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North America, United States, California—Sierra Nevada, Castle Rocks, The Gargoyle Route

Castle Rocks, The Gargoyle Route. When you approach Castle Rocks via Buckeye Campground, the sweeping 900-foot west face of a tower located high amidst the Castle Rock massif is visible. Unlike the “Fin” and its counterpart “Castle Rock Spire,” this pinnacle has escaped a deserving name so we have called it “Sleeping Beauty’s Tower.” The Gargoyle starts low in a gully on the northwest side and traverses right out a ramp system onto the vertical west face and then follows a crack and comer system for six long pitches of beautiful climbing directly to the summit. A ten-foot tension traverse left on the second pitch to gain a new crack system is the only aid. Rick Smith, Eve Laeger and I climbed this route in July. The descent route involves a few rappels to the southwest to gain the gully south of the tower. III, 5.9,A1.

Herb Laeger, Unaffiliated