Geek Towers - Center Route ???


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Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - May 1, 2007 - 09:18pm PT
This looks like it would be nice adventure day...

Anybody done this and can guess how wet it is with present level of Upper Yos Falls?

May 1, 2007 - 09:37pm PT
Geek Towers - Center Route is awesome and did it with I forgot who the first time.

Once a couple of years later went to free solo it in Feb. one winter. But the off-width was wet.

I found a number 10 hex at the base that day and brought it with me just in case I needed to bail somewhere. Hah, it fit right in at the OW pitch where it was wet. I had dragged two 7mm ropes with me for the descent.

I believe it should be dry now, but don't really know. Go for it!

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 1, 2007 - 10:09pm PT
Thanks Werner!

Alright, who's up for this on May 11, 12, or 13?

Should be some sweet views of the waterfalls and LA Spire from an uncommon perspective. Also a great trip to scope out LA Chimney.

Pitch ratings look like:
5.10a OW

If we have any juice left afterwords, we can TR some pitches of the right side during the raps... there's 2 5.9 squeeze pitches and a 5.10a OW pitch.

Big Wall climber
under a coconut tree
May 1, 2007 - 11:33pm PT
I was up there last summer with TEd Shred.

1. its frick'n hot up there in the pm.
2. to get to the real "base" you need to skirt an improbable traverse to the left. It looks like it gets cliffed out?? but no.
you end up on a huge flat and some what wet ledge(depending on the wind) and your right at the edge of a beautiful cliff and the falls.
3. the OW looks overhanging and wide. I would definatly bring some extra tat as the raps down the other routes are probally scetchy at best.

I'd say that the 5.9 rating is a total sandbag. in looking at it its stout.

We got such a late start and it was bacon up there that we didn't do the route. Just to get to the base was......interesting.

Im hoping to get to it ( rematch ) in a month.

Its beautiful up there. F*#k'n beautiful. Thats a summit worth standing on.

Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
May 2, 2007 - 12:13am PT
You may want to check out if the rappel anchors have been replaced or beefed up. I remember them being pretty bad a while back. Bring a kit maybe. Werner probably knows.

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 2, 2007 - 10:44am PT
Werner- #10 mana from heaven! Just for you. What is the story with the crux pitch on Freestone? Says 5.11d ow/fist. Any recollections or stories assuming that you've done that one? With all the love for the wide, this one seems to have been left out of the discussion along with Fallout.

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
May 2, 2007 - 11:46am PT
I don't remember the raps being especially poor, so if the bolts are bad, there must be several of them.

Climbing the SS Bench Regular Route is a fun way to get there.

May 2, 2007 - 11:58am PT

The crux pitch on freestone is probably over rated. When Dale lead the thing on the first ascent he straight in fist jammed the upper part. Everyone lay-backs the thing there after (easier).

It's still an intimating looking pitch that I've lead on 12 different ascents. Each time I've gotten there I was still scared of the thing.

As for the #10 hex that I found, yeah that was strange how that ended up working. I could have easily down climbed back to the belay on that pitch. The #10 hex just made life a whole lot easier at that point.

Edit: I did the route once with Gib Lewis and one of Bridewell's rap route bolts broke on him while he was descending. I had backed the bolt up with some slings around a block before he took off (for just in case purposes).

When the bolt snapped Gibb yelled up and asked what happened. I told him the bolt broke and it's your lucky day.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 2, 2007 - 12:08pm PT
Thanks for the info Werner. That one is still at the top of my list and for good reason if you have logged a dozen ascents!

All good soloists deserve favor however it is manifested.

Sounds like you were the unlucky guy to then rappel off of the back up block! One bolt station?
Greg Barnes

May 2, 2007 - 12:54pm PT

Geek Towers Rappel Route/Right Side Route Replaced 1 bolt at each of the lower 4 rappel stations 07/01 Jack Hoeflich

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
May 22, 2012 - 04:31pm PT
Bump the tread with the question: For those who climbed Geek Tower in May-June:
Is there big probability that route be wet due to wind from Waterfall toward the Geek Tower route during the day?
Is there any pastern of wind similar for Horsetail fall? I meant wind with almost constant direction from west to east which making E .Buttress of El Cap wet during the day in april-june?
BTW, nutjob did you enjoy the route?
The Warbler

the edge of America
May 22, 2012 - 06:33pm PT
Center Route is a fun outing. From the base, due to foreshortening it looks overly vegetated and harder than it really is. The climbing is consistently 5.8 - 5.9 with a few easy 5.10 sections, and has a lot of variety and pretty good rock. Fun stuff. The bushes hardly matter.

Cool summit, location, location, location.
Hardly Visible

Social climber
Llatikcuf WA
May 22, 2012 - 08:29pm PT

I did the center route in June 05 which was a big snow year and never got wet at all.
Needless to say the location is stunning and other than the first 5.9 pitch having a wet slimy section with a few bushes the climbing is good and has a seldom done feeling to it. Count on having to leave a tied sling at all the raps.

Where you start the route
Where you start the route
Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

I think this is the belay above the 10a pitch
I think this is the belay above the 10a pitch
Credit: Hardly Visible

Credit: Hardly Visible

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
May 22, 2012 - 10:43pm PT
thank you Hardly Visible, I like your photos and now more convinced not to take wet suite on the route

May 22, 2012 - 11:04pm PT
The center route is for the mortals.

One must do the left side "FreeStone" to become immortal ......

Social climber
Wolf City, Wyoming
May 23, 2012 - 12:28am PT
Werner, you callin' me immortal, bitch? Cause i climbed freestone? I'm
Just a mIddle aged school teacher from the Midwest with a portfolio of weird climbs, jostling to be reborn as the urinal next to russ

Namaste, really:)
The Warbler

the edge of America
May 23, 2012 - 12:38am PT
Didn't The Bird "do" Freestone?
Jay Wood

Trad climber
Land of God-less fools
May 23, 2012 - 01:04am PT
Feb. 2010, we made it up 3 1/2 pitches. Mr. epic of course wanted to go on, but we got down to the start of the route at dark.

Definitely bring a supply of webbing.
Credit: Jay Wood

There's some slime
Credit: Jay Wood

It was dry at the start of the route last June when the falls were full, so I doubt you'd get wet.

mouse from merced

Trad climber
merced, california
May 23, 2012 - 09:20am PT

The beta you dropped on us just now, I checked the source, ASCA.

What a great thing that is.

More folks should know of it.

How long's it been around?


Trad climber
May 23, 2012 - 09:43am PT
ciao just an info
is freestone climbable now or wet?
thank you

May 23, 2012 - 10:28am PT
+1 for the warbler

Gym climber
Berkeley, CA
Topic Author's Reply - May 23, 2012 - 01:57pm PT
Ha ha, thanks Alexey and Jay for resurfacing this! I had wanted to make a trip report of our (my and Jay's) adventure as part of another report when I got around to reaching the top! I went back once, and we bailed because of ice sheets falling onto the route. Still need to get back there, hopefully this summer.

But here are my pics from our adventure:

General conditions in Feb 2010:

We solo'd up Sunnyside Bench with a pretty casual 8-8:30am start...

Had some excitement on the final bit of the approach; I tried the high road, which involved punching fists into steep snow with a creek flowing directly beneath. I retreated back to Jay's way:

The crew:

Ice in LA Chimney:

Jay gettin' it done on the first pitch, with an interesting step-across with suboptimal pro at the end:

I think this was looking down on P2, with some bushy mess out of sight below this chimney:

Maybe Jay needs Da Brim for his next birthday:

Jay gettin' to the money:

This pitch was AWESOME! I can't wait to go back and do it again:

You can't tell but there is a solid hand jam buried underneath the thickest green part:

After I wiped my hand on my pants, this is what it looked like:

I did manage to get it cleaned up a bit more, but trying to jam later in the pitch from awkward positions, with that slippery stuff interfering, was definitely the crux.

Grunting along some time later:

Happy as a clam!

Cracked piton belay not inspiring, so we backed it up before rapping:

But first we enjoyed some glorious views:

A good day, but a short day because of the season, and we opted for the non-epic daylight descent.
David Wilson

Dec 25, 2012 - 12:19pm PT
Merry Christmas bump for the Geek Towers. Any pics from Freestone out there?

Cupertino, California
Feb 14, 2017 - 12:06pm PT
Anyone know anything about the descent for this route? Is the route in any of the guidebooks? Thanks for the pics by the way! I can't wait for the snow to melt so I can start climbing in the valley again

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Feb 14, 2017 - 01:01pm PT
Descent is rap the route or if you top the formation, right side looks cleaner possibility. Then retrace your approach. Beware that steep snow traverse with river underneath in early season.

Actually instead of down-climbing Sunnyside Bench for the end of the descent, it is easier to walk off to the east. At night we crossed bazillions of millipedes. Only time I've experienced that in the valley.

Here was a pic from a time with ice sheets coming down when we didn't even try to start the climb:

Dammit, I've still never been on top to see the GEEK chiseled in there. It's good to have a bucket list, even if it appears stagnant at times.
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