OverviewThis is the second line established in the Fishers to gain the summit of the second highest tower and the second overall Fishers summit in 1962 by Harvey Carter and Cleve McCarty (after Kor et al’s historic ascent of Finger Of Fate on the Titan). The line goes (and has gone for years) clean aid only. Per published guidebooks, it has yet to see a free ascent. Most hardware on the route has been modernized thanks to the efforts of Ryan Ray and friends (see here) All guidebooks give it a grade IV but that tends to be on the conservative side (III is likely more appropriate…but the route is popular so bring lights). Most accurate topo and gear list can be found on www.mountainproject.com, specifically here. The aid is mostly straightforward and the free climbing moderate and well protected. The route sees enough traffic that the rock seemed fairly clean (though things can come off especially in Fishers of course).
If it’s not obvious, careful when you fix ropes – Cutler is sharp.
Getting ThereFollow directions on the main page. Look for an obvious bolt ladder starting at the ground level in line with an obvious flaring chimney 100 feet above.
Pitch 1: A0, 80 feet. Climb the good bolt ladder with one move involving clipping a piece of tat hanging from an otherwise very very reachy bolt (if it goes, a hook might be useful). Belay on the side of a sloping ledge from good bolts.
Pitch 2: 5.7-5.8, 80 feet. Climb up the flaring chimney with good gear in the back to the stance in the notch at the base of northeast ridge proper. Bolt belay. Pitches 1 and 2 are easily combined.
Pitch 3: 5.7 C2, 80 feet. This is the crux pitch. Move up past a few pins to some easy free move or two. C2 section follows – good sized cams in flaring pods. Pass an intermediate belay and aid another 15 feet ending with two bolts and onto a decent stance with a good fixed anchor.
Pitch 4: C1, 120 feet. Mostly A0. Two clean aid moves and then a long bolt ladder to a hanging belay just below the roof formed by the cap rock.
Pitch 5: 5.7 C1, 60 feet. From belay move left via some manky fixed gear. Aid through the roof via good crack. Fixed gear and some clean placements (and a bit of free near top) put you on a huge ledge and a fixed anchor. Pitches 4 and 5 are easily combined (lots of biners).
Pitch 6: 5.8, 60 feet. Move up the obvious (awkward) crack/flake to another ledge. Move right and up a weird squeeze chimney. Tunnel through to summit plateau. You can boulder 10 feet higher.
Note that we used 2 70 meter ropes but 2 60’s work just fine in this scheme (2 50’s perhaps too??).
Single rope rap back down to huge ledge atop pitch 5.
Double rope rap to top of pitch 3 (swing onto ledge).
Double rope rap to top of pitch 2.
Single rope rap to top of pitch 1.
Single rope rap to ground.
Last two raps could be done as one double rope but there’s a nasty looking knot eater that lives in the chimney…
Essential GearHelmets. Two ropes. Two sets of Camalots from #0.5 to #4 (conservative). Two sets of Aliens from green to red. Lots of biners for loooong bolt ladder on P4. Plenty of nuts or rivet hangers.
Nothing fancy was required – no tricams, no hooks (though something that will get you past a missing bolt might be prudent to have).
External Links(1) A very accurate topo (& gear list) for this route can be found on mountainproject.com. Here is the link.
(2) Nice TR with photos from piquaclimber.com.