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North Chimney - Castleton Tower - Gear?


Original Post
Anne Bella · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2018 · Points: 0

Me and my partner are planning on attempting the North Chimney route on Castleton Tower. We currently have 2 sets of cams up to 4, and a #5 cam. MP says 3 sets up to 3 are needed. Anyone have insight into if it's doing with the 2 sets? My partner would be leading, and he has been climbing for 10 years and an indoor level of climbing at 5.11+.

Don Ferris · · Eldorado Springs · Joined Nov 2012 · Points: 175

You could do it in 1 pitch with a single rack. 

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

Double rack up to a 3 Camalot is fine. There is a really shitty bolt at the offwidth crux (unless it's been replaced in the last 20 years) that can be backed up/skipped with a single #4 (we used a #10 metolius Powercam)

Keith W · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2015 · Points: 90

We brought a WC #5 for the offwidth/shitty bolt section. Did the job as well, but then you are hauling it for the rest of the climb.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

I think because you are asking, and because you are citing your friends experience as gym level ability, that you would want triples in the hand sizes for sure. The first crack is long and steeper than it looks. You can find a variety of size placements throughout so if you roll with doubles dont use all your hand pieces in the first 20 feet. This route destroys noobs who think they can climb 5.9 at the gym so they can climb 5.9 on a desert tower. Castleton is the real deal and you need to be prepared. I climbed it with doubles as do a lot of people. Stay alert, be smart, and you will be okay. Take the #5 for sure. Hauling a number 5 up 3 pitches is baby games and if the weight of a number 5 is the difference between your send and not a send then you have other problems.

North Chimney is a great route but its not a walk in the park if you are not experienced with desert routes.

brian burke · · santa monica, ca · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 120

i'm not very strong or bold and i was happy climbing it with doubles to #3 and a single #4.  this worked to back up the shitty bolt. ymmv. 

Aerili · · Los Alamos, NM · Joined Mar 2007 · Points: 1,970
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote: I think because you are asking, and because you are citing your friends experience as gym level ability, that you would want triples in the hand sizes for sure. The first crack is long and steeper than it looks. You can find a variety of size placements throughout so if you roll with doubles dont use all your hand pieces in the first 20 feet. This route destroys noobs who think they can climb 5.9 at the gym so they can climb 5.9 on a desert tower. Castleton is the real deal and you need to be prepared. I climbed it with doubles as do a lot of people. Stay alert, be smart, and you will be okay. Take the #5 for sure. Hauling a number 5 up 3 pitches is baby games and if the weight of a number 5 is the difference between your send and not a send then you have other problems.

North Chimney is a great route but its not a walk in the park if you are not experienced with desert routes.

I agree with this. Triples in #1-3 would be very useful on the first pitch, particularly for someone(s) new to desert towers. It's easy to place your hand sizes down lower and then run out for the crux near the top of the pitch right where you need them for pro (it is also a long pitch). 

I also think bringing the #5 for the crux is an excellent idea. I don't see how it's a big deal to haul it up 2 more very short pitches which aren't even hard. I mean, really. 

For the record, I used my #6 and did not bring a 5. It worked beautifully, is bomber, and can even be bumped a little as you get into the OW and move up.  

Ryan PK · · Parker, CO · Joined Apr 2014 · Points: 0

Bring a single #4 and a #5. We didn't have a #5 and wished we did because the #4 was a little tipped out around the sketchy bolt on pitch 2 and was only really secure when you bump it up higher. 

trailridge · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2012 · Points: 20

Tri cams are key!

edit just joking.  have fun

Brock Jones · · Provo, UT · Joined Aug 2017 · Points: 25

We climbed it with a double rack to 4 and a single 5. I know it’s cool to save weight and all, but I don’t think I’d do it again with a 6 as well. I led the OW at the start of pitch 2 and if I would have fallen the 5 might have pulled (it was pretty tipped out because I bumped it as far along as I could) and there would have been broken ankels. But if your partner’s OW skilled are dialed then he may feel fine without a 6. Just my 2 cents.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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