Chocolate Fudge Brownie

by Sean Isaac

In early August 1999, Brian Webster and I slogged over to the backside of the Howser massif to add another route to west face of Central Howser Tower. We missed out on the first ascent of this remote and neglected face by one week. Our line begins by climbing the first three pitches of "Fear and Desire" (Offenbacher/Davis, July 1999) then where it doglegs left to gain the center of the wall, our route continues straight up the right hand pillar. "Chocolate Fudge Brownie" (VI 5.9 A2) climbs nine long pitches of easy aid to reach the south ridge, one pitch from the summit. The main excitement occurred on pitch five when I encountered a 5' x 15' "floating flake", precariously pasted to the wall. Not wanting to even breathe on it for fear of scraping both of us off the face, I copper headed thin seams and riveted blank rock a few feet to the right for the route's only A2 section. We named the intimidating feature "The Pillar of Despair, Touch if You Dare".

copyright 2004: