Type: Trad, 300 ft, 2 pitches, Grade II
FA: Fred Beckey, Dave Collins, Don Gordon
Page Views: 13,215 total · 82/month
Shared By: ScottH on Jan 26, 2006
Admins: Scott Coldiron, Jon Nelson, Micah Klesick

You & This Route

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Canary ascends from the right side of Logger's Ledge and reaches the top of Castle Rock in 2 pitches (3 may be necessary with a 50m rope). A memorable line, Canary combines interesting climbing with terrific exposure.

Approximately 100 feet to the left of Saber, a short section of face climbing leads to a right facing dihedral and a broken crack system that reaches the left side of Saber ledge. This is the start of Canary.

P1. Begin by climbing approximately 15 feet of unprotected face to the base of a right facing dihedral. This section is not trivial, but the holds are positive and it is no harder than 5.7. Alternatively, it may be possible to begin in a small dihedral to the left and traverse right to gain the crack system at the top of the face. From the top of the face, follow the dihedral and subsequent crack systems up with good gear. Ascend until you are under the giant roof, then break right onto Saber ledge at the top of the crack system. This pitch is the technical crux of the climb, culminating in the moves up and onto Saber Ledge (5.8). Belay from gear or the giant eyebolts on the right of Saber Ledge.

P2. From Saber ledge, contemplate what lies ahead. The second pitch begins with instant exposure, and the airy step off Saber ledge may be the pyschological crux of the climb. Begin by traversing obvious holds leading left and slightly up from Saber ledge. Though intimidating, the traverse is easier than it looks, and giant holds await you on the arete. It is possible to protect the traverse with a reasonable small alien on the face, otherwise it may be possible to place large gear (with long slings!) above Saber ledge before beginning. Upon reaching the arete, climb past two bolts and follow your nose and your gear on increasingly easier climbing to the top of the formation. Like many routes on upper Castle, the exact line is not obvious; expect some runouts on easier terrain. We were able to reach the summit with a 60m rope; a 50m would be somewhat short.

To descend, follow the trail off the back of the summit to Logger's Ledge.


Standard rack, wires to #2 camalot.
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
When belaying on Saber ledge, I highly recommend staying close to the wall and/or under any available overhang if possible. I was nearly squished by rockfall while belaying here once. If I hadn't been somewhat protected by a small overlap, I'd be dead. The rock actually grazed my back. Jan 31, 2006
A great 5.8 route! Sep 13, 2006
bob branscomb
Lander, WY
bob branscomb   Lander, WY
This was one of my first serious leads in 1973. I was so psyched afterwards I couldn't believe it. The guy who followed me was from Homer, AK. Big strong guy, great man. He hadn't climbed much and he was so freaked on the crux that he just did pull ups up the damned thing, his feet thrashing in the breeze. Great climb. Nov 4, 2010
Indianola, Wa
MegaGaper2000   Indianola, Wa
Great route - I would add that the '15 feet' of unprotected climbing mentioned above has more like 20+ feet of exposure by the time you get to your first piece, thanks to the climbing starting with a roof 5 or so feet off the ground. That said, you can start the pitch with a 5.8 crack just left of the canary start, then move right directly into the bottom of the actual canary crack/dihedral. Jul 15, 2011
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
geoff georges   Seattle, Wa.
We always started at the Old Grey Mare start, good corner with pro. You can do the unprotected 15' face climb, but is 5.8 really worth you blowing a foot on the face moves? Aug 21, 2015
Jessica T
seattle, wa
Jessica T   seattle, wa
It's fun to climb old grey mare and traverse over into the 2nd pitch of canary and create a long mega face climbing pitch. Im going to bring a 70m next time and see if I can get to the top of castle in a pitch. Oct 11, 2015
S. Yi
Bellevue, WA
S. Yi   Bellevue, WA
Fantastic route. 1st pitch can be pumpy. The start of the 2nd pitch can be intimidating, but if you plan out your hand and foot placements you're past the crux in two moves fairly easily.

Belayer should allow for some slack before leader places first piece of pro just in case leader falls - slack will prevent him/her from getting slammed into the wall. May 23, 2016
Kyle Bodamer
Bellingham WA
Kyle Bodamer   Bellingham WA
The start is 20 feet of unprotected 5.6 to 5.7 face climbing. I would reccomend an alternative start like Old Grey Mare mentioned above to the left. Great pumpy first pitch leads to an airy start to the second pitch, classic fun! Oct 7, 2018
Jaise Poole
Lopez Island
Jaise Poole   Lopez Island
A very fun climb for a 5.10 climber; a scary climb for a 5.8/5.9 climber. Dec 3, 2018