Fine Jade 5.11a
The Rectory, Castle Valley
About the Climb
Fine Jade is an elegant classic desert climb that shouldn’t be missed by the solid 5.10 leader. This climb starts with a steep and pumpy section, and the climbing remains sustained the whole way, although cruxes are short.
Fine Jade has varied crack climbing from thin fingers to fist, amazing exposure and good pro. Two options are possible on the final pitch: a moderate original trad pitch, or a harder bolted variation. If it’s your first time up Fine Jade, you should do the original finish, which is super fun and more adventurous. Also, this will easily allow you to climb the bolted finish on your way down if you want to climb it afterwards.
The summit is a very cool plateau with amazing views of Castleton Tower, the LaSals Mountains and the entire Castle Valley. Overall, Fine Jade holds up to its reputation and is a must do climb. The climb gets a lot of sun and it can get hot, so this is a good choice on a sunny winter day. Fine Jade is a popular climb, so you should come prepared to climb North Chimney (5.9-), North Face (5.11b), or Kor-Ingalls (5.9) on Castleton Tower, or Honeymoon Chimney (5.11b or 5.9 A0) on The Priest, all within a few minutes walk.
Note that free campsites and wag bags (donation box) can be found at the trailhead. No water or toilets are available, and the space is limited. Thanks to The Castleton Tower Preservation Initiative, Utah Open Lands (UOL) and the Access Fund. Please respect and protect the integrity of Castleton Tower and its surrounding landscape.
If you’re looking for a slightly less challenging but equally classic crack climb, you should check out Jah Man (5.10c) on Sister Superior. The Bridger Jack Spires in Indian Creek also offer many short and high quality summits in the 5.10-5.11 range (East Face Route, Learning to Crawl, Sparkling Touch, and Thunderbolts).