Formation: Castle Ardbeg. Route: The Whiskey Tour
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Strappo reaching for the summit
Start on the bubbly south face. Route works up and leftwards, ending in a southwest-facing chimney slot at the top. First pitch is great, other pitches not so much. Exploring the summit area labyrinth is much fun. If this cleans up it might go free.
P1: Climb steep pockets for 20 feet to ledge. Gain a ledge and move left into a right-facing dihedral with roof at top. Up this, mantel onto big ledge on left and build a belay (5.8+R, 50’). A fun pitch on surprisingly good rock!
P2: Angle left (5.8) into the leftmost of three cracks. Aid this to end, over bulges to a big ledge system and a two-bolt belay (5.8, A2, 50’).
P3: Move up and left with care, around some dubious blocks, into a chimney. Up this to a two-bolt belay (5.7, A1, 50’).
From here the true summit is some distance away. Negotiate crenelations and secret passageways to get there (4th-class with one aid move, 150’).
This is a semi-detached blocky formation in the Viewfinder Towers area, a few miles north of Hanksville. Castle Ardbeg sits on the east side of the road, between Strummer and Planet X, at the far right end of the cliffs behind Planet X, recognizable by the distinctive “drawbridge” feature connecting it to the main cliff-face.
Cams: 2-3 sets from green Alien to #4 Friend, optional Valley Giant for P3.
Nuts: 2 sets (three on pitch 2 were tapped into place with hammer).
Pitons: 1 Tomahawk (small). 3-4 LA/baby angles could substitute for the tapped “stopperheads”.
Quickdraws and slings to prevent ropedrag.
Strappo, at top of pitch 3
BETA PHOTO: Topo of the route. Strummer is on the far right
Crusher, starting up pitch 2
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