Monday, November 05, 2007

Climbing CastletonTower's Kor-Ingalls Route

This Adventure Story comes to us from Paul Larkin, a Backcountry.com customer who I incidentally met while climbing in Little Cottonwood Canyon last month.

Date: October 19-20, 2007

Climbers: Jentry Miskin, Chase McMillan, Mark Greenwood, Julia Maddox, and Paul Larkin

As we depart en route to a climbing classic, the Kor-Ingalls Route (Grade III, 4 pitch, 5.9+) on Castleton Tower near Moab, Utah, our nerves are titillated by dreams of a pinnacle summit. We drive the 3 1/2 hours and start to head up the canyon overlooking the Colorado River. After our turn off to Castleton Tower we found a dirt wash to sack out in for the short 5 hours before we had to get up.

Alarms rang at 6:00am, it was a brisk morning and still pitch black out. We drove to the trail head to find a full parking lot full of climbers and our first glace of the tower.

It was very intimidating. We got our packs ready and hit the trail at dawn.

The hike was fairly steep and it took us 1 1/2 hour to get to the base of the climb and if you look at the image below you can see the people in the bottom left corner of the photo giving it perspective. We split into a group of two (Jentry and Chase) and three (Mark, Julia, and Paul) climbers.


Pitch 2 was a beast, but Mark (a.k.a. the godfather) prevailed.

The crux of the climb is on pitch 3 with a wonderful lieback.

Can you say The exposure from the top of pitch 3 was breathtaking. The climbing up pitch 4 was the final push.


We had a nice team summit photo, of course a goat shot, and I got an individual summit photo to finish my first true pinnacle climb. Rapping down was nothing short of extreme. We found rapping down to be even more sketchy than the climbing, just the nature of rappelling after a multipitch climb. One 70 meter rope will get you down safely down the Kor-Ingalls Route.

Paul Larkin on top of Castleton Towner
After Chase pulled off some sweet mute-grabs we watched the sun set on this beautiful feature called Castleton Tower. Good times were had!


Check out the Castleton Tower complete photo album.

-- Paul
All photos copyright to Paul Larkin

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