About a hundred feet up the hill from the start of Long John Wall, the West Ridge Trail passes by a dark, left-leaning dihedral partially obscured by a pine tree. Look for a pin about 15 feet up and a heavily chalked, horizontal rail higher on the right wall. Chick on the Side takes this steep dihedral via liebacks and stems. Pro is good when you need it, and unlike many harder Eldo corners you can both protect and climb without facing the dilemma of choice. Unfortunately the fun ends all too soon as the dihedral spits you out onto a ledge after only a few interesting moves.
A fun diversion while it lasts, but not as satisfying as the real thing.
Small Aliens or nuts for the business, big nuts and/or medium cams for the belay. There is one pin in the dihedral. This is a short pitch with scant but sufficient opportunities for pro.
I did this climb a few years ago and remember it as being awkward and hard 5.10 (but short). One star is about right.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Nov 2, 2001 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b
The first few moves are crimpy, sharp, and powerful, as well as awkward. The taller you are the better. I thought that the route was fun, but quite hard at it's grade. Once the opening sequence is done, the rest of the route is much easier, so a long or dangerous fall seems unlikely.
I also thought this was hard. Power trumps height. I'm 6' 3". I had the reach but not the power to hold myself in while reaching. I had to lunge for the bucket after trying various possibilities. There is plenty of pro above, but it's strenuous hanging out. You can stem out right with your hip in the corner, but it's stressful. You can escape right around the arete at the big bucket (as I did) for a rest, and you can escape again higher up (as I did).
I tried to figure out a way to statically reach the jug below the pin right at the start and couldn't figure out a way to do it other than to dyno. Apart from the battle with the tree I liked it better to climb out the dihedral the whole way instead of escaping right. Very deceptive as it certainly did not look to me like the opening sequence would be the crux. I really enjoyed this route. If linked with Handcracker would it be the longest continuous climb on the W. Ridge?
I managed to do the opening moves to the first jug statically, but it was awkward and I had to stem out left and under the overlap. I agree with the sharp and crimpy hold business, but I think 10b is a fair grade. This isn't Boulder Canyon. The tree needs to be trimmed at the top! Protection is good and the moves are interesting.
By Clint Locks From: Boulder Jan 2, 2008 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
I just want to log a counter point to the earier comment. I agree that the tree is a bit intrusive, but it's important to remember (especially as more and more people are climbing here) that we are all just visitors in the canyon and have a responsibility to its preservation. And even if we wanted to, we can't just create 'improvements' in a state park on a whim. My point: Just climb around it. We climbers create enough unintentional impact as it is without "trimming" trees because they poke our little behinds once or twice. Great route, by the way! Having double Aliens (green-red) made it very civilized.
By Clint Locks From: Boulder Oct 23, 2011 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
Had another fling with this one today, then continued with Variation to Mail Ridge (Going Postal?) and finished on the exquisite Handcracker Direct. Levin calls it the Mail Ridge Tower Link-up or something. Really fun!