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5.8+, Trad, 300 ft (91 m), 3 pitches,  Avg: 2.4 from 32 votes
FA: Fred Beckey.1957, FFA: Fred Beckey, Pat Callis, Steve Marts, 1963
Washington > Central-E Casca… > Tumwater Canyon > Castle Rock > Upper Castle


A very nice 3 pitch 5.8
The crux is getting up the first 20' and mid way up the 2nd pitch passing an old bolt/aluminum hanger on face moves.
When you get through the hard part of the 1st pitch, trend left till reaching a tree on a big ledge, a bolted anchor there.
The route veers up and right into a groove like inside corner or open book , pass 2 good pitons and the old bolt with aluminum angle for hanger. Veer right on a finger traverse ,pass another old piton and gain the arrete, either belay here or further up on horizontal cracks. Comes out on the north (left) side of the summit block.
I have led out from the bolted anchor all the way to the summit block in one pitch, even with scant gear and long slings pretty bad rope drag.
One should be a expert moss leader on this.


furthest left at the same ledge as Angel and Damnation. The start is a tight inside corner/chimney, pull up on finger lock, stemming makes this easier.
Walk off the summit.


Standard rack to 3". Long slings for wandering rope drag. 
Bolted anchor top of 1st pitch.- there are slings, not rap chain on this. This is a double rope rap, but someone said they did it with a 70m.
Gear anchors above.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

The easy mossy section leading to the tree on the first pitch.
[Hide Photo] The easy mossy section leading to the tree on the first pitch.
The start of Saints.
[Hide Photo] The start of Saints.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Catalina Crushes
  5.8+ PG13
[Hide Comment] Climbed this today. First pitch was super fun, maybe better if that crack wasn't so short lived. We stopped at the bolted anchors 30 feet? before the tree. (mostly because that it was what the party before us did).

The corner/groove leading up to the second crux was a little sketch...mostly due to moss, but the protection was not super awesome. Moss made it look like it doesn't see much traffic. Rock in that area sided on the edge of hollow in my opinion...and since when are rusted pitons placed likely 30+ years ago called "good?" We belayed at the ledge below the second crux. (The party ahead of us bailed here bc they got sketched out at the crux).

At the second crux, I climbed the crack just before the arete to do this part...thought i could get more gear? ...which was fine, but again...that old bolt/hanger has seen much better days, and blowing it before getting a second piece would of super sucked no matter how you did it.

Rest of pitch 3 was fun, but definitely warm in the sun! Best for a bit of a cooler day. First 2 pitches stayed in the shade pretty late, so that was awesome. (one of the bigger reasons we did it). Where we stopped for our belays did not really affect the climb for better or worse (that I could tell).

Long story short...climb was fun/worth doing, but did not always have super bomber gear (in my opinion), so be prepared for a little spice.

<3 Jul 7, 2014
[Hide Comment] We climbed this line this past weekend. As mentioned before, this line doesn't see much traffic ... p2 and above needs a good rubbing.

p1 felt harder than 5.8.

Gear is good all the way on the route. There are a couple rusty pitons. The piton after the aluminum bolt looks super sketch, so we opted for a cam a little higher. Aug 4, 2015
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
[Hide Comment] I was climbing Midway with Fred a couple of years ago and was trying to get out of him if they placed the aluminum hanger 1/4" bolt on Saints on the first ascent, he thinks not but can't remember. He commented that he tried it again some time ago in the 90's and thought the 1st pitch crux and the face moves past the bolt on the 2nd pitch much harder then 5.8. But then again he thought the 1st pitch of Midway might be 5.7, and I don't think it is ever harder then 5.5, and probably 5.4- it's original rating.- the rating he gave it.
What is so amazing about Fred is that he remembers so much, little details, who he climbed with etc. Not only of the 1st ascent, but even climbing it in the 1990's. I can't remember that much from 5 years ago. Aug 21, 2015
S. Yi
Bellevue, WA
  5.8+ PG13
[Hide Comment] Climbed this May 21, 2016. First pitch is stellar and protects fairly well. Feels harder than 5.8; probably 5.8+ or 5.9.

2nd pitch is dirty and does not appear to get much traffic. Mossy, which can be concerning if it's moist out (it was). Pro can be fairly runout and takes mostly smaller pieces like .4 camalot and lower. Save a .2 or .3 to to backup the anchor at the end of the pitch, otherwise you just have an aluminum hangar on a rusty bolt. The bolt does appear to be secure for now.

Start of 3rd pitch can be challenging, especially for those with shorter wingspans. Be careful or you might fall on your belayer. After the first 20' the difficulty eases off considerably and becomes 5.easy. May 22, 2016
[Hide Comment] This is a fun route that is pretty much never occupied. Here's how we do it: Pitch 1- Climb all the way to the bolted (cord w/ rings, no chains) anchor behind the tree, on the ledge. It's the second anchor you come to on the rising traverse. (First anchor can be used to top rope Das Muzak.) Pitch 2 - Start by heading right then back left and straight up the crack w/ the pins. There is a lot of lichen and moss in this zone, but the climbing can be done without touching any vegetation. Climb to the bolt and traverse immediately to the right and then up the arete for a couple meters, to where it is easy to move back onto the main face of The Castle. Follow easy cracks and features near the edge of the face to the top. No need for a third pitch. Jun 29, 2016
Michael T
[Hide Comment] Climbed the first pitch to the tree this last weekend. But bailed from there after being unsure where the route went, The Karamar guide didn't have the best description. Searched around through the moss for a while but decided not to continue as the only reasonable option looked unprotectable (turns out it was the right way after all). A 70m rope barely made it back to the ground from there.

UPDATE: Just went back and successfully finished the route. The gear is definitely a little sparse and iffy, but always where I wanted it. The bolt felt poorly placed in my opinion, a little higher and maybe it would protect you from breaking your ankle on the ledge, if you were to blow the face moves.

Regarding the moss and lichen, I noticed that on the second pitch every worth while foot and hand hold was relatively clean, while on the easier terrain I couldn't always tell if I was crimping on lichen or an edge. There were also a few cracks that almost looked like they would take gear with a little cleaning. Overall I found this to be a very enjoyable climb on upper castle, with a little more attention I think this climb could be just as popular as canary or the other 5.8's on castle May 1, 2017
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
[Hide Comment] Michael, glad you got to get back on it and finish it, agreed that the 2nd pitch looks uncertain and dirty, but climbs well and lots of cool moves with plenty of pro. As you may have guessed the " bolt with aluminum hanger" was placed on lead hand drilled and that is why it is where it is. I might replace it and I would place it a bit up and right. Jun 27, 2017
geoff georges
Seattle, Wa.
[Hide Comment] I climbed this again 9/9/2018 and forgot how serious a lead it is. If I get around to it I will clean it up this fall. I really like it, but it is very dirty and the pro is tricky. There are a few steep crux moves on the 2nd pitch that have good holds and good pro, but only take a specific size, so have plenty of smaller cams and medium nuts. The old pins are solid and the aluminum hanger has a 3/8" rusty bolt so the bolt is strong, but the hanger is probably not very strong, there are a couple of nice horizontal cracks right after the bolt that fit a blue or green Alien size. As someone said below you can also clip the bolt and traverse low to juggy holds right and below the bolt, then climb straight up to a ancient ring piton. Sep 12, 2018
Eric Gold
Redmond, WA
[Hide Comment] The first pitch is good and easy to follow, but on pitch 2, the rock gets really lichen-y and figuring out the best path is an adventure. I traversed up and right a lot, finding good climbing and pretty consistent protection, but I think I actually climbed the upper pitches of Angel or maybe even Midway Direct Direct?

This route (based on the crux first pitch, since that's all that I really climbed of it) feels significantly less sandbagged to me than most other climbs at Castle Rock. Jun 8, 2020