Beginning Feb. 1st each year, a seasonal wildlife closure will be in effect on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park to protect nesting and roosting sites of the canyon’s falcons. The closure is in effect through July 31st unless lifted early due to early fledging or inactivity.
The closure includes the following climbing routes: The Naked Edge (last 3 pitches only), The Diving Board, Centaur, Redguard (last 3 pitches only), Red Ant, Semi-Wild, Anthill Direct (last 3 pitches only), and The Sidetrack.
This is probably my favorite route in Eldo. It is long, exciting, has beautiful climbing, better than the Yellow Spur, and the upper half sees little traffic. The first pitch is the crux, a pumpy overhang that will be quite dangerous if you are not solid on it. Climb up fifteen feet to the lip, clip a good drilled angle, and crank onto lower angle rock. if you feel iffy on this section before beginning, you could probably stick clip the pin. The 5.8 above is pretty runout. Take Jules Verne as the second pitch, a 5.8+ crack. The original second pitch of T2 sucks as it is covered in bird crap. The pitch above the upper ramp is one of the most beautiful 5.9 pitches in Eldo, and not done too often. The last pitch is short, .9- but definitely dangerous. It consists of overhanging talus protected by bad pins, of course if you can do the first pitch, this pitch won't be a problem. To get off, scramble a long ledge to join up with the last pitch of Ruper.
Find the start to the route by approaching the Roof Routes area. You park at the lower parking lot, hike the trail around the W side of The Whale's Tail. Follow the trail across the concrete pad, take the switchbacks, take the right fork. When you get to the rock, you head left what feels like about 100ft. The start is identified by finding an angling roof about 20 ft off the ground with a jug & pin just past the lip.
I'll agree that this route is one of the best ones in the canyon, especially as Pat suggests by climbing the Jules Verne pitches to avoid birdcrap (although they too have some crap). I will warn however, for the dangerous 5.9- upper pitch, really do some routefinding before launching through the moves going left. I had an encounter on this route were my belayer instructed my to "just go straight up the corner and traverse left at the shitty overhanging rotten band with no gear". If you're a boob like me, you'll follow these instructions to closely and anxiously cut left too low. This "variation" puts you 40ft. out sideways from your last piece of gear on overhanging loose rock trying to work through the 10+/11- moves on slick holds. All said, I survived, and don't recommend the "thanks for the beta, Bassett" variation to this dangerous pitch (10d s/vs).
Instead of following the ramp all the way over to Ruper at the top of the route, pull the 5.9 roof and look for a clean 5.7 corner and hand crack that leads directly to the summit of T2. It's about 90 feet across the ramp after the roof. Belay near the base of the corner at a flat ledge with a small tree then fire up to the summit in one more long lead. Amet's guide describes a two pitch variation to T2 called Direct Finish first led by Kor in '61 rated 5.5, I would call it 5.7s. I was surprised to find how little traffic the upper part of this route sees, I think it is some of the best climbing in the canyon.
One of my favorite link-ups is a route I call "T 1.9": T2 without the first pitch. It's one of the longest and best 5.9s in Eldorado:
1. Start with Touch 'n Go, but traverse left on the ramp halfway up to the bolts and chains atop the first pitch of T2.
2. Traverse 30' left and take the second pitch of Jules Verne (5.8+) all the way to the upper ramp. This is one of the best 5.8 pitches in the canyon, and the bird poop on the upper part of the pitch isn't too bad these days.
3-7. Walk about 100' up the upper ramp and continue with upper T2. Three pitches of 5.9 followed by two easier but runout pitches take you to the saddle and the tree atop Upper Ruper.
Descend via the Chockstone Chimney and Vertigo rappels. A 60m rope is useful for the Chockstone Chimney rappel.
If you want to climb this guy after work/class in the wintry waning daylight, try this on: Climb pitch one and belay at the chains. Pitch two: Traverse 25' left from the chains to a right-facing flake system/corner. Throw in a 3/4 cam and romp up the .8+/.9 corner with chalk marks. Pass a pigeon crap filled cave to a cool chimney of sorts. Stem/waddle up the chimney and exit to the right. Follow a rotten-looking set of vertical broken rock directly up, exiting a narrow groove and look to the right. The pitch is approximately 180'. Above you is the first pitch of the N'Edge and to the right are some nice chains. Set your anchor a little ways up N'Edge to help with drag and rap 3X from the chains at Climber's right. A 60m is all you need, but careful on the first rap: before you get down to the dead tree right near the ends, swing right about 15' around an arete of sorts just above the dying tree's top. Rap down to the first pitch's belay, then one more 25m rap to the ground! Class Eldo grab-bag climb and a NICE long pitch. Makes a GREAT 1.5 hour run.Enjoy!~Wm
I have to tell this story... If you're the person in this story, take it in good spirit--you amazed us.
Last weekend Chuck and I were at the base of Guenese. Some guy was rapping down T2. One of his ropes didn't reach the ground. We yelled to him, but he didn't seem concerned. He reached the fixed pin above the lip and clipped in. I was thinking I wouldn't want to hang on that pin, not knowing how rusty it was inside the drilled hole. We figured he was going to even out the ropes. But then, crash, he dropped his rack to the ground, and then he let go of the ropes. We then figured that we would let his partners above even out the ropes. But then he started to downclimb the 10d roof!
Rethinking what was happening we decided that either,1) He was a 5.12 climber and downclimbing 10d roofs was casual.2) He'd done T-2 many times on the lead, and so downclimbing was reasonable.3) He was one of those crazy mountaineer types that did this sort of thing all the time, but on verglass.4) He didn't have a clue.
He started downclimbing very nicely, heel hooking to get to the lower bucket. Lowered to a hang and started swinging. I was impressed, thinking we was going to get his feet back on and reverse the opening moves. But then he cut loose, landed, staggered a bit, but stayed up. A 9 points out of 10 dismount.
He called up to his partners, _The ropes don't reach. I had to downclimb a bit._
Well [whether] you take the original line after the first pitch or the one to the left you will encounter bird crap. Either way get to the upper ramp and if you know what Eldo is about and get the lead for the next pitch, well your in for a truly [phenomenal] experience. I led this to the base of the right facing [dihedral] and had a blast the whole way, rested at the spot where the book suggest you belay from and continued for another 35' and set a belay there. The last pitch ??? To the top is not a scramble or a short hop, we [simul-climbed] for quite a ways and while dangerous as it can be, if you have the ability for the other pitches the last I would agree is 200-300', (we we're climbing on a 60m cord) you can knock it off that way. Super climb.
Do NOT solo up to the pin unless you are very solid on 5.11. Place bomber gear instead. See photo.
Does anyone know the recent history of the drilled pin? If this fails it would be a really ugly ground fall since most people do not back it up with gear lower down. When was the pin last replaced, if ever? Has there been discussion of replacing it with a bolt? If it is replaced with a bolt, should the bolt be placed a bit lower to make the clip easier?
I dunno, Ivan...you can place the 1" cam in the flake real fast, especially if you have the beta, but other than that I think placing any gear is superfluous. If you look at the benefit one gains by placing the 1" cam AFTER placing your Alien and offset Friend it's but a few inches. Hardly worth the time and effort, IMHO. I feel as though slapping in the 1" cam is somewhat beneficial for those who aren't solid, but again, hardly worth the time and effort. Just don't fall :)
Not an option for me, yet. T2 is way hard for me. Way harder than, say, the Psychosis (11a) and Art's Spar (11 something according to many people) roofs. Harder perhaps than the Vertigo roof (11a), which I didn't get clean, but which is very safe.
While I agree it's a difficult roof I just think that the pseudo-anchor you've depicted is slightly overkill. Not to say that some protection isn't worth investing time and energy in, but that I feel as though one would be quite safe with simply the 1" cam in the flake, if placed properly of course.
My concern comes from looking at your picture and seeing that you do only gain a few inches by placing it, so why not just skip all the others and place ONLY it? I understand that if it blows, that's it, but if I spend as much time fiddling in gear as you obviously have then that's the only way I'll even fall! I dunno, it's not my call when someone else is climbing, but my recommendation would be to only use the 1" cam.
The last comment on this route is quite old so I figured I would update this route a little. I climbed this on Sunday for the first time. What a great route that packs qutie a bit of climbing into every pitch. Pitch-by-pitch breakdown.
P1 - I was able to clip the pin off the jug so that is what I did. A stick clip would make this less spicy. The part above the pin is hueco'd and easy. A little run-out but there are some flakes and holes that I slung. The bolt is in good condition.
P2 - I did the normal 2nd pitch of T2 and found it to be surprisingly better than what others had said. The bird poop was present but it was not smeared all over the rock. Rather, it was on the ground between stances. This was a good pitch too.
P3 - Probably my favorite pitch. A spicy traverse left off of 2 bad pins. Very bad - soft-iron mangled shaky Eldo stuff. One bolt in the right spot might be able to replace both bad pins. The finger crack is great and is sustained and gets steeper towards the hand crack. I combined this pitch into the hand crack and up to the shelf. Great pitch!
P4 - I don't think I did this one right. I moved up about 20 feet off of our belay and traversed left through a rotten band that was definitely 's'. I did not see any pins. Can anyone confirm that there are indeed pins on this traverse? IF there are, I took the traverse that was too low. It felt harder than 9, more like 10 b/c. I ended up on a nice small patch of grass after the traverse and followed a small left trending dike that put me directly over the Ruper roof for ther last 1.5 pitches.
Overall, great route! I think a better description of where the left traverse goes for the final pitch would be nice. I looked hard for pins but could not find any.
There are currently 4 pins on the upper "rotten band" traverse. They are obvious if you climb high enough. If you don't see them keep going up the corner. You pass at least 2 other spots where you could go left, but shouldn't.
T1.9 is my favorite long moderate in Eldo. The traversing finger crack pitch off the upper ramp is spectacular.
The start of T2 today is harder than 10d, even if it is just a highball boulder problem. This is not due to any grading inflation really, but it's due to the fact that the ground has dropped about 3 or 4 feet since the 60s. The first few moves of what is now T2 are actually the first few moves of the start that Bill Putnam worked out for the FFA of Lower Jules Verne that we did in 1972, and we did not touch any of T2's holds. In the sixties for the T2 start, there was a blade of rock that stuck out of the ground here, and taller climbers could balance on it, and lean over and barely reach the big flake just below the piton (it was a bolt then) and just do what is now the final move past the piton. Shorter climbers stood on a rock in the talus and did a quick pullup on a fingerbucket to reach the flake. This was called 5.9+ back then. I would call T2 11b now. Jules Verne start: 11c or 11c/d. The finger crack above the meadow is still 5.9 or 5.9+, and the final hard pitch is realistically 5.8+R/X.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Oct 23, 2006 rating: 5.10d6b+21VII+21E3 5b R
If you have a good vertical you can still just dyno to the first big flake and do a single pull to holds below the pin. I think it's an easy jump, and I am not tall, but I do have a good vertical, so YMMV. This saves you the trouble of doing 4 or 5 hard moves and all that pesky hard-to-place gear. And I think it's easier too, though if you blow clipping the pin, you may break an ankle. But again, you just skipped the hard/pumpy moves, so you should be OK to get it.
If you do it static from below, then yeah by all means, 5.11-, but at least it is on positive holds.
By Clint Locks From: Boulder Nov 23, 2006 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c R
The pin on pitch 1 looked good to me, apart from the fact that it is sticking out a bit. Backing it up is...thoughtful.
I will agree with everyone that the 3rd/4th pitches are especially beautiful! Really cool moves. Linking them would make for a fun long, sustained romp, but rope drag could be an issue.
Regarding the 5th (9- rotten band) pitch, the traverse begins higher up than most people think, and there are definitely numerous potential starting spots. Don't commit to any until you see the pins; they're obvious. (See Photo for a good indication of the starting point). Also, I wouldn't encourage Andrew's (12/21/01) advice of using any camming devices in that rock! As always in these "Eldo moments", passive gear is more appropriate. I placed a good nut and tri-cam.
The last 2 pitches begin as 4th class, getting progressively more technical until they terminate above the Ruper territory at, say, 5.4. See Jim's comment (4/27/04) for considerations regarding summit options from the 9- section. Very cool! Enjoy!
Hey... new to this site, so my post goes back to the first post... just an anecdote that my first time up T2 about 10 years ago I got to the rotten band, and did pretty much what the first poster mentions- heading left to avoid the rotten stuff, into difficult moves. There used to be a bent pin below this, but ended up with the pin about 15ft below me, I got into an awkward place I couldn't reverse, pumped silly by now, palms outward, no feet, slick rock, thank-God ledge in front of me, but out of reach.... I whipped taking a good 40-footer onto slabs below. My horrified belayer Joe Callahan, thought I'd smashed my (unhelmeted) head, but in the end, just smashed my wrist a little.
And just 2 years ago, a youthful partner led the first pitch, blasting all the way to the upper ramp, out of earshot and sight. I started up, made it to the pin, unclipped it, was pumped silly again.... The rope hadn't moved, because it was stuck in a crack up high. Ended up pumped out, yelling up-rope! and more or less jumping back to the ground from the pin, only to have to do it all over again. Moral? take the usual belay atop pitch 1.
I'm glad that Erickson concluded that the start of this is considerably more difficult than the given 10d rating after the boulder washed away.
I thought the moves off of the ramp and past the pin were mid 11 with bad fall potential if you blow the moves.
The pin can be stick clipped from the ramp to protect the opening moves.
One final note, Ivan's gear beta is down right ridiculous. It's going to do nothing to keep you from decking or getting injured. At best it will prevent your broken body from rolling down the ramp a few feet.
It has been a while since anyone commented on this; but...the pin was placed around '85 or '86 by Charlie Fowler to replace the Gerry Death Hanger that was there. I think at this point a real bolt is probably in order.
How do people usually break up the upper pitches? I went off the upper ramp up the corner, across the traverse, and through the finger and hand crack to a small ledge. The rope drag was semi-horrific but doable. Do most set a belay in the corner before the traverse?
On the rotten band pitch the gear wasn't as bad I was expecting. The pins are all crap, but I was able to get a good #3 Camalot below the third pin. You can also put a good wire or small cam in above the pin next to the last solid jug. I think that the good gear makes moves across the rotten rock above significantly less scary.
Hey Dane, I did this today and went all the way from the Upper Ramp through the finger crack and hand crack to a small ledge. I would have liked to go another 20 feet up as it looked like a nice ledge, but I was out of rope (60m with about 7m chopped off). I didn't think rope drag was too bad. Put a double length sling on the first pin, then sling everything else a lot.
I didn't realize that ledge traverse was so long! It kind of detracts from the climbing. Next time I think I'll find a direct line to the top after the 8+ s pitch.
Also the 2nd pitch (Jules Verne var.) was probably the nastiest pitch I have ever climbed. Stay away if you're smart!
By Clint Locks From: Boulder Sep 6, 2011 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c R
The Levin guide shows a good way to break up the upper pitches, unless you want to run together the two pitches from the upper ledge, which is reasonable, though rope drag could be an issue if you're not careful. I'm not sold on Dane's assertion that there's "good" gear to be had on that pitch until you pull onto the ledge. For the final 2 pitches, stay true to the strata you begin on, belay at a small tree, and finish it from there.
Hi Clint, been a long time since we've climbed together. The gear I referred to as "good" could maybe be better described as "good enough". With those "good enough" pieces at crux level, I think that move or two is protected just fine.
By SeanKuus From: Steamboat Springs May 9, 2012 rating: 5.11-6c22VIII+22E3 5c R
I did this right after successfully redpointing Guenese (11a). I felt this to be a tad harder, maybe due to the residual pump of Guenese, but maybe not. Great route regardless.