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Rose Tower - Original Route 
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Rose Tower - Original Route 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Trad, 7 pitches, 800', Grade III
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8- French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- British: VS 4c [details]
FA: Joe Herbst, Larry Hamilton
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,363
Submitted By: Larry DeAngelo on Feb 16, 2006
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Larry Hamilton on the first ascent of Rose Tower, ...

Description 

The original route on the Rose Tower was first climbed by Larry Hamilton and Joe Herbst in early 1976. Climb a few hundred feet of class 3, 4 and 5 to a large platform approximately halfway up the wall. At this point the FA team worked their way into the rightmost crack on the face. The direct approach to the crack involves some very loose rock (and looks to be harder than 5.7!). There is an old bolt off to the right that may have been used for pro. Their route continued straight up the crack and eventually finished in the huge corner that later became the last pitch of Olive Oil.

Note that this route is included mostly for historical interest. When I was up there, I was kind of spooked by the rock and the fact that the climbing looked much more serious than the neighboring Olive Oil. The FA team recalled only a relaxed, fun-in-the-sun kind of day, so I may be missing something.


Protection 

Obviously the FA team used only hexes and stoppers, but adding a few cams seems like a reasonable precaution.



Photos of Rose Tower - Original Route Slideshow Add Photo
Joe Herbst leads on FA of the Rose Tower.  At this point he is about even with the final big ledge on Olive Oil with the huge upper corner looming above.  Photo by Larry Hamilton.
Joe Herbst leads on FA of the Rose Tower. At this...
Rose Tower, showing the Original Route, and the very popular Olive Oil.
BETA PHOTO: Rose Tower, showing the Original Route, and the ve...
Comments on Rose Tower - Original Route Add Comment
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By Matt McMurray
From: Castle Rock, CO
Apr 9, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c

I mistakenly climbed this route in search of Olive Oil. By following close to the wall on your right you are lead up the first gully; where I tunneled under a large boulder to start in a left-facing offwidth with a huecoed face (just like Brock's description to Olive Oil). The route went like this:
P1: 5.7- climb up the good slab to a large ledge with a piece of slung cord. Continue up the face/bulge to the left and up the ramp to a huge ledge below and left of a large tree. Build an anchor.(200')
P2: 5.6- Scramble and climb upto and past the tree, up the short face to a huge ledge. Build an anchor.(75')
P3: 5.8 Step across the smallest point of the chasm on the NW side of the ledge, and climb up to the left facing crack corner system. Climb this crack and the face until reaching a small ledge to stand on. Build an anchor in the crack.(200')
P4: 5.6 Continue up the crack until you reach the obvious ledges below the huge dihedral. You may have to traverse to the right to reach these ledges. Build an anchor between the two ledges with a 2 & 3 Camalot.(150?')
P5: Climb up the final pitch of Olive Oil; using the face holds to reach the bottom of the dihedral, and then proceeding upward. Build an anchor just below the summit when you run out of rope.(210')
p6: Climb the remaining 30' to the top of the route between the boulder and the wall. (30')

This was a fun route, but frustrating as we realized we were off our anticipated route about 250' into the climb. The landmarks are all similar to Olive Oil until you find yourself in a left facing system instead of a right facing crack. =)

By Alex Chiang 1
From: San Francisco, California
Dec 31, 2013

We climbed this route on purpose on 12/24.

Agree with Matt's pitch descriptions, and will amplify the warning about loose rock when starting up P3. After stepping across the chasm and attempting to work your way into the bottom of the crack system, the rock is very questionable. I ended up taking a largish fall when two holds simultaneously evaporated.

The good news is that the fall is into open space (the chasm). The possibly bad news is that as a leader, one must be very confident in their gear placement abilities and even then, it may or may not hold. I got lucky -- my #1 Camalot held. But had it blown, that would have been a 30 or 40 foot fall to the bottom of the chasm, leading to the start of a bad day.

But other than the 10 feet or so of bad rock at the start of P3, the rest of the route was actually quite enjoyable. Not as good as Olive Oil, of course, but if you've done Olive Oil before, you may enjoy this variation. Who knows, with more traffic, enough loose stuff might get pulled off to turn this variation back into a reasonable outing.