Washer Woman Tower is named so because it looks like a woman bent over an old fashion wash tub doing laundry. The route seeks suds up the Southwest face then climbs straight up the woman's head to one of the most spectacular summits in the desert.
In Search of Suds is a very high quality climb with good rock, wild exposure and an amazing view. The adventure has only begun once you reach the summit.
The route begins on the right side of the Southwest face, there are several ways to get there. It is best to begin the route from the saddle between Washer Woman and Monster Tower. The best approach is from the South via steep talus slopes.
Approach pitch; scramble up to saddle and base of corner system.
Pitch 1:5.10, 85 feet. Start up hand crack in a corner, over a bulge. Continue up corner system and belay at a bolt anchor with slings. You should be able to see daylight through a small eye piercing the tower.
This pitch can be linked with the next with a 70m rope and some long runners to reduce drag.
Pitch 2 5.10, 90 feet. Climb up to an airy stance near the Eye and sling a chockstone for pro before moving into the crack left of the eye. Make some 5.9 moves and continue up to easier climbing in the crack above. Pass an offwidth section (#5 Camelot makes this a little nicer, though not necessary) and traverse under small rooflet on sloping holds and onto the belay ledge. Belay at 3 bolt anchor with slings below a roof.
Pitch 3: 5.10+, 70 feet. From the comfortable belay ledge move directly right and into a good hand/fist crack or left on chalky crimps. Power through the roof with decent gear and make one more move up and right to a stance and easier climbing to ledge and ridge line. Gear belay.
Pitch 4: 5.6, 70 feet. Traverse along the ridge towards the summit and belay where it steepens. This can be combined with the next pitch (recommend sound understanding of gear and rope systems if doing this).
Pitch 5: 5.9, 20 feet. Face climb a short steep section with an old pin, Belay at bolt anchor on large ledge below final headwall.
Pitch 6: 5.10+, 80 feet. Face climb up past some loose rotten bands (5.9R) to a beautiful black varnished face with four drilled pitons. Face climb on small holds up and past the bolts to a mind blowing summit and belay at bolt anchor.
At time of description edit, summit register contained a pencil and 2 condoms.
Rap down from summit block to ledge.
Descent: 2 70m two-rope rappels from ledge below summit block
Rap 1: Rappel through the arch! Carefully thread anchors just over the edge of the South side and make a wild free hanging rappel down the face to a set of rap chains an arms length out from corner system. Getting over the edge to start this rappel is tricky and way spooky. This is one of the most incredible rappels in the world. Be very careful of loose rock when you pull the ropes after this rap.
Rap 2: down corner system to ground.