Trip Report
Geezers at Castle Crags 10/08-09/11
Thursday October 13, 2011 2:49pm
Be gentle on me, acid tongued super topo people, it's my first trip report and the real subject is the brain changing effects of aging, so...
Here's me and Hellroaring in the parking lot on our way up to Cosmic Wall:
Credit: David Knopp
We are trying to remember where the hell we are and why we are here-then we looked in the back of the car and saw this crap:
Credit: David Knopp
Then it came to us-we were on our way to Castle Crags, a pleasant, little-climbed area southwest of Shasta, north of the Trinity Divide. We thought we'd be going to Toulumne to climb Matthes Crest but were shut out by the weather-so instead we were cruising north on the 5, drinking coffee and having a few laughs.
We got to the trailhead around 4 and started hiking up the trail til we saw this-our objective:
the Ogre
the Ogre
Credit: David Knopp
The route goes up the sunny face to mid height, then follows the shaded corner to the notch on the left, and then along the summit ridge to the top.
We lazed along and made it to the saddle below Cosmic Wall around sunset. It was a great night, just sitting around in our sleeping bags eating, drinking and shooting the sh#t.
Awake early we saw this:
Credit: David Knopp
We got going and found the base easily-since we've climbed this route almost annually, you'd hope that would be the case but hey we are both pushing 50, with a gap or two in our memories.
Hellroaring cruised the first pitch, climbing past the traditional belay, then backing down to the "right" spot.
Credit: David Knopp
Here he is coming up on the second pitch:
Credit: David Knopp
Hopefully you can see the granite is clean and very compact, with few real cracks and no jamming to speak of-there are more overlaps and pockets, etc. We took about 12 pieces of gear, 6 small nuts and 6 cams to #2, and used maybe 1/2 of them. We placed maybe 3 or 4 pieces on each pitch. the climbing is fun, easy and very positive, with exception of one 5.7 move on a steep slab. Sorry, no pictures.
We made great time to the biggest belay ledge, below the 2d to last pitch, and i had to take a little snooze:
Credit: David Knopp
Hellroaring made killer time up the 2d to last pitch
Credit: David Knopp

and then i took over for the last pitch-we did the arete variation and it's great-easy, but looks burly, has unbelievable exposure. At that point we had a snickers bar
me and Hellroaring
me and Hellroaring
Credit: David Knopp

and rapped off-another brain fart, we brought a trail line and then remembered oops you can get off with a 60 m rope.

So yeah, it's a great climb-comparable to Cathedral but almost better cause there are no crowds, the bivying is killer and the drive is easy. So yeah, for all you geezers who want some mellow multi pitch climbing Cosmic Wall is perfect.

  Trip Report Views: 3,540
David Knopp
About the Author
David Knopp is a trad climber from CA.

Comments
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Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Oct 13, 2011 - 03:10pm PT
but hey we are both pushing 50, with a gap or two in our memories.

Hey guys, that looks like a fun climb. But if your major focus is on being old, and you're not even 50 yet you'd better buck up!

Nice TR BTW, makes me want to make a trip up there sometime. If I can remember...
Mikemcee

Social climber
Mill Valley, CA
  Oct 13, 2011 - 03:34pm PT
Awesome. Love the belay ledge nap pic with Shasta in the background.
Gagner

climber
Boulder
  Oct 13, 2011 - 03:45pm PT
Awesome, and nicely done - those alzheimer points are always special!!

Castle Crags sits just below the radar for most. When I went to school at Humboldt in the early 80's we use to cruise over and climb there, and stay at eKats place in Castella - the Last Resort. Put up a bunch of FA's, though mostly over in Root Creek. I'll bet it doesn't see that much more traffic then it did 25 years ago.

WOO HOO!!

Paul
mike m

Trad climber
black hills
  Oct 13, 2011 - 04:07pm PT
Bump
neversummer

climber
30 mins. from suicide USA
  Oct 13, 2011 - 04:36pm PT
Nice
scuffy b

climber
heading slowly NNW
  Oct 13, 2011 - 04:40pm PT
Cool report, but I think I heard something about memory getting worse,
or something like that.
karodrinker

Trad climber
San Jose, CA
  Oct 13, 2011 - 05:25pm PT
I am hoping the secret to not getting old is to never think about aging and never mention the word old, thus never manifesting oldness. that and beet juice.
Ksolem

Trad climber
Monrovia, California
  Oct 13, 2011 - 07:45pm PT
Three things:

Stay thin. Grow a gut, yer gonna get old.

Never start making old person noises. You know the kind, where it sounds like you're gonna die getting out of a chair?

I forget the third...
Mungeclimber

Trad climber
Nothing creative to say
  Oct 13, 2011 - 07:55pm PT
How can I get a tour? Will you drag 'younger' noobs like me up?

thx for the TR
Zander

climber
  Oct 13, 2011 - 07:59pm PT
Nice! Thanks for posting.
Zander
Fritz

Social climber
Choss Creek, ID
  Oct 13, 2011 - 08:23pm PT
You gents rock, for young sprouts.

I would of turned around after spending a night under those threatening walls.

Thanks for sharing the tale!

You are requested to keep climbing and post more trip reports!
Jan

Mountain climber
Colorado & Nepal
  Oct 13, 2011 - 08:26pm PT
Fifty is still young!
Sorry about your memory. Try fish oil.

And please post on future trips.
Those of us who are truly old, enjoy the TR.
murcy

Gym climber
sanfrancisco
  Oct 13, 2011 - 09:15pm PT
Funness!
Ezra Ellis

Trad climber
North wet, and Da souf
  Oct 13, 2011 - 09:25pm PT
Geezers RULE!
Wade Icey

Trad climber
www.alohashirtrescue.com
  Oct 14, 2011 - 12:20am PT
damned punk kids...good work Dave and Russ
SCseagoat

Trad climber
Santa Cruz
  Oct 14, 2011 - 12:41am PT
Great trip report. Beautiful pics


Susan
Captain...or Skully

climber
Boise, ID
  Oct 14, 2011 - 01:02am PT
Castle Crags is a cool spot. TFPU for sure.
Hehe...."Craigs".
ct

climber
WA
  Oct 14, 2011 - 01:17am PT
Dave and Russ, greetings from an old Marmot compatriot! It's great to see you two climbing and having fun. Sure looks like a great route. Love the shot of Dave sleeping, with belay card clearly visible on the gear loop. Been living out in Colorado the last five years but would like to meet back up and say hello sometime I'm home. I have fond memories of many days spent at the shop with both you gentlemen.

Cheers,
-Chris
bluering

Trad climber
Santa Clara, CA
  Oct 14, 2011 - 01:18am PT
I gotta get out there. Always looked like a sweet area.

Nice TR.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Author's Reply  Oct 14, 2011 - 01:59am PT
Munge drop me a line and we'll put on a geezer-fest for sure!
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Oct 15, 2011 - 04:45pm PT
me ain't no geezer...yet...if'n i have some sort of brain atrophy, synapse misfires into dead end cul-de-sacs, etc. i'm thinking it's a result from my younger days (know what i mean)! climbing keeps you young!!! right all? dave, a great climb, it's nice to just enjoy the rock and the climb and a good friend...all the cliches on why climbing matters. CT, hey great to see your reply, look us up when you are back in town, where r u living in CO??
Brent Mattix

Trad climber
Roseville, CA
  May 8, 2012 - 12:39am PT
Climbed Cosmos yesterday. Great climb. In other reports, I saw a lot of folks say it is difficult to protect. There are tons of things on which to sling. Could have done the climb with a small medium rack of nuts and a few small cams. I thought most of the route was straight forward and easy. Beautiful place!

The hardest part was getting to and from the climb. Lots of bush whacking.

Curious as to how climbers walk off after the rap. From the approach, it looked like the east side had a steep face, so we walked off the west side. LONG hike around. We ended up going up and over halfway around and ended up rapping off a couple trees, with a sketch rap off some roots. I'm assuming there is an easier way off the east side that wouldn't involve a two hour hike.

If you haven't climbed up here, I strongly recommend it. No crowds. Beautiful scenery. State Park is now closed.
Alpine Raven

climber
Eugene, Oregon
  May 8, 2012 - 03:16pm PT
Brent--You made the approach and the walk out way too hard. On the approach, stay on the trail till you get to the saddle between the Dome and Mt. Hubris. Drop down the saddle and you'll see a climber's trail. Much better than bushwacking to the start of Cosmic Wall. After rapping off, you follow the scree west or NW. You'll come to the same climber's trail back to the saddle and main trail out. Not sure how you missed it.

With the State Park now closed, did you have to park at the very bottom at the main entrance and hike the paved road to the trailhead parking lot? That would add a few miles.

Cheers, David
Brent Mattix

Trad climber
Roseville, CA
  May 10, 2012 - 01:39am PT
Thought we must have missed something. On the bright side, we had a great adventure. We camped on the saddle, but didn't see a trail going down the hill. Guide book looked to show a trail where we went, that trail faded out, and the rest...let's just say a lot of manzanita with pieces of flesh on them.

Park is closed. We hiked from the gate, up Bob's Hat trail to the Crag Trail. Little longer on the hike, but cuts down on the crowds! Went in on Saturday and saw two other parties of climbers and eight hikers.
tahoe tom

Trad climber
camas wa and incline village nevada
  May 11, 2012 - 12:55am PT
thanks for the report I want to climb there every time i drive by on the 5 its like a beacon to climbers
Dirka

Trad climber
Hustle City
  May 12, 2012 - 12:20pm PT
Fun!
tuolumne_tradster

Trad climber
Leading Edge of North American Plate
  May 12, 2012 - 09:39pm PT
geezers unite...TFPUAGC
[Click to View Linked Image]
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Apr 18, 2019 - 08:52am PT
Beautiful trip report, something to add to the list now!
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Apr 18, 2019 - 02:44pm PT
Man time flies. That was the last time I was up that way sadly. Would be nice to run back up there sooner than later, so nice to climb classic easy cruiser stuff with no lines or crowds...
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Author's Reply  Apr 18, 2019 - 05:32pm PT
hell roaring when do you want to go? Zay you want in?
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Apr 18, 2019 - 07:32pm PT
We will talk on the way down to Pinns on Monday...
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  Apr 18, 2019 - 07:35pm PT
when were you guys thinking? that place is totally unknown to me, would greatly appreciate some knowledgable chaps to show me around!
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Apr 18, 2019 - 08:42pm PT
Early June??
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Author's Reply  Apr 18, 2019 - 09:13pm PT
late may? Zay ill be in touch....
neebee

Social climber
calif/texas
  Apr 18, 2019 - 10:21pm PT
hey there say... this is really nice bump...

say, thanks so very much!
ground chuck

Ice climber
Olympia
  Apr 19, 2019 - 03:28am PT
nice place for shrooms, if you are into that,

the lack of arrogant rangers is a refreshing break from the gistapo tactics in the ditch,

there is a store at the chevron with a mega brew selection including local micros, best kept secret along the i-5 unless you count the beer store at williams deli,

jake breaks can keep you up at night,

long hike to the base, eh?
hellroaring

Trad climber
San Francisco
  Apr 19, 2019 - 08:31am PT
Yes, the big rigs coming down the hill are quite loud engine braking or whatever you call it. This is why itís so much nicer to hike up and bivy at the saddle instead of sleeping at the campground. Though Iíve heard the saddle is not a fun place to be if itís windy.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Author's Reply  Apr 19, 2019 - 10:09am PT
i don't mind the hike, it's mostly mellow til you get up to the rocky steeps. But the wind? hellroaring is referring to an event there with my wife and a beginner friend of hers, only done one multi pitch before this one-we camped at the saddle, "protected' by some brush we thought, just laying out, and in the middle of the night the winds came up like a freight train-like it was frigging patagonia-my therma rest blew away, as did my pot lid-and spent the night trying to keep the gravel out of my eyes-at first light we uncoiled from our bags, saw the clouds ripping past the peaks and said f*#k this-stumbled into mccloud for breakfast, got my first major speeding ticket on the way home. Fun times!
lars johansen

Trad climber
West Marin, CA
  Apr 19, 2019 - 02:11pm PT
One of my all time favorite moderate climbs. tfpu-lars
Zay

climber
Monterey, Ca
  May 11, 2019 - 10:05am PT
Hey there David,

I sent another message to who I can only assume is you on facebook, but in case I am harrassing a stranger, I'll post here again. I have wednesdays and thursdays off and could easily procure a periferal third day if that works for you. I would be super stoked to join you guys but I need to know which days to ask for soon if we wanna make the end of the month.

No worries either way, Im sure well meet up one way or another.
David Knopp

Trad climber
CA
Author's Reply  May 13, 2019 - 06:05pm PT
Zay you are harassing a stranger!
black market caterer at gee mail. one word dude.
L

climber
Just livin' the dream
  May 16, 2019 - 08:22pm PT
Great tr and loved the pix!

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