Andrews Tower, North Face
5.3 M5 Steep Snow PG13
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|Type: ||Trad, Mixed, Snow, Alpine, 5 pitches, 800 feet, Grade III|
|Consensus: ||5.3 M5 [details]|
|FA: ||Dougald MacDonald & Greg Sievers|
|New Route: ||Yes|
|Submitted By: ||Greg Sievers on Apr 2, 2009|
Andrews Tower, as seen from the west (on Andrews G...
From the rocky ground that separates the lower snowfield and Andrews Glacier (adjacent to Tarn Lake), turn south and scramble up a few hundred vertical feet.
We dropped packs on the eastern edge of the gully (that comprises most of this route).
P1 - climb mixed snow/rock for 200', M3-4.
P2 - we stepped right and climbed a very steep and sustained corner (M5). After 60' traverse back left, and climb the upper chimney.
P3 - very steep snow and M4 terrain, up under the cornice/pillow. At the headwall, we took a hard left to the arete.
P4 - turn right on the ridge - mostly snow. Connect the dots to the Col.
P5 - traverse due west along a very awkward rock ledge and then up (5.3) to the summit block.
This 'tower' lays Immediately south of Andrews Glacier. just above Tarn Lake.
To descend: downclimb the east snowfields (Alpine snow III) or hike/climb south along the apex of the ridge to the Continental Divide - turn right and retreat by the north snowfield down to the Tarn, or go to Andrews Glacier and then back to the base, and your stash.
I think our descent route on the east-facing snowfields would make a superb spring climb of a very moderate nature, on good styrofoam (if you climb it in the afternoon or a cold cloudy day), and you'll enjoy a really beautiful tower type summit.
Single rock rack, w/ 3 KB. No screws or pickets.
Yhere are no anchors on the summit and none needed. Downclimb the easy rock back to the Col.
|Photos of Andrews Tower, North Face Slideshow
Dougald following P1.
Greg begining the initial lead of P1 after scrambl...
Dougald finishing P2. We did not climb this obviou...
GS making choices and beginning P3.
Dougald following P3.
Doogle on the top of P3, pulling the KB, under the...
GS on summit of Andrews Tower 3-21-09.
Route showing P1, 2, 3.
Red line is the route, blue line is the descent we...
GS following P4.
Andrews Tarn Lake below the route, and western Oti...
Looking up the crux second pitch. (Camera was mist...
|Comments on Andrews Tower, North Face
|By Chris Sheridan|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 3, 2009
Nice work guys! Looks like a really cool route. Can't wait to get on it.
|By Dougald MacDonald|
Apr 3, 2009
Couple of notes on the descent. Down-climbing the east face is only an option in very stable snow conditions. Stay off this face in warm sun. The traverse along the ridge to the Divide would be the classiest option, but it requires a technical pitch (rock/mixed) out of the notch, and possibly additional technical climbing beyond. Allow a couple of hours for this "descent." The best option might be to establish a rappel route down the steep gully to the west. Looks like you could get down to scrambling territory in roughly three double-rope rappels from the summit. We found two sling anchors (on the east face and on the north face); we believe these were used during summer ascents of the tower.
Also, note that big cornices threaten the north face route throughout the winter and spring. Choose the day for your climb wisely.
Finally, to echo what Greg said about the east face (the blue line in his photo): This would make a great mountaineering route in good snow conditions, with interesting snow climbing, a bit of mixed ground and rock climbing, and a cool summit. A cold or cloudy day in April or early May would probably be best.