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Castle Rock
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YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- British: E2 5b

Type: Trad, 1 pitch, 30'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ British: E2 5b [details]
Page Views: 1,408
Submitted By: Lizzy Trower on Aug 23, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Angel Crack in its entirety.

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Seasonal Raptor Closure April 1-July 31 at Midnight & Noontime Rock MORE INFO >>>


This ultra-classic, super-short finger-crack is quite a popular line at castle and seldom feels very easy. There's a good rest at the handjam pods high on the route. Some consider it cheating to reach out to the rail at any point that is not the very top of the horn. Also, watch out on warm days as the crack and the super-polished footholds can get very greasy. Technically the route continues up to a rap anchor and several more pitches to the top of Castle Rock, but this is rarely climbed. There is a route description for this in the Leavenworth guide.


Very obvious at the base of Upper Castle, just left of the intimidating Damnation Crack.


Several small cams. Typically the green, yellow, and grey aliens work great. Also bring two shoulder length slings to sling around the horn at the top of the crack (for the anchor). From the ground, you can pretty easily flip the slings off the anchor with the rope when you're done TRing the route.

Photos of Angel Slideshow Add Photo
Angel Crack finally redpointed. During the summer, the shade and coolness of the morning seem to be key.
BETA PHOTO: Angel Crack finally redpointed. During the summer,...
Will on the crux section
Will on the crux section
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By Blitzo
Sep 13, 2006

I always thought that the 5.7 rating was a sandbag! Thanks for up rating.

By Dave E.
From: washington
Oct 16, 2007

For full value (imho) step left at the top of the finger crack to the obvious offwidth(short) that leads to a ledge with rap slings. If you wish to pro the offwidth bring a BIG cam ie #6 friend or likewise. However, there is a fixed pin at the begining of the offwidth, making it manageable without large a cam. When in doubt.....

By Rafe
May 5, 2009
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b

The most polished crack I've ever set my fingers in and toes on. Felt harder than .10b when you enter the crack, because the feet are like greased glass.

By Colin Bartholomew
Jun 19, 2010

I think that off-width is definitely protectable with something smaller. A number 2 or 3 might work.

By Kevin Peter
May 10, 2012

Excellent route. Approximately 3/4 the way up there is a wide constriction. A #8 BD Hex (blue) is a match fit for this and will moor an aircraft carrier. My partner and I were easily able to sling the horn at the top (bomber) and retrieve them with a flip of the rope. Definitely recommended!

By Ethan Henderson
From: Silverdale, WA
Aug 15, 2012

I thought the 5.7 upper pitches were harder than the crack...but my partner disagrees.

The "ow" is very easy, look around for other options.
I just wish the finger crack went on for another 100 feet!

The rest of the route is definitely worth doing.

By Thad Arnold
From: Oregon
May 23, 2013

Ditto what others have said about the offwidth being fun and not actually offwidth-y.