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BETA PHOTO: Dark Tower. Angle left on the slab and follow the...
Dark Tower is found on the second arete from the left of the Watermark formation, an area developed by Richard Rossiter during a particularly Tolkenian period in his career. It's easy to see where that influence was inspired, the forest around the base of the shady cliff is primordal. And if my experience is an indication of this route's karma, approach with caution, Traveler....
The start of the line consists of crossing a slab to gain a crack that angles up onto a rib, which then angles left to the arete. The crack may be intimidating, but a fine, fun lead. As the crack arcs left above a roof and dies on the face before the arete, the psycological crux is encountered as you must traverse over exposure on the face. Pass the large tree on the right (I found the crack above the tree afforded better protection to save rope drag.) Interesting climbing continues up the face. You can set up a nice belay on a shelf at the top.
Be aware: as I brought my second up, I happened to notice a (large!) red ant colony swarming all over my rope and over my legs. It was aweful. Nasty buggers were biters too.
You can sprint off the shelf left and scramble down the gully east of the Watermark and then traverse back to its base.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 3, 2002
I soloed the route yesterday and here's my take on it: The rock is kinda junky and dirty and the ants are still there. I crumbed a hold or two each way, up and down. There was dirt in the cracks besides.
I'd have given it the bomb.
|By Steve Marr|
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 7, 2006
No ants as of July 2006, but still not worth hauling a rack up to the crag for. The climbing was easy, but I thought the pro was less than great. The line looks better than it is.
|By John Layko Torkleson|
Aug 1, 2012
A set of tri cams will help immensely with this route in my opinion. Still dirty. I think it would clean up into something if more people got on it. No ants on top.