rock climbing is inherently dangerous in all of its forms. even with substantial experience, climbing can result in severe injury, paralysis, and even death. castlewood canyon involves even greater danger than other rock climbing areas as it is riddled with rattlesnakes in the warm months and its conglomerate rock can shatter, break, crumble, and explode at any time, without warning, on even well-traveled climbs.

this guide is intended for mere reference by experienced climbers only, who have substantial personal knowledge in climbing safety, equipment, and technique, and who understand and fully accept the extreme risks inherent in this sport. in no way should this reference be confused as an instruction manual and those who do not have substantial experience with all of the safety and technical aspects of rock climbing should seek professional instruction, which can often be arranged through local climbing gyms. be safe!

Monday, February 11, 2008



1. Fountain Face*[v1ish?] – start standing at the start of the traverse and climb straight up, with some dirty, awkward moves to slide around the left of the upper bulge. Sit Start *[v3ish?]

2. Fountain Lip Traverse**[v2-4+ish] – start standing or sitting at a pod feature on the left of the boulder and traverse the lip all the way left, culminating with a difficult match and reach to an incut-flake, before rolling over and topping out. The grade of this line depends on how low one stays for the traverse - the lower the harder.

3. Left Cave Direct**[v6ish] – start with LH low on a sloping feature on the arête and RH on an angled crimp at chest height; pull to a thin crimp and move to the font scales higher on the arête and top out as for the Fountain Lip Traverse. The starting holds have crumbled consistently over the years, including the winter of 2007/08. This start is validated due to its fun factor and since the powerful move required from the sit will eventually result in the explosion of the RH crimp. 4. Sit Start**[v9ish as of summer 2007, but significantly harder now that the holds have broken even more] – start sitting with LH on the same hold as the stand start and RH on an obvious gaston pocket [the lip of this broke in 2007]… using tricky foot work, power up to the diagonal right hand crimp and finish. 5. Ben’s Wall**[v11ish, also harder now after the 2008 breaks] – climb Left Cave Direct from a sit, but starting with LH in the pocket that is used for the right hand start of the regular sit start. This variation is also probably more difficult now due to the breakage.

6. Cave Route Direct***[v7+ish, for real] – NOTE: A GOOD, POSITIVE HOLD ON THIS OFTEN TRIED ‘CLASSIC’ BROKE IN MARCH OF 2008, and even though I previously believed this line to be solid 7 before, the loss of this hold makes the lower sequence a bit more stretched out and more powerful, thereby buttressing the argument for at least v7 [numerous strong climbers had called the pre-break line v8]. What’s worse is that the entire hollow starting flake seems to be flexing more than in years prior. BE CAREFUL since if this rips off, it will weigh many pounds. Start sitting on the center of the obvious rail system and make a couple moves right, lock off up to another rail up left, and lockoff or dyno left to a sharp pocket before the top out… historically, feet hitting the adjacent block on this move does not invalidate the ascent due to its close proximity and avoiding this ‘dab’ probably adds a grade. Without this meddling block and the flexing flakes, this problem could fetch four stars. 7. Cave Route Indirect**[v5/6ish] – follow the rail right and top out with horribly flexing flakes above the stone in the landing. 8. Variation [add a ½ grade] – start sitting slightly left in the cave right on the edge of the mini-drop off, do a large, powerful move to gain the main flake system as for the traditional start.

9. Unknown – on the backside of the boulder a few dirty, slabby climbs can be done.


[Pictured Above]

10. Standard Arete** [v2ish] – start sitting and climb arête with powerful opposition and balance, topping out somewhat on the left face. V0 if climbed from a stand. Ridiculousness [v-whatever] – start sitting and climb the arête half way, traverse the face leftwards through the corridor, and reach over to the other boulder to climb cave route direct or cave route indirect [#s 6 and 7].

11. Doom Flake Slab** [vB] – start on a huge, HOLLOW, horizontal flake at chest height and climb up and right to top out. CAREFULL OF THE HOLLOWNESS ! Variation * [v-much harder] – start from a crouched position on underclings, power slap to horizontal flake above and top out.

12. Effing Goofy** [v4ish] – start at a large break and climb the blunt arête with awkward opposition, heel-toe locks, kneebars… whatever you can think up to top out the arête. Be mindful of the skull cracking block behind you.

13. Polish Falcon* [v?] – climb the three-ledged arête and beware of dirty holds.

14. Corridor Wall* [v2ish] - start on thin holds and ascend the middle of the face, but trending left. Top out in roughly the middle of the boulder with a committing but reasonable mantle. Top out left or right for a variant.


cstorms said...

which hold broke, i was just up there and it looks the same as when i climbed it a while ago

sock hands said...

right where the rail transitions from horizontal to diagonal, there was a deep incut flake thing that no longer exists. while not the crux of the problem, this makes setting up for the upper moves much more powerful... the lurch factor seems to take something away when you try to do the final hard move.

chris [correct?] - to the immediate left of 'short round' there seems to be a couple of pockets that one could use to then do the font-esque top out. this requries considerable cleaning to uncover the top out section from much moss and run-off debris. that's why i think you should go clean it, send it, and tell me about it here. also, you may have noticed that we downrated 'pocket full of hate' further and that the little eggish project just down from short round WAS actually done before by tj and celo.

you very well may be the only person checking this, so i thought you should know!


sock hands said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sock hands said...

also note: the FA i've forced you to do will be somewhat of an eliminate from the left arete and perhaps the holds to the right if you're feeling sikandrad.

cstorms said...

j, ill check out that line and bring a couple savage wire brushes....although last time i was around there, im pretty sure i saw some questionable dirty boxers and evidence of possible human dumping...might need to go up there in a hazmat suit..
--and i just saw the broken hold on the cave route, thanks for pointing it out...peace