Castleton Tower: Kor-Ingalls
"Interestingly, when Californians Chuck Pratt and Steve Roper made the second ascent in 1963, they found many pieces of lumber strewn about the summit. Perplexed, they considered various explanations that did not add up..."
There you go...Castleton Tower!
At the base of the climb Hannah couldn't get her turquoise ring off. She pulled so hard her knuckle swelled up with so much pressure it popped and started to bleed. I helped put some pomegranate-flavored chapstick around the stuckness and a few minutes later we'd unlocked the puzzle. It was clear and calm and morning when I realized I'd forgotten my helmet.
The first pitch ascended a Calcite-coated chimney that went at old-school 5.5. It was tough and plasticky.
"High-grade optical calcite was used in World War II for gun sights, specifically in bomb sights and anti-aircraft weaponry. Also, experiments have been conducted to use calcite for a cloak of invisibility."
I peed at the ledge and then botched the gear on the 5.8 second pitch. We lost a purple 0.5 Cam but made it. Waiting for Hannah at the second belay ledge, looking up at the crux "5.9+" section I became pretty nervous.
But alas, once on the rock I was mentally stable. I placed a bit of gear early and clipped the crux bolts. After the third bolt I bolted deep into the chimney, fitting nicely with my helmetless head. I clipped a bad small fixed nut and then irresponsibly ran the chimney out 40' to the belay ledge. Had I slipped exiting the chimney it would have been a bad, early 80' fall. Yikes.
Hannah followed with the backpack trailing her on a 18' piece of cord. When she passed the third bolt and darted into the chimney her responsibly-helmeted head got stuck in the crack, then her hips. She didn't know what to do for a few moments and then in her magical wizarding ways did that fixed it.
The next pitch I moved up left and then right passing a massive chockstone and into the col where the North Chimney route meets the Kor. From there it was exceedingly rewarding 5.7 face climbing to the top on beautiful calcite edges.
What is there to say about the Kor-Ingalls...its historical? Is it a great climb? Not sure. Is it memorable? Yes. Did we have a wonderful time? Definitely. Was taking a nap on the summit of a 400' tower in the sun nice? Yep. Its physical and old-school.