To approach, cross the river somewhere in the vicinity of Big Bend and hike up through the woods on the left side of the tower. There's a great sandy nook at the base of the route to rope up (or bivy?).
This fun route is off the beaten path. Though it's never difficult, expect to have an adventure. The route climbs a chimney system to the top of the half-size tower that leans up against the Minotaur, then climbs the Minotaur proper. If carrying a pack of any kind, you'll want to haul it for the first three pitches. Legend has it that on the FA Scott fell somewhere in the chimneys and Ron caught him at the belay with his hands!!! The only topo I've seen for this route is here.
Pitch 1: Get yourself up and into the back of the chimney. Climb a tight section past a bolt to a stance on some chockstones. From here traverse right to a bolted anchor near the outside of the chimney. 5.8
Pitch 2: Up the chimney, past a right leaning offwidth corner section that is easily french-freed (this would probably go free at hard 5.10). At the top there is a single bolt above a rattly chockstone. Slinging blocks on a sandy ledge nearby is probably a better belay option. 5.9 C1
Pitch 3: Up the chimney, then a fun corner with a hand and finger crack to a great ledge (possible bivy) on top of the half-size tower. 5.8
Pitch 4: Traverse right on old bolts and rivets to the crack. Follow the crack to a good bolted belay (this may be the false belay on the topo). From here, if the leader does not pull up any slack in the lead line, the follower will have just enough to lower out without untying from the end of the rope. C1
Pitch 5: Aid and free up the crack system for a full 60 meters, past the belay noted on the topo to a comfortable spot on a ledge. Free as much as possible. 5.9 C2
Pitch 6: Up and around the right hand side of the tower to the back. 5.5
Pitch 7: The blunt arete on the right (as you are looking at the backside of the summit) probably offers the easiest option to the top. A few small cams will be useful. 5.7
2 sets of nuts, offsets useful
2 ea. cams from purple TCU to #5 Camalot
1 ea. #6 Camalot
To descend make four two-rope raps down The Megamahedral. Don't let the crack eat your ropes.
|By Jay Brown|
From: Aspen, Colorado
Apr 13, 2010
anyone know if there has been a free attempt on this action?
Sep 18, 2010
thats exactly what I was just thinking.but I havnt heard anything.