Castleton Tower, Castle Valley
About the Climb
Kor-Ingalls was made famous by the book 50 Classic Climbs of North America, and it’s for a good reason. Castleton Tower is a must do desert spire that attracts climbers from all over the world. The Kor-Ingalls route is the most popular climb on the formation and follows a huge corner splitting the South face. All belays are very comfortable, the rock is mostly solid (but beware of the occasional loose block), and it demands a good variety of techniques, including face climbing, stemming, chimneying, and jamming. The highlight of the route is the classic 3rd pitch chimney, where previous desert chimney climbing experience helps.
Kor-Ingalls protects relatively well, but you can’t always place pro where you want to, so don’t skip a good placement. This climb is very popular and can get hot. Come early, climb it in winter or be ready to climb something else. Good nearby alternatives include North Chimney (5.9-), Fine Jade (5.11a) and Honeymoon Chimney (5.11b or 5.9 A0). These routes are located just a few minutes away from Kor-Ingalls, and it's not too difficult for a competent party to climb two routes in a day.
Note that free campsites and wag bags (donation box) can be found at the trailhead to Castleton Tower. No water or toilets are available, and the space is limited. Thanks to The Castleton Tower Preservation Initiative, Utah Open Lands (UOL) and the Access Fund. Please respect and protect the integrity of Castleton Tower and its surrounding landscape.
North Chimney (5.9-), located just around the corner on the east face of Castleton Tower is similar in grade and length to Kor-Ingalls. Both climbs offer a great deal of chimney, and North Chimney also has an excellent hand crack first pitch if you're looking for great jamming. If you want to extend your day after climbing Kor-Ingalls, it is easy to climb only the 1st pitch and rap back down (double ropes needed, no rap after 1st pitch), or climb both routes in a day.
Another great route with a similar grade is Stolen Chimney (5.10c or 5.9 A0) on Ancient Art. This climb has a very fun 5.8 chimney second pitch on soft "muddy" rock and an incredible summit. It also features short sections of well protected face climbing.
If you like chimneys and want a little more challenge, you should get on Honeymoon Chimney (5.11b or 5.9 A0) located on The Priest, about 15 minutes away from Castleton Tower. It features wild and exposed chimneying and stemming, as well as some great face and crack climbing. If you feel like you need to work on your chimney skills a little more before that, Walden's Room (5.10c or 5.9 C1) also has a great chimney pitch.
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