This route takes the huge, right-facing corner on the southwest face ... starts up steep fist crack and gains large ramp ... cruise this ramp/huge dihedral up to an overhanging slot/wide crack (#4.5 or #5 Camalot can protect this well ... also the medium hex way in the back). Make strenuous moves thru overhang and cruise a nice crack up large, right-facing corner until you can belay on left at slung horn.
The bad part of this route is what to do next ... you can continue up any number of ramp/crack systems (mid 5th class) or the best option would be to rappel 40 feet down to chain anchors (for Curving Crack route) and rappel to ground from here. Unfortunately, we kept going up and had to do the nasty downclimb ... took twice as long as the climb itself.
Addendum: the anchor was put in 8/9.
I loved this route ... but like I said, after the 1st pitch, it's kind of a scramble but definitely a few spots that are mid 5th...very time consuming and then the nasty down climb...I'd love to do it again and rappel, but you would have to leave a sling and rap ring or biner, so next time I'm bringing an extra sling and a rap ring, cuz I'd love to do this one again, way better pitch that the 2nd Cussin' Crack pitch, with a cool crux overhang. If you wanna do it sometime, let me know...hehehehe.
Bring stoppers and cams (medium to large) ... could use a #5 Camalot or equivalent for crux slot (good medium hex placement way up inside slot to protect crux also).
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Aug 13, 2001
Ditto for sure on this one. The key to the crux is getting that right foot in a small oblong pocket. I was gripped a bit until I found that baby. A sweet 5.8 do the rappel to chains above Curving Crack. 4 slings and ring are permanent now.
I love this route also. The overhang is NOT strenuous. It's almost no hands if you do it as a chimney. Back to the right, feet on the left on good holds. Move up and out. Turn around at the top. A couple big cams are useful but not necessary as another poster mentioned. Last time I did it (Spring 2001) there were slings up and left from the top of the first pitch. These did not look permanent.
I agree that the "crux" isn't particularly strenuous- in fact I strained more on the first few moves off the ground. Just squeeze it a little and recall the womb. :) It also looked to me like a good call to skip the upper pitches, so we did- there is now a beefy fixed cable with a rap link just above and left of the end of the first pitch on the left side of a large ledge- can easily reach the ground from there with a 60m, and of course the anchor above curving crack. Enjoy.
At the crux, stay close in the crack, and face the opposite block. I used a small seam hold high and placed right foot on solid, high placement, and stepped up on it. Chalk on the foot placement is a dead giveaway. But you must step up high. A bit awkward and good exposed at this crux. I was too far right when I did this last year, no foot placement there. Hug the crack and look to place that right foot about knee height. This is a pretty cool little corner to turn.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO May 19, 2003 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
You can protect this climb pretty well without wide gear, but with a 4.5 camalot, it looked like I could have had gear overhead almost anywhere. I [did] the route "backwards" apparently, with my back to the left and feet to the right and it still felt like 5.8, so I think either way is do-able.The route seemed like a 2-star route, and maybe 3-star if you keep going and 'finish' on P2 of Coffin Crack (5.10 handcrack-to-fistcrack through a roof)
At the top of Bailey's Overhang (after the crux) you can bail over to the north and you find a steel cable wrapped around the top of a huge boulder. One can rap from this down to the top of curving crack or maybe even to the ground with a long rope. It looks like the only thing holding this boulder up there is a human head sized chockstone at the bottom of it. It made me think twice about being attached to that boulder...maybe I am just paranoid...it is probably ok, but at some point it may rip loose...that would be very bad.
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Jul 20, 2004 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
A 60m rope just makes it to the ground when rappelling from the steel cable that Paul mentions.
Great Route, I am a beginner 5.8 climber and found the moves very easy. At the crux overhang, on the left is a solid ledge to stand on. Once you have your feet on the ledge its easy to pull over the roof, the hands are big jugs above the roof (on the right side of the crack). At the overhang I stuck in a #5 Friend that subsiquently walked to an open position as I turned the roof. Perhaps a really big hex would have been better? After that the climbing is very easy. The rap anchor is a very scary looking boulder with a steel cable around it. It looks completely detached? I would use something else to rap next time. A very awesome route! -Jason Shatek
I agree with Larry on this one. The boulder at the top with the steel cable around it looks very very unsafe!!! The boulder is completely detached and looks like it could go if you had someone big enough rappeling on it. I'm not a big bolt person but for safety sake I think it would be a great idea if someone put in some bolts at the top of this route and removed the steel cable. I'm certain it would look better than the cable and be much more safe!
Watch out for the cable sling at the top of Bailey's Overhang. The boulder is completely detached! If someone large were to rap off that thing, it could pull. It is way scary!
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Jul 9, 2005 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
This is an excellent and sustained pitch. For me, the crux is at the start: insecure flared cracks and slippery feet. Above, sustained crack climbing leads to the roof. There is a bomber yellow Alien placement in a crack on the right, just before you make the final move over the roof. Backstep with the left foot to the highest foothold, then stem the right foot on the lip of the roof, and it's over. Done this way, the roof feels like 5.7.
I used doubles on #1 and #2 Camalots, and didn't place anything bigger than a #3 Camalot. A #4 Camalot will give you bomber pro below the roof, but I was happy with the yellow Alien a few moves higher.
My partner and I climbed this route a couple of weeks ago. What a nice climb until you get to the top of the first pitch. We took a good look at the cable slung boulder and decided against using it to rap. We didn't want to trust our lives to what appears to be a completely detached boulder supported by a helmet sized chockstone.
We climbed to the top and downclimbed as for Cussin' Crack, Jackson's Wall, etc. Once we found the correct trail, it wasn't too bad.
We didn't like the looks of the cable/rap anchor, so we continued up to the top of the crag. By heading up and left from the cable we got to a decent chimney with clean and solid rock in the back of it. Easy climbing on that second pitch, but there aren't a lot of chimney pitches in Boulder Canyon, so it was a nice surprise. (Perhaps this is the upper pitch of the West Face?)
I just climbed this on 6/16/08. A very well protected lead. I left a new sling at the rusty piton halfway up. Didn't trust old runners. Didn't really trust the rusty piton either. But I used it anyways.
Our 4th climb of the day. Planned on it being my first 5.8 trad lead...then I got my foot stuck right in the beginning...getting super tired trying to get it out without decking head first. Anyway...ended up following, and thought it was a super fun climb. Nothing super difficult, but felt like a true 5.8...wasn't a walk in the park by any means for a newer climber.
Climbed 5/31/09 with S. Costello...First pitch is excellent, probably the best moderate at Castle. The roof does need a big cam, but there are good placements below that would hold a fall. I did it left side in, with a left-foot backstep to a solid foothold, then pulled over on jugs. This is a fun and not terribly difficult move.
There IS quality climbing above the first pitch. We finished on a 40-50 foot left-facing 5.7 corner that looks kinda dirty and grassy but is actually fairly fun. The descent is made much easier if you can locate the big Douglas-fir with the rap chain.
My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the cable/rap anchor. I placed 2 Fixe ring anchors in a better location. I was not able to disassemble the cable as one of the nuts was stuck. I will remove it later this week.
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Aug 10, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
The cable/rap anchor has been removed. Use the Fixe anchors. If you want to do a 2nd pitch, see Beetle Bailey.
By slim Administrator Aug 21, 2009 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c
Thanks for replacing the mess of an anchor that was there. Now, instead of grovelling to the top and doing the downclimb (because I refused to rap off of the old anchor), I can get back to the base quicker and get rolling on the next route. I was always amazed that the old anchor didn't just fall of the cliff under its own weight.
Rodger, If you look a few comments up, you will see I put in an anchor in Aug. 2009. Perhaps an admin should update the route description to reflect this. There is now a good (bolted) 2nd pitch called Beetle Bailey.
Where is it in relation to the new anchor? I remember what it looked like, with the little, head-sized rock supporting it. I even rapped off it, so you can imagine I looked at it pretty hard (waiting for it to fall and kill me).... Didn't notice it today, so I assumed it got trundled. But if you say it is there, I believe you.
I thought this was a 4 star or 3 star route depending on the maximum amount of stars for a route. Nice start with some clean and fun crack climbing up to a big roof. The would guess the overhang can either be 5.8 grunting or some very tame 5.6/7 stemming. Great climb.
By EricWerfel From: Longmont, CO Sep 12, 2013 rating: 5.85b16VI-HVS 4c R
1. As some have already said, I found the 'crux' to be quite easy, almost no-hands. The crux for me was the first 20'. Less so that the moves are difficult, than that the protection is sketchy. 2. I found the first 40' or so to be very poorly protected, until you get to the overhanging block in the corner. You can put some larger cams in, but the cracks are all flared out, so that I wasn't confident any of them would have caught a fall. The cracks at ground-height look pretty good, but it's misleading. They get much worse once you're off the ground. I would give this a PG rating, at best 3. Bring extra #2-#4 cams. I usually climb with two #2s, one #3, and #4. I was constantly sliding them up, or downclimbing to retrieve something I'd placed lower down. I slid my #4 (which hardly fit) up the last 40'. You can leave the 0.75 and smaller on the ground. There's a few good nut placements once you're in the corner but not where you need them.