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 my favorite 5.9 route in Eldo. It is a great line up a cool dihedral and the moves are very fun and interesting. The crux is thin-fingers liebacking or stemming in an interesting corner. The route begins in a corner about 20 feet to the right of Grandmother's Challenge. It is also about 50 feet left of the West Chimney.
P1. Start by climbing a short, 40-foot pitch up an easy corner to a belay ledge.
P2. The next pitch is for real. Start by using two parallel cracks about three feet apart until the right crack becomes too thin to use. Climb the left crack through a wide section until it becomes a smooth dihedral with thin fingers in the back. Climb the dihedral until you are just under the roof and then step across the face to the right onto a blunt arete that leads to the top. After the lip at the top there is about 30 feet of easy runout to a large rappel bolt on the Red Ledge.
From here, climb the top half of Rewritten to the top, or make one double-rope rappel to the ground. It doesn't get any better.
Per tooTALLtim: If you continue above P2: from the P2 belay, move up and left along Red Ledge. Belay where Grandmother's Challenge ends, in the alcove next to the BIG boulder, by the tree.
P3: Climb up a large block to a short hand crack, towards the blocky roof. The exposure here is great. Hand traverse under the roof, and pull over on bomber finger locks (5.8).
P4: Continue up the beautiful corner to the top of Rebuffat's Arete. (5.8) You might see some people on the arete climbing Rewritten.
P5: Now join with Rewritten's face climbing to the top. (5.5)"
Standard trad rack of nuts and cams. Some TCUs or Aliens would be helpful for the second pitch.
Just a few clarifications to the route description and Charles comment. First, the "30ft. of runout" past the crux on P2 is not runout at all. Maybe Andy meant that it was easy 5.4 or so, but definitely not runout.
You can rap from the eyebolt on the Red Ledge with two 50m ropes, but you must downclimb (easy 5th class) about 10ft from a big ledge. Not sketchy at all.
By George Bell From: Boulder, CO Jul 31, 2001 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
This has got to be one of my favorite Eldo pitches. Fun crack climbing and thin face at the upper crux. You can throw in pro every 3 feet if you are scared (it is true that above the crux the pro is only once every 8 feet or so). Wearing a helmet on this route is definitely a good idea as it is directly below the upper pitches of Rewritten.
The first and second pitches combine nicely, and are perfect examples of what is Eldo 5.9. The roof above Grandmother's ledge is stellar, protect under the roof and just go. As Matt mentioned, this area is very popular, which comes with two warnings. Bring your helmet, but don't forget your social cap. Due to the volume of traffic under these routes and the loose nature of all the barney on the Red Ledge, be warned; a small rock from that height can be fatal. Watch yourself, watch those around you. It's not called the Red Ledge because of the color of the sandstone.
It gets better...a lot better...Why one would climb only the first two pitches, when three incredible ones remain, is beyond me.
From the Red Ledge, Follow the band to the huge tree above Grandmother's Challenge. Directly opposite, begin climbing the face, squeezing left of the EXTREMELY LARGE AND LOOSE BLOCK, up into a wild, overhung crack system. Very awkward climbing, with huge exposure. Awesome. Pull the crux roof (5.9) thru a V slot, head up on easier ground 50 more feet to an obvious belay ledge.
Continue with pitch 4 of Rewritten for one of the most classic linkups in the canyon. -Darren W
In my humble opinion, this route is two stars better than the Yellow Spur. The first pitch, when linked, is ... incredible and hard for 5.9. then the upper pitches are exposed and solid for three? pitches. My screams of ecstasy could be heard for miles.
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO Jan 23, 2002 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
Two central thoughts:
1) Yeah, this is a darn fine route. I think it's better than Yellow Spur, or the Center Route, which are the two I hear touted as the best 5.9 around, and frequently so.
2) I don't think it's hard for its grade. Darkness 'Til Dawn, Yellow Spur pin/bolt pitch, Grand Giraffe, Highway of Diamonds, the first pitch of XM, etc... all were 5.9 and all were just as hard, in my opinion. Yes, several of those have been upgraded, but we don't always have to go to the least common denominator. This is just my opinion- I stem through the hard part, so maybe I just have long legs or something, I don't know- I just don't think it's an Eldo 5.10 unless you want to compare it to some mercifully-rated climbes, but in that case, we can say it's harder than Auburn Lane (5.10d) and thus say it's 11a... but that's hardly reasonable. It's certainly a lot easier (like a full grade or two) than Midnight Trundler (originally 5.10a), but you won't catch me saying it's easy 5.8 either. I'm not trying to sandbag anyone, but I think if you are solid on 5.9 you'll probably get the Green Spur on-sight.
I agree. It's a bit tricky but not Eldo 5.10. Stemming is the way to go and once you know the moves well, I doubt anyone would say it's any harder than "Eldo 5.9" Excellent route, combine the pitches and go in the winter to avoid crowds.
By George Bell From: Boulder, CO May 15, 2002 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
There are actually two ways to start the crux pitch. Climb straight up the left crack (wide and quite pumpy at the bottom), or step right and climb the right crack until you can step back into the left crack. The second variation is supposedly only 5.8 at the start, I have always gone the first way (5.9 for sure).
For about three years now, Green Spur has been my nemesis. I've been pretty much poop-scared of it. This morning, however, my buddy Jon and I headed up at 6:30am on a Wednesday...(which avoids the crowds and therefore MOST of the rockfall from the Red Ledge-I like your comment about its namesake, Brian-SCARY! Wearing a helmet even around the base of the climb is a stellar idea.)
We strung P1 and 2 together with minimal rope drag. ('Gotta have a 60m.) Use long slings on the step-over @ the beginning of 2 and again back into the main crack. Bryson's right: stemming IS the way to go and, much to my surprise, 5.9 seems right on. 'Not any harder than Yellow or Flakes. What a great, enjoyable, sustained second pitch! I was surprised, though, at the amount of loose rock, even by Eldo standards. Be careful.
The roof on P3 was really great! We strung 4 & 5 together, ending on Rebuffet's Arete and stepping across to the wall, being careful once again of rope drag.
I'd do this climb again in a heartbeat!!
(Now I think I'll be scared of Grandmother's Challenge!):) Clint
P1 (or the combo of P1&2) - What does the offwidth go at on P1? This is the part avoided by stepping right, going up the finger crack and then stepping back left. It doesn't seem that many people go straight up on P1 through the bulge. It seems hard, I got my arm stuck, got laughed at, then decided to follow the chalk to my right.
Also at the crux of the P1 P2 combo, has anybody ever pulled out onto the face at the roof instead of stepping right out of the crack? That looks like it could be sweet.
- Great challenging route.
FYI - from the eye bolt on the ramp atop P2, at the cave, you can rap down and to your right to another bolted rap station, and then to another and then to the ground - with one 60m rope
Jason, funny you should ask. When I did this climb about 3 and a half years ago with my brother, he led both of the variations you are asking about! Straight up off the belay is a bit awkward but didn't seem too bad following, it was over quickly. Now, moving out onto the face to the left, before the crux corner, is a different story--I remember feeling rather terrified following! There were a couple overhanging moves, but the holds were positive (although some may have been loose??) and neither of us fell. Since Pat was a neophyte 5.10 leader at the time, and I a neophyte 5.10 climber period, I couldn't imagine that it is much harder than .10-, although there isn't a whole lot of pro. I have pictures of Pat leading this variation (which, btw, he took completely by mistake--I don't know how and I was rather shocked when I got up there following), hopefully I will get off my ass and submit them someday.
The Green Spur to Green Slab Direct linkup also makes for a superb outing. Be careful when accessing the base of the Green Slab crux pitch from Grandmothers tree, though. This gully/corner is the top of Darkness till Dawn and has precariously perched blocks of all sizes. I know this is a dead horse but this is a seriously dangerous area and once you know what's above, it's unnerving to be down below.
Great route. The crux pitch is nice and strenuous, though I thought the real crux was right off the first belay getting through the offwidth (but that might have just been my technique :) ). This should definitely be done with the 5.9 roof pitch from Grandmother's Ledge. That pitch ranks up there as one of the most fun pitches I've done. If no one is on Rewritten, cut over onto it after the roof and finish with Rebuffet's arete. Otherwise, you can find lots of fun moves by using the left wall of the 'gully' as much as possible (rather than scrambling up the gully).
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Jul 12, 2003
Great climb...one note, the step right from under the roof is down low, not up high in the roof. I got up a little too high and had to step down to gain the next face over.
As many have noted, this is perhaps the finest 5.9 in Eldorado. I like to go from the ground up through the crux and belay on a good ledge just above. This allows you to watch your partner climb the crux corner and provides a great photo opportunity.
The crux corner can be sewn up as follows: pin, small wired nut, blue Alien in crack on left wall, .75 Camalot at lip of undercling, yellow Alien in horizontal crack, green Alien after step across to the right, medium wired nut just before the belay ledge above the crux.
The third pitch above the Grandmother's Challenge tree is excellent; be careful of loose rock in the first 30 feet.Esthetic, balancy moves up a flake, then a wild traverse right around a roof. Totally fun!
I have to agree with many of the comments previously submitted.
1. I like this better than Yellow Spur, especially when linking P1&P2, and moving to Rewritten after P3.
2. The crux pitch is STELLAR. I've done it several times, always direct through the offwidth, which isn't so bad (9+). The dihedral above is sustained 5.9 with awesome stems. Above is not runout, unless you make it, which you should if you are comfortable on 5.4 and managed to get through the 5.9 sections.
3. P3 is a one-move wonder, easy up to the roof, pull through (5.9), and cruise.
Suggested link-up: DOUBLE SPUR. One person leads "block" of entire Yellow Spur, rap descent, second then leads "block" of entire Green Spur. Double your pleasure, double classic, ... double spur.
Yellow and Green Aliens protect the arching dihedral. Continue left at the eyebolt and stay with the original route, as it gets good with an airy 5.9 move over a small roof, then up to the arete. Combine the first two pitches. Stemming, finger jamming, and face moves for five good pitches.
As of 10/2/05 there are two stoppers fixed going through the crux section (both looked pretty good). Thus, going through the crux I used the piton, a fixed stopper, another fixed stopper, and then I stepped across and set a green Alien farther up. I saw people stem through the crux section but I just laid back and it felt really good. For me, getting up the offwidth/crack was the hardest part. I was tired when I got to the piton, I had to rest for a while but after that I thought the climb was fantastic, one move just melted into the next! Definitely a must do! Also, don't forget to wear a helmet in this area, I had a dime-size rock hit my arm and a quarter-size rock hit my helmet. Be safe and please yell "rock" if you kick stuff off!
This route stands out for several reasons. First, I re-emphasize about the dangers of loose rock from above. I was leading, starting into the offwidth, and sensed a whoosh go past my head. A fraction of a second later, a tremendous WHACK! I called out to Bob, belaying me at the first stance. Fearing the worst, I called out again, but no answer. Someone on the ground called out and Bob answered. He was Ok!, a slightly sore neck and a huge hole in the side of his helmet. Secondly, the offwidth is always a struggle for me...I haven't tried the face variation, but I like the abundant pro in the slot. Thirdly, the dihedral is stellar and always thrilling! Next, the challenging but doable overhang; the length of the route, its position; and attaining the summit of the Tower!!!
BIG rockfall off the G.Spur today! Two guys were climbing and apparently one pulled a LARGE block off, gashing his leg pretty bad. Sounded like a boxcar coming down the cliff. We were on Yellow Spur and my partner saw the rock the size of a bigscreen TV explode off the cliff and continue crashing downhill until almost hitting water at the base of the approach climb. Parkies said they would be investigating stability of the cliff. Kudos to the other climbers who helped get the injured party down, and wishes for a speedy recovery. BE CAREFUL ON THE GREEN SPUR==LOOSE ROCK ABOUNDS!
First two pitches to Red Ledge. These pitches are fairly clean, but they lie directly below the chimney pitch of Rewritten which has lots of loose rock. Rockfall from above is a real hazard.
Third pitch above Red Ledge. This pitch is above the tree on Grandmother's Challenge, and has a lot of loose rock in the first 30 feet. This is where the recent accident occurred. This pitch can be bypassed by doing the chimney pitch and traverse pitch of Rewritten, but see above.
Reiterating what Ron stated (kind of).. After getting to Red Ledge just do Rewritten, you'll be much happier. The remaining "Green Spur" pitch(es) aren't really that fun anyway and lots of potential to knock rocks off. If Rewritten is full, there are many other opportunities, too.
Climbed the Green Spur yesterday and it was awesome fun! Two comments:
1. I highly recommend combining P1 and P2. It will leave you with less than 5 feet on a 60 meter rope. This is the best pitch of the climb.
2. The pitch starting from the tree atop Grandmother's Challenge is incredibly loose rock. I was surprised to find so much rock of such poor quality on a classic route. Be careful. If you pull something off, it will likely go crashing down on those at the base.
Still a great route though. Enjoy!
By Kyle Douglass From: Golden, Co Oct 21, 2007 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a
I found the crux of the first pitch (the body crack thing) to be more difficult than the layback roof crux.
By Stich From: Colorado Springs, Colorado Nov 3, 2007
"I found the crux of the first pitch (the body crack thing) to be more difficult than the layback roof crux."
Me too, Kyle. I barely redpointed the route today. The arching dihedral above the pin went down smoothly compared to that wide, flared section below. I got my arm all the way in the back of that flare right where it has a little roof thing. Once crammed and jammed in there, placing the cam I wanted above was just a mess. The carabiner kept slipping into the slot, preventing me from clipping it. If I could have kept my hand jam and gotten my body out of there I would have been fine. Gotta be a better way of doing those moves, I know.
An easier variation bypasses the bombay slot and takes the little roof and left-facing corner to the right; it goes at about 5.8. It merges with the straight-up line a bit above the bombay slot. I find it more fun than going up the wide slot. Extend the runners to keep down rope drag and you'll be fine.
It's been another harsh winter in Boulder, so things that have been solid in the past probably aren't anymore. I thought I'd repost this from the conditions comments to here as a poignant reminder to be careful out there and to note that the third pitch of Green Spur is loose and best avoided.
From July 5th, 2006....
My partner and I went up to climb Yellow Spur, but since it was busy we decided to do the Green Spur instead. We both climb harder than that and have many years of climbing in Eldo under our belts. I probably have 20 days in Eldo so far this year and have done the Green Spur at least twice before. I am a pretty cautious climber and certainly aware of the dangers of loose rock in Eldo. My partner led the first 2 pitches as one pitch and then we moved the belay around the big boulder on the Red Ledge.
I was starting the short corner on the third pitch of the Green Spur and my feet were about 5 feet over the ledge. I didn't have any gear in since there's not really anything worth while to put in there. I was being very careful because the large flakes in the corner that my hands were on were obviously loose. I was stemming between the left wall and a large block in the corner. I was contemplating how to move into the corner above without pulling on anything loose or pulling too hard.
Just then the huge rock my right foot was on gave way. It was about the size of a big screen TV and apparently went all the way to the creek after it fell. I decked about 5 feet on to the belay ledge and for a second I thought "I'm going to be fine". Then a bunch of rock that was behind that rock fell on my leg and that quickly changed to "I think I'm going to die". Next, I felt stupid even though there's nothing I would have done differently because my wife is currently pregnant and I have a 21-month-old daughter. So, I should not be out having climbing accidents.
My partner was a real hero. He quickly assessed my injuries and bandaged up my leg with his T-shirt and some slings. He was smart not to let me look at it because my leg had a 6-inch gash and my muscle was sticking out. We were pretty scared I might bleed a lot or pass out and we weren't sure what the damage was. I could wiggle my toes without pain so we were pretty sure my leg wasn't broken. I was surprise that was all that happened given how much rock came down.
We tandem rappelled off the tree atop Grandmother's Challenge hoping to get to the Darkness til Dawn anchor. Unfortunately you end up hanging in space nowhere near it. We managed to get down a little further and find some slings around a chockstone. We backed that up with a cam and nut and then he lowered me to the ground.
It was nice to be on the ground, but we still had a ways to go to get to the car. Waiting around for SAR didn't seem like a good idea given the bleeding. We put my T-shirt over his T-shirt with some slings to keep the wound as clean as possible. Then to get down to the car, I scooted down on my butt and my partner gave me a fireman's carry.
Finally some people came along and we got some water, tape and an ace bandage from them. With that we were able to bandage up the wound properly. They helped us along and carried our gear down to the road which took about half an hour. Kudos to Tim and the other guys who helped out. I really appreciate their help! Our round trip time car to car was about 2 hours.
Once we got to the hospital they cleaned out the wound and took some X rays. I was very lucky that the rock missed my femur and knee cap (and for that matter head and chest). It was a very sharp rock apparently because my muscle had a clean slice. I got "innumerable" stitches to sew the muscle back in its place and put the layers of skin back together and 11 staples to close it up. I'm on bed rest with pain killers for the next week, but should be back to walking in a couple of weeks and back to normal in 6-8 weeks.
I have been climbing for 18 years and have 2 other accidents to my credit. One was a soloing accident from youthful hubris, the other was decking before the first bolt when a foothold gave way in Boulder Canyon. This was one of the worst and least preventable. We both feel there wasn't much different I could have done except stayed home that day and the rock that gave way is the kind of thing you step on in Eldo all the time. Being safe and careful only gets you so far. Sometimes you're the last person to stand on something dubious. It sucks to be last in that case. When that happens, the most important thing is the partner you're with. I'm glad that my partner had good first aid and rescue skills and the courage and mind to pull off our rescue without a hitch.
Loose rock is a fact of life in Eldorado; Green Spur is but one of many examples. Red Ledge has lots of loose rock, as does the chimney on Rewritten and the ledge above the crux dihedral on Over the Hill. Peanuts Wall has lots of loose rock; Heavy Weather is another example.
Rather than avoid it, learn to cope with it. I suggest that climbers wanting to learn how to deal with loose rock climb The Roof Wall, Northumberland Crack, and The Hot Spur. After climbing these lines, you will be well prepared to climb safely past the loose rock on the third pitch of Green Spur.
And wear your helmet when gearing up in the Green Spur, Rewritten, Great Zot area; especially on crowded weekends.
Ron, I find your suggestion pedantic and a bit hilarious. I'd recommend people strongly discount your advice on clambering across the choss strewn routes of Eldo in the hope of avoiding the chop on other routes in Eldo with loose rock. There's is always a small probability your number is going to come up and some objective hazard is going to ruin your day or end your life. I don't see how your recommendation changes that. Whatever you can learn from climbing loose rock, I suspect you can learn right there on the third pitch of the Green Spur.
The problem with the Green Spur is that it's considered an ultra classic route. In fact, Rossiter gave it top ten status in his guide. While that might be true of the first two pitches, I don't think that's true for the rest of the route and a nice alternative with the Rewritten finish or rapping off exists. So, it may not be worth the additional objective hazard unless, you're specifically after that in which case, I'd recommend the The Rotwand.
Additionally, I agree a helmet is a great idea and picnicking under these routes is not.
Dealing with loose rock is a skill every climber needs in his/her repertoire. If not in Eldorado, then in other areas in Colorado and around the world. Rocky Mountain National Park, The Garden of the Gods, El Potrero Chico, the Dolomites, ...
Climbing with sensitivity and awareness is important; testing holds, pulling gently in the right direction, tiptoeing around loose dinner plates. These skills are developed through practice, not avoidance.
Craig, sounds like a scary incident that would've been difficult to avoid even if one had the skills, "sensitivity", vast experience and wisdom of some of the people who post on this site. Climbing is dangerous and there are just some variables beyond our control. It's cool that everything turned out ok for you.
I think the skills Ron is referring to involves anticipating the complex physics of loose rock and the way it gets dislodged and how gravity affects it once the rock is dislodged, some call this juggling. Clowns and street performers are best equipped to deal with the loose rock in Eldo...and around the world. Which is who you mostly see in Eldo. Once one has gained this important knowkledge, actually, it's a talent that can't really be learned, but is developed from, well, we're not sure if it's nature or nurture, which brings us back to nature and loose rock and being prepared for it. But, all seriousness aside, that spot has been super dangerous for a long time, and it's a good thing I wasn't caught in Craig's situation with my lack of math skills.
By Andy Laakmann Site Landlord From: Bend, OR Oct 15, 2008 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a
Climbed Green Spur (all pitches) onto the Rebuffet Arete finish.
Loved the first two pitches of GS, but the rock was crap on the 3rd pitch IMO. Glad to have ticked that pitch, but I won't be back for that pitch. There are huge blocks, integral to the climb, that will fall off that pitch eventually - no matter how much caution is exercised - and someone else is going to get hurt.
Craig glad you're OK and thankfully didn't get more injured.
Ron, you're exactly right. I deal with loose rock a lot, spending my after work climbs in the Big Thompson Canyon, trad climbing here take's skill and patience. The third pitch of Green Spur, will slowly deteriorate (the big 900 lb. boulder people lean on, and a few jugs are more than suspect). If the route looks unsafe, be smart and wise. I'd put an S for sketchy on the P3, but it is one of the coolest roofs I've climbed.
By slim Administrator Oct 6, 2009 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
I would argue that it takes skill, and PRODUCES patients!
By AOSR From: Wherever we park! Jul 31, 2010 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a
Fantastic climb. Maybe a bit harder than any one pitch on Yellow Spur? Still though, I liked Yellow Spur better.
Did this climb back in 1993 with Tim Topf (RIP--a good guy--miss him). Amazing that he didn't climb much and cranked right up the thing. Back to the point: This is one of the best climbs I've done, anywhere. Possibly because it was a surprise, picked it at random out of guidebook cause we had an afternoon to burn. The variety of moves on steep ground makes this route well worth it. Best 5.9 in Eldo? Hell, right up there with best 5.9s anywhere, on par with CPF in The Valley.
Perhaps I was a bit jaded in my earlier comments, since I'd already made one descent from the Great Zot that same day. One's opinion can be influenced by being hot, tired, and thirsty. Rebuffat's Ridge is a worthy thing to climb.... However, the very loose rock on the next pitch is not especially enjoyable, so yes I still recommend just climbing the very excellent dihedral pitch. I avoid loose rock whenever possible, but if you love loose crap...go climb on the Rotwand. I've done that, too....
Not a bad climb. But I wasn't all that impressed. Certainly felt solid for the grade and had a couple cool moves up to and around the roof. Small wires were helpful here. The lower part is awkward, but secure, if you stay true to the left crack. Much easier if you stem between the cracks.
With all the parties above knocking off loose rock on us, we decided to rap off the bolt anchor instead of continue. I haven't climbed in Eldo much, but those upper pitches look like complete choss. This area is not high on my list of places to return to.
By Michael Butts From: Boulder, Co Jun 26, 2012 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a PG13
Really fun climbing, Great moves and pretty good gear for the crux. Linked p1 and p2 for a really long pitch. Only brought a 70m rope and rappelled off to the south to catch some anchors for two more rappels to the ground. Not the most ideal way to get down because of loose rocks when you pull the rope. It worked for us.
By Andy Hansen From: Longmont, Colorado Jan 21, 2013 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
I was up on this yesterday and the weather/exposure was beautiful. Once again I didn't do the correct beta on this route and ended up making it about as hard as Tagger's P2. Instead of getting to the great horizontal jug below the roof, I traversed at the undercling along marginal crimps. I thought it seemed hard for 5.9. Either way, it's nice to have some small cams/stoppers/RPs for this one. Pretty cool route.
Incredible climb. Not sure why the description recommends quitting after 2 pitches. That's a waste in my opinion. Pitch 3 was GREAT, pulling the roof is fun. Exciting exposure, committing moves but relatively easy. You don't get those combinations many places. Finish with Rebuffet's Arete!
I combined the first 2 pitches, recommended unless you have a beginner leader wanting to lead the first short chill pitch. Pitch 2 is stiff! and fun! Save some small cams for the top of the dihedral, I didn't.... Belaying the third pitch can be a challenge, we traversed around the block and belayed by the tree, Eventually the belayer climbed up and belayed on top of the rock. This is much more optimal for rope drag and communication with your belayer.