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Weekly Wednesday Trip Report: “By Gully” 5.9+

Located approximately 12 miles up Boulder Canyon, Castle Rock is a wonderful place to climb granite.  There are a wide range of routes available.  Anything from single-pitch to multi-pitch, 5.4 to 5.14.  Since I was heading to Yosemite soon, training at Castle Rock was the perfect choice.

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My climbing partner and I climbed a few single pitch routes that morning before I decided to hop on “By Gully”.  This route is rated 5.9+ and is the wide crack just left of the large roof.  It is an offwidth so be prepared.

Route Beta:
Boulder up to a bolt and clip it.  I used a standard quickdraw and didn’t feel any rope drag because of it.  Make a funky move to a hand crack and place a #1 Camalot.  You could probably place a #2 Camalot, but my I didn’t want to take that place because I used it as a hand jam to get into the wide section.  From there I went right side in.  Last year I tried this route left side in and it didn’t work.  Right side in worked great.

Photo taken from

With my right side in, my right arm was a chicken wing and left hand palming down on the rock. I cammed my right foot in the crack and wiggled my way up a few feet.  I was then able to place a #2 Camalot and then quickly after that a #4 Camalot.

From there I placed a #5 Camalot and walked it for a little ways.  After that I placed a #6 and walked it for most of the top section.  The section where I placed a #5 and #6 is mosly heel/toe and much more mellow than the first offwidth section.

Once you get near the top you can do one of two things.  You can traverse over (climbers left) to the sling anchor on “Coffin Crack” or build a seperate anchor above.

If you “enjoy” offwidth climbing, I highly recommend “By Gully”.  This route will make you work for it, but when you get to the top, it is well worth the struggle.

Note: Wear long sleeves and knee pads.  It takes the pain down a bit.

Colorado Mountain School Guides can guide this route if you are interested.  If you have any questions, give us a call.


E.J. Nogaski
Colorado Mountain School

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