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West face of castelton
A wide crack tour de force. Would get 3 stars except for some loose rock. A good route for beating the heat and the crowds on Castleton.
Approach as for North face. From the ledge where NF starts, traverse right about 50' to the WF.
P1. 150' 5.9+ (stout). Up the crack system with lots of cups and some stemming. Carefully pass some loose blocks in an overhang, eventually ending up at a good stance. This pitch consumes a lot of gear. Belayer should be well sheltered for this pitch.
P2. 80' 5.8. Continue to a belay with modern bolts.
P3 100' 5.11-. Starts with a 5.9 squeeze chimney. You can place the #3 BigBro in the back of this but should probably backclean it to avoid ropedrag. Exit the chimney though a roof with hands. Some easier ground leads to the business, a 5" section which is well protected with a 4.5 Camalot. I found the hardest part of this section was an offwidth move at the start; after that, aggresive laybacking gets you quickly through to good hands. The line traverses right some to a five foot section of exposed hands which ends up on a ledge. There is an unnerving breadbox size loose block sitting on this ledge; if the coast is clear, you'd be doing a public service by cleaning this block. The route then goes back left, be careful to arrange your pro so that there is no danger of the rope prying the block off. After heading left, for a stretch of 5.9ish hands the route angles right again on easy, wide terrain to a belay at a stance in a left-facing corner.
P4 60' 5.10-. Head up a wide crack with some face holds and a couple of offwidth moves. Traverse left on somewhat friable rock (Tricams useful), then pullup onto the summit.
To the best of my memory, we took the following:Single set up to .5 Friend, including nuts.Set of Tricams up to whiteDoubles 1 Friend to 2.5 Friend3 ea 3 & 3.5 Friend2 ea #4 Friend1 #4, #5 Camalot2 #4.5 Camalot1 #3 Big BroA few quckdraws and long slings.
Used everything, would have liked more in 3.5 Friend, 3 Camalot range. Didn't need 2 4.5 Camalots. Could have gotten by w/o the BigBro and the 5 Camalot.
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 10, 2006
Instead of traversing left to finish the last pitch, a nicedirect finish goes straight up overhanging rock in the 5.10range - nice and airy!!!
By Dana Prosser
Sep 29, 2008
After doing this route, this is the gear that I would recommend:
Set of nuts, single cams from smallest to .4 camalot, double set from 0.5-1 camalot, Triple set from 2-3 camalot, two x #4 friend, and one #4,#5,#6 camalot. Keep in mind that I like having gear nearby, so if you are a bold climber you may get away with carrying less.
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Oct 22, 2009
James Dunn (first solo ascent of new route on El Cap, Cosmosis),
Bill Westbay (first one day ascent of The Nose)
Stewart Green (caught the first ascent of Supercrack on film)
By Paul Irby
From: moab, ut
Apr 13, 2012
i would recommend bringing xtra runners. i thought i had enough and wound up with heinous drag on the crux pitch.
and i agree, the direct overhanging finish is way cool!