Castle Rock

Sun, Apr 28, 2013

With: Drake Africa
Mason Africa
Ryan Burd
Andrew Burger
Ray Combs
Walker Combs
Evan Escher
Nick Ferrari
Jared Hall
Andrew Jarymowycz
Evan McGinnis
Will Newcomb
Coby Oblak
Kendall Oblak
Sean Oblak
Carter Sindelar
Cory Sindelar
Colin Tralongo
Will Wauford

Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Map GPX Profile
previously climbed Mon, Jan 24, 2011

Castle Rock is a large sandstone formation in the Santa Cruz Mtns, the highpoint of the state park that goes by the same name. It is a popular location for rock climbing, bouldering, as well as hiking. The main rock is something like 50-60ft high and offers a number of challenging lines on all sides. The easiest route is class 4. I had been here for rock climbing on several occasions, the last time two years ago with the kids. Today's outing was a 10-mile prep hike with the Scouts, 20 of us in all, including six adults. Our route started at Saratoga Gap around 9a, following the Saratoga Gap Trail into Castle Rock State Park, to the waterfall overlook (all but dry at this time of year), and eventually to our lunch destination at Castle Rock. The few boulderers that were around the east side of the main feature wisely moved out to avoid the mini-chaos that such a large group of Scouts can entail. A few of the Scouts gave the class 4 route up Castle Rock a go. Of those, only Ryan and Will W. proved successful. The awkward chimney near the bottom is the crux and kept most from even attempting it. I spotted the Scouts from below, then joined them on the rest of the class 3 to the summit, then reversing the route and spotting once again at the chimney. Some of the other Scouts scrambled the class 3 east side into the elongated cave found about 15ft off the ground.

Our return went back via the waterfall, then up and along the Ridge Trail to the trail camp, and finally the Loughry Woods and Saratoga Trails back to Saratoga Gap where we arrived around 3p. The total distance was almost 13 miles with over 2,000ft of gain - most of the party was pretty tired by the time we got back. Once again, the adults proved to be the limiters in terms of pace and physical fitness. This is not much of a surprise, however - the Scouts usually prove to be fitter than their parents. :-)


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