Johnny Cash, 5.8-5.11c

Page Type Page Type: Mountain/Rock
Location Lat/Lon: 42.12721°N / 113.67597°W
Activities Activities: Trad Climbing, Sport Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
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Baby Beef, 5.8**
Baby Beef, 5.8**

If you are a fan of the man in black, then you will love this place. I have always admired this lush meadow with a few short features protruding from them as though islands at sea.  The Johnny Cash area is best viewed from the summit of Castle Rock itself.  One rainy day we finally made it over there albeit getting rained out after just a few routes. The route names are as you could surmise: Man in Black, Walk the Line, Ring of Fire, etc. There were ten established routes in 2017 on two separate formations. None of these formations are taller than 50’. Baby Beef, 5.8** might be the most popular and is the first route you encounter from the approach trail from the east.  It is located on the east arête of a formation named Beef Butte. Johnny Cash is the formation to the right (north) and is where the majority of the routes are located. It has a three star route on its north face named Ring of Fire (5.11c***) that reminds me of a popular sport climb in Zion I climbed named Namaste (5.12a), although much shorter. Large jugs through an overhang.

Leave the Castle Rock parking area on the north trail and cross the creek on the north side of Castle Rock. Turn right off of the trail that circles Castle Rock (on the NW corner) and turn left on a faint, but marked (2017), trail that leads to these small outcroppings. Takes maybe 15 minutes from your car, they are not hard to find.

Route Description (s)

Beef Butte, East and North Faces, Routes Listed Left to Right

  • Baby Beef- 50’-5.8**/ More sustained at its grade than Man in Black for example, thus the two stars. Clip a few bolts with maybe one C4#.75 on the upper face. The start on the arête might be the crux for shorter climbers. Dow

  • Chit Happens- 50’-5.8*/

  • Cow Town- 50’-5.11a**/

  • Johnny Cash, South Face, Routes Listed Left to Right

  • Man in Black- 50’-5.9*/Crux move at the grade is mid-way up after clipping the bolt and placing a C4#.3. It is an interesting move over a tiny bulge. Like most of these short routes on Johnny, it is easy to cheat, accidentally or otherwise, just by wandering too far left or right. You must focus on the intent of the route to get the most out of them. From the crux head for the chains placing gear at will. Dow

  • Five Feet High and Rising- 50’-5.9*/

  • Johnny Cash, North Face, Routes Listed Left to Right

  • Walk the Line- 50’-5.8*/

  • Ring of Fire- 50’-5.11c***/

  • Johnny Cash, West Face, Routes Listed Left to Right

  • Cash Crack- 50’-5.9**/

  • Pepper Sprout- 50’-5.6*/

  • Country Trash- 50’-5.8*/