West Face, Leaning Tower C2F 5.7

 
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Yosemite Valley, California USA

  • Currently 4.0/5
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Summary of All Ratings

SuperTopo Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.2)
Your Rating:     (none)
Rating Distribution
27 Total Ratings
5 star: 30%  (8)
4 star: 59%  (16)
3 star: 11%  (3)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Jun 29, 2013 - 08:48am
Lot's of fixed gear on the route. All the heads were there. Some slings on fixed pins were starting to rot, so bring some extra leaver cord just in case. Fun route. Short for a "big wall." Ahwahnee Ledge is awesome!

Wording on the descent was a little funny regarding the last rap. It sounds like the bolts "climbers left of a tree" is the last rap, which is recommended to be done as a single rap with two 60m ropes.... Well found this rap station right when you exit the gully, and started to rap down it. I passed a tree on the way down with nice bolts and chain, but thought it says not to do multiple raps at this point (even though it looked pretty far) so I went down. Neither my 60 or 70 reached the ground, DOH! So long story short unless I did something funny, that station will not get you to the ground, and stop at the tree mid way down the steep face with bolts to the right of it.
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Jacemullen

Trad climber
Oceanside
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   Jun 27, 2013 - 09:40am
Did the route 6/22/13-6/23/13 as a team of three and had a hell of a good time. Pitch Three gave me some trouble as according to the supertopo topo there are three bolts on the route. When we did it there was only the first, lowest one. I also only clipped one head. I saw a dead head that looked like it was right were I would have wanted some gear as well as a placement where it looks like a head may have blown out of. Without the bolts/heads this pitch was saucy and felt more like C3- to me. Definitely some funky sh#t happening in order to get to the Pitch 3 bolts. Bring your camhooks for sure.
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Mark Hudon

Trad climber
Hood River, OR
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   Jan 31, 2013 - 09:58pm
Skot Richards and I climbed the West Face route in two days, car to car, during the third week of October, 2011 and had a great time. We saw an incredible shoot star and then in the morning were visited by a Peregrine Falcon who had just snatched a Swift out of the air and came to have breakfast with us on Ahwahnee Ledge.
I was really surprised at how good and fun the climbing was on the route.
There are a few deadheads and broken pins someone could remove, but all in all the route was pretty clean. We had 70m ropes and had no trouble linking the logical pitches.

Credit: Skot Richards
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PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Jan 9, 2013 - 11:14pm
 
It was my partner's rope, not mine, but he swore it has never been cut. I really want to measure that thing before we use it again! Just sayin' with a 60 it might be pretty close, so just make sure your 60 is really a 60!
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Nov 7, 2012 - 07:31am
Thanks everyone!
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Spanky

Social climber
boulder co
Nov 7, 2012 - 07:25am
 
When we did it I definitely had a 60 and I linked 1,2 3 and 4, 5 and 6, and 7 and 8. We split 9 and 10 because of rope drag so we did the whole route in 6 pitches easily with a 60 and at the time it was only my second wall so I was definitely still kinda gumby and clipped almost everything. By the way Awahnee was a sweet ledge to sleep on too. have fun and remember. . .

Yer gonna Die!!
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j-tree

Big Wall climber
Typewriters and Ledges
Nov 7, 2012 - 06:49am
 
Have linked P1 and P2 more than once with different 60M ropes and always was able to make it.

Both times were solo though.
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RP3

Big Wall climber
Sonora
Nov 7, 2012 - 05:50am
 
I have had no issues linking with a 60
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Silver

Gym climber
Nov 7, 2012 - 05:46am
 
Go with 70 meter lines and short fix em and keep climbing if you got extra rope.

Pellucid should measure his rope,IMO I think he got the short end of the rope deal because they link with 60 s I've done it.
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briham89

Big Wall climber
san jose and south lake tahoe, ca
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   Nov 7, 2012 - 12:34am
Any beta on linking pitches 1 & 2 with a 60m? I thought you could, but PellucidWombat has me worried...Maybe the other post lower down saying it worked were guys with 70m ropes? Thanks in advance
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bil

Trad climber
south lake tahoe
Oct 25, 2012 - 09:19am
 
I found a camera case with no camera just battery and memory card (mini SD) at the top of pitch 10 on Oct 19 2012. Send me an E-mail with a short description if you want it back (aegerter.nina@gmal.com). Give me a couple days to respond because I donít check my e-mail often.
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PellucidWombat

Mountain climber
Berkeley, CA
Oct 13, 2012 - 07:38pm
 
Take care if you're linking P1 & P2 with a 60m rope. We were climbing with a 60m, and at most I left a connection to every other bolt (every third for P2). My climbing partner swore his 60m rope hadn't been cut, so keep in mind how close you might be on available rope when linking these pitches! The picture below is the view I had when I ran out of rope:




Fortunately my climbing partner worked through this by climbing up to the first bolt and fixing the climbing rope there and downclimbing back to the ledge to lower out the haul bag. Still, hauling was a PITA as I still could barely fix the rope to an extended anchor and my attachment to it limited how high up I could stand (perhaps I should have untied as well . . .).
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   Aug 31, 2012 - 09:09am
I am pretty sure it is the rope one the traverse to the first pitch in which I say thank you. Full dice section and rope is always there and always f*#ked up. Appreciate the replacement. Good luck on your next adventures!!!
Cheers
Kurtburt

Fixing your own rope is no big deal. Just lead the thing with a modest set of cams and slings and you'll get to shuttle gear on a better rope with more intermediate gear. Maybe adds a half hour total, and adds piece of mind.
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hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Aug 31, 2012 - 07:38am
 
I understand. I stand corrected and appologize. And thank you.


I think there are some fixed lines that are "accepted". Some are ridiculous. However those that are accepted, we, as a community, need to maintain and monitor them (which you did and that's great), I know that is a major request of the climbing rangers.

The ahwahnee ones just always bother me, seems unnecessary, easy to string a line there yourself.
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 30, 2012 - 11:08pm
 
you don't own any Robbins Boots! buahahaha
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mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Aug 30, 2012 - 11:06pm
 
I routinely third class that section in robbins boots....

Just sayin.
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Burt

Social climber
Angelus Oaks, Ca
Aug 30, 2012 - 10:57pm
 
I am pretty sure it is the rope one the traverse to the first pitch in which I say thank you. Full dice section and rope is always there and always f*#ked up. Appreciate the replacement. Good luck on your next adventures!!!
Cheers
Kurtburt
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alleyehave

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
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   Aug 30, 2012 - 10:50pm
Seemed like a fairly common question/concern on this beta page, I must have been mistaken. Boohoo... you guys know where its at, take it down. Make sure you head over to the death slabs too...and the approaches on the west of el cap...and blah blah blah
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Aug 30, 2012 - 10:45pm
 
Hoipolloi isn't so anonymous. :)

I think he's trying to point out that we don't need to tell the world about our trash.
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alleyehave

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
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   Aug 30, 2012 - 10:35pm
Who said anything about guano or awahnee ledges? Are you always this bitter or just when shrouded by the anonymity of the internet? I might leave strew, but youre just a shrew, find something better to do.
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hoipolloi

climber
A friends backyard with the neighbors wifi
Aug 29, 2012 - 07:18pm
 
You mean you left more ugly tat strew about the beautiful ahwahnee and guano ledges?

It is a giant ledge on a rock climb, it doesn't need a hand rail.
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alleyehave

Trad climber
San Diego, CA
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   Aug 29, 2012 - 05:47pm
We replaced the fixed rope on the 4th class traverse on 08/20/2012. First pitch fixed gear is missing. A very reachy cliffhanger hook move got us through. Apparent fixed gear missing on pitch 5 as I had to use an inverted cam hook, super bomber though...fun route.

Afternoons in August can be hot, bring an awning!!
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Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
May 3, 2012 - 03:45pm
 







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RJM

climber
Plymouth, NH
May 1, 2012 - 06:29am
 
So hiking boots, mostly positive holds out left then back right, for 25 feet or so on 5.7ish terrain? cool thanks for all of the info guys. Heading there in late may early june, my guess is I will not be alone on the wall.

Cheers,
RJ
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Silver

Gym climber
Apr 28, 2012 - 07:19am
 
R
If your the only ones on the route when you get to the raps send that rock that's loose in the gully.

Bolts on 6 are bomber not like when i did it first they were the Harding originals and scary.

DO NOT EVEN THINK CROSSING THE STREAM AND DESCENDING THE GUNSIGHT THIS TIME OF YEAR IS A GOOD IDEA.

The raps are easy sans loose boulder Dano cleaned the gully really well as they jumped and the ascended the gully back to the top so they cleaned it well so as not to,eat a falling rock while jumaring back up.

Enjoy this route it is awesome I have done it 3 times every time it was just sick steep
fun.
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Mike.

climber
Apr 28, 2012 - 06:07am
 
R, it's like 25' to a cam before the first ladder bolt. A common mistake is to climb directly up the arete, which will work albeit with harder and less secure climbing. The actual route trends left off the belay and works up and back right on mostly positive holds. This section stays dry in all but the wettest weather.

Only one climber in the history of humankind has aided this section. With taped on hooks for pro. "Bwahahahaha!" Everyone else frees it with whatever footwear.
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matty

Trad climber
under the sea
Apr 27, 2012 - 02:31pm
 
I did it in hiking boots just fine...approach shoes will be enough.
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RJM

climber
Plymouth, NH
Apr 27, 2012 - 12:46pm
 
Mike,
Thanks for the awesome info, another question... Climbing shoes needed for the 5.7 at the beginning of P6? or do a good pair of approach shoes cut it? and how long is that free section?

Cheers,

RJ
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Mike.

climber
Apr 26, 2012 - 10:15am
 
"can the chimney rappels really be done with a 70M rope?"


I was not exaggerating when I posted below that the entire descent can be done with one 70m rope and one spot of easy scrambling.

The next-to-last rap will put you at a hanging station that has two new bolts/chains plus two legacy bolts. It should be obvious that this rap is too long to to make it to the ground with a single rope.


No rivet hangers needed; all bolts are bomber and have hangers.

The "fixed" ropes at the start and between Guano and Awahnee are strictly for convenience; not needed at all.

Pitons, and less often, heads, always show up here or there courtesy of gripped leaders toting a hammer. Then disappear. A nutbuster (for cleaning) and one beak would more than likely get you through any new breakage (along with your creative clean placements and free prowess). There is not a huge number of fixed pins/heads. Hammering gear on lead is a very unlikely last resort on WFLT if one has any problem solving ability at all.

Go get it...
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RJM

climber
Plymouth, NH
Apr 25, 2012 - 06:51am
 
Looking for info, heading to Valley in 4 weeks. Anyone been up there yet this year? Fixed lines (Catwalk, Ahwahnee), are they there? Condition of bolts on P6, any rivet hangers needed? as well as any info on the rest of the 'fixed heads' etc. and can the chimney rappels really be done with a 70M rope? Thanks for any info y'all have.
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Sonic

Trad climber
Boulder, Co
Aug 8, 2011 - 07:09am
 
Awesome route. Did it over Friday/Saturday. Fixed rope is up on the fourth class approach. Had a couple of interesting hook moves but still tons of fixed gear. I'll have a TR and pictures up within a day or so
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karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
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   Jun 13, 2011 - 07:56pm
Copperheads were fine sunday. Loose block is well situated on flat ground, saw the rope under it. What an incredible route, found lots of opportunities to free climb out of the aiders. Did it in 13 hour push.
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 13, 2011 - 07:06pm
 
The chimney is full of loose rocks, but I looked and couldn't see the specific block that guy was talking about.
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Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 13, 2011 - 06:53pm
 
is the big 500 lb block still in the chimney ready to blow? (see beta post below)

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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Jun 13, 2011 - 06:34pm
 
Did it 3 weeks ago with no trouble.
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Panacea82

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
Jun 13, 2011 - 05:35pm
 
Planning on going up this route tomorrow, does anyone know if the fixed heads are still there. I heard that some people were trying to free it and removed the heads Just wondering if there back in now or not.
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mucci

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
May 17, 2011 - 09:07pm
 
Holy Frig that #3 is SUNK!

Awesome!

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Mike.

climber
May 17, 2011 - 08:03pm
 
Incorrect rap info below. The chim descent can be done with one 70m. Some scrambling north then down from the bottom of the tree rap on the slab. The rest is evident.
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jfailing

Trad climber
PDX, North Slope, The Open Road
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   May 17, 2011 - 06:35pm
Did this route a few weeks ago - we were the only people on it except for some cats trying to free climb the crux pitches.

Most of the fixed gear is solid, although it takes a little bit of cunning:
Credit: jfailing

Only the first two raps and the very last two require double 60m rappels. Pretty much every other one can be done with a 60 or 70.

Super fun!
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Studly

Trad climber
WA
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   May 16, 2011 - 10:09am
Beware As we were were about to do the first of the chimney raps, a team ahead of us rapped past the second anchors and then tried to pull their ropes. (Don't do this, the 2nd anchors are obviously in that spot for a reason.) Their ropes hung on a couple very large boulders in the gully and they destabilized them by pulling on the ropes trying to free them. I rapped in and freed their ropes and threw them down to them, and as I stepped away from the boulders, they and the dirt they were setting on slid and the boulders moved a couple feet, trapping one of my rap ropes, and it was a miracle they did not go and kill the guys below. I had to cut my new haul rope, being careful not to touch the boulders. One of them is just setting there, going to go at a touch, probably 500 pounds, it will clear the whole gully when it goes. It is on the right hand side of the gully as you look down on the very first chimney rap. Piece of blue rope pinched their also will help identify. Be careful!
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Knuckles

Trad climber
Everett, Wa
Oct 19, 2010 - 12:50pm
 
I'd second the core shot which actually isn't too bad but the rope itself is not logically fixed. The rope could/should start a few meters closer to the trail. Seems like the blocks you walk and grab getting to the rope are amongst the sketchiest on the ledge.

And it would be lovely if people would take the extra rope and rebelay off the trees, rather than just wrapping it around once. It wouldn't be pretty if anyone actually fell at any point on the traverse. You're not gonna die but it's going to suck.
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Quart

climber
OR
Oct 19, 2010 - 09:39am
 
On Oct. 16th there was a big core shot in the fixed rope across the approach ramp and the rope was too short to tie out the wound. There were many 2-liter bottles of water stashed on the approach ramp. Fixed gear was thin on the route, but everything was doable without any trickery. Make sure to bring cam, edge, and bat hooks! Tons of fun!!!
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enjoimx

Trad climber
SLO
Sep 30, 2010 - 09:13am
 
As of 9-30-10 there is a good fixed line for the approach traverse.

The first pitch seam, halfway up, has a missing head that you would need to hook around to bypass. I couldnt figure it out with a beak or a cliffhanger, but I suck at aid climbing.
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Slug

Trad climber
Huntington Beach, Ca
Aug 22, 2010 - 11:46am
 
The 4rth class and Guano-Ahwahnee both have fixed lines in great condition as of 8/20/10. As far as the heads go, pitch 3 has enough in place to go at C2. Many others apear to have been replaced recently.
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Pie

Trad climber
So-Cal
Aug 12, 2010 - 11:41pm
 
how are the fixed heads? Thinking of getting on it next week.
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cotton.jon

Trad climber
New Britain, CT
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   Jul 18, 2010 - 05:11pm
Climbed it on July 4 and 5. Only ones on the route!

Only been up the route that one time, so I don't know the usual condition of the route. Hope some, or any, of this helps.

-Route didn't get sun until about 3PM or so. We brought way too much water.

-No fixed line for the 4th class traverse to the start. A 60m line will get you to the first belay from where the ledge first gets sketchy (there's a cluster of trees and then a tree over a significant gap in the ledge).

-I'm a novice aid climber and had no trouble leading 3 and 4 in the dark, so I assume all of the heads are in place for those pitches.

-5.6 slab at the end of pitch 4 is totally relaxed.

-There is a good fixed line from Guano to Ahwahnee ledge. Ahwahnee ledge is an excellent bivy.

-There are three rappels off the back side from the summit. First two can be done with a single 60m. Need two ropes for the third. I'm assuming the first two can be linked as a double rappel, but not
sure.

-If you're linking where you can (or probably even if you aren't) the longest lower out for the haul bag is at the 8th belay. I didn't measure it, but I'd estimate it's about 60 feet or so.

-There is a fixed rope on the very last rappel of the gully. Has a core shot about 10-15 feet from the ground. Otherwise in good shape.

-Did the route in approach shoes, no real need for free shoes unless you're freeing:)

-Offset nuts and cams (especially yellow-blue MasterCam) were very useful
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   May 18, 2010 - 10:31pm
As of early May 2010:

Fixed line on the catwalk was gone.
Fixed heads on P3 were gone.
Fixed pins at the start of P4 were gone.
Fixed line from the top ledge over the notch was gone.

All passable, but a notch more heady than the last two times I went up it.
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Mike.

climber
Nov 21, 2008 - 08:08am
 
1/09

The last rap anchor (for rapping LT Chim descent with a single rope): Two-bolts/ring/chain added, two existing rusted bolts left in situ.
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Nov 20, 2008 - 10:20pm
Here is the story of the third ascent with Layton Kor by Don Lauria - http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=725026
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Brendan

Trad climber
Yosemite, CA
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   Oct 20, 2008 - 01:20pm
Soloed this route 8/17-8/19, here's a little condition update:
There are fixed ropes from the beginning of the "4th class" at the base, leading up to the start of the west face. It is a good idea to harness up. There were also fixed lines between Guano and Awanee ledge.

All fixed pieces I encountered were fine for body weight. Thanks ASCA for doing so much work on that route! Might want to bring a few small copperheads in case some of the old ones blow.

More beta if you want it:

 Bring 2 - #3 camalots, don't bring a 4. Waste of weight when the single #4 move is easily bypassed.
 0 and 00 BD C3 cams were the Tits. Much harder for my solo without them because my TCUs wouldn't fit.
 Bathook and cam hooks were also the tits.
 I linked pitches 1-2, 3-4, 5-6, 8-9. There is a great belay ledge at the top of 9 that is sweet to hang out and sit at, enjoy the exposure, eat, and get some blood back in your legs.

STAY ALL THE WAY RIGHT (facing up the gulley) on the descent especially after the chimney widens and then ends. There are three Anchors going down the final rapells after the chimney ends at a cliff edge, the first of which is just above a tree to the right. They are approximately every 25-30 meters, so you can rap with one 60.

Great solo route. Exposed, lonley, and fun!
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Oct 17, 2008 - 01:23pm
Great photos trip report here:

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.html?topic_id=699304
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poop_tube

Big Wall climber
33į 45' N 117į 52' W
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   Oct 5, 2008 - 08:58pm
Hey Hommies,

I did this two weeks ago with my buddies Jacob Goldsmith and Ryan Moore. It was their first wall, they hadn't done any aiding or anything before this. They did friggin AWESOME! I had a blast with you guys up there, cheers bros!

AAARRRR

Kia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZCnnMFVv46k
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Steve Wolford

Trad climber
White Salmon, WA
Apr 19, 2008 - 09:21am
 
Thank you for the update.
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Apr 19, 2008 - 02:26am
 
The gully is clear as of 4/9/08. Some snow to skirt at the very top of the notch, no big deal. But the gully itself is dry, it is south facing and gets a fair bit of sun.
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Steve Wolford

Trad climber
White Salmon, WA
Apr 18, 2008 - 08:12am
 
Has anyone done the Leaning Tower yet this year? As would like to know the condition of the descent gully. From the looks of the webcams in the Valley, it might be snow and ice filled.
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   Nov 26, 2007 - 10:27pm
Clustiere,

I bailed twice from Awhanee ledge, and it is not as bad as you would think, if you know your sh#t. Going from 10 to 8 would be a bear, but 8 to 6 isn't too bad at all. From 6 to 4 would be best done without the bag first, as it is a bunch of swinging, but still not bad. 4 to 2 is a straight shot (rap from Guano Ledge), easy with bags. Most folks worry about 2 to ground.

Without bags you can get to P1 belay easily with just a few draws. From there to the bottom I used maybe a half dozen more draws (about 10 total). Again, light swinging as I didn't need to do more. Once at the bottom you can anchor the ropes and ascend the fixed line and clean the pitch. If you have a partner he can rap the second line as soon as you anchor them at the bottom, or if solo descend with the pig after cleaning using both ropes. Either way lower down to just below anchor level and haul yourself in hand over hand (have a daisy handy and ready to clip!). Lowering the bags from the first live tree on the catwalk (not the dead tree or those bolts) takes about 370-380' of rope (2 60m's left me with about 25' to spare), and they land right between the two "booty bushes" at the base of the stone.
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billygoat

climber
Pees on beard to seek mates.
Nov 23, 2007 - 10:53am
 
Yes, as I remember you could rap with one rope, but you don't want to. The last rap (down the vertical section after the gully) goes in one double rap; with one rope you end up at a hanging station in the middle of the face that's a pain in the ass with a haul bag. Make your life easier and rap with two ropes. Oh, and now that I think about it, the first rap might be slightly longer than 100 feet.
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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
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   Nov 23, 2007 - 10:43am
I can't seem to remember, could I rap the gully with one 60m rope.
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clustiere

Trad climber
berkeley ca
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   Jul 24, 2007 - 06:04pm
Was my first solo and it is a good first wall if you are dedicated to not bailing. To bail on this would be a nightmare...

Where could one get a free topo to this route
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yellow mzungu

Trad climber
berkeley, ca
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   Jul 23, 2007 - 11:38am
i did this climb a few weeks ago. it was my first big wall and the route was spectacular! the bolts are solid, and there are fixed lines across the catwalk and the ahwahnee ledge (tho you might want to back up the catwalk as a section of the rope is held into the wall w/a knot).

we made the mistake of being too casual on the first day, and did not fix up pitches 5&6. i wound up leaving a bunch of nuts on pitch 7 in my haste up the wall (beginner's mistake!) so enjoy the booty! leeper cams also came in handy.

on the descent, the "tricky to find rappel" no longer has webbing on the tree. It is replaced by 2 bolts to the left of the tree (when facing the gully). from this belay station, we made it past the last rappel and to the ground w/2 60m ropes.
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mingleefu

climber
Champaign, IL --> Denver, CO
Jun 27, 2007 - 08:46pm
 
anyone have current beta on the condition of fixed gear on this route? I intend to climb it around July 5th (holiday weekend, I know...).

Thanks. I'll post current info if I am able to send.
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bonin_in_the_boneyard

Trad climber
Oak Land, California
Sep 18, 2006 - 07:18pm
 
Oh, and cheers to the Brits who left my partner's shades on the rock at the base. You made his night. Good luck with the Nose!
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bonin_in_the_boneyard

Trad climber
Oak Land, California
Sep 18, 2006 - 07:03pm
 
This was my partner's and my first grade V. It was incredible. We started the approach at 1am Saturday morning and got back to the car at midnight Monday morning, and even made it in to work a few hours later. I tell you, I have new respect for aid climbers and big-wallers. Especially considering that this is a teeny-tiny little wall!

I have no beta to add for this route. I figure if a wall gumby like me can make it up uneventfully, there can't be any really bad spots on it -- although there was a lot of fixed gear that I didn't ponder having to make do without. We didn't bring anything for nailing. I also carried free climbing shoes on pitches 5-6 and 9-10 (linked). Was glad I did.

I found a single knee pad on the way out and since there was no one else on the route I just threw it in the pack. If anyone wants to claim it just drop me a line.

Happy climbing all,

-b
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Luvshaker

climber
eugene
Sep 5, 2006 - 11:36am
 
Pitch 5 was the definate crux of the route. Not much fixed on the traverse. I was ready to launch into runout free moves then the spincter tightned up, backed off, then found a sweet z1 cam placement and a hook move to get through. Could have used offset aliens many times on the route, but didn't have um.

If I went back I would try and free pitch 7 which looked very climbable at .11 with excellent pro the whole way.
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cmclean

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
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   May 15, 2006 - 01:44pm
I did this route on Saturday. There was enough fixed gear that no cheater stick or heads were necessary.

The supertopo suggests bringing either a grappling hook or a cliffhanger, for the last move before the pitch 9 belay, and apparently they can be used starting off the 6th pitch. These hook moves can be skipped if you're willing to get out of your aiders and do a few free moves.

This route is strenuous! Get an early start and make sure you bring enough water, because once the sun hits the wall in the afternoon it cooks you all the way until sunset.

The supertopo says for the chimney raps "the next 5 or 6 rappels can be done with 2 50m or one 60m rope." There are actually a few more raps after those loose, low-angle ones mentioned. The station that has 2 bolts next to a tree can reach all the way to the ground if you use 2 60m ropes, rather than stopping half way down the face to a hanging station with 2 bolts.
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lunchbox

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
Sep 14, 2005 - 04:36pm
 
sorry Doc, i didn't see your cam on the way down..
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Dr Von Boveridge

Trad climber
ca
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   Sep 14, 2005 - 11:15am
My friend and I climbed this route just before Lynn Hill & Katy Brown freed it. Watching them free pitches as we tested standing on gear was quite the humbling experience.

On the way down from the summit in that gulley i dropped a #4 forged friend (blue marker tape) it was pitch black and we were working with only one head lamp (long story). Any chance anyone picked it up. Normally I would just say thatís life but this was my lucky cam and has been with me since I first started climbing (Q violins).

Anyway any info on its wear abouts would be appreciated i would be willing to swap something else for its return.

Cheers
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lunchbox

Big Wall climber
santa cruz, ca
Sep 14, 2005 - 10:53am
 
I think the some of those bolts were part of the old belay and have been gone for quite some time. Looks like they have just been consolidated into a more convenient anchor. If the first bolt of the ladder was on the blankish face above blocky terrian then you were on the right track. If those were lead bolts that were chopped then they were added after W. Harding did the FA and were rightly chopped. Maybe they should have pulled and patched the holes, but that's a different topic.

If your drilling bat hook hole then maybe you should just place a rivet. If your going to place a rivet then why not a bolt? Holes are holes and new holes on old routes is a big no no

I soloed the route about 3 weeks ago (aug.20.05) and I free climbed from the belay to the first bolt on the ladder. Must have been at least 20 feet with a cruxie move right before the bolt. Spicy, but no harder than 5.7 or 5.8. My friends did the route a year ago and reported the same thing.

I think the hook moves can be avoided if you free climb. If hooking, your looking at C2+ and would most certainly be harder than the rest of the aid on the climb, but some people would rather hook than free climb. So the choice is yours.

Sounds like you guys handled it just fine anyways.
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bryan howell

Boulder climber
san diego, ca
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   Sep 13, 2005 - 09:50pm
The very first moves off of the pitch 6 beley ( or if you are linking 5/6, then just after the intermidiate beley), looks like somebody, just recently, chopped 3 bolts that start the ladder back to the left. This is the easy 5.7 terrain where Chris Mac suggests a cam hook. That placement is VERY obvious, but its the moves after it that are now touch. We did 3 or 4 hook moves with Talans, and grapplings to get to the first bolt.

WFLT has a rep of being a great, easy, first wall for folks. These moves are not the case.

Wondering what happened to those bolts? Why did they chop them flush instead of least leaving the bolt? Why not drill the hole all the way out to make bat hooking a possibility?

any input would be nice.

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fareastclimber

climber
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   Jun 8, 2005 - 04:21pm
Beta from the 5th of June. Alot of fixed gear is gone although it is possible to bypass the missing gear. A Japanese party nailed up the day before placing a number of beaks and copperheads - now making it somewhat less of a challenge for future parties. Fixed ropes connect Awhanee and Guano Ledges.
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the Fet

climber
Tu-Tok-A-Nu-La
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   Oct 11, 2004 - 07:11am
An assortment of hooks (logan or talon, skyhook, and fish hook) makes some sections easy that otherwise would be hard. e.g. the top of the 3rd pitch getting to the belay is a couple pretty easy hook moves or you need to free climb (not so easy with hiking boots and an aid rack.)
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Moof

Big Wall climber
Orygun
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   Oct 2, 2004 - 08:56am
I brought the big artillary, a 3.5 and 4 rigid friend. I wasted them on pitch 9 becuase a fixed bong was giving me bad juju. BTW, I din't see the need for many of these fixed pins to be there in the splitter crack. If those ever get cleaned then you'll need a few big pieces to go crack jugging with.

When I got to pitch 10's first roof with the chopped bolt I was ble to get by with just a #3 friend (#2 camalot) out at the lip of the roof. A big piece here would make it casual, but is not mandatory. When I weighted the next piece (good red alien) my aiders kick the friend out of its meager purchase (ow, ow my sphincter!).

Later on pitch 10 is a fat crack that would be cake with a 3.5 camalot or #4 friend, but I got by with a red camalot, #11 stopper, and a #2 camalot. I hit this about 2 hours AFTER sunset, having lead all but one of the previous pitches. Seeing a fat crack and a skinny rack made my head explode. I first tried a red alien where the nut ended up. The spot is a picture perfect bottlenecked placement I excavated form under bird crap. The bird crap must have polished it, because that red alien folded up and shot out the bottom of the bottleneck into my face three god damn times before I placed the nut in utter disbelief.

As you exit onto the summit ledge put some duct tape or something in the crotch between the final roof and the ledge. Otherwise the rope can get wedged in. I got to the anchor before this happened, and thought my partner died when it took over an hour for the line to go tight (he was jugging, but the crotch was taking all the weight).

With good planning linking 9 and 10 would not have been bad, I didn't plan. Be very careful clipping any of the bolts or pins at the pitch 9 anchor with anything less than a 4' sling. Backcleaning right above the anchor is scary when you are staring down at the ledge.
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Lambone

Big Wall climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 27, 2004 - 09:44am
 
Link 9 and 10...I just did it yesterday. Use lots of draws and long slings and be smart about it and the rope drag is no problem at all.

As a side note:
The fixed lines on the first two pitches need to be cut down. We would have but there was a party below us.
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poop_tube

Trad climber
Ashland, Or
Sep 24, 2004 - 11:46am
 
Unless you are soloing, I don't recommend that pitches 9 and 10 should be linked due to severe rope drag.
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HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
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   May 23, 2004 - 10:52pm
Aye, I just did it last weekend. We were fine with just bringing one #3. We definitely could have got by reasonably with #2 camalots in those same places.
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taco bill

Trad climber
boulder, co
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   May 18, 2004 - 10:46am
We inadvertently took nothing bigger than a #2 camalot and were fine. There is a chopped bolt at the wide part that you can use the tiniest cable rivet hanger on to get high enough to place a #2. That said, a #3 would have been easier, but isn't essential.
Enjoy,
adam
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HalHammer

Trad climber
CA
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   May 17, 2004 - 04:19pm
So is the 4 inch piece on pitch number 10 absolutely neccesary, or is there a reasonable aid trick (hook, topstep, etc) to get by that one section? Or perhaps.. any of yall know how hard this one move would go free climbing?
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Wheatus

Trad climber
CA
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   May 17, 2004 - 11:28am
Climbed the West Face starting May 11th. Very enjoyable steep route with easy hauling. Lots of fixed gear everywhere on the route. Aliens and Alien Hybrids made the C2 sections easy. I only needed one 4" piece for pitch 10. Almost missed the rap anchors for the two last raps from LT gully. I kept going down the low angle ramp and ended up out on a blank face with no anchors. I back tracked up the ramp and then saw the anchors on a wide ledge off the the right (facing the gulley). The last rap from a tree could use a new bolted anchor. About ten old slings hung from the tree backed up by a thirty year old button head bolt.

We saw very few people on the route midweek. Peregrine Falcons were fighting and diving by us several times during the climb. My partner saw a five foot long corral snake in the talus just before the falls.

Dear Chris,
Thanks for all the bomber bolts by ASCA. The amount of effort in bolt replacement on the West Face is amazing. I also like the signature ASCA bolt hangers. Your work at ASCA is truly admirable. I am sending a donation today to ASCA. My family and I thank you for your efforts.
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Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
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   May 9, 2004 - 07:57pm
Too bad I couldn't get out those other toys you left Clayman! Then I could have given them back to you.

Cowboy: Read the post right under yours. I could have sworn that my first sentence answered your question!
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Mike

climber
Orange County CA
May 6, 2004 - 04:56pm
 
Yet? It's as good as ever.
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Clayman

Trad climber
CA, now Flagstaff
May 5, 2004 - 10:12pm
 
Cowboy- theres tons! clean my wires and my black alien for me!
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Clayman

Trad climber
CA, now Flagstaff
May 5, 2004 - 10:12pm
 
Cowboy- theres tons! clean my wires and my black alien for me!
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Cowboy

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
May 5, 2004 - 05:03pm
 
Anyone been up there yet hows the fixed gear?
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Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
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   Apr 11, 2004 - 12:04pm
As of april 9th, no hammer or cheater stick was needed.

I just got off WFLT and rappeled the route. When I got to the base of the first pitch, I lowered the pig off of the tree just to the climber's right of the start of the bolt ladder. This worked great with 1 60m dynamic and and a 60m (200') static line. It felt like the pig went slack about 20' from the end of the rope, but it was night time so I couldn't see anything. When I took the pig off belay I didn't hear it fall either so I think it was down. Anyways, just my experience. Maybe they lowered from the tree right at the base of the climb and that is higher relative to the ground Chris? I can't swear the pig was on the ground, but I'm pretty sure it made it with about 380' of rope which is what I read somewhere. Beware of tossing the ropes since mine landed in a bush 30' off the deck but I was able to easily able to pull it down (luckily).

Rappeling the route is not so easy. On the first day I saw two guys try it, and coming down to the pitch 8 anchors they were way out in space and couldn't get into the wall and appeared to have had to jug back up and stay the night on top and go down the descent chimney.

My wife and I were lazy and didn't want to haul, so we fixed a line between the pitch 8 anchor and the pitch 10 anchor in order to rappel. We topped out and rappelled right back down the route in 3 rappels back to Awanahee. The first rappel (pitch 10 to pitch 8) I was probably anywhere from 35-50' out from the pitch 8 anchor and had to set up a full jumar (on the rope we fixed) to get back into the anchor. Pitch 8 to pitch 6 I had to keep bouncing past the overhang. I was probably swinging a good 30' away from the wall but it worked and I got two finger tips into a belay bolt and managed to clip myself in. If I had lost my swinging momentum I would have been screwed. From there it was pretty easy, but there are fixed ropes on the first two pitches to get you back into the anchors.
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Neil

Gym climber
Here and there
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   Mar 23, 2004 - 08:29am
As of March 16th, the gully is free of snow. The cheater stick wasn't needed (none of the heads have pulled). The sun came on the route about 1:15.
Neil
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Mike

climber
Orange County CA
Feb 18, 2004 - 10:02pm
 
DW, Sun hits the route briefly in the afternoon in Winter. Gaiters and maybe snow pants on the approach; the deepest snow is usually around the base before directly under the route, but not bad unless after back-to-back dumps, then it can be thigh-deep in that area. Snow-covered talus blocks are the approach crux in Winter - try to stay on route because the blocks are pretty big off route.

Raps off the back:

You can do one shorty to the tree then a long one (nearly 60m) all the way (trending south) to some third class (100' or so) that leads to the mouth of the true gully. Alternately, there is a mid-point anchor on the slab about 130' (?) below the tree and slightly climber's right (north) at a stance (this will likely be the only rap anchor possibly covered with snow). Look for the first gully anchor on the right side of the gully on the wall. Even in heavy snow the gully anchors are all visible, mostly on skier's left (note that alternate anchors exist which enable rapping with one rope, shorter raps work better in most cases in the gully). Eventually when the gully widens, trend skier's left (possibly some 3rd) to some trees above the main face, then 3 raps down this exposed slab to the ground near the approach.

Have fun!

PS: The West Face route has not gone free as erroneously reported below.
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David Weaver

Trad climber
Palo Alto, CA
Feb 18, 2004 - 11:26am
 
Anyone happened to do this route recently (ie this winter)? We're thinking of giving it a go in a week or so. What was the sun exposure in winter, and how much gnarly snow is on the descent/approach? Think we'll find the descent anchors, or are we going to be rapping off of dead-manned hexes, hammers, and a few bollards?
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Mike

climber
Palo Alto, CA
Sep 9, 2003 - 03:26pm
 
A tiny hammer like Pika's NutBuster is mandatory for tapping out previously weighted nuts. You can use a cam in a pinch.

No rivet hangers needed. You could bring one #3 cable rivet hanger (cinch-style is best) or wired nut to back up the loose, old SMC hanger on the bolt on P7 (loop the cable around the bolt hanger and onto the fat bolt so the cable can sit against the wall).

Forget the heads. HB/RP brass nuts, a hand-placed beak, micro cams and ingenuity should get you past any broken heads/pins, and there are several on the route. A couple of pins look pretty bad, but should hold your body weight famously.

No cheat stick either, Ricardo. You want to DO this wall, right? You'll be way more stoked on the summit without it - not to mention you won't need it, as Mel confirms.

All the pitches from Evil Tree Roof down can be rapped without monumental difficulty. The first 200' (2 pitches) are the steepest - if you rap that, have your partner lower you so you can clip short directional draws with hands free and let the "second" remove them on his way down.

Don't forget the bonus bivi at the summit ledge! Have fun...
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malabarista

Trad climber
Palo Alto, CA
Sep 9, 2003 - 02:23pm
 
Ricardo,
I climbed this route in July for my first wall. I would bring the hammer (we didn't). I lost a couple of nuts that I could not clean without it.
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Melissa

Gym climber
berkeley, ca
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   Sep 9, 2003 - 01:24pm
Ricardo...

Warren Harding was a little guy. This is good beta for any of his bolt ladders. ;-) You won't NEED the cheat stick. I used the cheat stick to snag fixed gear just out of my reach on the roofs. I didn't absolutely need to, so I loose style points.

I bailed from this route once before sending...The telescoping cheat stick was most useful then at speeding up my egress.

My controversial, poor style, have fun, go light choice for the route...bring the stick, skip the hammer.
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ricardo

Gym climber
San Francisco, CA
Sep 9, 2003 - 12:52pm
 
going to attempt this route next week .. i have some questions .. (bear with me -- its my first wall)

1. heads .. thinking for throwing 3 of each size in the bag just in case.. (is that enough?)

2. rivet hangers .. are any needed? (i think the answer is no, but i might as well ask)

3. cheat stick. I'd like do all the moves, i'm 5'7" .. should i throw a helper stick in the bag.. or just some take some tape and rig something up with the hammer en-route?

    ricardo
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david_webb_aus

Big Wall climber
Canberra Australia
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   Aug 29, 2003 - 04:16pm
Have just left the valley and rate the West Face of Leaning Tower. There are a few fixed heads with broken wires up there.

Just to let people know. I thought the decent was about 2.5 hours nowhere near 3 hours. That is just my 2 cents worth.

Cheers
Dave
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Mike

climber
Canberra Australia
Jul 31, 2003 - 06:22pm
 
The gully descent can be rapped with a single 60m rope.
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matty

Trad climber
Canberra Australia
Jul 29, 2003 - 06:21pm
 
Hello All-

Just wondering if it is possible to do the descent with only 1 60m rope? If so is it safe?? Thanks-

Matt
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Jul 28, 2003 - 09:50am
I just got this piece of feedback from a SuperTopo user:

There is a serious error on the Supertopos Leaning Tower topo.† The error is related to the distance recorded to the ground from the base of the first pitch of the West Face route.† The distance is recorded at 400 feet, however we used a 55m and 70m rope tied together, 125m (412 feet)†and the ropes DID NOT reach the ground.† We then returned and used a 70m and 60m rope tied together, 130m (429 feet) and JUST made the ground with all the rope stretch.

I am confident about our rope lengths as we measured them against other ropes after this incident.† Please verify this information for yourself, but it seems that the rappel is definitely long than the stated 400 feet.
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Salami

Trad climber
Ex.Livermore Ca. now the UK
Jun 19, 2003 - 11:35pm
 
This is what I found on Pitch 1.
same spot no fixed gear, topstepped in aiders and found a small Horz. crack about a foot higher and to the left of where you most likely placed the head.
in that crack a 00 or 0 TCU fits, this is a body weight placement only don't expect much but (also hold it in with your hand) it gets you to where you can place another small TCU in the vertical crack before the fixed gear starts up again. All other parties that we talked to in the area just stick clipped through it.
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Mike

climber
Ex.Livermore Ca. now the UK
Jun 19, 2003 - 03:06pm
 
Nice work on the route, David - what a jewel, eh?

Sounds like you saw the BAT hook after the last (camo) hanger below where the head used to be. You can reach up from the hook and get a green Alien up high (in the left trending horizontal part of the crack), or even reach it from the bolt (if ya got abs of steel, I gave it up last time).

Any other spots that require trickery? Are any of the hanger nuts loose? Thanks...

Way to go, homie. Nice send. Stoked you got the ledge.

Mike
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David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
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   Jun 19, 2003 - 01:21pm
I mainly asked that question just out of personal curiosity. It won't affect your ability to get up the route.

I was just interested in finding out if I successfully replaced fixed gear that had previously existed or simply added more junk to an already over fixed route. It looks like someone had drilled a shallow bat hook hole very close to where I placed the head. I didn't seem to have a hook that would work with that hole but maybe that was just my inexperience.

The route is very straight forward. The best beta I could offer is to link as many pitches as possible. This would be especially true in September when you'll have shorter days.

Oh...and as already mentioned, don't leave food or gear unattended near the base. The bears seem to love playing havoc in this location. I had 16 liters cached in a spot that no one would ever find and covered with large rocks that required two people to move. When I came back a week later, the rocks were moved, there were a couple of torn stuff sacks and 4 liters remaining. Doh!...back to the car for another roundtrip approach hike.

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David

Trad climber
San Rafael, CA
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   Jun 19, 2003 - 07:06am
Did this route on June 16&17. We had the route and Ahwanee to ourselves!

I'm still curious about something. A couple guys who had done the wall in a push the day before told us that all heads were intact and that a hammer wouldn't be needed. I was a bit unsure and threw the hammer and a few heads in the bottom of the bag anyways. I guess it was a good thing.

My partner opted for leading pitch 1 and ran in to difficulties almost immediately at the small roof after the first bolt ladder. He spent a long time trying this from different angles and finally decided to bail and down aided back to to the belay. I went up to have a look, thinking that surely he must have missed something. It's supposed to be pretty easy C1F right? I was a bit stymied as well and we were burning way too much time on what was supposed to be one of the easiest pitches on the route. I saw a small groove that would take a copperhead and I could see a faint greenish oxide that indicated that a copperhead had once been there. I brought up the hammer and heads and got to place my first head ever.(Thanks for the tutorial a few months ago Chris!) We were on our way. The rest of the route went with out incident. Linked almost all pitches except 9 and 10.

So my question is...to anyone who has done this route recently, what kind of fixed gear do you remember being present at this spot?
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Chris McNamara

SuperTopo staff member
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   Nov 28, 2002 - 01:20pm
the second-to-last rappel station for Leaning Tower (about 150' off the ground) has a 1/4" buttonhead with Leeper backing up a small tree and that it's kind of sketchy for rapping with a pig.
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Steve Ehrenberg

Intermediate climber
Mill Valley, CA
Oct 23, 2002 - 12:53pm
 
Do it in a push! No bivies! Start at midnight and carry only the ropes, the rack, and a days worth of water with a little extra for the descent. No sun for the hike up, and NO PIG!! The bolt ladders and pitches 3/4 are no problem in the dark. Pitch 5 can be tricky. We did it in 18 hours car-to-car, and my partner and I were no superstars. If your well rested and reasonably competent you should be able to shave several hours off our time as we slowed considerably once we reached Awahnee. We linked everything except 9 & 10, which would link without excessive drag if you know how to use a sling. The key is getting to Awahnee and starting pitch 5 before everyone on the ledge wakes up. This way your not stuck behind anyone.
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bob

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Aug 21, 2002 - 03:36am
 
Oops try this:
<a href="http://www.desertusa.com/mag01/mar/papr/ringt.html">ringtail cat</a>
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I know cuz I've done it too many times

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Jul 12, 2002 - 04:28pm
 
Combine every 2 pitches from the start of the route - easily done w/ a 60m rope. Rapping the route is not a problem from anywhere except the last big ledge below the final 4th class "pitch" (clipping bolts down the bottom 2 pitches is necessary).
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Chris McNamara

Big Wall climber
Mill Valley, CA
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   Oct 2, 2001 - 10:24am
Hey Jim, the gully will be no fun with snow in it. You may have to leave some gear behind if some of the anchors are burried under the snow - all depends on how much snow. Generally, not much snow accumulates in the gully unless there have been many back-to-back storms.
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Jim

Novice climber
Mill Valley, CA
Oct 2, 2001 - 10:17am
 
anyone know what the descent is like if it has already snowed?
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Leo Houlding

Advanced climber
Mill Valley, CA
Jul 27, 2001 - 10:22am
 
Below is an article I wrote for On the Edge and short piece with the facts. Perhaps there might be something of use to you in there.

Yes it is true that my Tower exploits began with an aborted solo attempt of Wet Denim. I was gonna do it an a push but after leading the pitch off Ahwahnee I decided that aid climbing was "Like climbing without all the good bits" so I turned my attention to the beautiful ramp pitch on the West face. Jason Pickles and Javier Sepulveda were aiding the West Face so I teamed up with them and just failed to onsight the ramp that same afternoon. Free climbing is my thing.

The roof is on of the wildest clip-up's I have ever done.

The route is of Astroman quality but a couple of numbers harder.


THE WESTIE FACE

The first free ascent of the West face of the Leaning tower by Leo Houlding and Jason Pickles

On Wednesday 16th May 2001 Jason Pickles and I made the first free ascent of the West Face of the Leaning tower. First climbed by Warren Harding in 1953 with a heavy use of bolts, Royal Robbins called the Tower "the steepest wall in North America".
Comparable in angle to Kilnsey North Buttress but a thousand feet high Ö you get the picture!

Hardingís rusty bolts were replaced by the American safe climbing association in 1997, good work boys.

The initial insanely steep bolt ladder remains an aid pitch and will never go free (so prove me wrong). The free climbing begins where the bolt ladder ends at a small ledge in a shallow, steep groove. The crux pitch a 160 foot, 5.13b (E7 6c) leads one on to the Ahwahnee ledge. A five star perch named after the exclusive Hotel in the Valley.

An unusual hanging ramp pitch then a full sixty metre stamina fest, both around 5.12c bring you to the big roof. Itís size is deceptive but whenyou pull into the back of it itís scale is clear. About twenty feet of horizontal laybacking then another twenty feet of bridging up a forty five degree overhanging groove. Every hold a jug, the itís a wild pitch. Extremly exposed E6 6c(5.13a).

A final typically steep corner completes the outstanding, sustained route. The increadible view of El Cap from obtained the summit makes the final mantle perhaps the most spectacular topout in the world.

Achievable in a day and of a semi-sport natrue this route is set to become a classic of its grade.

Several days later we made the fastest aid ascent of the same route whilst retrieving a jammed rope. 1 hour 59 minutes sheds a considerable 1.20 off the previous speed record. The same afternoon Jason caught his bus out of the Valley.
The next afternoon Jason Singer and I climbed the Nose of El Capitan. Leaving the cafť at 12 noon, without head torches we began climbing at 12.40. On the third pitch I narrowly avoided a monster fall by catching a tiny ledge 10 feet into the 120 foot screamer! Not the best way to start a speed ascent. In our fifth hour we passed a party who was on their fifth day. Topping out at 7.42 we made it down just before dark.
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Leaning Tower - West Face C2F 5.7 - Yosemite Valley, California USA. Click to Enlarge
The West Face of Leaning Tower.
Photo: Corey Rich
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