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Geek_the_Greek

Castle Dome NF, Castle Crags

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Did the north face of Castle Dome a week ago. It was sweet! We couldn't figure out the second pitch, and ended up doing a super-gripping filthy 5.9 corner with garbage pro - one of the scarier leads of my life. Above that it's great, though. Some loose rock, but not much. Crux involves some .10b slab moves, but very clean (and well-protected). Somewhere between trad and alpine rock, I'd say.

[big Drink][chubit]

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OK you whippersnappers, I was showing this web site to my friend Bob, and it turns out that he was the first to climb the north face of castle dome. I'll let him tell the story in his own words, so sit back and enjoy an old tale!........

 

"In May of 1967 John Weiland and John Williams and I explored the north side of the Dome. We climbed quite a way up the north face until we hit a large ramp that ran across part of the face. At that time we stopped and went back down.

Later I returned with Ken Edsburg and Alan Cunningham to finish climbing the face. Weiland and Williams were busy and were not able to go. We climbed the face to the summit. The toughest part of the wall was a section of about 50 feet that was friction with no holds, no nothing except balance. Ken Edsburg led that section of the face. After we reached the summit we hiked down the trail from the dome to the Ranger Station. A ranger told us that we had been the first to climb that face.

Later, many climbers used to hike up the trail to the Dome and then descend down the gully part way and the climb and traverse around to the north face that would place you above the Ramp, and then climb the top section.

John Weiland and Jerry Sublett were the first to climb many of the peaks in the Castle Peaks."

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Thanks for the post.

bigdrink.gif

 

I have climbed a bunch of Ken Edsberg and Jerry Sublette routes over the years. One time bored during a school break I started driving across Nevada to climb Mt Wheeler after reading one of Ken's TRs - didn't make it past Donner Summit tho.

 

I am going to post a short write up on Castle Crags, encourage your friend to add something to the thread if he is so inclined.

 

PP

Edited by Peter_Puget

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does anybody have info they would like to share on stonehouse pinnacle, described in the old "rock and road" as a 1000' granite pinnacle in the trinity alps? i've looked at terraserver photos and topo maps of the canyon lakes area without much luck---no terrain that i saw made me think there was a steep 1000' face anywhere nearby. maybe i missed it. nice looking ski terrain there.

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Stonehouse is in the Trinity Alps and is made up of a completely different kind of granite than the Crags. The approach is an easy 8(?) mile hike at a very gentle grade until the very end. The main route ascends the obvious dihedral splitting the formation I am thinking 5.9/10. I pulled on a couple pieces so the grade is a guess. There is a good 5.8/9 on the left wall. As far as being 1,000' I remember the route onn left wall as three pitches and the corner five but probably three too. I haven't been there since the 70's so time and things I might have been doing at that time make my memories suspect, but the basic facts are correct. It is well worth a trip just don't expect a mini-wall. They are near Mt Thompson (elevation ~10k) which is a fun little jaunt itself. In the drainage to the north is Grizzle Falls which is a good ice climb in cold winters. NE look for June Lakes. (name may be wrong sorry) There are some small granite cliffs in that area as well. I bought a new scanner to post some Crags pics, if I come across the Stonehouse ones I will post one or two.

 

PP

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Summer can be too hot to climb. I have been there many times in a t-shirt in January. I have also ice/alpine climbed there in January, so winters can be cold too. The fall and spring are the best seasons. Living in Ashland tho you can go year round for sure since it is an easy drive.

 

A bit further south by Chico are a bunch of granite domes that have little fame but there are some fun routes and some fairly long routes. Kinda of a long drive tho. I wouldn't waste my time with the Lassen routes unless you just want to check the area out.

 

PP bigdrink.gif

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Peter_Puget said:

I haven't been there since the 70's so time and things I might have been doing at that time make my memories suspect, but the basic facts are correct. It is well worth a trip just don't expect a mini-wall. They are near Mt Thompson (elevation ~10k) which is a fun little jaunt itself.

 

PP-

I went into the trinity alps all the time during the time I was going to college in the 70's at Humboldt. Maybe I ran into you up there. I enjoyed the winter ski trips into there, and did go up Mt. Thompson in December/January of 77. There was great bc skiing and also fishing up there. This is where I learned about avalanches. Big avalanche country!

My friend Bob, of castle crags, has registered as thru hiker bob, and you may be able to talk with him about his experiences in that area. He has also climbed Shasta many times, the Bugaboos, and was a climbing guide in Colorado.

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Bone et al,

Sorry for not replying earlier, I didn't realize this post had been resurrected from so long ago.

 

I've only been to Castle twice, but based on that, the crags are hot in summer, so seeking shade is the way to go. Last summer, there were some extensive periods of smoke in the area that made things a bit choky too... we couldn't even see Shasta from the summit, actually. Now that all of SW Oregon is burnt, the air should be clearer!

Cool to hear the tale of the FA of that route. I hope to do more routes at the crags sometime, this summer maybe. The 1.5 hour approach keeps the crowds low, just like it should be... Note that for granite, the rock can be loose and crumbly. In general it's decent, but a bit weathered by granite standards.

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You should have seen the smoke at Crater Lake in August. At times standing on the rim you couldn't see the lake, and from lakeside at the cove you could barely see out across the water. Made for some cool sunsets though. Thielsen looked pretty sweet too as this dark needle poking up above the haze.

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