Type: Trad, 300 ft, 3 pitches
FA: not sure
Page Views: 5,462 total · 38/month
Shared By: Jason Kaplan on Aug 27, 2007
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Castle Corner has 3 pitches of granite crack climbing. It is pure joy.

P1. Work your way up cracks and hollow flakes to the flake with many slings. The first time I climbed this, I stayed mostly left until the long reach below the flake, and then traversed to the right under the flake and back into the right crack until traversing to the flake. The second time around I found you could stem up for a good distance and the gear on the right seemed a lot easier to place then on the hollow crap on the left (although I followed it this time). SPICY! It is at least 8+ if not 9+.

P2. Head up 2 off width cracks strait up the corner with some interesting movement and fun climbing. Up higher the left side crack squeezes out and you must stem between it and the now quite wide crack on the right. This felt pretty sustained and harder in the upper to mid-section of the pitch 5.8 - 8+. Get some good gear in the horizontal crack at the base of the crux sequence. Then fire up the 10-15 foot crux boulder problem to the belay, 5.10-.

P3. Head up either of 2 parallel cracks to the upper section where you encounter the crux OW slot/roof exit to the top 5.9-5.10. We took the left crack which was thin hands, hands and where the angle mellowed out it was a bit wider. The beginning of the pitch was somewhat sustained but the mid section was really cruiser, then you're kinda thrown off for the somewhat awkward crux.

Kevin's description of the descent was dead on, and it can mostly be seen the whole time while climbing, I made it down in my tennies.


This is on the far left side of the Castle.


Standard SP rack with some big stuff. I took up to a #6 Camalot.

The second time back we brought a double rack from blue Aliens up to a #4 Camalot (used both #4s on pitch 2 and leap frogged one of them for a while), a single #5, 4 #3s (quite useful actually used them all on pitch 2), 3 #2s and I still leap frogged gear up the 5.8. At one point I remember thinking to myself another #5 and/or a #6 would be an easy placement, instead I think I fought for a nut that was a bit less easy to place.

Poison Ivy alert

Per Jonathan S: there is poison ivy at the top of the first pitch and in the horizontal crack also.
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
So, here is the beta the I have obtained from climbing this route: The first pitch is a little interesting, and I found it a little scary, mainly cause of awkward pro. I was nervous of some of the huge, hollow flakes I placed cams in, especially when I had to make a blind placement because the crack was awkward and I couldn't really see what I was doing, not to mention I think it was flared so I threw 2 cams in the upper being a offset Alien. Up near the top, it's really hollow where you have to traverse the flake or reach up high. There is some good gear to be had in the right hand crack, but I didn't find it consistently, not to mention logistically with out long runners you get a really zig zagged pitch. The flake on the first belay is kinda scary but can be safe I suppose. I thought I could rip it off if I so desired with enough effort, so I slung it with some new webbing and clipped it into the back up nut that was left there then clove hitched to it with about 10-12 feet of slack and hung well below it. Then I got a bit of slack and made a fairly large butterfly and looped another more solid looking flake as a back up then belayed through a cam up in the start of the second pitch. Aug 27, 2007
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
My partner lead the second pitch as mentioned before. He thought it was cleaner then the first pitch, but he struggled to save energy for the 10 section as his OW technique is in need of improvement. I think he would have liked some extra large gear for this pitch. He lowered off a nut as it was pouring on us, and then I lowered him to the ground (after re-rigging) and proceded to to rap off old webbing on a scary flake with a single 60M reaching the ground just fine. A rebate is in order. Aug 27, 2007
Kevin Stricker
Evergreen, CO
Kevin Stricker   Evergreen, CO
The route is commonly called the unnamed 5.10, although the Castle Corner is fitting. First pitch is 5.8, second 5.10-, and third 5.9. I wouldn't bring anything larger than a #3 Camalot, and if your partner was struggling on the easy 5.8 at the start of the second pitch I think the tips lieback would have been a shutdown.

The third pitch heads up a handcrack to a slot (crux) then easier ground to the top.

Scramble down to the West and head back South at your first opportunity to descend a gully with 15 feet of technical climbing at the bottom. You should be 30 feet from the start of the climb. Aug 28, 2007
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
The Trout guide calls it Castle Corner and rates the first pitch at least 5.9 if not a very short section of 10. And yeah, my partner probably would have struggled with the section of 5.10, but we brought aiders, so it really didn't matter. But being in shorts and short sleeves in relentless sleet did. Aug 28, 2007
Glenn Schuler
Monument, Co.
Glenn Schuler   Monument, Co.
This is a great climb. The approach lived up to its reputation, but the climbing and setting are so good it's worth it. Beware - there is poison ivy growing out of the cracks on and just below the first belay stance. We were careful not to touch it or get our rope on it, could be a problem if it gets much bigger though. Jun 6, 2010
Kevin Gillest
Winter Park CO
Kevin Gillest   Winter Park CO
Great route, total bushwack approach, not sure that we would pay the Wellington Lake fee again? Lots of potential in the area behind.

We thought the top out on the 2nd pitch was harder than the 3rd pitch, the OW didn't seem that hard? Aug 13, 2010
Second pitch seemed 5.10b to me. Maybe it's splitting hairs, but it felt a touch harder than a few other things I've done that are considered 10a. Second pitch is definitely an all-time classic. A number 4 Camalot was handy. And I think I mostly used small to thin hands gear to protect it. I saved two #3 Camalots and a #2 for the anchor atop P2. Oct 15, 2012
Eric and Lucie
Boulder, CO
Eric and Lucie   Boulder, CO
I cannot understand the comments about scary pro on p1... I thought the pro was bomber on all pitches (bring nuts). Truly classic route IMO.
I recommend the left crack for p3 (gorgeous). Also, you might consider splitting p3 into two or use long slings in the second half, which zigzags a bit up blocky (but still challenging) terrain. Oct 14, 2013
JD Sutton
Denver, CO
JD Sutton   Denver, CO
One of the best crack climbs I've done... and I agree, pitch 1 has great pro. Jul 1, 2015
Todd the Tangler
Golden, CO
Todd the Tangler   Golden, CO
Just a thought on gear... a 5 and 6 seems like it'd be way overkill. Double 4s were plenty for adequate pro. Also some small finger pieces are definitely helpful for the cruxy section. Jul 25, 2015
Jonathan S
Golden, CO
Jonathan S   Golden, CO
Poison ivy update: I used nitrile gloves to pull out what I could of the poison ivy today (in both vertical and horizontal crack at the belay), and then I sprayed Roundup. A lot of it had deep, twig-like roots, so it may very well come back, but hopefully it will remain mostly clean for this summer season. Jun 16, 2017