Peaks Climbed: Tower Peak & "Glissade Peak"

Peak Heights: 12,330' / 12,380'

Route: South Slopes / South Ridge

Difficulty: Class 3

Location: Wind River Range, Wyoming

Trailhead: Big Sandy Opening

Mileage & Gain: 4.5 mi & 2,600 ft RT

Date Climbed: August 20, 2018

Tower and Glissade posed the biggest question marks in my multi-day sweep of the peaks around base camp at Pyramid Lake. Tower can be gained via a large scree slope on the south side, and I'd been staring at this slope, trying to size it up for days. Kelsey describes it as "unmitigated scree", which conjured up images of a steep, hardpan, ball bearing horror show. The traverse between Tower and Glissade also gave me concern. The ridge looks potentially serious both from the upper East Fork and on topo maps. Kelsey mentions it has been traversed at third class, which probably just means the guy who did it actually "third classed" it, or climbed it without a rope.

Unmitigated scree my ass! I suspect Kelsey never climbed this route. Tower's scree slope is much better than it looks from afar; I found good footing on firmly implanted rocks and even some grass most of the way. That's ok, I'm all for pleasant surprises. Its the opposite sort that suck.

The ridge to Glissade also turned out to be quite reasonable. I initially scrambled down along the west side to avoid some minor difficulties, and soon encountered a steep little gully I needed to cross to switch to the east side. It was filled with a mix of dirt and loose blocks, and I purposely knocked one precarious block down before proceeding and watched it wreak havoc below. That spooked me some. I very carefully climbed down and traversed out of the gully as soon as possible. The rest of the jaunt was straightforward, but not quite as trivial as it had looked from Tower. I bypassed one more big gendarme on the east side. The final bit to the top of Glissade is delightful, steep, solid third class.

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