The Overhang Rock does not look like much from the East, but when looking back from the West it appears to loom over Bear Canyon like a guardian demanding its due. This gorgeous, huge fin holds only a fraction of the routes it could. In the mid 80s, when Boulder was deciding whether to advance into the future of climbing or succumb to the righteous protectionism of the Boulder City Council, a handfull of climber/atheletes started developing the West faces of many of the Flatiron crags. Close on the heels of Dale Goddard's Five Year Plan, the Overhang Rock saw two new additions to its then sparse development. Nothing has been added to my knowledge since 1988 leaving numerous difficult possibilities untapped. Climbing on the Overhang Rock generally fires vectorially up its yellow West face, with none of the routes running through the obvious roof system above. Numbering here begins on the left arete (North edge) with #1 being the Layton Kor classic, Rogues Arete. Climbing difficulty spans the gamut with at least one very moderate trad route (the notch) and a few more difficult lines from 5.10 to 5.12b.
Take the trail From NCAR down to the service road. Head South, and after the road winds up-hill a ways the trail to Bear Canyon will branch off into the canyon. This is near the power lines that are protected by a wire fence. After several a hundred yards or so and across the canyon from Stonehenge, follow an indistinct "trail" up to the talus field below Overhang Rock. Expect 3rd class terrain.
Snake Watching is the farthest left route on Overhang Rock. It is the "Eighth Day" of the Flatirons.Scramble up easy 5th class to get to the first bolt. A three move boulder problem takes you up and over the initial overhang. From here, it's crimp, crimp, and more crimp for about a mile to anchors just below the summit. I don't know if something broke, but I found there to be a pretty hard boulder problem at about the 11th bolt. The rock is a little friable in spots. I could not get...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Summit baggers note: it is just possible to rap from the top all the way to the ground with a 60m rope. The rap goes eastward from a long sling just south of the summit. If you don't have a 60m rope you will need to do a second rap from a pine tree that you will rap through.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado May 24, 2004
Weird thing, we rapped this with a 60m cord. It didn't touch down. Got close but had to downclimb. Maybe I got gipped on my 60m cord. Also, the rap now sports 2 slings. Also, the bolt on Chorus Line, 5.9, is a manky 1/4 inch Star-Dryven (edit, thanks for replacing it). Yee uck!
I replaced the anchor on top of this rock with two 3/8" x 3.5" Stainless Steel Rawl 5-piece bolts and added quick links and chains for rappel. Note, that you can hit the ground with a 70m rope but a 60m or less will require some downclimbing. There is a second rappel anchor, slings around a tree, on the east side of the ridge crest. If you are going to use this second anchor, make sure you angle a bit to the south when rappelling from the top.
The old anchor consisted of two, old, 15-foot ling slings around a block tied into two, old fixed pins (see photo below) buried under a layer of dirt on the south side of the slung block.
The hardware for this work was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org). They appreciate your support. Also, thanks to Tony Bubb for leading Rogue's Arete to get us on top.
All of the routes on Overhang Rock’s west face have been upgraded with half-inch, stainless steel hardware, and the old bolts and anchors have been removed and holes patched. The list of upgraded routes includes Snake Watching, Tits Out for the Lads, The Big Picture, Missing Link, Short Attention Span, and a Chorus Line.
A special thanks to the volunteers for your awesome work - Matt Samet, Terry Murphy, Chris Weidner, Brian Lichtenheld, Dan Levison, Greg Bilinski, and Ted lanzano. Also, thanks to the Flatirons Climbing Council and OSMP for making this possible.
The new bolts and anchors were generously provided by the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) and the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA).
Five applications have been submitted to the Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) of the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) for the September 2011 voting cycle:
•Two applications for new climbs, a 5.11 on the Slab and a 5.10 on Dinosaur Rock •Two applications to add new, lower first bolts to the existing climbs Touch Monkey, a 5.11b on Der Zerkle, Dinosaur Mountain and to Short Attention Span, a 5.11d on Overhang Rock, Bear Canyon. •One application to add an anchor to the existing climb Big Bob Cranks on Dinosaur Rock.
The vote and public meeting for this cycle will be held Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Anyone interested in voting on and discussing these applications is encouraged to attend!
A second application has been submitted for the Autumn 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee, this one for the west face of Overhang Rock. Please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordpress.com/category/route-applic>>> to view the application in full, as well as comment on it.
The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.
The best way to approach the West Face of Overhang is to walk up the Bear Canyon trail until you come to the huge boulder on the left side of the trail (the Shelf Block). Just before the boulder there is a climber's trail leading up and left into the woods. Follow the trail up past a few boulders, contouring and following a few cairns until you reach the big flat rock directly under the power line. From there, head straight up the talus (walking parallel to the cliff) for about 15 yards until you can break left through the woods onto the main talus field below the West Face. Wander across the talus to the base.