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Banana Peel

5.9, TR,  Avg: 1.9 from 39 votes
FA: unknown
Colorado > Denver South > Castlewood Cany… > Grocery Store Walls
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


On the Banana Tower, a freestanding piece of rock on the northern end of Grocery Store Walls, find the east face and set up a top rope. Climb the east face in the center on good holds with a crux towards the top.

Addendum: a cobblestone has likely pulled out near the top of the climb making it ~5.10+!


Bolts are located on top of Banana Tower. Use care when getting onto the tower from the top.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The step across to the Banana Tower.  Also, if you look closely you can see the three well-spaced bolts on the top.
[Hide Photo] The step across to the Banana Tower. Also, if you look closely you can see the three well-spaced bolts on the top.
[Hide Photo] untitled
Julie Prehm on top of the Banana Tower.
[Hide Photo] Julie Prehm on top of the Banana Tower.
The top of the Banana Spire.<br>
Yeah, I made Wade give me a belay. I'm a wimp and out of shape. I didn't feel like having a misstep send me down the chimney or down the face. — at Castlewood Canyon State Park.
[Hide Photo] The top of the Banana Spire. Yeah, I made Wade give me a belay. I'm a wimp and out of shape. I didn't feel like having a misstep send me down the chimney or down the face. — at Castlewood Canyon…
Climb the left face of Banana Tower.
[Hide Photo] Climb the left face of Banana Tower.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Dan Mottinger
[Hide Comment] This route makes for a good spicy lead for those wanting to try it. I used a two cams, then two nuts at the same level to protect it. I know the nuts hold since I fell onto them. Topping out is tricky for an 8. Am I missing something? Dan Mottinger Jul 4, 2001
[Hide Comment] Am I missing something on Banana Tower, here? It looks to me like there are really only 2 ways to set a TR up on this rock without doing a "spicy" 5.8 trad lead: 1) Free solo the Bananna chimney OR 2) Hop across a 3.5' wide by 40'deep chasm from the canyon rim onto the rather small summit of the tower. One could be forgiven for thinking both of these options wee dangerous. I'm no puss when it comes to semi-dicey, unprotected things, but it seems like falling to your death in pursuit of a toprope anchor would be awfully embarassing.... Jun 6, 2002
[Hide Comment] Sean--you're right. The only way to TR the Banana is to either lead the chimney (no real pro until the top, but short, easy, and not exposed) or carefully make the big step (short leap) to the top. If you're feeling sketched, you can anchor the tree to the south as a belay, then setup the TR. Jun 7, 2002
[Hide Comment] This was a pretty "spicey" 5.8. I also agree that the summit move was way harder than a 5.8. Are we missing something? Aug 4, 2002
Dan Mottinger
[Hide Comment] The way I'm comfortable with setting up these climbs (on the tower) is to approach from the tip and sit on the edge of the main wall and bridge the gap with your feet. At this point you can clip yourself into the anchors while still being (relatively) safe and then cross the gap. Sep 3, 2002
[Hide Comment] The 5.8 on this route ends when you're standing on the upper, small ledge and are holding a good pebble with your left hand. The remaining 10 feet to the anchors feels like 11b or so. Mar 21, 2003
[Hide Comment] A pebble musta pulled out. ;-) Mar 25, 2003
[Hide Comment] Oh yeah...did this one again here a few weeks ago - that top move is so NOT 5.8. Aug 7, 2003
[Hide Comment] I'm relatively new to climbing and I just attempted banana peel at castlewood canyon this last weekend. I was frustrated by not being able to climb the very top part. Had the pebble in my left hand but ended up having to go off route to finish. Any suggestions on how to finish this one? Is it totally about finger strength and arm strength or is there some technique I should work on? Thanks in advance to anyone who replies!!! (BTW: Just signed up/name not available yet.) Jun 3, 2004
Jeremy Hakes
Golden, Colorado
[Hide Comment] No way this is a 5.8. On a scale that stops at 5.10d it might be a 5.8, but on a YDS scale that stops at 5.15a, this is a 5.10+. Spicy, thin, and harder than it looks. May 22, 2006
Adam Hutton
Norton Shores, MI
[Hide Comment] When I topped out on this route, I really had to trust my feet. When standing on the second shelf, I rapped my left hand around the west arete, and the right was on the east arete/side sloper in the best spot that I could find. I squeezed my upper body as much as I could, and then raised my left foot and smeared it on the very bottom left edge. I trusted the foot, and pulled the right foot up and also smeared it on the wall. From there I had to put most of my weight on my left foot, and lean away from the left hand so I could use the arete. Then with the right hand I went for the big bomber, and it is cake from there. Yes, this is a tricky move. Jun 6, 2009
Mike Kasberg
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] I rated this as 5.9, but if you want to go all the way to the bolts, the last move is probably 10-. Set up a toprope by stepping across the gap without a problem, and clip yourself in to a bolt while you set up. Jul 18, 2010
Dave Clark 5.10
Golden, CO
[Hide Comment] For this to have been 5.8, there must have been a key pebble hold for the top move. It ain't there now, and the top move now seems 10+. Nice, stiff (old school) 5.8 up to the last move.

As for getting to the top anchors, I felt safe stepping across the gap with one foot, then clipping the anchors while straddling the gap before bringing the back foot over. Still a leap of faith, but not physically difficult. Nov 12, 2011
Brother Numsie
[Hide Comment] There used to be a guide back in the '80s by a guy named Alan Mosiman that was exclusively the Grocery Store area. That is where this rating came from. They were all Colo. Mtn. Club climbers, spent time there in the '60s and '70s. But that last move has always been 10-ish. The best way to get to the anchors on the Tower is to do a handstand on the rim and then kip over the gap to the tower. Nov 15, 2011
Nick Leuck
Evergreen, CO
[Hide Comment] I thought I was doing Banana Flip, but based on these comments, I feel Banana Peel was what I must have been doing, because it seemed a lot harder than the 5.6 Banana Flip was given (or some combo of the 2). There were some slab moves where you really had to trust your friction hands and feet, and I definitely feel I did the double arete squeeze that near the top that Adam mentioned. Basically had to do a calf-hook at one point. You need some long slings/cord/rope if you want a TR anchor directly above this route on the north side of the tower. Mar 16, 2015