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This excellent route is on the E side of the tower. The approach trail leads to the W face, so a short approach pitch must be climbed to get to the other side of the tower.
Approach pitch- climb the loose corner to a good anchor in the notch on the south side of the tower (5.7R, 50ft).
Walk along the base of the NE face of the tower and locate the obvious corner/chimney system on the right side of the face (just look for the chalk).
Pitch 1- jam the hand crack through the bulge to an easy offwidth. Continue up with a mix of face and hand jamming to a ledge in the chimney (5.10-, 130ft, gear needed for belay).
Pitch 2- work up the crack on the left side of the chimney system, pass the rappel anchor, and climb the excellent stem box (crux, RPs) escaping left to a ledge. Continue to the anchor on the next ledge above (5.10, 120ft).
Pitch 3- traverse left, then climb straight up past a bolt to an anchor just below the summit (5.9, 50ft).
Pitch 4- climb up to the overhanging summit block and mantle onto the top (5.8+R).
Enjoy the views on the summit, scream at the people down at Big Bend, then reverse the mantle and downclimb to the anchor at the top of pitch 3. Belay your partner as he/she leads the last pitch and downclimbs back to the anchor. The guide said something about running a TR over the top but I didn't see how that could be done.
DESCENT: Rap 1- 50' rappel to the anchors atop pitch 2. Rap 2- 75' rappel to the anchors in the middle of pitch 2. Rap 3- 150' rappel to the ground. Walk to the anchors atop the approach pitch and rappel to your packs at the base of the SW face.
2 sets of cams to #3 camalot, a #4 friend or camalot, and RPs for the crux.
Bob Monson leading the stem box on the second pitc...
Photo from the top of the 3rd pitch looking down a...
Dirk Tyler pulling the mantel on the short last pi...
Party. Photo Todd Gordon Collection
Pitch 2 opening crack before stem box
The top. Small and fragile
Annie on top. The pro you do have on this pitch is...
Wyatt & I climbed Lonely Vigil on 6/1/12 and repea...
summit block of Lighthouse
Dave making the final summit block moves
|By George Bell|
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 12, 2002
When I climbed Lighthouse Tower (~4 years ago) there was a metal spike pounded into the top. If you slung this, it made a decent anchor so that the person downclimbing the final moves had a TR.
|By Joe Collins|
Apr 15, 2002
There isn't a metal spike there anymore.
|By Stan Pitcher|
From: SLC, UT
Oct 21, 2002
I followed the guide and went all the way to the anchors for the first pitch - a mistake! It is very uncomfortable and there's risk of of the leader falling onto the belayer while doing the crux moves right above it! The large ledge that would make a much better belay is about 30-40 feet below the anchors. There's good ~hand-sized placements there. At the top of second pitch I was very happy to clip a wedged sling protecting what I thought were pretty dicey moves above a ledge. I didn't find the summit too 'R' as I was able to place 2 pairs of equalized TCUs (0-3) in the crumbly rock between the last anchor and the summit.
|By Bernard Gillett|
Apr 19, 2003
We brought RPs as suggested, but never used them. There's a good small wire (#2 Rock) 6 feet above the rappel station (the one just below the stem box crux), and a great #7 Rock placement 6 feet higher. In 6 more feet the good ledge on the left is reached.
We also didn't use the aforementioned rap station to descend -- looked to me like the rope could get stuck rappelling from the three bolt belay atop the 2nd pitch to the rap station below the crux. Instead, we did a short rap from the last anchor (the chains 20 feet below the summit) to the large shelf on the left side on the NE face (this shelf is 10 feet left of the bolt on pitch 3). From here, it was one long double rope rappel to the base of the NE face (170 feet). We used a 50 meter rope with a 60 meter trail line, and the 50 m just made it to the ground -- I'm pretty sure two 50 m ropes would be sufficient (there's a big shelf 15 feet above the ground, from which one could easily downclimb if two 50 m ropes didn't quite make it).
I'd agree with Stan's comment on the summit pitch: not too bad, mostly just a mind game. There's a good horizontal crack 8 feet below the top, and I placed a #7 Hex on the far right (great directional), then two small cams, and then a #2 Camalot on the left. The old Desert Rock guidebook used to rate the final move 5.8 (and it felt even easier than that to me). Nice route with a super summit.
|By Max Schon|
May 6, 2003
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a
I don't know how all this bad beta about rapping off started, but the good beta is as follows: one double rope rap to the ground from the bomber anchor on the top of pitch two. Yup, it's that easy. When pulling your rope, make sure you stand back a ways and everything should be fine.
Nov 30, 2003
#00 tcu is nice to have on the crux pitch. pulling out of the stem box on the jugs is wild!!!
|By Holly Barnard|
Mar 29, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a
What a great route! I can't believe it isn't talked about more. I'm 5'6" and I imagine the stem box would be pretty difficult for anyone much shorter than me. Although, it looks like you could do some off-width tricks in the wide crack on the right. I felt like the hardest move was actually getting up to belay ledge after coming out of the stemming section. There are some good holds at the lip of the ledge, but getting to them was a little tricky.
As for the rap, we had 2-60m ropes and followed B. Gillett's suggestion. This drops you off right at the top of the 5.7 approach pitch and the ropes pulled pretty easily.
Note - esp. towards the tops of the route, there is plenty of friable rock around, wear your helmet and be extra careful with parties below you.
|By Max Schon|
Jun 10, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a
You can easily rap from the top of the second pitch to the ground with two sixty meter ropes. When pulling your ropes, just make sure you stand back a ways and they should pull fine.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Oct 26, 2004
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a
The climb is a fun outing and a very low-stress desert tower. A good one for anyone who can lead 5.10 and doen't mind a little runout on the summit cap.I can see why there is no anchor in that summit cap- since it is pretty crumbly... I wouldn't trust it to rap on. How we managed it as follows: my partner climbed it on lead, placing pretty good gear in horizontals to the lat 2 meters of jug-hauling to the summit (not the crux, maybe rated like gym-juggy 5.8?), then one on the summit flipped the rope throuth the notch on left below the cap, up over the top, and down-climbed on a "TR" over to the other belay. I went up, re-clipped the rope through the pro to run the right direction for my lead, unflipped the rope from below, relead the pitch, then down-lead it, pulling the gear as I cam down. This felt pretty safe and reasonable- better than trusting a bolt to rap from the shattered dinner plate flakes above.We rapped off with a single 70M. Once from the summit to the shoulder towards Dolofright (~16 meters) and one more down to the back side of the rock, all the way to ground just north of the base of the route (~34 meters). A 60M rope would work too, if you are OK with down-scrambling the back side of the shoulder for 15 feet oif easy-to-moderate climbing.
From: Joshua Tree, California
Apr 30, 2007
I know;... the 5.8R and no anchors on top is "all part of the experience..." ..but I found the last pitch and no summit anchors irritating.......maybe it's just me.......the rest of the climbing was fun, straight forward, and cool. Did this climb in March 1997 with Dave Evans, Margy Floyd, Richard White, and Dana Adler.
|By Laurent Meillon|
From: Golden, CO
May 7, 2008
P1 is 120'. I kept going to the uncomfortable rap anchors below the stem box and my 45m rope still touched the ground. P2 & 3 combined are no more than 100' total. P4 looks like it could be removed altogether with a crow-bar! - good pro goes in that horizontal break and would prevent hitting the ledge if you pealed off the very cool summit!
|By Dean Hoffman|
Sep 16, 2008
The first two pitches of this climb were worth the hike alone. Unfortunately we didn't get a good look at the summit due to an inaccurate description in the falcon guide we had with us. Sure would have been nice to know that you're supposed to head up from the bolt on the third pitch instead of going all the way around the corner to the anchors over there. I would agree that the best belay for pitch one is off a gear anchor on the big ledge, comfy and safe, much nicer than the hanging belay above. Very very cool climbing on pitch two.
|By Courtney Pace|
Mar 18, 2010
I just climbed the first pitch on 3/15/10 and we had to bail which required leaving a large nut and a #2 rock empire cam. If anyone heads up there and finds this gear I would love to get it back. Great pitch!
|By Rob Griz|
Apr 19, 2010
A .5 Camalot protects the initial summit moves, and a Red BD C3 fits perfectly in a deep, old pin scar (?) just below the lip of the summit. Of course the sandstone is quite soft and friable there too. An old drilled angle hole is atop the summit. The crack at the exit of the stem chimney on P2 grabs ropes real well...we set in a small stone to keep the ropes clean, pullin them on rap. Sandy as shit when we hit it, gotta love the desert.. makes you appreciate clean granite.
|By Spencer Weiler|
From: SLC, UT
May 17, 2010
I did not find this climb sandy at all. Very cool route, with pitch 2 being quite strenuous with only a small nut protecting the crux moves. The top pitch I found exhilarating but easy. I am in full support of not having anchors up there. One word of advice, Do not rappel down the stem box! You are almost guaranteed your rope getting stuck in the crack above the stem box. From the anchors atop pitch 3, rappel hard to the climbers left to a fat ledge with bomber anchors, maybe 20 feet is all. These anchors can be easily seen from the bolt on pitch 3. 1 double rap with 2 60's gets you down right on top of the approach pitch and the pull is like butter. Easy.
From: Durango, Colorado
Jun 6, 2011
rating: 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ E2 5b
Brought the RP's and didn't use or need them. A #4 Camalot was nice on P1. Summit pitch is no big deal. (1) double rope 60m rappel to the ground from the top of P2 was the way to go. Overall, a fun route and worth doing.
|By Michael Ybarra|
From: on the road
Mar 28, 2012
Placed an HB #6 above the bolted anchor to pro the stem crux.
On P3 we kept going on the traverse past the bolt, which puts you at a bolted anchor. There's a shinny new, huge rap anchor about five feet away from this station on the ledge. On the way down, we did a double rope rap back to the notch from the new P3 rap station. Ropes wouldn't pull. A team behind us try to free the ropes but they still wouldn't pull. The Boulder boys kindly moved the ropes to the old anchor (decent bolts) and they pulled easily. Someone should chop the new rap station and put that hardware someplace it can actually do some good.
|By Sam Lightner, Jr.|
Mar 29, 2012
I believe that anchor was added by the slackline community so they could walk between Lighthouse and the Butte.
|By Nolan Robertson|
Apr 11, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a
Went up this with only 1 70m rope, made the rap really awkward and stressful, i will deffinately bring 2 ropes if i do this again.
Otherwise, Pro on 2nd pitch was better than i thought it would be, i actually ended up squeezing into the crack on the right after getting to the bolts halfway through the pitch, throwing a sling around a chalkstone, and then moving up higher to place a yellow alien and green camalot to protect the crux.
Topout is freaking awesome, little bit spicy, way easier than i expected.
|By Fritz N.|
From: Montrose, Colorado
Dec 9, 2012
I also hopped into the squeeze chimney on the right side of P2 after clipping the old anchors in the stembox. Great size, felt much more secure than dinking with little gear on the left side. A bomber BD #.4 protected pulling out of the chimney. I'm 5'10", and the stemming at the end was kind of wild. Spandex tights are a plus for making every inch count, and for making your belayer lose the will to live.
|By Adam Floyd|
From: Almo, Idaho and Las Vegas
Apr 27, 2013
Two 60s got us from the second pitch anchor to the ground with room to spare.