Avg: 2.8 from 418 votes
|Type:||Sport, Aid, 650 ft (197 m), 6 pitches, Grade II|
|Page Views:||36,447 total · 163/month|
|Shared By:||Nathan Fisher on Jun 5, 2004 · Updates|
|Admins:||GRK, Eric Bluemn, Mike Engle|
Please be respectful of the land owner's wishes and do not climb or hike here until further notice. This includes White Lightning, Skinner Roof, Weather Wall, Yellow Wall, Larry's Annihilation, Needle Rock, Mississippi Fred's, and Secret Tom's. Park officials and CRAG are working to regain access to this valuable climbing resource. Be patient and check back for updates.
(2) No trash cans anywhere in City of Rocks: urlzs.com/c4eZH
(3) HIGHLINING IS PROHIBITED
By the authority of the park manager, Highlining at City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park is temporarily prohibited as of August 28, 2019.
The park(s) is reviewing highlining activities. Here are Google Drive links to the closure and the updated Code of Regulations for CIRO. drive.google.com/open?id=1y… and drive.google.com/open?id=1Y…
Sinocranium is on the east face and can be approached by following the cairns and the faint trail. The route itself has 2 distinct styles on it. The first 4 pitches and the last are slabby and relatively easy. Pitch 2 is the hardest of these slabby sections and works lright of a roof band. Pitches 4 and 5 can be combined if desired.Pitch 5 climbs up the vertical quartz vein for 60 feet. The final pitch (no pro after the last set of anchors) is more of a scramble to gain the summit than a climb.
- P1 - Very easy ground to first set of anchors
- P2 - Long pitch, go up and right around an overlap and move upward to 2nd set of anchors
- P3 - Another long pitch on moderate slab
- P4 - Short (easy slab) pitch to get to the base of the headwall (3 bolts, plus anchor)
- P5 - Crux pitch - Very well protected vertical climbing
- P6 - Short pitch (3-4 bolts) followed by some scrambling/hiking to the final anchors
- Summit - Hike/scramble to the top - Look for descent route in the gully between the peaks to climbers right
During the approach, pay attention to the beginning of the route as it easily missed. As you are hiking up the hill on the east side you scramble on the slab forming the bottom of the dome. The climb starts in this vicinity. First time I climbed this we missed it completely and ended up FS'ing it up to the 1st anchors without realizing we had missed it.
Sinocranium has bolts and plenty of them. Bring up to 16 draws for this route, but one can climb it with less if you don't mind passing bolts by. It has double bolt belay stations all the way up. Two 60 meter ropes are required to descend the route via the belay stations (not recommended).
From the summit, find the rappel station at the top of the northeast gully. The 2nd set of anchors is on the left (when looking out/down). Two rappels with two 60 meter ropes is possible with 3rd/4th class down climbing, but a 70m is recommended.
Note: it is possible to rappel the descent route in two rappels with one 60 meter rope if you're comfortable scrambling easy 4th class terrain un-roped (or safely to 2nd class terrain on a single 70m). At the end of the second rappel you must un-rope on easy 4th class terrain and a short scramble leads to an easier third class scramble down a slab. From there, contour back around the rock back to the base of the climb. On the second rappel, it would be possible to rappel off the ends of the rope - KNOT THE ENDS OF YOUR ROPES! A 70 meter rope mitigates the concerns on the second rappel somewhat but not completely.
Whether you use one or two ropes to rappel, take care not to snag your rope on the many scrubs and bushes in the gully.