Welcome to SP!  -
Yellow Jacket Tower

Yellow Jacket Tower

Yellow Jacket Tower

Page Type: Mountain/Rock

Lat/Lon: 47.53123°N / 120.74181°W

Object Title: Yellow Jacket Tower

County: Chelan County

Activities: Trad Climbing

Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Elevation: 4100 ft / 1250 m


Page By: KelleyCox

Created/Edited: May 31, 2010 / Jun 4, 2010

Object ID: 625569

Hits: 8121 

Page Score: 71.85%  - 2 Votes 

Vote: Log in to vote



Yellow Jacket Tower is a small summit located on a ridge right above the Icicle Creek in Leavenworth.
First climbed in 1948 by Pete Schoening, Herb Staley, and Fred Beckey.

Getting There

Drive through Leavenworth and take a left onto Icicle Creek Road at the Shell station. Continue six miles and park in one of the big turnouts on the left side of the road.
The Bridge

Cross the metal and wood bridge to the south side of the creek and veer left at the T in the road. Veer right underneath the prayer flags and continue until you see a large boulder 100 feet distant and a nice trail through a meadow on the right.  
Turn off into the meadow
Take this trail, YJT is barely visible in the upper right.

The approach is steep and direct, the trail will eventually lead you to an obvious gully in clear view of your target. When you get a hundred feet or so above a car sized chockstone stuck in the middle of the sandy gully, look up to see a gorgeously colored and featured chicken head wall. Directly under it is the second hidden gully that leads to the first belay.  
Chicken Head Wall
The 'hidden gully' that leads to the climb, 3rd class with an exposed 4th step.

The Climbing

Leading out
The 1st pitch;

The first pitch consists of fifty or so feet of fun mid fifth class (5.3-5.5?) up a corner with plenty of footholds to the right of the cracks. You will be tempted to belay from a healthy tree under the roof at the top of the 1st pitch, instead clip it and climb above the roof to a large ledge and build an anchor there; it will make the belay for the summit block much safer. 
Anchors above 1st P
Ignoring my own advice. We used the anchors on the tree and scrambled up to the summit block for another short belay.

The second pitch is a scramble up to a ten foot section of low fifth to gain the summit block, with one nice horizontal crack that will take a one inch or .75 cam. There is also a pretty shallow but clean hole that most people place a tri-cam into, but it just didn't look worth the effort.

James on YJT
The summit block.

Anchors on YJT
Life is full of choices; some are rusty and deadly, others shiny and safe.
YJT Topo
Rat Creek Group
Last but not least; the view. L to R. The Duolith, The Mole, The Shrew, and The Blockhouse.


The protection was solid the whole way up the first pitch. Plenty of great placement for nuts. Strangely enough, I ended up using my two largest and least used nuts(BD 12 & 13). The summit block protects nicely with a .75 or 1 inch QCU in a horizontal crack.


Turn off into the meadowRat Creek GroupChicken Head WallLeading outYellow Jacket TowerYellow Jacket TowerJames on YJT
Anchors on YJTYJT TopoThe Bridge