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Windtower

  • Grade context: US

Summary

A very cool looking peak just to the south of Rimwall. Several established routes offer good climbing and there is plenty of scope for harder routes on the steep north face.

Approach

As for Rimwall. Drive 22km up the Smith-Dorrein Spray Lakes Road once past the Grassi Lakes day use area and park at the pullout for the Spurling Creek trail. Head up the trail to the col between the Windtower and Rimwall gaining about 500m elevation. Descend onto the scree slopes below the col and traverse under the face of the Windtower to your chosen adventure.

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Routes

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Grade Route

Starts 40m right of the Homer-Wood route at the base of 2 left leaning cracks. This route was established on-sight, ground up and hammerless in a 36hr push car to car. Pretty impeccable style considering the compact nature of the rock in this area.

P1 - Move into a left facing corner to a loose-looking overhang. Pull through on the left and traverse left on good holds to a crack. (40m, 5.10dR)

P2 - Follow the crack (50m, 5.10a).

P3 - Follow the crack (20m, 5.9).

P4 - Continue up the crack past 2 small overhangs. (45m, 5.10c).

P5 - Continue up the crack. (60m, 5.8).

P6 - Step left to a flake then follow back right to the same crack system and continue up. (50m, 5.9).

P7 - Continue up the crack. (60m, 5.9).

P8 - Step up and right to a left facing corner and follow this up to belay below a roof. (45m, 5.10a).

P9 - Continue up and left to a shallow right facing corner then shallow left facing corner to belay on a ledge on the left below a steep corner with blocks. (60m, 5.10a).

P10 - Step right to a right facing corner which you climb until it starts to trend further right. Here step left to a left facing corner following it up to a ledge which intersects with the Homer-Wood route. (55m, 5.10a).

P11 - Climb the crack to a roof, step right then continue up the crack to easier ground. (50m, 5.10a).

Follow lots of 4th class scrambling until you intersect with the ridge and then several more rope lengths of low 5th class to the summit.

FA: Remy Bernier & Francois Roy, 2000

One of the finer alpine rock routes in the area with interesting climbing, good pro and generally good rock (for the Rockies of course!).

Approach by traversing along the base of the North Face and rather than drop to the base of the face, traverse in on scree covered ledges. Follow ledges leftwards for some distance past a set of prominent left leaning cracks and continue for approximately 35m past these to the end of the ledge. You should be down and left of a right facing corner with a prominent flake.

P1 - Begin below the middle of three right facing corners (quite shallow), moving up to belay at the base of the corner. (30m 5.7).

P2 - Climb the corner for 15m then follow a crack in the left wall. Move left to a right facing corner with a wide crack which you climb to a belay. (45m, 5.10a).

P3 - Move up and right over a roof to a groove, climbing this before moving up and left to ledges. Continue up and right on run-out terrain to reach a straight crack, climbing this to belay as high as possible. (50m, 5.8).

P4 - Continue up the crack to a ledge below a wet chimney. The length depends on where you set the last belay. (45-55m 5.8).

P5 - Step left into a corner climbing this before moving left again over a roof and continuing up to a bolt at the base of a dihedral. Climb the dihedral to a large and bolt belay. (55m, 5.10a).

P6 - Traverse left along the ledge before moving up and right on sloping ledges to a flake. Climb past fixed pins then left to ledges, belaying on the highest ledge below an obvious dihedral. (45m, 5.9).

P7 - Climb a wide crack for 10m before stepping right to climb extremely loose rock to ledges and a piton. Continue up to a bolt belay on a higher ledge. (50m, 5.9).

P8 & 9 - Move up and left to a crack in the dihedral which you will follow for 2 pitches to ledges at the top. Move left to easier ground before scrambling up and right to a belay at a large detached flake. (115m, 5.7).

P10 - Go behind the flake to a ledge, continuing onto the large slab on the right of the scoop. Traverse right to an easy groove before moving right again to fixed pitons. Climb down and left for 5m to a nice and belay here or at an exposed ledge a short distance higher on the right. (60m, 5.8).

P11 - From the lower belay, move up to the ledge then easily right. Climb a short ramp on the left side of an arete to gain access to a corner. Follow the corner until below an obvious crack to the right of a wet and very uninviting chimney. (25m, 5.10a).

P12 - Climb the crack to a roof then step right to a ledge. Step back left to the crack when possible and go up to easy ground (50m, 5.10a).

The remainder of the climb is straightforward but time-consuming. Continue on mainly 4th class terrain to join the NE right before climbing several pitches of low 5th class to the summit.

FA: George Homer & Rob Wood, 1972

Approach as for the Homer-Wood however continue along the base to the left side of the buttress.

Climb up and right onto the edge of the buttress and continue up into an easy gully on 5.6 terrain. Follow this low-angled section before moving left to a corner crack (5.9) which is climbed in 2 pitches to slabs. Continue up the NE Ridge and follow this to the summit on mostly low 5th class terrain.

FA: Trevor Jones & Chris Perry, 1983

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