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Church Wall
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Castles in the Sand T 
Follow Your Bliss T 
Genesis T 

Castles in the Sand 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 150'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: John Mattson, Michael Hill
Season: Fall, Winter, Spring
Page Views: 6,459
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Jun 3, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (14)
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My good ole buddy Seth Dyer at the crux of the ori...

Description 

Castles In the Sand is a gorgeous line, and a burly route. This stunning neo classic is a must do if you are in the area.

Pitch 1. 5.11- Climb striking off fingers/small hands crack in left facing dihedral. Belay below roof.

Pitch 2. 5.11+ Rodeo time! Climbing out the roof crack, and riding the lip of the roof like a bull is the crux of the route. Continue up moderate crack to a belay just under the largest roof above you.

Pitch 3. 5.11 A classic roof pitch that may remind you of Coatamundi Whiteout on Granite Mountain. Do what you have to do to work out the hands/fist crack in the roof, and pull into the slot over the lip.

In November of 2012, the original first roof FELL off the route subsequently changing the quality and difficulty of this section. The new first roof goes at 5.10+/.11- and can be protected with a #5 Camalot. I have left the original description for history's sake.


Location 

CIS is on the wall left of the Watchtower. Hard to miss.


Protection 

double set to #4camalot.



Photos of Castles in the Sand Slideshow Add Photo
Angelina Kalianda on the first pitch of "Castles in the Sand", Church Wall, Sedona, AZ <br />Photo by Andre Kiryanov
Angelina Kalianda on the first pitch of "Castles i...
New look at Castles in the Sand now that the lower roof is gone.
BETA PHOTO: New look at Castles in the Sand now that the lower...
Jon leading the second pitch of Castles in the Sand
Jon leading the second pitch of Castles in the San...
Where the first roof used to be.
BETA PHOTO: Where the first roof used to be.
A look at the two roofs from the approach.
BETA PHOTO: A look at the two roofs from the approach.
Ronnie leading the third pitch of Castles in the Sand
Ronnie leading the third pitch of Castles in the S...
Smashed bolts from the falling rock. These bolts are pretty loose and definitely not safe anymore.
BETA PHOTO: Smashed bolts from the falling rock. These bolts a...
14ft final roof on the 3rd pitch, it's finally over when you can get a good head jam!
14ft final roof on the 3rd pitch, it's finally ove...
Comments on Castles in the Sand Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 9, 2013
By Mike
From: Phoenix
Apr 5, 2009
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

What a cool line. I thought both roofs felt pretty solid, but maybe I'm just weak.

By A. Frost
Mar 9, 2010

An exciting and pragmatic alternative is to divide this excellent climb into two pitches.

1st belay just above the 1st roof with a #3 and #4. 2nd belay at end of 3rd pitch.

By Robbie Brown
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 25, 2012
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Great climb! The final pitch is not quite as heinous as it looks.

By Sean C
Nov 3, 2012

Went to climb this today and realized at the top of the first pitch that the first roof no longer exists. It appears that a block about the size of a minivan has fallen off sometime between today and October 21st. The bolts at the top of the first pitch were pancaked and it was quite hard to get carabiners in them. Really bummed that I missed this climb but very fortunate it fell off while no one was climbing it. Bummer

By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 3, 2012

Holy shit! I'm glad no one was up there when she tumbled. One had to essentially end up humping over that thing in order to pass. What's the climbing like without the "roof"?

By Mike
From: Phoenix
Nov 4, 2012
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

I was there last Friday and saw the damage. I was selfishly keeping quiet until this Wednesday so I could go back and get the coveted FANRATORFO, or the First Ascent of the New route After The Old Roof Fell Off.

The new roof looks like it will be a bit easier that the original one, though one never knows. Sure the belay bolts are toast, but you can get good gear in the crack, and the original first 2 pitches linked easily anyway.

So Sean C, did you climb it, and if so, how was it? How scary is the rock currently?

By Geir
From: Tucson, AZ
Nov 4, 2012

FANRATORFO ... hahahahaha!

By Sean C
Nov 4, 2012

Didn't climb it as the new roof is going to take at least a 6. Looks fun though. The idea of the remaining block coming off as well makes me cringe a bit.

By chuck claude
From: Flagstaff, Az
Nov 6, 2012

Looks like David is going to have to come out with issue 2....

Shit that is pretty scarey, and glad no one was one it... Now are we oing to have to list an ascent of CITS 1 or 2...... Or will it get a new name like sandcastles in the. Wind?

By michael broad
From: Moab, Utah
Nov 6, 2012

Hey everybody. Now that I think about it (reading these comments and the thread on Mannys facebook), I'm pretty sure me and my friend Dillon Metcalfe climbed the 'newly altered' route by accident. I lead the first pitch and the bolts were smashed against the wall, I could fit a biner through one but not the other. Dillon lead the next pitch and there was choss coming down on me the whole way along the crack leading up to the roof. We just figured that was how it was and didn't really think twice about it. We both thought the roof felt soft for 11 plus and were not really solid at that grade. There was a lot of choss on the left side of the crack leading up to the roof but the roof itself was fine. I definitely would not have done it had I known...

By Dillon Metcalfe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 6, 2012

Howdy... Mike B and I climbed Castles in the Sand on the 28th of October. Niether of us had climbed it before, so we didn't know any different, but we did notice that there was a lot of light-colored (new) talus at the base, and along the entire approach up there. In fact, the approach itself seemed a little different than Bloom described in his excellent new Sedona book.
The bolt hangers at the first anchor are now smashed flat against the wall. (or maybe they were like that before, but I can't see why they would be) I led the new second pitch, and noticed that despite it being a classic line in soft rock, the edge of the crack under the roof was very sharp-indicating that it had not seen much traffic. The left wall of the dihedral is very loose and sandy-wear a helmet!
I'm not sure how much beta is appropriate to disclose, but I will say that I don't think it was as hard as 5.11+, because I am not yet a solid 5.11+ leader. It protects very well with a #5 BD Camalot, altough a #6 would fit if you chose to bring one.
Final note- although I was the first to lead the new line, I DID NOT GET IT CLEAN. I hung under the roof, figuring out the feet on the chossy left wall. Mike B did get it clean as a second- NIce job dude. So, the first clean lead gets to go to someone, sounds like the other Mike from Pheonix will get it. Congrats. Have fun ya'll!

By JJ Schlick
Administrator
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 7, 2012

Spooky stuff. Let us know how it goes, and I can change up the description a bit.

By swadeky
From: Moab, UT
Nov 9, 2013

Did this November 2013, Onsighted the first two pitches then bailed before big roof due to follower issues. SO GOOD! Sounds like the new roof is easier, I used a 5 about halfway through the roof, my Beta would be to bring a BD6 if you have it and dont bother with a 5, but a 5 is fine if its all you have. If your follower is concerned about falling a 6 is better. Ill get the 3rd pitch next time!