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Old Castle

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Old Castle Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 33.2525, -117.12329 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 17,402
Administrators: Marc Kajut, M. Morley, Adam Stackhouse, Salamanizer suchoski, Justin Johnsen, Vicki Schwantes, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Joshua Reinig on Apr 1, 2014
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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10 years ago I planted a fig in a crack. Tera-for...

  • This great North County Crag is located on the boundary of partial lots for sale, private property and public land. MORE INFO >>>
  • Current San Diego County Advisories MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Old Castle Crag is one of the finer and lesser-known climbing areas in north county San Diego. Rock type is bomber orange San Diego granite, some similar attributes as Mission trails but probably more similar quality to El Cajon Mountain. Primarily a traditional climbing area with loads of splitter lines. Some recent sport development has been done. Cliff is south facing with little shade and gets a lot of sun year around. Definitely gets warm during summer months but cools off nice in late afternoon.

    Getting There 

    From the I-15, exit Gopher Canyon/Oldcastle Road. Follow Old castle Road approximately 1 mile east, until road starts to wind uphill. Cliff will be located on the hillside to your left, north side of Old Castle Rd. Before the road starts to go uphill you will see a call box located on the left side of the street, north side of Old castle Road. It is possible to park at this turnout or anywhere along the side of the road in this vicinity. From call box turnout walk east 100 yards to largish Oak tree growing off north side of road. From here follow unmarked trail 200 yards uphill to a large dirt lot/pad. Shoot for large Bouling pin Boulder and head right/east to find dirt pad. From here a decent established trail switchbacks up the main weakness taking you to the right of the cliff, follow Karnes, do not trundled down ravines.
    Somewhere in this vicinity lies the legendary and infamous Steve McQueen Boulder!!!

    Climbing Season

    For the North San Diego County area.

    Weather station 5.7 miles from here

    38 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',13],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in Old Castle

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Old Castle:
    Cracker Jack    V2 5+     Boulder, 14'   Old Castle Bouldering : The Lonely Tree Boulder
    Indian Cave Traverse   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 4'   The Steve McQueen Cirque : The Indian Cave Boulder
    Bemo's Corner    5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 2 pitches, 150'   The Dihedral Wall
    The Transmigration Corner   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   The Dihedral Wall
    Lightening Bear   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     TR, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Wall (aka The Gorilla ...
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Old Castle

    Featured Route For Old Castle
    Rock Climbing Photo: Projecting The Bodhisattva!

    Bodhisattva Arête 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b California : San Diego County : ... : Main Wall (aka The Gorilla ...
    One of the best Arêtes around. The Bodhisattva is the most obvious, inspiring, proudest, line that exists at Old Castle. The whole route is pretty sustained and steep, starting out at 5.10 and continually getting more difficult toward the top around 11b. The crux comes at the last sequence as you crank off the hold Dubbed "The Shark Tooth", to a grim V6 Move to Jugs. Blow it here on lead and you will take the 30 footer of your life, as your last good pro is a solid...[more]   Browse More Classics in California

    Photos of Old Castle Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Norwood rappelling into the sunset!
    Chris Norwood rappelling into the sunset!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful spring day at the crag, wait a minute it...
    Beautiful spring day at the crag, wait a minute it...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Anchor Map (from base)
    BETA PHOTO: Anchor Map (from base)
    Rock Climbing Photo: Main Wall Bolt Anchors
    BETA PHOTO: Main Wall Bolt Anchors
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fitzy Fitzpatrick chillin in the cave!!!
    Fitzy Fitzpatrick chillin in the cave!!!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Classic Old Castle!
    Classic Old Castle!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Transcending into The Central Cave!
    Transcending into The Central Cave!
    Rock Climbing Photo: West side crag descent looking at Steve McQueen Ci...
    BETA PHOTO: West side crag descent looking at Steve McQueen Ci...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dead Bat!
    Dead Bat!
    Rock Climbing Photo: 1976 climbing pic of Old Caslte Crag.
    1976 climbing pic of Old Caslte Crag.

    Comments on Old Castle Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Adam Stackhouse
    Apr 2, 2014
    In the early 90s we did a couple of plumb lines just right of center on the main face. At the top were several pitons and if I remember correctly some chains.
    By Joshua Reinig
    Apr 2, 2014
    Such a plum line would be Conception!!!
    The pitons and chains are still there. I'm sure I know of the other lines you guys must have climbed And definitely found some older hardware from yesteryearr!!!
    By Joshua Reinig
    Apr 2, 2014
    Adam any old photos or Contributions to this area are always greatly appreciated. Have had the pleasure of calling this my local climbing crag for sometime now and definitely took a lot of time energy and thought to get it to the point to where I felt it was ready to share with the community.
    Thanks again for all of your help. :)
    By dave wave
    Apr 15, 2014
    If you go climbing in this area, do what you can to keep a low profile, and do your part to leave this area clean. Up until now this has been an "invite only" area for the reasons stated don't be the one to fuck it up for everyone else!
    By J--
    From: Southern California
    Dec 8, 2014
    Hi MountainProject people,
    Josh I met you at mission trails once this summer. I was wondering who owns the Old Castle crag? Is it that we have to cross private land to get to the crag that is on public land, or is it all privately owned and the owner just doesn’t mind climbers being there? i.e. should I be asking permission from the owner to climb there. I’m thinking to go there with my cousin Lance on Dec 15th weather permitting.

    By Joshua Reinig
    Dec 16, 2014
    I sent u a PM. Let me know you got it OK?
    By George Bracksieck
    Jan 16, 2015
    The directions posted above are bogus. No trail exists uphill from the call-box pullout — just a few sets of footprints heading up the steep, loose mountainside. Some of those footprints were left by me, my partner and our dog on the unpleasant slog up to the crag. We never found the so-called pad until we were at the base of the crag and could see the pad, which was far below, to the southeast.

    To access the pad and the trail to the crag, drive three tenths of a mile east from the call box. On the north side of Old Castle Road, a dirt road heads up in a westerly direction, to the pad. This former building site is littered with lots of trash. There is room to park a few cars. No fences or signs are posted at the start of the dirt road or anywhere around the pad or the the start of the trail, which begins at the west end of the pad.
    By Joshua Reinig
    Jan 26, 2015
    The original directions to access Old Castle Crag have changed through the years. I have corrected the above directions to be more accurate. The dirt lot/pad is small and only holds a couple of cars. As for the trash. It comes and goes through the years, I know my father and I have personally made at least a dozen runs to the dump in our trucks. Any help keeping the place clean is greatly appreciated.
    By Joshua Reinig
    Jan 26, 2015
    As for the one responsible for ripping out the fig tree from the cave area, Karma is a bitch and feel sorry for the weight of it you carry on your soul!!! :)

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