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Castle Rock
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Acro-Ace, The 
Acro-Aerial, The 
Acrobatic Overhang 
Aid Roof 
Athlete's Feat T 
Atlas Shrugged T 
Bailey's Overhang T 
Beetle Bailey S 
Big Deal Pinnacle (AKA: Square Diehl) T 
Big Splash, The S 
Black Crack, The T 
Boot Lead T,TR 
By Gully T 
Cadaver Crack T 
Cage Free 
Campaigner, The T 
Circadian Rhythms T 
Citadel V1 
Citadel, The 
Close To the Edge S 
Coffin Crack T 
Comeback Crack T 
Country Club Crack T 
Crank It (aka Slabio) S 
Curving Crack T 
Cussin' Crack T 
Cussing Fingers Variant T 
Deadline T,S 
Deersquatch T,TR 
Direct Start T 
Dropout Option T 
E-Z Action T 
Englishman's Home T 
Final Exam T 
Flow, The 
Free Range 
Gill Crack, The T,TR 
Gluten Free T,S 
Hit Hard Tactics 
Invisible Idiot T,TR 
Jackson's Wall T 
Jackson's Wall Direct T 
Knight With a Shining Stick 
Mexican Picnic T 
Midnight Express 
Never a Dull Moment T 
No Fly Zone T 
Nobody's Home T 
Pass Fail Option T 
Polyester Leisure Suit T,S,TR 
Queen is Dead, The T 
Rebellion T 
Replacement Killers, The 
Route 66 T 
Skunk Crack T 
Smokey the Bandit 
South Face T 
South Face Direct T 
Standard Bulge 
Sting, The T 
Stingay T 
Storming the Castle S 
Subterranean Homesick Blues T,S 
Surface Tension (aka Two) 
Times Past T 
Tongo T 
Tourist Extravagance S 
Victim of Circumstance  T 
Water World T,S 
West Face T 
West Face, Direct Start T 

Final Exam 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Royal Robbins & Pat Ament, 1964
Page Views: 3,551
Submitted By: Tony B on Sep 24, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (32)
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Rich above the first section of Final Exam.

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  • Description 

    On the South-West face of Castle rock, slightly more West than South, there is a wall that forms a slight amphitheater. The Buttress holding Skunk Crack, Comeback Crack, and Curving Crack forms the left-hand margin, and the famous old Aid Roof (now freed) form the right-hand margin.

    The back left corner of this amphitheater is a huge dihedral with an overhanging wide crack route called Bailey's Overhang (5.8). Just to the right of Bailey's Overhang, perhaps some 30 feet is The Final Exam. Coffin Crack lies just to the right of The Final Exam.

    To climb The Final Exam, climb up and left on a flake-like feature to just below a thin crack through a bulge, not far from the ground. Climb up through the bulge on reasonable pro, and then up the crack system until it begins to run out. At that point step right to another crack, and after a short distance back left to a multiple cracks system, which has reappeared. These cracks will take you to the base of an obvious roof. At the roof you may traverse left to finish on Bailey's Overhang, right to finish on Coffin Crack, or best of all, shoot straight up through the (sandbagged) Pass Fail Option (5.11a???) to get above the roof.

    Climb any of the finishes to reach a ledge up and left of the center of the roof and belay.

    From there a set of raps, or downclimbing to the raps above Polyester Leisure Suit will get you back to the ground.


    A set of brass nuts + a standard set of nuts and cams to 2.5" or larger, depending on the finish.

    If finishing on Pass/Fail Option (5.11a) take a set of cams 1.5" to 3" for that. If finishing on Coffin Crack (5.10) or Bailey's Overhang (5.8), take pro to 4".

    Photos of Final Exam Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb on Final Exam, jutt below the Pass/Fail ...
    Tony Bubb on Final Exam, jutt below the Pass/Fail ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Final Exam.
    Final Exam.

    Comments on Final Exam Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 25, 2008
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    If you are expecting Boulder Canyon 5.11a, think again. This is trad 5.11a rating all the way. It felt like 5.11 moves to me....especially if we were talking onsight grading. Having said that - after working the moves, it really was several 5.10 moves to one burly move and then you're done. Felt more like a sequency boulder problem, because once you gain the slab it is so much easier.

    There is a fixed nut in place right at the crux presently.
    By Hank Caylor
    From: Glenwood Springs, CO
    Nov 25, 2008

    I agree with Paul, this route handed me my ass in a waffle cone. I thought I was strong until....
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 1, 2009

    Maybe smaller fingers help. I got a really good left ring finger knuckle in at the crux that let me fire up high to the next clings and jug. But it took me 2 tries to find it- first try just bloodied me.
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 13, 2010
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    Didn't lead this, but I think you can get good nuts and small cams on lead.

    If you want to TR this just start 6' to the left and go up a 5.8 crack...anywhere you want below the big roof (Pass Fail) you can setup a TR anchor. Right below the Pass Fail roof I setup and anchor with nuts/small cams, but if you have several hand size pieces you can set a belay anywhere along the way.

    To descend: You can traverse across to the rap above Coffin Crack or finish Bailey's Overhang route. I clipped the rope into the rap station and put a few pieces on the traverse before I went over there, fyi.

    It felt way easier now, but still feels solid 5.11 to me. :) Especially if you are going to onsight this thing!
    By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
    Apr 13, 2012

    Soloed this on sight, 25 years ago. Funny thing is, the few occasions times since then I’ve tried it on toprope, I’ve never been able to get up it at all...sigh.....
    By Andy Hansen
    From: Longmont, Colorado
    Jun 24, 2013
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    I thought this climb was pretty good. It was very difficult for me to not do the crux move dynamically. Good route, brief but burly crux. Well protected with small cams.

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