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 ADVANCED
South and East Faces
Routes Sorted
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Animal Cracker Land T 
Best Crack in Minnesota T 
Bon Homme Variation T 
Cave T 
Dancing With The Devils After Dark T 
Direct Southeast T 
Double Indemnity T 
Dusk In Dogtown T 
El Cracko Diablo T 
Extension T 
Free Association T 
Hollywood & Vine T 
interesting problem below, The T 
Let Me Go Wild T 
Roach Addition T,S 
Rocksuckers S 
Soler T 
Soler Eclipse S 
Space Ranger T 
TAD T 
Walt Bailey T 
Windex T 
Window (Free), The T 
Unsorted Routes:

Bon Homme Variation 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 300', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Dennis Horning, Howard Hauck '72
Page Views: 12,671
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jul 25, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (40)
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Frank Sanders Leading the 1st LONG Pitch of Bon Ha...

Voluntary Closure Every June and Seasonal Falcon Closures MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Bon Homme Variation is a separate and unique climb from Bon Homme. It shares only the start. Follow the ramp to the area of the old ladder. Bon Homme is about four cracks to the left of the ladder.

Pitch 1: Climb the start of the wide Bon Homme crack. Climb past a chockstone, and then look for a traverse to the left. Face climb across the column when obvious, and get into the next crack over. Then follow this crack system (double cracks) up to a huge ledge. When I did this, I climbed this first pitch as two separate pitches. I belayed somewhere after the traverse.

Pitch 2: Climb an easier crack (5.5) to the meadows. This requires most of a rope-length. This is the left of the two available cracks on this ledge.

Protection 

Standard Rack


Photos of Bon Homme Variation Slideshow Add Photo
My friend Gary getting ready to make the traverse around the column.
My friend Gary getting ready to make the traverse ...
There was a little surprise waiting for me in the beginning off-width.
There was a little surprise waiting for me in the ...
Chuck low down on the sustained P2.
Chuck low down on the sustained P2.
The offwidth start to BHV with the traverse ledge just above, the climbing is actually a lot cleaner than the photo indicates.
The offwidth start to BHV with the traverse ledge ...
The climber is at the traverse.  Delicate face moves are made from the wide Bon Homme on the right to a narrow variation crack on the left.
The climber is at the traverse. Delicate face mov...
Placing gear deep inside on the approach to the traverse.
Placing gear deep inside on the approach to the tr...
Chuck on the recommended right hand variation to P3. Supposedly 5.7, but the start seemed real hard, and there's a couple more hard moves higher up.
Chuck on the recommended right hand variation to P...
Peering around the corner. Perhaps this is the correct traverse line? I traversed higher where it's steeper, but where there is a horizontal crack for gear and your hands.
Peering around the corner. Perhaps this is the cor...
Lindsey Weissner (CupcakeTrad) Enjoying the Excellent Hand Jams on the 1st Pitch of Bon Homme (Horning Variation).
Lindsey Weissner (CupcakeTrad) Enjoying the Excell...
After doing the high traverse. If you're planning on linking P1 and P2, you don't want to place gear for a while in the left crack.
After doing the high traverse. If you're planning ...
Jon, before the traverse
Jon, before the traverse

Comments on Bon Homme Variation Add Comment
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By Graham Rogers
May 29, 2003

This climb was my first at the tower, and was hugely satisfying. The "blind" traverse around the arete into the crack was spectacular and not an easy give away...just find the key foothold, or make the route 5.10 - like my second. After 'round the well-protected corner crux, the route felt almost 5.8 with your choice of gear and some rests. It's a pretty long pitch which I recall having mostly wide finger- to hand-size gear, requiring a little conservation. On the wide section at the bottom, a #4.5 camalot would've been calming. I placed and slid up my #4 that ended up nearly tipped out. Didn't see too many other obvious options, and it stays wide and balancey for a while. I knew this was going to be a good weekend after this climb! I told the tourists at the bottom I was a real-live mountain climber now!
By John Gunnels
From: Gillette, WY
Apr 8, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Another route that should be done more often... GREAT MOVES!!!
By Frank Sanders
Nov 15, 2007
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

Surely one of the CLASSIC 5.8's on this Tower!!!

I highly endorse doing the 2nd pitch in the Right Hand Crack. It might be a bit harder than the Left Hand Alternative, but it is all solid rock, straight forward and very protectable.

The Left Alternative might be technically easier, but it is awkward, with some loose rock and the protection leaves something to be desired in numerous spots.

USER BEWARE on the left hand crack.
By denise 911
From: fort collins, co
Jul 14, 2009

1st pitch - rack your gear on your left side.
Very fun climb. I took the left crack on the 2nd pitch - while much easier than the first pitch with better rests - I would say it is still above a 5.5 (have seen it rated as 5.7 in a couple places - I would say maybe 5.6/light 5.7?). Found good placements with mostly larger gear on this pitch.
(will have to try the right crack next time - will definitely climb this route again)
By Nate Flink
From: Minneapolis, MN
Oct 21, 2012

We were able to rappel from the top of Bon Homme Variation route with a single 70 meter rope in 3 rappels using the bomber bolted anchors. It was really nice not having to trail a separate 60 m rope.

Knot your ends.