Kate Rutherford and Jasmin Caton Climb New Remote Alpine Routes
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.
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.
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.
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.