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.
East Crack (also known as East Edge) is a fun thin crack through good rock (and not slick, like a lot of Boulder Canyon!). Nearly all of the crux jams are pin scars, so it didn't have that three star feel...never-the-less the overall rock quality makes it worth doing.
Upon reaching Cob Rock, the lowest feature is a 50 foot high buttress with a prominent wide crack, the Huston Crack. This, or the 5.10 finger crack just right, make good direct starts to East Crack. Otherwise, scramble 4th class up on the right or left side of the buttress, go up past some blocks, and set a belay near the left edge of the north face. The route begins up a shallow LF corner that leads up to the right end of a small roof or overlap. Rossiter and others call the corner runout, but the 5.9 is one move to a good hold, easily scoped and retreated from if necessary, and the RP placement is good. Turn the roof and head left into the crack, which becomes progressively harder (with a couple funky gear placements) until a thank-god fixed pin. Rappel from the ledge with blocks above, or continue up and right to the summit.
Bring RPs, stoppers, and small camming units--TCUs would probably have working better in the pin scars than my FCUs.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Nov 6, 2001 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b PG13
Well, this time Charles and I disagree on the Protection. Perhaps I was too tenuous to place, or perhaps it is my height, but I found myself struggling a bit for good gear on this route. My partner, who is shorter than I agreed that the gear was difficult or lacking. Then again, I normally climb in Eldo, not Boulder Canyon.
The moves are very cool, however, and very worthwhile.
It was probably 6 years ago when I did this, but I recall the runout moves are at the start before the roof, where it is only 5.8-9. Another way to start this climb is the first pitch of Night Vision (10b, look for 2 bolts left of Huston's Crack). This is much easier than the 10d thin crack right of Huston's Crack, and doesn't require big cams and grunting like Huston's Crack.
There is a variation to this route, that I'm not sure has an established name or anything, but I'm sure it's been climbed before. Instead of starting up the left-facing corner into the overlap, it's possible to climb start about 6-8 ft. to the right. This leads up into incipient cracks with sparse pro above the overlap. Moves felt like hard .9 or easy .10, but it's been a while, so I'm not sure my memory serves correctly. Eventually, the pitch wanders up into easier, though steep ground with a nice crack and good pro. Pretty much the whole thing can be done in one long pitch. Once again, I'm not sure how much different this is from the East Crack described, but it seems to me that it's a different pitch altogether. Please anyone feel free to correct me or inform of the proper name for the climbing described. One quick note on bees on Cob. I have been up there on a day when some people knocked off a sizeable nest and there were bees all over the place. Crawling on my legs as I led the second pitch of Empor! Just please be careful of those pesky bastards, they're everywhere anyways, we don't need to climb through angry swarms.
To me, it made more sense to climb straight up to the roof just left of the belay. There is a thin crack system that offers plenty for small nuts. Once reaching the roof travers a couple of feet to the right until you can reach the good horizontal crack above the roof.
I think this route can be sewn up with a set of RPs or micro stoppers. I didn't place a single cam on the whole pitch.
By Ken Heiser From: Boulder, CO Aug 9, 2004 rating: 5.10a6a18VI+18E1 5a
I led this route last week for the first time and really enjoyed it.We did the first pitch of Night Vision to start.I found the gear to be excellent and easy to place. Really fun route and a good after work excursion.
Did somebody put a bolt on this thing...? Looked across today at it and it seemed like there was a new bolt below the fixed pin by 10 ft or so. Maybe a face variation, or from my perspective, it wasn't on the East Edge? I hope not! That route has great character and doesn't need anymore fixed gear on it.
As Chad's comment notes, it is easier to climb and protect this route by beginning left of the small dihedral. From there I traversed under the step roof and pulled over on the right getting back in line with East Edge. From there, instead of taking the pin-scarred crack, I climbed more or less straight up using a variety of cracks and edges. Certainly this is the line of least resistance on the left side of Cob Rock but watch what you pull on up there as there are numerous loose flakes that are difficult to avoid and could do a lot of damage if they came off.
I placed two #3 stoppers, two green Aliens, and one blue Alien throughout the pitch above the roof. The gear is where it needs to be(kind of), although I found placing the gear very challenging and difficult. Indeed, the crack gets progressively harder until the piton (the pin could be 4-6 feet lower in my opinion). The finger crack on the third pitch is worth the effort.
By Marty Combs From: Boulder, CO Jun 14, 2012 rating: 5.10c6b20VII20E2 5b PG13
I definitely agree with the above comments concerning sketchy gear. the placements leading up to the crux are mediocre at best. If you were to blow the crux move and zipper, good placements lower will definitely hold. It still makes for a spicy lead. The climbing itself is great.
By Andy Hansen From: Longmont, Colorado Jul 15, 2012 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b
I'll second (and third for that matter) the option to climb straight up off the belay (as for Night Vision) up the thin crack and traverse right underneath the roof and get back into East Crack after a few 5.8 moves.
I thought 5.10b was a pretty accurate difficulty rating for this climb considering I have bigger fingers but still really enjoy thin finger cracks. I stayed primarily in the crack and thought the gear was great and everywhere I needed it to be. However, if you're uncomfortable climbing above thin gear, this might not be the route for you. Beautiful climbing and a nice position.
By Jeff McLeod Aug 16, 2012 rating: 5.10b6a+19VII-19E2 5b PG13
I didn't bring enough small gear for this route, so for me the protection was poor. But the corner at the beginning is definitely runout with injury fall potential. Also there is a loose rock at the top of the last pitch (end of the 5.7 crack) that could easily come out and cause trouble.
Wow! This will be my first route comment. Not to say others I have climbed were less worthy, just that this was a pretty big lead for me. A big confidence builder, and one hell of a good time! What a sweet line.
I gotta say though, I disagree about the "sketchy" gear. I have one word and I'll say it three times: NUTs, nuts, nuts! It's all I placed (besides the perfect black Alien) and the cracks ate them up like candy. PERFECT, bomber placements. However, they are a bit "tricky" to place only because of the thin ass stances at which you must place them...you must be quick...decisive and keep moving, but it's all there.
Anyway, loved it. Gonna have to do it again, via Night Vision.