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Echo Tower
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Phantom Sprint 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a C2

   
Type:  Aid, 5 pitches, 500', Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a C2 [details]
FA: Jim Beyer, solo
Page Views: 6,604
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Mar 30, 2003
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Nathan Meader near the end of pitch 2 at night.

Description 

This route is simply superb. This is an obvious natural line - a rarity in the Fisher Towers. The route has a grand total of two fixed pieces, both of which are on the first pitch, and then the last short bolt ladder on the North Chimney route to gain the summit. The route gets no sun at all, so its best to do in late spring or even summer.

Hike up towards Ancient Art and the Kingfisher. After scrambling up a 4th class section, look for a climbers trail that contours around the back of the side canyon to the shoulder of Echo Tower furthest from Cottontail Tower. The route follows the obvious crack systems.

Pitch 1 - Scramble up an easy 5.4 chimney for 40 feet to the splitter where the tower gets steep. Aid up a continuous crack which is sometimes wide and very awkward in places. Uncomfortable belay at a small stance. 190' 5.4 C2 This can be done as two pitches with a belay on top of the chimney.

Pitch 2 - Make some dirty C2 moves into a wide crack, and then into an amazing clean crack which moves right and then back left before going up to a hanging belay. 100', mostly C1. This is the best pitch on the route.

Pitch 3 - Head straight up good C1 cracks above the belay, and trend right when necessary. A combination of aid moves and tension traversing brings you right into a wide crack. Tension traverse right to the hanging belay when possible. 100', C2.

Pitch 4 - Climb up through roofs above the belay - this is the crux climbing on the route and gets hard right off the belay. Don't fall - there is a lot to hit, but the hard climbing is pretty short. Free climb 5.9 offwidth and chimney to a good ledge - much you can french free but the last bit to the ledge is mandatory free. This is grunty but protects pretty well. 90', 5.9 C3.

Pitch 5 - Climb the 8 bolt ladder finish to the North Chimney. Mostly really crappy bolts, but one or two are ok. Bring screamers for the first two or three to protect the belay. 45', C1.

From here you are on top of the summit ridge. The actual highpoint is a 30' poorly protected and precarious 5.6 scramble, which must be downclimbed. The summit ridge is spectacular.

Make a double rope rap to the top of pitch 3, another to the top of pitch 1(be very careful not to go too low before swinging right. might be a good idea to leave a rope fixed between 1-3 to ease getting into the anchors). One more double rope rap gets you to the ground. 60 meter ropes are a good idea - you will have to do a bit of downclimbing in the easy chimney without them.


Protection 

3 sets cams from black alien through 3 camalot, doubles in the 4, 4.5, and 5 camalot size, extra 2.5" - 3.5 inch cams, 1 set of stoppers, large offset nuts, medium tricams, a few large lowe balls are nice, long slings to prevent rope drag, and all the guidebooks call for a large hook though we didn't use one. A belay seat is really nice.



Photos of Phantom Sprint Slideshow Add Photo
Dave on the final 5.6 pitch of Phantom Sprint on  <br />Echo Tower. He just drank the last of the beer.
Dave on the final 5.6 pitch of Phantom Sprint on
...
Nathan Meader and Nick Broeder finishing up a long day, pre dawn approach, post dusk rap. 45 minute exposure at night.
Nathan Meader and Nick Broeder finishing up a long...
Bill Roberts, second asent
Bill Roberts, second asent
Here is a beta photo with Phantom Sprint indicated for those of you from Boulder who may have a hard time finding one of the most asthetic crack systems in the Fishers.
BETA PHOTO: Here is a beta photo with Phantom Sprint indicated...
Phantom Sprint climbs the left skyline
BETA PHOTO: Phantom Sprint climbs the left skyline
I shot this of some unknown climber celebrating his ascent of Echo via Phantom Spirit (or whatever they are calling the north ridge route these days) towards the first of June, 2002. Shot from the parking lot with a 400mm lens by Bruce Wilson (<a href='http://wilson.dynu.net)' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >wilson.dynu.net)</a>.
I shot this of some unknown climber celebrating hi...
Dave jugging to pitch 3.
Dave jugging to pitch 3.
Sitting atop the tiny summit after standing on it, looking back down at the belay before coming back down and going to the main summit.
Sitting atop the tiny summit after standing on it,...
crux
crux
The summit ridge.
The summit ridge.
George Armstrong on Phantom Sprint. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
George Armstrong on Phantom Sprint.
Photo by Todd ...
Phantom Sprint Route Topo
BETA PHOTO: Phantom Sprint Route Topo
Comments on Phantom Sprint Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 21, 2013
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 1, 2003

This route is also incorrectly called Phantom Spirit in some guidebooks. Don't nail! Goes clean without too much difficulty and it relies on no fixed gear at all.

By Jason Patton
Apr 2, 2003

I did this route with Andy, it was my first in the fishers, damn it was good. Best summit of my life!

By Andy Johnson
Apr 3, 2003

I could be wrong, but Phantom Spirit is the correct name. People started to call it Phantom Sprint because it is fairly cruiser for the Fishers. Don't take that comment the wrong way. I have done this route as well and can honestly say it was one of the most enjoyable routes I have done anywhere. The rock is excellent by Fisher Tower standards, and the climbing is sustained with very little fixed gear. HB offsets work incredibly well here. It is an excellent introduction to harder aiding in the Fishers.

By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 4, 2003

The story that I heard is that the route was named Phantom Sprint(after a song I think, maybe Led Zeppelin or Rolling Stones?) and mistakenly called Phantom Spirit in the original Desert Rock guidebook. Desert Rock 3 corrects the error, but the Cam Burns guidebook continued the Phantom Spirit name. Personally, I like the name Phantom Spirit better. Anyone know for sure what the deal is on the name?

Otherwise, I completely agree with you on the quality and casualness of the route. Hard to believe these cracks are in the Fisher Towers.

Guess I should also mention it goes free at 5.12 if you are a lunatic or Stevie Haston, but i'm leaving it in the database as an aid route since I bet it'll be a long while before it is freed again.

By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Apr 14, 2003

The name should be Phantom Sprint. Jim Beyer kinda had a thing for the fast, lightweight, fun and kinda funky British cars, and thought it appropriate for this fast, lightweight, fun route. Somewhere between Jim Beyer's hand-written info and the original Desert Rock guide this got misread. Funny to hear of the modern beta. The cracks were all choked with mud, and invisible, at one time. My partner (who shall remain nameless) took a sixty-foot fall on pitch one, while we trying the second ascent. He was only 65 feet up too...

By Fletch F. Fletch
Sep 24, 2003

So it relies on no fixed gear? Are there fixed rap anchors or belay anchors? What are they like? New, old, mank? Eh?

Also, i have heard talk of a "triple crown"? in the fishers? What?

By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 25, 2003

You rap the route, and all the belay bolts are pretty good for the Fisher Towers(though my partner who is more used to Zion than the Fishers didn't like them as much as I did). As always it is a good idea to bring some webbing just in case.

There were only two bolts on the route aside from belays, and neither of them were necessary. I can't figure out what they were doing there, and i'm certain Beyer didn't place them.

By Andy Johnson
Apr 10, 2004

Unless those bolts were at the belays, the next party up this route should add a crowbar to their rack. Those definately were not there when I did this route.

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 24, 2004

I'm suprised wutzhisface hasn't tried to free this sucka!

By Joe Leonhard
From: Denver, CO
Oct 18, 2004

I attempted this route on Oct. 17 and was forced to bail when a storm moved in and lightning was striking just overhead. I had to leave a #2 Camalot on pitch 4. If you should happen to stumble upon this, I would greatly, greatly appreciate if you would email me. Thanks.Jpleonhard@aol.com

By Anonymous Coward
Jan 3, 2005

Free at 5.12? Anyone care to comment on free ratings/other free-related info for individual pitches?

By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
Jan 5, 2005

This is the info Stevie Haston gave me about doing this route free. Doesn't seem quite right. The final bolt ladder is usually pitch 6. He may have spaced pitch 5 when he wrote this out, or else maybe he ran 4 and 5 together.

1. Chimney, no pro (5.7).2. Crack, changing widths. Gear to 5" (5.11+).3. Mainly fingers and hands with a loose finish (5.11+).4. Weird crack through roof, then a wide crack before a very hard slab (5.12b).5. Follow bolt ladder to an obvious traverse right, with no pro, then up to top (5.11+?, R+).

Gear: two set of cams, up to 4-inch. Complete set of wires.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 25, 2005

Did this route this past weekend. Here are my 2 cents.

- This route is not C3. 5.9, C2 seems like a more realistic rating. Maybe the route has changed since the first clean ascent? Who knows.

- (3) sets of Camalots to # 1 to #4, (1) #5, (2) sets of Aliens, (1) set TCU or equivalent finger sized cams, (2) sets offset nuts minus the super-tiny brass, couple mid-sized tri-cams, couple mid to large hexes (we didn't have any but they would have been nice to conserve cams), bunch of long slings, screamers for the crappy North Chimney bolt ladder, biners...

- You don't want to get in to the 5.9 OW/chimney before the bolt ladder with all your gear on. Do something before you get in it.

- The North Chimney bolt ladder sucks. Only 2 bolts are OK, the rest are a joke. The next person who goes up should bring a drill and some new bolts. I think about 6 would do.

- The summit pitch is quite wild. You might want a couple long slings for the horn/knob/things. The stove pipe knob right before the top is crazy. Best summit I have been on in the Fishers!!

Very cool/casual route with great rock.

Enjoy.

By Anonymous Coward
Jun 11, 2005

Gear Alert

I did the route two days ago. Awesome climbing, some of those cracks are truly sweet. That offwidth/squeeze at the top was horrendous though!

I encountered a fixed pin on pitch 3, right before you begin traversing. It was loose and cleaned under gentle testing. I didn't have a hammer and couldn't get it back in at all by hand.

But, a fixed piece would be nice there. I found it necessary to leave a piece and lower out while cleaning the traverse. So, if you are going up and want to replace it, it was a sawed off 3/4" angle.

Also, I think those 2 bolts (drilled angle and a bolt right next to each other) are intended as an optional belay. But they are totally unnecessary. I think someone should chop 'em too.

phil kast

By Anonymous Coward
Jun 21, 2005

YOU DO NOT NEED A HAMMER OR PINS FOR THIS ROUTE.

WTF. Geez guys, take it easy out there. All of the placements are easy with clean gear.

If you want to hammer, look across the notch to the Oracle while you are at the base of Echo. Hop on Beaking in Tongues and nail away.

Damn Crusher, that line looks sweet!!!

By Joe Forrester
From: Ft. Collins, CO
Aug 7, 2005

Please do not nail on this route. It has already suffered from some excessive nailing, do not make it worse. If you can't figure a move out without a hammer on one of the classic clean aid routes, be a responsible fisher's climber and bail. Don't cheapen the route though.

By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Sep 14, 2006

I did the route yesterday. I added at least one half-inch x three- inch rawl to the belays and equalized all. I removed the worst stuff at those belays so they are cleaner and stronger now. I also replaced most of the bolts on the bolt ladder with half inch rawls. I left a couple of the cooler and stronger relics in place noting that if they fail you will be caught by the newer bolts AND that at each of those spots it would be possible to either free climb past the (then) blank spot, or get in another piece of gear. All in all I put in 12 half inchers, but removed about 15 pieces (the extra three being star drives and over-exposed angles at the belays). I also brought down about a million feet of rotten tat. I did not replace the first anchor as I think most people, with modern ropes, will just bypass it. If you really wanted it there is a crack there to take advantage of.

The route is good. Most of the aid is placed in the back of a deep crack requiring you to hold yourself outside as your aiders and daisy try to pull you in. Its strenuous and a good workout. The crux pitch, which is the traverse, is the best and is no harder than C2.

Wide gear is a must if your not going to free the widest cracks. I brought a bunch of trick pieces, like offset aliens and such, but placed at most only one of them and easily could have done it without. In my opinion you need plenty (at least three) of 1.5 to 3.5, then doubles on the stuff below and above. You could get away with one #6, but having two is handy (my sizing is in Friends).

Leave a fixed line between the first hanging belay and the second so you can more easily make the traverse on rappel. Two more anchors straight down would have made sense for the rappel, but I did not do this as the originail character of the route requires the traverse.

There is absolutely no need for a hammer and pins on this climb. It is easily done clean.

Sam

By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Sep 22, 2006

Sam,

Thanks for fixing that junk.

We all owe you a beer.



Jeremy

By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 2, 2007

I was surprised at how tricky I found the climbing; maybe I'm "light" and a pussy, but there were a few moments on the climb that "caused me to pause and hesitate;...if only for a moment." Did this with George Armstrong in April of 2002;...we had a blast! Climbing in the Fishers RULES!

By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 11, 2009
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a C2

Just climbed this, as my third real aid route - and the first for my partner. It definitely worked us pretty hard. The aid climbing wasn't particularly scary except for a few spots on P4, but the physical nature of the route was pretty exhausting.

P1 - 55m. Very physical with all the wide cracks... especially coupled with rope drag. My partner lead it (first aid pitch ever!) and he was pretty worked by the top.

P2 - 25m. Super fun, Good gear. Cruiser.

P3 - 25m. Super fun. Good gear. Cruiser. I tensioned twice to move right. As of 4/10/09 there were two fixed nuts at the first tension. The final tension to the anchor was done off a #6 camalot, which was kind of a bitch to clean because of the traverse.

P4 - 40m. There were certainly some exciting moments for a noob aid climber on this pitch - the first coming 10' off the belay and the second where the rock turns to crap for a little while. I was expecting to aid the squeeze with #6 camalots because of a broken foot. No luck. The offwidth/squeeze was horrendous for me to free , particularly in approach shoes, and took me a very long time. Until I moved all my gear to my left side, upward progress became impossible. Much of my struggles probably came from rope drag as well. I probably should have clipped my gear to the trail line with a bunch of slack and pulled it up behind me. The bolt ladder is bomber.

Threatening weather and approaching darkness unfortunately prevented us from doing the final 30' pitch to the true summit. Bummed to miss it, but c'est la vie. It looked like with a long sling you could sling a knob or two to protect part of the traverse.

It took us 12 hours pack to pack, and we fixed a line between the top of P1 and the top of P3 to aid in rappelling. It looked like a bitch to swing - so I recommend fixing.

Gear: (All sizing is NEW camalots) We brought two #6s, two #5, and three #4 camalots and used them all - even with backcleaning. Many handsize camalots from #1 to #3 camalot (we used 4 x #2s, 4 x #3s, and 3x#1s), and then doubles on cams below that to tiny fingers. Offset aliens were key for me at the cruxes, but YMMV. One or two sets of offset nuts from a #4 HB offset up to the big walnuts. Set of tricams. We struggled with rope drag the entire day, so bring LOTS of slings.

And definitely a belay seat for the hanging belays. My poor partner was hanging below the crux pitch for 2.5 hours with numb legs and a shower of mud raining down on him.

We only brought two aiders each, so perhaps that is why the wide cracks were so hard. The aider we were standing in was always in deep in the cracks which enhanced the struggle, maybe with four aiders each we could have stemmed the wide bits. But what to I know, I'm an aid noob.

By Bill Bones
Oct 25, 2010

You no longer need to pack a third rope. if you drop down from the anchors below the last bolt ladder you can repel the IRON CHEF anchors to the ground. 2 ropes ONLY for Phantom Sprint. GREAT ROUTE 10/24/10

By g.miller
Oct 21, 2013

What a burly route! Lots of gear and physical climbing. Offsets master cams make p2,3, and 4 pretty mellow. Doubles on 4-6 were nice! I was able to solo this in 7.5hrs and the final moves to the sidewalk over to the true summit are protected with a #3-#5 camalots. at this time there is static rope for the "final mantle". Rap from summit anchors (above bolt ladder) to anchor on ledge. Then rap straight down Iron Chef anchors.. straight forward. Might be worth bringing new webbing for I.C. anchors. My rack next time would be One set of medium/large stoppers, double set of offset cams (mastercams), triples from .5-4, doubles 5,6. singles set of small cams.