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pac man

[TR] Tatoosh Range - The Castle - west side of N Face 3/20/2010

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Trip: Tatoosh Range - The Castle - west side of N Face


Date: 3/20/2010


Trip Report:

Due to the expected warm temps, we headed up Friday night to get an early start on Saturday for Pinnacle Peak's North Ridge. We ended up taming our plans down due to a wrist injury that happened the week before. We chose to climb the west side of the North Face of Castle (route shown in red), but as we walked by we were very tempted by a couple ice lines up the center of the North Face (ice variations shown in yellow, probably WI3?).


North Face routes



We climbed about 350 feet of somewhat steep snow before roping up at the last tree.


Looking down our route before roping up



Begininning of roped pitch



The one roped pitch involved mainly slightly steeper snow and a few easy rock steps with nuts and cam placements, ending with one ~10ft step of mixed climbing.


Looking down the roped pitch



Mixed step



I found this climb very relaxing and a nice step up from Lane Peak's Zipper Couloir (at least at this time of year). With all of the trees, I would imagine it would be easy to bail.


Gear Notes:

We brought way too much for our alternate plan.

Gear we used: 2" cam for last step, ~.5" cam, medium nut, webbing for the short rappel on the other side, though you probably could down climb if you traversed east along the ridge


Other possibly useful gear: a couple other cams in the .5-1" range, set of nuts, possibly some pitons, slings for trees if you desire to simul or pitch out the bottom section


Ice variations: 3-5 screws


Approach Notes:

Park at Narada and head to Castle on the ski track

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Posted (edited)

Eleven years later a comment...I've been searching all over trying to see if anyone has put up a North Face route on The Castle via the direct ice flows.  Like you, when we first saw the ice, we knew we had to come back and get it done.  I just came across your post. Your yellow lines were exactly what I was looking at and even further to the left with a more direct approach.  Unfortunately, it was far too exposed with little to no chance of protecting the route. We took the first pitch, WI3 up to the first clump of trees just east above the daggers.  The second pitch, WI4 was further to your right where I found a nice bulge in the ice.  The direct line was too thin.  I traversed across that section "sewing" the route up with a combination of 4 stubbies and 13's until the fat bulge where I was able to place a nice 16.  Surprisingly enough, we intersected your route at the top after climbing through an off-width chimney with a nice spire we could run a cordelette around. When I made it to the rock wall, I tried to go left to gain the summit.  I placed one KB but couldn't commit to the exposed face without additional pro.  We were already on a very long run-out. Instead, we decided to go west through a second rock section and more than likely intersected your route at that pitch on up to the summit ridge.  Great climb!  





Edited by Rock_Rat
  • Rawk on! 2

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