Type: Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches
FA: Dallas Jackson and Chuck Merley, 1953
Page Views: 7,551 total · 44/month
Shared By: Tim Stich on May 16, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Despite the poor review this climb gets in the Falcon guide, it is actually a surprisingly fun romp.

Pitch 1 begins as a wide chimney that can be done in a variety of ways. Gear placements are generally good in this section. Climb up and right at the start and negotiate some chockstone boulders in the ramp. Keep climbing once the terrain gets grassy. You will pass the bolts on the left (now chopped) that lead to Cussin' Crack. Eventually a wall will force you to traverse right and out. You'll find a large ledge with a two bolt anchor. This should be practically a full rope length with a 60m. Communication with your belayer will be next to impossible, so have some sort of signaling system worked out ahead of time.

P2 is where the fun starts. Above you will see a crack and a possible way left. Step up and climb left, stemming over the delightfully airy drop off. Then, move up the face and find a slopey ledge. Climb up the ledge and move left, placing only a small cam perhaps as you go. You'll end up on a large ledge that leads to the walk off. Belay in any number of places that allows you to be above the traverse.

The descent is located on the side facing the road. Generally, it trends to the left of the trees you see on the way down. At the short crux downclimbing part, you can elect to rappel from a chain wrapped around a tree.


Rack up to a #4 Camalot, one set of nuts.

Per Ben Wiz: the anchors have been chopped.


Cody Munger
Carson City, NV
Cody Munger   Carson City, NV
A few notes:

I didn't like the looks of the chimney start for my beginner on the first pitch, so I opted for the slab to the right. I was able to place a stopper (which popped out) about 8 feet off the ground, and then I ran it out the rest of the way (about 25 feet from the ground). Good 5.6 s warm up for the 4th class hiking above.

Make sure you don't stop in the gully until you hit the double bolt chain anchor at the base of the crux pitch. Less pitches that way.

Be careful of rope drag on the crux pitch. I found I was zig zagging a lot looking for the easiest line. The 5.8 direct finish would have probably been less draggy (and more fun). But then I'd be hauling my 2nd up manually.

Fun route overall. Though I couldn't really see it, since I was doing an after work sunset race. Oct 5, 2005
Two FEISTY ravens have built a large nest in the ramp just before you exit right at the top of the first pitch. Though it would have added some spice to the route, we opted not to challenge them. Apr 1, 2007
Colorado Springs, CO
Girasol   Colorado Springs, CO
Only about 10 feet of rope remain (using a 60m) when finished belaying the leader up this fun climb. For my first real chimney, the start of Jackson's Wall was a challenge but fun to try to figure out (though not much rock suitable for pro placement) how to climb (you can also climb the face, but pro is very limited)! For the chimney, first face left, then half way up you have to turn around and face right, then move out on the face for a bit until you catch the crack up to the short traverse right to the rather obvious belay ledge. On P2 there are a couple of exposed moves you have to do, but relatively easy climbing. The second move after the ledge is a bit of a push up onto a ledge about 6" wide at most that is made by a rather sharp flake. You can try to do a foot jam in the flake while you pull yourself up, but I found this to be a bit awkward when trying to get my foot out at a sharp angle while pushing up onto the ledge. If you go left, you will find some footholds that will help you. The next move is a high step right up onto a narrow stone ridge-like flake that gives a lovely view between it and the main rock down to the road and water below. From there up it gets easier and less exposed. Nice variety of moves required. Relatively easy walk off the opposite side down to the left. Enjoy!
Girasol Sep 4, 2007
Weird route. The first pitch (or two as some people do it) is not very aesthetic or fun, at all. Once you reach the bolted belay, the climbing is steep and fun for the grade, but be very mindful of rope drag, unless of course you are fond of climbing one handed with a mouthful of slack just to manage the drag....

If you can, run it out a bit, it's much more enjoyable that way. Sep 20, 2007
Garrett Lodewyck
Edwards, CO
Garrett Lodewyck   Edwards, CO
We broke this climb into four short pitches. This significantly reduces rope drag and makes communication a little easier. With a 50m rope stopping above the chimney at the obvious ledge is probably a better option then trying to stretch it all the way to the bolts anyway.

With the exposure above the bolted belay and the high potential for rope drag, I wouldn't recommend this route for beginning leaders. Lots of fun though! Sep 21, 2010
Rodger Raubach
Loveland, CO
Rodger Raubach   Loveland, CO
One of the easier climbs on Castle Rock; honest at 5.6. Biggest part is getting back down via North Face descent. Did this the 1st time in December 1961 while home from Army on leave. Icy nightmare getting down! Mar 12, 2011
Nedsterdam, Colorado
Rogerlarock   Nedsterdam, Colorado
Even though the book says to climb this in two pitches, I usually go in four. I do the slab start R of the chimney, then up to the gully. P2 goes up to the bolted belay. P3 is kinda a guide trick. I do the traverse around the roof, go up the corner to its top and belay right there. It's short but allows great communication between everyone and makes the last pitch a bit more pleasant for the leader.
Really a great route. Aug 29, 2012
Rodger Raubach
Loveland, CO
Rodger Raubach   Loveland, CO
It definitely makes more sense to break this up into 4 short leads to avoid awful rope drag. Also make communication easier if creek is running strong. May 16, 2013
Scot Hastings
Las Vegas
Scot Hastings   Las Vegas
We climbed this on 6/20/13, and there was a nasty loose rock on the exposed traverse just above the bolted belay. It's marked with a couple white Xs, but they look to be fading. It's something you will want to grab if you're not paying attention, and there's a good chance it would hit your belayer or folks on the ground below. Be careful!

Other that that, we found this climb better than expected. The chimney start isn't particularly fun, but the rest of the route is quite nice. Jun 21, 2013
I thought the chimney was rather straightforward. I have leather patches on my pants and used knee locks until I could stand on the rather comforting inside ledge. There were two places I could get small wires for decent protection. Jul 22, 2013
Ben Wiz
Boulder, Co
Ben Wiz   Boulder, Co
Just did this this weekend (actually the 5.9 varaiation that goes up the face to the same first belay spot). Wanted to mention that THE ANCHORS HAVE BEEN CHOPPED. Either that, or I was way way off route, but there is a obvious ledge after the chimney that would be a nice belay station where you can see that 3 anchors/bolts have been chopped. Just so you know. Jul 13, 2015
rien WaNderlust
rien WaNderlust   Nederland
All in all, this climb turned out to be surprisingly pleasant. For sure, it was the final pitch to the top that made it well worth it. Only had to place one cam the entire route as pitons and fixed gear abound. Jul 26, 2015
Quinn Davie
Boulder, Co
Quinn Davie   Boulder, Co
Just did this route the other day, and there are bolts on top of the first pitch (or second depending on how you climb it). Apr 19, 2018
Mike Soda
Mike Soda  
This route is great fun! Start up a stemmy chimney section. Climb up and over a chockstone (the top of the chockstone is the first great belay area but is only about 40 feet off the deck). Continue up the V-slot, then continue it up some more. After a wide open section, you'll come to another great belay stop (now about 120+ feet from the start). From here, climb through some super fun rock features, including getting squeezed out onto a little exposure, then find bolted anchors (if you're short, they might be challenging as they're about 7+ feet off the ledge).

The description here for this route is a little ambiguous. Climb up and left is obvious, but once you clear that and you're standing on a little ledge, you have three options. The description here says go left along the slopey edge, but I don't think that's right. The book shows going up and right. There's a piton and some fun climbing going up and right. I didn't climb past the piton, but from there, it looks like you have another fork option of going up and right as the book shows, or up and left through a more difficult looking crack.

Overall, a super fun route I would definitely do again, but as with many ratings, 5.6 is definitely more of an average. Many sections go at 5.2-4, but the short crux goes more like 7+ or even 8+. Also, if you like protection and you run the entire first pitch to the bolts, you're going to want a double rack to 4. Aug 12, 2018