Type: Trad, 270 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: unknown
Page Views: 1,579 total · 31/month
Shared By: Matthew.Johnson91 on Apr 10, 2015
Admins: Luke Bertelsen, JJ Schlick, Greg Opland

You & This Route


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Description

This is the easiest and safest route up the South Tower of Castle Rock. We did it in 4 pitches to reduce rope-drag as the 1st and 3rd pitches are meandering in nature. Pitch 1: rope up to climb a series of ledges that are mostly 4th and easy 5th class but with one crack requiring a 5.7 hand-jam - probably the most technically difficult move on the route. Traverse up and left, do the short 5.7 handjam crack, then traverse back right as high as you can go to the obvious ledge below Pitch 2. maybe 130 feet Pitch 2: Here you are faced with your choice of two off-width cracks separated by a blocky column. Take the right-most crack which has lots of great holds and features. Although there's some loose rock at the top of this pitch, there's also plenty of solid stuff. Take your time and test each hold. Belay at two-bolt anchor taking great care not to dislodge the many loose rocks on the sloping ledge. Great Pitch! maybe 70 feet, 5.6. Pitch 3: Traverse left, up a short crack then back right up to the biggest ledge just before things get steep. Anchor with cams in any of the many cracks available. 5.5, 50 feet. Pitch 4: This is the money pitch - great protection and awesome 5.5 climbing on chickenheads and cracks with the valley yawning away below. Move right from the belay ledge and follow the cracks and chickenheads to a classic summit. Sling the large juniper God put there just for climbers for your belay. 5.5, 60 feet. Note: If you're the kind of climber who doesn't mind running out 5.5 on loose rock over a yawning abyss, you could run pitches 3 and 4 together, placing gear only the at beginning of the 4th pitch to avoid rope-drag. I wouldn't recommend it though. Not a classic perhaps but a good route and an excellent moderate outing depositing you on a classic summit.

Location

See photos for orientation location. Two double-rope (60m) rappels will get you back to your your backpack. Be aware of the presence of a couple of prickly pear cacti which will want to interfere with your rope-retrieval efforts after the final rappel.

Protection

Trad. Full rack of cams and nuts will do nicely with some long slings. Bring some slings to leave, black or sandstone color please. There is a two-bolt anchor on the on the top of pitch 2, the right one looks dubious and the hanger spins easily, the left one is solid. Beta per 2015.

Photos