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Castle Rock
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Knight With a Shining Stick 

A3

   
Type:  Aid
Consensus: A3 [details]
FA: [Matt Buckner and James J. Funsten VI, mid 1990s]
Page Views: 2,072
Submitted By: Steve Levin on Sep 28, 2001

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Eric almost through the head traverse on the first...
Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is a challenging aid route up the blank wall between Jackson's Wall Direct and Englishman's Home. There are several sections of tenuous and continuous heading, or at least sections of fixed heads. Off the top of my head I can't think of anything else in Boulder Canyon that offers as sustained and sheer an aid line as this. The climbing could be half-way up El Cap if it wasn't for the smell of exhaust from cars driving by below the crag.

Begin on the Jackson's Wall Direct, but where that route hand traverse left continue up and right through some arches, then head up to the top of the second pitch of Never a Dull Moment and belay. Now follow tiny, improbable features that connect the blank wall between Athlete's Feat and Country Club. Belay at a ledge 30 feet left of Country Club's anchors.


Protection 

There may be lots of fixed heads scattered about on this climb, but bring a selection of heads, including circle heads, some hooks, a beak or 2, same with rurps, RPs, and a full rack to 3.5" cam (you may not use it all). You may want to have a few blades, LAs, and baby angles along, but this is not a piton-intensive route. Helmet.



Photos of Knight With a Shining Stick Slideshow Add Photo
I've made my way over onto the beaked RURP atop the dead head and I'm looking up at the bit of a reach I'm going to make to clip my aiders into the next fixed head which is a #0 which ripped out by hand. We promptly bailed as I had already decked on the ramp below once and didn't want to do it again from higher up this time. <br />
I've made my way over onto the beaked RURP atop th...
Jim nailing the first pitch.
Jim nailing the first pitch.
After decking off a fixed head that blew right off the ramp at the start of pitch 2, I decided to try and come in from this other seam to hopefully make my way up.
After decking off a fixed head that blew right off...
Eventually I make my way up a little higher and I can make a large reach and tap a beaked RURP in atop this fixed dead head. YIKES!
Eventually I make my way up a little higher and I ...
Jim fearlessly heading up the second pitch.
Jim fearlessly heading up the second pitch.
Comments on Knight With a Shining Stick Add Comment
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By J. Thompson
From: denver, co
Jun 16, 2002

A few years ago I went up and tried to TR the second pitch(solo). There were fixed heads everywhere! I started up and the 3rd fixed head off the ramp blew! I was just moving onto it and hadn't moved my Tr device up or unclipped my daisy from the previous piece. I took a short fall and when I stopped I realised I had broken the cable of the previous head in half, with the loop still attached to my daisy and the head still in the rock! I cleaned the deadhead and tried to place another but could not get it to stick. If you are going to try this route you will probably need a sharp punch to place this #1 head. Also most of the head placements appeared to be chiseled?

By Anonymous Coward
Jun 3, 2005

This route was put up by aid masters Matt Buckner and James J. Funsten VI in the mid nineties. Both are now semi-retired from this sort of carry-on.

By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Feb 9, 2009

STOUT! A rebate is in order. I need to learn the art of tough heading first though. Only 1 fixed dead head still in place off the ramp on P2, I ripped the first one (fixed head) while trying to get something in above. Time bomb! I decked on the ledge safely enough. Then I came in from the seam just to the left via hooks to Peckers finally making a large reach to pound in a beaked RURP atop the dead head. Made my way up and made another long reach up to the next fixed head and clipped it, then ripped it out by hand essentially. We decided to bail as we had no #0 heads and I didn't feel capable of learning the art of hard heading on the sharp end on a route rated A4 in the guide. Yep, I bit off a little more then I could chew here on this one, I was hoping for more good fixed heads I think. Now I have a good project to work on, and a new skill to hone.

By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Feb 22, 2009

Attempted to put up the straight up variation on pitch 1 today. It's a bummer, but the only edge to hook on has been blown out. I was high stepping off a hybrid Alien hoping to get a Pecker in upside down in the roof as I could just about reach upto it, the hybrid was a time bomb and next thing I know I land on 2 separate heads with screamers on them (one was my adj. daisy with a screamer) both screamers deployed paritally and I didn't have to whip like Eric when he attmepted this. He broke his finger when the edge he was hooking on blew and he ripped a few pieces (falling 20 ft, nearly decked on slabs below). I got stabbed in the leg with a Pecker when I came to a stop. The straight up variation of pitch 1 hasn't gone for a reason....

Still need to get back up and try to rebate the second pitch.

By Luke Childers
Jan 31, 2010

Has anyone tried to free either a straight up version or the standard line?? They look hard, but possible. Does anyone has any info on this matter? Thanks.

By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Feb 5, 2010

Tell ya what, go and aid it first and see what you think of the gear, and the major lack of useable features. We never got up it....

Sounds like your gear options are either:
1. Aid the line and test the placments and replace what rips (you're probably gonna whip as I ripped one by hand and blew out on a time bomb that tested well).

2. Rap the line and fix enough heads to deem the route sane (hopefully you're good at heading as the placements are tricky as they are mostly chiseled out placments in a awkwardly bottoming, shallow, flared seam).

3. Retro bolting, hopefully on lead, and infrequently at that. Only with the FA's permission.

The line is damn bleak in general even when hanging from gear. I don't know how many people actually repeated this route.

I feel it's either X/ borderline insane and super hard or it's downgraded for any future aid ascentionist and still super hard.

Seems in either domain (free or aid) it's a test piece. Unless you're contemplating the X rated/ borderline insane, how do you justify that it would be ok to retro bolt and down grade an aid test piece just to put up some mixed protected free test piece?

Just curious, it's a bit of a sensitive subject for me. I don't mean to single you out, but I think someday I'd like to finish the route up and hopefully in its current condition. I feel like China Doll in Upper Dream Canyon would have been a much more enjoyable route before it was retro protected for the free ascent (same with the aid roof on castle rock). I think it would be the same case here, and I am not condoning that even if it already is a chipped up heading line that will require someone who is really really good at heading to see a repeat.

By neil chelton
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2012
rating: A3 R

Useful toys to bring on this one:

4 each #0 and #1 heads (incase fixed heads are missing), a few heads in the bigger sizes, circle heads, all sizes of beaks and hooks.