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Routes in Church Wall

Castles in the Sand T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Follow Your Bliss T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Genesis T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Type: Trad, 150 ft, 3 pitches
FA: John Mattson, Michael Hill
Page Views: 8,876 total, 63/month
Shared By: JJ Schlick on Jun 3, 2006
Admins: Greg Opland, Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick

You & This Route

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Castles In the Sand is a gorgeous line, and a burly route. This stunning neo classic is a must do if you are in the area.

Pitch 1. 5.11- Climb striking off fingers/small hands crack in left facing dihedral. Belay below roof.

Pitch 2. 5.11+ Rodeo time! Climbing out the roof crack, and riding the lip of the roof like a bull is the crux of the route. Continue up moderate crack to a belay just under the largest roof above you.

Pitch 3. 5.11 A classic roof pitch that may remind you of Coatamundi Whiteout on Granite Mountain. Do what you have to do to work out the hands/fist crack in the roof, and pull into the slot over the lip.

In November of 2012, the original first roof FELL off the route subsequently changing the quality and difficulty of this section. The new first roof goes at 5.10+/.11- and can be protected with a #5 Camalot. I have left the original description for history's sake.


CIS is on the wall left of the Watchtower. Hard to miss.


double set to #4camalot.
James Xu
2005 Ford E-150
James Xu   2005 Ford E-150
Brand new 1/2" bolt and quicklink added next to the pancaked bolts. Jan 30, 2016
Josh Tokioka
Cedar City, UT
Josh Tokioka   Cedar City, UT
What an awesome route.

The second pitch is kind of sandy still, fresh sandstone powder for your feet, but not too bad. Definitely not 11+.


Double 60 will take you to the ground from the top of the third pitch. May 7, 2015
Moab, UT
swadeky   Moab, UT
Did this November 2013, Onsighted the first two pitches then bailed before big roof due to follower issues. SO GOOD! Sounds like the new roof is easier, I used a 5 about halfway through the roof, my Beta would be to bring a BD6 if you have it and dont bother with a 5, but a 5 is fine if its all you have. If your follower is concerned about falling a 6 is better. Ill get the 3rd pitch next time! Nov 9, 2013
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Spooky stuff. Let us know how it goes, and I can change up the description a bit. Nov 7, 2012
Dillon Metcalfe
Flagstaff, AZ
Dillon Metcalfe   Flagstaff, AZ
Howdy... Mike B and I climbed Castles in the Sand on the 28th of October. Niether of us had climbed it before, so we didn't know any different, but we did notice that there was a lot of light-colored (new) talus at the base, and along the entire approach up there. In fact, the approach itself seemed a little different than Bloom described in his excellent new Sedona book.
The bolt hangers at the first anchor are now smashed flat against the wall. (or maybe they were like that before, but I can't see why they would be) I led the new second pitch, and noticed that despite it being a classic line in soft rock, the edge of the crack under the roof was very sharp-indicating that it had not seen much traffic. The left wall of the dihedral is very loose and sandy-wear a helmet!
I'm not sure how much beta is appropriate to disclose, but I will say that I don't think it was as hard as 5.11+, because I am not yet a solid 5.11+ leader. It protects very well with a #5 BD Camalot, altough a #6 would fit if you chose to bring one.
Final note- although I was the first to lead the new line, I DID NOT GET IT CLEAN. I hung under the roof, figuring out the feet on the chossy left wall. Mike B did get it clean as a second- NIce job dude. So, the first clean lead gets to go to someone, sounds like the other Mike from Pheonix will get it. Congrats. Have fun ya'll! Nov 6, 2012
Mike broad
Tucson, AZ
Mike broad   Tucson, AZ
Hey everybody. Now that I think about it (reading these comments and the thread on Mannys facebook), I'm pretty sure me and my friend Dillon Metcalfe climbed the 'newly altered' route by accident. I lead the first pitch and the bolts were smashed against the wall, I could fit a biner through one but not the other. Dillon lead the next pitch and there was choss coming down on me the whole way along the crack leading up to the roof. We just figured that was how it was and didn't really think twice about it. We both thought the roof felt soft for 11 plus and were not really solid at that grade. There was a lot of choss on the left side of the crack leading up to the roof but the roof itself was fine. I definitely would not have done it had I known... Nov 6, 2012
chuck claude
Flagstaff, Az
chuck claude   Flagstaff, Az
Looks like David is going to have to come out with issue 2....

Shit that is pretty scarey, and glad no one was one it... Now are we oing to have to list an ascent of CITS 1 or 2...... Or will it get a new name like sandcastles in the. Wind? Nov 6, 2012
Sean C
Sean C   SLC
Didn't climb it as the new roof is going to take at least a 6. Looks fun though. The idea of the remaining block coming off as well makes me cringe a bit. Nov 4, 2012
Tucson, AZ
Geir   Tucson, AZ
FANRATORFO ... hahahahaha! Nov 4, 2012
Mike   Phoenix
I was there last Friday and saw the damage. I was selfishly keeping quiet until this Wednesday so I could go back and get the coveted FANRATORFO, or the First Ascent of the New route After The Old Roof Fell Off.

The new roof looks like it will be a bit easier that the original one, though one never knows. Sure the belay bolts are toast, but you can get good gear in the crack, and the original first 2 pitches linked easily anyway.

So Sean C, did you climb it, and if so, how was it? How scary is the rock currently? Nov 4, 2012
JJ Schlick
Flagstaff, AZ
JJ Schlick   Flagstaff, AZ  
Holy shit! I'm glad no one was up there when she tumbled. One had to essentially end up humping over that thing in order to pass. What's the climbing like without the "roof"? Nov 3, 2012
Sean C
Sean C   SLC
Went to climb this today and realized at the top of the first pitch that the first roof no longer exists. It appears that a block about the size of a minivan has fallen off sometime between today and October 21st. The bolts at the top of the first pitch were pancaked and it was quite hard to get carabiners in them. Really bummed that I missed this climb but very fortunate it fell off while no one was climbing it. Bummer Nov 3, 2012
Robbie Brown
Flagstaff, AZ
Robbie Brown   Flagstaff, AZ
Great climb! The final pitch is not quite as heinous as it looks. EDIT The roof was the best pitch, now it's wide choss... Oct 25, 2012
An exciting and pragmatic alternative is to divide this excellent climb into two pitches.

1st belay just above the 1st roof with a #3 and #4. 2nd belay at end of 3rd pitch. Mar 9, 2010
Mike   Phoenix
What a cool line. I thought both roofs felt pretty solid, but maybe I'm just weak. Apr 5, 2009