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San Rafael Knob
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Karma's Castle in the Air T 
Phantom Spire T 

Karma's Castle in the Air 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 120'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: J. Glime, S. Demko: March 2007
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,156
Submitted By: John J. Glime on Mar 18, 2007

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The route follows the crack in the center up and r...


This is a well seen tower from many places in the south central swell. It overlooks Reds Canyon.

Start on the southwest side of the formation and follow the nice looking crack past a potentially loose block continuing up the nice crack up to a ledge. Climb up through a loose section to a chimney, past a bolt to the top.

This is 2 star climbing with a 4 star location... my thoughts? Three star climb.

Descent: Rap from two bolts, I believe two ropes are needed. (I used two 50m ropes.)


From I-70, take the 114 exit. Drive south along the Copper Globe Mine Road. When you come to the fork in the road that says Copper Globe Mine 1 mile to the right, continue straight on the Kimball Draw Trail.
4.1 miles past Phantom Spire, which is 9.2 miles from the interstate, you will come to a trail on your left (gps cord.: N38, 47.03 ft, W110, 55.70ft) Follow this trail to the left, after about 300 yds, you will see a pile of dirt on your left. There is a faint old jeep trail to your left. Park here, follow the trail through the field where the trail becomes more prominent. The trail leads to the base of the tower. It is about a 20 minute walk from where you park at the dirt pile.

Technically, I believe the road that breaks left off of the Kimball Draw Trail is called the Reds Canyon Overlook Trail. Confused yet? Good luck.


Cams from a blue alien to 4 camalot. A few extra cams in the 3 camalot to 4 camalot range come in handy.

Photos of Karma's Castle in the Air Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: As you are driving south past the Copper Globe Min...
BETA PHOTO: As you are driving south past the Copper Globe Min...
Rock Climbing Photo: How it looks as you are walking in.  Person on top...
How it looks as you are walking in. Person on top...
Rock Climbing Photo: Karma's Castle in the Air.  Fantastic views.
Karma's Castle in the Air. Fantastic views.

Comments on Karma's Castle in the Air Add Comment
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By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Dec 3, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This thing is great. No need to aid as it easily goes free at 5.9 with just a few short cruxes. Most of the rock isn't bad with the exception of the chimney just before the top - the rock there is execrable, though it does protect well.

The road in is pretty rough - high clearance 4x4 only. The road has deteriorated some since I was last there 5 years ago.

This tower may have the best view anywhere in the Swell.
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 10, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

The road from the Copper Globe mine to Karma's Castle is atrocious now, and I was fairly gripped in a Jeep Wrangler Rubicon. I had to spend quite a bit of time rock stacking at large ledges, and airing down tires and differential locks were useful at a few steep hills with deep sand. There were no signs of recent passage either - kinda spooky being out there alone. If you find any of the driving before reaching the Copper Globe Mine challenging, you'll have a bad time between there and Karma's Castle.

A longer though easier route is to exit at Lone Tree - I don't remember the exit number, but it is the first exit west of the Moore exit. Drive south a few miles, and turn left at the junction. The road through Kimball Draw and down into Cat Canyon is easy and really pretty once you start descending into Cat Canyon. Turn left at the bottom of Cat Canyon, and follow this road for a few miles, which starts out relatively easy and then deteriorates as you get closer to Karma's Castle. The road is severely damaged shortly after a spur road leads to the left, but can be passed by an informal jeep road on the right if you aren't really attached to your paint job. Even if you park there, you'd only add an hour or two to the approach.

The whole thing makes a good all day loop if you have a burly 4WD, and there are amazing campsites on the rim of Red's Canyon reached by spur roads on either side of Karma's Castle. Camping is recommended since the driving is a fairly time consuming ordeal. Being out here with any rain in the forecast is a very bad idea - the road would get impassable pretty quickly.

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