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The Young and the Rackless 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Sport, 4 pitches, 300'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Vaino Kodas, Mark Rolofson, 2003
Page Views: 24,017
Submitted By: Ivan Rezucha on May 8, 2004

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Description 

This is a pleasant, multi-pitch sport climb with several very short crux sections and moderate slab climbing in between. Good belay stances and good anchors for belaying and rappelling make this an excellent first multi-pitch climb. The FA party rated this 10b, but for someone of my height (6'2", -1 ape factor), it's 5.9. There are a couple of spots where reach might make a difference.

Approach: This route is on the left edge of the Upper East Face of East Blob Rock. See the beta photo for Blob Rock. East Blob is the formation on the right of the photo with the pointed top. The route starts a short ways up the gully that runs up and right along the base of East Blob. Walk up the trail to the base of the gully that separates Blob Rock from East Blob. Walk down and right along the base of Blob Slab and up to the base of the Upper East Face of East Blob. The route starts left of a dead tree with no branches, just left of where the wall starts to overhang right off the ground. The tree is just left of a large boulder near the wall. The climb angles left and then back right below a prominent large orange buttress at the top of the cliff.

The route: Bolt counts and pitch lengths are approximate. Pitches 1 and 2 can be combined. Pitches 3 and 4 might be combined, but there may be rope drag.

P1: Starting at a thin crack that angles slightly right, climb a steep face and then move left to an easy slab and the belay. 5.9, 7 bolts, 80'.

P2: Angle left on easy ground to a short steep wall which is climbed at 5.9 if you can reach the hold. The FA party calls this 10b, and it may be that hard if you are short. 5 bolts. 60'.

P3: There are two variations to pitch 3. Since I was self-belaying, I climbed the left variation on the lead and the right variation when I cleaned the pitch. The left variation is better and goes over a bulge at 5.9 to a slab. The right variation climbs a dirty right facing corner and is harder. The start, which looks hard, is easy. The top, which looks easy, is hard and involves flared hand jams. Where the variations join, make an interesting 5.9 move into a right facing right leaning corner and up to a ledge. 9 bolts, 90'.

P4: Angle right on a fun 5.8 slab and up easier rock to the top anchors. 8 bolts, 70'.

Protection 

Approximately 12 quickdraws, or 18 if you will link pitches. No trad gear is needed, although there are often good gear placements near the bolts. The bolts are closely spaced even on easy ground.

Descent 

There are multiple ways to rap along this part of the cliff. With a 70m rope you can combine the pitch 2 and 3 rappels or the pitch 1 and 2 rappels. The rap to the right might be more efficient and can be done in two raps with a 60m. You can also walk off to the right and down the gully to the east.


Photos of The Young and the Rackless Slideshow Add Photo
Marga Powell starting up the first pitch.
Marga Powell starting up the first pitch.
Pitches 1 and 2....
BETA PHOTO: Pitches 1 and 2....
Looking up canyon from the top of a snowy second p...
Looking up canyon from the top of a snowy second p...
Pitch 3, showing left and right variations.
BETA PHOTO: Pitch 3, showing left and right variations.
Butt shot on P1.  Photo by Randy Wong.
Butt shot on P1. Photo by Randy Wong.
Annette getting ready to leave the p1 belay.
Annette getting ready to leave the p1 belay.
Young and Rackless from below.
BETA PHOTO: Young and Rackless from below.
Looking down to the belay at the top of p3.
Looking down to the belay at the top of p3.
The Young and the Rackless.
BETA PHOTO: The Young and the Rackless.
Todd trying to figure out the move at the end of p...
Todd trying to figure out the move at the end of p...
Belayer for hire.  Me belaying my padnah at P2.
Belayer for hire. Me belaying my padnah at P2.
Yvonne D'Andrea on the steep headwall at the start...
Yvonne D'Andrea on the steep headwall at the start...
Rapping to the right of the route (climber's right...
Rapping to the right of the route (climber's right...
Yvonne D'Andrea on the right variation on the thir...
Yvonne D'Andrea on the right variation on the thir...
Fun, fun, fun.
Fun, fun, fun.
Yvonne D'Andrea approaching the crux bulge on the ...
Yvonne D'Andrea approaching the crux bulge on the ...
A good view of most of the first, all of the secon...
BETA PHOTO: A good view of most of the first, all of the secon...
Yvonne D'Andrea stemming the corner on the left va...
Yvonne D'Andrea stemming the corner on the left va...
Looking down from the top of the second pitch on a...
Looking down from the top of the second pitch on a...

Comments on The Young and the Rackless Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 17, 2013
By Mark E Dixon
From: Sprezzatura, Someday
Oct 15, 2014

CONDITION REPORT 
We watched a bunch of big (i.e. fatal) rocks rumble down the gully between Blob and Bitty today. Turns out a party was rapping the route to the right of TYTR, and the first person down was standing on a tabletop-sized flake to untangle the rope when it collapsed out from under him. Nobody injured (except their packs and clothes), but maybe keep an extra keen eye for looseness if climbing up there.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 30, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A fun multi-pitch well-bolted sport route. The first pitch starts with several 5.9 moves up a steep headwall then eases up to the belay. Be sure to head up left to the belay; there are other anchors up to the right, but they are on another route.

The second pitch headwall felt like 5.9 to me and my partner; the good holds weren't hard to reach. We did the left variation on the third pitch. The crux bulge felt harder than 5.9. My partner did it with a heel hook, and I did it as a layback from the left; both moves felt like 10a, but the handholds were wet and maybe it would be easier if the rock were dry. The move entering the slanting corner up higher was pure fun!

The fourth pitch is a nice 5.8 slab with 8 bolts. We rapped down and I tried the right variation on the third pitch, but was turned back by wet rock at the flared hand jams. This seemed like it would go at 5.9+ to 10a if the rock were dry.

This is a fine route that will become very popular.
By Jake Wyatt
From: Longmont, CO
Jul 3, 2004

The third pitch (left variation) felt harder than the second pitch.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 4, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Did the climb again today. The right-hand variation on the third pitch felt about 5.9 on dry rock. The flared hand jams at the top of the initial corner were pretty solid for me, but can be quite difficult for people with small hands.

The left-hand variation on the third pitch also felt about 5.9 on dry rock. Solid hands and one high-step layback move, and it's over. The moves into the corner near the end of the third pitch are tricky to figure out, but a hoot once you unlock the secret.

This is a great climb for the budding 5.9 leader: four pitches that come in at 5.9, 5.9, 5.9, and 5.8 with plenty of bolts. Do both variatons on the third pitch and you have five good pitches of climbing.

This will become the classic moderate multi-pitch sport route in Boulder Canyon.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 12, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Saturday July 3rd, we arrive at the base of this route at 7:30 AM to find a party ahead of us! Damn, this route isn't even in a guidebook and already it is mobbed! It must have been Jake and Annette, who were nearly up pitch 2 and moving quickly. Despite the early morning traffic, we didn't see anyone on this route the rest of the day ...

This route is fun and very well bolted. It is hard to rate because the cruxes are short bulges that go quickly once you figure them out. But I could see reach being an issue. The move that took me the longest to figure out was the bulge after the two variations join on pitch 3. This route felt significantly easier than the similar vintage Bihedral Arete.
By Greg Hand
From: Golden, CO
Jul 12, 2004

I really liked that crux move at the end of pitch 3. At first it seemed like you had to do something hard. But in the end, it actually goes without too much trouble. The trick was to push instead of pull.
By Steve Line
Jul 16, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

BTW we carried a second 60m rope with us up this climb and were able to rap all the way down in one rap. This only works if you throw the rope down to the left of the route while at the top and looking down.

Have fun! It's a great fun route!

Steve
By shad O'Neel
Aug 24, 2004
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

For a boulder canyon bolted moderate, this one is good. There are many, many bolts. I even skipped a couple to link pitches, and didnt get scared. At every hard move, you have a bolt (or two) within reach. Much of the route could be climbed without bolts, if you brought gear, thus the morality of the route will create mixed feelings for traditional climbers.

Considering the 5.9 rating, If 'Mission to Mars' (solaris) and the bihedral arete (bihedral have been downrated from 5.10 to 5.9 standings, then I would think this route should be called a 5.8+ since it is a grade easier (in my opinion) than either of those routes. There are always bomber holds, and I found the trickiest part to be entering the corner on p3, even though the other cruxes were wet. Perhaps its best to simply call the route 5.fun, since thats what it is.

An excellent climber for moderate leaders.
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Aug 25, 2004
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

Fun. Probably most efficient to link P1/2 including 12-13 clips & P3/4 including 17 clips. Believe P4 has about 7 bolts & 2 pins. These old pins suggests it may not be a 2003 FA and someone, like Layton?, may have been here.... If you rap with 2 ropes, you can get to another modern 2 bolt rap station about 140 ft below the top anchor. 5.9 for the reach move on P2. P3's move is weird but felt easier.
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Aug 29, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Fun route. This can be done quickly by linking the pitches. 2 awkward moves of 9. We rapped straight down with a 60m and got off in two raps by using other anchors.
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Sep 2, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I forgot to add a correction to the post. The tree at the base is dead, but it has branches. The branchless one is 200 feet farthur uphill, and would give you 50 feet of climbing.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Sep 20, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A route with a lot of easy territory (5.4) some moderate territory (5.7) and maybe three 5.9 moves. Best done as a single ~75 meter pitch and ~20 slings, or by linking the first 3 pitches (~ 60M) and then doing the last pitch later. We had a 70M rope and simuled only a short amount to go all at once. You skip a lot of clips (we made 19 in all) to keep the line straight and avoid drag, we had almost none but the weight of the rope.

It's hard not to give a 250' single pitch of solid rock at least 2 *'s. If it had been more sustained at any given grade (5.6 or 5.10, whatever) or more consistent in character, it would be a 3-star route, but it is more mileage than it is interesting.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 4, 2004
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

We were fortunate to see a huge golden eagle soaring above the cliff shortly after we topped out.

The best descent from the top is two rappels straight down the rock with a 60m rope. The first rappel is 80'; angle to the rappeller's right to get to the next bolted rap station. The second rappel is 95'. This leaves you about 100' uphill from the start of the route. Be careful how you pull the rope on the second rappel to avoid flakes and cracks that could snag the rope.

Above the intermediate rap station is a steep headwall with two bolts. Thirty feet higher is a third bolt. This appears to be a mixed pitch requiring trad gear to supplement the bolts. Does anyone know the name of this route or how hard it is? I didn't see any bolts leading up to the intermediate rap station.
By Michael Amato
Oct 21, 2004

We linked Pitches 1 and 2 together and Pitches 3 and 4 together with a 60 meter rope. Rope drag wasn't bad, though we selectively skipped bolts. Pitches 1 and 2 seemed much easier, we only used six clips total for both pitches. Pitches 3 and 4 seemed to have a few more difficult moves, so we only skipped a couple of bolts yet still had minimal rope drag. We did three raps down the route, the last leaving us with about ten feet of downclimbing... if you descend this way, DO NOT RAP OFF THE END OF YOUR ROPE.
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
Aug 29, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Did this route yesterday and really enjoyed it. It was nice getting that high above the canyon. I'm curious what the route is (higher up) that is visible from the top of the last pitch. There is a crack up there with lots of chalk, no bolts that I could see. Can you link this with the last pitch and rap from the top? The crux on P3 stumped me for a second but once I figured out the sequence, it was solid. We had a 70 m rope and rapped from the top of p4 to the bottom in 2 raps. In doing this, we were not rappelling directly down onto the Young and the Rackless, which is good since 2 parties were on their way up and the other climbs were vacant.
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
Sep 2, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Not sure what I was looking at but I don't think there is anything worth climbing directly above the route. I went back early this week and saw more rock but it looks very short and nothing but a mere scramble.
By Larry Moffett
Sep 20, 2005
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Had been waiting to do this route for some time. It was well worth it. My partner John and I both showed up super early and were well onour way up..when the "others" arrived. We both thought the 3 pitch was crux. Left side pitch three was trickier than 9. Also getting into upper corner pitch three was a challenge.
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 10, 2006

We did this today and easily got off with two rappels with a 60m rope. (See Ron's comment above). Simply rap a bit to your right to a spacious ledge with two bolts, then rap to the ground. The last 40 ft or so is an free rappel which makes for kind of an adventursome feel to the end of the climb. A knot in the end of the rope might be a good idea because I had maybe 4 ft of rope left when I touched the base. In the latest guide book this is still rated 5.10b for what it is worth. I personally think a newer 5.9 lead climber would find this to be pretty challenging outing.
By Friso Schlottau
Aug 9, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

VERY friendly beginner climb... probably a bit too friendly.
I think this route is 5.8... 98% of the climb is mellow, enjoyable (massively overbolted) climbing, with 2.5 moves of 5.8, maybe 5.8+ on it. I just hope this doesn't become the new standard of bolting - when a long draw can be clipped between two bolts you know something is off a little...

Great eye spying that line, though.

My rating comes about by comparing this line with
Mosquito Burrito - 5.8
Topless Etiquette - 5.8
Bastille Crack - 5.7

All these climbs seem harder to me than TYATR.
By Merlin
From: Grand Junction
Aug 24, 2006

I agree that this is not a very sustained climb. P1 (I lead) seemed to start with a 5.9ish face climb which quickly relented to 5.7 then almost 5.2-5.4.

P2 (friend lead) started around 5.7 then went quickly to 5.10a/b for all of 10 feet. I watched my 6'1" friend pull right up the hard part and head up to the anchors. Being relatively short, this move was not easy and definitely harder than 5.9. If you can reach the jug on the right, it might be 5.8/5.9. After passing it, the climbing eased up again.

p3 (I lead) I went left and found the climbing to be 5.7-5.8 then dropping to 5.0 and a ledge walk. From here, there was an odd move into a slot which felt 5.9 then quickly relented to 5.7.

p4 (friend lead) was the best of the 4 pitches in my opinion. It was the most sustained at about 5.8 and required a bit of delicacy.

All in all, I think this route would be pretty easy for a beginning 5.9 sport leader, assuming you can reach the move on the 2nd pitch. I couldn't so it would sketch me, but if I was 5'10" or above, I think this climb is not to sustained and felt more like a scramble with bouldering moves.

All in all, though it was quite fun and had great views. It provided enough thrills without being too sustained.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jan 28, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A fun cruiser route, worth doing at least once... I especially enjoyed the bolted crack on the variation to P3. There is no need to bring any gear, since there are bolts right next to the crack. Maybe that variation should be called "The Old and the Rackless" or "Clip'em or Skip'em".
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Sep 27, 2008
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Fun outing for a multi pitch sport climb. I'm a tad over 5'6" an felt the reach on pitch two warranted a 9+. I'd rate climb as 5.8 for pitch 1, 9+ pitch 2, 5.9 for pitch 3 ( I thought the right hand crack variation was much better then the left variation) and 5.7 for pitch 4. Easy to run pitch 1 & 2 together.
By Couloirman
From: Providence, RI
Sep 7, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Funny how climbing a route more than once changes your perspective. I climbed this route 3 times in a 2 week period to introduce a few new climbers to a multi-pitch outing. The first time I thought it was maybe a 5.9 for most of the route, but the crux on the third pitch felt to me around 5.10+. I was GRIPPED when pulling up to the top of the 3rd pitch belay ledge on lead. Climbed it again a few days later and was digging the MP.com rating over the sport and adventure climbing guidebook, because a 5.10b it is not. Third time I went back I was so comfortable with it that I soloed it, because I know for a fact I wont ever be able to mark a climb rated 5.10b in a guidebook as a free solo ever again.

Super fun route, absolutely perfect bolt spacing when you want it, you get to do all the hard moves practically on top rope(some would call it overbolted, I just call it safely bolted, but we won't get into that here. So, to each their own). A great intro to multi pitch climbing, would do it again any day.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Nov 10, 2009

One rope is all you need for the raps.
By Pinklebear
Apr 10, 2010
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Fun climbing, great views, killer rock -- good stuff. Thanks, Vaino and Mark!
By Goat
From: Boulder
Jun 6, 2010

This uninteresting, over-bolted route is severely overrated: three stars? Exposure is very limited and and does not make a for a good introduction to multi-pitch climbing.
By CJ Coccia
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 22, 2010
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Just climbed today. I'd agree with many others in that pitches 1-3 involve pretty simple climbing with a hard move thrown in every once in a while. The crux on pitch 2 was a bit difficult and out of reach for me, and there is a real fun heel hook move on pitch 3. Slab climb on pitch 4 is fun. Overall, I'd say it is fun, gets you up there, yet it doesn't feel too exposed. The approach is a pain in the a**.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Dec 20, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Quite a fun route that would make a great intro to multi-pitch climbing for those looking to get into it. I thought the climbing was probably no harder than 5.8 and not very sustained at that. Fun for what it is...a relaxing, moderate, sport outing.

Also, a note about the bolts. It is my opinion that many of the closely spaced bolts reflect the ledgy nature of this route. My guess is that the route developers spaced some of the bolts closely to prevent busted ankles in the event of a fall. I know that I appreciate route equippers who do this on 5.12, so I don't see why 5.9 should be any different. Furthermore, I find it a little funny that folks would harp on the bolting job of Mr. Kodas. I actually think it reflects highly on him for his ability to put up routes of widely varying styles (bold versus well bolted). Both types of routes are equally valid IMHO. For those of you who are upset about over bolting, I would be happy to point you in the direction of any number of Mr. Kodas' routes in the Southern Sierra that will surely require a change of pants afterwards.
By Paul-B
Sep 19, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Climbed this route today...fun route, not sure about 5.9, maybe the 3rd pitch was 5.9, the rest was more 5.8ish.

On a separate note, it appears that someone took my rope bag from the base of the climb while I was out (I am hoping by mistake?). If you have it, please message me. It's possible I missed it, it was getting quite dark by the time we got back. If you find a dark green Metolious bag, let me know!
By PHotY
Oct 10, 2011
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Wow! First multi-pitch was a blast. Nothing to complain about on this route. It was overly safe with bolts and great rock. The route is straightforward and a great climb. Somewhere between a 5.9 and a 5.10a. Tons of fun. Rappel from top to 3rd pitch (basically left traverse following original route). Rappel from 3rd pitch straight down to two chain anchors (not used during route). Rappel to ground.

Be careful, we had a 60m rope and made the second rappel (from 3rd pitch to anchor's directly below) with no more than 2m's of rope to spare.
By Jake Carroll
From: The Springs
May 10, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

I thought this one was super fun. Crux pitch for me was definitely the awkward slot move at the top of P3. We did the two rappels to the climber's right. Definitely a good move as there were 2 parties behind us. If I were to do it again, I would combine pitches 1 and 2.
By Joshua Steenburgh
From: Longmont, Colorado
Aug 9, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Climbed this in a party of three and had a blast. Well bolted and fun all the way up. Crux is near the top of P3, in my opinion. Was able to make it to the ground in only one rap thanks to the two 60m's we brought up with us.
By Hiro
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 16, 2012

I've done this twice now, going up is nothing but fun. The P3 crack option to the right is great (harder of course)!

The rap though has been the crux both times though. I really need to discover the two rap option. If you rap the route itself, you have to go down diagonally - probably not that safe for those who have little experience rappelling.
By Addison
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 20, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

The pitch comes at you twice on P3. First crux I'd say goes 5.9+. Second could be a soft 10a.
By Peter J. Beyel
From: Glenwood Springs
Nov 4, 2012
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I felt the right variation on the third pitch was significantly harder than the left variation which felt much more like the 5.9/10a climbing of this route.

Also, the walkoff isn't as intuitive as you might think. We went straight back from the belay and then scrambled up to the top of the face. You then are able to see the burned out path through the field and then into the gully.

Bring approach shoes if you want to walk off. We lapped it twice and found it significantly easier to just rap the pitches.

Peter
By Thomas Owen Miller
Dec 5, 2012

Crux on pitch 2 did feel more like a 10a than a 9. I did it laying back to the left, which risks a bit of a swing if you fall on lead.

Overall a great climb.
By Kevin Pula
Nov 17, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

What is the bolted line above the second pitch on The Young and the Rackless? It is a long pitch, 12+ bolts, that goes left from just above the 2nd anchors. Starts about 40 feet left, not really walkable from the 2nd anchors, have to rap in from the 3rd anchors. Heads up some bulges then straight up the steep headwall that is perfectly flat about 20 yards west (uphill) of TYATR. Seemed like 12+ to me, couldn't find it on MP at all. Didn't get to the top, two bolts short but seemed like the nothing was above it, definitely nothing was bolted below it; we had to rap to a ledge and walk climber's left to the first anchors of TYATR. Anyone know?