Support 14ers.com
Buying gear? Please use these links to help 14ers.com:

More info...

Other ways to help...
 Peak(s):  Castleton Tower - 6,656 feet
 Post Date:  11/07/2009
 Date Climbed:   11/02/2009
 Posted By:  Furthermore

 Superb Desert Tower Summit: Castleton   

Castleton Tower 6,656
North Chimney 5.9 III
November 2, 2009

Castleton Tower.
Image

There never seems to be a shortage of things to do on "The List." Nevertheless, Castleton has been at the very top of my list for a while and I was excited to get out and climb it. I met up with my partner Justin and made the drive out to Moab on Nov 1st. We ended up doing some climbing that evening at Wall Street right outside of Moab which had excellent climbing with zero approach.

Can't beat that approach at Wall Street. Perhaps I'll belay from my car.
Image

We ended up camping near the Castleton trailhead and woke up to a cold morning with a frosty tent. After the sun rose, a quick thaw, and some time with the tent drying out, we packed up and made our way to the Castleton trailhead and started our hike towards Castleton around 9:30 AM. There were many cars parked at the trailhead and we began to wonder if we were going to have to wait in line at the base of climb.

Morning light on Castleton.
Image

The hike to the base was enjoyable and the views of Castle Valley were excellent. We arrived at the base and noticed some fixed lines on the north face which had us worried since we were planning on rappelling down the north face. Fortunately, it was only a party of three jugging to the summit to base jump off. The route we chose to climb was the North Chimney where Justin assured me the climbing was more classic than the better known Kor-Ingalls route. He would know since this would be his fifth Castleton climb.

The first look at the North Face.
Image

North Face of Castleton. Our route is the crack/chimney on the left of the tower.
Image

Luckily, at the base of the North Chimney, there wasn't another party. Consequently, there were two parties waiting on the Kor-Ingalls route. After we geared up, Justin took the lead on the first 5.8 pitch. The rock was very cold but he made good time working his way to the top of the pitch; I started up and enjoyed a blocky, calcified, sustained 5.8 climb. I met up with Justin where we organized gear for my lead.

Justin climbing pitch 1.
Image

Justin climbing pitch 1.
Image

Justin climbing pitch 1.
Image

Justin climbing pitch 1.
Image

Justin finishing pitch 1.
Image

I started up the second pitch where shortly thereafter I encountered the crux of the climb. A short 5-10 foot off-width 5.9 crack. I clipped into the crappy pinhead bolt protecting the crux and placed a #5 cam in the crack just above the bolt for extra precaution. I moved through the crux and continued on an enjoyable 5.7-5.8 chimney climbing to the top of the second pitch. I personally thought the toughest climbing was at the top of the first pitch and not the 5.9 off- width. Maybe those Jeffco South Platte off-width peaks paid off.

My lead on pitch 2.
Image

Justin took the third pitch and set up an anchor just prior to the finish of the climb due to rope drag and another party. The North Chimney route finishes on the Kor-Ingalls route. While I was climbing up the third pitch, Justin was lucky enough to watch the base jumpers take the leap of faith off the summit. Unfortunately, I missed out.

Once I reached Justin, I took the rack and finished the climb on some excellent 5.7 face climbing terrain. The summit was enjoyable and had exhilarating views of Castle Valley and the Fisher Towers. It looks as though I might need to finesse my aid climbing skills to climb the Fishers. We spent close to an hour on the summit.

The final section of the climb joined with the Kor-Ingalls route.
Image

About to summit.
Image


A fine summit.
Image

Views toward Moab.
Image

Views looking down Castle Valley.
Image

The La Sal Mountains.
Image

Fisher Towers.
Image

Looking down the Kor-Ingalls finish.
Image

After our break on the summit, we prepared for our descent. We shared our rappel with another party and rappelled off some good anchors from the summit off of the north face to a ledge about 1/3 of the way down the north face. Once all four of us got to the ledge 1/3 of the way down the face, we made one more long rappel with a double 60 M rope to the bottom. The rope barely reached the bottom. It was nice to reach solid ground again.

Looking down the North Face.
Image

Preparing for the rappel off of the North Face.
Image

Rapping down the North Face.
Image

Rapping down the North Face.
Image

Rapping down the North Face.
Image

Finishing the final rappel.
Image

Finishing the final rappel.
Image

Finishing the final rappel.
Image

View of the North Face. A pair of climbers 2/3 of the way down the face. I think they did 3 rappels..
Image

We hiked back down and reached the car around 3:30 PM and made our drive to Moab to enjoy a fine brew at the brew pub. It was a very rewarding day and one which I will not forget.

Castle Valley from the bottom.
Image

In the shadow of Castleton.
Image



Thumbnails for uploaded photos (click to open slideshow):
 


  • Comments or Questions (8)
scotthsu


nice work!     2011-02-04 17:22:16
this one‘s high on my list as well. congrats on doing it in style.


Kiefer


Beautious!!     2009-11-08 16:37:02
That is some sic work, Dererk!!! 8)
Congrats on a classic piece of desert rock!
Were you guys eyeing ‘The Rectory‘ or ‘The Sisters‘ at all?


skier25


Hardcore     2010-11-30 10:28:49
This must have been awesome! I haven't even heard of this one. I can see the anchors there - was this a sport climb? I can see some bolts. The Colorado Plateau is so sweet - I love it out there!


Presto


Awesome!     2009-11-09 08:17:30
What great scenery ... the colors in the rock came out so well in your photos. Thanks for posting. Happy trails!


Chicago Transplant


My List Too     2009-11-09 08:23:56
I was just eyeing this one again yesterday, definitely something I want to do someday, but unfortunately will have to wait for a little while, still need to work on my desert rock skills


susanjoypaul


Superb indeed     2010-11-30 10:28:49
Looks beautiful - and hard. How does this compare with Otto's route on Independence? I'm working on my rock skills - and trying not to get in over my head... this (Castleton) looks like a "maybe" on my own list. Thanks for posting it!

vvvv Thanks Tom - that answers my question!

vvvv Thanks Furthermore - sounds like I still have some work to do.


TomPierce

Such a cool tower...     2010-11-30 10:28:49
A buddy and I started up this years ago, but backed off and went over to Arches, your report inspires me to get back out there! Congrats!
-Susan: I've done Otto's and it's pretty easy, easier than the first pitch of Castleton's N. Chimney (which is steep and pumpy near the top). The crux move on Otto's is a one-two move mantle onto the top, but pretty well protected. Really fun route.
-Tom


Furthermore


Thanks!     2009-11-09 17:31:33
Thanks for the comments everyone!

Kiefer - We were eying the Rectory and The Sisters. The Rectory might have to wait until I get my trad leading skills a bit better. We almost did Jah Man on Sister Superior on our last day but some hard days at Indian Creek caught up to us.

Skier25 - All of the routes are traditional routes. No sport climbing; however, the belay and rap anchors have good bolts or pins

Chicago Transplant - Desert rock can definitely be interesting and challenging. I struggled up some ”easy” stuff in Indian Creek. Have you looked into South Six-Shooter Peak (5.6)? We did that on our last day (trip report coming) and would highly recommend that climb.

Susanjoypaul - The climbing difficulty is more sustained at its grade on Castleton. The crux move, 5.9, on Castleton was only 2 moves but the rest of the climbing was sustained 5.7-8.



   Using your forum id/password. Not registered? Click Here


Caution: The information contained in this report may not be accurate and should not be the only resource used in preparation for your climb. Failure to have the necessary experience, physical conditioning, supplies or equipment can result in injury or death. 14ers.com and the author(s) of this report provide no warranties, either express or implied, that the information provided is accurate or reliable. By using the information provided, you agree to indemnify and hold harmless 14ers.com and the report author(s) with respect to any claims and demands against them, including any attorney fees and expenses. Please read the 14ers.com Safety and Disclaimer pages for more information.

© 2014 14ers.com®, 14ers Inc.