REI Community
Castleton Tower
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Arrowhead, The T 
Bjornstad Traverse ( The Girdle of Castleton Tower), The T 
Black Sun T 
Burning Inside T 
Discrete Start to Black Sun T 
Hollowpoint T 
Kor-Ingalls Route T 
North Chimney T 
North Face T 
North Face Original Pitch 1 T 
Sacred Ground T 
Stardust Cowboy T 
West Face T 

Sacred Ground 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b [details]
FA: Jay Smith
Page Views: 10,020
Submitted By: Anonymous Coward on Sep 21, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Sporty and exposed

RAIN, WET ROCK and RAPTOR CLOSURES: The sandstone around Moab is fragile and is very easily damaged when it is wet. Also please ask and be aware of Raptor Closures in areas such as CAT WALL and RESERVOIR WALL in Indian Creek MORE INFO >>>


This route starts about 20ft to the right of the classic north face route. Pitch one 5.11c - excellent climbing up a finger crack with interesting features for the feet, when crack ends work right via fun technical face climbing and up into another crack(crux). Continue up to a slabby ramp and through some loose broken rock to narrow ledge with a bolted belay shared with the north face route.

Pitch two 10a - This pitch is shared with the north face route. Follow the crack up the calcite covered face to the roof(crux), turn the roof via a left leaning crack and proceed up and left to another bolted belay on a excellent ledge.

Pitch three 10b - Move right and up to bolt, then do some tricky face moves left into a right facing corner. Follow corner to another well bolted belay at a good stance.

Pitch four 12b - Time for some sport climbing. Move up and right, power/finesse your way past a small bulge into some technical calcite pulling. Take a good rest at the horizontal and get ready for crux #2. Move up past more technical calcite sidepulls and pinches to another good horizontal. Traverse right under the roof, then up and back left to the anchors.

Note pitches 2 and 3 can be linked with a full 60 meter rope if your willing to run it out in the easier sections. Enjoy TF.


2-3 each purple tcu to #2 camalot. 1 #3 camalot. Small selection of stoppers. Quick-draws, runners...

Photos of Sacred Ground Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jake leaving the N. Face for the 3rd pitch of Sacr...
Jake leaving the N. Face for the 3rd pitch of Sacr...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Riley thinking the final sport pitch on Sacred...
Ben Riley thinking the final sport pitch on Sacred...

Comments on Sacred Ground Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 24, 2017
By Max Schon
Oct 4, 2004
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Awesome route! First pitch is very sustained with many 5.11 moves. Third pitch is fun and the fourth pitch, well, it's hard. No need for any gear on the last pitch, just five draws.
By Clayton Rardon
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Mar 30, 2005

Super sick route!! Deserves way more attention than half the other routes on the tower... The rock is unreal on the last pitch!! It is almost like pinching hardened candle wax! It feels hard for the origanl rating of 12-!! Get up on this stellar line.. You can link the middle two pitches with a 70m also...
By d-know
From: electric lady land
Jan 28, 2006
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

incredible exposure at one of the coolest places on earth. definately hard for 12-. I was w/Clay on this one and we had a blast.
This is the only way I've gotten up castelton. Twice!
By camhead
From: Vandalia, Appalachia
Sep 17, 2006
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

Another vote for "awesome route" here. The last pitch was basically two v5 boulder problems separated by a good rest; the first a little harder with a series of slaps up a little arete, and the second easier but more painful, with some tiny calcite crimps and pinches.
By Ken Duncan
From: Ft Collins, CO
Apr 8, 2007

The best route in Castle Valley. Excellent first pitch - 11d and incredible last pitch. Definately a route to shoot for.
By clayhoon
Nov 19, 2007

If you loved this route, definitely put Excommunication on your list. It is just as amazing, probably even better!! Both are awesome tower climbs..
By Lisa Montgomery
From: Golden, CO
Apr 17, 2014

Agree with all the above comments... stellar, especially P1. On P1, the blue Metolius TCU size was money. I had 3 and would have placed 4 had I had it. I'd add a very optional purple C3 for P3.
By Aaron Livingston
From: Moab, UT
Jul 16, 2015
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

Incredible route! Linked this with Fine Jade and the North Chimney before work yesterday. Fine Jade and North Chimney both in single pitches, fucking stoked!
By Abel Jones
From: Boulder, CO
May 31, 2016

Let me 1st agree that this route is great. I've done both 11 starts and the 11c is amazing and felt very similar to the 11b in difficulty but is a lot better. Here is the sad news: I climbed this with my wife yesterday 5/30/16 and ripped off the chunk that forms a nice super chalked up crimp at the start of the 1st boulder problem of the 5.12 pitch. We had waited for 4 days after rain and the rock felt bone dry. I had tried this once before and remember thinking about how it was destined to blow off since there was a visible crack around it. Luckily no one was below us and I retried it and it still goes free with the same grade and what remains is a very nice pinch on solid rock. In my opinion the climb is a little nicer since the suspect rock is gone. The clip that was made from that crimp may be a hair harder. Sorry to anyone who loved this climb in its original state and for messing with a classic in general.
By Justin Skaare
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 9, 2017

On P1 I went right past a bolt to a manky belay instead of left. The movement was awesome, but then we were stuck on a ledge. Anyone know what route that bolt is for?
By michalm
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 24, 2017
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b

This route on par with the best I have climbed in Castle Valley.
Here is how the difficulty of the pitches felt ground up and onsight:
P1: 11+
P2: 10
P3: 10+
P4: 12

If you don't want to carry any extra gear, here is what I used or wished I had used:
1x grey metolius or purple c3
Mix it up with these sizes:
2x purple metolius, blue alien, or .2 (3-4 wouldn't go unused)
5x blue metolius, green alien, or .3
3x yellow metolius, yellow alien, or .4
3x orange metolius, red alien or .5 (4 would be nice on P1)
2x .75 C4
1x 1 (2 could be used on P2)
1x 2
Set of stoppers (tiny to fairly large)
Set of alloy offsets (bring the whole set)
Plenty of slings and at least 5 draws

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About