Type: Trad, Alpine, 750 ft, 8 pitches, Grade III
FA: James Garrett (Lower Wall) and Brian Smoot (Upper Wall), July 2004
Page Views: 7,663 total · 50/month
Shared By: James Garrett on Jun 18, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Nathan Fisher, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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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


Young (and old!) rockers often times flash the "horns of satan" hand sign with the index and baby fingers extended. Can't miss it at rock concerts! A similar shaped feature clearly demarcates the crux lower pitches of Horns Of Satan. Look for a roof that caps a U shaped face with an arete above it.

Pitch #1: Climb past some low level looseness and 3 bolts to a two bolt belay. 5.6.

Pitch #2: Follow bolts to a great ledge under a wild looking roof. Better Rock! 5.8.

Pitch #3: Climb the arete out of the U shaped bowl and belay at a bomber belay just under the main mid-way wall ledge. Great Pitch and good rock with excellent protection. 5.10b.

Pitch #4: Gingerly step out onto the main ledge and scramble out left of a tree and large boulder. You may find the one bolt on this pitch!

Pitch #5: Pass two small roofs to a two bolt belay. 5.7.

Pitch #6: Climb left of a left facing dihedral to the "Great Ledge". 5.9.

Pitch #7: Starts out with a handcrack through strenuous roofs to wildly exposed, but well protected face climbing. This is a classic Smoot pitch...bolts are found where it won't otherwise protect with a continuously "out there" feeling. 5.10c.

Pitch #8: Surmount a roof and follow the alpine summit ridge to the top! 5.5, 200 feet.

Pitches #1 and #2 link together
Pitches #4 and #5 may be linked together
Rappel Black Streak or walk off the West Ridge


Located in the little apron about 100 feet to the left of Black Streak. Early season, most of the first pitch may be under snow. This is a steeper and more complicated approach than for Black Streak in early season so an ice axe may minimize the exposure. Spontaneous rockfall from melting snow and mountain goats poses a threat to the base of the route and the approach. Once on the route, this hazard decreases. Although equipped for descent, recommended to Rappel Black Streak or walk off.


One set micro camalots to #.75
One set of Camalots #1-3
QDs and many runners
Wonderful climb! Some notes to help those heading up there.
Can combine P1 & P2 w/ long rope.
Pitch 3 is crux @ 10b w/many bolts.
Can combine P4 & P5 w/ long rope.
Pitch 7 protects w/ 4 or 5 cams 3/4" thru 3".
Recommended rack of 12 draws and 5 cams.
Enjoy the great moves! Jul 5, 2007
ditto on a fun route and ditto on being extremely careful if anyone else is around - even on the black streak. We had a threesome with the second and third climbing kinda beside each other to keep the rockfall potential down. Since no one else was around we tried to knock off everything we reasonably could. Fun watching a melon sized rock bounce around from up high on the route and rebound from the top of the third all the way over the pillar across the gully. Aug 18, 2007
great route, combine the first two pitches and a 70m is best, helmets ect, thanks to the FA's. Sep 4, 2007
Salt Lake City, UT
BMAP   Salt Lake City, UT
Came up to DC to climb "Black Streak" with my wife last Saturday and after scattering from melon size rock fall several times while getting ready at the base (that left more of a brown streak) we decided to climb HOS. We followed the good advise provided in this comment section and had a fun alpine outing! We thought that pitches 4 through 6 were the business while the 5.10 pitches were highly enjoyable. Placed only yellow alien, 0.75, 1, and 2 camalots. Only thing that we noticed different from the description was the last 5.5 scramble was only about 100 Ft (not 200 Ft). It is hard not to have fun on this route, thanks to the FA's hard work! Aug 5, 2008
Tristan Higbee
Ogden, UT
Tristan Higbee   Ogden, UT
Loved the route! I thought it was just as good as, and maybe even a little better than, Black Streak. The whole route is worth doing just for pitch 3 alone, but pitch 7 is sweet, too (as others have said). I personally thought that pitch 7 was the technical crux.

The route was not quite as clean as Black Streak, but I never felt like I was in danger from rockfall, either as a belayer or leader. Sure, the rock could be better in places and the ledges could be cleaner. But it's still classic in my opinion.

The whole route protects well. The only PG-13 part I encountered was the bit before the first bolt on pitch 6. There might be gear placements there somewhere, but I didn't see them.

Gear I'd take next time: Tons of slings/quickdraws (at least 14, plus whatever slings for belays). One set of cams from .3 to 3 Camalot. No nuts.

Oh, and there's a fantastic free topo from GearLoopTopo.com Aug 3, 2010
A few thoughts:
1) This route was as fun as I've done in a while! Pitch 3 (our #2) was classic!
2) Combine pitch 1-2 and then 4-5. There really is no reason not to.
3) The crux was on pitch 7 (our 5). The first roof is a little pumpy but there is a perfect hand jam rest right after the apex of the roof.
4) All cruxy parts have good holds. You just have to commit and all will be well. Aug 4, 2010
bus driver  
Fun climb. We did it in 5 pitches. Ironically, there were three parties on this and no parties on the Black Streak. The rock gets better as you get higher.

One or two parties a year with a small wisk broom would do this thing wonders as the rock is solid but there is just lots of pebbles on and near the holds that no one wants to rain down so they stay.

Props to the FAists. Aug 30, 2011
Matt Berrett
Matt Berrett   utah
just climbed this today. Loved the route! lots of loose rock but agree that it gets better as you climb higher. Did it in 5 pitches. Great way to spend a hot summer day. I was climbing with a jacket all day in the shade:) Aug 11, 2012
john climaco
Park City, Utah
john climaco   Park City, Utah
Did this today after doing Portable Darkness last weekend. IMHO this climb is just OK compared to Portable Darkness. It is considerably looser and the bolts are generally much farther apart. After all the storms last month pitches 1&2 were filthy with dirt. Pitch 3 was cool with lots of fun moves - a #1 Camalot protects the very lip of the 2nd roof perfectly before you can clip the bolt over the top. 4&5 are covered in loose rock. On pitch 6 you can avoid all the stacked, scary looking flakes on the right by climbing the steep face to the left. It looks like it will be harder but it's not and it's solid. However, when you get about 15' below the belay ledge be extremely careful: I pulled off two toaster-oven sized blocks there that landed in my lap, and more are dangling. Also watch out pulling onto the ledge itself as it is covered with stuff waiting to go. Pitch 7 was very cool, probably the best on the line. Pitch 8 is really only 4th class and less that 100'. 12 draws, 5 slings and a single set of cams will get you through comfortably. Sep 8, 2012
Sandy, UT
notmyname   Sandy, UT
Great climb - only need a few cams for the roof on the 2nd to last pitch (#2 and below). As clean as I expect from the Castle, and really fun pitches. Better than black streak me thinks. Easily done in 5 with a 60m, walking off is a breeze. Can't say it's 10+ though, 10b max. I don't understand the last posters comments - we did portable darkness afer this and it's probaly the worst multipitch route I've ever done. Aug 4, 2013
Boissal .
Small Lake, UT
Boissal .   Small Lake, UT
Hiked up there this weekend to hop on Shadow of the Blade, found it occupied and decided to repeat Horns of Satan which had been my first route on the Castle years ago. I'm still undecided how it ranks compared to Shadow and Evil Eye but they definitely are the top 3 lines on the Castle.

I'm not buying the 10- rating, the start and the roof on P3 feel like legitimate 10c/10+ to me (and it wasn't the onsight). I've done a few easier 11a routes on limestone... but your mileage may vary. Back-clean a few bolts if you've only brought 8 or 10 draws and clip some bolts long to limit drag.

Gear-wise, I placed .75, 1 and 2. There are spots for a full rack if you feel like hauling more weight but the only mandatory gear is for the short crack on P7 which is full of placements and bomber hand jams. If you want to go super light, bring a #2 and nothing else. You'll be too busy hooting your way up the crack to notice slight runout.

To echo Tenesmus' comment about rockfall, I was a bit unnerved to realize that choss falling from Black Streak can funnel straight to the top of P3. Both times I belayed from the little alcove I heard frantic shouting and a sickening impact in the dirt just above me before getting showered with dirt. Brian and James did a great job not moving the belay 10' up on the more logical ledge system where you'd be in the direct line of fire.

Final thoughts: the Castle is getting way busy. There were 7 parties up there on Saturday, 3 of them on Black Streak, 2 of them apparently oblivious to the fact that the Castle can be a dangerous place to be. I can't wrap my head around the fact that people walk to the base, see a party a few pitches up, and just start climbing below them. Or top out Black Streak and rap the line without any consideration for people they can't see climbing below them. I really hope people can take a safe approach to enjoying this alpine gem and nothing bad ever happens up there. Jul 14, 2014
chris nance
chris nance  
Super fun route for a first time up on the Castle. Approach 30 mins. HOS is labeled at the base. With a 70m combine pitches 1&2 as well as 4&5 easily as most folks suggest. I didn't think there was much need for gear other than a #1 & #2 cam. Loads of draws/runners as others suggest. The "10c" pitches are well protected if not over-bolted. Don't bother rapping Black Streak, mellow walk off and less likely to pull off any death blocks. We did it on a Saturday and started early. By the time we topped out there were at least 5 other parties on the wall. Start early and be in front. Just my opinion. Jul 27, 2014
Landon McBrayer
Salt Lake City, UT
Landon McBrayer   Salt Lake City, UT
Nice to do in 5 pitches as others have suggested. Gear: you need a red and gold camalot MAX. Next time I'l take a few med-large nuts instead, maybe 3 total. There are plenty of places for those where you actually need gear (pitches 6-7). Jul 3, 2015
Brett Merlin
Boulder, CO
Brett Merlin   Boulder, CO
If you feel comfortable in a standard handjam (#2 or #3 camalot size), no need to bring that gear. The handcrack roof felt pretty secure. There is a good .75 or 1 placement right before the crack. Placed a #1 tricam in a solution pocket after the crux before the first bolt on the 6th pitch (in guidebook pitches). Aug 30, 2016
Caz Drach
C'Wood, UT
Caz Drach   C'Wood, UT
A fun and varied route, bolts are all solid and right where you want them. A single rack of finger to fist sized cams and maybe some tricams or off set nuts are all that is needed. Many draws / runners.

Bolted belays with great views. Route finding straightforward. Do be aware that there are alot of loose rocks especially at the ledges and be mindful of that if parties are around or if you step wrong and could go for a skate.

We had no one around when we did it and decided to rappel Black Streak. From the top anchors of HOS - traverse the ledge (climbers right) around 50 meters or so and look for a lone half inch bolt laying flat on a rock platform near the edge then rappel down from there. Once on the first large ledge look left for the fixed rope use that to traverse over and down to the next set of anchors. Do not skip any of the rappel anchors as some just get you to the next set. Did it with a 70M which is needed to safely do all the rappels.

All in all great limestone experience with some fun climbing. Jul 5, 2017
Casey Dahl
Salt Lake City, UT
Casey Dahl   Salt Lake City, UT
Climbed today in 4 pitches with an 80m rope and minimal rope drag. c2c in 4 hours. We linked 1&2 - 4,5&6 (10’ of simul climbing), and 7&8. We brought a .5, #1, and #2 Camalot, and a set of nuts. Get up there early or find yourself in a war zone just getting to the base of the climbs. Serious objective danger with parties above you. Jul 29, 2018