Dow leading True Grit, 5.10a
One of the more sought after bolted classics at Castle Rocks is True Grit (5.10a***)
. Like many routes in the local guide, True Grit is softly rated. It would be a 5.8/9 bolted route in Joshua Tree for example. That being said, it is a fun line on aesthetic rock. True Grit and the Duke
are two tower like features that share a gully in between them. The routes on True Grit's shady side are not near as clean nor trafficked as they are on its namesake side. Two bolted climbs on the Duke (just a 5 minute hike from the True Grit route) are actually more challenging and interesting than the True Grit climb, but get far less attention: Let’r Buck (5.10b**) and Git’r Done (5.10b**).
Bottom line is you can plan for a significant portion of your day at this location chasing or avoiding the sun as you circumvent the towers
which are just a short hike off of the park road (hiking road, not driving) that runs along the southern aspect of the formations that make up the majority of the climbing in the park aside from the Castle Rock massif itself.
Park at the main parking area and head northwest out of the parking lot. Turn right on a dirt/grass road that heads for Comp Rock, etc. Off of this road wide trail, in 2017, a sign marked the left turn onto a single track hiking trail that leads straight to True Grit in short order. The route itself is on the south side of the formation and the trail takes you right to it. The Duke is located directly behind True Grit. If you want to reach the before mentioned 5.10b sport climbs, hike around the east end of True Grit and through a notch. Both routes are right together on the southeast face of the Duke.
Route Description (s)South East Face, Routes Listed Left to Right
True Grit- 80’-5.10a***/The south face of True Grit is a great looking feature with a highly revered sport route that lacks variety or climbing at the grade to receive such accolades. In other words, maybe a great 5.9 but not so much 5.10a. Six bolts through 80’ of positive edges on clean rock to chains. You start on a ramp to the right and traverse left onto the face. Let’r Buck (5.10b) and Git’r Done (5.10b) are better routes in this grade range and are located directly on the wall (circumvent right) (The Duke) behind True Grit. Dow
Rat Writ- 80’-5.11d**/
Too Hard Crack- 80’-5.10 C2/
White Whine- 80’-5.11a*/
Fat’s Light- 60’-5.10b*/
Emotion Potion- 60’-5.10a*/
North West Face, Routes Listed Right to Left
Western Family Values- 70’-5.10c**/
Hang B- 90’-5.9**/Interesting trad route to combine with True Grit although it appears to have never been cleaned. The start is full of moss. Start left and traverse into the right crack to avoid the mossy section and start jamming the flaring, gritty crack up to the crux at about 2/3rds height where it steepens and becomes a bit awkward off of fists to stemming. After a meter or two of figuring it out, it becomes a jug fest to the summit. Rap True Grit on the opposite side. Can set up a medium gear belay for top rope. Dow
Boot Hill- 90’-5.8*/Most routes at the City and Castle are graded soft. The typical exception is off-widths which I attribute to the fact not many locals climb them in general. Off widths at the City and/or Castle are always chossy and show little to no sign of traffic. Boot Hill is no exception, I jumped on it solo and thought it a precarious start, gritty and challenging at the grade. The 2nd half goes much easier. It is the same height of Hang B (90’) and thus I have no idea why the guide book shorts it. Both are descended by rapping down the opposite side rap chains for True Grit. C4#4’s deep in will protect the burly start despite the guide book indicating you need double 5’s. Shade on this wall until early afternoon. Dow
Cowboy Yoga- 50’-5.12a**/