The Leaning Tower is both one of the most photographed rock formations in Yosemite and for the big wall climber one of the more famous and sought after climbs in Yosemite National Park. The famous West Face route ( V, 5.7, C2 ) was first climbed by Warren Harding, Glen Denny and Al Macdonald on October 13th, 1961. Since that time the West Face route has become a trade route for the aspiring big wall rat! It is also one of the most exposed and at the same time one of the easiest big walls in Yosemite, due to much of the gear being fixed. A highly recommended climb.
Climbs on the Leaning Tower -
Northeast Slopes - I, class 4
East Face - II. 5.4
Disco Strangler - V, 5.10, A4
Jesus Built My Hot Rod - V, 5.8, A4
Wet Denim Daydream - V, 5.7, C3F or A3
West Face - V, 5.7, C2F
Heading For Oblivion - VI, 5.10, A4+
Roulette - V, A5
Leaning Tower Traverse - II, 5.5
Leaning Chimney - II, 5.4 ( the usual descent route )
For detailed route descriptions, see one of the climbing guides listed under "books ".
For general directions to Yosemite National Park - see Yosemite Logistics
To get to the base of the West Face route, hike east from the rest rooms at the Bridalveil Falls parking area. Follow climber trails up and right towards the base of the wall. Follow this up and right until the ledge system is seen that bisects the West Face ( the Leaning Tower Traverse ).
See Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information. No permits are currently needed to bivy on the big wall climbs on the Leaning Tower.
When To Climb
Climbing is possible all year round, with May - June and Sept. - November possibly the best times to climb. Heat can be a problem in July and August.
See Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information - Yosemite Logistics. No permits are currently needed to bivy on the big wall climbs on the Leaning Tower.
For accomodations other than camping, see Yosemite Accomodations Yosemite National Park
Current information regarding the climbs and weather will be found at the two links provided under " Links " - Supertopo has current route info and the Yosemite National Park link has current weather and Park conditions.
See Yosemite - Logistics on this site for additional information.
- Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park web site - all the latest information you need pertaining to conditions, weather, current events and general information.
- Super Topo
Current big wall route information.