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Routes in Play Pen

Bulletin Board T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Child's Play S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Froggy Crack T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Lil' School Girl T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Old Man's Myth T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Pirate's Booty S 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Recess S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Teeter Totter Roof T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Toy Box S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures & Rockfall Mitigation Project Details


The "Play Pen" now hosts 9 new pitches on quality rock. These pitches start out less than desirable with the broken ledges at the base of the wall. At least 1 natural cam placement at the start of each pitch provides for a safe start before reaching the bolts (usually a 3"-4" cam in the horizontal crack. Highly suggested!). Once on the wall, the features and moves provide a lot of juggy fun and are cleaning up nicely (some lichen and moss still needs attention). The routes' heights are 65'-80' tall with some steep and challenging 5.10, but there are some small ledges with no-hands rests mixed in there too.... The routes are steeper than they look!

The name PLAY PEN comes from a variety of the characteristics at this crag... all referring to the very easy approach; short, moderate climbs; a stellar place to bring toddler's to play while climbing and an obvious place where beer drinkers and hellraisers (skeet shooters) used to break bottles and shoot guns. My friends think I should name it the "Redneck Crag" due to lots of old broken glass and bullet shells on the ground.... I know, it doesn't sound ideal for a kids "Play Pen", but we can clean this shit up (I have been...). This has literally got to be the easiest approach of any crag in Clear Creek Canyon. Park on the east side of Tunnel 6 and walk downhill on the old jeep road 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. My 2 1/2 year old road his Strider bike right to the PLAY PEN. We brought some of his Tonka toys and some snacks, and he had a blast.

The jeep road is a good 40' away from the base of the wall (good play area) and is close to the river's edge. At low water (175cfs), my boy was down in the huge eddy playing in the shallow river's edge, with adult supervision, of course. We had 3 climbers and one adult would watch the toddler while the other 2 climbed. The first route we did I named "Child's Play" (5.10a/b), because my boy was there to see it go down. So, long story short, the name PLAY PEN just fell into place....

Here is a quick list of the routes from left to right:

A1. Froggy Crack, 9+ PG-13, 1p, 95', gear & bolts.
A2. Bulletin Board, 11, 1p, 80', gear & bolts.
A1/2B. Teeter Totter Roof, 11-, 1p, 95, gear.
B. Lil' School Girl, 7+, 1p, 75', gear.
C. Toy Box, 5.10b/c, 1p, 60', bolts.
D. Old Man's Myth, 5.9, 1p, 65', gear.
E. Recess, 5.10c/d, 1p, 80', bolts & gear.
F. Child's Play, 5.10a/b, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. Pirate's Booty, 5.10c/d, 1p, 80', bolts.

Eds. some campers will set up ~50' right of this cliff.

Getting There

Driving up river from the CO Hwy 119/US 6 intersection, park on the right just before Tunnel 6. Walk downhill on the old railroad bed 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek (look at location on the map).

9 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Play Pen

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Old Man's Myth
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Toy Box
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Old Man's Myth
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Toy Box
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
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Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Nice, Drew, thanks for posting! Just curious, what aspect does the crag face? Nov 12, 2013
Kevin Capps
Golden, CO
Kevin Capps   Golden, CO
Do you have any of the route names or FA info? Nov 12, 2013
Drew Spaulding
Boulder, CO
Drew Spaulding   Boulder, CO
Monty, the PLAY PEN faces E to NE. In the summer, there is sun on the wall until noon. I'm not sure about these winter months.... I assume very little sun (early morning?). KC, some friends, and I established these routes in August/September '13. I will be posting the route info with more photos soon.... Nov 13, 2013
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
Nice! When I did the Phase I for CCC on this property, I saw rock but didn't see the potential. Good job! If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek. Nov 13, 2013
Kevin Capps
Golden, CO
Kevin Capps   Golden, CO
I checked out these routes today. Nice job, the three bolted lines on the left are pretty fun moderates. I thought they were all about 10a with one or two of them getting close to 10b. The rightmost route is pretty dirty but not bad, and the trad line is very protectable and kind of cool. Child's Play was my favorite. Nov 15, 2013
Drew Spaulding
Boulder, CO
Drew Spaulding   Boulder, CO
Right on, Kevin, thanks! Glad you got up there to check it out. The wall is what it is.... They all mostly have short-lived cruxes... and the routes are a bit steppy, but there is a lot of fun climbing on the wall with some cool features. I spent a lot of time trundling loose blocks and plates and getting things safe. Pirate's Booty on the right was the last pitch I worked on up there... had to trundle some huge flakes which exposed a bunch of loose dirt that covered everything below. I was wondering if the weather cleaned it up a bit? Sounds like a good brushing and scrubbing needs to still happen. The trad line (Old Man's Myth) is fun and protects well! It had a cool old piton on it that came out fairly easily. There is another oldschool nailup that starts at the bottom of Toy Box and then trends up and left... it would be cool to know the history of who climbed these pitches back in the '60s or '70s.... Things are cleaning up nicely and I think the PLAY PEN will become a fun moderate wall. Nov 15, 2013
Kevin P
Kevin P   Loveland
We climbed here today and caught about 30 minutes of sun. Not a good winter crag, but we like suffering apparently. The routes are fun, and the grades felt accurate. Jan 21, 2014
A. Bandos
Broomfield, CO
A. Bandos   Broomfield, CO
All routes climb better than they look. Many have unique features and very little chalk marks. Makes for a fun afternoon. Sep 10, 2014
shanna fitzgerald
Boulder, CO
shanna fitzgerald   Boulder, CO
We were climbing over at Other Critters in the full sun on an 80 degree day in August. God knows why. Needed some shade fast! Dogs were dehydrated, and I'd remembered seeing some guys climbing way back there when at Colfax that April. It was a perfect place to get up some hard and nice 5.10s, be in the shade all day, enjoy watching the rafters in the creek, and there was a play pen in a tent pitched right next to the crag. 4 kids and a mother and father that were there for a day picnic. Don't be fooled, these routes are rather tricky but fun. Steeper than they look! Sustained with nice rests. Beta: use the unchalked flake on the roof on Recess. At the crux on Child's Play, trust the right. Crimpy but better feet. Pirate's Booty could have used another bolt to the anchor. Recess, Child's Play, and Pirate's Booty all share an anchor, so watch out if another party is there. Aug 15, 2016

We found some climbing gear at the base of Play Pen on Sept. 22nd. If you left something here, please contact me for a description, and I would be happy to return it to you!

Tyler 407-718-7580 (text please) Oct 3, 2017
David Mills
Westminster, CO
David Mills   Westminster, CO
Stashed 2 jackets, a green puffy and a maroon North Face coat under a boulder at about 6:30am Sunday 10/21/2018, and when we returned at 7pm, they were gone. If you maybe picked these up to keep them safe or were cold and forgot to return them, please DM me. We would love to have our coats back. Thanks. Oct 22, 2018 · Lost & Found

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