||Trad, Aid, 2 pitches, 220', Grade III
|Consensus: || YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c A2+ [details]|
|FA: ||Chris Rowins, Mark Fleck, Marco Constant, 1997|
|Season: ||winter, spring, fall|
|Page Views: ||523|
|Submitted By: ||Steve "Crusher" Bartlett on Mar 22, 2012|
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Would you rappel from this? Umm, yes, we did.....
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There are two routes on this tower. The original Forrest-Hurley route, Angels' Fear, and Capetown Caper. Once we reached the tower and saw the splitter cracks taken by Capetown Caper, we immediately ditched our plan to climb the easier, Forrest route. Ours was likely the second ascent of Capetown Caper. By local, Valley of the Gods standards, this is an excellent, direct route with great rock.
Pitch 1: The "5.8" pitch starts just left of the south prow. Work up a series of short dihedrals. We used some aid, needed to excavate the cracks and ledges and to negotiate a few precarious blocks. It might go free now (at least for a few months, until debris covers everything again). This ends at a big, rotten ledge. Didn't see any obvious belay possibilities here, so continued up the next pitch. This is a vast improvement, following a splitter crack in excellent, steep rock up to a ledge strewn with large, precarious blocks. Lots of small (under 1-inch) cams, many nuts, a few larger cams. Used one angle piton midway.
Pitch 2: The alluring headwall is split by a single crack. Ascend this, mostly using small cams, nuts, slider nuts, a couple pins. After a fixed pin, the crack closes up again; reach right to place a cam in a flake crack. Up this crack a few feet then reach right again to a final short, easy crack. Very fun!
Summit anchor is not on top but is located down a few feet on the other (north) side.
This climbs directly up the south face of the tower by obvious and cool-looking splitter cracks that only appear when you are close up.
Descent is by rappel. First rap goes 70 feet down the north side of the summit block to the obvious big ledge (the bathtub). From here rap west, from either one of two sets of anchors, one close in to the summit block, the other hidden from sight farther north (on the lady's knees)
Lots of small gear. We used about 4 pitons, total, in the range bugaboos to small angles. Should go clean to a determined party armed with lots of nuts, small Aliens, Slider Nuts, and nicer weather (we encountered snow, ferocious windstorm, rain). Include two or more sets of cams up to #4 Friend.