Peak Names: The Priest

Peak Heights: 6,500'

Location: Castle Valley, Utah

Route: Honeymoon Chimney

Difficulty: 5.11 or 5.9 A0

Round Trip Stats: 3.5 mi, 1700 ft

Date Climbed: 4/22/2016

Of the five major towers positioned along the main Castle Valley spine, The Priest is the fourth most popular climb after Castleton Tower, Sister Superior and the Rectory. Honeymoon Chimney is considered a classic route but the runout, old school 5.9 ofwidth climbing on the first pitch keeps many away.

Dom, offwidth animal, led all four pitches and crushed it. I'd hoped to take a couple but honestly the whole climb felt runout and intimidating and made me uncomfortable. The fact that it got windy as hell did not help! If I did the climb again I'd probably only lead the final pitch, perhaps the second if I had to.

The first pitch may be the gruntiest I've ever climbed; it was hard and my knees and elbows hurt like hell by the end.

The second pitch consisted of heady, runout, wild chimney climbing that felt harder than the advertised grade of 5.7.

The third pitch starts out with some unprotected, nontrivial thin moves before reaching a widely spaced bolt ladder that can be aided with some trickery or free climbed at 5.11a/b.

The final pitch is the only reasonably well protected one, starting with a wildly exposed traverse around a corner (keep the faith!) and culminating with a nice handcrack to the summit.

Home | Peak List | Canyon List | Trip Reports | Colorado | Utah | Wyoming | Montana | Arizona | New York | South Dakota | International