From the parking lot, take the trail at the North end of lake (near the bathrooms) that heads NE towards the Tower of Babel. After about 100 yards take the left fork in the trail heading towards the talus slope under the tower. Cross over a pile of talus (under which runs drainage from the lake) and look for a faint trail on the right. There are a couple of cairns in the woods at the start of this trail. If you miss it, just angle out onto the talus slope under the tower and head toward the gully on the right side of the tower. The Fuhrmann Route begins on a rock ramp on the right side of the Tower of Babel (on your left as you head up the gully). This ramp is directly across from the beginning of the rock formation on the right side of the gully.
The Fuhrmann Route takes a bit of a circuitous traverse to meet up with the McKay and Greenwood routes. Note: we used a 60m rope which allowed us to stretch a couple pitches to the full 60m. If you are using a 50m rope, you will likely need to do two additional shorter pitches (unless simul-climbing).
Pitch 1 (5.4): Climb up and over a large block at the start of the route. Begin the traverse to the left by working your way across the face. The first belay provides good pro in a couple cracks. There’s an old rigid friend jammed in the rock just above the belay.
Pitch 2 (5.5): Climb up from the belay and slowly continue angling left toward the North Face of Babel. There are numerous ledges along this pitch and depending on you level of comfort you may find yourself running out the lead a bit (but there are plenty of good cracks for pro should you need it).
Pitch 3 (5.5): Continue the leftward traverse to get into the main cleft on the North Face (just to the right of a large whiteish patch of rock). Rope drag can be pretty rough on this pitch so be sure to use long runners on gear placements (we had to stop the pitch short due to drag – which resulted in the next pitch being a 60m rope stretcher).
Pitch 4 (5.6): Head straight up to the barely visable tree above. En route there is an old fixed piton. The crux section is just below the ledge at the top of the pitch. Belay from the tree on the huge ledge above this pitch (makes a great spot for lunch killer views of Temple’s East Ridge).
Pitch 5 (5.3): Scramble (class 3) straight up from the ledge to the start of the rock wall above. You can cut this pitch down by continuing to walk left along the wall and then up and right to another ledge. Otherwise begin the pitch at the base of the rock wall and continue up and over several large ledges. The belay is at the last large ledge under the final headwall of the tower.
Pitch 6 (5.7-5.8): The final pitch is definitely the crux of the climb. While Dougherty rates this at 5.7, we felt it to be a solid 5.8. The rock is fantastic on this last pitch (the best of the route) and provides excellent exposure and views of Moraine lake. Almost the entire pitch is protected with good fixed pins (although it is always good practice to back them up occasionally as many are farily old). From the belay climb left and up a small crack system (where you’ll find a fixed piton). After about 25 feet of climbing you will find a small ledge with 4 fixed pitons (one of which moves around easily). If you are using a 50m rope you will need to set up a belay here. Climbing from here is sustained and heads straight (or slightly left) up the head wall. Variations on the route are definitely possible with some overhanging portions. If you take the line of least resistance, the climbing should be 5.8 at most. Belay from cracks at the top of the pitch.
Summit: Walk across the ledge to the final ridge (20 feet) and scamble (class 4/5) up to the summit plateau. As a nice surprise at the summit, you will find a complete living room set to lounge in. It’s complete with 2 arm chairs, couch, coffee table, and a foot rest!
Descent: Walk South off the back of the summit plateau where you will find a trail heading down and over to the scree gully between the Tower of Babel and Mt. Babel. This gully is very steep and loose at the top. We found that doing some down climbing along the rock wall provides a bit of security. Lower down the angle decreases allowing for good scree skiing (if there is such a thing). Allow about 45 minutes for the descent.
Overall, this is a great route up the Tower of Babel (approximately 1000 feet of climbing). The quartizite rock is solid and the final pitch is exhilarating. It also provides an excellent vantage point to view and plan your next climb up the East Ridge of Mt. Temple.
Due to the straightforward nature of the climbing and the relatively low grade, a pair of strong climbers could get away with minimal gear on this route (esp. if simul-climbing). However if you plan to pitch out the entire route, here’s what you should bring.
• 50 or 60m rope (50m rope requires extra pitches)
• Several long slings are helpful to cut down rope drag on the traverse at the base of the climb.
• Full or double set set of cams up to #3 camalot
• Lowe tri-cams are useful in the plentiful horizontal cracks
• Small selection of nuts
• 6 quick draws are useful on the final pitch when clipping fixed pins
If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.