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Devil's Castle
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Shadow of the Blade T 

Shadow of the Blade 

YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 7 pitches, 750', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: Brian Cabe and Brian Smoot , August 2007
New Route: Yes
Season: Summer
Page Views: 4,348
Submitted By: bsmoot on Aug 29, 2007

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  • Description 

    P1 - Ascend the compact face on good rock to a big ledge. (5.10c/d)
    P2 - The next pitch is slightly overhanging for 90' until the angle kicks back. Look for ledges on the right...big holds. (5.10)
    P3 - Climb strait up to a bolt (don't go right!) climb the steep slab traversing left to a short overhanging hand crack. Protect this and the crack above with cams. (5.9)
    P4 - Short easy, scrambling leads to a belay next to a prominent dead tree...loose rubble on ledges. Be careful.
    P5 - Move right a few feet. Bolt protected face leads 90' to a belay ledge. (5.7)
    P6 - Diagonal up & left to a steep section...good finger pockets. A hand sized crack leads to a large ledge/ramp near the top. Belay at a single bolt higher on the ledge. (5.10b)
    P7 - walk 35' left to a short steep wall. Ascend this, on great rock to an arête. Follow this to to the summit. (5.10)

    Have fun and as usual, watch for loose stuff. Most belays are protected. As with any route on the Castle, stick to climbing on the bedrock and try to avoid pulling on blocks or flakes or fractured rock.


    North face of Devil's Castle. Begin 100 right of Evil Eye, just left of a 30' pillar.


    1 set TCU's to a #2, 1 each Camalots #.5 to #3. many runners

    Photos of Shadow of the Blade Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Final pitch sting in the tail.  Shadow of the Blad...
    Final pitch sting in the tail. Shadow of the Blad...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Bsmoot gettin' his steep on.  Pitch 2.  Shadow of ...
    Bsmoot gettin' his steep on. Pitch 2. Shadow of ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 3.  Bolt protected traverse to hand crack.  ...
    Pitch 3. Bolt protected traverse to hand crack. ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Shadow of the Blade route location
    BETA PHOTO: Shadow of the Blade route location

    Comments on Shadow of the Blade Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 21, 2017
    By JimG
    Aug 13, 2008

    My partner and I both really enjoyed this route. It seemed like this had more climbing and less scrambling than some of the other Devils Castle routes; on some sections you could almost say that the rock is pretty good. Pitch 2 is great, but there are good hard sections on several other pitches. Take some cams for sure for the pitch 3 crack; I think we placed #.75, 1, 2, and 3 camalots and an extra #1 or #2 would have been nice; it isn't that hard but it's overhanging and that rock is kind of spooky. There were a couple of other spots where we placed a cam on easier terain. Take lots of draws and full-length slings. There are good, safe bolted belays. You top out just to the west of Black Streak, so rap it for the descent.
    By Boissal
    From: Small Lake, UT
    Aug 26, 2008
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    Very good route, feels more sporty than others on the wall with really interesting sequences in the 5.10 sections.
    P1 hits you in the face right away with a tricky roof, I thought it was hard for 10b and maybe harder than the 10c pitches. P2 is really fun, steep and sustained with holds appearing out of nowhere right when you need them. The crack on P3 bites (read: sharp) but protects really well. I placed one of each BD #1, #2 and #3 and didn't feel the need for doubles.
    Run p4 and p5 together and enjoy the really cool moves on P6 and P7.
    I think we used a .75 on p7 and that's about it for the gear, the whole thing felt really safe.
    Watch for loose rock and breaking holds, keep your head down, it's Devil's Castle!
    By James Garrett
    Jul 17, 2009
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    I might have to reaccess my favorite DC route. We forgot our MP topo, but no problems with orientation. The protection is not PG, it is excellent. Loved it!
    We rappelled Black Streak. All pretty clean rockfall free pulls. 70m rope seems to be the best for all DC climbing.
    By apross
    Aug 29, 2010

    Good route, lots of climbing, not as much chossing around as some of the other climbs. Like James also forgot topo, thought we were on Evil Eye.
    No problems rte finding and good gear where you need it.
    I linked p3 and 4 together as the belay is right in line below if you knock anything off.

    Good work Brian's.
    By Tim Wolfe
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 1, 2011
    rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    All the 5.10 pitches are great with some thoughtful sequences. The 2nd pitch is steep and the edges are sharp - the second might appreciate 2 ropes as opposed to a single rope. Really only need a single set of 3 or 4 cams 1-3 inches and plenty of draws/long slings if you want to cut weight. I only use them on the 3rd pitch and it protects very well. Its an easy walk off with no risk of rockfall if you hike.
    By Stevie Nacho
    From: Utah
    Aug 12, 2012

    Good route. Great "sporty" climbing with chosslicious goodness. We climbed it as a 3 party, and all felt the first pitch was harder than the second. I would rate the first pitch 5.10d and the second 5.10a/b. The first pitch has a strange sequence and some committing moves over clean rock. The second pitch is glorious and steep with jugs abound. The 5.8 pitch felt 5.6, and the 5.10c section on the second to last pitch seemed hard, but eased after I could visually see the moves. The last pitch is a great, steep, and sporty @ 5.10d to a great summit.
    We climbed it using only one #.75, one #1, two #2, and one #3 camalots.
    We had also had 8 slings and used all of them.
    I felt this route is more sustained than Horns of Satan, Black Streak, and Gothic Pillar.
    Once again, good route and sincere thanks to the Brians for the hard work!

    By Greg Gavin
    From: SLC, UT
    Jul 26, 2013

    This is the best route on the Castle. Two awesome 5.10 bolt pitches to a 5.9 hand crack, and that's only half the route!
    By kalockwood
    From: SLC, UT
    Jul 13, 2014
    rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

    The first three pitches are great. Be careful with rockfall on the 4th and 5th. Large blocks can (and were) knocked off. Helmet mandatory! Protection felt fine, I don't think PG13 is needed.
    By JBONE
    Jul 17, 2014

    Best choss guzzle up here IMHO.
    By Charlie S
    From: Ogden, UT
    Jul 19, 2016
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    This climb has it all! Crimps, pockets, jugs, sidepulls, underclings, heel hooks, mantels, and even multiple hand jams. A stellar route on rock quality slightly better than Black Streak, though watch those lose edges.

    Definitely felt like the ratings on the first two pitches should be reversed (5.10b then 5.10d). The upper 5.10 pitches climb totally different and felt substantially "easier" than the first two.

    That being said, the 2nd pitch is basically 100' of gently overhanging jug hauling where the next hold may not be always obvious.
    By Crag Turkey
    From: Holladay, UT
    Jul 25, 2016

    Definitely my favorite route on the Castle for all the reasons above! sustained, and unlike horns and black streak, the bolted pitches caught my attention a bit more. While I always link the first two pitches of Horns and BS its more logical/necessary not to link the first couple pitches. As mentioned above these both have some character and easily my favorite pitches on the castle along with the crack pitch on Horns. None of it seemed PG-13 but certainly more heads up than horns or BS. Seems the most exposed move was starting the final 10d pitch. One can back this move up with a .3 Camalot. but it can be easily clipped with a stem (says a tall climber), then climbed. First pitch is more technical face climbing, where the second is more powerful overhanging moves off good jugs. However I cannot stress enough that the moves are all there and not sand bagged! Get on this, it is a stellar line.
    By Noah.J
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 8, 2016
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R

    While the climbing is great on the first and second pitches, there is extraordinary rock fall danger as compared to even Horns or Black Streak. Beginning P3 yesterday I pulled off a section of rock at least 10' in height and 4' in width, cutting my rope in multiple spots, questionably concussing my partner, and nearly dying in the process. My helmet got smashed, and my partner needed stitches, but held onto the rope despite the shower of blocks. Even before that, topping out P1 was fraught with death blocks. I'd avoid this one, or take it far, far more seriously than the other routes here.
    By James Garrett
    Sep 9, 2016
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    Wow!... Glad you guys are OK. The whole formation is a choss heap and one must walk softly on the back of the Devil.
    By Noah.J
    From: Salt Lake City, UT
    Sep 9, 2016
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R

    Thanks James, that's a good way to put it.
    By Seth Reelitz
    From: Utah
    Sep 18, 2016

    My buddy and I did this great climb today, but with our numb hands we each dropped a piece of gear. Near the base there should be a cypher firefly draw and on top of pitch two a blue bd pearabiner. Would love to get them back if you find them, a few Epic beers for a safe return. Thank you.
    By Seth Reelitz
    From: Utah
    Sep 18, 2016

    We could see the rock scar from where your accident was, it looked like a big ass section of rock. I would recommend going slightly left (directly below the first bolt) from the anchors. Going to right where you did puts you on a big choss pile, looks very loose and scary. For anyone considering this climb, you shouldn't worry too much at the start of pitch three as long as you don't go right. Glad you and your partner didn't get seriously hurt. Stay safe.
    By davidbrandonkamp
    Sep 20, 2016
    rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    SOOO good! Minus the 50' of 5.4 rubble, the climbing is consistently interesting and varied, from overhanging jugs to techy slab and steep pockets, with a couple jams thrown in for good measure, there is a little something for every climber. What a day! I only placed 3 pieces the whole climb, a #2 and .75 on the pitch 3 hand crack and a #2 to back up the belay at the top of pitch 6 on the great ledge. A classic for the castle for sure! tread softly and stay safe!
    By drock3
    Aug 21, 2017

    I thought this route was wwwwaaayyyy better than the black streak. There was less choss and every pitch was real climbing on this (if felt like black streak had a lot of scrambling with a few sections of climbing)

    1st pitch is the crux. 2nd is pumpy but easier. The 5.10 pitches up top were super fun.

    I placed 2 #2s and a #1.

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