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David's Castle Wall
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YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
Page Views: 6,506
Submitted By: Chuck Parks on Feb 4, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (49)
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Toproping with a 60m from the cave. No problem. Fu...


Grunt your way up the splitter chimney. Feel the exposure as you worm your way past overhangs, teetering close to edge of the chimney. As you near the top, you can either roll out left onto the steep, sharp face and head up to a small tree (better for toproping), or continue to tunnel your way up the chimney to the top.


The obvious chimney that runs the entire height of David's Castle Wall.


standard rack, sling trees for toproping

Photos of Caterpillar Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Wall  Caterpillar (5.7) trad  Crowders Mountai...
Red Wall Caterpillar (5.7) trad Crowders Mountai...
Rock Climbing Photo: getting after it in the chimney
getting after it in the chimney
Rock Climbing Photo: From ground - Electra .10c and Catepillar .7.  Ver...
BETA PHOTO: From ground - Electra .10c and Catepillar .7. Ver...

Comments on Caterpillar Add Comment
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By Sean Cobourn
From: Gramling, SC
Apr 17, 2008

In all seriousness, one of the best routes at Crowders.
By saxfiend
From: Decatur, GA
Sep 12, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This really is a great climb -- wish I'd led it! Pretty sustained chimney climbing the whole way; turning your body frequently and not keeping your back to just one side of the chimney is good strategy.

I know people do it somehow, but I don't think this route is well suited for toproping. If you make the exit move onto the face, your rope is going to be going over some pretty sharp rock; and if you go all the way to the top, I suspect even a 70-meter rope won't be long enough for a slingshot toprope. Better to belay from the top.
By M Best
Sep 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Saxfiend is correct that a 70M won't work for top roping this if you go over the top of Davids Castle. You can use gear in the cave/hole atop Davids Castle/Caterpillar or you can use a long piece of static rope and sling the boulder and trees that are directly overtop of the hole and drop the masterpoint down into the hole. If your masterpoint is extended far enough down into the hole near the end of the cave a 60M works (with about 10 feet of spare) and a 70 is plenty. Just make sure to knot the ends of your rope if you're going to rappell down and use a boulder/tree to belay yourself down into the cave safely.
By Dominion Rognstad
From: Houston. From Boone, NC
Oct 10, 2011

At the top of the chimney, you can exit right through a cave or left to the tree. Going left travels over much less travelled terrain and is chossy. Both can be walked off, but the cave is easier to setup a top rope, just bring some long slings or cordelette.

This route is a great warmup but doesn't require much from your arms. Excellent exposure looking out over the Piedmont to Charlotte.
By Brian Hudson
From: Hickory, NC
Apr 5, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

You can set up a slingshot toprope with a 70M without getting down into the cave, but you'll need to downclimb to the lower edge of the top. Extending the masterpoint into the obvious slot will get rid of a lot of rope drag, but it'll make a rappel tricky.
By b.t.miller
From: Charlotte, NC
May 6, 2014
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Climbed in Sept 2013. This is a fun chimney if you're looking to hone that skill set a bit. Protects extremely well with finger-sized gear (cams and nuts). We traversed out of the chimney and over to Electra to setup a toprope. I placed a piece high in the chimney, then down climbed and traversed over to anchors of Electra.

Saxfiend is right about not sticking to one body orientation in the chimney. It's a much more palatable climb when you switch positions to make best use of the features available. Took A LOT of grunting during the initial 40' to finally figure that trick out when we climbed it. Made a huge difference.

Notes on Traverse: rope drag is no friend once you pull out of chimney! And your second will have to make the traverse after cleaning the high chimney piece... makes for a delicate traverse out of the chimney and across the face with some risk of pendulum. Just for information's sake--- the traverse felt like about 5.6. Quite moderate and positive.
By Paul Hutton
From: Dirtbaggin' western US
Jun 22, 2014

My 70m covered a top-rope ascent. We linked two lead lines together to throw the rope to the ground, just in case, but the sharp end barely made it through the belay device. You should tie some kinda cord to one end to ensure you can pull the sharp end down far enough to get through the belay device. Rappelling down is a little scary if you don't have someone on the ground to see the ends. Very tall route! Very sustained! Good for a beginning chimneyer, though.

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