Howl's Moving Castle
Avg: 2.3 from 4 votes
|Type:||Trad, 400 ft, 4 pitches|
|FA:||FA: Unknown.FFA: Joshua Janes, Josh Thompson, Kathrine McCullough - April, 2012|
|Page Views:||1,594 total · 22/month|
|Shared By:||Josh Janes on Apr 16, 2012|
|Admins:||Larry DeAngelo, Justin Johnsen|
RAIN AND WET ROCK The sandstone in Red Rocks is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Details
Holds rip off and climbs have been and will continue to be permanently damaged due to climbers not respecting this phenomenon. After a heavy storm the rock will remain wet, sometimes for several days. PLEASE DO NOT CLIMB IN RED ROCKS during or after rain. A good rule of thumb is that if the ground near your climb is at all damp (and not powdery dry sand), then do not climb. There are many alternatives (limestone, granite, basalt, and plastic) nearby. ***** HUMAN WASTE ***** Human waste is one of the major issues plaguing Red Rocks. The Las Vegas Climbers Liaison Council identified this problem years ago and has worked to provide "wag bags" free of charge in several locations (Black Velvet, First Pullout, Kraft Mtn/Bouldering, The Gallery, and The Black Corridor). These bags are designed so that you can pack your waste out - consider bringing one to be part of your kit (just like your rope and shoes and lunch) no matter where you go. Once used, please dispose of them properly (do not throw them in the toilets at the parking areas). This project was funded primarily by the American Alpine Club
DescriptionHowl's Moving Castle tackles the obvious weakness in the massive roof on the right side of the main Black Arch Wall in four short, interesting pitches. This is a good route that borders on being great except for a little loose rock here and there and a brief dirty section. All of this might clean up with traffic, but even in its current state the route offers diverse climbing and fantastic exposure on the last two pitches in particular.
Having spent way too much time up there this season, my eye was inevitably drawn towards this line, but when we finally made time to check it out, we were dismayed to discover a bolted anchor halfway up the lower corner. However, our curiosity had us racking up anyway, and there was no evidence of progress beyond the first two pitches it appeared that whoever had been up there previously stopped beneath the crux roof pitch (I'd love more information if anyone out there knows anything) - so we kept going! What resulted was essentially a ground-up FA of a sweet new line. I led pitches one, two, and four onsight and followed Josh Thompson cleanly on the crux third pitch, returning a few days later to lead every pitch.
Begin directly below the left-arching, left-facing corners that form the right side of the main Black Arch Wall. Scrambling up some 4th class to a bushy ledge to begin the first pitch is recommended, but it is possible to begin below this on the more spacious slabs.
P1 (5.10b, 75-150' depending on where you start): Climb straight up from the bushy ledge towards the left end of another bushy ledge that is directly below an obvious chimney at the base of the corner. Chimney up this (unprotected) and then work out left from the top of the chimney (good gear) to a roof at the base of the corner. Arrange gear here and pull awkwardly up over the roof, stepping easily left to a bolted belay atop a large flake. It is possible for the second to avoid the chimney by climbing up a large slabby flake, but this is not recommended for the leader as the flake is crumbling and there is no worthwhile gear until the top of the chimney.
P2 (5.10b with 5.9 R or 5.11a, 80'): Step right and up off the belay, and then continue up the slick, leaning corner. Liebacks and ultimately fist jams lead up this to a good stem rest. Here the corner pinches down to tips: Continue up with liebacks (crux) until the corner thankfully, and abruptly, widens. Here, gain a large flake and clip a bolt before performing a thin mantle followed by easier climbing up and left to a bolted anchor at a comfortable stance. It is also possible to traverse left at the stem rest and climb the unprotected face before stepping back right after the thin liebacks, thus changing the grade of this pitch to 5.10b (with 5.9 R). Otherwise, the pitch is 5.11a.
P3 (5.11c, 90'): From the ground this roof appears to be a 30' monster, but youll see it isnt so bad. Climb up via steep, positive, but very powerful liebacks to a few handjams and a final burly move turning the lip. Stopping to place gear on this bit is difficult, but overall the holds are really good. Once around the corner, there's about 10' of dirty rock that can mostly be avoided, but the exposure is spectacular as the climbing eases to a vertical, 5.9 romp up the crack system to a good belay ledge out right.
P4 (5.10d, 75'): Continue up the crack system through soft white rock. This bit of climbing is way steeper than it looks, but is well-protected and actually quite good. Belay just above the top of the wall at a comfortable stance.
Walk off via the Painted Bowl descent or rap Plate of Fate with a single 70m rope.