Elevation: 7,099 ft
GPS: 40.007, -105.406 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 65,009 total · 319/month
Shared By: Ron Olsen on Mar 22, 2002 with updates from Flatirons Climbing Council
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Access Issue: Access Closed Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details
Access Issue: Closure Details

Description

Lots of excellent 5.10 and 5.11 sport climbs have been established here over the past few years, mostly by Bob D'Antonio and Vaino Kodas. A few routes require some supplementary gear in addition to the bolts, so be sure to check the route description before you head up a climb with just quickdraws.

Bring a 60m rope; there was a serious lowering accident here in 2004 when a belayer let the end of the rope slip through his belay device, and the leader fell 25' to the ground and suffered serious injuries.

There are also a few trad climbs and runout bolted climbs established many years ago by Jim Erickson, Dan Hare, and others, but these are seldom climbed today.

Getting There

From the intersection of Broadway and Colorado 119 in Boulder, follow Colorado 119 west towards the town of Nederland. About eight miles up the Canyon turn left into a large parking area for Boulder Falls.

From the Boulder Falls "trail" walk in on the 'tourist path' until you nearly come to a park bench. Switchback to the left between some caged rocks and a tree. Switchback again to the right on top of the rocks. Above you is a second set of caged rocks - pass these on the left (south) end, or climb over. From here, angle up and right on a faint path. There were some small cairns leading the way on 7/12/03. You are aiming for a small 'tunnel' near a dead tree that is, again, up and right from the caged rocks.

Pass through the tunnel and hike steeply down the other side, heading to the water's edge, and follow a path upstream to a boulder jumble. The Plotinus Wall should be clearly visible uphill at 11:00, and the Wall of Winter Warmth at about 1:00, across the creek.

Head up through the boulders to the bottom of the wall, just below the bolted slab, "The Scientist".

Per Katherine Kelly: the Boulder Climbing Community, working alongside OSMP, Boulder County and Forest Service has secured access to the Plotinus area.

Just before you arrive at Boulder Falls, the climber’s trail splits left through some talus and climbs uphill above the falls. You will notice a very small climber's access tag bolted to a rock. You will go up this way and then through the keyhole and down to access climbing. Access to Plotinus is provisionally granted for climbing access. It is still closed to the population at large.

Routes

Per Greg Hand: beginning with the route farthest up the hill (Left).

My Buddy 10b/c (start with Bedtime Story, then branch left)
Bedtime Story 10b
Sleepless Child 9 (all gear, 1980) follow crack thru tree
Morpheus 11c - Long, right-facing corner
Wake Up Call 10b
Snooze Button 10b
Chore Boy 10b/c (shares 1st bolt with Snooze)
Smell the Coffee 10a
The Daily Grind 10d
Caffeine Buzz 8 (2nd pitch for Smell the Coffee or Daily Grind)
Napster 10c (4 bolts along flake)
Something Obscure 10- (1975 crack, Erickson)
Tooth Fairy 11c
Mr. Sandman 10c (behind tree)
Golden Slumber 10d
Sleepless in Boulder 11a/b
The Art of Dreaming 12b/c (rising traverse right)
The Bobsled 12a
War on Freedom, 13
Lucky Strikes 12b Big, inside corner
Old bolt route right of corner - 11a?

The following routes begin from a ledge:

The Scientist 11a/b (impossible looking slab)
Plotinus 10 (all gear, 1974) follow rising crack
Rama 11a (V-shaped corner)
Lucid Dreaming 13a (arete)

The following routes are around to the right on a ledge overlooking the creek:

Boulder Quartz System 12a/b
Tooth and Nail 11a/b (same start as Counting Sheep, then left)
Counting Sheep 11b
Sominex 11a/b (start with crack or scramble to ledge from right)
Sleep Deprivation 10c (start with crack or scramble to ledge from right)

Below the ledge is one route:

I Have a Dream 11a 4 bolts

36 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Plotinus Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 234
Mr. Sandman
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 138
Snooze Button
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 153
Wake Up Call
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 132
Smell the Coffee
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 149
Napster
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 128
Chore Boy
Trad, Sport
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 105
The Daily Grind
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 71
Golden Slumber
Trad, Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 35
Morpheus
Trad, Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 178
The Scientist
Trad, Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 125
Sleepless in Boulder
Sport
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 43
The Bobsled
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 93
Boulder Quartz System
Sport
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
 64
Lucky Strikes
Sport
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 121
Lucid Dreaming
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Mr. Sandman Left Side
 234
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Snooze Button Left Side
 138
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Wake Up Call Left Side
 153
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Smell the Coffee Left Side
 132
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Napster Left Side
 149
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Chore Boy Left Side
 128
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
The Daily Grind Left Side
 105
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Golden Slumber Left Side
 71
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport
Morpheus Left Side
 35
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Sport
The Scientist Middle
 178
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Trad, Sport
Sleepless in Boulder Left Side
 125
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
The Bobsled Left Side
 43
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Boulder Quartz System Right Side
 93
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Lucky Strikes Left Side
 64
5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a Sport
Lucid Dreaming Middle
 121
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Plotinus Wall »

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Photos

This place is magnificent,Plotinus and Wall W.W... but whats the deal? Is there any other approach besides the obvious tresspass above Boulder Falls Trail? And what's the status of the rocks themself? Oct 22, 2002
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
I have a suggestion for the Plotinus wall. If someone could put together a topo showing the routes from left to right with names and grades, they would be a lot easier to locate. The descriptions currently refer to an adjacent route which often refers to another adjacent route, and so on, making it harder to figure out what's what. How about it, Bob? Mar 17, 2003
Greg Hand
Golden, CO
Greg Hand   Golden, CO
In response to Peter's request for ordering the routes, I have tried to to that. Thanks to Vaino for some of the info.

Plotinus Wall routes Left to Right
Beginning with the route farthest up the hill (Left).

My Buddy 10b/c * (start with Bedtime Story, then branch left)
Bedtime Story 10b **
Sleepless Child 9 (all gear, 1980) follow crack thru tree
Morpheus 11c ** - Long right-facing corner
Wake Up Call 10b **
Snooze Button 10b ***
Chore Boy 10b/c ** (shares 1st bolt with Snooze)
Smell the Coffee 10a **
The Daily Grind 10d *
Caffeine Buzz 8 * (2nd pitch for Smell the Coffee or Daily Grind)
Napster 10c * (4 bolts along flake)
Something Obscure 10- (1975 crack, Erickson)
Tooth Fairy 11c **
Mr. Sandman 10c ** (behind tree)
Golden Slumber 10d **
Sleepless in Boulder 11a/b **
The Art of Dreaming 12b/c ** (rising traverse right)
The Bobsled 12a **
Project
Lucky Strikes 12b ** Big inside corner
Old bolt route right of corner - 11a?

The following routes begin from a ledge:

The Scientist 11a/b *** (impossible looking slab)
Plotinus 10 (all gear, 1974) follow rising crack
Rama 11a ** (V-shaped corner)
Lucid Dreaming 13a *** (arete)

The following routes are around to the right on a ledge overlooking the creek:

Boulder Quartz System 12a/b **
Tooth and Nail 11a/b ** (same start as Counting Sheep, then left)
Counting Sheep 11b *
Sominex 11a/b * (start with crack or scramble to ledge from right)
Sleep Deprivation 10c * (start with crack or scramble to ledge from right)

Below the ledge is one route:

I Have a Dream 11a * 4 bolts Mar 24, 2003
Matt Chan
Denver
Matt Chan   Denver
I love the VK initials hidden in the photos for this area. Thanks for the fantastic topos Vaino! Jun 22, 2004
bwillem
the wasatch
bwillem   the wasatch
Has the project right of the Bobsled been sent? Grade? Jun 30, 2007
Matt Lippmann
Seattle, WA
Matt Lippmann   Seattle, WA
I was just up at Plotinus today and saw multiple signs indicating the climbing areas are closed. Anyone know what the deal is? Sep 1, 2007
I sent the project, War on Freedom, March 8th. Does anyone know if it's been sent before? Let me know. I think it's 13 b/c.
chuck ziulkowski Mar 18, 2008
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Good for him--that's a hard climb, even if you're tall. Good to hear he's in shape! Mar 20, 2008
Phill T  
Tried to climb here on 6/28/08, the trail from Boulder Falls is closed citing that it is private property. Any other way in besides hiking all the way down from Upper Dream? Jun 29, 2008
Just hiked to Plotinus from Upper Dream b/c Boulder Falls is still closed. Kind of a 3-hour nightmare tromp through the woods and various wrong gullies, but the following should help the next poor soul.

From the UD parking lot find the emergency phone. 20 feet southwest of that is an 8x8 post about 12 feet high. Line up the emergency phone pole and the post and walk along that line across a field towards a private property sign nailed to a tree. Find a faint trail about 10 or 15 feet into the trees on the right (west) side of the private property sign. Follow that trail skirting on the edge of private property signs (and always within view of houses) down a small gully and then back up the other side. The trail will become undefined as you hike back up out of the gully. Continue walking south/southwest until you hit a 4 foot high wooden slat fence making sure too keep the private property signs to the east. Go right (west) to the end of the fence (presumably the end of the private property). Go around the end and follow a faint trail south into a steep, loose, crappy gully. Scramble down said crappy gully several hundred meters until you hit a series of ledges. If the ledges are wet, you may want to go to climber's left and try downclimbing a corner (low 5th) for about 20 feet. Scramble down more scree to the river, find some logs across, and then hike up to Plotinus. I would expect at least 30-45 minutes for the approach and longer for the return. In my opinion, the trip isn't worth the trouble, but there it is.

Incidentally, I have no idea if any or all of this route is on private property, but judging from the private property signs that are always east of the route I think it is on public property. If it is private, let me know and I will remove this post. Apr 11, 2010
Are there new routes to the left of Mr. Sandman? Anyone know their ratings? Apr 30, 2011
Anyone have any new info on the approach? Oct 6, 2011
Derek Young
Denver, CO
Derek Young   Denver, CO
For access, the Access Fund post for this page says...
The Boulder Falls Trail continues to be closed to the public since the 2013 floods. Accessing the climbing areas in Lower Dream Canyon (Plotinus Wall) from the Boulder Falls Trail is off limits. In addition, the slopes above the Boulder Falls Trail are closed to access.

Dropping into Lower Dream Canyon from the Upper Dream Canyon access point crosses private property and is not permitted by the land owner. Climbers accessing this area from Upper Dream Canyon are trespassing.


So, I ask, how do you get to it if you can't go up from Boulder Falls and you can go down from Upper Dream? Please let me know. Nov 26, 2016
Aaron Furman
Eldorado Springs, CO
Aaron Furman   Eldorado Springs, CO
Update: FOUND AND RETURNED!!!!!

Hey, if anyone was out at Plotinus this weekend (Sat or Sun) and came across a pair of belay glasses in their case near Chore Boy, can you hit me up? My glasses fell off, and I literally just bought them, I'd love to use them at least once. Lol.
Thanks everyone, Mar 5, 2017
Conor Felletter
Boulder, CO
Conor Felletter   Boulder, CO
Found a book at the wall this weekend. Hit me up. Jan 8, 2018
Katherine Kelly
Boulder, CO
Katherine Kelly   Boulder, CO
Hi everyone, the Boulder Climbing Community, working alongside OSMP, Boulder County and Forest Service has secured access to the Plotinus area.

Just before you arrive at Boulder Falls, the climber’s trail splits left through some talus and climbs uphill above the falls. You will notice a very small climber's access tag bolted to a rock. You will go up this way and then through the keyhole and down to access climbing. Access to Plotinus is provisionally granted for climbing access. It is still closed to the population at large.

Admin and others, please reach out to me, Kate Beezley, at Boulder Climbing Community with any additional questions. Jul 30, 2018
Mark Gerken
Boulder, CO
Mark Gerken   Boulder, CO
Lost a black and gray BD pack full of gear when chucking a crash pad down the ice chute past The Keyhole. Pad went rogue and tumbled down the falls...my pack fell out at some point. Might be in the falls, might be around The Keyhole; I unfortunately couldn't find it. If anyone comes across it, please email me at mgerken86@gmail.com. Thank you! Nov 22, 2018 · Temporary Report