Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Closures Details

Description

Overhang Rock does not look like much from the East, but when looking back from the West, it appears to loom over Bear Canyon like a guardian demanding its due. This gorgeous, huge fin holds only a fraction of the routes it could. In the mid-'80s, when Boulder was deciding whether to advance into the future of climbing or succumb to the righteous protectionism of the Boulder City Council, a handful of climber/athletes started developing the West faces of many of the Flatiron crags. Close on the heels of Dale Goddard's Five Year Plan, Overhang Rock saw two new additions to its then sparse development. Nothing has been added to my knowledge since 1988 leaving numerous difficult possibilities untapped. However, in the mid 2010s, development continued, and now several long 12+/13- sport routes have been installed on the face.

Climbing on the Overhang Rock generally fires vectorially up its yellow West face, with some of the routes running through the obvious roof system above. Numbering here begins on the left arete (North edge) with #1 being the Layton Kor classic, Rogue's Arete. Climbing difficulty spans the gamut with several moderate trad routes and a more difficult lines from 5.10 to 5.13.

L->R (per Gold Plated Rocket Pony):

A. Rogue's Arete, 10- R, 2p, gear.
B. Thulsa Doom, 12+, 1p, 115', bolts +/- gear.
C. Snake Watching, 13-, 1p, 150', bolts.
D. Ouroboros, 12+, 1p, 140', bolts.
E. Honey Badger, 13-, 1p, 140', bolts.
F. Tits Out For The Lads, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. The Big Picture, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. Missing Link, 12, 1p, 50', bolts.
I. Short Attention Span, 11+, 1p, bolts.
J. Junior Achievement, 8, 2p, gear.
K. West Side (Story), 6, 2p, 240', gear.
L. North Ridge, South Spire, 5, 1p, 40', gear.
M. South Ridge of South Pinnacle, 7, 1p, gear.
N. East Face, 6, 2p, gear.

Getting There

Take the trail From NCAR down to the service road. Head South, and after the road winds up-hill a ways the trail to Bear Canyon will branch off into the canyon. This is near the power lines that are protected by a wire fence. After several a hundred yards or so and across the canyon from Stonehenge, follow an indistinct "trail" up to the talus field below Overhang Rock. Expect 3rd class terrain.

14 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Overhang Rock

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Photos

George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Summit baggers note: it is just possible to rap from the top all the way to the ground with a 60m rope. The rap goes eastward from a long sling just south of the summit. If you don't have a 60m rope, you will need to do a second rap from a pine tree that you will rap through. May 23, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Weird thing, we rapped this with a 60m cord. It didn't touch down. Got close but had to downclimb. Maybe I got gipped on my 60m cord. Also, the rap now sports 2 slings. Also, the bolt on Chorus Line, 5.9, is a manky 1/4 inch Star-Dryven (edit, thanks for replacing it). Yee uck! May 24, 2004
I replaced the anchor on top of this rock with two 3/8" x 3.5" Stainless Steel Rawl 5-piece bolts and added quick links and chains for rappel. Note, that you can hit the ground with a 70m rope but a 60m or less will require some downclimbing. There is a second rappel anchor, slings around a tree, on the east side of the ridge crest. If you are going to use this second anchor, make sure you angle a bit to the south when rappelling from the top.

The old anchor consisted of two, old, 15-foot long slings around a block tied into two, old fixed pins (see photo above) buried under a layer of dirt on the south side of the slung block.

The hardware for this work was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org). They appreciate your support. Also, thanks to Tony Bubb for leading Rogue's Arete to get us on top. Oct 9, 2005
Aimee Rose
Bend, or
Aimee Rose   Bend, or
About how long is the approach to this area? (time or distance would be great. Thx) Apr 28, 2011
Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
Expect a burly 45 minute hike with bad trails at the end. Apr 28, 2011
Ted Lanzano
Boulder, CO
Ted Lanzano   Boulder, CO
All of the routes on Overhang Rock’s west face have been upgraded with half-inch, stainless steel hardware, and the old bolts and anchors have been removed and holes patched. The list of upgraded routes includes Snake Watching, Tits Out for the Lads, The Big Picture, Missing Link, Short Attention Span, and a Chorus Line.

A special thanks to the volunteers for your awesome work - Matt Samet, Terry Murphy, Chris Weidner, Brian Lichtenheld, Dan Levison, Greg Bilinski, and Ted lanzano. Also, thanks to the Flatirons Climbing Council and OSMP for making this possible.

The new bolts and anchors were generously provided by the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) and the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). May 22, 2011
kevin murphy
Longtuckity, CO
kevin murphy   Longtuckity, CO
AWESOME, great work. Very unselfish of you guys. May 23, 2011
Five applications have been submitted to the Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) of the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) for the September 2011 voting cycle:

•Two applications for new climbs, a 5.11 on the Slab and a 5.10 on Dinosaur Rock
•Two applications to add new, lower first bolts to the existing climbs Touch Monkey, a 5.11b on Der Zerkle, Dinosaur Mountain and to Short Attention Span, a 5.11d on Overhang Rock, Bear Canyon.
•One application to add an anchor to the existing climb Big Bob Cranks on Dinosaur Rock.

To view and comment on these four applications, please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

The vote and public meeting for this cycle will be held Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Anyone interested in voting on and discussing these applications is encouraged to attend! Nov 7, 2011
A second application has been submitted for the Autumn 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee, this one for the west face of Overhang Rock. Please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo… to view the application in full, as well as comment on it.

The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Nov 23, 2012
The best way to approach the West Face of Overhang is to walk up the Bear Canyon trail until you come to the huge boulder on the left side of the trail (the Shelf Block). Just before the boulder there is a climber's trail leading up and left into the woods. Follow the trail up past a few boulders, contouring and following a few cairns until you reach the big flat rock directly under the power line. From there, head straight up the talus (walking parallel to the cliff) for about 15 yards until you can break left through the woods onto the main talus field below the West Face. Wander across the talus to the base.
May 20, 2013
Found a dog leash in the boulder field beneath these climbs. Looks like quite a nice (expensive) one. Contact me if you'd like it back. May 4, 2014
An application for bolting a new route on Overhang Rock has been received by the FCC for the May 1 cycle. Details of the proposed route can be found here on the FCC site: flatironsclimbing.org/current-....

Please feel free to post any comments you have on the application. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on June 2, 2016 at 6:30, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there. May 15, 2016
Trevor V.
Santa Barbara, Ca
Trevor V.   Santa Barbara, Ca
When is the wall in the sun? Looking for some warmer spots for this week? Nov 22, 2016