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The Watchtower - First Tier
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Watchtower Standard Route T 

Watchtower Standard Route 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 1,259
Submitted By: Jason Albino on Apr 20, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (21)
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Making the way up to the end of the first pitch.


Between Dog Buttress and The Joker you'll find a solid flat spot to belay this route (all these routes are right of Mother's Day). The first pitch doesn't look like much, and in fact is dirty and the solid pro opportunities are limited. Eyeball this first pitch closely to see if you're comfortable leading with minimal pro (probably goes at 5.6 depending on how creative you are with routefinding).

If you do, you'll be rewarded with the excellent final two pitches:

P2 has the crux - a thoughtful stem-left, then mantle sequence through the route's sole roof. After gaining the belay, P3 is an excellent, non-grunty chimney with great stem rests & pro, and several options for tackling its vertical.

If P1 were as good as P2 and P3, it might deserve four stars for the sheer fun and solid pro.

Rap the route via fixed bolts. A great afternoon multi in Gallatin Canyon if you get a late start or are looking for a mellower day, since it requires less approach hiking that most of the routes on the adjacent formations.


Rap the route via fixed anchors (look for traffic below before going, especially on the first rap).


Medium-to-wide gear. Bolted anchors.

Photos of Watchtower Standard Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Aim for this notch.
BETA PHOTO: Aim for this notch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2- Heading to R side of the roof
Pitch 2- Heading to R side of the roof
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 1- More fun than it looks like
Pitch 1- More fun than it looks like
Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3- full value 5.8
Pitch 3- full value 5.8

Comments on Watchtower Standard Route Add Comment
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By Dana Prosser
From: Boulder
Aug 18, 2013

Pitch 3 is the crux. No wide gear needed, standard rack up to a #3 camalot
By Greg Sievers
From: Bozeman, MT
Jul 13, 2015

the raps can be done with one 60m rope, but its close. and the last rap to the ground will leave you about 5' off the floor with an easy scramble down a couple moves.
By Eli B.
Apr 17, 2016

Pitch two might be my favorite pitch in the canyon. Pitch 3 is stout 5.8, lots of fun as well. Nice bolted anchors at the top of every pitch. Decent via rappel is much easier than walking off. Great climb.
By Stan Pitcher
From: SLC, UT
Aug 3, 2016

Location: Just right of the 'elevator shaft' follow the obvious cleft for 100 feet and then exit right to the large ledge and bolted anchor. This pitch is clean enough where you climb and for the most part well protected (with big gear you could sew it up). Second pitch continues up the cleft and then passes the overhangs on the right (based on description here, I thought initially I was supposed to go thru left side). The 3rd pitch is the money pitch - excellent climbing up the chimney feature.
By Matt Wenger
From: Bozeman
Mar 27, 2017

P3 is definitely the crux of the route, though the crux of the 2nd pitch is definitely airy and thrilling! You can escape right and go around the roof on P2, but don't do it. The roof is way more fun! P1 was such easy climbing, that the lack of gear wasn't worth worrying about.

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