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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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The Spoils 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6b

Type: Trad, 1 pitch, 70'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ British: E5 6a [details]
FA: P. Ament and T. Menk (1965) FFA: Ron Matous, 1979
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Submitted By: Steve Annecone on Sep 12, 2007
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The Spoils is located off the big west-facing ledge on Bell, just left of Cosmosis. This was apparently the first 5.12 route sent in Boulder Canyon. It follows a very exposed and overhung line on a beautiful portion of the cliff. It is fairly sustained down low with many technical and sequential moves. The upper half is easier but still sustained and pumpy, with occasionally tricky gear placements.

Start at the big chalked flake and work your way up the finger crack to the overhanging, shallow, left-facing corner system. The climbing is solid 5.11 or harder from the ground until you can get into the hand crack about 20 feet up. I felt the crux was getting into the hand crack at the end of the small corner, but some feel getting stood up on the flake down low may be the crux.

From the top of the corner, continue up the crack system with fun and steep liebacking and jamming (5.10+ or 11), moving left at the fork in the crack. At the top of the crack, you can go left to the anchor on Bell Buster, or go right to the Cosmosis anchor to rappel.

Very high quality rock and moves, with excellent protection! Not necessarily a "serious" route as suggested by some guidebooks... the gear is definitely there if you can hang out to place it.


I used 4 green Alien-sized pieces, plus one Camalot each from fingers (gray) to hand sized. A gold Camalot is the biggest size needed but a blue Camalot could be placed too if desired. Nuts could be used in spots but are not recommended due to the pumpy nature of the pro stances. At the top of the crack, there's an old pin, and if you move left to the Bell Buster anchor you'll pass (as of 9/07) a cordelette that could be clipped.... It appears to have been set as a directional for top roping.

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By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 27, 2007
rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b

This will never be down graded at 12 a/b. A stellar line on perfectly formed granite. If only Boulder Canyon had more like this!

By reboot
From: Westminster, CO
Aug 29, 2013

Warning: if you are belaying someone on lead, anchor yourself and/or make sure the climber does not skip the bomber #0.5 Camalot placement right off the ledge. Otherwise, if all the gear rips, there is a very good chance both of you will tumble down the ledge.