Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • olyclimber

      WELCOME TO THE CASCADECLIMBERS.COM FORUMS   02/03/18

      We have upgraded to new forum software as of late last year, and it makes everything here so much better!  It is now much easier to do pretty much anything, including write Trip Reports, sell gear, schedule climbing related events, and more. There is a new reputation system that allows for positive contributors to be recognized,  it is possible to tag content with identifiers, drag and drop in images, and it is much easier to embed multimedia content from Youtube, Vimeo, and more.  In all, the site is much more user friendly, bug free, and feature rich!   Whether you're a new user or a grizzled cascadeclimbers.com veteran, we think you'll love the new forums. Enjoy!
Sign in to follow this  
Jake

Tower Mountain

Recommended Posts

Was looking at maps and Beckey book and spotted Tower Mt. Looks kinda cool and worth a trip. Anybody ever been there and climbed?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I did a trip in to climb Tower and Golden Horn in August 2001. Below is an excerpt from my notes related to climbing Tower. We really enjoyed the trip in there, and the route. I would definitely say it is worth the trip. Upper Snow lake is really nice for swimming, pretty warm for a high mountain lake (in Aug).

 

Excerpt From Trip report:

 

The next morning we left camp to climb the SW rib of Tower. This route featured 700 feet of technical climbing from 4th class to 5.6+ on granite that ranged from very clean to very loose. The route was first climbed in 1990 by Gordy Skoog and Joe Cantellani. And gauging by the summit register has only seen a handful of ascents.

 

The first pitch was sustained 5.6+, pro was scarce, but reasonable, making the climbing somewhat run out with a belay that was hard to locate. Dad wasn't sure what he was getting into after following this pitch, but was game for continuning with the assurance that things would ease off. Pitch 2 did ease off, but was '5.loose' which made for heady climbing. Upon reaching the belay, we could see that the rock up ahead improved and we were much encouraged. Two easy 4th class/low fifth class pitches along the right side of the ridge followed, leading to a nice looking mid-fifth class corner that regained the crest of the ridge (fun pitch). Once a top the rib again, we could look ahead a couple of pitches and see a large 25 foot headwall, almost like a big boulder, which spanned the width of the whole rib and appeared to block it. At each belay we'd look at it and wonder aloud how we would get around it. Once there, we could see the crack on the far left hand side that offered passage, but at the price of some exposure, as you stood on the very corner of the rib that fell away for hundreds of feet below you. For me this was one of the mental cruxes of the route, at the top of the crack you had to make a balance move across a debris covered ledge, there were no handholes, just a smooth granite face covered in black lichen and the last protection was a ways below. Cool!

 

Two or three more pitches of 4th class with the occassional low 5th class move saw us to the summit, where there is the world’s biggest summit cairn (7ft tall). We descended the extremely loose scramble route in our rock shoes, an unpleasant gully, but convenient in that it brought us to within a couple of hundred feet from the base of the rib, where we picked up our gear that we had left there and headed home happy with the days climbing.

 

 

THE PARTICULARS:

 

The approach – Follow the PCT north 11 miles over Cutthroat Pass through Granite Pass then on to the big campsite in the meadow. Take the trail on the right for half a mile to Snowy lakes.

 

Note: the Becky guide says that you can see the route on Tower from Cutthroat pass. This is flat out wrong, you can’t even see Tower Mountain from Cuthroat Pass. I’m sure he must mean Granite Pass.

 

The bivy - Bivy either in the meadow or at Snowy lakes. The lower Lake is most central to both climbs.

 

The route –

 

Golden Horn - From the upper lake scramble up to the ridge top, then follow the ridge to the summit area. As previously mentioned, the last move or two on the summit block from either the north or south option are hard, with some fall potential. You may want to bring a rope and a piece or 2, if you want to plant your arse on the summit proper.

 

Tower – From the lower lake scramble across the western basin and up big granite blocks to gain the obvious southwestern ridge, follow that up past a deep notch to the base of the mountain. Traverse right, you’ll see the obvious gendarme with the capstone on it (described in the west gully route description) at the base of the scramble gully (you can’t see this gully from the lake, it is not on the west side of the mountain). About 100-200 yards further to the right is the route. Its obvious.

 

Note: it is interesting that the Becky guide gives 2 different approaches for the scramble route and the Southwest rib even though the starts for these routes are right next to each other. Use the description for the rib route.

 

The rack – Medium alpine rack, one of each size cam from blue TCU up to 3 inches. 8 stoppers. 2 hexes #7 and 8.

 

The time: Cars to camp 5 hours. (I don’t know what took us so long, we really dawdled).

Camp to Golden Horn Summit 2.5 hours.

Golden Horn Summit to Camp 1.5 hours.

Camp to Base of southwest Rib 1.5 hours.

Base of Rib to the summit 4 hours 45 minutes.

Descent to camp 2 hours.

Camp to Cars 3hours 45 minutes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hey, thanks Mr. I. I will store this information for future reference. I hoist a Glacier [big Drink] for ye.

 

[ 11-13-2002, 10:53 AM: Message edited by: klenke ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch out on the standard route on Tower if you decide to do that one (you may come down that way). It is doable without rope, but there were times when I was a little sketched becuase it was like downclimbing on class 3-4 sections with little pebbles everywhere that were like marbles on a granite floor.

 

[ 11-13-2002, 03:24 PM: Message edited by: Stefan ]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was impressed with the grandeur of Tower from a distance while climbing Silver Star last summer. This peak isn't so impressive from the road, but it's got a real classic look from higher up. (I would post a photo if I knew how.) Sounds like a worthy objective. [Cool]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's cool: a barefoot rock climber. I bet toe jams (no, not THAT kind of toe jams) are difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Isnt barefoot freesolo chalkless the only ethical way to climb rock?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this  

×