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Trip Report    

Intermediate Alpine Climb - Concord Tower/North Face

Great late August climb of Concord Tower / North Face.

  • Road suitable for all vehicles
Our party camped at the nearby Klipchuck Campground on Friday night and carpooled to the Blue Lake TH on Saturday morning. We left the TH at 8 AM and reached the base of the climb 1.5 hours later. There was a trail crew from the Access Fund doing work on the new trail, which is fantastic, and brings climbers nearly to the base of the Liberty/Concord Gully. The old climbers trail is blocked off with large branches and is now referred to as the “social” trail and asked not to be used, in order to preserve the fragile ecosystem.
When we arrived at the notch (the top of the Liberty/Concord Gully), there was a party of three getting ready to climb Concord Tower and another Mountaineers party heading up the Beckey Route on Liberty Bell. We waited for the party of three to gain some headway (they veered away the North Face to another route) and we began our climb at 10:15 AM. It was quite cold, with heavy wind coming through the gully.
As the beta suggests, the first pitch of the climb is straightforward, starting straight up then going left toward a tree belay on a nice ledge. The second pitch starts with a low-angle traverse right and then becomes more exposed as it meanders left. The climbing is slightly awkward but has decent hands and takes gear well. On the third and final pitch, we opted for the lie-back crack that goes left from the belay and then up toward the slab, ending at the bear hug final section. The flake (bear hug) takes a .75 very well. Lots of potential for rope drag on this pitch and route finding can be a little tricky. It warmed up as we topped out into the sunshine and beautiful views after 2.5 hours on the climb. There are chains and a small tree at the top.
We read mixed commentary about the rappel, but it is a straightforward 3 rappels with a 60m rope; using sets of chains for the first two rappels and webbing on the tree at the top of the first pitch for the third rappel. The second rappel station is to the (climbers) left of the route.
We returned back to the TH at 3 PM, totaling 7 hours car-to-car. A great day!