Grade II - III
First Ascent: Fred Becky & Eric Bjornstad.
Sep 24th, 1967
First Free Ascent: Bob Yoho & Chick Holtkamp.
Aug 6th, 1978
Standard rack. Extras in fingers & small hands.
El Matador is the classic stem test piece on the Tower. The gear is excellent, and falls are clean. This route is the busiest route on the West face and catches summer sun starting at around noon. All belays are bolted.
Walk up the talus field to the base of the West Face. The route is 2 cracks to the right of McCarthy West Face and is the obvious stem box.
Climb the ever-steepening crack that leads to the right side of the ledge at the start of the stem box.
5.8. 100 feet.
This is the feature pitch. Stem and crack climb your way up until you reach the ledge. This pitch is long and has no real rests on it.
5.10d. 130 feet.
Most parties only climb the first two pitches.
Climb up the 5.8 hand crack to the top of the next ledge.
5.8. 50 feet
Climb the left crack until you can traverse right to the next crack. Follow this to pull both roofs and into the chimney above.
5.10a 160 feet.
Continue up the chimney to the summit.
5.4. 60 feet.