The route follow the huge obvious dihedral in the center of the south face. You'll probably be able to recognize it by the line of climbers waiting to start. The approach is a stout 1 hour hike up a talus cone. 4 pitches - 5.6 squeeze chimney, wierd 5.8 hands and fingers, 5.9 crux offwidth(not a sandbag-look hard for the real sequence), and a fun 5.7 pitch either up a squeeze chimney or fun edges. Rap the route to descend, but be careful not to hit anyone on the way down.
Submitted by: atg200 on 2001-10-16
Route ID: 5283
This was my second desert tower. Amazing setting with aggressive climbing. My feet slipped a couple times on the marble-like surface. Unless you're going to take pictures, I'd leave backpacks at the base. The approach is a bear.
Sandstone Sandbag, don't care what anyone says. Be prepared to grovel grovel grovel! calcite blows. Its a great climb, but i feel like i should want to climb the 50 classics again and again. I won't do this route again, not that its bad, to me it's just not worth a repeat. placed a #4 on most every pitch so i dont know why some people say not to bring it.
Also, the first bolt on P3 is useless. There is PERFECT gear a foot above it. the next 2 are nice to have though. I lead 1 and 3 Overall I wouldn't call it PG13, maybe just PG
The first pitch is the hardest 5.6 I've ever done in my life. Because of all the calcite it's like trying to climb out of a glass jar. Way strenuous. The second pitch is not so bad but don't take the line on the far left, the one with the bolt, like I did. Third pitch crux really wasn't that bad once I rested on the bolt and worked out the face climbing/stemming sequence in my head. Only two or three hard moves get you to calcite jugs. Not super hard but felt more like 5.10a/b then 5.9. On the next squeeze section go left side in and don't go too deep in the crack, it gets tight. Fourth pitch is the best pitch, straight forward climbing, short though. Rap the north face, you'll see 4 bolts and some chains. It's pretty scary cause there's so much air below you. At the bottom of the second rappel you have to swing over to the right to get to the ledge and anchors. It's kinda scary.
I hate calcite, shoes don't stick so it's kinda like climbing with roller skates on.
Overall it's not really fun climbing, more of a grunt fest, but it's well worth the blood and sweat.