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Castle Rock
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West Face 
West Face, Direct Start 

Times Past 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI British: HVS 5a R

   
Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
FA: A. Sharpe, M. Sharpe, A. Dale, 1980
Page Views: 414
Submitted By: Tony B on May 21, 2003
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You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (2)
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BETA PHOTO: Castle Rock's West Face
Flood damaged road reopens MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This route lies on the Big Deal Pinnacle of Castle Rock, just right of Polyester Leisure Suit and some ways left of Curving Crack. To find this route, pull into Castle Rock from the highway and park just aside of it shortly after pulling in. Where the slope of the hill between the rock and the "driveway" disappear where rock is level with road for the first bit, you will see a pinnacle standing perhaps 130' tall against the main rock, as a buttress at the bottom, and as a needle at the top. A reasonably large pine is seen halfway up the tower. The left side of this pinnacle holds the Route Polyester Leisure Suit (11b, in attached photo), Just right of that large roof lies a discontinuous set of finger cracks through a bulge that wraps around the right side of the aforementioned pinnacle at mid-height.

Start climbing in an obtuse corner, using face holds for lack of a crack. Early on you will find a few small stopper placements (OK) and then a medium/large placement (good). Get these in and continue upward to a short, wide-hands jam (place a 3" piece here) and then two chalked-up finger-locks below the small, A-shaped roof. You can place a stopper easily within the first finger-lock, but getting one in the second is strenuous and will take the crux hold away. At this point, the gear is reasonable, but hard to get and the crux is next. Pull the A-shaped roof on face holds or an awkward jam (can take a #3.5 Camalot or 3.8 HB in a 5" section of crack in the bulge) and up over. Continue up discontinuous seams up and right until you are level with the rap-station (tree with webbing and rings/quicklink). Belay here then rap to the ground. Lowering off is not recommended for the sake of your rope.

The route was more awkward then I generally expect at the 5.9 grade, although the climbing was not terribly tricky or powerful. The gear was not forthcoming in some spots, and a ground fall would be possible from several places on the climb. Wandering round more maybe could have given me more gear.

The climb merits a star, as I was OK with having done it, no regrets... Still, if you have not done the others at Castle Rock, save this one until you are deep into your tick list or are really bored; there are many better lines there.


Protection 

A few small nuts, a few medium nuts, and a 3.5" cam (yellow HB or #3 or #4 Camalot). Several 2' slings for chickenheads.



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