American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing

Twenty-Hour Tower, You Gotta Want It and Alexander's Band, Flat Top Mountain, Trundler

North America, United States, Wyoming, Wind River Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Mark Jenkins
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

Laramie boys Oliver Deshler and I made two trips into the Clear Creek valley in the northern Winds this summer. As a warm-up, on June 23 we climbed the previously unclimbed north-facing wall of Flat Top Mountain, via the northeast arête: Trundler, 9 pitches, III 5.5–5.8. Descend via the gully behind the wall, hooking west and then north back down to the valley. Moving at 4:30 the next morning, we started up the giant buttress/pinnacle [later revealed as Twenty-Hour Tower, as named by Paul Horton and Sean O’Malley, who’d climbed it on June 7, 1997] on the north side of the valley, west of Mt. Osborn’s Forlorn Pinnacle. The granite was of extraordinary quality and we climbed directly up the center of the formation, with Deshler leading the crux 5.11 layback finger crack. After 15 pitches of mostly 5.8 to 5.10, we summited at dusk, then rapped in the dark, at one point using a ridiculously dangerous bush as an anchor. About halfway down the face, exhausted, I took off my pack (with $1,000 worth of climbing gear) and managed to forget it. Too beat to climb back up, we got back to camp at 3 a.m. We walked out the next day, naming the route You Gotta Want It (IV 5.11). Three months later, Deshler and I returned on a recovery mission. On September 13 we climbed a route (8 pitches, 5.10R) to the left of YGWI. It ties into YGWI at its 10th pitch, and we retrieved the pack. It was spitting sleet and snow the whole day, then began to rain; then a double rainbow came out just at dusk, prompting us to name the route Alexander’s Band.

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