ApproachOnce at the Rockbound Lake Trailhead as described on the main page, proceed up towards Tower and Rockbound Lakes, approximately 2300'. As you flatten out, you will come across a creek crossing. At that point pay attention for a cairn and/or trail on your left about 70 m or so, then cut left and up above tree line. Continue scrambling vertical until a ledge leads left for 75 m to a deep gully system leading up to Goat Plateau and the foot of Dragon's Back (tongue of rock that juts out from the base of Eisenhower Tower). This is the start of your climb.
Route DescriptionYou can ascend the Dragon's Back from a variety of starts. I have seen climbers rope up for this portion, I have done this route twice, ascended the Dragon's Back from two different starts and never roped up. There is a crack at the East end that is most enjoyable. Mostly large holds of the 5.4 variety. Once on top of the Dragon's back, one pitch, head over to the base of the Eisenhower Tower. The middle is mostly water worn and continuously seeps. The climb is to the right. The first pitch takes you to a scree bowl with a belay station. You will see several variations, but the best rock is continued vertical right following the right-hand edge of the headwall to the summit. There are several 5.7 moves, but we used running belay most of the way. About 8 full pitches with running belay.
The descent: I suggest 1 rope for weight and the lack of steepness of the pitches. The rappel is straight west from where you top out on the route. You will find 2 solid bolts by scrambling down 5-10 meters off the Southwest edge. You can go right or left at several locations on the ascent, I prefer to stay right. Avoid the water worn gully.
I climbed this route twice with different partners. The first time was 8 hours, the second 12 hours. So plan on variation in times depending on how much you are going to stop and enjoy the views. My first time on it the weather was so-so, I know we were moving along at a fast clip.
Essential Gear60 meter rope, 8-10 runners with biners, a few chocks-stoppers-friends, prusik sling, belay/rappel device, helmet, etc.
This is not a big wall climb, but for obvious reasons, you need to take a rack you feel appropriate with. Remember, it is an Alpine II, 5.6 route. You are better off with one rope vs two on this route. To each his own however.