2014 Update: Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and all seasonal raptor closure areas on U.S. Forest Service land will be re-opened August 1, 2014 for climbing.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
This is a Boulder Canyon classic testpiece hat once held the title of hardest crack climb in the US. Overall solid jamming with good feet, but slippery in places.
The first pitch has the crux right off the ground and involves delicate face climbing and mantling past two bolts. Finish this pitch by climbing the awkward 5.9 crack to a good belay ledge with a bolt anchor.
The second pitch is the endurance crux and is really where the classic hand crack climbing is at. Progressively harder crack climbing leads through a small roof. Hold on because the crux is still to come. A nice but tricky rest sets you up for the thin finger crack crux which involves thin and insecure finger jamming (11a) up a smooth face for 15 feet before a nice jug traverse to the anchors.
This route can be well protected with a standard rack. There are many fixed pins on this route helping to minimize the need to place many nuts. Bring cams sized in the finger to hand crack sizes - doubling these if you like to place lots of gear. A #3 Camalot helps as you pull the roof, and a #2 Camalot is useful in multiple places. A 3 bolt rappel anchor gets you to the ground (70 meter will get you back to the pitch one anchors).
Country Club Crack can be led in one pitch if you arrange runners well on the lower part, and place long slings on gear below the upper roof. Check out the rock at the bottom of the route if you want to see the aftermath of pre-modern bolt wars.
Easy, there - Mr. A.C.! Personally, I enjoy SL's comments - his sense of history adds a hell of a lot of value and interesting reading to this site. Our local climbing history is incredibly interesting and invaluable and needs to be passed along to the next generation. Keep up the good work, Steve - you are a definite asset (and I have commenced my search for Roger's graffiti in Eldo - excellent bit of trivia you mentioned previously...).
A few thoughts. 1) You can get by with, at most, one #2 Camalot and nothing larger. I find this route protects well with plenty of Camalots between 0.5 and #1, some screamers for the pins and a few (very few) nuts and aliens.
2) Share the rock! I've seen many people tie up the route for half a day or more while pracicing aid. If must practice aid here, try going on off hours.
3) You can rap the route with one rope by swinging over to the anchors atop the second pitch of Athlete's feet.
RE/raps: a 60m will get you to the bolt anchor atop P1, and the leader can even lower down and belay the second from here, if desired (this will require exciting swinging shenanigans for both the leader and the follower).
I love this route. I've done it nine times and still no redpoint of the upper pitch. Only once have I had another party on the route at the same time. If you want this route to yourself get on it early on a weekday morning. Of the nine times I've done this route, six of them were before work. This is the time to climb it anyway since you want the first pitch cool and in the shade.
Others should definitely share the rock, but I think topropers and (clean) aid climbers have a right to climb this route as well. Heck, the Salathe Wall on El Cap is a free climb. Should all aid climbers be barred from climbing it? Common courtesy should be exercised by all involved. Maybe the aid climbers can offer to let the free climbers by after the first pitch?
I found it more enjoyable to climb as one pitch, however, it's easier for the second to impale their backside on a fall from the opening moves due to the rope stretch. The thin section at the top is much easier without tape.
What a fun/scary lead. Scary - because I lack ability, strength, etc. Fun - because the route takes pro so well.
The original comment on the route says to take a #4 Camalot. Somone else said you only need a #2 and smaller. I found a #3 Camalot protected the roof, and then right after you move left from the roof, and #2 Camalot helped calm my mind. As the crack gets thin, the green, yellow, and red Alien were perfect. Better leaders probably wouldn't see the need to place all three pieces throughout this thin section. Once you get to the top of the crack, the route moves right. Before moving up and right, I placed a #1 Camalot as a passive piece to protect the second from a pendulum after he cleaned the Aliens at the fingers crux.
Hopefully, this will help others in deciding what pro to take.
I found that the best way to protect the second is to clip a 0.75 cam up and left of the belay or a red/yellow Alien just left of the belay to minimize the pendulum (the traversing face moves at the end are the scariest moves on the whole climb). You don't need anything larger than a #3 cam although there are places to put big pieces. Not many nut placements, but there are a few that are completely bomber. There are also a few hex placements that are definitely more bomber than the cams that would go in their place. When I do it as one pitch: set of stoppers, few hexes, 2 x red Aliens, 2 x yellow Aliens, 2 x (#0.75, 1, 2, 3) Camalots, plenty of draws for the pins/nuts/hexes, and a double length to equalize the bolts with a runner to reduce drag. This is a good training route as most of the falls are safe (except the start - safe at A0) and (if you are proficient at placing good pro) all the gear is bomber.
After 3 or 4 trips up to Castle Rock in the last year, I was finally able to get on this route... no aid climbers this morning! The face climbing at the start is desperate, though possibly slightly easier than the Athlete's Feet mantle... I'm not sure how shorter people are able to do the move past the 2nd bolt. The crack pitch is pumpy, though look for a tricky no-hands rest on the upper part. From the anchors at the top you can TR the excellent Englishman's Home (11c- very thin looking gear) which takes the Athlete's Feet start straight up through a series of lieback corners to the flake system left of CCC, joining that route at the roof.
It too finally got on this climb this weekend. All I can say is "tough climb" and that I will be sore for days. I agree with that above comments that you can do without the #4, no reason to lug that thing up there. I'm hoping to figure out some sort of rest in the section of wide crack just past the roof (knee lock???), otherwise I have know idea how I could do it continuously, way to pumped for the thin fingers, difficult feet section (the real crux of the route to me).
I found the only real rest on the second pitch came after the roof, where I was able to slide my whole right leg into the wide crack, flexed and torqued until solid and I was able to hang quite comfortably sans meathooks (what my arms felt like after the roof). I wouldn't call it a "knee lock", more of an off width jam. I got it all back but it didn't really matter a hoot, the last 15' still kicked my ass.
Out of curiosity, where do people feel the hardest moves are at the beginning: by the first or second bolt? There are 2 very distinct cruxy sequences--I climbed the route yesterday, and found the moves by the second bolt harder (and I'm borderline 6'), while my partner thought it was the other way around.
Someone added a new bolt between the second bolt and the crack. This bolt was not needed for a safe free or aid ascent. We promptly removed the bolt and the hanger. It is a self drilling bolt and the sleeve is still in the rock. If any one knows how to remove the sleeve WITHOUT damaging the rock further, email me or someone to do so. Epoxy and a little rock dust should minimize what is already a swiss cheese rock.
I think the first bolt holds the crux. The next move felt much easier for me. That added bolt was ridiculous!
The middle part of this climb is some of the best moderate, crack climbing in the canyon!
By arod Oct 21, 2004 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-23E3 5c
Got on CCC the other day (Oct 17) and found two cams (#1 & #2) in the crack, climbers left of the second pitch just above the picth one belay. I think someone was using them as directionals for the second but I am not sure. Contact me if you are the owner at firstname.lastname@example.org.
A 60m rope will not reach the anchor on P1 of Athlete's Feat! I was about 5 feet short, dangling in the air. I could not find a placement for the #4 even though I brought it. I had a #3 above the roof, but one or two #2s would have been enough.
My ONLY complaint with this route is that the first (and only) bolt is in such an awkward position--ok, maybe not so awkward if you're 5'7" or more, but let me tell you, when you're 5'4", it's a SCARY first bolt... Otherwise, ditto on all raves above.
I know a lot of people would frown on this but, this climb is a great place to practice aid climbing (clean of course), along with the aid roof a little farther west on Castle Rock. If you're rusty and headed for a big wall or trying to learn, taking laps on this is great fun.
Side note: Try to climb this when it is not conducive to free climbing, i.e. cold, night, early am, winter or the like. Be mindful, if aid climbing, that this is a very popular and quality free line and chocking it up for hours aiding would be less than polite.
A 60m will make it in one pitch as well. Just leaves you a bit short on the raps. A 70 would be ideal cause then you can rap to the first pitch anchors of A.F. pump fest in one long one for sure.
Edit*** We climbed this again yesterday with one 70m. Rappelling from the top of P.2 the knots in our rope were only about 8 ft down and to the right of the anchors top of P1 for athletes feet. I advise a 70 or 2-60s to avoid any big swings.
FYI- There is now a fixed red TCU top of the 2nd pitch crux. It walked to far back and over cammed too much to get out. It's in a great spot though just before the thank god jug. Clip it and keep moving. :) :)
By Brian Adzima From: the Paris of Appalachia Jul 30, 2008 rating: 5.11c6c+24VIII-24E4 6a
Nice climb, but it looks like a junkyard with ~20 bolt studs and ~12 pins.