The focus again this week will be on single pitch routes for lead, toprope or seconding. As I describe below, I will have 5 topropes (TR) within about 30 feet covering 5 very good routes on the sweet crag of Mountain Rose. However, there are many other great sports and trad routes on the nearby Overlook and, of course, Castle Rock. Many of the Castle's routes are multi-pitch but there are many medium grade trad and some very hard sport and trad too.; this area has it all.
Castle Rock (12.4 miles up Boulder Canyon [BC]) has been the best trad crag in BC............forever; and, not only great rock and lines but one can park on the dirt road below it, even directly beneath the climb you want. And the dirt road that encircles Castle is immediately off of BC.
But with the search for more rock in the last 1 - 2 decades some fun crags above but close to Castle have been found. One of these is Mountain Rose, a very short 10 minutes up from Castle ( I will, of course, give concise details of approaches in expanded write up in due course). The covered over aqueduct from Nederland''s Barker Reservoir to Boulder goes right under the crag and is a wonderful , flat and safe area to spread the chairs, hang out and watch the climbers - or belay!!! (I really will be taking up a lightweight camp chair)
There are many sport routes on the crag but I will focus and have ropes up prior to the meetup for a great little area on the crag that has a 120 ft, 5.5 corner, trad for those who want to lead it (I will have trad gear up there) but I will have a toprope on too; two 5.9 sport routes, both great and full-on 30 - 35 meters; and a 5.7. ALL from the comfort of your camp chair! There will be a further rope on a 5.8 bolted route 100 yds to the right. And there are many sports routes outside this area,, to the left and right from 5.8 upwards.
Half-way back down to Castle from Mountain Rose is The Overlook with some excellent trad and sport, trad at 7+ and 8- to sport of many grades including a 3-star, 5.10a. I will give beta on the crag and routes but I will be up at Mountain Rose helping with the 3 ropes we will put up there as topropes. Just to add that the Overlook does not yet see a lot of traffic and is a little too green after rain.
And then there is, of course, the best trad crag in BC - Castle Rock. All trad(except for some very hard exceptions) and nearly all routes are now considered classics from multi-pitch .6 and all the grades up to .14a. Again, I can give some beta on routes and point them out before going up to Mountain Rose.
Basically, some of the best rock and routes in BC and a great meetup venue for climbers of all grades. And do bring those chairs and a bottle for the host!!!!
Please come and join us at the crag and in the pub afterwards.
I plan to go up to Mountain Rose in the afternoon before the meet and put up 4 topropes covering 4 routes. I will even have a couple of draws on bolts at the harder moves on the 5.9s should they be needed as a little help for anybody (using a bit of aid on a route was coined by the Brits as "Free - French" - but it is alright: the goal is to have fun and get up a route, a face, a mountain safely).
Car-pooling will be from the Dome lot, a half mile into BC from the edge of Boulder (I am sure Scott will add his Google, photo/map of lot). Scott will be the "greeter" at Dome and I will be up at the Castle pull-in (that is a wide, dirt road as it leaves the Boulder Canyon road). Scott, in the first car, will be leaving the Dome lot for Mountain Rose/Castle Rock at 5.05 pm to give those who are on-time as much climbing time as possible.
The Dome lot is a very large, mostly dirt lot on the left, just a half-mile into Boulder Canyon and quite suddenly appears when you pass by a rock-cut.
Castle rock lot is at 12.4 miles up Boulder Canyon (just under 12 miles from the Dome lot). The lot is a wide, dirt road on the left immediately after the north face of Castle Rock that comes right down to the Boulder Canyon Road at this point. Keep your speed down as mileage tells you that you are getting near as there are a few bends as you approach and the entrance to Castle Rock lot is on a right-hand bend and comes up quite suddenly on the left side at the bend. I will be obvious and standing with a "Rock & Soul" sign right by the roadside at the entrance to the dirt lot.
For those arriving later here is the beta to meet up with us at the foot of Mountain Rose: From the entrance area of the Castle Rock, dirt road/lot walk the dirt road around beneath Castle Rock (the road is right against the impressive rock and skirts around it). In about 300 yards the dirt road crosses a bridge and then immediately after the bridge a small trail drops down right to the stream. Follow this trail alongside the stream for 10-20 yds and then follow the small trail uphill for 5-10 minutes (at the most!) initially skirting the crag of Broken Rock on your left side. In fact there are multiple little trails going in all sorts of directions and, although you will take brief switchbacks generally head straight up the hill (the aqueduct - see below - contours right above the hillside you are on and so it will 'catch' you no matter what line you have taken - but generally go fairly directly up the hill). Skirt any obstacles on the hill (there is a small, bouldery crag for example at one point; skirt it L or R - keep going up and you will reach the aqueduct trail that contours above the short hillside you have been battling up. The aqueduct is covered over with dirt/rock and makes a perfectly flat and level trail and so, so obvious and will catch you no matter what route you took straight up from the bridge and stream. Walk right on the aqueduct (as you face uphill) and we will be there in a couple-hundred yards camped out right on the aqueduct trail and beneath the central portion of Mountain Rose.
To be certain and confident of getting to the crag with maximum ease please be on-time to leave the Dome lot with Scott.
This will be fun and we will go to a pub in Boulder afterwards (Backcountry Pizza and Tap Room on Arapahoe).