The "Play Pen" now hosts 5 new pitches on quality rock. These pitches start out less than desirable with the broken ledges at the base of the wall. Once on the wall, the features and moves provide a lot of pumpy fun and are cleaning up nicely.(some lichen and moss still needs attention) The routes' heights are 65'-80' tall with some steep and challenging 5.10 but there are some small ledges with no-hands rests mixed in there too... The routes are steeper than they look!
The name PLAY PEN comes from a variety of the characteristics at this crag... all referring to the very easy approach; short, moderate climbs; a stellar place to bring toddler's to play while climbing and an obvious place where beer drinkers and hellraisers (skeet shooters) used to break bottles and shoot guns. My friends think I should name it the "Redneck Crag" due to lots of old broken glass and bullet shells on the ground.... I know, it doesn't sound ideal for a kids "Play Pen", but we can clean this shit up (I have been...). This has literally got to be the easiest approach of any crag in Clear Creek Canyon. Park on the east side of Tunnel 6 and walk downhill on the old jeep road 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. My 2 1/2 year old road his Strider bike right to the PLAY PEN. We brought some of his Tonka toys and some snacks, and he had a blast.
The jeep road is a good 40' away from the base of the wall (good play area) and is close to the river's edge. At low water (175cfs), my boy was down in the huge eddy playing in the shallow river's edge, with adult supervision, of course. We had 3 climbers and one adult would watch the toddler while the other 2 climbed. The first route we did I named "Child's Play" (5.10a/b), because my boy was there to see it go down. So, long story short, the name PLAY PEN just fell into place....
Driving up river from the CO Hwy 119/US 6 intersection, park on the right just before Tunnel 6. Walk downhill on the old railroad bed 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek (look at location on the map).
After some cleaning and excavating of the crack, I led this line with all natural gear in September '13. We had found and old piton that came out quite easily. It seems obvious some "Old Man" had been up there training for the bigger walls of Eldo, The Black and beyond.... They may have climbed up to the right where the crack system splits into a Y (looks like fun free climbing too). There is a large "boot-shaped flake" to the left of the crack that is hollow and gonging when tested. It seems to...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Monty, the PLAY PEN faces E to NE. In the summer, there is sun on the wall until noon. I'm not sure about these winter months.... I assume very little sun (early morning?). KC, some friends, and I established these routes in August/September '13. I will be posting the route info with more photos soon....
Nice! When I did the Phase I for CCC on this property, I saw rock but didn't see the potential. Good job! If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek.
I checked out these routes today. Nice job, the three bolted lines on the left are pretty fun moderates. I thought they were all about 10a with one or two of them getting close to 10b. The rightmost route is pretty dirty but not bad, and the trad line is very protectable and kind of cool. Child's Play was my favorite.
Right on, Kevin, thanks! Glad you got up there to check it out. The wall is what it is.... They all mostly have short-lived cruxes... and the routes are a bit steppy, but there is a lot of fun climbing on the wall with some cool features. I spent a lot of time trundling loose blocks and plates and getting things safe. Pirate's Booty on the right was the last pitch I worked on up there... had to trundle some huge flakes which exposed a bunch of loose dirt that covered everything below. I was wondering if the weather cleaned it up a bit? Sounds like a good brushing and scrubbing needs to still happen. The trad line (Old Man's Myth) is fun and protects well! It had a cool old piton on it that came out fairly easily. There is another oldschool nailup that starts at the bottom of Toy Box and then trends up and left... it would be cool to know the history of who climbed these pitches back in the '60s or '70s.... Things are cleaning up nicely and I think the PLAY PEN will become a fun moderate wall.