This popular rock can be divided in character into its south and southwest face. The SW face has some of the most frequently climbed routes in Eldorado Canyon and is probably the best area in Eldorado Canyon for those seeking lower end difficulty climbing. The rock is stellar for the first two pitches of climbs on this face. Above this the rock has seen less traffic and still has loose rock for the unsuspecting climber. On its S face, you will find fewer companions since its vertical face and spartan protection options will deter all but the most ardent suitors.
Once, the summit provided an anchor point for the cable upon which crossed Ivy Baldwin on many death-defying crossings of the canyon. The cable was taken down in 1974. Today, the cable remains testament to a disappearing breed of adventurer.
These are some of the earliest stomping grounds for Colorado legends like Layton Kor, Dick Bird, Dallas Jackson, Cleve McCarty, Larry Dalke, Pat Ament, Jeff Lowe, Jim Erickson, Steve Wunsch, Kevin Donald, Charlie Fowler, Duncan Ferguson, Kyle Copeland, Dan Hare, Mike Brooks, Richard Rossiter, and others.
The low part of this wall does include some moderately popular bouldering and traversing.
Note, if anyone has particularly good base digital photos for rendering a topo for this page, please let me know
Once you enter Eldorado Canyon State Park, you will hopefully find parking within 200 yards in one of two areas. Park. Walk uphill to the obvious bridge across South Boulder Creek. Cross the bridge. Look up & right. Follow the trail to the SW face or veer right to the S face.
The Rainbow Wall starts on the bright yellow South face of the Wind Tower by scrambling up the third class ramp to the right of King's X. A good Friend can be placed before reaching out to clip a bolt that initiates the hand traverse. The traverse is bolt protected and largely on a rather decent edge, it's the foot work that is so tricky. A hard move on very crimpy edges leads into the traverse which is followed by several reasonable moves. A pseudo-rest arises just before the edge system turn...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Thanks to some help from Ron Olsen and approval of the FHRC, there is a new rappel anchor for descending from the big ledge half way up the SW Face of the Wind Tower. The anchor is 2 x 12mm SS Fixe' Triplex bolts securing a tan-colored powder-coated Fixe' "Traditional Anchor" i.e. chain + welded SS rap ring.
The anchor is located approx. 10 feet above and to climber's right of the "traditional" rap tree (now cleaned of slings). It can be reached from the small sub-ledge just below the big ledge. It is located in nearly a direct line below the 2-bolt anchor at the top of p2 of The Bomb, West Overhang, Boulder Direct and Reggae. With a 60m rope, you should be able to stay on rappel and (just barely) clip the new anchor when rapping from the p2 bolts. The location is indicated in the area photo above. One 60m rope will get you from the new rap anchor to anywhere on the starting ledge.
Note that if you plan to do one of the pitches above the big ledge, it's best to bypass the new rap bolts and set a gear anchor directly below your chosen route.
The new bolt anchor described by Kevin Craig is not fully redundant and needs to be replaced or possibly improved with another chain attached to the upper bolt with a screw link. The rope could then be run through the lowest chain link and the existing ring. (There may be other options.)
There is nothing wrong with the Fixe anchor system that was installed. You can see the specs at www.fixeusa.com/traditional_anchors.htm . The single ring that bothers most people is rated at 50kn=12,500lbs.
Agree with Greg; the stainless-steel ring in the Fixe Trad anchor is plenty strong, and it isn't even the weakest link in the rappel chain. Other non-redundant components: your belay/rappel carabiner (25kN), your harness (16kN) and your rappel device. I talked with a Fixe USA rep and he said they have never heard of one of these rings failing. They wouldn't be selling this anchor if it wasn't absolutely bombproof.
As the author of the FHRC application to install the "new" rap anchor, I'd like to plead with/remind people to use this anchor on the Wind Tower as a RAP ANCHOR ***NOT*** as a belay anchor (or dog forbid, TR anchor). It was installed to make descending from the top of the Bomb/Reggae/West Overhang area safer/easier and to preserve the former rap tree. Belaying from this anchor clogs up an already crowded descent even more, and there are plenty of good gear placements on the larger ledges above the bolts to build a belay anchor. Thanks.