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West Ridge - part F - The Potato Chip
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Potato Chip Route (Regular Route) 

YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b PG13

   
Type:  Trad
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Scott Woodruff and Dan Hare, 1975
Page Views: 826
Submitted By: George Bell on Apr 17, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (9)
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BETA PHOTO: Shirt Tail Peak, high above Eldorado Canyon.
Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Although this route is only about 150' long, it is best to split it into three short pitches. The route starts on the west side of the Potato Chip.

P1: Climb a rotten gully up under the north face of the Potato Chip. This pitch is unpleasant but not difficult (class 4). Belay at a tree below an obvious diagonal crack.

P2: Ascend the Spud Nordwand via the diagonal crack! This crack overhangs slightly and varies a lot in width over its 50' length. There is one wide section which fortunately does not last long. The crux is near the top where the crack narrows down to thin hands/fingers. Belay on the west ridge where the crack ends.

P3: Traverse out onto the south face, then head straight up to a belay on top (5.9). This is the only pitch that is not well protected, but I do not remember it being very scary. Alternatively, you can head directly up the west ridge (10a S).

Scramble off to the east (you may want to keep the rope on for a move or two).


Protection 

Standard rack to #3 Camalot



Photos of Potato Chip Route (Regular Route) Slideshow Add Photo
An unknown climber battles the crux on the Potato Chip Route. Photo by Tony B 6/2011.  If this is you, email me and I'll send you the files.
An unknown climber battles the crux on the Potato ...
Tony Bubb starts back in the Alcove to follow P1 of the Potato Chip Route (10c) in Eldo.  Photo by Joseffa Meir.
Tony Bubb starts back in the Alcove to follow P1 o...
Short pitch with ever increasing difficulty.  Starting the brutal crux near the top (thin hands, no feet).
Short pitch with ever increasing difficulty. Star...
On the second pitch traverse.
On the second pitch traverse.
Tony Bubb struggles for the thin-hands jams at the crux of the Potato Chip Route (sandbagged 10c) in Eldo, right after the wide section. Photo by Joseffa Meir, 2002.
Tony Bubb struggles for the thin-hands jams at the...
Joseffa Meir turns the corner for the second pitch the Potato Chip Route in Eldo, to do the airy traverse. Photo by Tony Bubb, 2002.
Joseffa Meir turns the corner for the second pitch...
Starting up the P. Chip.
Starting up the P. Chip.
Joseffa Meir checks her footing on the mellow but airy second pitch the Potato Chip Route in Eldo. Photo by Tony Bubb, 2002.
Joseffa Meir checks her footing on the mellow but ...
Topping out the Potato Chip.
Topping out the Potato Chip.
A close view of the 2nd pitch crack.
BETA PHOTO: A close view of the 2nd pitch crack.
Comments on Potato Chip Route (Regular Route) Add Comment
Show which comments
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Apr 29, 2002
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

Take 1 #4 camalot for pitch 2.

Pitch 3 is not difficult, but is very height dependent for security. On the P3 traverse there are a fe moves with a step up onto a reasonable hold, but if you are short you can't get the hands and feet from there at the same time and you have to set on some not-so-hot slopers to get the incut sidepulls. At 5'10" with long arms, it was no issue, but my 5' 5" partner with short arms had to make some insecure moves on the second.

By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
May 5, 2002

5.10c? Old fashioned 5.10c maybe. If I go back (and it's a long slog up to here) I'll take a couple #4 Camalots, and maybe even a #5 (for cruising up the wide bit. You are leaving a ledge, so falling on the first (wide) section would be ugly unless there is gear close by. Crux seemed to be laybacking near the top, where the crack is about 1.5" or so. Pitch three I stepped just around the corner and headed straight up the arete, about 5.10a S. Exposed, slightly licheny, reachy, but fun. Don't try this on a windy day. Especially don't try this in a thunderstorm; the summit is pockmarked with funny shattered craters from (can't possibly be falling rocks) lightning bolts. No possibility of a belay on summit, so you have to head east to the neck, and your second will follow the regular pitch 3 traverse, or else risk a huge pendulum.

Actually for gear, all you need is. . . . a set of tuber chocks (sorry)

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
May 6, 2002
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

I don't think a #5 camalot (old style) will fit, A #4 (old style) will however, or you could probably set in a good #4.5 camalot. The crux is near a great 2" cam anyway, a red camalot or a purple or red H.B. quadcam.

By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 6, 2002

I could've sworn I managed to get a #3 Camalot in that crack by reaching deep inside it. But this was 7 years ago, maybe I did have a #4.

At the crux above I remember there is a good hold (you hope) above it, I just gunned for that hold (and barely made it).

By Bryson Slothower
Apr 12, 2003

Got on this route yesterday for the first time and thought it was harder n' sheit, It didn't feel like other 10.c's I've done in Eldo and I was glad not be leading. With a 3.5 and 4.5 camalot in the wide spot and #1 at the crux it looked well protected but watch out for a loose flake at the bottom and one at the top of the second pitch. Last pitch is fun but spooky. There was a piece of old webbing wedged behind a flake with a steel rap link on the very summit, I hope people didn't really rap off that???

By Jay Eggleston
From: Littleton
May 9, 2011
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

A #5 C4 is nice to have on pitch two. I placed two #4's but one would suffice. You don't need a #2 or #3 C4 for the crack, but a #2 is good for the belay above the crack.
I think this is hard for 10c but only for a move or two. Luckily the crux crack pitch is short.

By Emory
Mar 24, 2014

Two pitches is the way to go.

By claramie
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 28, 2014

We did it as one pitch from the gully. Only used a #3 and a #4 C4 (for the bigger pieces), and it wasn't too bad, but a #5 should fit if you wanted to carry it up there.

You can sling the summit horn with double length slings or a cordalette and belay from the top if you want. Keep body weight on it though, so it doesn't slip off the top of the horn.

To get off, we scrambled the ridge east, then back down the gully to where we started, leaving a couple of pieces to be cleaned on the downclimb by the last person.