1. Scramble 10 feet up easy choss to a ledge, aid up a left-facing dihedral (maybe a fixed pin). Follow this 60 feet or so to a long roof. You are aiming for the beautiful, thin crack splitting the shield above. On FA, we avoided a loose-looking block atop the dihedral by a six-foot tension traverse right into a second crack system. This led directly through the long roof and into the splitter. Small Aliens and Slider nuts work well here. Continue more easily to a rotten ledge then up to a second ledge. Traverse right to an alcove and two bolts. Belay (5.5, A3-).
2. Up the easy cracks above the belay to a lower-angle rotten area. Negotiate entry to the alluring, polished wide crack. This starts at about six inches. Sixty feet higher it's eight inches (one protection bolt). On FA, we leapfrogged a Valley Giant and a #5 Camalot stacked with a small hunk of lumber. Belay where the crack widens into a chimney at a ledge and a couple bolts.
3. Up the chimney with care (5.7) to a big ledge. Head straight the continuation crack (C1, 5.8) to the summit. Wide cams needed all the way to the top; also needed is considerable care with loose blocks--anything dropped from here will be funneled down toward your belayer. Stem around the twin roof cracks to the flat summit ledge.
4. There are two major summit mushrooms, entirely separate from each other. It's not clear which is higher so best is to scramble up both.
This is a cool summit, atop a wild, remote tower. No summit bolts or any sign of previous passage. First ascent of the tower was Bill Forrest and George Hurley, 1977, via the meandering North Face route. Only other ascent Rob Slater and Roger Schimmel, 1994. So we (unless someone else has done this????) were first party to reach the top for 18 years. Very cool tower, much recommended, whatever route one takes.
Location: Start near the left edge of the steep south face, up a left-facing dihedral. Pitch 2 follows the obvious, wide, varnished splitter. Pitch 1 avoids the choss below the start of this splitter crack by taking better rock farther left.
Descent: Rappel 150 feet from fridge-size slung block (bring 20+ feet webbing/rope) to top of P1. Rappel 150 feet to the ground.
One Tomahawk. 3 Toucans, 2 Bugaboos, 3 LAs, 1 Baby Angle.
Cams, small to large:
(Aliens) 2 blue, 3 green, 4 yellow, 2 gray, 4 red, 2 brown, 3 orange, 2 purple.
(Camalots) 3 #2 (yellow), 2 #3 (blue), 2 #4 (magenta), 2 #4.5 (red), 2 #5 (green), plus 1 Valley Giant, which is pretty essential.
Nuts: Selection from RPs to large. Slider Nuts.
Chip Wilson, partway on pitch 2.
Start of pitch 1. Starts tight, with thin pitons, ...
South Face of Hidden Tower. Route starts up smalli...
Looking down upper part of pitch 1
Chip puling round the final roof on pitch 3
Chip Wilson cleaning near end of pitch 1.
Cheesy summit pic. Woohoo!
It's 25 years, to the ...
By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Apr 6, 2012
Great job guys!