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May 30, 2013
At the "summit"
I'm looking to put together a list of fun 5th class towers across the state. Please share your suggestions on some cool tower routes to climb in WI (bolted or not). I'd like the towers to have at least about 50 ft of prominence from their surroundings and the easiest route to the top must be 5th class.

Here's some already on my list:

1. Cleo's Needle (Devil's Lake, West Bluff) - NW side
2. Sharks Tooth (Devil's Lake, West Bluff) - Sharks Tooth finger crack
3. Shiprock - Tunnel Route
4. Coyote Tower (Necedah) - Hydroponics
5. Tower in front of Y-Crack Wall (Necedah) - Tower Route {Does this tower have a name? It should!}
6. Air Spire (Necedah) - Air {there isn't a 4th class access to Air Spire, is there?}

Others?

Thanks!
Gokul
Joined May 9, 2011
695 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Additional DL Towers:

Leaning Tower up by the Tombstone
The Frigate on the West Bluff
Rainy Wednesday Tower
Tree Tower on the West Bluff

I'm sure there are others...

BTW, the Tunnel Route on Shiprock is really cool. Probably barely 5th class, but super fun and adventurous. Also, at Hillbilly Hollow, there's the big tower/massif across from the main wall. I think the easiest way up is 5.8 or 5.9, or a scary low fifth class scramble.
Jay Knower
From Campton, NH
Joined Jul 1, 2001
6,042 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rock...
Mill Bluff State Park:

Tower 1 at Ragged Rocks (easily the best and biggest in the state)

Bee Bluff (more of a Butte but there is no scramble to the top and alot of really great trad leads up to 5.11+)
Burt Lindquist
From Madison, WI
Joined Jan 1, 2002
3,297 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Burt Lindquist wrote:
Mill Bluff State Park: Tower 1 at Ragged Rocks (easily the best and biggest in the state) Bee Bluff (more of a Butte but there is no scramble to the top and alot of really great trad leads up to 5.11+)


Is Mill Bluff open to climbing?
Jay Knower
From Campton, NH
Joined Jul 1, 2001
6,042 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rock...
Jay...

No.... it is not open to rock climbing.

Yes..... I should have mentioned that....

but I am still in denial about it.
Burt Lindquist
From Madison, WI
Joined Jan 1, 2002
3,297 points
May 30, 2013
Rock Wars, RRG, 2008
Jay Knower wrote:
Additional DL Towers: Leaning Tower up by the Tombstone The Frigate on the West Bluff Rainy Wednesday Tower Tree Tower on the West Bluff I'm sure there are others... BTW, the Tunnel Route on Shiprock is really cool. Probably barely 5th class, but super fun and adventurous. Also, at Hillbilly Hollow, there's the big tower/massif across from the main wall. I think the easiest way up is 5.8 or 5.9, or a scary low fifth class scramble.


Jay, are all those routes of 50 ft. or more? I know leaning tower is definitely a short one, but agree it's a classic 'tower' at the lake.
Woodchuck ATC
Joined Nov 29, 2007
3,090 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Woodchuck ATC wrote:
Jay, are all those routes of 50 ft. or more? I know leaning tower is definitely a short one, but agree it's a classic 'tower' at the lake.


I'd say most. The backside of Rainy Wednesday isn't 50 feet, but the front side is over 100. Does that count? Leaning Tower is maybe a bit short, but it is absolutely a tower, and not a boulder. The Frigate is tall(ish), and so is Tree Tower. I suppose I'm being a bit liberal with my definition of Tower, but DL isn't the Canyonlands.
Jay Knower
From Campton, NH
Joined Jul 1, 2001
6,042 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
Gokul, you might need to rethink your prominence criterion. I'm not sure Cleo's meets it, pretty sure Shark's tooth doesn't. "Prominence" means rise from the highest saddlepoint connecting to something taller?

I think I'd settle for "cool" and 5th class.
Doug Hemken
Joined Oct 1, 2004
5,190 points
 
May 30, 2013
At the "summit"
Thanks for the responses so far.

Jay, I was being somewhat selective with DL routes hoping to not have to rely on the one location for the majority of towers, but it seems I may not have a choice. In any case, I'm fairly sure the Frigate has a 3rd class walk off, and I believe Rainy Wednesday too. I left out the East Bluff Leaning Tower, because it was a little bit on the shorter side (like 30 ft?), but it's still probably worthy.

There's a Leaning Tower on the West Bluff that I climbed last Spring, but don't remember much about it, so it might not be particularly noteworthy. Tree tower was pretty cool though. I remember downclimbing to get off it, but I think it was a 5th class descent.

I've been wanting to check out the Tunnel Route at Shiprock, but anytime I've been to Necedah, Rib Mtn or Hillbilly, I've not made enough time to stop by on the way back. And I completely forgot about the main tower at Hillbilly - thanks.

Burt: The big tower at Mill Bluff looks sweet! I should maybe go there just to look at it...

Doug: "Cool" and 5th class sounds good to me! I set a prominence limit to eliminate tall blocks, boulders and other barely towerlike objects. But I think coolness can be used to achieve that too.

I think Split Tower, Turk's Tooth and Sun-Top Tower, in the West Bluff at DL, may all be 5th class towers too. Can someone confirm or deny?
Gokul
Joined May 9, 2011
695 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
On Everleigh Club Crack.  Photo by Burt Lindquist.
There is a Rabbit Rock north of Roche- a-Cri that is a fun 4th class. West and a little south? of Shiprock? Worth getting out of the car for. Doug Hemken
Joined Oct 1, 2004
5,190 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Technosurfing, Rumney. Photo by Seth Hamel.
Yeah, Shiprock is definitely worth a stop. There's nothing quite like sketchy roadside alpine sandstone scrambling in Wisconsin. I'd rope up for it.

Is there an easy descent off the Frigate? I don't remember. Turks Tooth could be tower-worthy. My first lead ever was the 5.2 on the lake side, so I have a certain fondness for that formation.

I think one criterion might be formations that have the word "Tower" in their names. Leaning Tower, Rainy Wednesday Tower, etc. One hundred years of climbing nomenclature can't be wrong!
Jay Knower
From Campton, NH
Joined Jul 1, 2001
6,042 points
Administrator
May 30, 2013
Trying to stay warm up on Brownstone Wall Red Rock...
"Shiprock" has other notable trad leads on it that are harder and more memomorable then "The Tunnel Route" and is quite worth stopping at and trying them. There is a 5.10+ on the northwest corner that is "the schniz" for sure. Try the little corner and crack route on the south face left side as well... goes at about 5.7 to 5.8 and is quite well protected... plus has a little roof move too.... Burt Lindquist
From Madison, WI
Joined Jan 1, 2002
3,297 points
May 30, 2013
Whiskey-a-Go-Go
Gokul wrote:
T I'm fairly sure the Frigate has a 3rd class walk off, and I believe Rainy Wednesday too.

Nah, the Rainy Wednesday doesn't really have a walkoff from the very tip top. It's more like a 4th/easy 5th downclimb of ~10 ft, then a step/jump across a 4 foot gap. It can be pretty committing with a pack on or with bulky shoes.
Tom Mulholland
From #1 Cheese Producing State!
Joined Apr 16, 2010
85 points
May 30, 2013
At the "summit"
Tom, I guess I was misremembering the difficulty of the downclimb before the step-across. I know I've set TRs up there and didn't think too much about it.

PS: Good to hear from you! Hope you've been well.
Gokul
Joined May 9, 2011
695 points


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