This is a variation of the approach to the NW chute from Tower Lake. It bypasses Tower Pass completely and the snowfield leading up to it, which at times can be rather compacted and difficult. This route was 98% rock, 2% snow in August, 2017.
The north ridge is not noted in Secor's route descriptions of Tower Peak although I noticed a few previous comments in the climber's log here by some who went this way. I think it deserves some recognition, therefore I added it into the route descriptions for Tower Peak.
The shortest approach to Tower Lake is from Leavitt Meadows. 14 miles on good trail from the north. This is the most direct route but there are other possibilities.
This route is a simple and straightforward climb of the north ridge of Tower Peak and begins literally at the outlet area of Tower Lake. Climb the north ridge from this point. Follow the ridge to where it terminates above and east of Tower Pass, in a scenic semi- flat, meadowy area. From here, continue on and up via the standard route, bypassing a large snow field on the right. The route is easy class 2-3 and there's some really nice views of the Watchtower along the way. It's best to stay on the crest of the broad ridgeline as there are cliffs on each side. Other than that, this route is about as simple as it gets.
An ice ax will get you across 2 very short, low sloped sections of the ridgeline that are approx. 25-40 ft. long each. I didn't use crampons at either section, but conditions could be different when you climb. Plan accordingly.
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