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White Witch 

YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 85'
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Lance Hadfield 2007
Page Views: 1,466
Submitted By: Shirtless Mike on Oct 29, 2007

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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BETA PHOTO: White Witch Topo. September 2017. Yellow - Rumple...

Thompson Canyon MORE INFO >>>


Start just left of Jabberwocky on the same platform. Make a few easy moves to set up for the first crux. Manage through this and head up on easy but pumpy moves. At times it is unavoidable (at the grade) to avoid using a couple holds on Rumplestiltskin, without moving off the intended bolt line. Continue up managing the pump to another crux. Pull this and head up to a no-hands rest in a small alcove. Rest up. From the alcove, climb up the shallow corner for a couple moves, clip another bolt, then work your way out left and continue up the green/brown streak past one more bolt to the anchors.

Contains a few hard moves for a tower route, but there are plenty of jugs to rest on.

For the first ten years of this route's existence, it didn't have its own finish or anchors. Instead, climbers simply merged left into Rumplestiltskin's final two bolts and anchor. In September 2017, the route finally got its own independent finish and anchor making this route a fine first 12a on the Tower.


Between Rumplestiltskin and Jabberwocky. Starts just left of Jabberwocky in the same small cave/platform.


12 bolts to its own, independent anchor

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 11, 2017
By Shirtless Mike
From: Denver, CO
Oct 29, 2007

If this route was the only route in this area of the tower it would be a 3 or 4 star line, but it felt more than a little squeezed to me.

Having it's own independant anchors would also make this a better route.

This was originally graded 11+, but now says 12a at the base.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Oct 30, 2007
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Looked like it was a little squeezed to me but I have not been on it. I will reserve judgment until after I climb it. I hope it is not one of those climbs where you have to force yourself not to move 3 feet right to the obvious line of holds. I don't mind sharing a hold or two if the lines are naturally separate as most routes at the tower are. I don't like totally contrived routes where the bolt line is a few feet off the line of easier holds so you have to stay on the bolt line to maintain the grade. It would be sad to see that start happening at the tower.
By Shirtless Mike
From: Denver, CO
Nov 7, 2007

Rumor has it that this climb will eventually get it's own anchors, making it a better and more independant line.

Fortunatly 90% of this line uses its own holds while climbing the natural line. It is the other 10%, the closeness of the bolts between this and Rumplestiltskin, and the currently shared anchors that make this squeezed imo.

The name is something like White Queen or White Blizzard or something, but I can't remember exactly.
By lance hadfield
From: tijeras
Aug 12, 2008

people seem to be traversing off the the line going left to avoid the moves it does go strait through without any added difficulty. I think chalk confuses people and makes it easier to go to familiar ground. the same thing happened to Adam reeds routes when they were added. you should try to go strait through rather than bail. the moves are good and the grade is the same. 5.12a The name is White Witch and I will try to get the route its own anchors so we will have one more independent line to train on. I think it will be great once it cleans up with traffic.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Oct 20, 2008
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

I can't believe another summer has gone by and I didn't make it over. So I still cannot make a judgment about whether it is squeezed or not. But your comments are interesting Lance. If as you say the chalk confuses people and they go to familiar ground, that ground must be pretty close by. I personally don't care much for routes that cause you to ask "is this hold on?" That is when it becomes contrived or squeezed.

Also the idea of putting a route at the Tower so you have another route to train on sounds odd. I always felt that there were more than enough routes to run laps on at the tower. Guy Agee who helped me write the current guidebook had done, at that time, every route on the tower and linked up every possible climb. Mad Hatter to the finish of Rubber Mission, Goliath to Mad Hatter, and so on. If you are bored and need more training you might try doing that.

Not trying to get in a fight here just some thoughts. As I said I have not climbed the route so I can't comment on the squeeze aspect but based on your comment I just had these thoughts.
By Anthony Stout
From: Albuquerque, NM
Mar 2, 2009
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a

I would have to agree that this line is squeezed and adds very little uniqueness to the tower. It's fun and worth doing if you're trying to tick off all the tower routes, but certainly the worst of it's grade on the tower. Both a middle section and the upper section are shared holds with Rumplestilskin. If your not paying close attention(as me) and focused on clipping the bolts in front of you, you will end up clipping the bolt on Rumplestilskin, going back on route, and can find your self with hellish rope drag (then reversing course to clean the bolt you clipped on Rumplestilskin).

Route is also still dirty and one can look forward to bits of sand coming out of some of the holds.

As far as the grade goes, I felt this route was a bit more difficult than Rumplestilskin but easier than Jabberwacky. There seemed to be three distinct and sequency crux moves, all with fairly reachy and big moves.
By 1Eric Rhicard
Jun 22, 2010
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

One of the great things about the Tower is the onsight potential of most routes. You see the chalked pockets and you try to unlock the sequence or just pull til you get to the next jug. This climb is so close to other routes that I spent a good bit of time trying to decide what holds to use and this just ruins it for me. I am sure when this was top roped it was easy to work around the other climb's holds and convince yourself it was worth bolting. I have done it myself. Yes there is some fun climbing (where isn't there at the tower) but you need gym tape to figure out where the route goes. As Disturbing the Peace said the route would be great if it stood alone or had more space between it and the other routes. Sorry Lance, you have put up good routes and you know what makes a good route. Trying to decide what holds are on and which are not means leave the drill in the car.
By A.S..
Aug 5, 2010
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a

Great new route Lance!! Very unique for tower climbing. Powerful moves and a no hands off width rest! very cool. We need climbs in the shade here in NM, so thanks. I had no problem following the line. I at one point touched a hold from Jabber and finished the last bolt on Rumple. Still, the line was primarily independent and once it cleans up it should rival it's neighbors.
By Justin Turner
From: Cave Creek, AZ
Mar 20, 2011

Got on this route for the first time this weekend and really enjoyed the route! Independent line of its own IMO. Anyone know of any plans (soon) to add a couple bolts to this line so it continues straight up to its own set of anchors? That would be great. Cool line.
By lance hadfield
From: tijeras
Nov 16, 2011

I am heading down this weekend and will try to give it a finish of its own so we can climb more in the shade.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Apr 8, 2012

I though the lower section of this route climbed really well. The only thing that is lacking down there is the fact that everyone goes to CHALK. If you look for the holds or if there was not a ton go chalk all over Rumpled you would never think twice. Sweet sinker 2 and 3 finger pockets lead up the lower half of this route.

Time to get it's own finish...
By Brototype Winkler
From: The Bay Area
May 15, 2013
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Climbed this recently and figured I would add my 2 cents.

If this climb gets more traffic, a couple of more bolts, and its own set of anchors I think it could be a great route.

As for shared holds: I spent quite a bit of time trying to unlock a decent sequence to get through the lower/middle section and decided that using two holds on Rumple was much less contrived and kept the grade in the ball park. I found a couple of holds that could be used to keep it independent, but they were pretty bad and would increase the difficulty significantly. I also used one or two holds on Jabber by the big tongue shaped feature. With this beta I still felt like it was significantly harder than Rumple and an incredibly difficult onsight considering the lack of chalk and traffic.

That being said, there are some huge, fun moves on big holds with potential for safe air. Fun route if you're looking for some adventure.
By the schmuck
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 24, 2017
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

This is not a terrible route, but after doing or being on everything 12c and under on the Tower, I'd say that it is the worst of the lot. There remain significant chossy sections, and the climbing can be confusing and not very flowy. Regardless, this is a fun route that is quite solid and cryptic at 12-. An anchor at the last bolt would be nice, as one could avoid the last two bolts of 10- jug hauling on Rumple (would make cleaning easier).
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Sep 11, 2017
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

This weekend I added two bolts and a separate anchor on this route to make it a completely independent line. The independent finish up the brown/green streak is still a bit flaky (tread lightly until it cleans up) but has some great pockets on it and feels a bit more sustained than the finish of Rumplestiltskin which adds some quality to this line. After the no-hands pod rest, climb the corner for a few moves then move out left into the streak and up to the anchors. I added a topo photo to show the complete line.

The way I climb this route I use two holds shared with Rumple between bolts 5 and 6 and the "gritty tongue" shared with Jabberwocky. It's a really fun, steep climbing on big holds with big moves.

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