Central Howser Tower, West Face, Chocolate Fudge Brownie. In early August, Brian Webster and I slogged over to the backside of the Howser massif to add another route to the west face of Central Howser Tower. We missed out on the first ascent of this remote and neglected face by one week. Our line begins by climbing the first three pitches of Fear and Desire (Offenbacher-Davis, 1999), then, where it doglegs left to gain the center of the wall, our route continues straight up the right-hand pillar. Chocolate Fudge Brownie (VI 5.9 A2) climbs nine long pitches of easy aid to reach the south ridge, one pitch from the summit. The main excitement occurred on pitch 5 when I encountered a five-foot by 15-foot “floating flake” precariously pasted to the wall. Not wanting to even breathe on it for fear of scraping both of us off the face, I copperheaded thin seams and riveted blank rock several feet to the right for the route’s only A2 section. We named the intimidating feature “The Pillar of Despair, Touch if You Dare.” The route is named for the huge one-foot by one-foot chocolate fudge brownie a baker friend of Brian’s gave us. It kept us sugar-buzzed for the whole trip.
Sean Isaac, Canada