My first line in Eldo. I'll be back for sure. Oh, no need for all the Hype. The pin is good. :o
    By Greg Cameron
    May 18, 2009

    Funny that someone should just mention that the pin is good. My friend took a 4-foot fall onto the pin yesterday, which not only pulled, but also expanded the flake such that other gear in the flake pulled out and he ended up taking a 30-foot whipper.

    So, the pin is no longer there. However, as I recall from doing this route a couple of years ago, there is a perfect slot for a #3 Camalot just below where the pin was. This should adequately protect the section. Without that #3 this pitch will likely feel pretty sketchy.
    By Max Joseph
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 20, 2012
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R

    A good bit of lichen on this one, but it's definitely worth doing. I did find the first pitch crux to be a bit spicy, so I'd echo other comments about being solid on 5.10 climbing.

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