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A Modern Day Interpretation of Mig's Arete/Swallow Arete T 
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Debutante's Ball T 
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The Casual Route 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 8 pitches, 800', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Jimmy Newberry, Charlie Pitts
Page Views: 21,828
Submitted By: jeff haskell on Apr 25, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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Eric Peterson following P1.

2016 Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Unlike "Leisure Climb" and "The Cruise," this climb actually lives up to its name - at least for the Black Canyon.

P1. Many variations up slab and ledges, trending up and slightly left. Belay at ledge with small tree just below a corner with a finger crack. (5.6R)

P2. Climb finger crack and then continue up on low grade 5th to the base of the next steep portion of the wall. (5.8)

P3. Traverse right (Casually Off-Route goes left here) to a large crack/corner, climb this and then traverse right again. (5.8)

P4. Climb hand and finger crack up and left to a short chimney, belay on ledges above. (5.8)

P5. Slab, ledges and crack up and left to a large ledge (5.6).

From here, you can walk off left to a gully which is somewhat nasty and not recommended or continue up and right to some mediocre pitches which are also not recommended.

P6. Climb diagonally up and right across loose ledges. (Worst pitch of the climb.) Aim for a small, left-facing corner and after surmounting this, traverse right on a ledge 50 feet or so. (5.7)

P7. Climb peg groove-corner for 40 feet then easier ground. (5.8)

P8. Many options to top. (5.6ish)

This description combines Pitches 4, 5, 6 from Williams guide into 2 pitches. Other combinations would be possible but with all of the low angle climbing and traversing (and great belay ledges) linking may be difficult.

There are some good sections of this climb, but they are short. Despite the 8-pitch description, this climb goes quickly. Much of the climb is 5.6 or under.


Head down the SOB to the buttress uphill from the Escape Artist-Comic Relief area (if you've reached them you have gone too far). There is a half-dead tree at the base that serves as a useful landmark. Gain ledges just above and to the right of this tree.


Standard with #4 Camalot - no fixed gear.

Photos of The Casual Route Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa on The Casual.
Melissa on The Casual.
Rock Climbing Photo: The crux chimney.
The crux chimney.
Rock Climbing Photo: Darren near the top.
Darren near the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda rests on a good foot hold near the end of t...
Brenda rests on a good foot hold near the end of t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Casual Buttress as seen from the hike down SOB Gul...
Casual Buttress as seen from the hike down SOB Gul...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda starts the short layback, below the undercl...
Brenda starts the short layback, below the undercl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Zach on top of pitch 2.
Zach on top of pitch 2.
Rock Climbing Photo: The tricky move to exit the chimney.
The tricky move to exit the chimney.
Rock Climbing Photo: The hand-finger crack below the chimney.
The hand-finger crack below the chimney.

Comments on The Casual Route Add Comment
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By Ben Collett
Apr 25, 2006

I think this is the best of the really easy Black Canyon climbs. The climbing is much better and more continuous than Maiden Voyage or the Leisure Route, and you don't have to climb any pegmatite.
By John Peterson
Oct 21, 2007

Now that I've done both Casual and Casually Off, I'd definitely say Casually Off is the better climb. Casual is nice but really just about 100' of climbing over 5.6 on it.

I'm not sure about either the description here or the one in the guidebook. P3 seemed mostly easy - didn't find any 5.8 on it. It was also fairly long and ended in a small stance where the route divides between the OW and the hand/finger crack. This is the only non-huge ledge on the route. P4 is definitely the money pitch - the hand/finger crack is excellent (but short) and the chimney is big fun. The topo in the book shows slab above the crack but that's a lie. The chimney turned out to be well protected (didn't need any big gear either - the #3 and #4 stayed on the rack) and a lot of fun - once you get going there are good stemming options on the walls. The crux is definitely the top of the chimney (green Camalot at the very top). Not a good pitch to wear a pack on! I stepped left and traversed to a short layback above the chimney to avoid the overhanging step above.

The book shows a belay below the chimney, but this would make the previous pitch just 40' and the next one 50'. So, I can't see why you would do this.

Climbing this late season (mid-October), there was no sun till about 2:30 or so. Casually Off Route seemed to be even shadier and had snow in the cracks. All of Casual was dry except for the exit gullies.
By Jason Cook 71
Aug 5, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

It is true that there are many variations on this climb. The chimney was the fun part for me due to the wedging of the body to get into it. I disagree with the other comment that it is better than Maiden. Very easy in my opinion. Half or fewer pithes of this climb are not worth climbing if you like The Black for its pucker factor.
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Sep 3, 2012
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed some variant of the Casual Route on Saturday, and maybe the toughest part was figuring out where the route went after the finger crack at the start of pitch 2. I upclimbed and downclimbed several places trying to make sense of where I was on the route but did not see anything like the pictures submitted by John Peterson. On our pitch 3, we were more or less above the pitch 2 finger crack and climbed a wide crack formed by a left-facing dihedral which required a short layback move at the top to get onto the belay ledge -- we did not see a 5.7 finger crack nearby. Pitch 4 included a fun, short layback, followed by an undercling above it that went horizontally to the left for about 20 feet, and finished below a short tight chimney. Getting in and out of that short 12-foot chimney above the undercling was by far the toughest part of the entire climb for me. Pitch 6 was easy, then we finished by climbing the nice sharp arete near the top on pitch 7.
By Joshua Upchurch
From: Midway, Utah
May 28, 2015

Left an embarrassing amount of bail gear in the OW/Chimney on the Casual Route (I think?) yesterday, 5/28/15. If you find them (seriously like 5 cams, a nut, and runners) I can describe every one. Email me if you do - Returning them to me will see you a lifetime of karma points and some other reward, will of course reimburse for shipping as well.
By Joshua Upchurch
From: Midway, Utah
May 29, 2015

8 cams*.
By Christa McConaughy
Jun 29, 2017

Hoping to climb the Casual now in June and wondering which direction the route faces? If it's full sun, it may be too hot right now! Thanks!

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