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City of Rocks/Castle Rock Route Advice and/or Partners 7/8-7/12
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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 17, 2013
Me

Hello all!

My girlfriend and I will be in the City of Rocks/Castle Rock area in the middle of a two-month road trip on 7/8-7/12 - our second trip to the area. We'll be camping in The City and climbing most days.

If you're interested in climbing with us, please let me know!

If not, I would love to hear your advice on your favorite can't-miss routes/areas. Last year we ticked a number of classics on Bath, Elephant, Anteater, Parking Lot, Lower Decadent, and Bumblie.

For this trip, I've reviewed the Bingham guidebooks again for a plan, and so far I've bookmarked multis Lost Arrow, Cruel Shoes, Poly Stick-Em, Sinocranium, Theater of Shadows, Southern Arches, Morning Glory and various single-pitches at Bath, Super Hits, Upper Decadent, Flaming Rock, Transformer Corridor, and Castle Rock Wall, but I'd love to hear any (positive, constructive) opinions from you locals!

For reference:
- I lead ~5.9/10a trad and follow 10c/d
- I lead 5.10d/11a sport and follow 11b/c
- My girlfriend is just learning to lead over the last year but she's a great climber and fast learner (5.8+ trad/5.10a+ sport)

Cheers and thanks for reading,
-Jason from San Francisco

(forgive me if you see a similar post in other regional sections or a refresh of this post in a few weeks - I am trying to ping locals in each area along our trip!)


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
May 18, 2013
The route in it's entirety.

You've got the classic list of moderates already well cemented. The city is a place where you can just walk around and climb whatever looks good as well. Try just going out without a plan deep into the inner city and see how many formations you can summit.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 18, 2013
Me

Hi Greg,

Nice perspective, thanks for that.

Keep the comments coming, folks!


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By zoso
May 19, 2013
avatar

For speed, you might consider simul-climbing the 3 Pogue routes: Cruel shoes, Theater of Shadows, Sinocranium. The first two, go from the ground to the top. For Sino, stop @ the headwall to get belayed before the 5.8 pitch. Also, Raindance is a quickie simul. Rap w/1 rope off Tribal Boundries' anchor.

Other routes I'd recommend:
Carol's Crack .8
Adolescent Homo .7
Sex, Drugs & Rock & Roll .11a
Fred Rasmussen .8
Catwalk .8
Lost Pioneers .10a (can TR if you lead No Cash Refunds), but makes a great lead
Twist & Crawl .8
Easy Corner .5 (felt like 5.7 to me)
Snakes & Ladders .9
Norma's Book (best 5.6 around imo)
Batwings .8+
Just Another Pretty Face .10d
Funky Bolt .9
Thin Slice .10a
Hesitation Blues .7 (really easy gear lead)
Roadkill .10b
Redtail .11a
Fall Line .10c
Chimney on Morning Glory .8
Scream Cheese .9
Conceptual Reality .9 (also, there's a couple sport routes there that are worth doing)
Columbian Crack .7
Just Say No .9
Rye Crisp .8
Wheat Thin .7
The Pygmies Got Stoned .10a
New York is not the City .10a
Too Much Fun .8
Mystery Bolter .9
Short Circuit .10a
I Can't Believe It .10a
Deez Guys .10a

Haven't been there yet, but Bucket Land and Building Blocks look good and are a short walk.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 19, 2013
Me

Thanks Zoso! Great tips.

We actually ticked off Carols' Crack, Adolescent Homo, Funky Bolt, Morning Glory Chimney, Scream Cheese, Columbian Crack, Rye Crisp, Wheat Thin and Too Much Fun last year, so sounds like we've been on the right track!

I had a lot of the other ones you mentioned on the wishlist for this trip, but I didn't have Fred Rasmussen, Catwalk, Lost Pioneers, Snakes & Ladders, Roadkill, Conceptual Reality, New York Is Not The City, Short Circuit, I Can't Believe It, or Deez Guys, so I'm checking those out now!

If you had to choose between those moderate multis on Stripe Rock vs. those on Steinfell's Dome, which would you pick? We didn't make either of those locations last year so I'm hoping to make at least one this trip.

Wish we had time to do them all but I'd loved the feeling of leaving last year knowing there were so many more reasons to come back again, so I hope we'll get the same feeling after this year's trip?


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By dave bingham
May 19, 2013

FYI - "Mystery Achievement" (formerly 5.7x) has is now fully bolted and makes for a fun moderate lead. Jay Goodwin climbed the route in the early 80's using slung horns for pro. Jay recently returned for the retro-bolt.

The route on on the Super hits / Bloody Fingers wall and starts 20' right of the blunt arete "Twist and Crawl".


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 19, 2013
Me

Thanks Dave! How awesome to hear from the author on this post!! Thanks for all your hard work on the guidebooks - we used the City book last year to great success, and I just procured the Castle book as well.

Anyone want to weigh in on Stripe Rock versus Steinfell's?

Any other perspectives more than welcome too!


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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
May 19, 2013
The route in it's entirety.

Steinfells see's sun all day versus Stripe rock only seeing the morning sun. So if it's hot I'd say venture into the inner city to climb, and enjoy some nice solitude along with great hang out spots under the cottonwoods.


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By haleymay
From Salt Lake City
May 19, 2013
hand solo - selfish wall

I'll chime in on Southern Arches on Steinfells. Last June we attempted it. On the second pitch just before the "V flake" that's mentioned in the beta, a foothold broke sending my partner onto the ledge below shattering one of his ankles and all the metatarsals in his other foot. The climbing before it was fun though. Just be cautious on that one section after clipping the one bolt on the route.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 20, 2013
Me

Thanks for the additional words on Steinfell's vs. Stripe! Sounds like no major preferences there, so I guess we'll choose based on the weather.

We'll definitely be careful with the loose stuff, thanks!!

Keep on commenting if you still have points to add. Hopefully this thread will be helpful for other visitors too, and I intend to add a trip report to the site when we're back!


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By rging
From Salt Lake City, Ut
May 21, 2013
CoR

You will cook on Steinfell's on a sunny day in July. Chase the shade on all of the high quality single pitch routes. Also remember that weekends are busy so if you are going to do something right next to the road do it early or be prepared to wait. Also check the Castle Rock closures. The BLM is closed to climbing this year for a study of some sort. The map is confusing but it looks like they own most of the main rock formation within Castle Rock State Park. I haven't seen them but was told signs are posted. Basically I wouldn't count on much over there unless you can get better confirmation that I was able to get.


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By Jason Albino
From San Francisco, CA
May 21, 2013
Me

Thanks for the add! We climbed in the City last summer and did fine staying in the shade mostly (I guess it was unseasonably cooler last summer because we actually had to chase the sun for the earliest 7-9AM climbing), so hopefully we'll be ok!

As far as I read from the Access Fund posts, only the BLM area of Castle Rocks is closed for now. If I'm reading the map right in Dave's Castle Rock guidebook, Hostess Gully, Bracksiek's Pillar, Comp Rock and the main "Castle Rock Group" appear to NOT be on BLM land. If that's true, those are the spots we were pegging to climb.

If anyone has different information regarding current Castle Rock availability, please let me know!


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