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[TR] Tower Rock - FA - Rapunzel's Back in Rehab - C1 7/15/2015


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Another great write up!


A few notes to the 4 people who care. When you get old, no one wants to hear you complain about your shoulders. Just STFU and go get another steroid shot when you come back. So that's what I'm doing. BTW, treasure your shoulders and yer youth. I was reminiscing about when I could do 5 sets of 12 pullups. I'm working on getting one now -a clean one, that is, a full up and down pullup. I almost have it too.


2nd, we both knew that we had one big rock we both wanted trundled on this route. My frozen reptile brain had checked out. You said in a sensible monotone of no particular urgency as I got up to you on P6 or 7: "don't touch that block" as I came up to you. The words didn't register till I'd touched it and the damned thing was flying. So damned dumb. I knew Geoff was 20 feet off to the side, but didn't know that the rock would want to go off and try to kill him. Glad it didn't. Speaking of rocks, don't wander below folks without letting them know (cough**Kyle**cough**) as we almost killed a 2nd Silverman chucking off rocks. Shockingly, down below 800 feet and out of sight Kyle heard me yell "rock". We didn't hear anything from him though, although he says he was trying.


3rd: you noted it ain't over till it's over. Then Kyle wandered off and near got lost (he wasn't, just got suckered way off course by some nonsensical flagging that ended). Then we got the fella who crashed and thought we saved his life (we didn't). Worst of that part is that the Fire and rescue parade down a shit road with said injured man in it (Mike Warren and his capable son Reed Warren) didn't come off like a movie (Frozen reptile brain syndrome part 2). You noted again that it ain't over till it's over and it was over much later as it turned out. Like you said.


4th- Great shots Geoff! I love that last shot of Ivan where we're @ 1000 feet up. You don't even really see the base it's so far away. The pic from the left which the topo is drawn on is weak, looks like an easy slab. At least you can see the direction of the route though. The other direction shows it's true angle, it overhangs. Almost looks like a different rock altogether.


5th- note to climbers contemplating doing the route: although it's a 14 pitch monster of a climb, this is not committing unless you want it to be. The first 2 pitches alone are worth the drive up. You can rap to the ground any pitch from P5 below with 2 60 meter ropes (make damned sure they are 60's). And if you wanted to leave some gear, rapping from higher is possible. To get in shape I drove up as a day trip and soloed the first couple pitches twice. Got home once in time to cook dinner. That's from Portland, Olympia/Tacoma is closer. It's closer, bigger and better than Monkey Face fer sure. Bigger on a massive scale bigger I should note, but if you climb only the first 3 pitches, you've climbed about as much elevation as topping out on West Face of Monkey.


6th - There are some LONG reaches. Ivans 6'7", I'm @ a foot shorter and Geoff is my height. Glad he lead the "Dance's with Death" pitch. Named by my daughter Katrina after I'd described the line. One pitch higher (10?) I started and Ivan finished the drilling, I drew that for a lead and hit the spot we changed over by visual acuity. My bolts are so much easier to climb. Adjustable daisy's are nice, but if you might be even more height challenged, bring a cheater stick and mentally deduct some style points off yer dance card, it's fine and no worries if you do, and don't beat yerself up about it. P4 is hard (abiet short) for us short folks as it's a traverse and a lot of the normal cheating things us shorts do won't get it for you. I've both lead and followed it, prefer it as a lead X2. Much more enjoyable and I was better able to reach out there. I watched Ivan drill them on lead, I couldn't believe how far apart and difficult they were for me when I tried to follow him.


7th - For hooks, any bathook will work. Talons will get up it, but are short and insecure in the holes. We used the Petzl Reglettes and they are perfect. Leeper skinny hooks should work we too.


Lastly, I'll be along with some photos later, but want to note that this route wouldn't have been done without you Ivan. You conceptualized it and drove that bus harder, further, faster and better than both Geoff and I together could muster up. I'd like to thank you and Geoff again, many times thanks: but mostly - that's some proud work sir- congrats on creating a top notch awesome route that will be hopefully treasured by many in the years to come.



If anyone wants more info, advice or whatever, let any of us know and we'll try and help out as much as we can. But go get it ya all!

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Very cool. Print out all the chapters and this would make an entertaining coffee table book. Thanks for taking us on the ride!


Indeed, and you're only getting the cliff notes version. It's crazy to me, outside of the Jeff Thomasan world of fascinatingly interesting historical minutia, but if you know anything of intellectual substance and bring it: Ivan either knows the whole thing or more about it. Like a lot more! For example: as we're hiking through the woods, near wasted from carrying loads, the WW1 Wilfred Owen poem (Dulce et Decorum Est) comes to mind. Bent backs, like beggers.... I say out loud. Pretty much all I can remember till near the end when Owens writes "gas...gas..." or some such. Ivan has it memorized and starts reeling it off. I didn't even have the start correct whereas he has it nailed. "

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,

Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,"....etc


Declaration of Independence? Memorized.


Lyrics to some old NWA rap song: Memorized.


ANY military minutia? Memorized. on and on and on




Bryan, the pleasure was all ours man!!!! In fact, I think the best shot of this thread is the one I got of you hanging off the 4th pitch jug spinning around. Here ya are:


I went up there with Jasmine and we camped at Pete and Pam's RV park. They put us back out of the way so for privacy and it was awesome. I did a solo lap and she hung with the pup and read which is one of her real pleasures. Corin would love that place you should get up there with her.


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Ho man, don't be getting Ivan all cranked up now Joseph. This route is what happened when we did it last time:-)


Mor photos later.


Resting on a ledge about 1000 feet up while Geoff toils above and Ivan quaffs one. The large mature Doug Fir trees seems smallish, and the Tower shadow cuts across them as if they were just so many blades of grass.



ps, The traverse behind me is best done to where I sit and not stopped at the anchor back there. Ivan left that rope fixed for ya'll. You'll appreciate it.

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  • 1 year later...

I was up on Pinnacle peak last weekend with my son when a friendly S WA dude said there was this AMAZING thing called Tower rock near Randle that just saw it's first ascent a few years ago, and he heard it had amazing potential for more routes. I looked at Google earth and images online and got interested. Then I went to Mtn Project and found Rapunzel, and that brought me back here to all of your Beowulfian tales @ivan @billcoe. Your immortality is now complete. Any new lines or projects down yonder? Has Adam Ondra done the FFA yet?

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12 hours ago, Rad said:

I was up on Pinnacle peak last weekend with my son when a friendly S WA dude said there was this AMAZING thing called Tower rock near Randle that just saw it's first ascent a few years ago, and he heard it had amazing potential for more routes. I looked at Google earth and images online and got interested. Then I went to Mtn Project and found Rapunzel, and that brought me back here to all of your Beowulfian tales @ivan @billcoe. Your immortality is now complete. Any new lines or projects down yonder? Has Adam Ondra done the FFA yet?

no FFA nor even 2nd aid ascent yet that i know of - i bet a shiny $2 bill it'll never be entirely freed, particularly pitches 3-6, 9 and 11

a feller did try rappelling the route the other day and came to grief :) https://q13fox.com/2019/07/20/climber-rescued-from-tower-rock-i-was-probably-gonna-die/

been monkeying around on new things since rapunzel but nothing that can compare in kewlness to tower, it's just so damn big compared to everything else w/n a couple hours drive...

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  • 3 weeks later...

hmm...not certain why, but if you're looking for the final tr with the topo, it's buried at the bottom of my quoted post on page 3 (july 24, 2017)

a good bit of activity in the area lately i've heard - looking forward to seeing the story of a 2nd ascent...

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  • 3 weeks later...


trip #16 - july 21-22, 2017


rapunzel's back in rehab is now ready for whatever rude, idle-minded customers might care to come her way - she ain't particular and man, for a hillbilly woman all moss-covered and whiskey addled, she sure is purty :)


it took the metaphorical third shot to see her finished, but after a weapons-grade-retard attempt last cock-tober and another last month that went off the rails w/o warning, me, big bill, n' gentleman geoff finally managed to malinger our way through the 13 steps of rehab this weekend and can now confidently claim ourselves to be Redeemed Men


swimming in the shade w/ the fam on thursday turned into sangria in the backseat on the long voyage north afterwards, and then ended indignantly w/ me sharting myself upon arriving at the dark, dank forest trailhead - not the most auspicious of augors, but thank the sweet baby-back-rib jeebus i'd brought another pair of shorts...


not ones to turn in early, geoff n' i stayed up late howling at the moon and indulging in new-found muzak, swilling n' smoking n' what not and therefore needled poor bill the next morning with our torpor to rise n' get to the bidness, which he'd been chomping at the bit for since sunup


still, in the end, we eventually got our shit straight and wandered up the hill for the umpteenth time, me sweating like a purblind lesbian at pike's place on a sultry summer afternoon - a half-hour later we were at the base and i relaxed, letting them two boys tangle w/ the first 2 pitches while i debauched myself in regal splendour, watching the game unfold above me


i jugged up and did the dog-day-long p3 as geoff went back down to the ground, leaving bill to do the wild p4 and giving me the pleasure of following it for the first time - the work of the first day done, we then fixed back down to the ground and returned to camp


it was weird to be back and idle by the middle of the afternoon, but we made do, getting our vittles on and preparing for an early sleep in order to rise w/ the sun on saturday, swatting black flies and bull-shiting about days gone by


saturday's dawn came just after 430, and soon thereafter we Did the Necessaries n' noodled on up the track, me gut-weary and wondering if a half-frozen don miguel breakfast burrito was really what me wounded bowels wanted :)


the first 2 jugs are easy, but the 3rd was a horrible sweat-fest, partly b/c we didn't have a long enough static to use the midpoint anchor to break up the long jug (it's more or less exactly 60 meters from the top of p4 to the top of p2, and relentlessly overhanging, especially at the end) - the one thing in our favor was the marine layer of clouds that kept the sun off us as we each took the better part of an hour to thrutch up it


p5 is another long one, but i did it last month and so i volunteered for it on the basis i'd get us through it fastest, though i was already feeling a wee bit whupped


p6-7 we cruised through easily for reasons the 2nd ascent team will quickly appreciate, though not w/o incident as bill, despite endless warnings, accidentally kicked off a belayer-slayer atop p6 that nearly made the world a lawyer shorter as poor geoff was just below


excitement waxed john holmes large once we hit "the fault" and p8 - the summit now is close enough to look conceivable, and after all the incredible steepness of the lower wall, now it's a reasonable angle to get up to the base of the upper wall - bill shot across it w/o complaint


p9 is the "dances w/ death" pitch, and i was mortal concerned w/ how to rig it so that no one got kilt - geoff figured he'd rather lead it than sweat below, waiting for big blocks to plummet on him, so i hung at the bottom of the fault and watched the show while bill belayed - my fears proved pretty unwarranted, though geoff's eyes got big-around enough at what he'd wandered through that i at least felt vindicated in my caution - he made good time up the fresh and fearful steep way while bill n' i chuckled n' took in the scenery, hoping another f-15 eagle would come roaring through the valley below as it had the day before, just a football field or two away


bill and i each relead p9 on top-rope - we didn't jug the line b/c there are so many sharp edges and fresh blocks that either chopping the line or weighting a block such that it crashes down is all too imaginable for a fear-fucked modern mammal


once in the rotten notch we felt good n' giddy - the scary part done, we had a good bit of light left and were only 3 rope-lengths from the top - bill, whose shoulder ailments seemed to have all but disappeared after 2 years of constant complaint, linked p9&10, fixing a static 2/3 up such that i could reach him far faster than belayer geoff - i howled in pain after a small rock, dislodged by bill's rope, bounced down the gully n' peeled back the flesh of my thumb


p12 i lead in unorthodox style, on a static line as geoff was still coming up the leadline - i'd done it so many damn times i figured there was no fear of falling - what was aggravating was yet again my adjustable daisy had given up the ghost after holding my fat-ass in place too long, and the replacement i borrowed off bill promptly died too - 12 is so steep it's a bit of a nut-kicker trying to do it old school w/ just a fifi


the shadows were growing damn long, but we figured to link 13 & 14 and be on top w/ daylight left - geoff got the honor of bringing this pleasing project to its ultimate ejaculation, and up he went - amusingly, though he'd put this one up last summer, he'd forgotten he'd made something of a challenge out of it then, and thus conspired to short-cock himself, killing himself w/ drag and letting me do p14 (all 50-some-odd feet of it) and be the first to flop onto the dusty summit


i guess we should have had a good hullabaloo on top but the combination of weariness and worry at the prospect of the jungle-thrash downhill in the dusk left us with little more inclination than for a perfunctory handshake and a quick glance around at the alpen-glow


after ditching all our gear at the summit saddle (we figured we'd drop in the next day from above and pick it all up), we banged down like bob-sledders on fire, hoping to regain the base before total dark and just managed to pull it off - i sucked down my victory can of pbr as the stars started to rise, and then by headlamp we made the short trip back to camp, where low-n-behold ole'kyle was, thus solving the mystery of who'd been hooting up at us periodically through the day :)


our dreams fulfilled, we wallowed in sweet weariness n' got our party on, me too tired but to drink gatorade n' burgundy n' suck down smoke n' cackle at this chapter of life concluded - the sun rose the next day and once again we were only ordinary men :(


many more routes to manufacture up the teetering tower, should anyone have the taste for it - i fear these fellows may be shot of it now :)


i hope to remember these past 26 or so months of wandering back and forth with this parcel of fools fondly - ben, kyle, bryan, geoff and bill (the last 2 especially) all made their contributions, the usual result being a mixture of fear, elation and gut-laffs that doesn't appear to have a name that comes quick to mind


go get it people - i'll be very surprised if you don't find it worth your time - after all, how many grade V big wall climbs are there in washington, and all bolts to boot? throw in the close distance to portland/seattle and the relatively easy approach/descent, and i'd think this tawdry little lady's got a chance at classic status :)





bill leading p8 to base of "dances with death"



bill on p10, leading out of the rotten notch



top of p12



me just below p13 anchor, a few feet below summit


Edited by ivan
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trip 17 - 9/2/19 - tower rock in a day w/ geoff n' ben for the second ascent ever and the first one-day ascent (though barely so, 15 hrs from base to top) - the summer's been pumped empty, but there's a few ounces in the bottom still - we rally round my place n' spend time solving the tetris problem in the subaru - laughter n' bent space n' soon enough we're by the sighing shores of the cispus before the quiet evening could close in - sumptuous sandwiches n' nattering over the end of the world n' the glim-glamour of geoff's prime party lights - no time for nonsense, we dispense w/ fixing lines and wake at 4 a.m. instead, still half-drunk and full-empty of vim n' vigor - the trail now so proud and clear it can easily be followed in the dark, especially when you've bent your will to the fleeting wheel - wet w/ sweat in the humid air i begin our humble bound upwards by the headlight's glare, the overhanging summit obscured by fog - i do the first 4 pitches then yield to geoff, full ready for a break - the fixed rope near 5 years old now but in fine shape - geoff takes us to the dances with death and then we give ben a whirl where he whines much as you'd think he should - time crawls and it becomes clear we'll be on top after the day's died - a cluster-fuck of ropes getting to pitch 12 - geoff leads that wicked steepness and i follow it for the first time ever, experiencing the challenge of elementary physics - darkness creeps in as pain and frustration purchases our souls at cut rate prices - geoff tries to short-fix the final pitch but is flummoxed by the simple fact that the moss reclaimed the first bolt after only a few years - i draw the second-shortest straw and figure it out, summiting alone in the baleful wind amid the roar of meteors in the milky-way clear sky - the walk down the trail-less spongy forest something i promised myself i'd forget and so i promptly have - camp at last after 20 1/2 hours on the go, geoff collapses and causes concern, but beer and carrots and a lack of compassion brings him around finally - a profound sleep, so sore i dreamt of sleeping and could not be wakened by the creak of crows long after the sun noodled up over our heavily forested scene - a local ben scooted up and we bantered about his visions of us on the cliffside the day before, then it was the long voyage back and battening down the veritable hatches for the coming campaign 

Edited by ivan
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