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John's Tower
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Vowel Movement 

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

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a [details]
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Page Views: 180
Submitted By: KateC on Sep 27, 2012
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D tries some jams on the steep crux. Don't climb t...


Aka "Soup Mountain", this little sport climb is hidden on the north face of John's Tower, about 100 feet right of Becker. It is still dirty and a bit lichen-y, but it has some balancy moves and a nice base for large groups or kids.

Scramble up to the bottom of a shallow, flaring flake, and then either lay-back or jam your way up surprisingly steep rock to a big ledge. Then it's 8 feet of nice hand-crack climbing to a solid anchor on the edge of John's Tower.


Find the trail heading out of the campsite at 707AF towards the west end of the north face of John's Tower. You'll hit a barbed-wire fence quickly. Follow that to a boulder and scramble over some wood fence posts. Then hike directly to the wall in front of you, looking for a left-leaning flake covered in bolts. It's hard to miss.


6-7 bolts, with three VERY close together in the crux. Big two-bolt anchor for rapping and TRing. If you are a nervous or new leader, a red cam might make the crack at the top a little less scary.

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By Jason Albino
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 18, 2013

We did this on our last of 5 days in The Voo - a gorgeous day at Upper Blair with zero humans out there except us.

This makes for a good sport warmup in the area, although if you're a 5.9 trad/5.10 sport climber, it may be more effort than it's worth to unpack for this isolated climb before moving up to other Upper Blair climbs.

Though this is climb generally ascends a left-leading flake, many of the moves require handjams/balancy footwork as opposed to more traditional lieback technique, so expect a more techy route than you may actually envision from the ground. I'd recommend rapping this route, as opposed to lowering off, to avoid rope wear on the sharp face.