CASTLE­TON TOWER, KORINGALLS (III 5.9+)

Climbing - - CLINICS GUIDE'S TIP -

Made fa­mous in Steve Roper and Al­lan Steck’s Fifty Clas­sic Climbs

of North Amer­ica, Castle­ton Tower perches atop a huge talus cone and fea­tures su­perla­tive views. Cas­tle Val­ley, Round Moun­tain, and the Por­cu­pine Rim spread out be­fore you. To the south loom the La Sal Moun­tains, Utah’s sec­ond high­est range. Th­ese moun­tains re­main snow­capped much of the year in con­trast to the red desert be­low.

The route fol­lows the ob­vi­ous chim­ney sys­tem on the south face for four pitches of steep, in-your-face ter­rain. Pitch three is the money pitch and a great in­tro to desert of­fwidth, with two bolts down low pro­vid­ing much-needed pro­tec­tion. Higher, the crack widens to swal­low you whole—you may want a no. 6 cam. The fi­nal pitch feels a bit spicy, but pro­tec­tion ap­pears just when you need it. The sum­mit is ex­pan­sive—in fact, in the 1960s, Chevy fa­mously he­li­coptered a car onto it for a TV ad.

Ex­pect lines: Ar­rive early and prefer­ably on a week­day. FIRST AS­CENT: Lay­ton Kor and Hunt­ley In­galls, 1961

RACK: Stan­dard rack with dou­bles of no. 2 and 3, sin­gle no. 4 (op­tional no. 6)

RAPPEL: Ei­ther rap the route—four rap­pels with two 60-me­ter ropes— or rap the North Face via three double-rope rap­pels.

GET­TING THERE: From Moab, fol­low High­way 128 east. In around 15 miles, turn right to­ward Cas­tle Val­ley on the La Sal Moun­tain Loop, where a 2002 Utah Open Lands (UOL) pur­chase helped open a low-key climbers’ camp­ground be­low the tower. A small do­na­tion is rec­om­mended. The camp­ground makes a great base for Castle­ton and the Fisher Tow­ers. Fol­low the climber’s trail for 1.4 miles and a gain of about 1,400 feet.

DEAN COOL WORKNG FOR IT ON THE CALCITE-COATED OF­FWIDTH CRUX OF THE KOR-IN­GALLS.

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