This is a crag with a bunch of advanced sport climbs that winds up staying fairly shady for much of the day. It has vertical to slightly-overhanging terrain that generally emphasizes power over technique. There are about 28 climbs here on its east & north faces. The aesthetic Empire of the Fenceless certainly draws the eye. Some routes require gear. Apparently, the word is that this crag can stay dry in some rain. This is confirmed with the exception of the leftmost routes and the upper pitches of the rightmost routes.
Beware of the loose rock if you venture onto the daring East Face route. You may rain down boulders on the approach trail!
FWIW, dogs have been known to make it up the trail to the rock.
There is other rock in the area just downhill, but it is less intriguing.
This crag is easier to spy going uphill than downhill. It lies close to the road, about 8.9 miles from Elephant Buttresses. Parking below the cliff can be limited. At times, this short trail feels like bush-whacking, depending on the time of the year. Hike 3-5 minutes. Expect 3rd to 4th class terrain to get there. This is not kid friendly.
Mark Rolofson has an excellent Boulder Canyon Sport & Adventure Climber's Guide, Volume II, The Upper Canyon. Consider it for more details.
This excellent route delivers the pump, with great moves on solid rock. "Nevermore" ***(5.13a) is the bolted line just right of the arete "Empire of the Fenceless" ***(5.12a). It shares the crux, and the first 30 feet of "Tell Tale Heart" *** (5.12b), but continues right above the roof instead of exiting left. The initial 20 feet of 5.10 climbing on big holds is a great intro before reaching the roof and a devious 5.12d crux toward the end. One must power through a ...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
I don't think this was climbed on much by "the hard men" before it was bolted. One of the best routes here is Elanor but it has several bolts where it's easier to place #1 Camalots. Route-squeezing has given this place a trashy feel.
Can someone identify the several routes not in the guidebook to the left of Knappweed Herbacide (the 5.10 warm-up)? I see that "Chickenshit" and "Surrounded" are in the database, but I see at least 4 lines to the left of Knappweed.
There are three routes that I was aware of, Chickenshit, etc (takes the left side of the roof with kind of a shoulder wrenching move), Trustafarian Panhandler (up the center of the roof, rails to a burly lip move), and Surrounded by Reality (more to the right with the crux actually lower about half way to the roof). There is, or was more room for routes in this area, including second pitches as well.
This crag has some great routes, but it can get really cold. I went yesterday with some friends, and although it was nearly 70 degrees in Boulder, it was freezing at the crag. We climbed The Riddler and had to keep stopping to warm the sensation back into our fingertips. I would recommend this crag for a scorchingly hot day.