North Chimney

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 38.65140°N / 109.3675°W
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Seasons Season: Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.9-
Sign the Climber's Log


The approach is the same as described in the main page. From the climbers campground, head up the drainage and up the few small dryfalls. Reach a jeep road and descend leftward for about 50 feet and re-locate the trail. Follow the trail as it zig-zags up the large talus fan below Castleton Tower. Reach the narrow ridge between Castleton and The Rectory and walk towards the north face of Castleton. Pull the boulder moves to gain the ledge that circles the entire tower. Once on the ledge, walk clockwise around the tower to the east face. The route climbs the obvious chimney around the corner on the northeast side.

Castleton Tower North Chimney Route Overlay
Castleton Tower North Chimney Route Overlay
Castleton Tower in December
Castleton Tower in December

Route Description

Pitch 1
5.8+40mThis pitch has it all...great rock, fun jams up splitter hand cracks, excellent feet, unusual pockets, and bomber gear. Climb double cracks up to the base of the chimney. The crux comes on the bulge 20 feet from the top.
Pitch 2
5.9-45mContinue up the chimney to the crux, which is shortly above the belay (roughly 15 feet). Climb the offwidth moves to an older star drive "bolt" but please don't use it. Instead, use a #5 camalot would make you feel more comfortable. Above the offwidth, continue jamming up broken rock/cracks to an old 2 piton anchor. There is a section I climbed with my back on one wall and my feet on the other to surmount a bulge about 80 feet above the belay. I thought that was the crux of the entire route.
Dave 1
Pitch 3
5.725mClimb 60 feet up easy cracks in the deep chimney up to the big ledge between Castleton and a detached pillar. Reach this ledge by traversing around a corner to climbers right when the chimney ends with huge rocks above you. Build a belay here. The rope drag will almost certainly be too much to combine with the 4th pitch to the summit.
Shirley following P4 of...
Pitch 4
5.7+20mThis is the same final pitch as for Kor-Ingals. Climb the nice face with some liebacks, and good holds to the bolted anchors at the summit. The pitch generally traverses left as you climb the face and can be a little tricky if you are taller.

To descend, rappel either the Kor-Ingalls in 4 double rope rappels or the exhilarating North Face in 3 double rope rappels. The second bolted anchor on the north face route is off to the right as you rappel and easy to miss.

Essential Gear

2 -3 sets of cams from 0.5" to 3" BD Camelots. Take more 3" pieces...the first pitch eats them up! One 4" and one 5" Camalot are very helpful for the second pitch off widths. Bring two 60 meter ropes for the rappels and of course, bring a helmet.


Miscellaneous Info

Weather Forecast

Good Report of the route

Castleton Tower on MP



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