Looking north from the road towards the formation, the Harkonnen Castle can not be mistaken as the largest and primary formation north of Owl Rock. There is an obvious splitter on the face, which is the middle section of this free climb.
Climbers likely looked at this potential line, but it did not see an ascent until fall 2001 by Dave Mealey and Aaron Boyles. They named the first, and currently the only, route on the formation: Dune ... after the novel by Frank Herbert. The name of the formation, although not so much a tower as a castle, is also from the the novel. Looking around the formation it may be unlikely that the Harkonnen Castle provides any more decent lines.
======= Consolidated comments from David Mealey regarding the FA: Did the FA on 9-11-01 while the twin towers were falling. There is no approach at all for this 400' of entrada fun. Has a beautiful 2nd pitch splitter and a nice 3rd pitch OW.Definitely worth a half day.
We gave this the route a 5.10 rating. We did it in five pitches. The first pitch is a little heady but not as bad as it looks. The rap is off the north east side. It's two raps to the lower slabs then you can walk down the slabs from there. ======= (Disclaimer: have not climbed the route, but only am documenting the formation.)
Follow the main Arches road all the way to Balanced Rock. As you are passing Balanced Rock, the Harkonnen Castle is the large, long formation looking towards the La Sal mountain range. Continue past Balanced Rock and make the right turn towards the Windows section of Arches.
This road follows the edge of the formation and the Harkonnen Castle becomes more obvious as it looms over the road on the right. An obvious nipple-like formation resides north and lower than the primary summit located at the south end of the tower formation. As the road wraps around the formation Owl Rock comes into view, and if you pass the Garden of Eden turnoff which leads to the Owl, you have gone too far. Park about 200 yards before the Owl Rock turn. The south face looks towards Owl Rock and the Garden of Eden parking lot.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Harkonnen Castle:
Grumpies 5.8+ PG13 Trad, 3 pitches, 270 feet, Grade II
Approach:Park at the first or second pullout west of the Garden of Garden of Eden parking area. Hike on slickrock and small washes to a slab with two bolts at the top. This slab is located west of the saddle between the Ham and the summit.Climb the slab to the two bolts, 20 feet of 5.3. Once at the top, traverse on a grassy ledge east to a easy class 3 crack which takes you to a short class 4 slickrock ramp 100 yards east of the saddle. At the top of the class 4 slickrock ramp, walk on a sli...[more]Browse More Classics in UT
Did the FA on 9-11-01 while the twin towers were falling. There is no approach at all for this 400' of entrada fun. Has a beautiful 2nd pitch splitter and a nice 3rd pitch OW.Definitely worth a half day.
We gave this the route a 5.10 rating. We did it in five pitches. The first pitch is a little heady but not as bad as it looks. The rap is off the north east side. It's two raps to the lower slabs then you can walk down the slabs from there.
derek wolfe and i climbed a different route today to ham rock's("harkonnen castle") true summit. we climbed from the north to the 5.8+ bulge to the saddle between the ham and the main summit and worked our way around to the 5.6/5.7 dirty west chimney. from there it's an easy cruise to the summit.
we saw the 3-bolt anchor for the 5.10 route on the sub-summit across the large gash. our question is has anyone been to the true summit previously? it certainly didn't look that way.