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North America, United States, Washington—Cascade Mountains, Toppling Tower

Toppling Tower. Toppling Tower is a 300-foot gendarme located on a ridge crest immediately northeast of Edd’s Lake and on a straight line between Mount Thompson and Huckleberry Mountain. It was named by the party which had previously attempted it, although the rock wasn’t actually as loose as the name suggests. The first ascent was completed by John Holland and me on July 4. From the tower’s upper notch the route ascends a short, slightly overhanging pitch to a narrow tree band, which diagonals up to the left. After following the tree band to the west ridge, a steep slab on the ridge is climbed to a vertical step at the slab’s top. This step, which is the final step to the west summit, is climbed by a vertical jam crack. To get to the slightly higher east summit the party first rappelled about 30 feet into the notch separating the two summits, leaving tied-together swami belts hanging from the rappel point, and then climbed the northwest side of the final summit. The descent was made by climbing up the swami belts back to the west summit and then rappelling down the original route. The climb is class 5 except for the easier diagonaling ascent of the tree band.

Dan Davis, The Mountaineers