Hands down, this is the best route at the Playground. The climbing begins on a steep, West facing wall around the corner from Chinook.
Start in a bulging overhang with a very awkward move to an undercling above your head. The goal shortly will be a pocket above and left. At best, this will gain a chance to get over your feet, but the move is hard and is indeed 5.12 - off the deck. However, the game is not over. Sequential 5.11 climbing with some long reaches to crimpy, thin cobbles and shallow pockets await. Pick up some added spice in the run out to the anchor.
Like many routes here and elsewhere, it feels much harder than 5.12a until you start to dial in the beta. This is in the top ten at CWC. The plum picker here is Tom Hanson.
Quickdraws and a rope.
|Photos of Professor Plum With The Candlestick In The Conservatory Slideshow
|Comments on Professor Plum With The Candlestick In The Conservatory
|By Luc Gruenther|
Nov 9, 2002
This route is sweet as sweet. The boulder problem off the ground is powerful and intimidating, but well protected if you can manage to clip the first bolt from the ground. The rest of the route is incredible crimping on cobbles and pulling pockets to the top. Wow, fun route.
From: Englewood, CO
Feb 27, 2004
Wow, this one is tough, even with all of the beta from the guide book. I think I tried every way to get around that crux, but the beta was still the best way. took me and a friend 'bout one hour just to stick that first move. Tore a huge flapper on my thumb when my feet greased off. Can't wait to go back and solve that sucka. Jugged up and climbed the rest of the route, seems like there's only one other tough section, other than that its pretty straight forward with positive holds.
|By chris deulen|
From: Merriam, Kansas
Oct 7, 2006
rating: 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6a
I liked Silmarillion better. But a good route nonetheless. Used a huge boulder that was obviously being used by others to get to the block crimp out left, meat hooked the arete, stuck my foot in the dihedral and knee scummed against the side to reach up to the undercling. The start felt like V7, and is probably harder from further under the roof. After this, it felt like easy 5.11, so it seems strange to give it a 5.12a/b rating, as though this would be a good medium. As most climbs at CWC are glorified boulder problems, it may be a good idea to specify this within the description.
|By Tom Hanson|
Oct 9, 2006
You did Professor Plum the traditional way by using the boulder to reach the left hand cobble crimp and right hand arete.
You suggest V7 for the bouldery start. What 5th class rating would you bestow upon it? As all of the Castlewood sport climbs are given a 5th class rating, would you call it 12d/13a or what?
|By Matt McMurray|
From: Castle Rock, CO
Nov 2, 2006
rating: 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ E6 6b
I agree with Chris... as I couldn't pull the move off the deck, but felt that the rest of the route was way fun 5.11 climbing. I thought the 12a grade as a little misleading. Then again, I was wiped from the climbs done earlier in the day.
|By Tom Hanson|
Nov 2, 2006
If you were to guess at the fifth class rating for the boulder problem start, what would you rate it?
I know that it's hard to rate a move that you don't actually do, but what is your best guess?
A few years ago someone rolled the starting boulder out of the way making the first move even harder. It has since been moved back to the original position where it existed during the first ascent.
I had this opening move completely wired on toprope before I added the bolts, so the lead really wasn't much harder than toproping it.
It is hard to objectivey rate a climb when you have it wired, so I would really appreciate feedback on what difficulty the opening moves seem for the onsight climber.
Beta: Reach, or jump to the starting holds. The starting holds are -
a flat cobble for the left hand and the mini arete for the right hand. Throw your right foot to a blind toe scum hidden behind the arete. Flag or smear your left foot out left on the face. Pull up and lock off on your left hand to reach the undercling pocket with your right hand. Reposition your feet on the point of the arete (left foot just inches left of arete, and right foot just inches right of the arete). Keep pinching the undercling pocket with your right hand and stand up on your feet to gain the pocket high left with your left hand. Crux over.