Mt Watkins south face


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Trad climber
Sheffield, UK
Topic Author's Original Post - May 7, 2008 - 06:51am PT
Does anyone know if pegs and hammer are essential on the route as mentioned on the topo. Thanks

May 7, 2008 - 06:57am PT
Maybe just for the last pitch. However, if you're a decent aid climber with clean aid, you won't have any problem.

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
May 7, 2008 - 07:58am PT
I found spots for a few......
Clean is great but that's quite an undertaking to not have any.
If you're strictly hard core clean, go for it.
If you're more interested in a bit of insurance, as I was, then take a wee smattering.
Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
May 7, 2008 - 07:41pm PT
Did it clean in about 1975 using only stoppers and hexes. Don't recall it being too hard, even without cams. But we carried a hammer, just in case.


Gym climber
May 7, 2008 - 07:55pm PT
Is that TS?

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
May 7, 2008 - 07:57pm PT
Rick, what pitch is that? Is that one of the last pitches on the route? I tried to do it clean a few years back in a single push, free climbing as much as possible, but got stormed off maybe two from the top. I always wanted to go back to finish. One beautiful wall.

I would almost rap in to finish but.......hum, now where have I seen that done? Naw, maybe not!


Ice climber
May 7, 2008 - 09:51pm PT
Jim Orey and I did it a few years after Ricky and Tobin. Did it all clean and without cams. Neither one of us felt maxxed-out so you should be fine up there. Just take alot of water......


May 7, 2008 - 11:19pm PT
NO hammer is necessary.... there is one particular pitch that is 10+ or a1 that can be bypassed by 5.9 free climbing on the left. check the mcTopo it should indicate this. The climbihg is c2 max pretty straightforward

Truckee, CA
May 8, 2008 - 12:49am PT
Conrad and I did it "scamper style" no jumars or aiders, traveling light enough to jog a bit on the approach and descent, no problem without pins or hammer. Great climb, amazing to do a wall in Yos without view or sound of cars.



Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
May 8, 2008 - 02:20am PT
great photo, thx for posting.

Trad climber
Eagle River, Alaska
May 9, 2008 - 01:22am PT
Bump, cause I like it. More pics please.

May 9, 2008 - 05:28pm PT
just another view

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 9, 2008 - 06:40pm PT
I've been saying it for years: The Bob Locke Memorial Buttress, which follows the right skyline of the fantastic pic (previous post) is one of the coolest big walls in the YV, or anywhere.
Very unique features, including a two foot wide quartzite dike cutting across (10b) a blank face (at the 2,500 foot level).

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
May 9, 2008 - 08:13pm PT
That is a great line. Still want to do that one.

Here is another of the regular route. Gib Lewis photo of me.


Trad climber
In the mountains... somewhere...
May 9, 2008 - 08:23pm PT
Hey Rick, think that block you are sitting on is still there?

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 9, 2008 - 10:54pm PT
That's a great shot Ricky. A little like that bird's nest shot of RH on Washington Col (Ladyland). I remember you were on quit a roll back then doing clean ascents of walls. Din't you and Gibo just get done with another first clean ascent just prior to Watkins??

Wish I could have joined you guys on that one.

And how about the Bird scouting the Locke route via helicopter following rescue. I'm sure you remember that story.

Rick A

Boulder, Colorado
May 10, 2008 - 08:36am PT
JL-I canít remember what else we did without pins.. Could have been the Nose or the West Face of Sentinel.

I donít remember the story of Bridwell doing the helicopter reconaissance of the Locke route. I am pretty sure he was not on the Locke rescue that night. Do tell.

Up above, Steve asked what pitch Tobin was on, but I donít recall. Thatís a long way to rappel off, two pitches from the top and a lot of the route below is slanting! There must be a good story there.

Gnome- maybe one of the recent ascenders can tell if that pillar is still there.

By the way, I ran into the last surviving member of the Mt. Watkins first ascent party in downtown Boulder this last week.
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
the greasewood ghetto
May 24, 2009 - 05:15pm PT
Good photos .
Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
May 24, 2009 - 05:31pm PT
Taken in the fall of 1979 when Max and I went out to Watkins to free climb it.

This me working up to the pendulum.

Free climbing the pitch of Sheraton Watkins

The Watkins Headwall

One of the best climbs I've ever done.

Trad climber
The state of confusion
May 24, 2009 - 06:49pm PT
Oh, so neat!
Great shots, Rick & Mark!!!!

Sport climber
Venice, Ca
May 24, 2009 - 07:56pm PT
The Watkins Pinncales have vast potental.

Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
May 24, 2009 - 10:59pm PT
L, They do, and the face to the left.

May 7, 2010 - 01:04am PT
Anguish -

Got any shots of Hook, Line & Sinker????

Great shots Rick.


Trad climber
Aug 20, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
Bump for a great thread.
Ŗ ő ō T « H

Boulder climber
May 15, 2014 - 12:17am PT
Anybody here ever done Watkins gully? Looks fun - photo graphic recon.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
May 15, 2014 - 12:33am PT
I don't know if Joe went up the entire gully, but if not, he was close and has many great photos:

Trad climber
Jun 14, 2014 - 10:08am PT
Wow what a route!

Just did this last weekend, and it was a journey. So cool to be way up the canyon on the side of a huge wall; everything you see is granite. Clouds rest is an amazing feature!

I thought this route was way harder than the grade suggests- the free climbing is tough, and the aid is not your average el cap trade route c2.

The bivy at 11 is amazing! A perfect home emerges out of the sheer wall, and then straight back to the vertical. Awesome.
Pitch 15
Pitch 15
Credit: D-Rail

Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Jun 15, 2014 - 10:22am PT
Another really good Watkins thread here...
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