Type: Trad, 160 ft, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 10,296 total · 51/month
Shared By: Tony B on Aug 10, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Locate the route Polyester Leisure Suit as described on this site and then look 20 feet to the left.

P1: The dihedral and crack system leading up from the ground to a skinny pine tree goes at 5.5. Belay at a two-bolt anchor just below the tree.

P2: Continue up and slightly right in a chimney and crack system behind the left side of a broken tower of rock towards the summit. Belay from a ledge up near the top. Use gear or sling boulders for an anchor.

Walk off to the North and West as per the usual descent.

There is some questionable rock on each pitch and although each is easy, a beginning leader might not like it.


A standard rack.
kyle lefkoff  
There is a good line between West Face and PLS up the obvious cracks and through a small roof. Same belay at the rings. May 8, 2004
Climbed this route yesterday, very fun. I am a beginning leader, and I have to agree with the previous comment about loose rock, etc. This is not a real friendly beginner lead. We did the route in 3 pitches, which seemed to work well. Belayed at the tree and at the ledge in the notch. At one point I grabbed a seemingly bomber flake, and felt it move... I have climbed 5.6's that felt easier. May 17, 2004
Jeff Barnow
Boulder Co
Jeff Barnow   Boulder Co
One of the crappiest climbs I have ever done...if you want to waste your time feel free but the canyon has a lot better to offer! Sep 15, 2005
Did the 5.7+ route in the picture. We climbed it 2 days ago. I was the 3rd person up and while at the belay the 2nd almost got bit by a rattlesnake!!! In late October on the West Face of the Castle two pitches up a rattlesnake. Can anyone explain this? Wildlife Alert: super pissed off rattlesnake in the dark chimney above the 7+ in this picture!!!! Beware until first hard freeze!!!No I'm not kidding. Oct 31, 2005
Dear AC,

October is prime rattlesnake season at Castlewood Canyon, but I am surprised to learn that they are still active twelve miles up Boulder Canyon! Nov 1, 2005
Also being serious, are you sure it wasn't a bull snake, they can live at higher elevations and try to mimic rattlesnakes... Nov 1, 2005
I did some research online and found out that rattlers can live as high as 10000 ft. and that it was common seeing them in the fall. I guess he was headed home for the winter.If it was a bull snake he sure did a good job of sounding like one big pissed off rattlesnake!! We have kicked around several ideas even a bird dropping the thing on the route. Thanks for the input, After this experience I think anything is possible....JC Nov 1, 2005
Nathan Tomlin
Boulder, CO
Nathan Tomlin   Boulder, CO
I'm a beginning trad leader and thought it was a good climb. Tons of good placements. Did it in 2 pitches, p1 to bolts. Lots of rope drag with the long p2 - it sets up well for 3 short pitches.

If you're bringing up noobs, keep in mind the nontrivial downclimb. I ended up lowering my second. May 17, 2006
Charles Danforth
L'ville, CO
Charles Danforth   L'ville, CO
Deceptively hard for the rating. In general it is no more than 5.2 or so, but there are some dicey moves on each pitch that raise the average rating to 5.5. In particular, route finding off the first belay is interesting. The protection is there, but it won't be real comforting for a beginning leader. P3 features either an exposed, runout slab, a grunt chimney, or an interesting off-width. Jul 5, 2006
Not a great route but not a horrible one either. I personally feel like it would be a great beginner route. On the second pitch (relative I know) head up the wider crack with the choke stone and not the thin crack that goes straight up.

Also, from the notch above what is the obvious second pitch, it is possible to head up a couple chimneys and some random face moves to make the climb end on the summit proper. This is probably off route but it puts you on the summit as opposed to the traditional end of the route (a ledge short of the top).

A great night time climb, preferably when it's pouring rain. Apr 18, 2007
Dean Carpenter
Boulder, CO
Dean Carpenter   Boulder, CO
Climbed this route today, and we couldn't clean a cam on the 5.7+ variation of the first pitch. It's an old school Wild Country Friend about a half inch in size. It walked itself deep into a crack and over-cammed, I spent a half hour trying to get it then lowered my partner who also spent a half hour trying to clean it. It's practically an antique and I doubt anyone would want to use it, but I'd appreciate it back. As for the climb, it's not bad, quite a bit of loose rock though, and I would call the variation we did barely 5.6 not 5.7+. Sep 8, 2007
tom stocker
Lakewood, Colorado
tom stocker   Lakewood, Colorado
To descend, walk north from the middle of the large level area on the north side of Castle Rock below the summit to third class terrain. Find the slab gently downsloping to the east; at the edge of the cliff, find a vertical pinch about 20 inches high; if you look carefully, there is a gap behind it maybe 2 inches wide, just wide enough to fish a piece of webbing through. This can be used as a rappel anchor. From here, you can rappel directly to the eastern tree on the ledge about 60 feet below, or lower your partner(s) and downclimb. Alternatively, downclimb the cliff and slab following the wall on your right, make a left turn around a 4 inch tree, downclimb five feet of vertical rock, and get to the middle tree on a large ledge with three large trees. Proceed east along the ledge about 25 feet to the eastern most tree which has an old rusty rappel anchor chain around it (probably best to backup this chain with webbing). Rappel 95 feet to easy walkoff terrain. Alternatively, you can end the rappel at about 70 feet, and then downcliimb the last 25 feet to easy walkoff terrain.
Have fun,
Tom Stocker
Aug. 4, 2008 Jun 30, 2008
Matt Swartz
Camper van on the road.
Matt Swartz   Camper van on the road.
Definitely not classic, but a fun multi-pitch route to take newer climbers up. When I climbed it, instead of going strait up the groove, I opted for the spicier (5.7?) line that ascends the face directly right of the groove to the right of the true start to the West Face - this alternative doesn't protect as easily. I broke the whole route into 3 pitches to try and avoid some of the apparently unavoidable rope drag. The down-climbing to get off the top could be a little sketchy for a new climber or someone who is uncomfortable with exposure. All in all a fun climb. Apr 29, 2009
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Not a bad beginner route because it offers some nice variety. Usually I do it in two pitches with no problem. With a 60 meter it is easy to reach the notch belay without too much rope drag. From there it is a relatively short pitch to the top.

Note that the descent is not as trivial as the initial description would indicate. (Especially in the dark!) Do some route finding (trend north) and a few tricky downclimbing moves (no harder than 4th class or you are off route) and locate the rappel tree with anchor chains. Easy rappel to the ground from here and short walk back to the base. Jun 17, 2009
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Not a bad route for a somewhat cold day when you are in Nederland and have little opportunity to climb elsewhere and there's some beer to be drunk. The hardest part was the snow covered downclimb. Apr 23, 2011
When you get to the top of the first pitch (past the bolts at the tree and up through the slot, to the perch behind the small tower); look right and you'll see a short hand/fist crack facing you in a dihedral.
It's not listed anywhere, but it takes pro well, is relatively clean, probably goes at 5.7, and also takes you to the summit via another interesting and wandering line. Move your belay down below this crack onto a lower perch and try this crack. It's a fun variation if you've already done the regular second pitch.

  • *But beware of the beachball-size boulder teetering on that perch. It's kinda wedged in, but it definitely wobbles and would wreak havoc on anything/anyone below.**
Apr 14, 2013
Caitlin DeVries
Gunnison, CO
Caitlin DeVries   Gunnison, CO
Started in the chimney and it wasn't too bad. Giving it a higher rating, because the second pitch is pretty stout for a 5.5. All in all, fun route.

The "walkoff" on the back is more of a 5.4 downclimb. For those who do not enjoy down climbing, on my way down I did see a tree with a chain on it about 15 feet down the back side. Requires a little down climbing to get to the tree, but then after that you can rap down if you so choose. Sep 8, 2013
Clay Hansen
Clay Hansen   Colorado
Did this route yesterday and it's definitely a decent climb if you're still fairly new to trad. I took a few friends up with me who don't climb much on gear, and it was a fun climb for the grade.

I'd definitely recommend breaking this up into three pitches and building a belay right behind the "tower" above pitch one anchors, otherwise rope drag is awful. We didn't go directly to the summit, but there's a great tree to belay off of on the flat north side. The summit can be still reached from there with a small scramble around the back side.

The downclimb to the rap anchor isn't bad, just take your time (head towards the road). You'll see the tree with chains around it about 25-30ft down. May 29, 2014
shawn k m
shawn k m  
I lead this on October 24th 2015, and it seemed like a really nice route. As others have said, there are a couple of places where you can get a little off route, but if you generally hang right without going over anything too hard, it's not bad. I did not notice the loose rock that others had mentioned. I also didn't notice any snakes; however, I have seen snakes in the area, so it's probably worth keeping an eye out. Oct 26, 2015
Yep, gotta watchout for them snakes! Oct 26, 2015
Paul Deger
Paul Deger   Colorado
Did in 4 pitches (to true summit) to minimize rope drag and communication issues. Good pro at every pitch.
P1. Up to bolted anchor - simple 5.5 with ample pro.
P2. Up left just past the tower on the right, good anchor stance to the left of small pine tree.
P3. This is where it got confusing - we found ourselves looking up at chimney to the right, v-slot above and crack to the left. None of the past descriptions indicated which line to follow. Ended up doing zig zag, between the v-slot and left onto face and crack. Slot felt like the crux. Anchor where leveled out above.
P4. Up the short crack on the right to false summit, then 4th class to the summit.

Anyone have ratings specific to each option going left of the the tower and past the pine tree?
1) Far left crack.
2) V-slot.
3) Chimney to the right.
Thanks! Jul 18, 2016
petzl logic
Montreal, QC
petzl logic   Montreal, QC
I'd echo Charles' questions about the route. I did it in three pitches, and on the last pitch, you are rewarded with multiple options up.

There is a chimney which is probably the 5/6 way. An offwidth that popped out my shoulder and a crack in the left with some interesting moves that is certainly harder than 6.

It's weird to discuss in depth 3 sections of no more than 12 feet of climbing, but I would also be curious about the official way (chimney at right, I'm guessing?) and the ratings of the others. Specifically, that damn OW.

-- ALSO --

There are no rap-rings (that I could find), and the walkoff kind of sucks, because it's more of a downclimb. If you don't think you can do 5.4 moves in reverse, maybe plan on burning some gear.

Edit to add: looks like the route goes significantly to the right of where I was. Maybe that explains all the lichen.... Aug 8, 2016
Waterville, ME
JediGorf   Waterville, ME
Found a cam about 3/4 of the way up the first pitch on Saturday 6/3; PM me if it was yours. Jun 6, 2017
Got caught in the storm this afternoon and left a handful of items on West Face. Two slings and two carabiners - one set at the top, one set in the middle notch (made it into three pitches). I also left my shoes at the base and would love to have them back! Relatively new La Sportiva Finales, probably right at the base of the crag. Contact pacspake@gmail.com if found. Jul 21, 2017
I found some gear while soloing today. It seems to be from last weekend. Send a note describing your lost cam and other gear, and I will get it back to you. Apr 12, 2018
Quinn Davie
Boulder, Co
Quinn Davie   Boulder, Co
I love to do this route. It is a great beginner multi pitch with good protection and for the most part, little rope drag. For me, it takes about 2 and 1/2 hours, car-to-car (since the car is 10 feet from the base). I usually split it into 3 pitches, because there is a great belay ledge about 130 feet up for the second pitch. This also enables you to climb all the way to the top, though if you do that, the route is hard to find and rope drag gets bad. I'd recommend cutting left as the book says and then scramble to the summit. Apr 19, 2018