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Damnation Crack T 
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Das Musak S 
Devil's Fright T 
Hangdog T,TR 
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No Such Thing as a Free Lunge T 
Nose, of Jello Tower, The T 
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Orange Peel T 
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Saber T 
Saints T 
Satanic Verses T 
Slim Pickins T 
South Face, Jello Tower T 
Winter Solstice T 

Damnation Crack 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: FA John Rupley 1957 FFA TM Herbert, Ed Cooper 1960
Season: Spring through Fall
Page Views: 5,498
Submitted By: Karsten Duncan on Mar 27, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (75)
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Nick pulling through a cruxy layback section. Cred...

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A great climb up a widening crack. Begin with a hand size crack that widens to offwidth and then to chimney. The crux comes in the first 30ft but runnouts in the chimney keep things interesting. Top out on Jello tower.


Climb up a trail on the west side of the parking lot that leads up to upper castle rock and logger's ledge. The route goes up the wide crack/chimney that separates the main wall from Jello Tower on its west side.


Cams to #4 camalot but don't forget the small gear for placements in the chimney.

Photos of Damnation Crack Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: More of the initial crack of Damnation.  Photo Jak...
More of the initial crack of Damnation. Photo Jak...
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down Damnation Crack from the anchor at th...
BETA PHOTO: Looking down Damnation Crack from the anchor at th...
Rock Climbing Photo: Final squeeze moves near the top of Damnation. Jak...
Final squeeze moves near the top of Damnation. Jak...
Rock Climbing Photo: Phase 1 of Damnation Crack.  Pumpy and slick layba...
Phase 1 of Damnation Crack. Pumpy and slick layba...

Comments on Damnation Crack Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 10, 2017
By Blitzo
Sep 13, 2006

A great climb!
By Drederek
Jun 30, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Closer to a 100' to the chains atop Jello Tower but you can rap from them down the other side with a 50m rope.
By Erroneous Publicus
Jun 25, 2010

The "correct" finish is actually to the anchor on the face to the left of the top of Jello Tower. Great climb!
By andyf
From: Tacoma, WA
Jun 26, 2010

What makes this the "correct" finish? Per Beckey's 1965 Guide to Leavenworth Rock Climbing Areas: "...climb 6 feet until the crux is passed (5.7-5.8). Another 10 feet reaches the top of the tower."

Not that it matters a flip where you choose to end up, but the anchor to the left was established for Dan's Dreadful Direct. Again per Beckey (1965): "About 100 feet up, just above and to the left of Jello Tower, a hanging belay was established from one of the bolts."
By Snodawg
Jun 30, 2010

What a great climb, been waiting to do this climb and have now done it. Took a number 5 up with me and it was a huge waste.
By Daniel Coltrane
From: Seattle, WA
Jul 6, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Definetly an "Old School" 5.9. Classic through the chimney section.
By claytown
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 23, 2012

Very fun route! Old school climbing for sure but lots more pro besides just protecting the big crack. Not that either way is "right" but I belayed on the left side wall at 100'. This works great as you are on ring bolts, it's right at 100' and you can watch your partner climb the whole pitch. Continue to the top or rap with a 60m and have the TR set up for a quick lap on the 20 foot 5.10 finger crack.
By geoff georges
From: Seattle, Wa.
Nov 20, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

When the 1st free ascent was done in 1960, Ed Cooper considered this route 5.8. Like it's neighbor Angel it is harder now that it is slippery at the start.
The lower wide section protects well with a BD #4. After sliding that up with me, I get a #1 on the left wall and take the #4 for up higher. It is tricky to protect the chimney, can be done with small cams and brass nuts.
The first ascent team used wood blocks to protect the wide parts and placed 1 bolt, which I have never spotted the remains of, unless it is the 1/4" bolt near the top out.
I think it would be fair to say this would be 5.8 in Ca. or Colorado.
By Steph Abegg
From: Bellingham, WA
Apr 24, 2016

This is probably my favorite route at Castle. The crack and chimney movements are akin to routes I've done in the Sierra.
By S. Yi
From: Bellevue, WA
May 23, 2016

Old school rating. First 10 ft. are tough - rock is slippery and requires some strenuous lay-backing. A #5 could come in handy if you don't like runouts. The chimney section is a little intimidating since the next opportunity for pro is about 10 ft up, but the moves in the chimney are secure.
By Jplotz
From: Wenatchee, WA
Aug 22, 2016

Solid 5.10. Feels serious. I've seen climbers ground out on the opening slick liebacking. Hard to stop to place gear mid layback, since the rock is that special kind of castle Rock glass.
By David Bruneau
From: St. John
Sep 15, 2016
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13

The climbing is 5.9, but bold thru the chimney section. Bring small pro (RP's, ballnuts) for up higher in the chimney or expect some excitement... I found my self run-out facing outwards with a decent placement a foot out of reach.
By hummerchine
Mar 10, 2017
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Plotz nailed it.

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