Creek Side may or may not be a good name for this wall. Nothing has been published that I have found and no name has been ascribed to the crag. Now, this seems odd inasmuch as Creek Side is largest expanse of continuous stone in Clear Creek - bigger than the Mission Wall by at least 100 feet and more continuous than The Little Eiger. The crag towers over 400 feet above the stream, faces depressingly due East, and sees virtually no climbing. It is dark, cold, and windy most of the day except for a spell in the morning when it gets full sun. To make matters worse, the crag appears to be composed of fractured, friable, appalling stone. However, in the '60s, Layton Kor and colleagues punched up a mixed route that exited a large open-book dihedral at the 200 foot mark. This line has been repeated occasionally since then, and at least one fatality has been reported from the '70s. So, Creek Side is not without some history. Furthermore, at least two old lines have been climbed on the crag's West flank. One runs 50 or 60 feet to a pine tree/rap station. Another wanders the entire length of the west wall, but good luck trying to replicate the line - it has no obvious distinguishing characteristic. In 2002, a five pitch line was installed that punches up on the left side of the East-facing, open-book dihedral. The name of the game here is exposure, with a capital E. More importantly, the large confusion of irregularities has, in fact, turned up some terrific, bullet-proof stone. It appears that the time has come to see what this big puppy holds.
Park as for the Catslab/Dog Wall just West of tunnel five. Hop over the guardrail as though heading for the Dog Wall but follow the creek West for 250 yards. This will access the East side of the crag only.
To access the west side, you climb a tree with a rope hanging down. You can clip into loops to sort of back you up. 25 feet up, you cross a tyrolean to the Guppy pod.
Note, if you wade the river, you must lead up to the belay pod to start. Plus, there isn't really a great place to switch shoes below the Guppy pod.
Brennivin is a beautiful crack splitting a 30 foot roof on Creek Side crag - the buttress located on the North side of the river between the last tunnel before I-70 and The Dog House. The roof lies in the center of the crag at the river's bend. It is the most obvious feature on the buttress.The approach pitch is 10d or 11a face climbing on solid, black-gray rock. The approach pitch had been bolted by unknown climbers prior to my ascent. The roof had one bolt located low down. The roof was aided ...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
As Mike was mentioning about the ropes... they are pretty old now, Last time I tyroled on them I was freaked out that one was going to break, since it had frayed and bunched up near to the wall. I refused to climb over there multiple days now, since the tyrol is so sketchy!
We did the 5 pitch route described here on July 28 but dogged the last two pitches. What's the story?
By Darren Mabe From: Flagstaff, AZ Mar 29, 2005 Gear Alert
Four or five new routes at the lower Creekside wall right off of the water East (climbers right) of the Brennivin Roof.
Routes (starting from right to left):
Crackside* -- 5.9+ (one move wonder), mixed gear/3 bolts, SR to #3Camalot, 85', original route traverses right (crux) after arching crack ends, to pick up another hand crack, ends on ledge with two bolt rap anchor.
Crackside Direct (var.)* -- 10a mixed/4 bolts, SR to #1Camalot, 115', climb above where crack ends, and beeline to the finger crack above and traversing bolts to shared rappel anchors of Guppy.
Guppy* -- 5.8, 13 bolts, 115'.
Fish and Chips* -- 5.9+, 14 bolts, 115'.
Rhett Wench* -- P1. 5.6 5 bolts, 70' P2. 5.11c/d 12 bolts 80-90' Climbs the left black slab, grey shield capped by two massive roofs.
APPROACH Beta: Dirt pull-off before guard rail at east side of tunnel 6, CDOT doesn't like you parking on the road next to the guard rail. These routes on this section of wall is accessed only by a tyrolean traverse! Tyrol starts 25 feet up from a cottonwood (the warm up route! -- 5th class, jugs the whole way) directly to a pod belay at small pine (AKA "Booty Snatcher Belay") at start of Fish and Chips (left) and Guppy (right). Consider bringing some jumars or tiblok. Three bolt traverse (5.2) right to the belay of Crackside routes. OR Fixed (!!!) handline 15' left to the belay of Rhett Wench. All belays are bolted.
DESCENT Beta: YOU WILL NEED A 70M ROPE OR TWO ROPES to safely rap Guppy or Fish and Chips. If you are careful, when you pull the rope, it shouldn't fall into the drink. You will eventually have to end up back to the pod belay where you will be able to tyrol back.
OTHER NOTES: traffic noise!! consider radios. 70meter rope or two ropes for rappels/jumar makes life easier on the tyrol (better yet, a petzl traxion..) helmet, camera -- very cool location/perspective!
I have some hand drawn topos if you really want/need them. Give me a call and I will be happy to share them.
Love this little area, great spot for a half day of climbing. That in mind, I was wondering when the last time the tyrol was replaced? The rope looks to be in great condition, but the tree has grown around the rope in some spots, not sure what this does to the integrity of the rope, and it isn't exactly easy to check! Seemed solid when I ran across it this past weekend, but it crossed my mind on the way back. The line snapping mid traverse would be pretty devastating....
It always amazes me that some climbers are so conscientious about taking care of the crags. As a climber, I know I don't do enough to help or financially support the efforts of people like Mark Tarrant, Darren Mabe and Richard Wright. I know there are others who contribute to Clear Creek, as well. I have not named everyone who deserves our support in many ways. Is it time to form a fund or committee to support Clear Creek crags and route developers?
Just a thought and maybe an idea, a few bucks each, would go a long way, we are so lucky our sport has so much free access, but we often forget about those that developed the routes.
Very thoughtful, Harald, thanks, but it was more special not having financial support from other than a well-paying job at the time. I have had incredible experiences and learned a lot in that Canyon. I think it's awesome to see many others continue to contribute.
Perhaps start a local Wishlist in one of the forums. Many of the active stewards frequent this site.
I think the biggest improvement could be made in the approach trails. Especially to the lesser visited crags! But that is "officially" Jeffco and Clear Creek County realm....
Hello all - within the last week a blue 60L dry bag walked away from the bowl behind (East) of the Gold Wall. I had stashed it over the week, as it contained ropes and equipment for the highlines in that area. I'm staying optimistic that this is someone's mis-applied good intentions. If you've got any info on this, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you!
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Dec 5, 2012
There is a downed tree that bridges the creek at the west end of Creek Side...just in case you want to try to avoid the wading during low water this winter.
There was an older, unfinished route to the left for sometime that needed a few bolts. Probably that one and probably a much quicker way up to the 12s if you want to bypass the Playin' Hooky line. When I inquired before its finish, it was supposed to clock in around 5.10.
The old yellow(?) and black and white ropes on the tyrol have been there long enough the tree is starting to grow out around them. Probably time to give them the knife (or at least retension) before they hurt the tree which is so good to us.
The ropes definitely need retentioning/replacement. I'd be happy to donate a new static line if anyone wants to message me to help out with the project. It doesn't look like it will be easy to me. I love these climbs, but man is getting to them difficult. There is a LOT of sag in the current lines. I'm going to need a progress capture like a prussik or ascender to do this again, and I'm not that physically weak.