Type: Trad, Alpine, 800 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III
FA: James Garrett and Franziska Garrett, 1986. Bolt Equipped with Johannis Sweeley 1992. First Winter Ascent: Quino Gonzales and Alan Rousseau, Feb. 2014
Page Views: 20,704 total · 121/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Jun 18, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

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Access Issue: Please respect this beautiful area. Stay on established trails and do not trample any vegetation Details
Access Issue: Gate Buttress Area Recreational Lease: Climbs on Church Buttress above vault remain closed Details

Description

Fun, 6-7 pitch alpine "sport" route. The first bolted route on the North Face of Devil's Castle and due to its inclusion in the Ruckman Guide, the most popular. Subsequently, it is also the cleanest and currently the one most free of loose rock.

Pitch #1: Face (~9 bolts) climb up the black water streak to a ledge and three bolt anchor. This was earlier protected by the gear friendly horizontals. 5.10a, 130'.

Pitch #2: Crux pitch goes through a roof and to the right to another ledge (where an original piton from the FA with a long sling helps protect the second). Now trend right up easy ground to bolted terrain through interesting pocketed overlaps and reach a bolt chained anchor. 5.10b, 100'.

Pitch #3: Pass two bolts and climb the left facing dihedral to the midway ledge. Be careful with the scree on the ledge. 5.8, 50'.

Pitch #4: Climb the low angle ramp passing a rap anchor at 100' and several bolts to a two bolt belay ledge. 5.4, 210'.

Pitch #5: Follow the bolts through a roof slightly to the right of the belay, then back left up hard pocketed face moves to the belay. Beware of possible loose scree at the belay. 5.9/10a, 100'.

Pitch #6: A fixed rope has been installed to protect the leader passing this unstable scree section to the beginning of the final pitch which starts 40 feet to the right on a huge ledge. 4th class, 40'. 2m to the right of this lone bolt at the end of the fixed line on the huge ledge is the beginning of the final 5.9, 5.6R pitch of Black Streak.

Pitch #7: Start in the alcove to right of the end of the fixed rope/bolt or climb directly to the first bolt. Just past the third bolt find a good #2 Camalot horizontal placement. From here, climb straight up toward the left edge of the huge dark roofs. The 4th bolt is often missed, but it is there. A faded sling (not girth hitched) left tied to the bolt long marked the spot, but was removed. Some of the pitons have been slung also for this reason to make them easier to find. The fun pocketed final moves won't feel quite so far away if you can clip this 4th bolt. 5.7R or 5.9 Direct Start,100'.

Scramble around to the right to the ridge line.

Location

After approaching Devil's Castle from below, look for the obvious Black Water Streak to the right of the Little Apron....a popular ski descent in winter. To locate the route, refer to Brian Smoot's excellent overview photo/topo (on MP.com) of the numerous DC lines now available.
It is 7 rappels + the 40 feet traverse down climb from the bottom of the upper pitch to the rappel/belay station on top of pitch leading to the great ledge. If climbers are below or inclement weather threatens, do not rappel, but walk off to the West down a well worn trail.
The Black Streak rappels afford the easiest rappel down from all the North Face of Devil's Castle routes.

Protection

QDs, small rack of cams to #3 Camalot

Photos