Are There Bolts Up There?
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One sunny Sunday afternoon, twenty cars were at each crag. "I hate crowds," I muttered to myself. (No wonder I have never been to Yosemite nor want to go!) So me and James forged our way up this route. No crowds here, thank God. Good practice for getting your loose rock "on", for the Canadian Rockies, Black Canyon, etc. No bolting on this, a nice pure route.
For those that can't live without choss or adventure, read on. For those looking for bolts or solid rock, you might be disappointed.
This route is worth the adventure. You may find it more like the Black Canyon than Clear Creek. That being said, an R rating is put here not only for the runouts but to let others know that there ain't going to be gear every couple feet and to be careful with loose rock. The runouts are on the easier terrain, however, as the crux is fairly well-protected. For those that seek solid rock, don't think this is your route.
Wade across the river and park right before the Tunnel 6 at the end of the Creek Side area.
P1: 5.10a. Locate the overhanging, slanting crack to the left of the leftmost route that ends at a tree. Bushwhack your way up the awesome, overhanging offwidth (crux) that prevents jamming since there is a bush in your face. Easier overhung climbing with good gear and holds/jams leads to a flake. Belay here or at the tree. I thought it went 5.9, but my buddy was very confident that it was 5.10. So we agreed on 5.10a. I'll let others be the judge. It's not about the grades but about the experience.
P2: 5.5. "Belay and Hide", a fun adventure depending on your line. Watch the loose rock and your partner below, along with some cactus. I made a typical alpine anchor after 50 meters that was so so. Basically climb straight up.
The route gets its name from a fellow shouting "are there bolts up there?" while I was building an anchor.
P3: 5.8 R. Traverse right onto the runout headwall that has great holds but is vertical without gear. Mantle and continue up to a great ledge before the final headwall. Continue straight up following the holds. Gear is there but so so. Traverse left to a huge flake and then mantel onto the top with a perfect tree.
This route might disappoint most, but we found it to be worth it! I'd do it again. I'm a sucker for choss though.
This is the leftmost route on the Binge side of Creek Side. Park before the tunnel on the right. Wade across the river to the start and start your adventure!
Standard trad rack with a #4.
Route drawn in with belays.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 28, 2012
If you're craving adventure, also try Big Bro's Watchin'!
From: Vail, CO
Mar 28, 2012
Darren, been eying that one out for a while! Don't know why I haven't gotten to it. Have heard good things about it.