FFA South Pillar of Main Tower, Mendenhall Towers TR


Discussion Topic

Return to Forum List
This thread has been locked
Messages 1 - 14 of total 14 in this topic

Juneau AK
Topic Author's Original Post - Jul 14, 2011 - 05:04pm PT
This amazing very asthetic line was first climbed in 1973 by John Svenson and Mike Clark. It takes the most direct line up the central pillar of the Main Tower in the Mendenhall Towers outside Juneau Alaska. A second line was climbed by Jacek Maselko and partner to the right, I believe, but I don't know many of the details.
Gabe on Pitch 3
Gabe Hayden and I flew out Sunday night July 10th 2011 as the weather broke. I had 3 main objectives but after taking into consideration the fact that I hadn't had rock shoes on in over 6 months and our 2 day weather window we decided to go right for the buttress.

The first two pitches (150m) or so was fairly moderate slab climbing with short 5.8 cruxes on very clean stone. The climb began to rear back on the 3rd pitch and gave us our only real dirty climbing on the entire route. It also brought use to the first pitch of the headwall and the crux pitch.
Ryan on the crux pitch
The crux kicked my ass... It is an .11a flared slot with a funky crack in the back. The pitch ends at the beginning of the main headwall crack that goes continuously for 300ft beginning as a finger crack then opening to a wide fist. The 5th Pitch was definitely the glory lead.
Gabe leading pitch 5, 5.10d
Ryan following pitch 5
Mmore amazing pitches followed in the 5.10-5.9 range as we topped out the main pillar. We took nice long breaks hydrating enjoying the surroundings as we realized that the was going to go. Sunny days in Southeast Alaska are so rare it important to appreciate them.
//Ryan packing the tag/haul line high on route//
As the climb mellowed out we popped off the climbing shoes, put on the approach shoes and simuled the rest of the way to the summit. It was Gabe's first real Alaskan summit.
//Gabe on the Summit of Main Tower 7/11//
We descended the mountaineers route and got back to the tent an hour before night fell. As we recorded our route pitch by pitch we discovered our route was nearly 2000ft long. The next morning I awoke barely able to move, but was able to bake it from the tent to lawn chairs where gabe and I day drank until mid afternoon when our ride home showed up. A big thanks to Gabe. He really put his head down and made it happen. Thanks for reading.

Ryan Johnson

Summary: South Buttress Main Tower, Mendenhall Towers, 5.11a 2000ft FFA 7,11, 2011

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2011 - 05:59pm PT

Looks like quite the route!

Thanks for posting up!


Oakland, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 06:17pm PT
A single splitter that unlocks the headwall at .10+... sounds like paradise. Thanks for the post.

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 06:23pm PT
Nice nice pics but it doesn't count in that weather. Sorry.

Trad climber
Ouray, Colorado
Jul 14, 2011 - 06:53pm PT
Well done! Looks like good stone.

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Jul 14, 2011 - 06:58pm PT
Looks awesome! I especially like the pic of wrastlin' the flare.

Mountain climber
Juneau, AK
Jul 14, 2011 - 07:39pm PT
Excellent, glad you got out and took advantage of the sunny weather!

Was your route the sun shadow line on the main tower or was it further to climbers right? (The photos were taken in August 2010)

Juneau AK
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 14, 2011 - 08:32pm PT
Yeah Bob, that shaded line more or less defines the line.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jul 14, 2011 - 10:02pm PT
Sweet looking climbing! Great rock.

Thanks for posting the TR!

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2011 - 11:13pm PT
Wow, what a prize. Thank you!

Trad climber
Jul 14, 2011 - 11:17pm PT
that rock (and weather) looks killer.

nothing better than good stone right off the snow under blue skies.


Trad climber
Jul 14, 2011 - 11:28pm PT

Mountain climber
Juneau, AK
Jul 15, 2011 - 01:55am PT
Bump, for actual climbing.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jul 15, 2011 - 11:19am PT
Alaska BUMP!!!
Messages 1 - 14 of total 14 in this topic
Return to Forum List
Our Guidebooks
Check 'em out!
SuperTopo Guidebooks

Try a free sample topo!

SuperTopo Videos

Recent Route Beta