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Block Top Tower
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Block Top T 

Block Top 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a C2+

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 4 pitches, 400', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a C2+ [details]
FA: 10-12-85 by Greg Doubek, Bill Ellwood and Bryan Ferguson
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 3,056
Submitted By: Bryan Ferguson on Apr 28, 2008

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Descending Block Top

Description 

Steep crack climbing including free climbing and aid on big Friends stacked with wooden blocks (blocks were stashed at base). All likely would go free.

Location 

Find the prominent crack that splits the North face of Block Top Tower. Descend the route.

Protection 

Old style buttonhead bolts were placed on chimney pitch (pitch three) and belays, These should be replaced if they have not been already. Lots of big friends. We used home made friends (thanks to Greg) and big tri-cams stacked with blocks.


Photos of Block Top Slideshow Add Photo
The old stacking blocks are still there at the base of Block Top. Photo: Joe Puryear 2008
The old stacking blocks are still there at the bas...
Block Top summit photo from the Island in the Sky rim.
BETA PHOTO: Block Top summit photo from the Island in the Sky ...
Climber on Block Top
Climber on Block Top
Sorting gear in Moab after Block Top FA.
Sorting gear in Moab after Block Top FA.
Original Block Top Topo
BETA PHOTO: Original Block Top Topo
Bill, Greg and Bryan on Block Top Summit
Bill, Greg and Bryan on Block Top Summit
Looking down from top of pitch three, first attempt.
Looking down from top of pitch three, first attemp...

Comments on Block Top Add Comment
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By Patrick Kingsbury
Mar 27, 2010

FFA: Stevie Haston (5.12)

Hardest OW desert tower?!
By Bryan Ferguson
From: Castle Rock
Sep 8, 2011

Patrick, do say more. We knew it would go free when we did the FA. Would like to know more about the FFA.
By Bryan Ferguson
From: Castle Rock
Apr 25, 2012

These fellas found it far easier:
ideboyz.blogspot.com/2011/09/i...
By Patrick Kingsbury
Apr 26, 2012

Pretty sure they established the analog crack with Crusher, though i could be wrong.
By Bryan Ferguson
From: Castle Rock
Apr 27, 2012

Meaning the crux is the first pitch? Just very curious as I led the wide pitch on aid until I could squeeze in. The moves out of aiders were wicked OW and sqeeze chimney that very nearly exceeded my limits - it was a climb or die (not really, but felt like it) sort of thing for me.
By Patrick Kingsbury
Apr 28, 2012

As in same crack, but opposite side of the tower. Completely different route.
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Apr 29, 2012

Blocktop is split, north to south, by one crack. There are two routes, the original route takes the north side. Pete Whittaker, Tom Randall and I went up the south side (not the original route). There was some misunderstanding over this. I had heard this south side route had not been freed and might be very hard. This got the wideboyz all excited. Turns out it was established a decade ago or so, and goes free. The wideboyz reckoned maybe 5.10++. I jumared much of the way, partly to save time (brisk November day), partly because it was damn hard! think I got my original information all wrong, and it was the original route that was (is?) not free.

The north side, original route, I have not done and know nothing about. I have heard nothing from Stevie about climbing Blocktop. One thing's for sure, whichever side you pick, this makes for a hard-earned tower tick.
By Bryan Ferguson
From: Castle Rock
May 1, 2012

OK, south side, we thought that would be harder. Kudos to the Wideboyz and Crusher, et al on the project.