Castle Rock Spire with Roper and Powell-1962

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guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Original Post - Jan 22, 2010 - 10:36pm PT
CASTLE ROCK SPIRE WITH ROPER AND POWELL 1962

Ever since I first began climbing as a punk kid in Berkeley I have had a fascination with with pinnacles and spires. Seeing the Lost Arrow on my first climbing trip to Yosemite in 1958 was an eye opener. I was obsessed with being the youngest person to climb it and two years later at the age of 14, I stood on the top for the first time.

Early in the summer of 1962 I got a call from Roper asking if I was interested in climbing Castle Rock Spire with him and Mark Powell. I had turned down an earlier offer from Steck to climb the Steck–Salathe on Sentinel and was bound and determined to never make that error again. Castle Rock Spire! “Sure man I’m in. ”The plan was, we would drive to Fresno, meet Powell who was coming up from L.A. and together drive to Sequoia.

For $250, I had recently acquired a 1948 Chev in superb condition with only 19,000 miles on it and the owners manual in the glove box. The car had a fairly low gear ratio so it made a lot of noise cruising down the road at 70 mph. It had a large back seat, voluminous storage area and was great for hauling gear and “other things.” Vacuum start, vacuum shift and fun to drive. Blew through the first engine that summer but that was expected with the miles and pace of the summer. I wouldn’t let Roper drive because he scared the living sh#t out me when he was behind the wheel.

We arrived in beautiful downtown Fresno mid morning and it was already 110 degrees and we had hours before Powell was due to arrive. Off to the air -conditioned public library where we could pass the time in comfort. This was a routine rest stop for Roper, he heads over to the tape section, slips on a pair of earphones and disappears into la-la land with some obscure recording from the past.

Now Roper loves classical music and he particularly loved to share his Beethoven recordings at full volume when you showed up at his house for a visit. He would sit there and play the start of the the 5th over and over and over, while he directed the orchestra. So I figured he was headed for a classical rendezvous.

I’m relaxing and enjoying the cool comfort when I suddenly hear this very loud, very familiar voice, ”Yesterday-Dec 7, 1941, A Date Which Will Live In Infamy………” and I see the librarian quickly heading his way to cut him off. Earphones off, apologies and back to normal. Almost.

Not more than ten minutes later, again, I hear at an even louder volume, “A Date Which Will Live In Infamy………” Apparently, Roper could not resist the temptation to recites these famous words by Roosevelt at full volume and now we are in deep trouble. 86ed out of the Fresno Public Library on a hot, sweltering summer day and nowhere to go. Fortunately, Powell shows up and we head off for Sequoia.

Best viewed from Morro Rock, the 1000 ft Castle Rock Spire and the beautiful and spectacular face of the Fin next to it are inspiring to say the least. The Spire was first climbed by the SE face on April 27, 1950 by a team composed of Will Siri, Phil Bettler, Jim Wilson, Allen Steck and Bill Long, all prominent climbers of that era.

A month later, John Salathe along with Anton Nelson and four others made the second ascent. Powell made the 4th ascent on Oct 1, 1955 with Don Wilson and the 6th ascent on July 22, 1956. Our adventure was to be his third or fourth ascent in less than 7 years.

The infamous approach was a significant part of the mystique of the early and later ascents. We approached from the back and not from below which seems to have become more popular years later. No GPS, Giardia, or topo but we did have Powell with his encyclopedic memory and he had been there three times before. I don’t remember much about the approach except it was complicated, it was hot and it was long.

Hiking with Roper is always an interesting experience. He has one pace and that is fast and he knows only one song to hum or whistle and that is Greensleeves. Powell on the other hand, because of his fused ankle had a slower and more painful syle and was easier to keep up with. Basically we were on a three day bivy so the food was minimal. One day in, one day on the climb and one day out.

My impressions and memories of the climb narrow down to it was spectacular, exposed, high angle and superb rock. There was certainly some aid but not a great deal and some rather challenging free sections.

Roper and Powell were fun and easy to climb with. Around the fire at night the limericks would fly. Once they got on a roll it was hard to stop. The fouler the better. They were bantering limericks back and forth like a ping-pong ball. My jaw was sore from laughing so hard.

I would certainly place this ascent of Castle Rock Spire with Roper and Powell as one of THE most enjoyable and rewarding climbing adventures I ever experienced. It has been almost fifty years, yet I still smile when I think of the fun, comaraderie and good times.

As Roper would often say

Adios MF

Credit: guido
Castle Rock Spire and Fin from Morro Rock
orig photo Levy?

Credit: guido
orig photo Alois Smrz

Credit: guido
orig photo Alois Smrz

orig photo by David Hickey. Nice view of the long traverse out. The ro...
orig photo by David Hickey. Nice view of the long traverse out. The route is close to the right hand skyline.
Credit: guido

orig topo from Brutus of Wyde
orig topo from Brutus of Wyde
Credit: guido

First or second ascent. Help us out here Ken
First or second ascent. Help us out here Ken
Credit: guido

Credit: guido
Roper and Powell
Roper and Powell
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Credit: guido
Powell working on a lymerick-attire of the day <br/>
9th ascent Castle Roc...
Powell working on a lymerick-attire of the day
9th ascent Castle Rock Spire 1962 ish
Credit: guido
Roper and Powell sharing a little humor
Roper and Powell sharing a little humor
Credit: guido
Credit: guido

My photos were shot with a Petri 35 mm half frame camera and they were virtually unviewable until Haan did his magic on them. Kudos to Peter!


















guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 22, 2010 - 10:49pm PT
It is hard to beat this description of an ascent of the Regular Route on Castle Rock Spire by Brutus of Wyde. RIP




Brutus of Wyde

climber
Old Climbers' Home, Oakland CA

Topic Author's Original Post - Feb 18, 2005 - 03:40pm PT
It's 11 am. on July 24, 1993.

I am 60 feet up in an oak tree on a brush-infested ridge in Sequoia National Park. That is about as specific as I can get on our location.

Pat, Kenn Kenega and I have spent the last 3 1/2 hours struggling upward through shoulder-high poison oak; burrs and foxtails matting in our hair; filthy sweat and tears leaving tracks through the dirt and poison oak oil on our skin until absorbed by the tangle of crud coating us.

Pat and Kenn are somewhere below. I lost sight of them about an hour ago while crawling through a particularly thick jungle of poison oak and buckbrush.

I brush off yet another tick, this one lovingly exploring the tender spot behind my left ear.

From my lookout in the tree, I can see not a thing that would give us any clue as to where we are, or where we want to be, if only we knew where that was.

As the cursing, thrashed pair arrive below, I descend through the heat (mindful of how little water we have remaining) to a desperate conference amid the tangle of sticker-bushes on the ridge top: Pat thinks we may be on the wrong mountain entirely. We both agree that, if we are on the right ridge, we're at least 2,000 feet too high. We all three agree that we're doomed.

Our excellent approach instructions simply indicated follow the old Castle Rocks Trail (faint in 1983) for 4-5 miles to rocky gullies. Since we never found that trail, we are not even sure in what direction we should be headed.

Doomed. The trip is a bust.

We agree to have lunch in about another hour of thrashing, and to decide then, when and how to retreat.

Conference over, we hoist sweat-soaked packs and stumble upwards into the brush, to find the Castle Rocks trail 50 yards away.

The route from here is a clear, easy contour through miles of forest to a gully with clear, sweet water and a rock chute leading up through the granite towers to the climb of our lives (still wading through poison oak though.)

Sunset: We lounge at a campsite scratched out of the jumbled rocks in the throat of the gully, finally able to relax. The incredible tower rises behind us into the evening sky as a vast molten-glowing disc sinks into the far ridges of Kings Canyon National Park. In the gloom, we finish a pot of Chicken-Mushroom Ramen laced with real mushrooms, real chicken, and soy sauce carried in for the occasion. Stars appear far above in the darkening sky and below, the middle fork of the Kaweah River briefly flashes silver from deep in the valley as darkness settles gently over California.

Later --

In a cool pre-dawn three climbers are arranging gear, sorting ropes, shoes and harnesses, cursing the ants that have crept into the packs during the night. Cups of Espresso or tea in hand, they each munch their own personal breakfasts, striving for an economy of movement. Every motion and thought this morning is focused on the climb ahead, and on returning to this rocky, tiny campsite before dark. As they begin to pick their way up the tilted rubble-chute above, one of the climbers bends over and retches.

9 am: Above me the rock is slightly overhanging as I jam up a dihedral capped by a roof. Forty feet below, Pat and Kenn sit on a ledge, worrying and watching as I work my way up the corner.

The roof: 40-year-old bolt beside a #3 Friend.The slings below swing outrageously away from the rock as a wild, barn-door layback takes me up onto crystal knobs in the middle of a vertical crackless wall. I balance and breathe, fiddle with protection, immerse my hands repeatedly in chalk, and study the moves above.

Finally I am ready, and dive up a sidepull, highstepping into a featured chute, nothing left but easy moves into the sky.

The best compliment a second can pay to a leader, without falling on a pitch, is to pull over the crux shaking like a leaf, glasses steamed, snot coming out of his nose. When Kenn pays me this tribute as he com[pletes the 5.11b roof, I am honored. Pat, not to be outdone, falls at the crux.

More leads; pitch after pitch of incredibly steep solid rock leaqpfrog us up into the blue sky.

I want to lead the 5.8, but Kenn takes over the lead at the bottom of a shallow, off-vertical 5.11 seam. Shaking and sweating, we watch him struggle desperately to place sparse protection in the worthless flare. Unsure of his pro, he takes a 15-foot fall to test his top piece. It holds.

More confident now, Kenn tries the moves a few more times, to finally pull through the crux into easy cracks and Lichen below the summit.

Pat tackles the last pitch, 5.10, with a rude power move off of a fingerlock into a bush and we are through the difficulties, lounging in the sun atop the most incredible peak any of us have ever climbed.


Rapelling off. 3 raps down, I slow onto the ledge where, a minute ago, Pat started screaming. He is still screaming. Eyes wide, he holds up a mess of slings through the eye of a rusty, loose piton he removed by hand. One of our rappel anchors. I start screaming with him. When Kenn arrives, he joins in.

Sunset -- the incredible tower rises behind us into the night, an incomprehensible black dagger-thrust of stone. Below, as darkness settles yet again over California, the Middle Fork of the Kaweah River and the swimming holes of Paradise Creek flash molten gold deep in the valley, reflecting the peace of the evening sky.


Brutus
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jan 22, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Cool history & photos. This is why S.T. is so much fun.

I took a meteorology course from Mark Powell at Pierce College where he taught for many years. He was a very engaging lecturer & had a terrific sense of humor.
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Jan 22, 2010 - 11:26pm PT
Guido! what a gem of a post. Thanks!!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 22, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
Guido,
You rock once again.
I didn't even know you did an early ascent of that thing!

And on top of Lost Arrow at 14? Sweet!
You sure got around for a punk *ss kid!

I got on top of L.A. when I was 17 or 18 I think.
My claim to fame is we put 24 people on top one time, including non-climbers, and 22 another time. We had a huge party out there!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 23, 2010 - 01:32am PT
DUKE!

Oh wait....wrong thread....

That last pic is a hell of a keeper eh?
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Jan 23, 2010 - 02:22am PT
There's a lot of keepers there! Major kudos to Peter
although those were pretty good to begin with I think.

Really great stories!
Levy

Big Wall climber
So Cal
Jan 23, 2010 - 06:38am PT
Bump...

This thread is too good to get lost in obscurity.
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 23, 2010 - 01:52pm PT
I love our history, and the fact that we have guys around here that bring us the real goods.
The personal stuff.
Thanks Guido!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 23, 2010 - 03:12pm PT
Castle Rock Spire Routes

Regular Route IV 5.11 FA Siri, Bettler, Wilson, Long, Steck 4-50
Northeast Face V 5.8 A4 FA Frost, Herbert 9-67
West Face Iv 5.9 A4 FA Rowell, Beckey, Hempel, Borson 5-69
Gargoyle Route III FA Laeger, Laeger, Smith 7-83


*from Moser, Vernon, Hickey guidebook
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jan 23, 2010 - 03:33pm PT
Great photo of Mark Powell, and the boys on a summer adventure.

Summit register from the early ascents in the 1950s


(photo of Bruce Bindner, 2002)

1st ASCENT
CASTLE ROCK SPIRE
----------


APR 27, 1950
WILL SIRI
AL STECK
PHIL BETTLER
BILL LONG
JIM WILSON
----------


2nd ASCENT
MAY 28, 1950
JOHN SALATHE'
ANTON (Ax) NELSON
DAVID HAMMACK
MANFORD SAMUELSON?
R M_
CHARLY C_
(15 hours)
----------


3rd Ascent
June 17-18, 1954
ROY GORIN
MIKE SAY___
12 hours
----------


4th Ascent
October 1, 1955
MARK POWELL
DON WILSON
5 1/2 hours
---------


5th Ascent
June 10, 1956
Charles Wilts
Jerry Gallwas
7 1/2 hours
---------


6th Ascent
July 22, 1956
Mark Powell
John Ohrenschall
7 1/2 hours
----------


7th Ascent
Jun 21, 1959
T.M. Herbert
_ Revich?
__ hours
----------



from

http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=876255
aguacaliente

climber
Jan 23, 2010 - 08:55pm PT
wow, awesome.

love the picture of Powell belaying, something about it makes me think he looks like a sailor from centuries ago.

where is the second bivy with campfire picture taken (the one with Powell with his head down) - on top of the Fin?
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jan 24, 2010 - 12:38am PT
Aqua........

I believe it was farther out on the Fin.

Powell always was a dapper dude and way ahead of the times in style. Pre Grunge?

There was a famous second-hand clothing store in S. CAl, called "Granny Grundies" (sic), where many climbers of the day were outfitted.
bhilden

Trad climber
Mountain View, CA
Jan 24, 2010 - 02:05am PT
Guido,

Now, that's a trip report! Super cool! Keep 'em coming.

Bruce
ß Î Ø T Ç H

climber
. . . not !
Jan 24, 2010 - 04:36am PT
That last photo with the shadow is so f
(kng good .
Jan

Mountain climber
Okinawa, Japan
Jan 24, 2010 - 09:27am PT

Thanks for a most enjoyable post and thanks to Peter for the help with the photos.
David Wilson

climber
CA
Jan 24, 2010 - 11:06am PT
great TR guido. thanks for posting. i'm going to pass this link to roper and maybe we can pry a few words out of him for posting
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Jan 24, 2010 - 12:27pm PT
Yeah, pry Roper!

Go do it now!

He's just scared cause Guido got more wimmen BITD!
ec

climber
ca
Jan 24, 2010 - 03:43pm PT
'never thought anybody did that approach from Atwell. We did the same. 'cool being ontop of The Fin, 'eh? Thx for the post Guido!
 ec
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jan 25, 2010 - 01:04pm PT
Really really nice photos......

Now I need to go figgure out how to scan and post....


EC Joe wrote in the register...." .. came in from the top...it was hell.. never again" (sorry if I butchered it, eddy, my memory is fuzzed a bit)

I think CRS is the best summit in calif....
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jan 25, 2010 - 11:52pm PT
Anybody up for an April trip up there?? I've got the approach pretty well figured.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 26, 2010 - 02:18am PT
Been there done that.

Unless you are already very familiar with the terrain, the ticket is to recon the approach from one of the nice scenic turnouts on the way up to Morro Rock. That way, when you are in the thick of it you will know where you are. We got the approach and the climb (all free) first try. The fellows who were trying to beat us by a day and skipped the recon. Ha! We caught up with them on the way in and they were thrashed.

Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Jan 26, 2010 - 09:28am PT
Guido,

Very cool photos and trip report.

Salathe's son gave me that photo. Salathe attempted the first ascent with Jim Wilson around 1948. I would have to look through the interview footage to see if there were others. I can't identify the other person in the photo so am not sure if it was from that trip or from the 2nd ascent.

Ken
Tarbuster

climber
right here, right now
Jan 26, 2010 - 11:49am PT
Great stuff!
'Love the Roper anecdotes.

Nice touch inserting the Bindner tell.
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Jan 26, 2010 - 12:55pm PT
Guido: More stories please! Keep em coming!

Thanks to Peter for the photo work!

Cam Burns

Social climber
CO
Jan 27, 2010 - 09:19pm PT
Joe, Awesome stuff. Camster
Peter Haan

Trad climber
San Francisco, CA
Jan 27, 2010 - 10:16pm PT
Ken, that third guy, heading to the right with a walking stick looks like Jules Eichorn to me.


Credit: Peter Haan
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Jan 28, 2010 - 01:19am PT
Amazing thread. Thanks so much for bringing the magic. The topo of Castle Rock Spire in my copy of the SEKI guide has drool all over it from staring at it for all these years.

Radish. I really might be interested. I've had a woody for that spire since I was a kid. I just don't know if I'm man enough for it now that I'm a man.....if that makes sense. I live in Fresno. You serious about this thing?
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jan 28, 2010 - 01:53am PT
take a number

;)

ec

climber
ca
Jan 28, 2010 - 03:08am PT
EC Joe wrote in the register...." .. came in from the top...it was hell.. never again" (sorry if I butchered it, eddy, my memory is fuzzed a bit)

I think CRS is the best summit in calif....

Yeah, misjudged the H2O factor...ended-up with 1.5qt of water each for 2 days...bivy near the summit

David Hickey, well done on the summit
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jan 28, 2010 - 11:10am PT
Eddy.... you guys are the only folks who have slept out on that thing....pretty nice sunrise, no.

You know there is no summit register on it any more. SHAME ..... I saw the "copy" of the register..... the one clint is holding, in the parking lot at the needles last summer. Somebody didn't put the top of the film can tight enuf and it had gotten wet and mostly unreadable. .... so these guys brought it down to see if it could be salvaged. I don't think it could be.

So micronut.... you have a mission.... make a new "List" and haul some paper and a pencil up there. Please.
ec

climber
ca
Jan 28, 2010 - 04:57pm PT
We were on top on July 4th with views of fireworks in the far, far distance...
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Jan 28, 2010 - 05:25pm PT
Guyman...That's a dare. Here you go. I re-made the summit register. Now All I gotta do is git it up there!
Credit: micronut
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 28, 2010 - 05:55pm PT
Yer missin' two ascents, both free on the regular route on the same day in May 1991.

Kris Solem with Guy Keesee.
Bill Leventhal with Rachel McCollum.

Guy if you have pictures from then you'd better get over here and start scannin'!

:-)
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Jan 28, 2010 - 06:39pm PT
Kris, I had to shorten the list to get it in focus! Left out a few others too. Sorry to dis you guys. Great send by the way. I envy you.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jan 28, 2010 - 07:33pm PT
Hey I didn't feel dissed in any way. Sh*t I'm too old for that!

I thought your short list was funny, especially your "send scotch..."

I just couldn't resist the opportunity to get in a little internet spray for my friends and me.

And somehow I don't think you'll epic though. Oh, we did a more direct start to the Regular Route rather than the long traverse in. It was fine. And that "150' Rap 2 Ground" on the SEKI guide topo??? Only someone who has never been there could come up with that whopper!
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 5, 2010 - 03:15pm PT
Ok, just learning about all this stuff. I hope I dont wreck any computers. It was a fun filled few days.

Credit: guyman

This was something I first saw at a slide show given by Mark Powell.... I needed to climb it. I was able to find some folks who were possessed with the same dream.

Credit: guyman


more...
Credit: guyman


The "most of the day" hike was a challenge, we made poison oak suits to get through that. This is taken after we located the "old trail" and had left the PO behind.

Credit: guyman

Taking a break, Levi keeping us well motivated.

Credit: guyman

After some hours, of following a very faint trail, the SPIRE comes into view.

Credit: guyman


Credit: guyman


After I took this one, I turned around to see Kris. This was turing into a hard slog with heavy packs.
Credit: guyman

Going up a gulley, we hit the snow. Pretty tired.

Death Ice Field
Death Ice Field
Credit: guyman

Up ahead, Kris and Levi. Levi broke through and stopped when his butt/pack hit the snow.... after helping him out... he was 10 inches from the ground, could have been twenty feet!

Credit: guyman

Camping. I was very surprised to find zero level spots to camp. Others stay way down in the gulley and sleep at the trail crossing. We looked around some and found a really nice Bivi on some ledges on the Fin, complete with running water and the 5.5 climbing would keep the Bears away.
Credit: guyman

The next day, it was Mine and Krisis'day to nab the summit. We figured we could stay on the fin and follow some ledges up some and rap into the gulley. NOT! When we came to the spot it was like 500 feet down so no dice. We climbed some cracks to the top of the Fin (if you find the Dimes and nickles we left at the last belay you found our new root) The rap from the Fin is something like 10 raps, you will get your rope stuck if ya dont pay attention.
Photo of the Spire from the top of the Fin.

Credit: guyman

Looking down with two more to go. You can see our Bivi below, and the ice/snow chute we climbed the next am.

Credit: guyman


The next day, we got going pretty early, kicked steps into the snow, we did what is now called the "Smerz"start,(see topo upthread) you start up some 5.5 and avoid the 4th class "traverse start". A few pitches with a move or two of 5.10 put us "in the cave" it's right behind the end of the dark spike. You downclimb about 30 feet to get to the belay for the crux. This is where GV's guide tells you to rap 150 feet to the ground. Ha Ha.... more like 1,500. I am looking a little concerned, Kris is really psyched to get on that crack, out over all that air, I will be next.

Credit: guyman


Kris, freeclimbing upward. 5.11b ....cool tights, no?

Credit: guyman

Art Photo.. once you get out from under the roof, you find a most remarkable little ledge. It's about the size of a shoe box and you get a no-hands. See shadow of Kris just standing there.

Credit: guyman


You continue up the rest of the pitch, really really fine 5.9 steming/jaming to a little alcove with a "bolt" placed by "Ax Nelson" maybe....it's old. Levi and Rachael caught up with us so we extended the anchor down to them.

Credit: guyman

Another pitch of 5.11 with some thin pro, and a easy one with a bush in the way and we were on top. I was to gripped to stand up on the dam thing or to have a victory smoke with Levi.

Credit: guyman

Levi was walking around.... we trundled some :>) it took forever for the rocks to hit bottom.

Credit: guyman


Kris and I on the Summit. Kris sure is a short little feller.

Credit: guyman

The Raps were pretty wild, I gladly added stoppers, new webbing, and biners at all the stations. We slid down the snow chute and got back to the Bivi in no time. Then it was time to celebrate.

Credit: guyman


I hope you enjoyed this, it's one of the best climbs I have ever done.

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 5, 2010 - 04:25pm PT
thx guyman!! awesome!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 5, 2010 - 04:42pm PT
Bitchin' addition to this thread Guy!!
Waaaay to go!
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 5, 2010 - 04:57pm PT
Very nice share. Did you name the route on the Fin? Rating?
Mike Bolte

Trad climber
Planet Earth
Feb 5, 2010 - 05:39pm PT
fabulous TR! thanks
Zander

Trad climber
Berkeley
Feb 5, 2010 - 07:02pm PT
Woo Hooo!!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 5, 2010 - 08:55pm PT
Best thread on The Stand this year!! Beautiful shots Guido! And, to you, Guyzo......I finally got to see you and Kris doing CRS. Blown away!

Radish.....hell yeah, we got that approach dialed! I think we did that approach nearly 4 times in 2 months. Seriously!! Hell, I'm thinkin'
I got the "car-to-base of CRS-to-car" speed record (5 hours and 44 minutes....HA!)

Rene, Larry Zulim and I worked on that old CRS trail for two years (shhhh.....don't tell the park!), clearing brush and then some! We even stashed gear one year so we didn't have to haul a bunch the next spring. BAD CHOICE!! Even after carefully protecting said gear, we ended up finding badly corroded cams and biners that spring. What a damn shame! Rene knows how badly I wanted to do this route (and still do!) but didn't quite have the skills sets to free the .11b section (yep, can someone please drag me through that section!). I finally got the ideal partner last year to join me in doing the Regular Route on Castle Rock. A mad man and visionary named Brutus of Wyde said "let's do it". Dood already had 3....yes, THREE previous ascents of The Spire under his belt (2 of them FA's). Sadly, the two of us never made it up there last year. Many of you know why. :( Anyhooo....the Spire still calls to me (I believe Rene is tormented each night, waking up in a pool of cold sweat. Right Rene? ;) Believe we'll give it a go, eh Mungie!?

Micro -

You want to enjoy the Spire?! Recon it first.....that's the crux fo sho! Then, it'll be deeply embedded into your soul.....just like the ticks that you pick up along the way! :)
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 5, 2010 - 09:11pm PT
Oh yeah....I forgot to mention that I had a conversation with Allen Steck last year at Brutus' memorial. When I mentioned that Brutus and I had plans to do it, he chuckled and went into the cool story of his ascent of the Regular Route. He later told me that Salathe' had originally gone up there a year earlier (1949) to attempt the FA. Said he had started to the left of the Regular Route about 100'. Ended up bailing off it a pitch and a half up, dead-ending into a rotten chimney with a 50 lb loose block above.....which a expertly heaved over his head and behind him into the gully below!!

What a fine gem of climbing history that was, especially coming from Allen!
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 6, 2010 - 12:41pm PT
Thanks all.

Nate, we didn't name the root, it's about 10b. 3 - pitches of hand finger crack. Gets you up to where the Fin extends out from the hillside. If the Fin and Castle Rock spire were close to the road it would sport about 800 climbs. It would be pretty sweet if we could get a accurate recreation of the "Summit Register" back up there.

And Dave, Micro et all...... go for it!!!! Late April or very early May are best.... we saw no snakes or tics.

thx gk
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 6, 2010 - 01:30pm PT
Yes, It'll depend on the season but it is good to go when there is snow in the gulley all the way down to the trail. Then you can bust up that and bivy on those nice ledges on the base of the fin right across from the spire. Cold mornings, but you are right there in position to go.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 6, 2010 - 02:58pm PT
Here's some more temptation. Dave, we should try again this year in May??



photo not found
Missing photo ID#144456
[photoid=144458
We were just wet......
We were just wet......
Credit: Radish
.[photoid=144447
Looking for the trail....
Looking for the trail....
Credit: Radish
photo not found
Missing photo ID#144450
photo not found
Missing photo ID#144451
photo not found
Missing photo ID#144460
Lots of ticks up there, Deer Ticks that carry the Lyme. I got lucky af...
Lots of ticks up there, Deer Ticks that carry the Lyme. I got lucky after about a month of dealing with this one....right on the harness line!
Credit: Radish
Its a "Hellish" approach.
Its a "Hellish" approach.
Credit: Radish
photo not found
Missing photo ID#144821
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 6, 2010 - 03:18pm PT
YESH! vee go!

great pics!
guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 7, 2010 - 12:22pm PT
Reene.... good ones! Is that swimming pool part of the water flowing down from CRS? I hear you have the Trail sorted out. When we did it it was so faint it was almost gone. The "stone works" built by the Army were still in good shape. When we would find them we knew we on the path.

Post up more... ok
BooDawg

Social climber
Paradise Island
Feb 8, 2010 - 03:57pm PT
Great Story and photos, Guido. Please send me links to your other stuff here on ST, so I can catch up with your postings.
Dick Erb

climber
June Lake, CA
Feb 8, 2010 - 04:14pm PT
Ken, Just click on Guidos name to the left on his post and you will be taken to another page where you can find access to all his posts. He's got some good ones.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 8, 2010 - 07:18pm PT
Guyzo....told you already what effort was put in to dial in the trail! Sheeesh! Put the lettuce away! LOL! Larry Zulim and I put in 8 hours of solid work one day. And Rene recalls the day when we worked on one section (about 1/8th of a mile in 4 hours!!) I think Rene and I have done this approach more than anyone person.

Rene.....absolutely! I love hiking that approach!! The orange newts are a bonus, as is the old rock walls where the trail is reinforced. The CCC did a fine job.....now it looks like old Mayan ruins, moss growing off the sides. That place is magical up there....
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 8, 2010 - 07:49pm PT
Images for the secret handshake club only......




guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 8, 2010 - 08:56pm PT
Tooooooooooo Much!
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 8, 2010 - 09:38pm PT
Dude, I recruited that chick for SF school.
She did great.....
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 8, 2010 - 11:18pm PT
edit: I deleted my post... Too easily misunderstood and it's pointless anyway...

Nice pics everyone (except perhaps the belly full of tickbite... eew!)

carry on...
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 8, 2010 - 11:29pm PT
If you told us...


SHE'D Have to kill us!!!!

Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 8, 2010 - 11:51pm PT
If you told us...


SHE'D Have to kill us!!!!


How did you know???
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 9, 2010 - 12:10am PT
trail prolly isn't for those doing it at the time, but those following it the next time up...

oldguy

climber
Bronx, NY
Feb 9, 2010 - 04:47pm PT
One more of the climbs I wished I had done early on, but (in regard to the register and for posterity's sake) Gorin (3rd ascent) asked Mike Sherrick to go with him, not me. And I believe it was TM and Dave Rearick on the 7th ascent. Too bad there isn't a picture of Guido, but doesn't Roper look like a kid, even in '63? An innocent kid, even, which we know not to be true.
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 9, 2010 - 05:55pm PT
Man this thread is awesome. Thanks Guido.
Don't have much to offer in the way of personal experience other that a lifeliong infatuation with the mystery and lore of the place. Here's a little contribution to the thread I just sketched.
Credit: micronut
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 9, 2010 - 06:47pm PT
Revised transcription of the summit register, thanks to Joe Fitschen's edits above:

1st ASCENT
CASTLE ROCK SPIRE
--


APR 27, 1950
WILL SIRI
AL STECK
PHIL BETTLER
BILL LONG
JIM WILSON
--


2nd ASCENT
MAY 28, 1950
JOHN SALATHE'
ANTON (Ax) NELSON
DAVID HAMMACK
MANFORD SAMUELSON?
RICHARD? M
CHARLY CRAWFORD?
(15 hours)
--


3rd Ascent
June 17-18, 1954
ROY GORIN
MIKE SHERRICK
12 hours
--


4th Ascent
October 1, 1955
MARK POWELL
DON WILSON
5 1/2 hours
-


5th Ascent
June 10, 1956
Charles Wilts
Jerry Gallwas
7 1/2 hours
-


6th Ascent
July 22, 1956
Mark Powell
John Ohrenschall
7 1/2 hours
--


7th Ascent
Jun 21, 1959
T.M. Herbert
David Rearick
__ hours
----------
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 9, 2010 - 08:28pm PT
OK, out with it.

Who's oldguy?

Probably another one we should be celebrating around here.
He's making personal references to Guido, Roper and Sherrick....
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 9, 2010 - 10:31pm PT
Tis Joe Fitschen-One of the most prolific climbers of the 50s and 60s. Couple minor routes like 2nd ascent NW face of Half Dome, 2nd ascent of the Nose etc etc...............plus many first ascents in the Valley and Tahquitz.

Thus is the derivation of my name "Little Joe" because obviously he was "Big Joe."

Fitchen was the first person I ever heard mention that frightening word Marijuana. It may seem humorous in the world of today but in 1960 it was scarce to even hear the word. Times they have changed. I'll smoke to that.

cheers

Guido
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 9, 2010 - 11:02pm PT
Dang, I knew I should've recognized it from somewhere else around here.

Sorry Joe 1 & 2, I'm getting senior before my time!!!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 10, 2010 - 08:18am PT
Cheers to the Double J's! "Mary Jane" you say? Heck, you missed the gravy train 3 or 4 years ago when she was in abundance out there. You just had to navigate the booby traps to get to some of that booty.

Micro-

When you transcribe that art work onto a t-shirt.....I'll take two.

Guido-

thanks for the email the other day. BTW, I was under the impression George Sessions had done an ascent on The Spire. Just local talk when I was living up in that neighborhood a few years back.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 10, 2010 - 04:04pm PT
Kris....anybody....The stuff I've been putting on here has been mainly about the approach. I'm curious what other climbs can compare to the regular route up the spire??
Its just an inch on the map....
Its just an inch on the map....
Credit: Radish
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2010 - 04:10pm PT
If "smiling George" had done an ascent, it would have been with a team of underaged, giggling nubile ladies, and in fear of retribution, the summit register would be bereft of any signatures.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
If "smiling George" had done an ascent, it would have been with a team of underaged, giggling nubile ladies, and in fear of retribution, the summit register would be bereft of any signatures.

Now that is funny!

I'm curious what other climbs can compare to the regular route up the spire??

Rene, without spraying beta, this is what I recall. The first crux pitch is a corner after you pass through behind the tower. It’s got some funky stemming and decent jams, maybe kind of like P3 on Don Juan Wall in The Needles but roomier and shorter. The real crux of the pitch is getting out left and around the roof which caps the corner. If you really commit you will be rewarded…

A couple pitches further up is another 5.11 pitch, this one is thin face moves with thin pro. It is steep face, but not as physical as the corner. As I recall, it was kind of all about one move.

Levy lead those pitches also, on the same day I did. Maybe he’ll chime in with his recollections.
ec

climber
ca
Feb 10, 2010 - 04:31pm PT
micronut, get ihateplastic to run a t-shirt of that!
 ec
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2010 - 04:34pm PT
micronut, get ihateplastic to run a t-shirt of that!
ec

Yes! What EC said!
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 10, 2010 - 05:29pm PT
Hey Fitschen, I just caught up with this thread--great read and pictures Joe--and when I got to the picture Mark putting on his jacket and Steve drinking out of water bottle I was struck at how instantly recognizable Steve is, even when we cannot see his face.

I think that it is just his aura of innocence: he always defined the angelic perfection to me.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 10, 2010 - 06:23pm PT
I have been alerted through the various media distribution services that a shirt is needed! I have seen the art and will be in touch with Sir. tinynutz to see what can be done.

Only concern... are there more than 10-20 people out there who need this shirt?
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 10, 2010 - 06:55pm PT
I would absolutely love one. Email me through this site to make arrangements...

Thanks!

Kris

edit: Hey Joe, It was an honor and a pleasure meeting you up in Idyllwild recently!
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 10, 2010 - 07:43pm PT
Ok fellas. This is gonna cost you. Hold the press on the shirts!

I am a 5.8 climber with a penchant for the remote and bragworthy. I cannot climb 5.11 and get savagely pumped on 5.10 but I have a serious woody for this route. I have basic wall/aid skills and am an expert groveller.

If one of you guys would consider teaming up with me for a go at this route, and was willing to show me the way in and lead all the hard stuff, I'd make us LIMITED EDITION EPIC FREE T-SHIRTS printed on guaranteed to shrink non-organic cotton. I'm dead serious.

We can have Ihateplastic make a generic batch for the wannabee's, has beens and ST lurkers, (summiteers recieve a 5%discount) but the EXPEDITION T will be one of a kind.
Serious inquiries only please. Also, I have a DEA license so I can prescribe Rocephin or Vibramycin for Lyme disease should the need arise.

Here's some new art.
Credit: micronut
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 10, 2010 - 08:07pm PT
Vibramycin

Wow! would that help restore my old Kronhofer Vibram soles?
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:06am PT
This may be of interest to some:

In the fall of 1991 Shawn Hazelwood and I hiked in to climb the Spire by the regular route. We got half way up before realizing we were running out of time in order to make it back to the camp site by night fall. As we were not prepared to spend the night on the Spire, we rapped back to the base and made ready to descend the gully. At the base we noticed what we thought was an old piece of red sling near the start of the climb. Upon investigating it turned out to be the summit register from the Spire. I have no clue how it got there. Maybe a raven found it on top and was making off with it and dropped it? I put it in my pack and headed back to camp, arriving well after dark. While in my keeping I wrote down all that was entered in the register. Below is the list I copied. The following year Shawn returned to climb the Spire and replaced the register on top.

D. Hickey


Castle Rock Spire register

Placed on the Spire by the 9th ascent parted 6/29/63

1st Ascent Castle Rock Spire April 27, 1950. Will Siri, Phil Bettler, Bill long, and Jim Wilson.

2nd Ascent May 28, 1950. John Salathe, Anton (Ax) Nelson, David Hammack, Manford Sanuelson, Richard Michael, and Charley Carley Cranford. (15 hours)

3rd Ascent June 17-18, 1954. Roy Gorin and Mike Sherrick. (12 hours)

4th Ascent October 1, 1955. Mark Powell and Don Wilson. (5 hour 30 min)

5th Ascent June 10, 1956. Charles Wilts and Jerry Gallwas.

6th Ascent July 22, 1956. Mark Powell and John Ohrenuhall. (7hours 30 min)

7th Ascent June 21, 1959. T. M. Herbert and David Rearich. (7hours 30 min)

8th Ascent July 17, 1961. Charles Pratt and Andy Lichtman all day

9th Ascent June 19, 1963. Steve Roper, Little Joe McHemon and Mark Powell. (6 hours)

10th Ascent July 6, 1964. Chuck Pratt, Mark Powell, and Beverly Powell.

11th Ascent May 19, 1969. 1st Ascent West Face. Galen Rowell and Fred Beckey (2 day)

12th Ascent regular route June 8, 1974. Greg Donaldson, Ian Raistrick, and Walt Vennum. (what happened to Frost an Herberts N. Ridge Ascent)

This register, as it is, was placed Labor Day, 1983. By Jack Huntamer, Giant Forest and Matt Hoggard, Santa Barbara, (Welcome to Castle Rock Spire!)

9/4/83. Matt H. (12th asct?) Hey all you low Budget-low Lifes. On top. Good rout (Regular) Later! Beautiful Day, Splendid Climb J. B. H.

13th ASCT (?) see other Reg. 9/8/83. All FREE 5.10/5.11 Pitch above tunnel 5.10+ Pitch above 5.6 chm 5.11? (A1). Last Pitch 5.9. Rob Raker and Dick Leversee.

July 6.1984 So Tired. I forgot the date. Came in from Paradise Ridge Down hideous gully, never again! Did reg. route, Bivy on top. Will rap an climb Fin to get out! E. C. Joe, David Hickey and Jim Marchesin.

May 15th 1988-LA-RCS 15th Ascent 8 hours. Miguel Carmona and Alois Smrz. Did “Silver Lining” on the Finn 2 days ago. This ranks among the best weekends ever. Weather suparb. Reading the Fegister-What a company. We must be the first plaine people up here!! Cheers

July 1. 1989. 15 hours from Buckeye to the top of Spire. Staying the night on top. Great Weather. Art de Goede and David Hickey. Splended night.

May 6. 1990. Kris Solem and Guy Keesee. This is fobulous-WOW!

5/6/1990. 2nd party for the day Meggo Kicks. Did Reg Route All Free 5.11c no falls. Did “Silber Lining” yesorday, very good. Like Faervew Dome in Tuolome. Bill Leventhal and Raehal Weil. Time for libation! “How can the wind with its arms all around me. I feel lost in the city.” Yes hart of summer

Stu Polack, and Tom Hunt 22nd Ascent? Reg Route Free 10/13/90. Part of an elite few it seems. In from Buckeye last night, up Reg Route, hopefully down and out tonight. Great Weater! (Modesto)

Sewellymon

climber
.....in a single wide......
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:18am PT
We're not worthy.

Micronut's illustration looks like a penis with wings.

I am in. Name a date and I'll show up with a HazMat suit and machete. I sherpa my way up hacking a clear path for the summit team.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:37am PT
DH - Thanks for posting that list!

Just for sh*ts and grins I'd be curious to know how our ascent numbers in true free ascents. I was squeaky clean that day and of course Levy, who was right behind us was as well. Two free ascents that day.

Interesting that Raker and Leversee thought the face pitch was harder than the corner/crack. I thought it the other way 'round, obviously those guys are better crack climbers than I.

Great history, very lucky you came across that register in the gulley that day.
Mighty Hiker

climber
Vancouver, B.C.
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:42am PT
"Little Joe McHemon"?

Tis Joe Fitschen-One of the most prolific climbers of the 50s and 60s. Couple minor routes like 2nd ascent NW face of Half Dome, 2nd ascent of the Nose etc etc...............plus many first ascents in the Valley and Tahquitz.

Thus is the derivation of my name "Little Joe" because obviously he was "Big Joe."

I guess he couldn't have the poetic "Bitchin' Joe Fitschen", because that was already taken by BBA.
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 11, 2010 - 01:45am PT
Oops. Good point swellymoon. I'll have to change that up. I was trying to accentuate the "spireness" of the spire. I'm not wearing that thing on my back.

DH, that's so cool. good find. good work.
ec

climber
ca
Feb 11, 2010 - 02:13am PT
DH you been lurkin'!

 ec
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 11, 2010 - 02:13am PT
D H

That's an amazing post...

Well done!

Where the hell did you get that much down to the hour information??

Have you been taking notes?

MH,
"Little Joe McHemon"?

Joe McKeown, The one and only Guido Dog.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 11, 2010 - 02:31am PT
That is pretty interesting-so ours was the 9th ascent and it was 1963 and the day before my birthday and only 6 hours. I even had a different name-in real life it has always been McKeown but not bad for almost 47 years I would say. Man that is a lot of stuff to copy in a short time-tooo bad you didn't have a digital camera-oh wait, we will have to wait a spell on that one. Thanks for the update-fascinating!

cheers

Guido
survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 11, 2010 - 02:37am PT
Wow, Guido.

47 years....I hate to tell you bro, but that's a seriously long time ago.

My hat's off to you,.....again.

Happy Sailing!
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 11, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
Nice stuff! Hey Micronut......Don't forget to add the Rattlesnake to your drawing. Hope to have one of those shirts one day!
Dolomite

climber
Anchorage
Feb 11, 2010 - 05:47pm PT
This has to be one of the best threads EVER. Thanks to all for keeping the history accurate and alive--
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 11, 2010 - 06:20pm PT
Oh yeah, the shirt needs a rattler for sure. Anything else? This shirt should have input from those who have been there!

Credit: micronut

del cross

climber
Feb 11, 2010 - 07:59pm PT
Rattlesnakes and ticks. What really stands out is the poison oak, at least that's what I worried most about. That, and just finding the way. Even after having climbed the spire, when I went back to climb the Fin three years later we got lost and never made it to the base. It didn't help that neither of us had a real map. And although my partner had a GPS we forgot to bring the coordinates. We tried to rely on my memory as to where to leave the trail, but that sure didn't work. We went back again the following year.

So micronut, my suggestion: maybe add a few more of those leaves to that drawing.


Sorry to hear the register-copy was damaged and removed. What happened to Emily Coomer's panties?

photo not found
Missing photo ID#145276
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 11, 2010 - 08:04pm PT
Best post eva!

What happened to Emily Coomer's panties?
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 11, 2010 - 08:07pm PT
Micronut... Please remember... less is more!
Chicken Skinner

Trad climber
Yosemite
Feb 11, 2010 - 08:45pm PT
Great stuff you guys. I agree, this is one of the best threads in a long while.
Peter, it does look a bit like Eichorn and a bit like Axe Nelson. They were both tall, Axe extremely so.

Ken
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:01am PT
ec

lurkin’? lurkin’? well just a little, but more like sneaking

DH


ec on the way to Castle Rock Spire 1984
ec on the way to Castle Rock Spire 1984
Credit: D H
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 13, 2010 - 01:45am PT
If anyone else is going up, ping me, I don't want to have to race you to the base to get there ahead of you.

hahahaha

I better go ask my partner which route we're doing, cuz free climbing like Levy and Kris ain't gunna happen my friends. That was a spike in style that went WAY up for the day! nice job all you guys.
ec

climber
ca
Feb 13, 2010 - 02:07am PT
Sh*t! I was half the man I am now...Nice, I hadn't seen that one.
 ec
Brandon

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Feb 14, 2010 - 12:13pm PT
Bears are an issue up there too.

While exploring the base of the West face of the spire for a new line I ran into a bear. I had just climbed up the 4th class that got to the base of the west side gully. A medium to large bear was trying to make its way down the gully, either he was looking for an exit or heard me climbing up and wanted to see what was going on. Once I started up the gully I heard the bear moaning and noticed he was only 30' away. The bear was kinda cornered by me and starting to get spooked. He started making more noise and spooking me. I got out of the gully as fast as I could. I expected to see the bear in camp later that trip, but didn't.

Another story; in preparation for the final attempt on Cinco De Mayo, Bruce and Em hiked in a food cache to the campsite below the gully, the weekend before. On their hike out they noticed fresh bear poo and that the sunscreen they left by the stream had holes in it from bear teeth. They realized they didn't hang the well food enough to protect from bears. So the following weekend Bruce and I hiked up more food. When we got to the camp, the original food cache was untouched and we were left with 10 days of food to eat for a 5 day trip. This included 2x 1.75L of Tequila. I think we drank all but the last bit of the second bottle.

Regarding Coomer's panties, I saw them when I was last on the summit. They seemed like they were in good shape.
Inner City

Trad climber
East Bay
Feb 14, 2010 - 01:10pm PT
This thread is what it is all about! Thanks for the great stories and pictures. I love it!
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2010 - 04:50pm PT
As I said earlier, I have always had a fascination with pinnacles and spires. Here is a photo of what I believe is Mechanics Delight at Pinnacles. This would be circa 1958 and where I found that telephone sign, I have no idea. In fact I don't recollect the location of the climb.

Notice the state-of-the-art attire. Army fatique pants, which not only had too many pockets to load up with junk, but were so hot and bulky.

This obsession, or habit of "collecting" signs was to get me in trouble on future occasions. But the "man" was more generous back then, and we usually just got our hands slapped and a little lecture.

Kudos to Haan for another excellent photo retouch!

Guido on Mechanic's Delight, circa 1958
Guido on Mechanic's Delight, circa 1958
Credit: guido
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 14, 2010 - 05:18pm PT
Great old Pinnacles pic and should also be posted to one/some of the Pinnacles threads, like this one:
http://www.supertopo.com/climbing/thread.php?topic_id=503728&tn=80
Roger Breedlove

climber
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
Feb 14, 2010 - 06:39pm PT
Nice picture, Joe. Well done. That will likely end up in a climbing history book in a hundred years, with a thoughtful essay on the meaning of the sign. Thanks to Peter, also.

Were you 12 or 13 in '58? Did your Mom know what you were doing?
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Feb 14, 2010 - 09:04pm PT
Here”s a little more early history on The Spire. Years back I ran across this entry in a 1947 Sierra Club Bulletin (for those not familiar with this publication, it was a soft bound book published by the Sierra Club). The entry was written by Anton Nelson on a trip he and fellow climbers took to the Castle Rocks. Below is a copy of that entry:


A Reconnaissance of Castle Rock Spire


Bay area climbers, with accelerating zest, turned from the fall of The Arrow to new fields of challenge. For ten years tower scalers muttered in their beards about “The Spire,” but, owing to their intense hatred of hiking, even to a climb, were content to view it with awe from the comfort of the north rim of Kaweah canyon, perhaps from Moro Rock, in Sequoia National Park.

This year on two midsummer trips the multiple cliffs of the Castle Rocks Ridge submitted to the appraisal of Bay Area Bergsteigers, Ted Knowles, DeWitt Allen, and Ax Nelson. The summit of the highest of the upper group of three rocks (9,150—class 3-4) was properly christened with a soup-can register by Ax Nelson. Progressing down the weirdly sculptured ridge to the northwest, Ted and Ax unslung pitons and carabiners to test all qualities of Sierra granite, from rotten to bombproof, on a little class-5 stroll to the top of “The South Guard” which was a first ascent.

Just beyond, climbing vistas expand with a massive vertical block, one or two rope-lengths above its highest shoulder, of a finger dubbed “The Little Spire.” Down to the north again the ridge runs out onto a long giant fin from which one at last sights below him The Great Spire, a Munich man’s dream or nightmare, which can be approached by a rough downhill scramble of several hundred feet.

This latter rock, Castle Rock Spire, is a massive granite fin, narrow but flat on top, 900 to 1,200 feet high on the north side where it falls off into Kaweah canyon, and 400 to 500 feet sheer above its notch on the south. Its vertical sides fall into steep chutes. The north and east sides present few cracks and fewer ledges ending in blank walls and overhangs near the top. The 90-degree south “prow” becomes hopelessly massive, too, toward the upper reaches. The only apparent route (?) lies on the west face, average angle 87 degrees. A long crack or slight fissure runs down through several overhangs past smooth walls from the flat top, but ends, still 150 feet up, on a smooth face. However, a sort of horizontal crack runs over to the south some 50 to 60 feet, where its terminus might be approached by one class-5 pitch up a pinnacle lying against the prow and a sideward rappel. Six or eight long pitches of class-6 work, over at least two or three days, by two alternating teams of strong climbers, seem to be the only feasible technique for overcoming this problem. Four nylons, three of four rappels, 200-300 feet of sling rope, 50 or more pitons, 2 to 3 dozen carabiners, plus one-half-inch and three-quarter-inch drills and bolts—together with comparable amounts of “drive” and “elbow-grease,” would probably be needed.

After a 6-to-8-hour drive in a good car from the San Francisco of Los Angeles areas through Visalia one approach lies up the Mineral King road on the East Fork of the Kaweah. From Atwell Mill Ranger Station hike north via signed trails through lovely Sequoia and fir forest over the ridge to Castle Rock Meadow at 8,500 feet, where there is water most of the summer (2,500-foot gain in elevation, 6 miles). An alternative approach to the Big Spire proper starts from Hospital Rock on The General’s Highway and consists of a 7-mile, 5,000-foot marathon, three-quarters of the way by signed trail. Approaching close under the Castle Rocks ridge through the forest, the trail comes to two distinct flood channels. The first has water in it (last chance for the canteens) well into the summer. The route takes up the second (dry) channel toward the east side of the spire, where it becomes a somewhat tortuous declivity. “Severe class 3,” says DeWitt.

Possibilities for a glorious period of from four to seven days of free-for-all ascents by several ropes of climbers presented a great appeal to this year’s three explorers. The six months following June 1 offer many opportunities on “long week ends.” With a lovely base camp at Castle Rock Meadow, the climbs could be reached walking downhill with ringside seats available to kibitzers of climbers on the Great Spire and on the Little Spire on the ridge above. The high mountain scenery of the Great Western Divide to the east and the vast hazy depths of San Joaquin valley on the west offer an enjoyable backdrop to those climbers plagued by claustrophobia in Yosemite’s marrow quarters, and bored with the routine of its “standard” climbs. When shall it be, men?

Anton Nelson





I also have the Sierra Club Bulletin from 1950 with a article written by Phil Bettler on the first ascent of the Castle Rock Spire I’ll see about scanning it and posting it on this forum.

DH



Castle Rock Spire 1984
Castle Rock Spire 1984
Credit: D H
Jim Marchesin behind the Dark tower, Castle Rock Spire 1984
Jim Marchesin behind the Dark tower, Castle Rock Spire 1984
Credit: D H
The Fin on the approach from Atwell 1984
The Fin on the approach from Atwell 1984
Credit: D H
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 14, 2010 - 09:15pm PT
I would have been 13 and my mom had a pretty good pulse on things. Quite liberal for the era, letting me haul off to Yosemite for the summer. But if you screwed up, which I was opt to do on occasion, the disciplinarian part came out and I would be in deep sh#t for a spell. Although she had a heart of gold, you did not want to cross her. Pet peeve-no driving up and honking. You want to visit, pick up my son? Come around to the back door. At times, I do think she scared Roper. Hell, she even scared me sometimes.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Feb 15, 2010 - 01:04am PT
Joe,


This is Photographer's Delight.
Compare to the photo on p.200 of Brad's guide, or check this one from flickr:

You can take this photo right from the trail.
Mechanic's Delight is further downhill and a lot harder.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Feb 15, 2010 - 03:58am PT
Thanks Clint

Appropriately named. Not many "Climbers Guides to Pinnacles" available in New Zealand so it was a stab in the proverbial past.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 15, 2010 - 06:27pm PT
Oh sh#t....look at all the playahs coming out of the woodwork: Dave, EC, Kris, guido....even Brandon! All-star cast of folks.

Micro.....keep to the original design and you have a deal. You got me on that one, Ihateplastic?!

As said previously, I'll take two. Hey Brandon....two words: South Guard (*cough* *cough*). Thanks for posting that juicy nugget Dave! BTW, anyone know of any routes on the east side of the Fin??
ec

climber
ca
Feb 15, 2010 - 07:13pm PT
BTW, anyone know of any routes on the east side of the Fin??

One possibility, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you...

 ec
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 16, 2010 - 12:01am PT
Workin' on the design as we speak fellas.....I'm thinking of incorporating a quote from the MoVernHick Guide.

"....Most people get lost here...may the Force be with you."

Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 16, 2010 - 12:19am PT
Can't wait to see it!
ec

climber
ca
Feb 16, 2010 - 12:30am PT
No, man! That quote is lame...first instinct is everything!
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Feb 16, 2010 - 12:37am PT
DH, what was it like walking in from Atwell? That sounds
like it could be the ticket: 10 miles of cruising vs 3 miles
of Bataan Redux.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 16, 2010 - 09:11am PT
Reilly....the approach from Buckeye flat CG is the "adventure" crux. Surely you wouldn't want to miss out on "what separates the men from the boys". Hell, just ask Rachael! Ha!
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 16, 2010 - 10:59am PT
I gotta agree with ec... keep the quotes and extraneous art to a minimum. It's all about the Fin and Spire!
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 16, 2010 - 11:15am PT
Alright, I penned this last night while watching.......Olympic couples figure skating. So, any beef you have with the art can be blamed on my altered state of mind.

A couple of you said to leave out the quote or stick with the original JFK quote....I'm easy, I usually like to scribble some text into stuff, that's just my style. And the idea for giving some props to the FA team was also an "in the moment decision."

So, give me some feedback on what you like or despise about it and I'll think about it before sending it to IHPlastic. Its looking pretty good, man I gotta get up there someday.

rough draft CRS Tshirt
rough draft CRS Tshirt
Credit: micronut
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 16, 2010 - 02:03pm PT
BTW, anyone know of any routes on the east side of the Fin??

One possibility, but if I told you, I'd have to kill you...

ec

Now EC....that's no way to treat folk who know and respect that neck of the woods. ;)

Best part about it all, its loaded with possibilities.......but there ain't too many people will to suffer these days. HA!

Micro -

I like the new artwork but keep the original wording from the first piece.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 16, 2010 - 02:30pm PT
Micro...

I am not a fan of the quotes... but it is your art.
I like the FA team names.
I guess I can remove the background color in Photoshop but a white background would have been better.

Other than that whining... Looks GREAT!

Let me know when you are ready... just send over a high-res scan (well, 300 DPI or better if possible.)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 16, 2010 - 02:38pm PT
Didn't Raker and Leversee do the first free? If you're going to name names...

Up to you though. Looks great!

Edit: Nevermind. I'm blind and missed the date. I see what you're meaning...

Nice.
del cross

climber
Feb 16, 2010 - 02:56pm PT
Looks really good, micronut, but too many poison oak leaves! (-kidding). I agree with others about the quote. Actually your first one looks great too.

Thank you Mr. Hickey for posting about Ax Nelson's "reconnaissance". I've been curious about the upper Castles and there is scant information about them. A little bit in the SEKI guide, Secor, and a recent AAJ note from Brandon.
drljefe

climber
Old Pueblo, AZ
Feb 16, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
Wow, this thread really delivers!
Thanks all you guys.
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 16, 2010 - 06:59pm PT
Roger that. I'll sketch in the ol JFK quote....its one of my favorites anyway. And Plastic, I'll shoot you the original on white paper. Its only brownish cause I took a quick photo of it to post here.

And I want one too, obviously.

I hope they sell like hotcakes! Makes a great gift!
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 16, 2010 - 07:03pm PT
Ok, quick vote. Would you guys like it without any quote whatsoever?

I was thinking of sketching in the GPS coordinates in the same area. It kinda looks cool in my minds eye. Or making a cool compass look on the right side. It kinda hints to the fact that it is an adventure/expedition in getting there.

I'm open.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 16, 2010 - 08:04pm PT
I really like your design. The Kennedy quote is better than the other one. But for me, gps coordinates might be a deal breaker. I'm not fond of those newfangled contraptions ;-).

But I'm just one vote... Go with the flow.
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 16, 2010 - 08:56pm PT
Micro-
Your a sport to take input from so many art directors and you'll never please everyone. BUT, yikes, here comes another opinion! I like the current drawing and my 2 cents is that the original loose border deal was kinda cool to contain the whole graphic. And then adding back the compass rose lower right to fill that space, like you say, but maybe the one tick down there in your current drawing has to go to make room. FWIW - I'm just a nitpicky graphic designer/art director by trade...
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 16, 2010 - 09:37pm PT
My vote: No quote... let the art speak for itself. GPS takes the adventure out of it! I could live with a compass rose. And I liked the original edge also.

But... you are the artist! (okay, lose the quote) But you are the artist! (but...)
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Feb 16, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
Micro...

I would definitely like to get one of the T-shirts when they’re available.

DH
Brandon

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Feb 16, 2010 - 11:58pm PT
I've made two trips to the Upper Castles and haven't seen much development. I've seen some old artifacts from the climbers that got to the spire summits via 4th & 5th class routes. The only semi modern routes, prior to me visiting, are the Beckey route and the Laegar route(Gargoyle). The faces are steep and tall, without a lot of continuous crack systems. I've noticed the rock quality varies from perfect to choss.
I heard that Ron Carson had spent some time up there and did not document his routes. I just know of his routes on the Fin. Has anyone heard of him establishing routes at the Upper Castles?
ec

climber
ca
Feb 17, 2010 - 12:47am PT
Brandon,
Only the stuff on the Fin. Had you repeated that face route of Ron's to the left of Silver Lining?

I made one trip to the back after CRS and failed on an FA on one big ass dome. Otherwise, the 2nd ascent of SL and the Poison Oak trip from Hell with you to do what eventually became Spiked Hairdoo...
 ec
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 17, 2010 - 10:34am PT
I had talked to Ron about the back towers at the Castles in the 80's and he mentioned the "Rapunzel Wall" but didn't say much about the then new route. He said there was a bolt stash back there too but didn't say where or what formation...........Ron's route on the far left of the Fin "Nervana" (spelled wrong in the guide) hasn't had a second ascent yet..it looked hard!!..........Nice to read the stuff from the iron men of the old days DH. We've had several trip adventures back there eh!!
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 17, 2010 - 01:44pm PT
Alright,
Here's the final artwork. Thanks for all the input, but the voting booth is now closed. Spread the word and let Ihateplastic know how many you want and what size. Hope yall enjoy 'em and wear 'em with pride. I won't wear mine till I stand on top.

Credit: micronut
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 17, 2010 - 01:49pm PT
There's a bug. You need to put a line break after your photo id for it to post...
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 17, 2010 - 02:26pm PT
Micronut... First, as you probably know we are having photo troubles on ST so try that again.

Second, as soon as I have the art I will set up a SKU on my site and the orders can flow in. Hopefully this weekend...
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 17, 2010 - 04:50pm PT
How's this, I brought it in from Photobucket.
Simon, I just sent you the original via e-mail.
tom woods

Gym climber
Bishop, CA
Feb 17, 2010 - 06:24pm PT
Anybody got photos of the upper castles Brandon is talking about? Or South Guard. They are pretty cool looking from the few spots you can see them.
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 17, 2010 - 06:36pm PT
Shirts will be available for ordering within 48 hours!

Nice job Micronut
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 17, 2010 - 07:14pm PT
Muy bueno! You got it right Micro!

I'll take two!

Rene -

You still have that photo we took when we attempted to thrash, crawl, claw (and that was in manzanita alone!) our way toward the base of South Guard from below via Paradise Creek drainage??

Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 17, 2010 - 08:47pm PT
I'm only getting mine after I summit.

thx tho guys!
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 17, 2010 - 08:49pm PT
Yea, I don't feel worthy either,
but very nice job micro!
Brandon

Trad climber
Santa Maria, CA
Feb 17, 2010 - 11:03pm PT
EC, that attempt we tried eventually became Cinco de Mayo. Bruce and Coomer had already established Spike Hairdoo, during the winter. I remember Bruce saying car-sized blocks of ice would roll down the gully between the Fin and the Spire.

I took a look at Nervana once, but noticed a huge 30-50 runout on the 2nd? pitch. I couldn't imagine getting hurt that far in, so I passed. Looks like a good, but serious route.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 17, 2010 - 11:43pm PT
Reading all this has made me wiggle in my office chair, getting the fever to go out there. I went with a friend today to help him on his new route lower in the same area of the park. There's still lots of snow up higher. Places like the gully may see snow all the way into June or July this year. Though up in the bay and oak trees today it was alittle chilly..........

Mooch....I think I know the picture your talking about of the back towers...I'm looking............
We tied our gear up high, mainly for the critters. I had to sneak this...
We tied our gear up high, mainly for the critters. I had to sneak this shot and I swore I'd never tell anyone where this route is going up till its done..............You know how that stuff goes....
Credit: Radish

Edit
ec

climber
ca
Feb 18, 2010 - 12:18am PT
talk 'bout goin' green...
jax

Sport climber
sonoma county, ca
Feb 18, 2010 - 01:55am PT
That last photo in particular is just beautiful. I need to get out to spires again soon.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 19, 2010 - 04:28pm PT
Keeping this thread alive...............

photo not found
Missing photo ID#146318
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 19, 2010 - 04:30pm PT
Hours away from T-shirt ordering!

survival

Big Wall climber
A Token of My Extreme
Feb 19, 2010 - 04:35pm PT
Micro and IHP,

Maybe someone else mentioned it already.....

Any reason why East is on the Left and West is on the right??
Maybe it was intentional?

Pretty fun either way....hints at even more adventure!
Kinda like it's the Bermuda Triangle out there???
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 19, 2010 - 05:59pm PT
EFFIN NO WAY!

I did not catch that!

So now there will be a very few super collector's items out there.

Thanks for the catch... Micronut... I can fix this in Photoshop but you might want to fix your original art for any future use.
Nate D

climber
San Francisco
Feb 19, 2010 - 06:30pm PT
I'm guessing it was intentional, no, micro? He did like the idea of getting lost...
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 19, 2010 - 07:05pm PT
sounds like a rebellion in the making!

Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 19, 2010 - 07:24pm PT
Sounds to me like a conversation we had on the approach...

"East is this way!" ... "What are you nuts? East is that way..."
micronut

Trad climber
fresno, ca
Feb 20, 2010 - 06:48pm PT
Don't change a thing! That was totally intentional since it seems everybody gets lost up there the first time up. I was going for the subtle "Lost" meets Captain Jack Sparrow's screwy compass vibe.

Good call to those that saw it!
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Feb 20, 2010 - 08:53pm PT
DH, what was it like walking in from Atwell? That sounds
like it could be the ticket: 10 miles of cruising vs 3 miles
of Bataan Redux.



Reilly,


If you are going to climb Castle Rock Spire, I believe the best approach is still from Buckeye Flat via the old Castle Rock Trail. Finding the old trail is tricky but not impossible. You will save a lot of time, probably over half, compared to walking in from Atwell Mill. Poison oak and tics are quite manageable if you are prepared. It’s a bit of a hassle but the Spire summit is well worth all the effort.


However, climbing at the upper formations of Castle Rock, the Atwell Mill approach is the way to go via the Paradise Peak Trail. When we went to the Spire, by this approach, it was no fun (to put it mildly). Descending the gully above the Spire is steep, loose, and wicked. Going back up the gully it had hardly changed and was an adventure in itself. Ask ec. We did this approach once, I think he will agree.


DH


Upper formations of Castle Rock
Upper formations of Castle Rock
Credit: D H
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 20, 2010 - 11:10pm PT
A teaser David forgot to add (December time frame. 2009)...I'll lend a hand ;) (stolen from summitpost)

guyman

Trad climber
Moorpark, CA.
Feb 21, 2010 - 11:43am PT
That is a nice shot. Thank you for posting, Dave.
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Feb 21, 2010 - 12:58pm PT
Regarding the approach from Atwell Mill via Paradise Peak Trail. It is a reasonable approach for the upper Castle Rocks, but for the Fin and the CRS it does not work well. It ends on the top of the Fin and you have a rather long series of raps into the CRS approach gully, it takes time to get down there. On the way back, you need to get back up to the plateau, not very practical. Miguel Carmona, Bob Lindgren and I went that way in 1984 (before there were any routes on the Fin) and we gave up on it quickly.
Fritz

Trad climber
Hagerman, ID
Feb 22, 2010 - 12:13am PT
art & culture bump
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 22, 2010 - 12:49am PT
Okay, the shirt art is up on the storefront so start yer ordering!


While you are there, check out the other cool shirts!

WIENIE ROAST (one and 2-color)

FACELIFT '09 (Funds go to the YCA.)

LIMITED EDITION BRIDWELLFEST '10 (Funds go to the Bird.)

RUSSIAN ELECTROCUTION

and more to come this week!


Starting in 2010 we are donating 10% of our pre-tax profit (the lawyers said we had to write it that way) to the Yosemite Climbing Association and YOSAR. Other big corporations donate 1% and many do nothing but we like to think a bit bigger than that. (Exceptions to this rule are shirts produced for specific fund-raising events such as Facelift and BridwellFest '10)

And remember... Always FREE SHIPPING and NO TAX!


http://www.shop.vershke.com/category.sc?categoryId=3
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 22, 2010 - 03:18pm PT
I'll be ordering a shirt as soon as I get er done...............
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 22, 2010 - 06:12pm PT
Radish -

In other words, you're waiting on Mr. Zulim like I did?? Nudge, nudge. ;)

I think a "work shirt" is deserving enough for you Rene! You paid your dues! Besides, you need some of that fabric to cover up that pasty skin from being burned, eaten up by ticks and protected from that god aweful PO!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Feb 22, 2010 - 06:44pm PT
My order is in... ;-)
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Feb 22, 2010 - 10:51pm PT
I got to smell the familiar pith (piss) ants just the other day when I grabbed a ledge edge and had my hand covered! Hadn't smelled that since last summer.
photo not found
Missing photo ID#146689
Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Feb 22, 2010 - 11:01pm PT
Hope I get up it this spring so I can buy a T shirt!
I'm thankful to yous guys for the advice about not doing
the Atwell approach; it looks so gud on paper!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 23, 2010 - 02:03am PT
Nice shot of us Rene! Was that near the base of The Fin?

Hey Brother Plastic....

Am I asking too much if you could make mine a hoody?? Black with white print.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Feb 23, 2010 - 02:17am PT
and can we get them impregnated with technu and picaridin?


ok, so I'm kidding, a little.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 23, 2010 - 10:09pm PT
Stop teasing Rob! Mmmm, the loose fit of Tyvex. ;)

"Cause I'm freeeeeeee........free ballin'........er, fallin."

(apologies to Tom Petty)
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Feb 23, 2010 - 11:14pm PT
Let me look into the hoodie... Some artwork doesn't look great when reversed black to white... I'll get back to you on this...
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Feb 23, 2010 - 11:31pm PT
Or a gray hoodie with black print. Put dat purty artwerk on da back side, yo! Thanks for bendin' the rules P!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Mar 3, 2010 - 12:55pm PT
Hey Simon

Minor correction on your narrative about the shirt in your website...

CRS and The Fin are NOT in between Kings Canyon and Yosemite. Thought I'd nit pick ya! Ha!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 3, 2010 - 01:02pm PT
They are if you go the long way 'round...
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Mar 3, 2010 - 01:06pm PT
HAAAAA!!! Goodin' Kris!
ec

climber
ca
Mar 12, 2010 - 09:28pm PT
IHP,
It's been three weeks. Where's my t-shirt? You never answered my email either...
 ec
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 12, 2010 - 09:41pm PT
HAAAAA!!! Goodin' Kris!

You know, I've gone on trips in the mountains with guys who navigate like that.

The worst is when you're with someone with a gps and no common sense. They'll insist on going "that way," regardless of the terrain because, well, the unit says it's "that way..."

I didn't need no stinkin' gps to go in to the Spire, climb it free and get out alive first try. Okay, that's full on unadulterated spray but it's true. And what's the internet for anyway?

Eddie, I think he's at that Woodson shindig right now. I emailed him too and he said they are at the printer will ship soon...

Reilly

Mountain climber
Monrovia, CA
Mar 16, 2010 - 08:41pm PT
But it looks so close from the road!

Credit: Reilly
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Mar 17, 2010 - 12:14am PT
Reilly,

You're a Cascades guy right? The CRS approach is cake for you. Even here in California there are many areas with much harder approaches both logistically and in terms of grunt factor.

Juss' sayin'...
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Mar 17, 2010 - 12:37am PT
ec... You should have a letter... I sent you one recently. I am busting my nut trying to get these and Bridwell and Woodson done. Not to mention 1,000,000 Yabo shirts! Anyway, hang tight... I am picking up shirts tomorrow and more on Friday. Hopefully the CRS will be there.

Mooch... Nice catch on the location of CRS... I will fix that. Guess it's been way too many years. I hope to get some nice winter pics of CRS/Fin next week.
ec

climber
ca
Apr 1, 2010 - 08:23pm PT
Got it!

thx IHP!

 ec
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 1, 2010 - 08:38pm PT
THINGS IN YOUR MIRROR ARE NOT AS CLOSE AS THEY SEEM...

March 24, 2010
March 24, 2010
Credit: Ihateplastic


March 24, 2010
March 24, 2010
Credit: Ihateplastic

I just wish there was more rock and less climbers up there...


mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 2, 2010 - 06:23pm PT
I just wish there was more rock and less climbers up there...

Wuddahyah talkin about?!? There's pretty much a lifetime of fun up there....you just have to work to get to it. ;)
Ihateplastic

Trad climber
It ain't El Cap, Oregon
Apr 2, 2010 - 08:48pm PT
Mooch... As with so many of my posts...

Credit: Ihateplastic

Credit: Ihateplastic

Credit: Ihateplastic

Credit: Ihateplastic

Note to self: If you ever do a "safe search:off" Google Image search for tongue or cheek... make sure the kids are asleep.

D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Apr 25, 2010 - 06:10pm PT
More early history on The Spire. From the Sierra Club Bulletin 1951 written by Philip Bettler on the first acent of Castle Rock Spire.

DH

Credit: D H
Credit: D H
Credit: D H
Credit: D H
Credit: D H

Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 25, 2010 - 08:05pm PT
Cool article, David. Epic 6.5 hour lead on aid pitons by Will Siri! This is apparently the original way on p7 on Bruce's topo:
orig topo from Brutus of Wyde
orig topo from Brutus of Wyde
Credit: guido
I wonder who found the 5.8 bypass variation on p7?
Maybe Powell and Wilson, when they cut the time down from 12 hours to 5.5 hours in 1955?
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 26, 2010 - 01:55am PT
Here's my attempt to summarize ascents and attempts on Castle Rock Spire, based on info posted to this thread and other references. If people know of other ascents or have other photos of the summit register, this could be updated.

[list was edited; same list is on next page]
ec

climber
ca
Apr 26, 2010 - 03:51am PT
Clint you're the man!

Good job!

 ec
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Apr 26, 2010 - 09:48pm PT
Clint--nice work on a time line of ascents of Castle Rock Spire.

The only other ascent I know of is one made in 4-28-07 by Torey Ivanic, Jason Ivanic, and Daniel Moor.


DH
del cross

climber
Apr 27, 2010 - 01:02am PT
Clint,

Bob Suzuki and I climbed the regular route on June 8, 2002. Also, Craig Clarence and his two friends Andy and Jason climbed the same route on the same day. They climbed Silver Lining the day before and we were all pretty surprised to discover one another back there AND to end up climbing the same route on CRS on the same day. Bob and I actually had to wait in line at the base for about half an hour! A queue on Castle Rock Spire.

June 10, 2006, I climbed the regular route again this time with Rick Booth and Hal Tompkins. Second register still there. No entries since our 2002 ascent, but missing rappel tat and hardware suggests someone had been up there. Hal, Rick and I climbed Silver Lining the previous day.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 27, 2010 - 01:33am PT
Nice list, Clint.

I deletd my previous spray now that I'm having coffee instead of Stone IPA... ;-)
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Apr 27, 2010 - 03:14am PT
Thanks for all the info and updates. Updated list:
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Apr 27, 2010 - 06:33pm PT
I'll see if I can find out about the 5.8 bypass. I just talked with Mark today. If they went that fast you can almost bet on it.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Apr 27, 2010 - 07:59pm PT
can't wait!

thx Clint!
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Apr 27, 2010 - 10:29pm PT
Clint, Great Job on the list! I was involved with every recon out there for trail work between 2005-2007. Also along were Dave Daly and Wil Mundy. A few of the trips others went along- Larry Zulim, Rob Brown, Micheal Daly and Scott and Mike Welch. Lots of work went into those trips and a Big Thanks to those who helped. It was Larry Zulims rack that was cached and got oxidized. My water containers both had big teeth marks in them and the water drained from another cache attempt. Unless someone has climbed it since, the Fin has had 12 ascents to the "Silver Lining" route. I work next to the wilderness office in the summer where you get the permit to go out there. I usually hear about parties going up. Now, with the growers problem, any cars parked for the climb at Buckeye or Hospital Rock that don't show permits are suspect. There is usually not a whole lot of permits issued for these trailheads, mainly due to not alot of interest. Nice to have this history down! Our fastest time was just under 7 hours from Buckeye touching the spire and back. Also,is'nt there a picture in Doug Scott's book about Climbing Big Walls that shows the rack he used for the Castle Rock Spire??
del cross

climber
Apr 27, 2010 - 10:44pm PT
Kris, as to your deleted edit: Your dual-team record is safe, at least as far as I know.



This photo was emailed by the Access Fund as we were preparing to head off to climb Silver Lining and CRS:

photo not found
Missing photo ID#155348
ec

climber
ca
Apr 28, 2010 - 12:27am PT
Unless someone has climbed it since, the Fin has had 12 ascents to the "Silver Lining" route.- Radish

O.K. let's have the elusive Silver Lining list. Leversee, Hickey and myself: second ascent...
 ec
del cross

climber
Apr 28, 2010 - 03:13am PT
Unless someone has climbed it since, the Fin has had 12 ascents to the "Silver Lining" route.- Radish

One of my partners talked with you, Rene, and said that the conclusion you came to after talking to Craig Clarence was that the guys who did it in 2004 (Brandon Thau and partner) researched it and decided that they were the twelfth party, which would have made us #13. So were we party #12 instead? This is so very, very important to me, I must know. :o)

I kind of wish we'd taken photos of the register on the Fin. Those pages were pretty weathered.

photo not found
Missing photo ID#155383
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Apr 28, 2010 - 10:48am PT
I was with Brandon and Derek when they made the 12th ascent in 2004, though didn't climb due to my tick delimma. This was according to the register under the rock pile in the pic. Also corrected was the name of Ron Carson's route "Nervana" In the guide it was listed as Nirvana and I always wondered about that, knowing Ron and thinking he wouldn't use that kind of name of a band and such.
Brandon Thau Photo....
Brandon Thau Photo....
Credit: Brandon Thau
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 28, 2010 - 11:44am PT
I stood there for a while looking up at that Nervana of Ron's...

That looks like quite a climb there! Has anyone else done that one??!!

I think it is somewhat left of the letter A and upward arrow on pg 274 of the SEKI guide in very steep thin terrain. I wonder what the bolts are like...

5.10dR or 5.11a (depending on whether you're looking at pg 275 or 304.) With Carson involved that could mean almost anything. FA credit says Carson and Brian Jonas in 1992.

Keesee and I climbed The Fin via a new line somewhere between Silver Lining and Charley Knapp route with no bolts. Never bothered to report it. That was on the same day Levy and Rachel did S.L.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Apr 28, 2010 - 12:45pm PT
We looked at Nervana several times. It starts with a line of bolts, not too many, going up kind of a crystal dike, then into the Black Water Streak shown in this photo, left up the main face. Great line, serious commitment!


This topo was drawn up by EC ?? It looks like your writting.
This topo was drawn up by EC ?? It looks like your writting.
Credit: EC Topo
photo not found
Missing photo ID#155402
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 28, 2010 - 12:51pm PT
Hmmmm....I wasn't aware of any of the SSCA gang doing CRS???

Were they doing a recon? I know Torey and I don't think she has done it. Rene, help me out here. Don't recall Torey doing it. Then again, I was off in SoYo going after stuff there.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Apr 28, 2010 - 12:57pm PT
Dave, Torey, her husband Jay and Daniel Moor all did do it in 07. In fact today is that anniversary. I took Torey out for a recon the weekend before to help her get waypoints.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 28, 2010 - 01:00pm PT
Right on. Did she ever get photos? Would make a great slide show for the upcoming Needles gig. Funny, I mentioned our upcoming trip and she didn't say a word about her ascent of CRS.
ec

climber
ca
Apr 28, 2010 - 01:20pm PT
I did draw that...
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 28, 2010 - 04:05pm PT
D-Cross

In the photo above for SL, are you (or whoever) at the top of pitch #3?? Refering to the topo, it looks like you skipped the pro option at the 5.8 section and even passed the bolt in the middle of pitch #3. 5.8/5.9X climbing??? Sackage!!

Set me straight if I'm wrong.
del cross

climber
Apr 28, 2010 - 04:52pm PT
Dave - that's a photo of pitch 1. We used Craig Clarence's topo and it matched our experience pretty well.

The 5.8 bypass on Castle Rock Spire: who has gone this way? It sure didn't look inviting to us to go up and around that spooky gendarme. The 100 foot crack was straightforward C1. What's the bypass like?
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Apr 28, 2010 - 06:15pm PT
Miguel Carmona and I did (I believe) the 3rd ascent of Silver Lining in 1988 a day before we did the CRS Regular Route.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 29, 2010 - 12:53pm PT
del cross = Jim Curl ???

If so, how the hell have you been?!!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 29, 2010 - 12:55pm PT
Hey Alois....thoughts on your variation start of the Reg Route.
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Apr 29, 2010 - 01:26pm PT
Hardly my variation, more like our variation. Miguel and I debated how to get to the notch of CRS from the Silver Lining trees very early in the morning. The gully was hard snow and we had neither crampons,ice axes or hiking boots (just tennies and sticks we picked up). It was getting pretty dicey in the gully. One of us sugested this thing which would avoid the rest of the approach. It worked. Two short pitches (some .9) got us to the "squeeze" flake avoiding the original loose 4th class traverse from the notch. In early season (May, June) the steepening gully can be nasty. Several later parties had to deal with the hard snow too and some couldn't get past it. The gully affects Silver Lining less, the higher up it one goes, the steeper it gets. Of course, coming down the snow gully is super soft and the going is trivial.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 29, 2010 - 01:52pm PT
Sounds like previous parties didn't do their homework wehen it came to the snow in the gully. Crampons! ;) And the whole weight issue for humping up the approach goes as follows: It's already tough.....get tougher!
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Apr 29, 2010 - 03:17pm PT
We did Alois direct start. It is definitely the way to go. I suppose if you came in from the top the traverse in would seem more sensible, but the first two pitches from below add to the climb.

Crampons? I dunno.

After we got down from the Fin the first day, I went up the gulley on the soft afternoon snow in Fire Flyers, kicking in nice steps all the way to Alois variation. The next morning the gulley was frozen but we had our steps, and nut tools for self arrest...

Maybe OT, but speaking of Alois, He and Miquel did a truly impressive winter ascent of Moon Goddess Buttress in a push recently. Rad for any climber of any age, but that is representing for the grown ups in a big way! Congrats you guys!

Link
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Apr 29, 2010 - 07:34pm PT
Agree with Kris, hiking up there in the afternoon and kicking some steps into the soft snow is THE way. It takes about 5 hours to hike to the Spire from your car (if one knows the way), so there is time in the afternoon to put the steps in.

BTW there is a campsite equiped with a fire ring, showel and a flat spot for three people at the top right side of the stream (looking up) that flows from the CRS gully. It is at the base of the first huge boulder one encounters. Water (the stream) is close by. There is a fixed stopper about 10-12 feet up the boulder, to hang one's food off it. A great place to camp, but about an hour from there to the Spire.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Apr 30, 2010 - 12:28pm PT
Not to sound condescending in anyway guys......but I knew all that. Short of climbing the spire itself, Rene and I have probably been back there more times than anyone person. I can count 3 times in one week during the summer of 2005!

As for the snow, we were back there in mid June a few years back (in the afternoon) and the snow was consolidated enough to warrant crampons. Heck, Brutus and I were packing crampons in because he had issues when they went back there for the FA of Cinco de Mayo.

Yep, I spotted the fixed nut Alois. Left it there, of course. Felt certain at the time that its purpose was exactly for what you said.
del cross

climber
Apr 30, 2010 - 03:58pm PT
I thought it was a pin... or maybe a head. Or both? I've got a photo of the boulder somewhere.

Alois, five hours to the base? That'd be four or so to the boulder camp. Brutus told me it usually took him five hours just to find the old trail, at least until he finally got the approach figured out. And who goes back there with the approach wired? Well, okay, some people, but they're in the minority. For most parties it's a one-time shot. We took most the day and most of our energy to get back there. If, after slogging a full load to the boulder, you told me that I should drop my pack and then kick steps in the snow all the way up the gully, well, I'd have had a good long laugh!

Clint -- the last names of Craig Clarence's partners: Jason Magness and Andy Magness. There was something they wrote in the register about theirs being the "first twin ascent".
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Apr 30, 2010 - 04:11pm PT
Your certainly right Del Cross about the approach. All the talk about how we've worked on the trail could lead someone to think that its an easy walk up now, but its still not at all that way! We did that work several years ago and its probably all overgrown again. A few of us know the way thats a fact and through lots of blood, sweat and poison oak we paid the dues. I would help anyone wanting to know, but thought I better put this disclaimer in. I've always heard it said that the approach is the crux and I think thats true today.
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Apr 30, 2010 - 04:12pm PT
Mooch, I might have said it a bit wrong. I wanted to say that if you do not bring crampons, what Kris did, was the way. I agree (especially early in the season, May, June,early July) crampons are very useful.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Apr 30, 2010 - 04:15pm PT
Thx Radish, along with anyone else that has paid the dues on that thing.

Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
Apr 30, 2010 - 04:20pm PT
Del Cross, Miguel and I went up there first in 1985 (via Mineral King) and 1986, got stormed off 6th pitch of SL in 1987 and climbed SL and CRS in 1988. Spent time there in 1991-1992 as well looking around. So my remembering of the approach might be colored by the many times we were there. Herb L. laughed at our 5 hour approach, but the other way. He maintained that he could get up there in 3.5 hours easy...
del cross

climber
Apr 30, 2010 - 04:32pm PT
I don't doubt that, Alois. If you know the way well and could go fairly light... it's not that far in distance or that much elevation. In one of Brutus's trip reports Dave Nettle hiked back there from the car before breakfast, or something like that. I'm just saying that the average doofus (like me) is probably going to take a lot longer.

We took aluminum crampons and ice axes both times. Turned out we didn't need that stuff, but we couldn't really ascertain the conditions in advance and didn't want to slog back there and then be beaten. It seemed like a couple of pounds of gear was worthwhile insurance.
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
May 4, 2010 - 12:43am PT
Spent a night outside in Seqouia this weekend. Cold and snowy but always beautiful. Never could get a clear shot of the Castles from ampitheather point on the generals highway. But, as you can see, lots and lots of snow in that gully. Think any of you who were planning on heading right up there might have to turn the page on the date book planner...........
The bottom half of the Castle Rocks
The bottom half of the Castle Rocks
Credit: Radish
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
May 4, 2010 - 05:05pm PT
"Turned out we didn't need that stuff, but we couldn't really ascertain the conditions in advance and didn't want to slog back there and then be beaten. It seemed like a couple of pounds of gear was worthwhile insurance."

Wise indeed!


Rene -

Thanks for the photo. Good update but I'm thinking things will begin to heat up and get that south facing area cleared up a bit. Still planning that "recon" date I told you about as to "refamiliarize" myself and get connected spiritually with such an awesome place. Think you can find a day that weekend and join up?
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
May 25, 2010 - 03:02pm PT
Mungie and I took a peek back in the spires this past weekend. Ho Daddy!....the PO is in full strength this year!!! Ticks were out too. Got in some "gardening" as well. Alot of the work that was done 5 years ago had almost been taken back by Ma Nature!! Damn that buck brush.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
May 26, 2010 - 01:27pm PT
Question for the Old Guard (Guido, Kris, Rene, Guyzo, Alois and a few other Old Dads)....

If you look at the formation in Rene's last photo he posted above (and Guido's very first shot taken from the north (assuming it was from the High Sierra Trail), does anyone know if that formation on the far left has ever seen an FA? As far as I know, there isn't anything on it. Got a decent look at this past weekend and looks like clean slab work for about 2 pitches before a slanting terrace breaks up the upper part of the formation and then has about another 2 pitches of clean rock above the terrace. We started referring to it as "Garde Nord" (or North Guard) since its the most significant formation to the north end of the Castle Rock Spires. Thoughts? Info?

The party that did CRS in 2009 posted on Moutainproject under the CRS page by the name of [a href=http://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/ShowObjectStats.php?id=106501642]"Schoney".....did it on June 19th[/a]. 'Course, you can add Munge and I for going back there this past weekend to recon/refamiliarize/"trail maintenance". ;)
Bill Sherman

Mountain climber
Culver City, CA
May 26, 2010 - 02:06pm PT
Sounds like I need to pre-order a prescription for prednisone if the Poison Oak is that bad already. I have plans to get in there in about a week or so.

The photo from earlier this month definitely shows quite a bit of snow still in the gully. Ultralight crampons and ice ax sound like good insurance for this time of year.

Bill
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
May 26, 2010 - 11:51pm PT
Haven't heard of anyone on that side of the Castles......should be virgin, but the old trail goes right under it so don't know bout the old days. There is the old Trad Climbing Creedo though that says...anyone who wants to do a first ascent in an area should do one of the established routes first so they will know the style of the first ascentists before.....

Bill.....let me know when you go up.....I work in Ash Mountain and am interested to hear about your upcoming adventure. rardesch@aol.com
Alois

Social climber
Idyllwild, California
May 27, 2010 - 11:07am PT
Dave and all, In 1985, when Miguel, Bob Lindgren and I approached CRS from Mineral King,(if I remember correctly), there were three formations as one leaves the trail and one gets closer to the Spire and the Fin. The slabs start going down a bit in the area. We climbed all three formations by 2-4 pitch routes (5.8-5.9). I have photos of the formations, but they are burried with countless other slides that I need to sort (one of these days). One of the formations was a good looking sort of triangular shape tower with slabs droping down on the approach. We went up in the middle of the slab.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
May 28, 2010 - 08:34am PT
All due respect Rene, I've never heard of a Trad Climbers Creedo. Many (not all) of the mountains and formations throughout the Sierra Nevada were never climbed first before they were..... But I feel ya.

Hmmmm.....didn't know that Alois. Perhaps you should get that info into the next Secor guide. That way, if someone gets ambitious out there, no one is stepping on the FAist toes and crossing over onto an existing route (ie The Mike Strausmann Memorial Route). But that's another topic altogether.... ; )
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
May 30, 2010 - 03:57pm PT
I think the routes Alois is talking about on the little domes are in the Upper Castles. Only because if you come in on the Mineral King side those would be the ones you reach first. There is a route up there on the highest dome"Ampitheater Dome" done by Roger Briggs of Colo. fame. I think its in an old guide for climbing in the Sierra. Dave, if the dome your thinking is the dome I'm thinking, I've got a hypothetical route scoped on that one also. When the lights right you can see it. We should compare notes. I'm available next weekend. Lets go...............
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 2, 2010 - 02:46am PT
that reminds me I need to decontaminate my gear.
Send

climber
Earth
Jun 2, 2010 - 04:50am PT
Credit: Send
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jun 2, 2010 - 10:33pm PT
Nice Pic! I was going to go out this Sat. but I didn't hear from anyone so I said I would go with some folks up the South Face of Moro same day. Are you talking next weekend??
Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jun 4, 2010 - 04:53pm PT
fire it tomorrow? we'll see.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 7, 2010 - 05:17pm PT
http://www.supertopo.com/climbers-forum/1188447/Yet-another-Castle-Rock-Spire-Attempt


Clint, add another attempt to the list.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jun 7, 2010 - 05:52pm PT
Radish will know for sure, but I'll bet that's the first time someone's been plucked out of there by chopper.
Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jun 9, 2010 - 10:10pm PT
Is there a route on the North Arete? I know cinco de mayo is on the west face and there is spike hairdo is sorta on the east face, but I think there are 5 established routes. Seems like all the routes start from the notch.
Clint Cummins

Trad climber
SF Bay area, CA
Jun 9, 2010 - 10:28pm PT
> Is there a route on the North Arete? I know cinco de mayo is on the west face and there is spike hairdo is sorta on the east face, but I think there are 5 established routes. Seems like all the routes start from the notch.

1. Regular Route - E/NE Face
1a. Direct Start
2. NE Face (Frost-Herbert)
3. Cinco De Mayo - NW Face
4. W Face (Beckey, et al)
5. Spike Hairdo - SE Arete

I recall from the Cinco De Mayo trip report that Brandon and Bruce considered doing the North Arete, but it was too blank, so they climbed cracks to its right.
del cross

climber
Jun 9, 2010 - 10:53pm PT
> I recall from the Cinco De Mayo trip report that Brandon and Bruce
> considered doing the North Arete, but it was too blank

"After much scrutiny we decided there wasn’t a chance the arête would go free, at least for us. We found another line about 200ft up the gully and right of the arête."

"We were paralleling the arête only a ropelength away..."

http://www.summitpost.org/trip-report/169814/cinco-de-mayo-by-brandon-thau.html

photo not found
Missing photo ID#160047
Jordan Ramey

Big Wall climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jun 9, 2010 - 10:56pm PT
Cool, thanks.
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Jun 16, 2011 - 02:27pm PT
Micro and Ihateplastic, those T's still available?
Last weekend we made the epic journey into the elusive spire and climbed the regular route. One of the best adventure climbs and summits of my life. What a special place. Just wanted to thank all those that posted beta on the climb here, as the info was key to our success. Particularly I would like to thank the late Bruce Bindner for the info he put out there on the spire and the surrounding features. The new register is beautifully in tact..thanks mooch and munge.
Cheers
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jun 16, 2011 - 02:49pm PT
Nice job Dood!!

Here'e the link for Ihateplastic's website for the CRS shirt:

http://shop.vershke.com/category.sc?categoryId=3

Got some photos to post up? BTW, are the prayer flags still there?

Finally ordered my t-shirt today!
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Jun 16, 2011 - 05:03pm PT
Got a bunch of great pics as we had three cameras going and will be sure to copy the TR into ST or add a link once its completed.... just working on post poison oak and tick treatment and recovering for now. The flags are still there...think they were in the register??? What a wild summit! Did you guys rap spiked hairdoo? We were really concerned about a stuck rope on that gendarme but somehow escaped the wrath of the spire (there was one old stuck rope there already).
Critter

Trad climber
State of Jefferson
Jun 16, 2011 - 10:32pm PT
but somehow escaped the wrath of the spire

Seriously Goat? I dont feel like we have escaped yet. The tick bites... the systemic poison oak... the night terrors.... o well, at least we are out with most of our sanity.
Sierra Goat and Tick Dick on "The Block"
Sierra Goat and Tick Dick on "The Block"
Credit: Critter


Say
Critter

Trad climber
State of Jefferson
Jun 16, 2011 - 10:41pm PT
Suggested Rack... Long Live Brutus!
Suggested Rack... Long Live Brutus!
Credit: Critter
The "Gatorita" pitch can be found either on the Cinco De Mayo route, or on the boulder of our base camp.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jun 17, 2011 - 04:52pm PT
Praise be the Saints!! You doods did it in pure style and class.....Brutus would be proud!

nice work boys!


Edit: State of Jefferson........nice, Critter!!
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jun 17, 2011 - 05:21pm PT
Salathe attempted the first ascent with Jim Wilson around 1948

hmmmm......makes me wonder if that faded paper we found on the Second Gendarme was their initial attempt. 'Course, Brutus beat 'em to that intended line many decades later, which we all know as 'Spike Hairdo'.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 17, 2011 - 07:17pm PT
SUHWEET! nice job fellas! way to have max fun!


hate them ticksters!
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jun 17, 2011 - 07:22pm PT
Nice Job!! You must have been the 3 hikers with big backpacks that the campground ranger saw going up the paradise trail. Good to hear the adventures are still out there! What were the "Night Terrors"?? and did you have to use crampons on the snow tongue?
SierraGoat

Trad climber
Quincy, Ca
Jun 17, 2011 - 11:30pm PT
crampons and axes were used going up the snow, which amounted to about 1500 vert + -....although critter decided it would be better to craft his ice axe out of an old stick.
pons and axes....and wizard stick referred to as "Grandstaff"
pons and axes....and wizard stick referred to as "Grandstaff"
Credit: SierraGoat

I'm surprised the host didn't mention anything about the ridiculous white jumpsuits...and the three crazed lunatics.
getting ready for the disco techa
getting ready for the disco techa
Credit: SierraGoat
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 19, 2011 - 08:19pm PT
bump because we talked about this one this weekend with great fondness.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Jun 19, 2011 - 08:43pm PT
Davey, when you get done fooling around on the rocks this weekend, here's the vid clip...


http://www.vimeo.com/12606827




Ritas were made as well this weekend. Good weekend despite no climbing.
t-bone

climber
Bishop
Oct 18, 2011 - 01:17pm PT
Credit: t-bone
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Oct 18, 2011 - 01:20pm PT
Nice aerial shot! I like the way it reveals that the Fin and Castle Rocks are the same ridge.
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Oct 18, 2011 - 01:41pm PT
whoa! really nice.

Got a high res version you'd be willing to send me for my desktop wallpaper?


Taken from a plane?
D H

Trad climber
Exeter CA.
Oct 19, 2011 - 12:28am PT
Here is a shot from this last summer of the back Castles
Credit: D H
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
sorry, just posting out loud.
Oct 19, 2011 - 12:44am PT
DH,

that's not that far away. Were you xc or on a spur trail?
Reilly

Mountain climber
The Other Monrovia- CA
Oct 19, 2011 - 12:56am PT
That aerial shot sure makes walking in from the top look a lot easier despite
what others have said.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2012 - 09:55pm PT
I thought it was 1962 but the record shows 1963-so it was only 49 years ago and I can't celebrate until next summer. Powell with his photographic memory told me it was 1963 and I didn't believe him at first. It's the truth even if it never happened, it's the truth!

That time of year to get serious about CRS.
cultureshock

Trad climber
Mountain View
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:20pm PT
BUMP!
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Feb 21, 2013 - 07:31pm PT
They're cursed everyone, don't bother
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2013 - 12:29pm PT
Yep, now it is officially 50 years later. Dam but times flies..............
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 19, 2013 - 12:49pm PT
happy anniversary guido!
Alois

Trad climber
Idyllwild, California
Jun 27, 2013 - 03:03pm PT
A while ago, someone asked about routes on the upper towers of the CRS...
A while ago, someone asked about routes on the upper towers of the CRS massif. This is one of the short routes we did there in the mid 80s. I just hiked the High Sierra Trail and remembered the climb. There was a fire in the area when I took the picture
Credit: Alois Smrz
nutjob

Sport climber
Almost to Hollywood, Baby!
Jun 27, 2013 - 04:27pm PT
Bumptastic, I just re-read this entire thread. Definitely one of the all-time supertopo greats.
mooch

Trad climber
Old Climbers' Home (Adopted)
Jun 27, 2013 - 05:27pm PT
S-Goat -

Forgot to answer part of your question you posted after your trip in 2011.

No, Munge and I secured the prayer flags in place using the existing cairn rocks on the summit. Man, that orange film canister that had the "dust" of the last register was beat! Glad Bill Sherman gave us the heads up so we could place a nice weather proof Pelican box for the register. Should last many, many years to come. Unless, of course, lightning gets the best of it!
Rudbud

Gym climber
Grover Beach, CA
Mar 12, 2014 - 12:15am PT
bump for good stuff.
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Apr 10, 2014 - 08:01pm PT
Right now, April 10, 2014, the weather is just right for CRS....

Just as it starts to heat up, the conditions are great.

H2O at the base, Rattlers are just thinking about moving and the grass is green.

Credit: guyman

To scared to stand or to SMOKE!!!! Still had to rap down.... a first for me.
guido

Trad climber
Santa Cruz/New Zealand/South Pacific
Topic Author's Reply - Jun 19, 2014 - 05:15pm PT
Must be CRS time of the year.....................................
limpingcrab

Trad climber
the middle of CA
Jun 19, 2014 - 08:42pm PT
Word has it that several parties are interested in freeing this route and I know a few are planning on trying this season. Who will get it first?!?!

http://www.supertopo.com/tr/64-Years-After-Salath-Finishing-the-First-Attempted-Route-On-Castle-Rock-Spire/t12038n.html
guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jun 20, 2014 - 08:58am PT
Sort of late in the year...... IMHO

and to anybody going out there, a plea.

Please leave any OLD bolts in place, John Salathe's bolts are rare and way cool.

Place new ones if you must, but let US marvel at the old mank.

Credit: guyman

Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jun 20, 2014 - 10:09am PT
Its really dry up there this year. The Rattlers are bigger than I've ever seen them and they are more agressive too! I heard a Big Lion is patrolling the area looking for a Patagonia wrap with some white chicken meat inside! I'd plan to go somewhere else that's safer this summer, maybe a golf course!
Credit: Radish
And...........Honnold is heading up there!!
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
Jun 20, 2014 - 11:28am PT
I didn't know Mickey was planning on going up there? lol

guyman

Social climber
Moorpark, CA.
Jun 20, 2014 - 11:32am PT
Radish..... +1+1+1 on the photo...

Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jul 4, 2014 - 03:33pm PT
Were there many females that summited this thing?
Radish

Trad climber
SeKi, California
Jul 4, 2014 - 04:20pm PT
V....I think only 2 have made it up to the top. I believe one left her thong up there in the register............
Vitaliy M.

Mountain climber
San Francisco
Jul 4, 2014 - 04:22pm PT
I believe that was Daniel's :-)
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
Jul 4, 2014 - 06:12pm PT
Rachel McCollum did with William Leventhal the same day I did it with Guy. Leventhal and I both led the route free on-sight. That was an awesome day!
NutAgain!

Trad climber
South Pasadena, CA
Jul 4, 2014 - 08:03pm PT
Bumpage
Credit: NutAgain!
Rudbud

Gym climber
Grover Beach, CA
Jul 13, 2014 - 12:16pm PT
Who's going to get the glory of the FFA of the East Face of CRS?

Vitaliy went out last weekend and gave the splitter a good Goo. Show us those pictures V!

And there's a crack to the left of the 2nd pitch splitter and Salathe's bolt ladder that will definitely go easier.

This variation might even make the route a moderate by todays standards.


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