Newlin Creek is in the Wet Mountains south of Canon City. There are over a dozen granite/gneiss buttresses in the canyon of which less than half have routes on them to my knowledge. Two or three years ago I saw no evidence of climbing in the canyon. I did a couple easy trad lines then and some bouldering. The canyon seemed to have immense potential for trad lines due to the abundant crack systems. About a year ago, John Gill told me he saw some bolts in the canyon. I went back in June 2003 and saw many bolted lines on the buttresses lower in the canyon. Most of the bolt lines closely follow moderate-looking crack systems. A few harder-looking cracks have been bolted and a few moderate to harder faces, too.
About a mile up the Forest Service trail is an unbolted buttress I call The Big House. (After crossing the wooden foot bridge 1/2 mile up the trail, proceed over 4 creek crossings, 3 of the main creek and one of a tributary coming in from the south. 100 feet past the 4th crossing on the North side of Newlin Creek is The Big House.) There are two obvious crack lines on this wall. On 6/11/03 Hank Jones and myself climbed the steeper left-hand crack (Conviction, 5.12). We both led it that day completely on clean gear, each placing the gear free on the lead. To reach the top of the buttress is ~120 feet, but the business is the sinker fingerlocks and beefy hand jams of the first 60 feet up to the obvious roof. This section is wicked strenuous, overhanging 20 feet, but on superbly solid rock with good pro if you can hang in long enough to place it. I don't hesitate to say this is one of the finest trad lines of its grade along the Front Range. I've reported it here in the hopes it will remain unbolted so that others can enjoy the challenge as we did.
- John Sherman
From Florence, CO drive south on CO State Hwy 67. After passing the Federal Penitentiary on the left, continue two miles then turn right on FS RD 15 (a sign says Newlin Creek Trailhead). Drive west up FS RD 15 6.5 miles to the parking at the trailhead.
There is a large slab on the left side of the crag. This climb takes the open book/overhang at the left of the large roof above the slab. Start at the left edge of the slab.P1. Head up the left side of the slab (5.6) to the roof. Climb steeply through the open book (5.10a) to a ledge system (be careful with loose blocks on this ledge). Belay.P2. Continue up short cracks above to the top (5.7, 20')....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
I have been setting some route at Newlin and I agree that the cracks should not be bolted. I have a couple of mixed routes and one that is pruely crack, however, I did put lowering stations at the top of the crack. Any bolting of lines where trad. gear can be placed will be looked down on by my tribe and myself.
My partner and I climbed a 2 pitch route on 4th of July that was pretty good. As you are hiking up the trail, not too far after the first wall on the right (the one with a pretty big roof running most of the length of it with bolted lines), you come to another wall (more like a tiny Petit Grepon?) on the right hand side that has some bolted two pitch routes. We climbed a route on the right hand side. The first pitch started on low angle funkiness and had a sweet, vertical, slab crux towards the top (probably around 10+). After topping out on this, we headed slightly left to a pair of bolts. The second pitch headed up slightly left on the arete to a small roof, traversed right a small amount under the roof, pull the roof (pretty tough, I am tall and was able to throw to a couple slopers), then meets up with a completely sweet overhanging, left-trending finger and small hands crack. The crack was bolted, which was kind of sad, because it would definitely be a fair testpiece on gear. The second pitch was probably in the 11d to 12a range. Anybody have any info on it? It is amazing the amount of bolted routes that have gone up here in the last few years. Also, if anybody has info on various routes in general, I would be very appreciative if you would email me. Cheers.
In my view Bob Robertson has put up with your bashing for a while now, he takes no defensive action towards all of climbingboulder.com's slanderous comments. If you can't beat him (keep up with him), join him! YOU GO BOB!!!
I did a recon of Newlin Creek in late May of 2004. My first impression, developed whilst stumbling into the trees, bumping into hikers, and falling into the stream was that while a lot had been done, far and away the bulk of the good lines had not been done. All the stumbling about stems from gawking up through the trees at another great looking line. I too think that Sherman's concern is legitmate, but not a dominant issue. Some long crack systems have been bolted, far exceeding the 50% rule, but most of the bolts have gone into faces and aretes where there is no pro. The classic crack he mentioned has not been bolted and it would be reasonable to take him at his word, this is one the great looking cracks you are likley to run across. I can understand Sherman's concern, but I would not have let this cat out of the bag, not yet anyway.
Most of the routes at Newlin were not put up by a guy named Wayne. Wayne may have done some? The routes developers were Bob Robertson, Bill Schmausser, Dondo Garrison, Nelson Lunsford, John Musso and a few by Mike Johnson. Iím sure that a few other routes were done by folks not mentioned here, but the great majority of routes were done by those listed. Harvey Carter even put up some traditional routes here a long time ago.
A guidebook for the area has been discussed by the main route developers, but I personally would rather the place stay undocumented.
There is a great bouldering scene here, with many hard problems V7 and up. While all the talk is about the trad lines and bolted cracks, anyone who wants to put up some new problems should definitely check this area out for its bouldering.
Yep, the bouldering in Newlin is great. But don't think it is friendly to the beginner. Bring lots of pads and be ready to be stumped on a lot of the problems. Some real classics with more waiting to be discovered/sent.
John Sherman's crack continues to follow the crack, up and right. The bolted arÍte climb was done by Mike Johnson from my anchors to the climb left of it. Mike also did the traditional line to the right of Sherman's crack; it is a nice test piece as well. I put up all but one of the climbs left of Mike's arÍte. Watch for rattlesnakes around the Big House!