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The Watchtower - First Tier
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Joker, The T 
Mothers Day T 
North Crack  T 
Shelob's Lair T 
Watchtower Standard Route T 

The Joker 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 250'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a PG13 [details]
FA: Pat Callis, Bob Nester, June 1969
Page Views: 564
Submitted By: Joe giannetti on Oct 28, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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Climb the first two pitches of Watchtower Standard. Both belays are chain anchors. The third (final) pitch is The Joker. Traverse left from the belay, you will find two flaring cracks side by side. The crack closer to the belay is the one you want to be in higher up, although You can start it from the father flaring crack and move back into it, seemed to have better gear. Follow flaring crack up to face climbing (runout 5.7), to a bolt. Clip bolt and move onto north face, good climbing and good gear finishes the climb to chain anchors. Rappel watchtower standard route, one 60m gets you down, but tie the ends!! They just make it! There are R rated variations, this is just the most popular way up The Joker.


Lots of cams up to 3 ins. Offsets would work great, although I found plenty of good placements without any offsets. Bring doubles if you like to place gear often. The runout where the crack peters out is very stable climbing. (40ft).

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By Taylor VanRoekel 1
Sep 3, 2016

Hey guys,
My partner Alex and I left some gear (A sling, alpine draw and BD stopper) just underneath the runout section on The Joker's third pitch on the Watchtower in the canyon. If there are any bold folks out there braving this climb, I'd be more than happy to trade a sixer of your choice for the returned gear. My number is 507-340-7409, Thanks!
By Skyler Mavor
Jun 13, 2017

It should be said that this isn't your average 5.9 route by modern standards. The gear and the climbing are challenging and would be a poor choice for someone new to the grade or style.

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