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Eureka Pillar
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Gold Digger T 
Hardrock Miner S 

Hardrock Miner 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Sport, 5 pitches, 600', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Rex Wolters (and others?)
Season: Summer & early Fall
Page Views: 6,132
Submitted By: Lee Frazer on Jun 2, 2009  with updates from DaveT

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (24)
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Hardrock Miner, from the top of pitch 2.

Description 

I first learned of this route after seeing this article climbing.com/exclusive/feature... by Durango climber, Jared Ogden. Though he listed it as a Grade III, experienced multi pitch climbers will find it closer to Grade II. Beware of loose rock, and some infamous San Juan choss, in spots. [Warning: Unless you have experience on multi-pitch climbs, do not attempt this. Friends and I've seen several parties, with little more than a few years - or less - of single-pitch sport climbing experience, attempt this (and nearly kill themselves or others). There are much shorter multi-pitch sport climbs, out there, than this. This is alpine terrain, not an outdoor climbing gym!]

Pitch 1. 9 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains (atop the first big ledge). It's a short pitch, but with a fair bit of rope drag, as the pitch wanders a bit near the top.

Pitch 2. 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains (short pitch). With a 70 m rope, it's possible to link pitch 2 and 3 with a 70m rope (if you are short on time or feeling up for it). To do this, however, I suggest moving your belay (at the top of pitch 1) about 20-20' left of the fixed anchor (which is easy to do, as this is a big ledge).

Pitch 3. 6 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains. This too is a short pitch.

Pitch 4. This pitch moves up and left. 8 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and no chains.

Pitch 5. This pitch starts up the exposed ridge (which is good fun), and then angles right with the ridge line. 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains.

For more on the route, see Gary N's description in the comments below (from whom I drew to edit this).

Location 

It is a 30 minute hike from Eureka, the second 15 minutes of which includes an uphill hike through scree.

Protection 

This is well bolted - all the way up.

Descent:

Rappel the route with two 60m ropes, which will require 3 rappels to get you to the base. The second rappel begins at an independent anchor (below and climber's right of the fourth pitch anchor). Use the belay anchors for the remaining raps.

In addition, the second rappel, which ends on the big ledge at the top of the first pitch, will require you to down climb the last 3-4' (of very easy 5th class) to the ledge. Given this, two 70m ropes is more ideal.

A single 60 is not enough.


Photos of Hardrock Miner Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Us at the top.
Us at the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: I tried to show the general flow of the route. Red...
BETA PHOTO: I tried to show the general flow of the route. Red...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb is not so steep as first appears.
BETA PHOTO: Climb is not so steep as first appears.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jess on the airy last belay.
Jess on the airy last belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: Photo taken from the new RV camping in Eureka.
BETA PHOTO: Photo taken from the new RV camping in Eureka.
Rock Climbing Photo: Hardrock Miner.
Hardrock Miner.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climb starts in the right side of the yellow liche...
BETA PHOTO: Climb starts in the right side of the yellow liche...
Rock Climbing Photo: Hardrock Miner looking down at the belay for pitch...
Hardrock Miner looking down at the belay for pitch...

Comments on Hardrock Miner Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 12, 2015
By chosspector
From: San Juans, CO
Aug 27, 2009
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The Eureka Pillar is the large formation just to the south of the box canyon by the old Eureka mill. Hardrock Miner starts in an alcove and climbs up and left to a ledge, then up the center of the slab to the top. Although this route is bolted, it is still an adventurous alpine climb with some loose rock.

2 ropes, draws.
By S.Mckinna
From: Cañon City, CO
Feb 1, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

This route is sweet! I would say it is a grade II, from the first clip back to the ground it takes about 3 hours. But I have been up there longer.
By S.Mckinna
From: Cañon City, CO
Jun 13, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

Bring as many long runners as possible instead of QDs.
By S.Mckinna
From: Cañon City, CO
Jul 15, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

It is the bolted line on the face. Gold Digger is to the right in the corner it looks to be trad.
By Andito
From: Colorado Springs
Jul 24, 2011

There seems to be some confusion about which route is which, but my wife and I started the bolted line after forgetting our helmets. Not advisable. The climbing was casual, but I inadvertently sent more loose rock down the line by the second bolt of the first pitch than I have in my entire climbing career. Make sure you bring a helmet for this one. If you do, it looks like a promising climb. Think of it as Silverton's zipped-up version of the third Flatiron in Boulder. Be ready for a thirty-minute approach over loose and sharp scree.
By ozman
From: CO / NM
Sep 18, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Definitely 5 pitches, not 4. Bring a single 70m rope. We climbed this today with a single 60m rope and we ended up downclimbing in 3 different places. Double 60m ropes will not allow you to double rap pitches, so leave the doubles at home or you'll end up making 5 rappels anyway. A single 70m rope is the way to go. Car to car took us 3 hours. My opinion, it's a grade II climb. Great bolt job whomever drilled it. Do NOT stop at the chains on the ledge after the 4th pitch (these are rap anchors). Once you reach the ledge, skip the chains off to the right and start traversing to the left up and out to the arete. The belay anchors two naked bolts out near the arete. The fifth pitch climbs the exposed arete climber's left. Great pitch. Every pitch is better than the one before. If you're out there, clean the route the best you can; it needs traffic and cleaning. Great time in great setting. Sewn up version of a Flatiron is a great way to put it.
By Larry Earley
From: Los Alamos, NM
Jul 11, 2012

This is a one of a kind climb. It is a near alpine bolted route. Well bolted. We only did the first three pitches due to rain. Pitch 1 had most bolts and most loose rock. Middle of pitch 2 was nice. Pitch 3 easy. Most climbing in 5.6 range. Pitch 5 did look good from a distance. A single 70m did not work for rapping down. Did some extra raps off single bolts. Great view of the new mega RV/ATV private campground in Eureka.
By dhunsworth
From: Durango, co
Aug 17, 2012

Can anyone give an estimate on how many draws needed? thx
By Gary N
From: Durango, CO
Nov 9, 2012
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Fun (sport) route in an alpine environment. My partner and I were following our friends up and let them get up a few pitches due to classic San Juan choss. We then proceeded to see if we could link pitches and we did the route in 3 pitches. Here's what we came up with:

Pitch 1 - 9 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch, but lots of rope drag on this wandering pitch. I belayed at the top of the first pitch.

Pitch 2 - 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch. My partner and I decided to link pitches 2 and 3. From the ledge at the top of the first pitch, I belayed about 30' to the left of the anchor, as it is a big ledge and this is where the second pitch starts.

Pitch 3 - 6 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch. We were able to link pitch 2 and 3 with a 70m rope, extended slings, and we skipped 2 bolts. I would only recommend this if you are short on time or just feeling up for it.

Pitch 4 - 8 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and no chains, short pitch. Intermediate rap station with 2 bolts and chains. We linked pitches 4 and 5. See below.

Pitch 5 - 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains. My partner and I decided to link pitches 4 and 5. Again, I was able to do this by using only extended slings, a 70m rope, and I skipped a few bolts here and there. I would only recommend this if you are short on time or just feeling up for it.

Since we climbed under our friends and they also had a 70m rope, we decided to see how few raps we could do. We simul-rapped to the ground in 3 raps. We did 2 double rope raps with our 70s tied together. This brought us to the ledge at the top of the first pitch. From here, we had to walk about 75' east (rappellers' right) to the 2 bolt anchor with chains at the top of the first pitch. From here, we did a single 70m simul-rap.

Took us just over 2.5 hours ground to ground. This route is definitely a grade II. Like it has been said before, bring only trad/alpine draws. 9 total if you don't plan on linking pitches. I used mostly 24" slings extended.

I think this just about covers everything. Climb on.
By infiniteforests
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Aug 1, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

I did this again but with an 80m rope this time. The 80m rope seemed perfect for all the rappels. Much better than carrying two 60s.
By eli poss
From: Durango, Co
Aug 12, 2015
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This is rappel-able with a single 70 if you don't mind like 5ft of 4th class downclimbing on the last two raps.

Also, I would not recommend linking p4 & 5, because p5 is just so much more aesthetic that linking them may spoil the experience of p5.

P5 is definitely the best pitch, following a beautiful arete to a ridge-like feature at the top. Don't forget to enjoy the views from the top, they are killer.

Also, as much as I hate to sound like a sandbagger, this is definitely either 5.6 or 5.7 by Durango standards. I would consider it on par with "Wasted Asparagus" at the Fume Wall.

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