Lighting the Torch
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This was what we considered to be the most straightforward way to get to the top of this iconic feature. We HAD to get to the top! The initial attempt led to AMH about 5 feet above a tiny cam in a horizontal and facing the crux that looked tricky and loose. That led to a bit of down climbing and the placement of the single bolt to make the move onto the arete a bit more secure.
Start on the south-east facing side on ledge that supports the Torch. Climb through the obvious weakness to gain a small ledge. Clip one bolt, move left and up and then back right to the top. Small to medium cams. This was the first ascent to get to the top of the Torch.
Southern face of The Torch.
Single bolt, horizontal placements that will take small to medium cams well. A 0.25, 0.3, 0.4, 0.5, and 0.75 should give you plenty to work with. The FA was on a 0.25 and a 0.75. Metolius chain with rap ring. Better to belay from the top rather than set up a slingshot (then you can both enjoy the gorgeous view!).
Setting the bolt.
AMH pulling through the crux on the FA.
Hanna ascending the Torch on the second day.
|Comments on Lighting the Torch
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 25, 2011
rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b
Noteworthy as the first ascent of this unusual and extremely cool tower. Getting on top of this feature is just awesome. Another well-done ground up first ascent by Arjun and David.
|By roman d|
From: Pasadena, CA
Dec 1, 2011
Better be feeling strong on this one - committing moves above the bolt that led me to back off.
|By manuel rangel|
May 8, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII E2 5b R
I thought the moves above the bolt would be better protected if the bolt was installed above the roof by 6" that way you won't be pulled into the arete if you fell there. The FA thinks otherwise...be careful and do not fall. I give it a 5.10c R for that.
From: Phoenix, AZ
May 17, 2012
Fair commment, Manny, and I will check again next time I'm on that route.
Common sense and my memory suggests that I checked the rock above the roof and wasn't comfortable about putting a bolt in there -- I believe I've commented elsewhere about not putting in bolts where a) the rock is of questionable quality such that a big fall might yank the bolt out and b) there's room for gear. Subsequent to that route, for some of the key bolts on "The Gods Must Think I'm Crazy" I put in 5.5" inch bolts as there was neither solid rock nor room for gear.
But, anyway, given that this route would be ideal to have more people climb I will re-assess that bolt and move it if the rock is good enough.
From: Phoenix, AZ
Oct 30, 2012
Checked this again last weekend and won't add a bolt, or move the one there. The reason for that bolt is that the gear right there felt sketchy. The reason there's no bolt above is because the gear is good and there's a good stance off left by which to place it before committing to the overhanging arete. It is committing, but that's the climb for you.