Follow the Paradise Trail out of Buckeye Flat campground (park all vehicles at Hospital Rock parking lot). The trailhead is at the back end of the campground. The trail initially crosses the Middle Fork Kaweah River and heads up into Paradise Canyon alongside Paradise Creek. Approximately 2 miles from the trailhead, the trail departs from the creek and heads east, up a grassy ridge. Follow this grassy ridge upward and eventually past a large burnt oak tree. Once past the oak tree, look carefully for the long abandoned Castle Rock trail. Follow this overgrown trail east for approx. 4 miles. whereupon a boulder/talus field appears in a gully. Follow this gully up into a notch between The Fin and Castle Rock Spire.
Silver Lining begins at a large pine tree near the lower apron of the far side of the west face. The following is a pitch-by-pitch description of the route (credit to Craig Clarence for route description):
Wander straight up the mostly unprotected slab to a gear anchor in a small overlap. (185 feet, 5.9)
Continue straight up, then climb an obvious right-facing corner. Continue straight up above this corner past a rusty 1/4" bolt, then straight up for 70 more feet (bad/no pro) to a small right-facing corner for a gear belay. (180 feet, 5.9)
Move right on a ledge, then up a shallow seam to a 3-bolt anchor. This anchor has no slings and is not used on the rappel route. (60 feet, 5.9)
Face climb straight up and then traverse right for aprrox. 80 feet. The traverse is largely unprotected but the climbing is not too hard. Belay at a 3-bolt anchor with slings. (120 feet, 5.9)
Face climb straight up on positive holds for approx. 40 feet, then traverse right on a very shallow ramp. OK gear can be found along the traverse in the overlap above the ramp. (175 feet, 5.9)
Face climb straight up to a bolt, then up and slightly left to another bolt (both old and rusty). From here, traverse left and slightly up to belay at the base of a very large and obvious right-facing corner. This traverse is unprotected and is the crux of the route. the belay consists of two suspect bolts, backed up by gear in the corner. (150 feet, 5.9+)
Power up the amazing right-facing corner and belay at its top. The 3-bolt anchor about 30 feet up from the bottom of the corner is part of the rappel route. This is the only pitch of the route that is not runout. (160 feet, 5.9)
Face climb up and slightly right from the top of the corner past a bolt, then straight up to a 3-bolt anchor (used for the rappel route). Use a long sling to clip these bolts for protection, then traverse left and up to an overlap. Climb over this and face climb above on lower-angle rock to a spacious ledge with a bush. (180 feet, 5.9)
Face climb straight up from the ledge to another ledge, then traverse right to a left-facing corner. Climb the corner and the unprotected, lichen-covered slab above it to the top. (140 feet, 5.9)
Begin by rappelling off slings tied to a large manzanita bush just to the left of Silver Lining's finish. Rappel straight down from here. All raps can be done with two 50 meter ropes. All old webbing tied to the rappel bolts were replaced June 2002 and include 2 new aluminum rap rings or a fixed carabiner. Six rappels will get you to the ground.
Pro: Very small to medium (mostly small cams and Aliens), draws (suppliment with Yates Screamers for "shakey" pro or the rusted bolts), extra carabiners, several long slings and a bolt kit (for possible repair of the present bolts). Hightly suggest two 60 meter ropes. Oh, yeah.......and a VERY cool head!!
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