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.
Just did this route yesterday evening. I do not recommend doing this route until late fall due to the swarm of swallows that are living in the crux, crack section, unless you don't mind [thrutching] through a pod while being swarmed by frantic birds. Cool, exposed climbing though. The 5.8 and 10c pitches are easily linked....
This climb is also ideal for a rain storm. Just make sure that you make it to the headwall before the rain hits. The lower slabs woulnd't be fun when wet. My partner and I were climbing the last pitch when it started raining. The entire canyon got pretty soaked for atleast 20 minutes, but I had no idea it was even raining (probably because I was being dive-bombed by birds while their friends flung poo in my face from within the crack). Enjoy.
A few swallows don't sound so bad. Last time I tried this route there was a decomposing pigeon oozing its innards all over the crucial chockstone in the pod. The chockstone was hidden behind a thick coat of feces and feathers and gristle. After a couple tentative tries at yarding on the more solid-looking pigeon femurs and tibias, the appeal of pulling on cams seemed irresistible. Helgi Christensen, the Icelandic hardman, followed and put me and my whining to shame by nonchalantly burying his fists into the depths of the stinking slime. Perhaps this is an everyday Icelandic experience. Truly memorable watching him dragging the ribcage out and throwing it over his shoulder so he could thrust his already gobied hands deeper into the gore. Just for a second, he almost looked perturbed. Top pitch is well protected. Bring some large cams for the pod section (at least one #4 Camalot will let you lace it up). The pitch below is pretty awkward 5.10, and not very well protected. Gaining this pitch involves some truly crappy climbing on loose 5.8 territory. Otherwise, it's wildly exposed and a true (sorta old fashioned) classic. The three stars are traditional, and have no bearing on reality.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Jan 11, 2002 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
I thought it was a classic, but last time I did it (4 years ago) I didn't find any dead birds. I guess I'd consider the dead birds a temporary issue that can detract from your enjoyment of an otherwise classic climb. What makes a classic? Length, position, exposure, good rock, views? In my opinion, the Diving Board had all of them, save one spot of poor rock. BTW- that poor spot, pulling up into the dihedral after the traverse is not that well protected- the fixed aluminum bashie with the half-broken cable was looking pretty mank. The pitch is PG-13.
As far as big gear goes, 1 #3 and 1 #4 Camalot are plenty.
By Danny Inman From: Arvada Oct 24, 2007 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
Classic and committing route. The exposure on the last two pitches is unbelievable. As of Oct 23 2007-the route is clean of dead birds and was surprisingly poop-free, except for the "cave belay" which was filled with a mixture of bones and some mysterious matrix; this is not a real problem b/c one can build the belay far enough out that the stench is barely noticeable.
How about some exposure? Note that there is no 2-bolt anchor at the base of pigeon flake as stated in the guidebook.
By Joseph P. Crotty From: Broomfield, CO Sep 2, 2009 rating: 5.11b6c23VIII-23E3 5c
Yes, the last pitch is stellar and about as atmospheric as they come. However, there is just too much junk rock and bird crap on this route for it to be "classic". Combine pitches 1-3 to bypass the poor belay at Pigeon Flake. C4 #5 is the ideal size for the crux.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO May 20, 2012 rating: 5.11a6c22VII+22E3 5c PG13
Wow - presently the poopiest classic in Eldo. Still a must-do, but being the first on it this season wasn't the best call. The bolt belay is on top of the pigeon flake, not below it (ref. a few comments prior). Lastly, the climb goes with nothing bigger than a new-style #4 Camalot with no runouts at all. Sure, if you want overhead pro at the crux a #5 might help, but at my ankles was good enough and I didn't have to carry anything big.
A funny story of my first attempt at the Diving Board - probably 1975:
Mark Ward and I drove over from Provo, Utah to work the classics. XM, Outer Space, Blackwalk, etc. Mark was belaying from the Pigeon Flake while I lead pitch two. I ran it out a bit much, and just as I pulled into the ‘cave’ belay, my hands slipped off and I kicked myself straight back into space. Went the whole pitch, ending up about 10’ below the belay.
Both of us had on two inch swami belts (the standard 'red'). Everything went quiet, and then Marks' approach shoes dropped into space. Apparently the hip belay he provided had slipped a bit and the rope burned through the shoes laces.
There were plenty of people watching, as would have been the case in the mid '70s. I cleaned the pitch so as to not leave any gear. We finished up Redguard and headed immediately west for the Utah border with our tail between our legs.
Mark and I went back a couple of years later – to get revenge.
CAUTION: On 6/14/14, while leading p3 (the 10c dihedral) of the Diving Board, I dislodged a substantial chockstone while using it for a hand hold. I estimate the chockstone moved from 6" to 12", but it did not come out. However, it is likely to come out if it is pulled on again. Trundling it would have been too dangerous, so it is likely still in there. Said chockstone is (or was, if it has fallen out since 6/14) near the base of the wide-ish crack at the top of the dihedral, just before exiting to lower-angle face moves. It had been there, and used as a hand hold, for some time, as the top of it was heavily chalked. Please exercise caution when negotiating your way around this chockstone. It is a time bomb that could hurt you, or parties below, if it is knocked loose.