Fun. Interesting route to learn how to lead, but a great day! Got off route a bit towards the top thanks to my climbing partner thinking a steep finger lieback looked fun. It was!
I first hiked up to the Watchtower in 1999 but went back in 2000 and 2004. It's a great hike and you get some fabulous views looking down into Tokopah Valley and east towards the Tablelands... but don't stop at the Watchtower! I recommend going on to the lakes. You can camp at Emerald and Pear Lakes which are incredibly beautiful!
David, Jan and I walked to Watchtower and then lunched at Heather Lake.
Weak sauce Rob ; ) Heck, with you and David....you should've marched up The Timex Route. Buck up!!
Did this as part of a 10 mile loop. Great for views, fishing, and
Took the whimpy way. Hey, I was a kid then! Great views of Tokopah Valley. Spent the night, then back to Giant Forest to cater to the tourists Anyone remember Pinewood camp? Buck and Lorena?
This frozen waterfall is found on your left as you face up the valley of the Watchtower. The Tokopah trail actually leads to the Icefall and the base of The Watchtower. Randonee or Telemark skis are recommended for the approach. Snowshoes will do if the snow is not too deep. Ice usually forms in early December and stays good till mid March. It's very dependent on precipitation, in dry years there is LITTLE if any Ice. Once in a while, you might get knowledgable Ranger at Lodgepole. Some of them can tell you, what the conditions are. This is mostly practice area, although the extreme left hand side, has some serious climbing (WI5). I will include some photos of people having fun on the ice here. For us in California, this is almost as good as it gets. Please note: After a storm, the basin behind the Falls becomes extreemely unstable and at times avalanches right over the falls. Also the Watchtower Gully is very prone to slides after a storm. I have witnessed large slides there. If the slopes look and feel iffy, they most likely are.
Tim Winiarski and I climbed this route back in 1983. It had a little of everything - lots of free climbing but some tricky aid too. Fairly clean route also. If I can find my topo I drew I'll post it here eventually. Otherwise, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll fax it to you.
Timex definately has a good backcountry feel to it. 2 hour approach, bushwacking through manzanita and the usual vague 1st pitch start. We created a variation to pitch 3 (The Casio Traverse which traverses left over to a LONG sloping ledge with no pro for 60 feet (5.10a R/X)! This ledge continues up and left for a FULL pitch, just below a 3 foot roof. We climbed the roof (5.10) straight up and then up casual ground to the end of the original 3rd pitch. Pitch 4 has to be the highlight. This pitch involves a right, upward slanting finger crack on 5.8 terrain. If anyone has been on 'Airy Interlude' in the Needles, you know what I'm talking about! The rest is a love/hate climb due to the condition of the rock (some chossy, some lichen, some vegetated etc). The last pitch of 4th class vegetated, chossy rock put us just right of the true summit. Unfortunately, there is no summit register on top (yes, we searched for it!). All in all, 'Timex' is a nice climb, not classic, but a good one to put in the history books.
Not the manly man's way to the summit to be sure, but a scenic diversion on the way back from Alta Peak via Pear Lake. It's an easy class 1-2 scramble from the trail that goes by the saddle connecting the Tower to the canyon wall, making this the obvious descent route for the more serious climbs. Trip Report