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Ireneo_Funes

City of Rocks guide

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While we're on the subject of guidebooks, does anyone know if there's a decent guide to Idaho's City of Rocks? I've looked at a couple (one was by Dave Bingham I think; can't remember the author of the other) but wasn't impressed enough by either one to lay down the cash.

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There's a new version of the Dave Bingham Guide that just came out in 2003 or 2004, which I thought was pretty good. The older version of the Bingham book didn't have any route descriptions or anything - just hand drawn topos. The new one has a lot more info - actual route descriptions, and pictures of many of the crags.

Bingham also has a 2004 guidebook out for Castle Rock, which is right next to City...

 

The other book (Tony Calderone) is out of print right now.

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I have the 5th and 7th edition of the binghams and the white one by some d00d (forget his name); I'd sell you the 5th for cheap if you're looking for one. Bingham also has the castle rock guide book out... go there if you go to the city.

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While we're on the subject of guidebooks, does anyone know if there's a decent guide to Idaho's City of Rocks? I've looked at a couple (one was by Dave Bingham I think; can't remember the author of the other) but wasn't impressed enough by either one to lay down the cash.

 

I am surprised you buy any at all. Isn't one look enough?

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I pulled this thread back up since I'm thinking of heading out there in August. Who has been to Castle Rock, Idaho? What are some recommended routes that are 5.10 and up? Gear or trad is fine. What's the general scene like out there? Mellow or hectic? I read that new routes needed to pass a committee so there are no runouts. Is this true? Some of the rounouts at the City made my balls go into my stomach. I'm too old for that now.

 

Bitte! thumbs_up.gif

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MEEELLLLOO. You need a permit to place a bolt not to avoid runouts, but to avoid gridbolting shocked.gif

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Tony "Called-it-wrong" Calderone didn't have the balls to print potentially offensive route names in his guidebook...confusing and lame.

 

I agree, from what I recall the permits were to prevent gridbolting. Brad Schilling, the climbing ranger, didn't seem to object to runout/bold routes, just as long as they were that way all the way through. I seem to remember an interview where he expressed concern about moderate climbers getting onto a mellow looking route only to find uncomfortable runouts further up the climb.

 

The new Castle Rock Ranch guidebook is decent...and inexpensive.

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Just got back from here. Bingham's guide helped out this newbie to the area with few surprises. Some of those routes push the definition of 60m though. Bloody Fingers comes to mind.

 

Spectacular place, but I've never done so much sport climbing with double ropes and trad gear!

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Ahh...yes. One really wants to pay attention to the length of some of those climbs.

 

What else did you climb there, Iain?

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Man, the list goes on...The Drilling Fields, Skyline, Tribal Boundaries, Raindance, Intruding Dike, Carol's Crack, Swiss Cheese, Delay of Game, City Girls, and so on... Probably the typical tourist circuit for first-timers. I really like the casual and laidback atmosphere. The run-out slabs...not so much. cantfocus.gif

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I thought Carol's Crack was great! As I remember, it didn't get too many stars or much praise in the guidebook, but I was pleasantly surprised.

 

thumbs_up.gifthumbs_up.gif

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Tony "Called-it-wrong" Calderone didn't have the balls to print potentially offensive route names in his guidebook...confusing and lame.

Heh, I climbed a couple of those "unnamed routes" week before last when I was there. Glad I hooked up with someone who knew the area, I wouldn't have had a clue what I was looking at.

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yeah crack of doom is an incredible line. I wish I had business being on it.

 

I also want to give Redtail a go. Pretty outstanding sporto line.

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Just was at the City a few days ago and went to Castle Rock for the first time. It was good, like any one single crag at the City, but not as good as expected from all the hype. Climbed all over Lone Rock and the Crack House -did I miss something?

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If you are into multipitch sport (i.e. newbie leader) then castle is thee place to go... lots of first multipitch options that are bolted super safe. But yeah... for someone with some trad experience it is lacking. Lots of hype.

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FYI - For those who read this forum and are new I think it's worth pointing out that the two Guide Book authors have a fairly well know distaste for one another that can be read in the introductions in each book. In Tony's defense, he's very opinionated and can rub people the wrong way on occasion BUT it's my understanding and belief that his book was (it's out of print right now) the much more accurate of the two. He went and interviewed the FAists and put a lot of older, unpublished history in his book, including original route names. The Bingham supporters cried bloody murder and the Calderone supports cried right back. I think the true story lies somewhere in the middle....

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bignhams books suck. he doesn't specify trad, mixed, bolts, length of climbs, whether or not you need two ropes to get down. you know the sort of stuff that good guidebooks have in them. but that is what there is. for castle rocks i prefer the rock and ice that came out last year with the topos compared to the castle guidebook. but at least it is cheap.

 

i don't really see castle as a seperate crag. it is just more of the city. It was really crowded there a few weeks ago but by now the summer heat should have driven most people away. i think the biggest difference is that there are tons of easy and safe bolted routes.

 

red rib is a nice 10a arete climb. if you do big tyme do the direct 11a finish. it is fun.

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bignhams books suck. he doesn't specify trad, mixed, bolts, length of climbs, whether or not you need two ropes to get down. you know the sort of stuff that good guidebooks have in them. but that is what there is. for castle rocks i prefer the rock and ice that came out last year with the topos compared to the castle guidebook. but at least it is cheap.

 

i don't really see castle as a seperate crag. it is just more of the city. It was really crowded there a few weeks ago but by now the summer heat should have driven most people away. i think the biggest difference is that there are tons of easy and safe bolted routes.

 

red rib is a nice 10a arete climb. if you do big tyme do the direct 11a finish. it is fun.

 

This is the info I was looking for. I did not know that Castle was primarily moderates. Hopefully there are nice, harder routes lurking for future FA's. I had high hopes due to the hype. I'll have to dig out that old Rock and Ice.

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Oh there are some hard routes and definately potential for lots of hard FA's at Castle, and City of Rocks which is 15 minutes away has lots of hard routes and lots of scary routes if you are looking for that stuff.

 

You can pick up all of the guidebooks in Almo. I the general store and restaurant both have them. and the national park visitors center has them and a bunch of other stuff as well.

 

unfortuneately the city/castle can be quite confusing to get around so it is really nice to have a guidebook. binghams book do get you to the climbs.

 

the rock and ice is the one with nate gold bouldering in india on the cover. i think it had the pilgrimage article, and the aaron ralston article in it.

 

have fun.

Edited by merrick

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