The Leaning Towers in are remote and rarely-visited granite peaks in B.C.’s interior.

By Jasmin Caton

Kate Rutherford and I just returned from a week-long trip to the Leaning Towers in the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. We enlisted the services of Stephen Senecal as a porter to help carry our food in and spent 1.5 days on foot approaching their basecamp on the shores of the gorgeous alpine lake below Wall and Bock Tower.

Kate Rutherford captures the beauty in her sketch book on a day at camp, Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. Photo Jasmin Caton

Kate Rutherford captures the beauty in her sketch book on a day at camp, Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. Photo Jasmin Caton

During our trip, which was punctuated by frequent showers and stormy skies, we established two new routes and repeated the IV 5.7 NW Ridge (Jones, Palmer, Cambell, Roxburgh, 1980).

The Slim Princess IV 5.10 climbs five pitches to the saddle between Wall and Block Tower, then continues to the summit of Block Tower via the North Ridge. This route, the smallest line possible on the east face of Wall and Block Towers is named for a 1920’s comedy film about a slim woman who has to stuff her clothing with pillows to fit into a society in which obese women are prized.

For our second route, we climbed the East Face of Wall Tower and called it State of Wonder V 5.11- C1.

 Kate Rutherford jams up the glowing granite on the first ascent of State of Wonder, Wall Tower, BC.  Photo Jasmin Caton

Kate Rutherford jams up the glowing granite on the first ascent of State of Wonder, Wall Tower, BC. Photo Jasmin Caton

It is named after the Ann Patchett novel we brought along for tent reading about a woman’s wild adventure in the Amazon, researching an isolated tribe who have found a botanical solution to the limited time-span of female fertility.

Kate Rutherford follows the final pitch of State of Wonder directly to the summit of Wall Tower.

Kate Rutherford follows the final pitch of State of Wonder directly to the summit of Wall Tower.

In that sense, we followed in the footsteps of Sean Isaac and Guy Edwards, who had named their 1997 route up the East Face of Block Tower, Trout Fishing in America V 5.10+ A3, after a book they read on the trip.

Rutherford and Caton, exuberant on the summit of Wall Tower after squeezing in another ascent during their showery trip to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy.  Photo Jasmin Caton

Rutherford and Caton, exuberant on the summit of Wall Tower after squeezing in another ascent during their showery trip to the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy. Photo Jasmin Caton

Report error or omission

Related

1 Comment