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Trilobite Tower
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Original Route T 

Original Route 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a C1

   
Type:  Trad, Aid, 3 pitches, 350', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a C1 [details]
FA: Mike Swanicke, Peter Gram, Andrew Gram 9/29/2012. FFA P1 Mason Earle and Neils Tietze March 2013
New Route: Yes
Season: Not summer
Page Views: 1,568
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Oct 10, 2012

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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BETA PHOTO: Topo

Description 

P1 - Climb the beautiful splitter .5/.75 camalot crack. There is not much size variation on this pitch. 140' 5.12+/13- or C1. Belay at two bolts on a small ledge.

P2 - Climb the chimney to a great ledge with two bolts. A chockstone is slung at the start, and some gear can be placed in cracks within the chimney. 80' 5.9

P3 - Climb a 3 bolt ladder to some free climbing, and then another 10 bolt or so ladder to the summit. The bolt ladder has a lot of face features and should also go free, though some bolts may need to be repositioned(oops). 130' 5.9 C1.

Descent - Rap to the top of P2 with a single 70m rope, and then rap to the ground with a 70m double rope rap. Without 70m ropes, make a double rope rap to the top of P2 and maybe even P1(don't know for sure), single rope rap to the top of P1, and then double rope rap to the ground.

Location 

Start up the obvious splitter .5 camalot crack.

Protection 

Every .5 camalot you can get - at least 6. 4 .75 camalots, 2-3 sets of yellow and red aliens. 1-2 sets of everything else. Big cams optional but potentially useful to sew up the free climbing on P3.

To free climb P1, the suggested rack is:
2 x .4 camalots
11x .5 camalots
10x .75 camalots
1x 1 camalot

Some webbing would be good to extend the summit anchors. They are currently Metolius rap hangers, but it wasn't an easy pull. If you don't have a 70m line you will absolutely have to extend the anchor since a knot surely won't pull.


Photos of Original Route Slideshow Add Photo
Mike Swanicke on P1.  The crack to the right is re...
Mike Swanicke on P1. The crack to the right is re...
Mike wrenching the third bolt on P3.  Above this i...
Mike wrenching the third bolt on P3. Above this i...
Approaching the tower - P1 is the thin crack left ...
Approaching the tower - P1 is the thin crack left ...
Peter starting up P1.
Peter starting up P1.
P2 offwidth/chimney pitch.
P2 offwidth/chimney pitch.
Mike Swanicke on P1.
Mike Swanicke on P1.
Rapping off the summit.
Rapping off the summit.
Rapping P1 - steep!
Rapping P1 - steep!
Top of Trilobite Tower.  The bolt ladder is just l...
Top of Trilobite Tower. The bolt ladder is just l...
Pitch 1 .5 camalot crack.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 1 .5 camalot crack.

Comments on Original Route Add Comment
Show which comments
By Aaron R
Oct 11, 2012

Congratulations on your climb. I've been to the base of this in the past and wondered how the top would go? Lots of hand drilling it looks like. Did you do the flake a couple meters to the right of the tower?
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 11, 2012

The bolt ladder wasn't as long as we feared - there were quite a few features so we were able to do a fair bit of free climbing mixed in with it. There are a lot of face features up there - it'll be a very cool free pitch eventually.

You can see all the way through the tower in the chimney. It is a really cool feature.
By Greg G
From: SLC, UT
Oct 20, 2012

Very cool find Andrew and company. A good candidate for a new free tower in the desert it would seem!
By Frosty Weller
From: Colorado
Nov 1, 2012

Holy smokes... nice job guys, it looks great. I need to get back out to The Swell and do this!
By m-earle
From: Concord, MA
Mar 2, 2013

Freed the first pitch with Neils Tietze- high quality crack climbing. Probably 12+ ish if the last 20' of sugary green camalots get cleaned up (imagine placing cams in graham crackers) As it is, probably more like 13-. Gear...

2 x .4 camalots
11x .5 camalots
10x .75 camalots
1x 1 camalot

We hiked down from the rim to get to the tower, instead of taking the trail up the river. Fun, but not reccomended. Cheers to the FA'ers for putting this gem on the map. m
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Mar 4, 2013

Awesome! Congratulations - I am delighted to see that pitch get freed so quickly.

Which rim did you hike in from? Cane Wash somewhere? The trail approach is really easy.

Did you try the upper pitches?
By m-earle
From: Concord, MA
Mar 5, 2013

Andrew, we hiked in from lower wedge road, north of the canyon. We didn't leave the car until after 2pm and had no idea where we were going, so we unfortunately only had time to climb the first pitch- really awesome pitch, and no gimme either.
By Paul S
From: Fruita, CO
Apr 1, 2013

I really enjoyed this tower. The hike in and setting of the tower are beautiful. Each pitch has its own character too.

I feel like I used more .75's than .5's on the 1st pitch, either way, you need a lot of both!

The last pitch you only really need a .3 and a number 4 camalot, along with some slings to extend those pieces and some of the bolts. I really enjoyed this pitch, there were a lot of spots where you have to get out of the aiders, or, like Andrew is saying, it'll probably make a pretty amazing free pitch.

We extended the summit anchor, so the rope pulls fine now.

Thanks for putting in the work to equip this route!