2014 Update: Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and all seasonal raptor closure areas on U.S. Forest Service land will be re-opened August 1, 2014 for climbing.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
The Upper Tier of the Bihedral is typical Boulder Canyon granite climbing. Generally less than vertical on bullet-hard grey granite. Good friction with a high concentration of slopers, both large and small, and positive incut edges. The crag itself is identified by a huge, left-facing dihedral and sits on the north side of the canyon. The dihedral is split by a prow about 1/2 way up, the Bihedral.
There are quite a few good routes here, but the most well known is the 2-pitch Bihedral route, which Rossiter so obtusely refers to as "something of a classic".
This area gets good sun and is sometimes sheltered from the wind, which can make it a great place to climb on windless, warmer, winter days.
With a number of new, moderate, mostly bolted routes, this area is a popular place to bring groups and less-experienced climbers. Beware, there are still plenty of loose rocks above.
Drive 7 miles up the canyon (zero at the bridge a la Rossiter), park just before the Riviera at a pullout on the left (same pullout as for Happy Hour Crag), or continue 0.2 miles to shady parking on the left side, just past a guard rail, identified by a west-facing "No Camping" sign nailed to a tree. The huge left-facing dihedral of the Bihedral is obvious above you.
Cross the road, walk down a bit and find a path that zig-zags up the hill, generally heading right (east). When the trail nears the rock on the right, spot a big pine tree next to the rock. Walk right behind the tree and go left around a rock rib. Climb up the rock, with one short 3rd-class section, to a nice ledge at the bottom of the big dihedral. See photo for the easiest approach.
To return, reverse the above approach, or else walk 50' left (west) on a path just below the Bihedral route, to a 2-bolt rappel anchor. Rap 95' down a gully to the top of the approach trail.
Exquisite position and movement. You will encounter laybacks, smears, crimps, palming, dynos, backsteps, flags, and an overhang. Quite a few moves packed into a short pitch 200 feet above the ground. Clip the first bolt by climbing near the anchors and reaching right. Then start climbing below the first bolt. This is so you do not fall directly onto the belay. There is one rest below the overhang....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
On 3/14/07, Mike Amato and I installed a new 2-bolt rappel anchor about 50' left of the Bihedral Route/Rhodian Shores/Hold The Line area. This provides a descent back to hiking terrain without having to do the 3rd-class downclimb.
From the ledge below the start of these climbs, walk climber's left (west) about 50' to the end of the ledge and a 2-bolt rappel anchor. Rap 95' down a gully to the top of the approach trail. A 60m rope works fine. See ??.
Just FYI, this is not a great approach for our canine companions. I've twice seen climbers attempting to bring their dogs here, once successful with a few scary dog-moves on the traverse, and once bailed entirely. Best just to leave them at home for the day if you're going to climb here.
I will say it again but Mountain Project will probably remove my remarks like they did before. There is no reason whatsoever to have a rap station where Ron put it. You can climb 3rd class up but you need a rap station to get down. Just save your bolts to squeeze in yet another route on a crag that is now over run with routes. Loose rock is right!!
I have to admit it does seem crazy to have rappel alternative to a 3rd class downclimb. I noticed these bolts when we were up there but we just walked down. I suppose the bolts could be useful in a downpour, or something. Since they are there, I'd not suggest removing them.
Don't use the rappel if you don't want to -- but it's useful in bad weather, if you have a heavy pack, or if it's getting dark. I did a lot of route development at the crag in the winter, and came down that rappel by headlamp several times, with a 40-lb. pack. I wouldn't have wanted to do the 3rd-class downclimb in those conditions.
So all you hardmen, do the downclimb blindfolded if it makes you feel superior to us gumbies who do the rappel -- I really don't care. The rap anchor is staying.
And cdg -- if the Bihedral is such a crappy place to climb, go someplace else; no one is forcing you to endure the terrible conditions there. You won't be missed by all those who are having a good time at the crag.
You might also try contributing something positive, both to this site and the local climbing community, instead of just bitching about something you don't like.
Ron, I am not trying to be an ass . All I was saying is that I don't think it is nessessary. This area was once a great place with some great routes, but now it can be down right dangerous with all the new climbs. 45 people on that one ledge is just not right. That is what I experienced one day, and you were there, so you have seen it too. Just food for thought when you guys are putting in new routes.
cdg -- the most people I've seen at the Bihedral is 31 (not 45), on a sunny and warm Sunday Feb. 22, 2009. The Bihedral is one of the nicest places in Boulder Canyon for moderate climbing on warm winter days; hence the crowds.
We've done our best to make the area safe and fun. All of my new routes have lowering hooks instead of ring anchors, which reduces the possibility of screwups while cleaning toprope anchors, and lets climbers get in more pitches in less time. The climbs are well protected and the rock is clean. We've removed a lot of loose rock, but some still remains -- on It's Time For Change and perhaps other routes. Be careful and wear a helmet if others are climbing above you.
Sorry if crowds bother you, but the area is popular for a reason. Climb during the week or on a hot day -- you'll have the crag to yourself.
Had some fun on the Dan's Line slab today...thanks for giving us directions down at the road, Ron! We belayed a little lower down from where you're supposed to I think, down by the dirt and pine trees. A little more comfortable than higher up, and it's in the shade. Two caveats: it's a long way up to the first bolt (but the climbing is easy), and my 70m was getting fairly close to the end when I came back down after setting it up for top roping.
By Rick Casey From: Lafayette, Colorado Jul 5, 2009
There is a new bolted route just left of Group Therapy, which I led today, which I believe has been put in since fall 2008. Felt like 5.10+ at a couple of moves in the crux near top, though most of rest of route was easier. If I'm not mistakened, I do not see that this route is documented here. Is this a new route, or am I mistakened? Thanks for the info....
By Rick Casey From: Lafayette, Colorado Jul 5, 2009
Just read all the past comments on the highly popular area developed primarily by Ron Olsen, and noticed the negative comments about the rap bolts placed by Ron left of the main belaying area for the Upper Tier. This may be a little bit belated but:
To the negative commenters about the rap anchors: hey, get a life, will ya? Go ahead and downclimb the 4th class approach if you want; why bother about commenting about it here, spreading confusion and disinformation?
This is a SPORT climbing area, is relatively high up on the canyon wall, and is quite susceptible to sudden thunderstorm activity. EVERY time I've been up to this area (about 6 times in the past 6 months) EVERY body uses the rap anchors, and PREFERS to use them (even in good weather). Downclimbing is more difficult than climbing up, especially with a pack; and the 4th class climb up is certainly exposed during the initial section. Installing these rap anchors, at a very sensible location, only makes sense given the exposed descent route.
I was rained off this area on a recent afternoon in a pounding rainstorm (on Fri, June 26), and I and my partners MUCH, MUCH appreciated that these rap anchors were there! Thank you Ron for putting them in!
There is a new bolted route just left of Group Therapy, which I led today, which I believe has been put in since fall 2008. Felt like 5.10+ at a couple of moves in the crux near top, though most of rest of route was easier. If I'm not mistakened, I do not see that this route is documented here. Is this a new route, or am I mistakened? Thanks for the info...
Rick, The climb immediately to the left of Group Therapy is High Hard One, which is documented on this site. The crux is at the top, and I rated it 5.9+, although it would be harder on wet rock. There are also two more routes to the left of High Hard One (and right of Diamonds and Rust) which are not documented here. They are 5.11 and 5.12 routes put up by Bob D'Antonio, which will appear in his soon-to-be-released Boulder Canyon guidebook.
Rick, Does it really matter that this is "now" a sport climbing area. Was not allways that way.That was my point!! Again, I was not trying to dig in deep about climbing politics,just didn't think it was something the area needed.4th class? Please.Down climbing in the rain? Welcome to the mountains city folks.
I'm a Yosemite veteran and this is the best crag I've climbed on, so far, in Boulder Canyon. I'm not a 5.12 leader, but I can appreciate that places like Animal World, Coney Island and Easter Rock hold a better concentration of high quality climbs. And I'm really looking forward to Cosmosis, Avalon, Upper Dream Canyon, etc. But for the pure joy of fun in the sun rock climbing, this area has it. Excellent rock quality, safe routes, various styles and spectacular position well above the road are a few of the reasons I like this place so much. I even like the 3rd class approach. It adds a sense of remoteness and adventure to an area so easily accessed. The ledge is a comfortable, clean and fairly spacious spot as opposed to a lot of base areas that are dirty, slanted and trashed. Helmets are probably a good idea, especially when there are a lot of other climbers, but that is true of most areas in the canyon. My first climb here was Rhodian Shores. I didn't have a guidebook and it looked like a nice, direct line. There were parties on some of the other lines to the left, so we jumped on it. I was a little surprised to find out later it was a 10b. At the belay, I got to watch a guy lead the first pitch of the Bihedral Arete. Wow, it really looked spectacular from that vantage point. I was obsessed with doing it. It took 4 attempts to complete both pitches, because of rain, and partners. I finally ended up leading both pitches, after leading the first one 3 times. It's a climb I would go back to any time. It looks so improbable from the road. It's hard to believe it goes at 10a. Can't wait to do the second pitch of Rhodian (10a) and the routes to the right of the Arete.
What are the mixed/trad routes to the right of It's Time For a Change? There seems to me finger crack to the right which merges to the anchor, then a bigger crack going right of the main corner at a horizontal, then up a shallow dihedral and crack up to set of higher anchors. Anyone know?