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On the Banana Tower, a freestanding piece of rock on the northern end of Grocery Store Walls, find the east face and set up a top rope. Climb the east face in the center on good holds with a crux towards the top.
Addendum: a cobblestone has likely pulled out near the top of the climb making it ~5.10+!
Bolts are located on top of Banana Tower. Use care when getting onto the tower from the top.
BETA PHOTO: Climb the left face of Banana Tower.
BETA PHOTO: The step across to the Banana Tower. Also, if you...
BETA PHOTO: The top of the Banana Spire.
Yeah, I made Wade gi...
|By Dan Mottinger|
Jul 4, 2001
This route makes for a good spicy lead for those wanting to try it. I used a two cams, then two nuts at the same level to protect it. I know the nuts hold since I fell onto them. Topping out is tricky for an 8. Am I missing something? Dan Mottinger
|By Sean O'Dell|
Jun 6, 2002
Am I missing something on Banana Tower, here? It looks to me like there are really only 2 ways to set a TR up on this rock without doing a "spicy" 5.8 trad lead: 1) Free solo the Bananna chimney OR 2) Hop across a 3.5' wide by 40'deep chasm from the canyon rim onto the rather small summit of the tower. One could be forgiven for thinking both of these options sound...um...a wee dangerous. I'm no puss when it comes to semi-dicey, unprotected things, but it seems like falling to your death in pursuit of a toprope anchor would be awfully embarassing....
|By Ben Mottinger|
Jun 7, 2002
Sean--you're right. The only way to TR the Banana is to either lead the chimney (no real pro until the top, but short, easy, and not exposed) or carefully make the big step (short leap) to the top. If you're feeling sketched, you can anchor the tree to the south as a belay, then setup the TR.
|By Sean Bradley|
Aug 4, 2002
This was a pretty "spicey" 5.8. I also agree that the summit move was way harder than a 5.8. Are we missing something?
|By Dan Mottinger|
Sep 3, 2002
The way I'm comfortable with setting up these climbs (on the tower) is to approach from the tip and sit on the edge of the main wall and bridge the gap with your feet. At this point you can clip yourself into the anchors while still being (relatively) safe and then cross the gap.
|By Darin Lang|
Mar 21, 2003
The 5.8 on this route ends when you're standing on the upper, small ledge and are holding a good pebble with your left hand. The remaining 10 feet to the anchors feels like 11b or so.
|By Ben Mottinger|
Mar 25, 2003
A pebble musta pulled out. ;-)
|By Sean O'Dell|
Aug 7, 2003
Oh yeah...did this one again here a few weeks ago - that top move is so NOT 5.8.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jun 3, 2004
I'm relatively new to climbing and I just attempted banana peel at castlewood canyon this last weekend. I was frustrated by not being able to climb the very top part. Had the pebble in my left hand but ended up having to go off route to finish. Any suggestions on how to finish this one? Is it totally about finger strength and arm strength or is there some technique I should work on? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!!! (BTW: Just signed up/name not available yet.)
|By Jeremy Hakes|
From: Golden, Colorado
May 22, 2006
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b
No way this is a 5.8. On a scale that stops at 5.10d it might be a 5.8, but on a YDS scale that stops at 5.15a, this is a 5.10+. Spicy, thin, and harder than it looks.
|By Adam Hutton|
From: Norton Shores, MI
Jun 6, 2009
When I topped out on this route, I really had to trust my feet. When standing on the second shelf, I rapped my left hand around the west arete, and the right was on the east arete/side sloper in the best spot that I could find. I squeezed my upper body as much as I could, and then raised my left foot and smeared it on the very bottom left edge. I trusted the foot, and pulled the right foot up and also smeared it on the wall. From there I had to put most of my weight on my left foot, and lean away from the left hand so I could use the arete. Then with the right hand I went for the big bomber, and it is cake from there. Yes, this is a tricky move.
|By Mike Kasberg|
From: Denver, CO
Jul 18, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a
I rated this as 5.9, but if you want to go all the way to the bolts, the last move is probably 10-. Set up a toprope by stepping across the gap without a problem, and clip yourself in to a bolt while you set up.
|By Dave Clark 5.10|
From: Golden, CO
Nov 12, 2011
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ E3 5b
For this to have been 5.8, there must have been a key pebble hold for the top move. It ain't there now, and the top move now seems 10+. Nice, stiff (old school) 5.8 up to the last move.
As for getting to the top anchors, I felt safe stepping across the gap with one foot, then clipping the anchors while straddling the gap before bringing the back foot over. Still a leap of faith, but not physically difficult.
|By Mike Lane|
From: Centennial, CO
Nov 15, 2011
There used to be a guide back in the '80s by a guy named Alan Mosiman that was exclusively the Grocery Store area. That is where this rating came from. They were all Colo. Mtn. Club climbers, spent time there in the '60s and '70s. But that last move has always been 10-ish. The best way to get to the anchors on the Tower is to do a handstand on the rim and then kip over the gap to the tower.