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Routes in The Catslab

Crystal Cat S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Grizabella S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gumby Cat S 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Gus S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Jellicle Cats S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Lesser of Two Evils S 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
MacCavity S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Mr. Mistoffeles S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mungajerry S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Nasty Kat S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Old Deuteronomy S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Overflow Direct S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pussy , The S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Rum Tum Tugger S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rumple Teaser S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Skimbleshanks S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Summer Fling S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Thinning the Herd S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Unknown T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Getting There

The Catslab is about 11 miles up the canyon. Take a left at the intersection for Blackhawk and going to Idaho Springs (go towards Idaho Springs). Go through the first tunnel, over the river, then immediately park, if possible, on the south side of the road. Walk back across the bridge, and then proceed about 1/4 mile south along a solid if slightly airy trail, to the slabby, south-facing face.
Open according to a Jeff CO ranger Details
Seasonal Raptor Closures Details

L->R:

A? Lesser of Two Evils, 5, 1p, 35', bolts.
B? Overflow Direct, 10-, 1p, 40', bolts.
C? Thinning the Herd, 9, 1p, 40', bolts.
DE? Unknown, 6 or 8 PG-13, 1p, 70 or 140', gear & bolts or TR.
EThe Pussy , 11+, 1p, 85', bolts & pin.
F. Skimbleshanks, 8-, 1p, 130', bolts.
G. Summer Fling , 9+, 1p, 120', bolts.
H. Old Deuteronomy, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
I. Mungajerry, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
J. Rumple Teaser, 10-, 1p, 100', bolts.
K. Mr. Mistoffeles, 9, 1p, 110', bolts.
L. Gumby Cat, 4, 1p, 60', bolts.
M+. Jellicle Cats, 9, 1p, 140', bolts.
M. Crystal Cat, 9, 1p, 120', bolts.
O. MacCavity, 9, 1p, 120', bolts.
P. Grizabella, 7, 1p, 95', bolts.

Q. Gus, 10, 1p, 90', bolts.
R. Nasty Kat, 9, 1p, 50', bolts.

Above

A1. Above O. Top Cat, 14-, 1p, bolts.
A2. Above O. Kitty's Back, 13-, 1p, bolts.
B1. Above P. Catlong, 13, 1p, bolts.
B2. Above P. Rum Tum Tugger, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.

19 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Catslab

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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J F M A M J J A S O N D
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Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
blog.trango.com/kittys-back…

Interesting additions above the moderate slab climbing that the Catslab is known for. Thanks, Mark Anderson! Jun 28, 2017
You can legally climb at Catslab. Jun 22, 2017
Richard Heying
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Richard Heying   Albuquerque, New Mexico
Is there still no trespassing around this area? Jun 22, 2017
Isaacbg Gorrell
Golden, CO
Isaacbg Gorrell   Golden, CO
Found a Black Diamond pullover on Saturday. It's yours if you can tell me the color and size, PM me. If I don't get back right away, give it a week. Aug 21, 2016
Paul Deger
Colorado
Paul Deger   Colorado
To the left of Grizabella, a couple of bolts near bottom but no obvious line to continue - does anyone know is this a new abandoned route? May 22, 2016
I left a green Southern Tier sweatshirt at the base of Mungajerry on The Catslab. Email me at husby.david@gmail.com, provide your PayPal info, and I will pay you for shipping to my home and a reward. Thank you! May 14, 2016
T. Brumme
denver, co
T. Brumme   denver, co
Had a friend lose his wedding band at Catslab on Tuesday, March 8th. Normal looking gold and silver wedding band with a date inscribed on the inside. Please message me if you find it! Mar 11, 2016
(3/6/2016) Found a set of car/house keys near The Catslab. The keychain is a bit rusty, so they may have been here for a while, but in any case, please email me at jrmcclurg@gmail.com with a description, and I can get them back to you. Mar 7, 2016
Dale Haas and I tightened all the anchor bolts on the eight anchors we replaced in June 2013. A couple bolts were loose, one on Skimbleshanks and one on Old Deuteronomy. The rest were fine. Sep 21, 2015
Solsen  
Found what looks like a small wedding band at the crag on Tuesday the 26th. If you can tell me what it says on the inside inscription, it's yours! May 28, 2015
Julian Harig
Denver, Colorado
Julian Harig   Denver, Colorado
2/14/15, This evening I found a pair of rock climbing shoes that were left behind by someone. If you are the rightful owner of them, give me a call 720-376-1208. Feb 15, 2015
As of 7/19/13, all bolts and anchor rings/chains have been recently replaced. Jul 20, 2013
Dale Haas and I finally got around to replacing the anchors on top of Skimbleshanks, Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, Gumby Cat, Jellicle Cats, and Grizabella with 1/2" stainless steel(SS) Powers 5-piece bolts and SS Petzl hangers. We added 3/8" SS quick links and SS rappel rings to all the anchors. We also added 3/8" SS quick links and SS rappel rings to the anchor on MacCavity which was recently replaced.

This work was sponsored by the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org). They appreciate your support. Jun 7, 2013
In early October, Dale Haas and I replaced the worn anchor hardware (chain, chain links or quicklinks) with new hardware on Skimbleshanks, Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, and Grizabella. Thanks to the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org) for the hardware. They appreciate your support. Nov 17, 2012
Ken McVicker
Aurora, CO
Ken McVicker   Aurora, CO
Glad it was purchased and re-opened. They put up a guard rail where we used to park, so you have to park a few yards further down the road now. Routes are in good shape and ice and water free. Mar 15, 2012
Bill Olszewski
Colorado Springs, CO
Bill Olszewski   Colorado Springs, CO
As far as I can tell, Catslab is open. There were no signs or gates, and we climbed there today. Great crag, awesome routes!

Brandon, the route above Grizabella is Ram Tum Tugger, 5.11c. Sep 8, 2011
Brandon Ware
Littleton, CO
Brandon Ware   Littleton, CO
I climbed here today, my buddy and I went up the 5.6 "Grizabella" but then decided to do what seemed to be the second pitch above it that goes out on the roof and up. Does anyone know what this route may be called or rated? I found it to be pretty solid, still some loose rock but fun route. Jun 9, 2011
Derek, et all,

I have been representing the climbing community over the past year at the Clear Creek County Open Space reviews regarding the master plan for the area. This plan includes the long term vision of the green belt trail that will come all the way up the canyon linking Golden to Loveland Pass. Therefore, there are many user groups interested in the area, climbers, bikers, hikers, fishermen, rafters, etc. Climbers are a simple user group, we seek access and basic parking. Also, we are currently the largest user of that area of the canyon. The stakeholders and especially the Clear Creek County Open Space members have been very supportive to ensure climbers are incorporated in this master plan. We are in the final stages of the master plan concept and expect to present this to Clear Creek this summer for financial budgeting. After this point, we will have more information as to when it may officially open.

Clear Creek County Open Space Committee continues to be very supportive of climbers and their access, this is excellent and very much appreciated. Please remember to support the businesses in Idaho Springs (Clear Creek County) after climbing (can anyone say Tommy Knockers?). At the same time, please remember it is a privilege we have access to much of our climbing and respect the land, each other, and other users and we will continue build this access.

Thanks,

Steve Apr 29, 2011
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
The Oxbow Parcel on which Cat Slab sits is still in the planning stages from what I can tell. I found this link to a public meeting announcement for the site plan.
co.clear-creek.co.us/Genera…
There are still two meetings to go if anybody is interested.... Apr 6, 2011
Keith H. North
Englewood, CO
Keith H. North   Englewood, CO
Needstolearn,

I have been checking this page, Catslab has been set to open "soon" for well over a year now, that post at the top has been up for a very long time.... Apr 6, 2011
Still not open yet, but word is it will be soon. Look at this page a little closer. Damn, y'all. Mar 27, 2011
Keith H. North
Englewood, CO
Keith H. North   Englewood, CO
Hey, is Catslab officially open yet? Mar 26, 2011
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
I attempted to lead trad and self-belayed the corner to the roof between Skimbleshanks and Old Deuteronomy. There was no gear to the base of the corner (big cams might work). Good gear can be arranged at the base of the corner out right and a few feet higher in the corner. Another few feet higher I got a small RP sideways on the left wall. My feet were a few feet above this when I bailed, with hands a couple of feet below the ceiling on the right wall. The climbing was easy, maybe 5.8?, palming and stemming, but I didn't want to go further with no clear gear in sight. Downclimbing the stemming was exciting. There was no belayer to take in slack as I downclimbed. I was able to bail from the base of the corner by rappelling use my partners' rope on Deuteronomy. Lacking that, I would have clipped a bolt on Deuteronomy and used that to get down safely.

This could be TR'd from Skimbleshanks, and most likely has been, since it's such an obvious line. Mar 14, 2011
17 billion, holy cow; that's....

Wow, that's a lot of routes. Jul 10, 2010
Tony T.
Denver, CO
Tony T.   Denver, CO
Can anyone tell me with certainty whether it's officially open or not? Jul 10, 2010
Top Rope Hero
Was Estes Park, now homeless
Top Rope Hero   Was Estes Park, now homeless
For what it's worth:

Officially open or not, there were about seventeen billion people climbing there last Sunday, 4/4/10.... Apr 5, 2010
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
It's not officially open yet. Read here (Pete Helseth's comment)
mountainproject.com/v/color…
Until Clear Creek County Open Space gives the OK, it would probably be best to not climb here. Mar 4, 2010
D@n Morta
Boulder, CO
D@n Morta   Boulder, CO
It's open. Hasn't been officially announced until parking is sorted out. See Access Fund article:
accessfund.org/site/apps/nl… Mar 4, 2010
RMT
RMT  
Everyone. Catslab is officially closed! It doesn't matter whether there is a sign or not. It is private property. There is an effort underway to get it re-opened so don't screw it up by getting the landowner pissed off at climbers. Patience. Apr 28, 2009
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A 70 METER ROPE ON GRIZABELLA. I brought a 60m and the route is 107ft. Ended up taking about a 20 footer to the deck on the way down. Broken bones and lost conciousness are no fun!!!!! Jan 18, 2009
Tim Kline
Littleton, co
Tim Kline   Littleton, co
I went to CatSlab on Saturday and it appears to be open. If we are trespassing, nobody cares... there were a lot of climbers there, probably 5 groups of 2 or more. We seen no signs regarding no trespassing. I guess I would recommend using extreme caution at Cat Slab if you're willing to take the risk of getting busted for trespassing, however small the risk appears to be. Oct 20, 2008
RMT
RMT  
Catslab is on private property and is definitely closed. You are trespassing if you climb there, regardless of signage. Landowners do change their minds, but generally don't if they're pissed. Aug 25, 2008
My climbing group figures this slab is open, though the path on the opposite side of the creek is closed. Catslab side has a For Sale sign on the wire fence, but there is no indication that you cannot climb at the slab. Anybody want to buy it though?

That said, a great place to take beginner climbers. Four routes under 5.10 makes for a nice day for the inexperienced. Make sure you do take someone who can lead belay though cause there is no approach to the top. Check your rope lengths as well, not all the climbs can be lowered back to the bottom. There's also a 5.4 that's great to teach leading classes. Bring lots of water though as it's mainly in the sun all day. Jul 22, 2008
Dean Cool
Boulder, CO
Dean Cool   Boulder, CO
I climbed there today and there were no "No Trespassing" signs or hillbillies with guns. May 23, 2008
JK1
Lakewood, CO
JK1   Lakewood, CO
I was wondering the status of the slab. I saw some climbers on it last weekend but am unsure of what the staus is. May 2, 2008
Chris I
Fort Collins, CO
Chris I   Fort Collins, CO
I climbed at the Cat Slab today and didn't see any NO TRESPASSING signs on the access trail, BUT about midday a couple of guys on the opposite side of the river showed up, pointed pistols at us and started firing in our direction. I'm sure this was a move to intimidate us and get us to leave, and it certainly was unnerving. Nobody was hurt, including my vehicle, but this place is clearly a little sketchy in the access rights department and the hillbillies with guns department. Otherwise fun climbing, slabby and overgraded but fun. But maybe not worth getting shot at for. Nov 4, 2007
lowebacker
Denver, CO
lowebacker   Denver, CO
As of 4/29/07 climbing is still off limits at the Slabs. Drove by today and the No climbing/keep out signs were posted. Apr 29, 2007
Smolakian
Golden, CO
Smolakian   Golden, CO
I saw someone climbing at Catslab as I drove by on Sunday. It looks like the yellow tape and the no climbing sign have disappeared. There is, however, a new chain link fence up on the west side of the creek. Mar 6, 2007
kirkadirka
Boulder
kirkadirka   Boulder
The thing that makes me sick about this situation is the fact that we all pay the expensive premiums for health care and when something does actually happen, insurance companies still don't want to foot the bill. This would be a totally different situation if someone were actually responsible for the injury. But you can't blame the landowner for owning land that contains rock that has been around before man walked the earth. This is clearly an accident. Insurance companies are degrading the quality of life for others.

I may be preaching to the choir, but we should all realize the implications of this type of litigation. Many of the climbing areas in the Front Range are on private property. I don't want to see this happen again. Hopefully the access fund can find a way to re-open this area. Aug 27, 2006
This was a note I received in reply to my request for more info from the regional Access Fund rep:

It is indeed our understanding that Cat Slab, a privately owned crag, is currently closed to public access. The CMC and the Access Fund are jointly working to see what might be able to be done regarding this unfortunate closure. Sometime in the next next month or two we hope to have a better idea what the long term picture for restoring public access will look like. In the mean time we encourage climbers to respect the wishes of the landowner by obeying the No Trespassing signs that are currently posted.

Please don't hesitate to contact me should have further questions.

best regards,
Rick Thompson
Front Range Regional Coordinator
The Access Fund Jun 27, 2006
jds
jds  
Met up with climbing partners today at the parking area for Cat Slabs.
Unfortunately, big sign blocking the approach path says no climbing and no trespassing. Bummer this was such a nice place to climb.

Isn't there anything to be done? Jun 18, 2006
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
Good point, Tony. I am rather naive on the subject of lawsuits, insurance, legal stuff, etc... but the principle of the matter is still annoying.

Besides, I really don't climb there that much, except for the research I did for the book, but I see a lot of climbers frequent that area due to its "convenient" bolting, and moderate grades.

I just want to get the real story and be clear of the truth for documentation sake. May 25, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Please don't assume that the 'person' sued the landowner. That is actually not so likely. What is likely is that the person's insurance company sued that landowner. As I understand it, since they pay the bills, they are the 'injured party' and have a 'legal right' to pursue recovery. They have lawyers and accountants sitting around on payroll, so they use them to do things like this. Keep that in mind when ever you get hurt. I have been injured a few times, mostly minor. At the hospital you fill out all those darn forms, and then on top of it, your insurance still won't pay until they have a lot of details like: Was it in a auto accident? Was it at work? (Rough translation of all of these: "Can we make someone else pay?")

I wonder if our insurance companies would find it odd that the only place we seem to hurt ourselves is in our own houses? You know, twist your ankle on your porch step, dislocate a finger doing yardwork, etc...

Perhaps we should be asking the Access Fund for some intervention? May 25, 2006
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
Talked with the son of the landowner a few days ago, while he was putting up the no trespassing sign. Catslab is indeed closed. Apparently there was a climbing accident at Catslab sometime ago. The victim sued the landowner. The hiker accident near tunnel 1 has nothing to do with it. Neither does the dog poop or trash.

Therefore, he was fed up with liability issues. Done and done.
It was always a privilege for the many climbers to be there day in and day out.

Another example of one person's stupidity (greed?) ruining it for everybody else. Hope he/she (or parents of!?) is proud of themselves and their lawsuit. Now, how the hell is the landowner responsible for some climber hurting themselves? Heaven forbid they take responsibility for their own actions.

I wouldn't be surprised if all the bolts get removed to make it a permanent closure.

I will still include Catslab in the new book for completeness/historical sake, but I will be very clear on this new closure status. I am sure there is probably more to the story.

Pretty unfortunate. Lets just hope JeffCo OS doesn't follow suit.... May 24, 2006
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
The hiker incident was nowhere near Cat Slab. It was about 1 mile west of tunnel 1.
I would say this is just the landowner finally putting their foot down.... May 24, 2006
Keith Roussil
Louisville, CO
Keith Roussil   Louisville, CO
I was there yesterday and there were no trespassing signs and a "NO CLIMBING" sign blocking the approach trail. I posted on rc.com to see if anyone knows what is going on. Link here:

rockclimbing.com/topic/113407

Apparently there was a hiker accident there last week. Don't know if that is related. May 24, 2006
We tried to climb at Cat Slab on Saturday, May 13. We were greeted by the land owner's son that CAT SLAB IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED!! It is on private property, the land owner is disgusted by the trash and the dog poop that is left by climbers and they do not want to be liable for accidents that happen at this crag. There are NO TRESPASSING signs posted. Not sure there is much we can do at this point?!? May 14, 2006
Nathan Torres
Golden, CO
Nathan Torres   Golden, CO
Climbed at Cat's Slab yesterday (Sunday, April 23, 2006) and saw no signs of any type that would indicate the area being closed.
Apr 24, 2006
Mike Epke
Denver, CO
Mike Epke   Denver, CO
Great place for sport leading and trying to push leading limits as all routes are very well bolted for protection. Oct 21, 2004
TBlom  
We climbed here [Aug. 22], saw one other party. We didn't see any signage that the climbing was closed, just a no trespassing sign on the other side of the river. Fun slabs with lots of bolts. Aug 29, 2004
Stich Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Stich Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
It's official CAT SLAB IS CLOSED at the request of the landowner. They are building a house on the property. Pass the word along. Jun 14, 2004
In mid-June Rob Copolillo, Dale Haas and I added 5/16" quick links and 3/8" chain links to the anchors on Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, Jellicle Cats, Gumby Cat and MacCavity.The existing 3/8" cold shut anchors were showing signs of wear most likely due to the unfavorable practice of lowering and belaying directly through the anchors.

This work is part of the American Safe Climbing Organization's (ASCA - safeclimbing.org) Clean Anchor Campaign. They would appreciate your support! Jun 27, 2003
I took a beginner here on an October Sunday, and at one point there were 24 people and 2 dogs at the crag! The stone is very good, but I would not recommend going here on a weekend due to the popularity of the place - it is a zoo.

Nice place for beginners - in spite of the crowding, all parties seemed to be having lots of fun - good job by Richard Wright and ABS! Oct 21, 2002
Every route I climbed in this area was over graded by a full number. I climbed everything but #1 and #3. May 28, 2002
Remember, this is private property. Although no-one sould be shooting close to the road, there are certainly safe places to shoot on this land. I often hear shooting, but have never experienced problems at this crag. May 16, 2002
TBD
TBD  
Very fun climbs, worth the visit. I have been there twice and did not experience any problems. ...but I did hear someone target shooting, a little unnerving. May 14, 2002
Nathan  
That's the right spot and yes, people do shoot at your car. It seems climbers are unwanted here. The sign has since been removed and is open to climbing, but I'm not so sure you even want to risk climbing there. BE CAREFUL. Oct 31, 2001
I tried to go climbing here a couple of months ago, and was greeted by signs saying that climbers (that means YOU) are not allowed there anymore. Was I in the right spot? What's the deal? Thanks. Oct 13, 2001
Quinn Stevens
Denver, CO
Quinn Stevens   Denver, CO
This comment is in response to Richard Wright's comment on Skimbleshanks in the Catslab. I thought it might be appropriate to place this nature of a comment on the area pages. I confer with RW. Be carefull when climbing at the Catslab, Dog House, Primo Wall, and especially the Armory. Some people seem to enjoy shooting their guns in this area. Last summer two of my friend's tires were shot out with a 22 pistol while parked across from the Primo Wall. This 'attack' was unprovoked and was reported to the police. Be carefull, and perhaps us climbers should consider getting law enforcement to actually do something about this situation. Jul 27, 2001
Mike Y. - When I showed up there this afternoon, a sign said "no tresspassing, No Rock Climbing..." 04/02/01. Jan 1, 2001
As of 4/5/01, there was No Trespassing and No Rock climbing - This means YOU! Hopes for some moderate climbing in Clear Creek shattered. Jan 1, 2001

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