The Bunker Rock Climbing
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|Shared By:||Monomaniac on May 15, 2015|
Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
History (Admin Only): Leo Paik edited "North Face Cave" Jun 21, 2020
Raptor Closures Effective February 1-July 31
Tunnel 1 closure
For more details visit: jeffco.us/open-space/alerts…
The two areas Jefferson County Open Space intends to close in Clear Creek Canyon, shown on the attached maps, encompass the active eagle nests. If the Clear Creek eagles continue to nest in the active nests, these areas will remain closed from February 1 through July 31. If the eagles choose different nesting sites, the closures will be adjusted accordingly to protect those eagles during their breeding season.
Currently, rock climbing areas that fall inside of the seasonal raptor closures include:
Per the rockfall mitigation project has been completed. Marked as archived / Project Status: Complete on CODOT.
Project Work Resumes Nov. 13 Following Summer Shutdown
On Tuesday, Nov. 13, crews will resume work on this project, starting with rockfall mitigation on US 6 from mile points 260 to 272. Remaining work, anticipated to be completed in April 2019, includes:
scaling rock; removing scaled rock; and installing rock reinforcement, rock anchors, mesh anchors, and 160,000 squat feet of wire mesh.
This crag was first discovered over a decade ago, by some unknown benefactor of another era [perhaps Mike Freischlag, per Tod Anderson], who ultimately scoped, cleaned, and equipped a handful of the most obvious lines. According to legend, these routes were never redpointed, the developer moved on to other non-climbing interests, and the crag sat abandoned, waiting to be rediscovered. Word about this crag has been passed between locals for years, but for whatever reason, it has garnered little serious interest.
This changed in the summer of 2014. It seemed the Clear Creek community was finally ready for The Bunker a fully modern crag that climbs like an outdoor gym. Its as if a chunk of the Gunks broke free, hurtled across the continent, crash-landed on the north facing slopelisting to a 45-degree overhang, and was mercifully rap-bolted before the myopic trad-lodytes could stake their No Progress Allowed signs. The lines are wildly overhanging, long, pumpy, and hard. This is a place that rewards dynamic movementwhere footwork means heel hooks, toe-cams, bicycles, and kneebars. Routes here climb out as much as they do up, requiring a rare combination of power and stamina. That said, these are not mindless jug hauls. The movement can be esoteric and creative. The result is a collection of climbs from 5.13a to mid-5.14 that rival any other Front Range crag.
However, The Bunker offers more than just a good workout. No Clear Creek crag can match its breath-taking position. The crag is perched crown-like, literally at the top of the canyon, surveying its mighty kingdom of rushing waters, towering pines, and piercing stones. At such height, road noise is but a memory, falcons circle at eye-level, and a steady breeze provides reasonable conditions all summer long.
No crag is perfect, and the Bunker does have its drawbacks. The approach is long, steep and hard. The base of the cave is guarded by a system of low-angle slabs, some extending more than 100 feet to flat ground (a network of fixed lines mitigates this hassle, providing quick and easy access to several spacious, flat belay stancessee individual route descriptions for specific belay beta). The rock is not perfect. A band of flaky pegmatite cuts across the cave at mid-height, and so most routes include a few obligatory, sub-standard holds to get through the decomposing layer (despite appearances, the darker bands of stone are impressively solid). Due to the difficulty of cleaning on near-horizontal terrain, some of the rock is coated in a non-threatening, albeit mildly annoying, film of exfoliating sand and stone. With traffic, this minor inconvenience will dissipate.
The cave faces North-Northwest and gets full shade until around 4pm or so near the summer solstice. A 50m rope works for most routes, depending on the belay stance. Most of the routes are fixed, but you may want to bring some slings to mitigate rope drag.
Routes L-> R:
C1. Saigon, 13a, 1p, 60', bolts.
C2. Apoca-Lips Now!, 13b, 1p, 50', bolts.
D. Charlie Dont Surf, 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
E. Valkyrie, 14a, 1p, 60', bolts.
F. Fury, 13d, 1p, 80', bolts.
G1. Full Metal Jacket, 13c, 1p, 60', bolts.
G2. 14:59, 13a, 1p, 50', bolts.
H. Born on the 4th of July, 14, 1p, 70', bolts.
I1. Trooper, 11+, 1p, 60', bolts.
I2. The Smear Hunter, 13, 1p, 65', bolts.
J. First Blood, 12-, 1p, 40', bolts.
K. Uncommon Valor, 13, 1p, 35', bolts.
L. Bunker Boy, 11-, 1p, 90', gear.
Routes from L --> R:
A. Trooper, 11+/12-, 1p, bolts.
B. The Smear Hunter, 13, 1p, bolts.
C. First Blood, 12-, 1p, bolts.
D. Uncommon Valor, 13, 1p, bolts.
Cross the highway with care, and locate a trail climbing up a steep embankment behind the guard rail (about 50 feet east of the parking lot entrance, immediately east of a drainage). Once in the woods the trail is very well-defined. If you are not on a well-defined trail, you are lost! The trail initially contours east under an impressive boulder. After crossing a rotting log, make a hard right and climb steeply up a short talus field. The trail is pretty easy to follow after this turn, generally heading straight up, but switching back east a few times to access various gullies. A bit of scrambling is required to cross a rib of rock about 2/3 of the way up. The trail eventually arrives at an open talus field. Continue east, following cairns, below the base of the Bunker slabs, and continue up another steep trail section left (east) of the slabs to reach a nice flat staging area (aka The Dirt Ledge).
A network of fixed lines provides quick access to various belay stances along the slabs of the North Face Cave. Use care with these lines. Inspect them before using them, and back them up where prudent. See individual routes descriptions for belay stance beta.
To reach the West Face, follow the normal Bunker approach until you reach the top of the open talus field. From this point you should be able to easily see the yellow, wavy West Face. From here, instead of traversing east to reach the Dirt Ledge at the east end of the Bunkers main, north facing cave, continue straight up (south), hopping rocks through the trees until you can pick up a faint trail that skirts a 20-foot tall cliffband below the West Face. Make two short 3rd class scrambles (the first is about 4-feet high, the second about 6-feet highsee approach photo) to gain a broad sloping ledge below the West Face.
Classic Climbing Routes at The Bunker
Days w Precip