The STARCASTLE is the highest crag on the hill in the Devil's Head climbing area, and the one sporting the most obvious turret-like crags that look from a distance like the spines on the Devil's head. Overall, it is a little less steep than The Red Wall and tends to run into a bit more moderate climbing. The Starcastle also presents several brilliant cracks that are largely done on trad gear, so don't forget to bring the trad rack. All of the routes can be done with a 60m rope, but most are right on at 90ft or so. The largely vertical face climbing is on good alligator edges, although some big corners and some small roofs, and overlaps await. Many of the FAs on the Starcastle are difficult or impossible to identify. Once again, the whole Head Crew was hard in action simultaneously on most of the routes. Tod Anderson, Tom Hanson, Richard Wright, and Rich Magill spun in most of the bolts, while Tom Hanson battled incrementally up the trad cracks, cleaning as he went.
From the Zinn Overlook, take a faint trail to the right, through the woods for 100ft or so. Then head directly up hill by a very indistinct trail. You want to hit the main yellow wall above on the right side to avoid the large blocks in the talus field below. As you negotiate your way left (South) down the Starcastle, you will first encounter Scott Sill's "Pig's Nose" (a fine line) on a separate turret. Further down hill and on the next turret you come to Alan Nelson's trad crack "Silver Winds" (also good, but lacking a top anchor). Scramble over some large blocks and at one point down-climbing a fixed rope for 15 ft. The routes begin before the rope descent and continue Southward along the face and downhill. A rough map can be found in "The Devil Made Me Do It".
Unquestionably my personal favorite on the Starcastle, Elliptical Seasons takes off after passing the two excellent trad cracks "To The Fire Wind" and "Reel to Real". I first spotted this line from across the canyon on the top of the Headstone. Sometimes a feature alone is all that it takes to make a line attractive, and Elliptical Seasons has a gorgeous elliptical seam arching up and right that splits an immaculate yellow head wall. To start Elliptical Seasons, angle in from the right almost in...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
StarCastle is a prog-rock band from the late '70s that sounds remarkably like "Yes". The rock formation has similarities to the castle on the cover of their "Citadel" album, which is probably how the name was derived. All of the route names (except Pig's Nose) are songs by the band. Go check out the music. "Elliptical Seasons" is a good tune that definitely sounds like '70s prog rock.
I really enjoy this crag and since it faces almost due east and Headstone almost due west, you can just jump between the two formations to get into or out of the sun. Getting here can be a bit difficult. The best way is to leave the trail to Zinn Overlook *before* you get to the overlook and head uphill. You exit the trail to the right (west) and go up. You just have to know where. After you reach the rock, head left and you'll run into Pig's Nose, the rightmost route on the face. From there, scramble up and down through the slot and you'll reach the rest of the climbs. The view is fantastic.
Wow, I'm surprised that anyone else would be familiar with Starcastle. I actually prefer their music to the more well known Yes & the routes & the crag name were inspired by the band. It's also possible to sneak up to all of the lower routes from just below the Zinn Overlook & the scrambling is easier that way.