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Routes in Mary's Bust - main buttress

Broadmoor, The S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Brown Palace, The S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Convolution S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Deceiver S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Disneyland T,S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Dynamite S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b R
Fool Me Twice T,S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Frisky Lady S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Just in Time S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Lie Detector S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Mary's Jugs S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Mary's Tricks S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Maternal Damnation S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Moon Shadow S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
New Direction T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Open Road, The S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Out Of Time S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Proud Mary S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Stuck In Time S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
There's Something About Mary T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Violet Blue S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Wingardium Leviosa T,S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Unsorted Routes:
Elevation: 6,807 ft
GPS: 40.416, -105.375 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 28,763 total · 162/month
Shared By: allen simons on Jun 3, 2003 with updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Getting weather forecast...


Updated description as of 9-28-09. Mary's Bust has been a tall steep failry dangerous rock save for a few one pitch bolted lines that has seen a lot of fine development in the last two years. As of Now, multiple well bolted lines cover the main face from every angle including some very steep multi-pitch lines around the left side of the main rock accessed from the gully. Routes range in difficulty from 5.7 to 5.12 with a bit of everything in between. Climbs vary somewhat. Much of the rock is rough granite with sharp crystl feldspar holds capturing the full range of sizes. There are also some climbs with good smooth jugs as well as slabs, and chimnys. Routs often include a combination of the above. I believe from a historical standpoint " Mary's bust" first reffered to the Main large steep formation that has seen most of the recent activity.(see photo at right) Due to the development of the area, all of the rocks compose the Mary's bust complex or area. Recent posting of the sugar cube near the access trail as well as the Main right bust, the slaby left bust, tic rock, and Moonlight rock are all found in the immediate area as well as some other developments that for now are nameless. There some old trad lines in the mix and some routes take supplemental gear in between the bolts. The main approach is well defined now and a short steep hike. climbs such as tick rock and moonlight are 10-20 minute steep hikes up from the road. All in all, this area has developed into a nice crag with a great mix of shade and sun, and with the southern exposure can allow for climbing on winter day s as well. Great thanks to all who have developed this area.

Getting There

From the Beige Siphon Tube at the mouth of the narrows, drive west taking the left fork of the road at Drake. Pullout 9.4 miles from the Siphon Tube.

Several bolted routes that are one pitch long. Both the north and south rocks are 400+ feet high.


Mary's Bust - left buttress.


West Face

A. Violet Blue, 11, 3p, 220', bolts. P1 11.
B. Moon Shadow, 12, 1-2p, 60', bolts.
C. There's Something About Mary, 12-, 4p, 350', bolts. P1 5.0 X.
D. Mary's Tricks, 11-, 1p, 70', bolts.

South Face
E. Proud Mary, 12, 3p, 300', bolts. P1 9.
F. Brown Palace, 11-, 6p, 470', bolts. P1 9.
FG. Brown Palace to Deceiver, 7 or 8, 1p, 80'.
G. Deceiver, 9+ or 10+, 1p, 80', bolts.
above G. Lie Detector, 11, 3p, 250', bolts.
above G. Fool Me Twice, 11, 1p, 85', bolts & gear.
H. Dynamite, 10- R, 1p, bolts.
above H. The Broadmoor, 10- to 11, 6-7p, 450', bolts & gear.
I. Maternal Damnation, 10, 2p, 120', bolts. P1 10.
JI. The Open Road, 11, 2p, 115', bolts.
J1. Disneyland, 10, 1p, 75', bolts.
J2. New Direction, 11, 6p, 475', bolts & gear.
K. Unnamed Crack, 10-?, bolts + gear.
L. Just in Time, 11, 1p, 90', bolts.
M. Stuck in Time, 11, 2p, 175', bolts. P1 9.

50' flake

N. Frisky Lady, 12-/12, 1p, 90', bolts.
above N. Contrivance, 10-, 1p, bolts.
O. Mary's Jugs, 7, 1p, 50', bolts.
P. Convolution, 11, 1p, above P, bolts.
Q. Out of Time, 11, 2p, 200', bolts. P1 10.
R? Wingardium Leviosa, 11-, 1p, 105', bolts & gear.
S? Expeliarmus, 11, 1p, bolts.

Above Mary's Bust (Golden Hall)

Gold Wall

Upper west face of Mary's Bust

A.Big Horn, 5.10-, 1p, 55', bolts & gear.
B.Wiggle Room, 5.10c, 1p, 70', bolts.

22 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Mary's Bust - main buttress

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b R
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Maternal Damnation
Sport 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
The Broadmoor
Sport 6 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Mary's Tricks
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
The Brown Palace
Sport 6 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Wingardium Leviosa
Trad, Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Just in Time
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Stuck In Time
Sport 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Sport 2 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Violet Blue
Sport 3 pitches
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
New Direction
Trad 6 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
There's Something About Mary
Trad, Sport 4 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Proud Mary
Sport 3 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Dynamite 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b R Sport
Maternal Damnation 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
The Broadmoor 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport 6 pitches
Disneyland 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Mary's Tricks 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Brown Palace 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 6 pitches
Wingardium Leviosa 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Sport
Just in Time 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Stuck In Time 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport 2 pitches
Convolution 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport 2 pitches
Violet Blue 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 3 pitches
New Direction 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 6 pitches
There's Something About Mary 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad, Sport 4 pitches
Proud Mary 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport 3 pitches
More Classic Climbs in Mary's Bust - main buttress »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season
Boulder, CO
pfwein   Boulder, CO
The trailhead is about 150 yards west of mile maker 73, and it is marked with cairn. Oct 20, 2012
denise 911
fort collins, co
denise 911   fort collins, co
Nice area. Deceiving rock - the routes look more moderate from the ground than they are.
The routes we did were well-protected (bring lots of draws), though some of the clipping stances were a little awkward (at least for the 'vertically challenged' climber). Jul 27, 2010
Anyone know about the new line of bolts to the right of Out of Time? Is this a project? Thanks. Bert Honea Jun 12, 2010
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
The Big Thompson Canyon page on Mountain Project says Mary's Bust is 7.7 miles from Mall Road in Estes Park. Both my moto and my friends' car registered 8.1 miles. There were rock formations at 7.7, but they didn't match the photo, so we kept heading down canyon. May 9, 2010
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
It's a great time to climb at Mary's Bust right now with the upper canyon being closed; virtually no traffic at all. Feb 8, 2010
Thanks Tim, it does help as did Bernard's topo he listed. Great stuff here. Sep 28, 2009
Allen- I think if you read the entire description for both "Dynamite" and "Maternal Damnation" you will be able to locate each of these routes. The old quartz quarry, and the creamy-colored, roofy quartz area left of it, are really rather obvious landmarks on this small cliff. Good luck and safe climbing to you- tim Sep 22, 2009
What a fun, interesting area to climb. Thanks to all who have worked so hard up there to establish those routes. Aug 30, 2009
When I posted Mary's bust several years ago, I didn't imagine all of the activity that is sees today, though I realized the rock's potential. It is great to see. Bernard, thanks for the recent work and photos. To everyone else who have labored establishing routes, kudos to you also. Two quick things, both in the form of requests. I was reading the route location of dynamite which states "20 feet right of "another route" So I went to "another route" and it states "20 feet right of "another nother route" which makes Dynamite 40 feet right of "another nother route". Simple request to the posters, help out an old guy and be a little more descriptive. You guys have created some fine routes (most out of my league) I know you have the creativity to write a better description. Second request. I asked several years ago if anyone would have a go at the flared crack, 3rd pitch of Sparky's Cooler (start located at the base of a large ponderosa on the right side of the left bust). Currently the 3rd pitch takes an upward 4th class righward traverse, or up a run out 5.8 r or x section of the face. The natural place for that route to go, however, is the flared crack 30 feet right of the second belay. It is slightly overhanging, I top roped it at 10d (opinion). It will only take 1 or 2 good placements of gear and those are high up. I have refrained from bolting, that was lenghty. So, some one should have a go at it. If no one frees it in its current state, I will probably put 2-3 bolts in it this fall. Again, thanks for the development of this fine crag. Allen Aug 4, 2009
Climbed here a little yesterday, enjoyed it all, and found some artifacts from a former era: 3 very rusty pitons, I just happened to see the eye of one sticking out of the dirt and pine needles. All 3 were nested together, right at the base of the cliff where the trail up leads to, before turning either R or L to get on a route. This is also more or less right below the central crack/chimney system, which I believe Bernard told me was done ages ago by maybe Jim Disney et al?
While climbing, another guy my age (50s)who said he was from the neighboring area of Waltonia, found a gris-gris about 20' below the start of Deceiver. He said it had some identifying paint colors on it. I didn't see it later so I guess he took it with him, did not catch his name- sorry. I did mention this website to him so maybe he'll post, good luck getting it back to whoever. -tim hansen of estes park Jul 29, 2009
The route right of Violet Blue on the west face is open for business. Thanks for your patience. I'll post up a route description as soon as I can get to it. Jul 13, 2009
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
Your project looks awesome, Mark. Good luck with the send. Let us know when it's finished. Apr 8, 2009
Mark Ronca
Drake CO
Mark Ronca   Drake CO
Hi all, Yes the route right of Violet Blue has been a bit of a project. Finished bolting and cleaning last summer then made a couple of good attempts before winter. As of now the route is in the 5.12 range, four pitches, and an equal mix of bolts and gear. As for the red tape, I believe it's just a courtesy to give the original team a chance. I will gladly step off if it's not going to happen for me. Anyone interested in getting on this or anything else feel free to e-mail. Apr 8, 2009
Hi Jason/Richard/anyone else who has noticed the new route on the west face to the right of Violet Blue: that's Mark Ronca's route. He put in the bolts last year, and has attempted a redpoint a couple times, but hasn't been able to devote the time needed to give it his best shot. He and I have been hoping to team up and give it a serious go, but I've been drowning in work, and don't get to climb with Mark (or anyone, really) much. Last time we were up there (to do The Devil's Backbone), we talked about establishing a first pitch from the ground (rather than using the required traverse to the right from Violet Blue that Richard speaks about), and then doing the whole route. I still haven't been on it, but Mark says it's a wild ride, and I'm pretty sure it goes all the way to the top of the buttress. If we find a good initial pitch to get up to the ledge with the red-tagged bolt, it'll be four pitches (I think? -- maybe it's even 5 pitches). Somewhere on the order of 5.12, with bolts and gear.

Jason, send me a message if you want help getting in contact with Mark (he may even chime in here as he logs into mp on occasion) regarding the red tag. I've got to get to the end of the semester (and get in shape) before we can put some quality time in on the route. By the way, thanks for the nice comments on Devil's Backbone -- I'm stoked to hear you enjoyed it. Mark and I also started working on a radical new pitch on the wall up and behind Mary's Bust, and it looks like that wall could yield another cool route or two, so we have plenty to keep us busy over the coming months. Someone needs to add another 6-8 hours onto our days... Apr 2, 2009
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
Richard, do you have any more info on the "radical looking route" right of Violet Blue. It's currently adorned with a red tag on the first bolt above the anchor. Not sure if it's your project or not, but I'm wondering what the accepted etiquette is for red-tagged routes. Is it totally off-limits, or do you just have to make sure NOT to send if you try it. And how long does the red tag maintain its authority? Not that I'm dying to get on the route (probably too hard anyway), just curious about the red-tag thing. This route does look pretty radical though. Apr 2, 2009
Excellent Bernard. Mar 23, 2009
Yes, Allen, the photo was taken from across the river. If I can find some time, I'll draw the routes in, though I certainly don't mind if someone wants to take the initiative and grab my photo. I won't be able to get to it for a while.... No shot yet of the west buttress, though I intend to shoot it soon and add it to The Devil's Backbone page.
EDIT: Photo of Devil's Backbone alone added to that page. Still haven't crossed river for full west buttress photo. Mar 23, 2009
Very nice to finally see an excellent photograph of MB. Do you have a shot of the West Bust? Was this taken from across the river? Someone should take this photo and add the route lines on it. Nice. Mar 23, 2009
Denver, CO
jbarnum   Denver, CO
If anyone is interested in the ice occasionally seen up and around Mary's Bust while driving towards Estes, I went and checked it out the other day. Unless it is a banner, flagship, fatty fat year, forget it. I am sure in thick times the flows would be nice, 3 flows with some mixed climbing and comfy belays, short approach. But right now in lean times, 3 little flows that might take a screw each. When we get the big dump along with other consistent snow storms, check back. Anybody else climb this in past years?

Oh yeah, holy bolts boltman! I knew there was new routes up here, but WOW. We need a good pic, topo, something to go with Mr. Wright's hardwork. I will definitely be back up there. Looks like fun, Jug Dome, but without the approach. Knowing Wrights' routes from Empire, much harder I am sure. Jan 16, 2009
Did a route in about 1970 on the road side of this (east? face) up to an arching overlap then right to a groove and up up to the top. Don't remember much other than there was some fairly runout climbing for the pro at the time. Maybe 5.8(?) again its been a few years so things are a bit fuzzy. Repeated once afterwards with other friends. Jan 12, 2009
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
N.B.: A new and radical looking route has gone in 30ft right of Violet Blue which is still the furthest line left and up the hill. It is approached by an exposed traverse from near the start of VB and will feel loads better with a big camming unit or two to protect the approach. Sep 16, 2008
Led the second pitch of Stuck in Time 8/4/08. Great addition to wall. New bolts on first pitch were welcomed even after leading it several times prior. Looking at the top of the pitch to the left while belaying made me want to replace anchors and add one bolt between last two, completing the second pitch would be great, too. As well as second pitch to crack at the top of trail. Maybe this winter? Thanks to all the climbers for their investment of time and money. I can't remember original name of 11b/c route was? Just in Time seems good to me. Aug 4, 2008
Jon Lachelt
Fort Collins, CO
Jon Lachelt   Fort Collins, CO
Yesterday I climbed the route to the left of SIT and the big flake growing out of the trail. It would be very nice if someone would post an official route description. I'm not sure what the etiquette is, but perhaps Scott should name it since he completed the bolting of it. I'll suggest "Left In Time", "Just In Time", "It's About Time" in keeping with the theme for OOT and SIT.

I think that a good hold must have busted off about 1/3 of the way up. There is a 10" white spot in a place that I seem to remember wanting a hold for my right hand. But I don't think this one spot affects the rating, as the hardest section IMHO is right at the top. mohry - is this probably the chunk that came off on you?

If someone is willing, it would be very nice to put some chains on the anchors. There is just a pair of old carabiners hanging in the screw-gate links. They look pretty scarred.

FYI, the anchors are hidden from view until you make the last clip, or a bit sooner if you get tempted into the wide crack at the end (as I was). They are just past the last bolt that you can see from the ground. Apr 21, 2008
austin TX
Mohry   austin TX
Thanks for the info Richard, and props to Mark for pulling that move, it seems crazy powerful off of terrible crimps and equally bad feet to me. Do you know the name or grade at all? It would be cool to post this route on MP. I am going to try to make a trip back in the next few weeks to work on this route, so I will check out the condition of the holds mentioned more closely. Feb 25, 2008
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
I was working on this route with Mark Tarrant prior to surgery last year and it was clear that some things had broken off since the route went in. First to go was a good clipping edge at the third bolt making this a much more strenuous clip. Below the flake things have been shed. The best we could find was a tiny edge, now much smaller than before, below the flake and crimped by the left hand. This sequence seems really hard now. I was contemplating moving a bolt in order to enter the flake from further on the left. However, Mark did pull the move in its, hopefully, present state. The upper "slab" was largely unchanged but still very cruxy. Feb 25, 2008
austin TX
Mohry   austin TX
Richard Wright said:

"Starting 20 feet right is a new single pitch route that gains the broad ledge at 80 feet. A double bolt anchor and rap station are at the top. At least 5.11+/5.12- with one very complex and difficult sequence below the big flake. All bolts."

I was working this route today and it looks as if a hold might have broken from below the big flake. I haven't climbed on this before today but there is a place where a hold looks to have been for a left hand before one would reach up into the flake. Was there ever "a hold" there or has it always been just a slick micro-crimp for your left hand? After working on these moves I would say the crux feels 5.12 (It feels like a V5 or V6 bouldering move to me). Thanks to those that put in the newer routes, they are a blast. Feb 24, 2008
Tom, the two routes are listed under Big Thompson Canyon under Beige Tube area/ The Narrows. I believe the names are Kermit and Friday the 14th. Allen Sep 30, 2007
Hi Richard, Thanks for the response. It is about 1/4 mile upstream from the "Dam Store" Where there is a widened parking area on the right below the tube. Look for a basket on a cable that crosses the river. Then look straight south and you will be looking right at em' The routes sit on a prow about 50 ft up off of the road. They are about 70 feet long, side by side. I think I ended up posting this on the wrong thread, but I figured someone would see it.

Thanks! Sep 28, 2007
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Tom, can you more accurately locate the crag in question? Sep 25, 2007
Does anyone know about the two routes on a steep buttress just up on the left as you start up Big Thompson Canyon? They are about 50 ft above the road and I have been looking at them for years. Finally checked them out thought they were pretty good! The right route follows an arete through a couple of roofs and goes to a one bolt anchor(??). The center route is much harder and follows the center line up the buttress through a blocky roof crux. Any help would be appreciated! Thanks Sep 24, 2007
Bert, nice to see you post something. There are several new lines on Mary's you might be interested in. al simons Jun 22, 2007
Re: Scott's post of 2006. I believe the route he completed up the arete was an old 5.9R that went R after 3 bolts to BG's finish.
Any rate, climbed it last week and it is excellent - steep, intricate and challenging at 11b/c if done straight up. Don't be tempted R into the wide crack (easy) as the best climbing gets missed. Thanks for putting this up - nice for us folks who live in Loveland. A local crag!!! Jun 8, 2007
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
There are two old aid lines on the west side of MB. Does anyone have any of the FA information on these routes? May 29, 2007
Richard and Scott. I do not have a good pic of Mary's Bust. I want to ford the river and hike up hill to get a full on view. Every angle I have photographed from the road fails to suit me for topo use. Details for Sparky's Cooler are listed under Sparky's Cooler/Mary's Bust. If your climbing 5.12, Sparky's at 9+/10a won't be much af a challenge for you, but I think the line is nice. If you do climb it check out the crack in the head wall pitch 3. I have considered putting a couple of bolts on it as it is difficult to protect solidly, but it does seem like the natural direction to take that route. Can either of you draw well? That kind of topo might be nice. allen Jun 21, 2006
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Hi Scott !! Nice to know who has been at work here too. I would not have guessed that it was you, but after all the work you have done at the Head, CWC, CCC, and elsewhere I'm not surprised. It looked to me that both Dynamite and Suture Self had new gear added. At this point an updated topo might be useful. I have BG's pic, but as he indicated it is a tad sketchy and incomplete. If you or Allen had one we might circulate it and then post it for the sake of clarification. BTW, Allen, I have not yet done Sparky, so I am not familiar with its details. Jun 20, 2006
Richard and Allen I have also done some bolting on Mary's Bust as well as working the approach trail. A couple years ago I added some bolts on lead to the start of Dynamite and one ring anchor next existing bolt about 80 ft. I also placed 3 bolts on lead to access crack .10a in middle of wall and anchors were the crack changes character. Lastly, I added 4 bolts to a route that started left of the bolted flake route. This completed the direct fall line of this seemingly incomplete route. These bolts were placed from rappel. This route is .11c. Jun 20, 2006
Thanks, Richard, for the descriptions. You should post them and their names on this site for all to enjoy. Question? Have you climbed Sparky's Cooler, and, if so, have you done the crack in the headwall on pitch 3? I have considered bolting part of this crack as it takes little good gear. Allen Jun 19, 2006
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Allen, I would agree with your overall assessment of BTC climbing. On Mary's Bust, for the most part it is not the integrity of the rock that is really in question. While there can be some down right chossy stuff, a lot of the stone is as solid as stone can be. The North and East faces do require a lot of cleaning - and this is a huge dis-incentive for new route development. This is really not much different a situation than for any of the crags in this semi-alpine environment. The following lines have been added in the Spring of 2006. (1) Continuation of BG's one pitch 5.9. This pitch is 85 feet long, has a double bolt anchor and rap station at the top. At least 5.11 with thin tricky sequences. All bolts. (2) Starting 20 feet right is a new single pitch route that gains the broad ledge at 80 feet. A double bolt anchor and rap station are at the top. At least 5.11+/5.12- with one very complex and difficult sequence below the big flake. All bolts. (3) Twenty five feet further right is a very moderate line (Mary's Jugs). This runs up on huge jugs but for a single crux move. Half a dozen clips and a double bolt anchor and rap station at the top. (4) Starting just right of MJ is a two pitch route that has access to both the first big ledge and to the higher ledge. It also has an independent anchor at 85 feet that is separate from the ledge anchor out left. Pitch one goes at solid 5.10 with a single definitive crux surrounded by more moderate climbing. Pitch two is solid 5.11 with at least three hard cruxes. It takes the obvious corner/seam system at 100 feet. Two raps to the ground are required and a 60 meter rope may or may not be necessary. Mine is 60m and I had some left over at the lower station. (5) Coming off route 4 at it's independent chain anchor, one can move left to the higher ledge. This will access the wide groove obvious from the road. The groove comprises another route. 60ft long and stopping short of the high point of 4. This also has a double bolt anchor and rap station at the top. Expect 60ft of tricks with only one really good jam. A bit of wide crack technique, some heel and toe, will help. This pitch may tick in at 5.11 as well, but perhaps not hard at the grade. All of these routes have been brushed and cleaned (ugh, mega-drag). The rock is overall very solid. All but the easiest require significant attention to the foot work - lots of finesse and usually hard to see. The final crux on the 5.12 is an incomprehensibly thin slab, and much easier if you are tall. (hint: open the hands for friction in passing the penultimate bolt) This section is super well protected. Jun 19, 2006
I would be interested in some more in-depth route descriptions of the lines you have put up. Also, note that Sparky's Cooler is on the slabbier buttress just to the SW of the main buttress. It does go most of the way to the top, and I too have looked at some of the rock on the top and back side of Mary's Bust. Just a comment on the quality of rock in the canyon. There are tons of rocks that are as solid as can be found any where that are mixed in with the stuff that needs to be cleaned. Jun 19, 2006
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
I hope that this will not turn into a minor fiasco. However, in the search for unclimbed rock close to Denver, Golden, and Boulder the Big Thompson Canyon has come up repeatedly as a poorly developed area over all. In fact, there are many, many untouched crags that could yield some excellent climbing and at a high standard. A lot of these are North facing and just plain filthy - a major caveat on Mary's Bust. Many are, as B. Gillett has described in guide to Estes Park Valley, just plain choss - stay away choss that is. Ugly stuff. Mary's Bust has both of these disadvantages. But, the rock on MB is not of uniform quality, and in both directions. After humping all around the bloody thing, up and down, and through its gullies, I felt that BG's own route (one pitch, 5.9) had begun in a discontinuous region of good rock. So, in the spring of 2006 I added six pitches to this area that are largely on acceptable stone. These range from from 5.5/5.6 to 5.11+, and a still dirty TR'd 5.12 with an accessible anchor. More potential exists further left and some to the right. More importantly, some good faces can be found at the top of the cliff, and emerging from the main East gully. This stone was really very nice, but almost unapproachable without completing a line upon the main face. I could not dredge up the effort to do this yet. However, one of the new two pitch routes takes a stab in that direction, and at this point the effort to run the remaining distance may not be excessive. Also, the mixed line, Sparky, could get you to the top and provide access, so catching some of the rock above may not be out of the question. The crag does have the nice features of being very close to the parking, shady, big enough to be worth some investment, and the current routes will not crumble away under your feet. I have brushed what I put in, but this is not Glacier Point, so bringing a brush might be useful. Specific route beta will be posted as seems necessary. Jun 10, 2006

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