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[TR] Castleton Tower - LIGHTING! - Kor-Ingalls 10/17/2004

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Climb: Castleton Tower - LIGHTING! -Kor-Ingalls


Date of Climb: 10/17/2004


Trip Report:

I got my ass kicked on Castleton Tower yesterday!


After slogging up the big scree trail to the base of the Tower yesterday, we arrived to find a party of two leading the first pitch. The wind was absolutely HOWLING and we put on all our clothes for what looked to be a long day.


We were a party of three. I was thrutching through the chimney on pitch one when BOOM - thunder rumbles from the approaching black clouds and sheets of rain coming our way across the valley. We rig ropes and begin to retreat.


Within minutes, it's driving rain, sideways hail, and lightning crashing down on the valley floor and slopes leading up to the tower.


We are terrified.


We race downhill in the pelting hail as lightning continues to crash around us.


Eventually, within 15 minutes, all is calm again. The other party has also retreated, without incident.


We were VERY lucky -- that spire is a lightning rod and I can't believe it didn't turn out worse than it did . . .


Exciting day, good to be alive!


I actually kind of enjoyed the whole thing -- how many hundreds of people a year climb the Kor-Ingalls -- and while I could have been one of them, this story will somehow stay with me longer and be more of a learning experience for me.


Good to be here!


Gear Notes:

Needed better raingear


Approach Notes:

hail pellets on trail!

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good story and glad you are safe! i hear Kor-Ingalls is a chimney sandbag, so you'll have to let us know how it goes.

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I thought that pitch 2 of Kor-Ingalls was harder (as in more sustained) than pitch 3 and kind of hard for a 5.8. Harder moves on 3rd pitch (lower half to 2/3rds of pitch) but some decent rest stances and once in the chimney on the upper 3rd of pitch it feels secure.

I also thought that the low 5th squeeze on pitch 1 was pretty nasty - it was so tight I couldn't inhale fully. Not even sure if you're supposed to get INSIDE that slot.

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