Rock climbing on Castle Rock Rock wall
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BackgroundDespite being easily accessible & well-known by fishermen & the locals, “The Castle” had avoided the attention of climbers until encountered in the darkness during a late-night ski tour in the spring of 2005. Water access from the boat-launch on the south shore 2 km past the provincial campground. Cliff not visible from the boat-launch. Allow 45 minutes each way if travelling by canoe. Allow approximately 1.5 hrs if hiking in via Mantario Trail along the N shore of Big Whiteshell (a marker points to Castle Rock). The only known provincial wilderness campsite on the lake is a short walk or paddle to the west at beach. A waterside cliff to the NE offers interesting features for those considering deep-water-solo, in addition to short ice routes in winter. There are several horizontal crack planes cleaving this granite outcropping, so most routes are of a wandering nature, with few of the vertical features running continuously from the cliff base to top. An abundance of cracks & features, easily connected by short traverses or ledges, results in a multitude of wandering lines. Climb either using half-ropes and/or multiple short pitches to minimise rope drag or the risk of ledge-falls. Pitons may be required to provide adequate protection or anchors; if you place one please leave it fixed for others to use & avoid further damage to the rock. Same goes for fixed nuts; they’re there for a reason, not “climbing booty”. Majority of routes to date have been established ground-up without pre-cleaning. Note that the cliff is located within a provincial park & subject to park regulations, so please refrain from bolting or excessive ‘gardening’. There is ample opportunity to establish more difficult lines by fair means. Please use discretion when removing lichen & vegetation; we aren’t the only users to admire this wilderness jewel, so let’s try to minimise our impact in this sensitive area.