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Routes in Creek Side

100 Proof S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Are There Bolts Up There? T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Big Bro's Watchin' (Luebben Memorial Route) T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Black Gold S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Brennivin T,S 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Clown Loach (temporary name) T,S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crackside T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Crackside Direct (var.) T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Creek Dance S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Creek Nation S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Creekafixion S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Fish Bowl S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Fish and Chips S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Fool's Gold S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Furlough Day S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Golden Hammer, The S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Guppy S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Labor Day S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Left of Corner S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Little Sister S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Macho Borracho S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Oyster Bar, The S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
PTO S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Playin' Hooky S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Project S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Psychotic Love T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Rhett Wench S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rumpleminze aka Drillin' the Bush S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Shenanigans S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Solid Gold T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Spun Gold S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Under the Influence S 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Unknown Big Black Flake T,S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Winterfest S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Creek Side may or may not be a good name for this wall. Nothing has been published that I have found and no name has been ascribed to the crag. Now, this seems odd inasmuch as Creek Side is largest expanse of continuous stone in Clear Creek - bigger than the Mission Wall by at least 100 feet and more continuous than The Little Eiger. The crag towers over 400 feet above the stream, faces depressingly due East, and sees virtually no climbing. It is dark, cold, and windy most of the day except for a spell in the morning when it gets full sun. To make matters worse, the crag appears to be composed of fractured, friable, appalling stone. However, in the '60s, Layton Kor and colleagues punched up a mixed route that exited a large open-book dihedral at the 200 foot mark. This line has been repeated occasionally since then, and at least one fatality has been reported from the '70s. So, Creek Side is not without some history. Furthermore, at least two old lines have been climbed on the crag's West flank. One runs 50 or 60 feet to a pine tree/rap station. Another wanders the entire length of the west wall, but good luck trying to replicate the line - it has no obvious distinguishing characteristic. In 2002, a five pitch line was installed that punches up on the left side of the East-facing, open-book dihedral. The name of the game here is exposure, with a capital E. More importantly, the large confusion of irregularities has, in fact, turned up some terrific, bullet-proof stone. It appears that the time has come to see what this big puppy holds.

Getting There

Park as for the Catslab/Dog Wall just West of tunnel five. Hop over the guardrail as though heading for the Dog Wall but follow the creek West for 250 yards. This will access the East side of the crag only.

To access the west side, you climb a tree with a rope hanging down. You can clip into loops to sort of back you up. 25 feet up, you cross a tyrolean to the Guppy pod.

Note, if you wade the river, you must lead up to the belay pod to start. Plus, there isn't really a great place to switch shoes below the Guppy pod.


Binge-Side is the far left side containing:

A. Are There Bolts Up There?, 10- R, 3p, 400', gear.
B. Winterfest, 9+, 1p, 55', bolts.
C. Rumpleminze aka Drillin' the Bush, 10+, 1p, 55', bolts.
D. 100 Proof, 12-, 1p, 65', bolts.
above C. Macho Borracho, 12, 1p, 140', bolts.
E. Breninivin, 12+, 2p, 150', gear & bolts.
...E1. Variation a, P1, 10, bolts.
...E2. Variation b, P1, 9+/10- bolts.

Creek-Side which is accessed by the high tyrol contains:

F. Shenanigans, 6-7, 1p, 95', bolts.
G. Rhett Wench, 11+, 2p, gear & bolts.
H. Fish & Chips, 9+, 1p, 115', bolts.
I. Guppy, 8+, 1p, 120', bolts.
J. Clown Loach (temporary name)?, 8 or 9, 1p, 120', gear & bolts.
KI. Crackside Direct, 9+, 1p, 120', gear & bolts.
L. Crackside, 9+, 1p, 115', gear & bolts.
M. Fish Bowl, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.

Bro-Side is the intimidating middle section containing:

N. Fool's Gold, 12+, 5p, bolts.
O. Labor Day, 10+, 2p, 120', bolts.
P. Psychotic Love, 10 R, 3p, 450', gear.
Q. Big Bro's Watchin' (Luebben Memorial Route), 11, 5p, 420', bolts & gear.
R. Left of Corner, 9, 1p, 90', bolts.
S. Unknown Big Black Flake, 10+, 1p, 90', bolts & gear.
T. Unknown, 90', 1p, bolts.
U. Little Sister, 10, 1p, 90', bolts.

Gold-Side is the area containing:

V. Black Gold, 7+, 5p, 400', bolts & gear?
W. Furlough Day, 9, 2-3p, TR now retrobolts.
X1. Solid Gold, 11+, 5p, 450', bolts & gear.
X2. First Spun Gold, 12-, 2p var, 450', bolts.
X3. The Golden Hammer, 12-, 4p, 450', bolts.
X4. Creekafixion, 11 PG-13, 2p, 135', bolts.
X5. 1972 Kor/Bracksieck Crack to Dihedral, 8, 4p, 400', gear.
X6. Playin' Hooky, 8-, 2p, 200', bolts.
Y. PTO, 8+, 1p, 80-100', now bolts.
Z. The Oyster Bar, 9-, 1p, 80', bolts.
AA. Creek Nation, 8, 1p, 75', bolts.
BB. Project, 9+, 1p, 90', project.
CC. Creek Dance, 9-, 2p, 200', bolts.
DD. Under the Influence, 13+, 1p, 65', bolts.


Stoked Bowl

A. Get Stoked, 10, 75', 1p, bolts.
B. Don't Hate, 12+, 80', 1p, bolts.
C. Unknown Roof, 13?, 1p, bolts.
D. Try These Nachos, 9+, 1p, 60', bolts.
E. Clouds In My Coffee, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
F. Hateraid, 11-, 1p, 25', bolts.
G. Haters Gunna Hate, 11-, 1p, bolts.

Traverse Rope Hazard

Per Matthew Vernon: in 12/17, the traverse rope from the Guppy pod left towards Brennevin, etc. has a section cut.

34 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Creek Side

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Black Gold
Sport 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Playin' Hooky
Sport 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Furlough Day
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Fish and Chips
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Big Bro's Watchin' (Luebben Memorial…
Trad 6 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rhett Wench
Sport 2 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Solid Gold
Trad, Sport 5 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
100 Proof
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
The Golden Hammer
Sport 4 pitches
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Macho Borracho
Sport 2 pitches
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Under the Influence
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Black Gold
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Playin' Hooky
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
Furlough Day
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Fish and Chips
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
Big Bro's Watchin' (Luebben…
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 6 pitches
Rhett Wench
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 2 pitches
Solid Gold
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Sport 5 pitches
100 Proof
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Golden Hammer
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport 4 pitches
Macho Borracho
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport 2 pitches
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Under the Influence
5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Creek Side »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
We did the 5 pitch route described here on July 28 but dogged the last two pitches. What's the story? Aug 1, 2002
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ

Four or five new routes at the lower Creekside wall right off of the water East (climbers right) of the Brennivin Roof.

Routes (starting from right to left):

  • Crackside* -- 5.9+ (one move wonder), mixed gear/3 bolts, SR to #3Camalot, 85', original route traverses right (crux) after arching crack ends, to pick up another hand crack, ends on ledge with two bolt rap anchor.
  • Crackside Direct (var.)* -- 10a mixed/4 bolts, SR to #1Camalot, 115', climb above where crack ends, and beeline to the finger crack above and traversing bolts to shared rappel anchors of Guppy.
  • Guppy* -- 5.8, 13 bolts, 115'.
  • Fish and Chips* -- 5.9+, 14 bolts, 115'.
  • Rhett Wench* -- P1. 5.6 5 bolts, 70' P2. 5.11c/d 12 bolts 80-90' Climbs the left black slab, grey shield capped by two massive roofs.

APPROACH Beta: Dirt pull-off before guard rail at east side of tunnel 6, CDOT doesn't like you parking on the road next to the guard rail. These routes on this section of wall is accessed only by a tyrolean traverse! Tyrol starts 25 feet up from a cottonwood (the warm up route! -- 5th class, jugs the whole way) directly to a pod belay at small pine (AKA "Booty Snatcher Belay") at start of Fish and Chips (left) and Guppy (right). Consider bringing some jumars or tiblok. Three bolt traverse (5.2) right to the belay of Crackside routes. OR Fixed (!!!) handline 15' left to the belay of Rhett Wench. All belays are bolted.

DESCENT Beta: YOU WILL NEED A 70M ROPE OR TWO ROPES to safely rap Guppy or Fish and Chips. If you are careful, when you pull the rope, it shouldn't fall into the drink. You will eventually have to end up back to the pod belay where you will be able to tyrol back.

OTHER NOTES: traffic noise!! consider radios. 70meter rope or two ropes for rappels/jumar makes life easier on the tyrol (better yet, a petzl traxion..) helmet, camera -- very cool location/perspective!

I have some hand drawn topos if you really want/need them. Give me a call and I will be happy to share them.

Let the Circus begin!

-Darren Mabe Mar 29, 2005
Any thought to firing lines all the way up this amazing rock face? Aug 28, 2007
Phill T  
Love this little area, great spot for a half day of climbing. That in mind, I was wondering when the last time the tyrol was replaced? The rope looks to be in great condition, but the tree has grown around the rope in some spots, not sure what this does to the integrity of the rope, and it isn't exactly easy to check! Seemed solid when I ran across it this past weekend, but it crossed my mind on the way back. The line snapping mid traverse would be pretty devastating.... Sep 28, 2009
Harald Harb
Harald Harb   Dumont
It always amazes me that some climbers are so conscientious about taking care of the crags. As a climber, I know I don't do enough to help or financially support the efforts of people like Mark Tarrant, Darren Mabe and Richard Wright. I know there are others who contribute to Clear Creek, as well. I have not named everyone who deserves our support in many ways. Is it time to form a fund or committee to support Clear Creek crags and route developers?

Just a thought and maybe an idea, a few bucks each, would go a long way, we are so lucky our sport has so much free access, but we often forget about those that developed the routes. Nov 2, 2011
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
Very thoughtful, Harald, thanks, but it was more special not having financial support from other than a well-paying job at the time. I have had incredible experiences and learned a lot in that Canyon. I think it's awesome to see many others continue to contribute.

Perhaps start a local Wishlist in one of the forums. Many of the active stewards frequent this site.

I think the biggest improvement could be made in the approach trails. Especially to the lesser visited crags! But that is "officially" Jeffco and Clear Creek County realm.... Nov 15, 2011
Good words! Nov 19, 2011
Hello all - within the last week a blue 60L dry bag walked away from the bowl behind (East) of the Gold Wall. I had stashed it over the week, as it contained ropes and equipment for the highlines in that area. I'm staying optimistic that this is someone's mis-applied good intentions. If you've got any info on this, please contact me at Thank you! Oct 14, 2012
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
There is a downed tree that bridges the creek at the west end of Creek Side...just in case you want to try to avoid the wading during low water this winter. Dec 5, 2012
Peter J. Beyel
Glenwood Springs
Peter J. Beyel   Glenwood Springs
There is a new route immediately to the left of where Playin' Hooky begins. 5 or 6 bolts to shiny new chains. Anyone know what it is? Jul 14, 2013
Wherever we park!
AOSR   Wherever we park!
There was an older, unfinished route to the left for sometime that needed a few bolts. Probably that one and probably a much quicker way up to the 12s if you want to bypass the Playin' Hooky line. When I inquired before its finish, it was supposed to clock in around 5.10. Jul 22, 2013
The old yellow(?) and black and white ropes on the tyrol have been there long enough the tree is starting to grow out around them. Probably time to give them the knife (or at least retension) before they hurt the tree which is so good to us. Jul 31, 2013
Chris Moore
Loveland, CO
Chris Moore   Loveland, CO
The ropes definitely need retentioning/replacement. I'd be happy to donate a new static line if anyone wants to message me to help out with the project. It doesn't look like it will be easy to me. I love these climbs, but man is getting to them difficult. There is a LOT of sag in the current lines. I'm going to need a progress capture like a prussik or ascender to do this again, and I'm not that physically weak. Oct 13, 2013
Has anybody been up here lately? Curious about the sketch level on the tyrol setup.... Nov 6, 2014
I was up there recently, Tyrolean is in good shape, one line more slack than the other, the tree climb is sketchy with a manky rope hanging halfway down. So I am putting in a fresh static line with loops tomorrow that can be reached from the ground. I also found two draws left behind, one on the tree and one on the ground, describe them and they are yours. Jun 28, 2015
I put in a new rope to protect the tree climb/for hauling up gear, it is longer and has good loops to clip in as you go up. Moved the old line over to the belay pod to allow more people in the pod, plus it is longer so allows for better mobility. Thanks to Darren and any others who developed this awesome area. Jun 28, 2015
As of today, there's a new and still-unnamed single pitch route to the right of Solid Gold's first pitch. During the standard SG/Playin' Hooky weekend clusterfuck, we saw the developers bolt it, fascinating process and clearly a lot of skill on their part. They said the figure it'll be 5.9ish. We watched them send it and then departed as rain and thunder were rolling in. The route looks interesting, so hopefully we'll get to go back and try it soon. Sep 3, 2016
A few weeks ago, Dale Haas and I added a 3-step, green, rope etrier to both sides of the Tyrolean to help getting on and off the lines. Oct 25, 2016
This area has many nice new routes. Any thoughts of dividing up the sections Solid Gold Wall, Guppy Wall, Brennivin Wall...or something like it? Jun 24, 2017
The traverse rope from the Guppy pod left towards Brennevin, etc. has a section cut. The whole rope is getting worn, but there are one or two spots that it rubs on the rocks and is starting to look risky. Dec 17, 2017
San Antonio, TX
mc813   San Antonio, TX
Just a heads up, saw a rattler crossing the trail on 05/30. We gave it a wide berth, and eventually it coiled up under a rock nearby.

Unrelated note, but does anyone have beta on the walkoff? A buddy and I tried it but didn't get very far before the trail seemingly disappeared. Jun 3, 2018
Elizabeth Riley
Denver, CO
Elizabeth Riley   Denver, CO
As Matthew Vernon says below, the traverse rope is looking worn, but one of the 2 for the Tyrolean I believe is looking worn out too, at the rock side. I don’t think I imagined it, but one of them looks really time somebody goes out there would be good to check it. Jul 29, 2018
The tyrolean into the Guppy pod is in need of updating. The static line is pretty worn, and the two dynamic ropes are sagging quite a bit, but more important is the fact that the ropes which are anchored to the tree on the road side are in danger of seriously damaging the tree. The ropes are girdling the tree in several places.

It would be nice if someone with a good working knowledge of setting up tyroleans and anchoring to a tree without girdling it could help fix this tyrolean. My expertise is in rebolting, so that is where I am directing my community service efforts. Oct 2, 2018

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