Thursday, May 20, 2010

Castleton Tower

Lulu’s odometer read 20,320 miles, the exact same elevation as Denali, as we rolled out of Ouray in route to Moab, UT (ok, so it was really about 50 miles off that). The day before the climb we met our friend from Crested Butte, Summer Ruckman, at the Potash Road campground. After eating dinner in town, we drove out to the camping area at the Castleton Tower Trailhead. The parking lot was very full, so the first thought was, “nooo, this route is going to be so crowded.” As we hiked to the base of the tower following morning our fears were put to rest. The other campers in the parking lot had either left, were climbing other routes or had gotten up hours before us and were already high on the route.

While roping up we got to enjoy moans of pain and agony as a guy on pitch 3 struggled through the crux of the route, a 15 inch crack that you must either squeeze up or brave a difficult lay-back on the outside of the crack. It was a good five minutes of cheap entertainment. Since I had already climbed the route I asked Janelle if she would like to lead the crux. She was all about it, so she took pitch one and three and I had two and four. The climb went very smoothly. No falls, great weather, and everyone above us moved quickly so we didn’t have to wait. Summer did great as well, and was able to get some awesome footage of the experience. We hung out on top of the pillar for about an hour until the dark clouds coming from the South started growing. Two, 190 foot rappels got us back to the ground, and hour after that we were enjoying cold drinks in the park lot. Enjoy the video of the experience. Click Here to see the video.