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The SE gully is clearly visible.
The route follows the SE gully up to the summit. The first "pitch" is a small crack climb 5.4, which Roach calls one of the cruxes. Just to the east on the face, lots of good face climbing exists with the flakes and slabs of Pikes Peak granite. This is a short pitch. From there, the easiest line that exists to the summit is only class 3 until you get to the top of the hanging garden. There, you can climb a tree to a crack (class 3) to another tree, and then from there to the class 5.4x traverse to the main summit. This is an exposed little traverse, and a little scary, but many people free-solo it. We roped up for the first pitch and summit pitch and used a 30M rope. There are tons of different routes available all over the gully, and we kept the climbing at a more difficult 4+ (with a few 5.0-5.5 spots) all the way to the summit, just for the sake of spiciness. The final summit block was climbed (FA?) by the SSE face - about 30' high, and a flaring off-width (5.7+). We installed a new extra-long sling from the summit block over the east face with 2 new rap rings to rappel down using our 30M rope, which was just long enough. Follow the same route down that you came up.
From the Wellington Lake TH, hike directly to the south ridge of the Castle, and follow the easily discernible gully to the summit. There is another gully on the NE face that is much steeper, but probably also climbable.
No fixed pro exists. We used cams (.5-3.0) and a few taper nuts and tri-cams for the climb. Tri-cams are awesome for this climb.
This is the final summit block. You can see the n...
Our landing from the rappel. The climbing tree is...
BETA PHOTO: The very faint arrow at the start of the route (de...
By Adam McFarren
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 26, 2008
If anyone left a rope on the first pitch rappel of this route between Oct 19th and 24th and wants it back, please PM me if you want it back. It'll go in the dumpster in a week or two since it looks pretty well used.
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Dec 8, 2006
This is a good fun solo climb, take a rope to rappel or down climb. While training for bigger alpine climbs I was able to do this route in under 2 hours from car to car.