Regular Route

Page Type
California, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock
Time Required:
A long day
IV 5.11b

Route Quality: 4 Votes

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Page By:
Regular Route
Created On: Dec 29, 2004
Last Edited On: Jun 9, 2009


Ascend the gully between Castle Rock Spire and the Fin until it is possible to climb to the notch (some 4th class) on the south side of the spire.

Route Description

From the notch, traverse out more or less horizontally for a couple pitches, dropping down then climbing up to the dark tower, a massive, semi-detached formation on the east face. Work your way to the other side of this feature by walking behind it. The next pitch is the crux, a 2-4" crack leading up to a roof, followed by delicate face climbing.

Follow the obvious chimney system for a few pitches, then either wander to the right up the exposed, loose terrain around to the west side of the spire, or take an elegant, thin 5.11 finger crack to the left. Finish up obvious cracks to the summit.

See topo.

Alois Smrz's Summitpost Page on the Regular Route

Castle Rock Spire Regular Route

Essential Gear

In May, an ice axe and crampons may be needed in the approach gully. Minimal 6-point crampons are usually adequate at this time of year.

Rack: Although some parties get by with less, we took, and used, (and were thankful for) 2 sets nuts and cams, tiny to four inches. Two 50m ropes are required to descend Spike Hairdoo in 3 rappels. with 60m ropes it is possible to rap Spike Hairdoo in 2 rappels.

Miscellaneous Info

If you have information about this route that doesn't pertain to any of the other sections, please add it here.

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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ksolem - Jan 8, 2005 11:13 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I do not recall needing anything like that kind of a rack for this route, especially the double set of 3-4 inch cams. The crux is fingers/hands size, the second crux is more face like with thin tcu's and nuts as I recall. Where the cracks are larger the terrain is quite easy and there is alternative pro as well. We did have some extra old hexes with which we left behind to back up the rap anchors, since at that time it was mandatory to rap the line of ascent...

brutus of wyde

brutus of wyde - Jan 9, 2005 12:15 am - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The middle of pitch 4 checked in at 3-4 inches, just before the roof. Although there are bolts along this crack, they are 1/4" bolts and very old. That's where I used the big pieces on the rack, and when I found the 5.11 face above, I was pretty happy to have the stuff plugged in below me.

I agree that the bigger cracks above are easy, and even have chickenheads that make nice pro. (Chickenheads which also snag the occasional rap rope!)

Thanks for the comments! wild place, eh?


ksolem - Jan 9, 2005 12:42 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

Yeah, you're probably right. I am always looking for excuses to carry lees stuff. I think we had doubles from 3/4 to 2.5 inches and nothing over 3.5.

I remenber those very old bolts, one had a hanger spinning in the breeze which sounded like a Bhuddist wind chime.


ksolem - Jan 10, 2005 10:25 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

The direct start is so obviously the right way to go it never occurred to me to do anything else.

Nice picture. I hope you backed that on up. I know we did!

Hey are you the same "JD" I met in Indian Cove about 14 months ago? Whats up?


ksolem - Jan 12, 2005 2:53 pm - Hasn't voted

Route Comment

I'd like to climb, but I had a shoulder overhaul in October and am doing the therapy thing now. It's doing very well and I should be able to do some winter mountaineering of the slogging variety beginning next month. Rock in June. I will be in the Meadows first week of August...

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