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McCarthy West Face/Hong 

YDS: 5.11c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a

Type: Trad, 2 pitches, 230'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11b/c French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- British: E4 6a [details]
FA: Hong and Budding 1979
Page Views: 2,488
Submitted By: Paul Heyliger on Nov 25, 2003
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BETA PHOTO: Pull the big roof on right... FEEL the power...

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This route takes the typically combined Hong Variation to McCarthy West Face, and is yet another brilliant route that graces the West Face. Begin two cracks left of the start to the obvious El Matador, and pass two cruxes on the first pitch: a layback/finger crack over a roof (11b), and then just below the belay ledge is a slightly easier (11a/b) mantle/face problem. The stunning second pitch (11c) takes the much-photographed splitter on the right, starting with thin hands and then stemming out left and up the thinning crack to a final crank up and right (crux) to the top of the column. Bomber gear the whole way. A beautiful and extremely fine climb.


RP's, many small-large stoppers, and small-medium Friends

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By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Apr 8, 2006
rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- E4 6a

Awkward crux that totally BAFFLED me...


By nolteboy
Sep 7, 2006
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

My comments are for p.1 only- haven't tried the 2nd pitch (McCarthy West Face route)...

A little different from most Tower pitches that I've climbed, this one features a stress-type fracture that runs up and down one particular column (as opposed to the typical crack here that actually separates the columns). Interesting and sustained climbing, but with a couple of good rests. A #1 and a couple of #0.75 camalots for the thin hand crack below the roof, with doubles of smaller cams and some stoppers for the rest of the pitch above that.

By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jul 14, 2011

I think you can do the crux at the top of pitch 2 two different ways. I have seen people exit the actual crack to the right just before the top as per the route description above. I stemmed the crack all the way to the top of the pillar. That felt about 5.12- to me.

By slim
Sep 23, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c

have only done the first pitch a few times. 3 cruxy spots - barn door roof sort of deal, then a short section that looks really easy but feels kind of tough, then blankish spot that you just kind of have to 'float' through. we always seem to run out of time before being able to try that spectacular looking 2nd pitch. need to get out of bed earlier.