Sam Tucker Sends Six-Pitch Castles in the Sky 5.14
Sam Tucker has made the second ascent of Castles in the Sky, the six pitch 5.14a that climbs on Castle Mountain in the Canada Rockies.
His partner for the day was Julia Goldhoff and the only photo from the send day is the one above.
Tucker’s send of his “dream route” comes at a time the route is getting a lot of attention, especially by top climber Sasha DiGiulian.
Sonnie Trotter made the first ascent in 2014 with a number of partners, the final send with Sam Lambert.
Tucker said the crux 5.14a pitch was “one of the coolest pitches I’ve ever done.” He had worked on the route last year and this year with a number of partners including Sam Eastman and Alex Fricker.
Tucker has climbed a number of hard local lines, including First Flight 5.14c, Existence Mundane 5.14b and an onsight of Where Geezas Get Amongst 5.13 trad.
After the first ascent of Castles in the Sky, Trotter wrote on his blog, “The first two pitches are nothing more than a wonderful warm up, straightforward low angle 5.10 climbing. Then, it kicks back in a hurry. Sam climbed what he could behind me and aided through the sections he couldn’t.
“I chose to link together the third and fourth pitches because I wanted to eliminate an optional, precarious and rather arbitrary hanging belay on top of pitch three. This was my personal choice.
“It doesn’t have to be climbed this way, but I wanted to climb it in the best style I could manage, and this mega-pitch created what I believe to be an enduring 5.14a.
“When you add together the weight of the rope and its inevitable drag, combined with the power endurance climbing of the lower 5.12+ pitch and the ubber-technical climbing of the upper 5.13+ 4th pitch, you get 50 non-stop meters of brilliant monster pump rock climbing. It’s a worthy endeavor.”
With so much climbing season left in the Rockies, we just might see another send of the wildly steep climb.
Watch a short video by Ben Moon of the first ascent below.