West Face C2F 5.7

 
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Leaning Tower


Yosemite Valley, California USA


Trip Report
WFLT, Solo
Monday April 15, 2019 12:25pm
The second wall I climbed last summer was the Leaning Tower. I romped up Serenity and Sons with two friends in the evening and then spontaneously packed my haulbag after eating dinner to solo the west face the next day! I have insomnia and always find it difficult to sleep the night before a big wall from the excitement or nervousness. Deciding to go climb the route the night before curbed a lot of this and having just climbed a route helped me sleep.

Early the next morning I made breakfast and coffee and my friend Madeleine gave me a ride across the valley to the bridalveil lot. I chained my bike up in the lot and said goodbye, humping all of my gear up the steep talus field.

The exposed ledge traverse to the start of the leaning tower is indeed exposed, and makes for an awesome start to the first pitch. I shuttled the rack over and then the rest of my kit, gingerly stepping across the airy gaps. The stoke was high!

Within an hour I was swinging my way up the absurdly steep bolt ladder. I hadn't soloed since the previous season and felt rusty, but the bolt ladder was an excellent warm up. The wall swept away after only a few bolts. The first pitch had a few more thoughtful placements and a hook. Soon I was rapping the haul line way out into space and laughing at the wild position. So awesome!

Swinging the haul bags out into space was SWEET! I wasn't feeling scared or uncertain at all, just having a fantastic time! Linking the second and third pitches was the crux of the route for me. There was a relatively tricky section for me with fiddly offset cams, cam hooks and hooks. I thought the mantle was pretty scary even in good approach shoes. This may have been the trickiest aid I had lead up to this point.

As I got to Ahwahnee ledge I heard someone hollering my name. Turning around I saw my friend Jorge leading up the Fifi Buttress yelling encouragement at me. Woohoo! Rapped down the haul line with a big smile on my face, happy with the comfort of fellow monkeys and having an absolute blast.

I got everything settled onto the AWESOME ledge and started rocking out to the Rolling Stones with my speaker. The leaning tower echoes against the Fifi buttress, creating GREAT sound. I ate some food and sunbathed in the perfect temperature.

All organized!
All organized!
Credit: Miles Fullman

Looking up into the steep golden glow.
Looking up into the steep golden glow.
Credit: Miles Fullman

A bit later a party of three joined my on the ledge and set up a portaledge. It was a ton of fun hanging out with them as the sun went down. They were some very awesome people.

Hanging out.
Hanging out.
Credit: Miles Fullman

I got an early start the next morning, slightly nervous to get the first pitch done and summit in daylight. The traverse turned out to be loads of fun! Some really awesome micronutting for breakfast.

Good morning!
Good morning!
Credit: Miles Fullman

Rapping!
Rapping!
Credit: Miles Fullman

Sweet shot of Camden on Wet Denim Daydream! Looks fun over there!
Sweet shot of Camden on Wet Denim Daydream! Looks fun over there!
Credit: Miles Fullman

Took my only fall on the route just before the roof.
Took my only fall on the route just before the roof.
Credit: Miles Fullman

Just before the giant roof under the summit I placed an inverted camhook which popped and I ripped an offset cam and fell maybe twenty feet. I was a bit shaken, never having taken a fall while soloing. Camden hollered over to see if I was okay. Having them right next to me on the wall was mentally comforting. Well, now we know my system works! :) Finished the STEEP roof. Ridiculously cool!

One happy boy.
One happy boy.
Credit: Miles Fullman

The summit of the tower is rad. My friends from the ledge topped out just after me, and we all partied on top and made the horrible descent go easier by trudging down the loose rappels together.

cumbre!
cumbre!
Credit: Miles Fullman

What a happy moment.
What a happy moment.
Credit: Miles Fullman

Admiring the steepness from the descent.
Admiring the steepness from the descent.
Credit: Miles Fullman

All in all, a smooth ascent and an excellent experience.

  Trip Report Views: 1,158
Miles Fullman
About the Author
Miles Fullman is 20 years old and is looking forward to graduating so he can climb more.

Comments
Sierra Ledge Rat

Mountain climber
Old and Broken Down in Appalachia
  Apr 15, 2019 - 08:34pm PT
Congrats. I soloed that route in the winter of 1979 or thereabouts. After almost 40 years I remember that the traverse was the hardest part of soloing the route. Am I wrong?
telemon01

Trad climber
Montana
  Apr 15, 2019 - 02:42pm PT
Good one Miles!
matty

Trad climber
under the sea
  Apr 15, 2019 - 03:48pm PT
Thanks for the share. Always enjoy a good WFLT report as it beings back good memories. IT was my first wall and I did it solo. I trained in the gym and short cliffs in/near Michigan, then flew out, took the train/bus to yosemite and hiked in to solo the route on day one. Glad you had a good time. congrats.
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Apr 15, 2019 - 04:24pm PT
Dude nice job!!!
May I ask what device you used to self belay?
McGinnis

climber
  Apr 15, 2019 - 04:32pm PT
Excellent
Gunkie

Trad climber
Valles Marineris
  Apr 15, 2019 - 04:46pm PT
Nice!
johntp

Trad climber
Punter, Little Rock
  Apr 15, 2019 - 05:40pm PT
Kuddos! WFLT is fun on many levels.
Mike.

climber
  Apr 15, 2019 - 06:52pm PT
Good job on it, Miles. You’re on a roll!

And you’re owning the forum while half the members are freaking out...haha. Keep crushing.
Bargainhunter

climber
  Apr 15, 2019 - 10:05pm PT
I enjoyed the TR! It was my first wall 20+ years ago. Loved the “good morning” shot looking back at Ahwahnee. It shows how wild Big Wall camping locations really are. Absurd and hard to believe!
Miles Fullman

Big Wall climber
Author's Reply  May 7, 2019 - 12:31am PT
Zay, I used an unmodified Grigri and tied figure eight knots as a backup. A silent partner would likely be a better option but I have not had the chance to get my hands on one as they are discontinued and the grigri works well enough. It did catch my fall!
Gnome Ofthe Diabase

climber
Out Of Bed
  May 7, 2019 - 03:57am PT
TRUE THAT THIS LANDED WHEN THE DUST WAS UP
WEST FACE OF LEANING TOWER
THIS IS WHAT, FOR MANY, WAS THE 1ST WALL TO HOP ON
(with a partner or 2-- or 1 & a Hero, or as 2 or 3 nO0bs)

A ROUTE OF THE "WONDER WHATS UP"
TAUGHT MANY; HOW-TO
AND NOT A FEW, HOW-NOT-TO, TOO

AND MANY LEARNED THE LESSONS
WHAT WAS UP
HOW HARD WAS EASY
 EASY WAS DANGLING HARD

A GUIDE BOOK
GIVING A VIEW OF WHAT WAS TO COME FOR SOME

and what seemed "overwrought" to others

GOOD JOB
THANX FOR TAKING US UP
Flip Flop

climber
Earth Planet, Universe
  May 7, 2019 - 06:21am PT
Cheers! I loved soloing the WFLT.
JEleazarian

Trad climber
Fresno CA
  May 8, 2019 - 03:22pm PT
Nice work and excellent write up. Thanks.

John
skywalker1

Trad climber
co
  May 8, 2019 - 03:46pm PT
Hey that's great! I did that route several years ago and boy is that thing steep!!!! Like the stoke. TFPU!

Cheers!

S....
madbolter1

Big Wall climber
Denver, CO
  May 8, 2019 - 04:04pm PT
Sweet action, young man! TFPU!
McHale's Navy

Trad climber
From Panorama City, CA
  May 8, 2019 - 10:06pm PT
Nice ii!
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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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