American Alpine Jounrna and Accidents in North American Climbing
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Watchtower, Hay Fever

North America, United States, Wyoming, Wind River Mountains

  • Climbs And Expeditions
  • Author: Ben Rosenberg
  • Climb Year: 2009
  • Publication Year: 2010

In mid-July 2008 Dave Stewart and I climbed what we believe to be a new route on the east face of Watchtower. We started from camp in the Cirque and approached up the broad scree directly below the formation. Our route takes nondescript rock left of the East Gully route, near the toe of the face. After three pitches of run-out 5.10, we traversed hard right to the huge left-facing dihedral that is the most prominent feature on the face. We followed the dihedral for two pitches, at 5.11 A0, until it ends at a large roof where we found an old pin [Joe Kelsey, author of Climbing and Hiking in the Wind River Mountains, adds that a fixed pin or stopper high on a route seems to be an essential ingredient of new routes in the Winds, where many routes and significant attempts have gone unrecorded—Ed.] From here we downclimbed, traversed right, and then back up to a large grassy ledge 30' above the roof. One pitch of low-end 5.10 and another 400' of simul-climbing got us to the summit. We pulled on gear on two pitches to get around vegetation in the big dihedral, but these should go free at 5.11. People have climbed on this face before, but we found no record of previous ascents near where we climbed. Hay Fever (5.11 A0, with 5.10R).

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