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Favorite 5.9 trad routes

Original Post
davedad · · Carbondale, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 0

I wrote a short piece for about my favorite 5.9 trad routes. I would love to inspire some thoughts,discussion, stories, and add to my tick list. Check out the link and head over there to share.…

John Maguire · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2008 · Points: 195

I really like The Yellow Spur

Jacob Dolence · · Flagstaff, AZ · Joined Jun 2006 · Points: 790

Good article!

My top 5 are (in no order)

Epinephrine, Red Rocks: I got lucky and was the only party on the route the day
N. Ridge of Mt. Stuart, Washington: 20 pitches of varied climbing with an awesome 2 pitch crux of splitter cracks.
The Mace, Sedona AZ: This is a super fun climb 4 wild pitches and a crazy step across finale.
Dr. Rubos Wild Ride, Sedona AZ: Another awesome Sedona Tower
Elephants Perch, Mountaineers Route, Idaho: Fun route in an amazing setting.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,195

I noted that one of your criteria was 4 pitches or longer, which eliminates a few routes I would have suggested, however, The Flying Butress on Mt Meeker still qualifies and is a long-time favorite in the 5.9 range.

Jon Marek · · Sioux Falls, SD · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 2,475

Butt Hair, Eldo! While this route is only 3 pitches and does have some bolts, I think it is a classic. I actually unintentionally climbed this route with my girlfriend on my first day in eldo (thought I was on west much for falcon guide books)

Wade T · · Grants Pass, OR · Joined Feb 2008 · Points: 0

Kor-Beck on Middle Cathedral in the Valley. Pitches 4 and 5 are such sweet, clean 5.9 lie-back corners! You will remember them always.

Northwest Corner · · Bend · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 1,505

Tits and Beer at the Glass in NC. As good as the name.

Nick Dolecek · · Denver, Colorado · Joined Jan 2007 · Points: 0

North Ridge of Stuart
Russian Arete-Black Canyon
Epinephrine-Red Rocks
North Chimneys-Castleton
NEB of Slesse
Elephants Perch-Mountaineers Route
Haystack Minor Dihedral-Winds Rivers

W. Spaller · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 65

Loose Ends on Lumpy Ridge. Absolutely CLASSIC.

Phillip Morris · · Flavor Country · Joined Aug 2002 · Points: 20
Will12 wrote:Loose Ends on Lumpy Ridge. Absolutely CLASSIC.
Good route...but I thought fantasy ridge was better.
davedad · · Carbondale, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 0

Awesome to see all the suggestions. So many routes waiting to be done. Too bad it is ski season. The tick list is just growing longer. Now I need to find some time to make some of these routes happen. Feel free to post over on splitterchoss too if people are inclined.

Doug Foust · · Henderson, Nevada · Joined Sep 2008 · Points: 165

Good article - great choice with Frigid Air Buttress.

Chad F · · Costa Mesa, CA · Joined Jul 2009 · Points: 75

Whodunit, Consolation, and Open book (only 3 pitches but ultra classic, 1st 5.9 in the US)

slim · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2004 · Points: 1,107

not sure how in the hell the steck salathe hasn't been mentioned yet.

· · Unknown Hometown · Joined unknown · Points: 0

I liked your list. Glad that North Chimney of Castleton made it even if it's just "5.8+". I'm always scared to death by that loose block thing right at the top of the first pitch. Much scarier than the offwidth and 1/4er above it in my mind. Not sure why.

Epinephrine has been on my list forever. Maybe I'll get down there in Jan.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,195
slim wrote:not sure how in the hell the steck salathe hasn't been mentioned yet.
Because it's 5.10. Otherwise I'd be in on that one. Who can resist the O.W.?:
Leg bruises on an anonymous friend after climbing Steck Salathe. Photo by Tony Bubb, 5/09.
Tombo · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 360

Escape Artist - Black Canyon

Loose Ends - Lumpy Ridge

tallguy · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 0

Real 5.9 Classics:

The Yawn, Toulumne Meadows
Regular Route, Picture Peak, High Sierra
Absinthe of Mallet, Cochise
Smokestack, Wheeler Crest

Fat Dad · · Los Angeles, CA · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 60


You'll have to provide some beta on Picture Peak. I remember camping at Hungry Packer Lake and wondering where that route went.

Anyways, back on topic:

MCR, Central Pillar of Frenzy
HCR, NE Buttress
Flower of High Rank, Suicide
Open Book, Tahquitz
Serpentine, Suicide
Crying in Time Again, Lembert Dome

Charles Vernon · · Tucson, AZ · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 2,604

Sykes Sickle (the best of a long list at this grade in RMNP)
Kor Ingalls (better than N. Chimney!!)
Russian Arete, Black Canyon
Warpy Moople, Sandias
Mainliner or Sidetrack, Lumpy Ridge.
Yellow Spur

I feel like something from the Wind Rivers should be on this list.

Sergio P · · Idaho Springs, CO · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 185

Center Route on Cynical. Could be done in 4 pitches, but most do it in 3. I think it is the best 5.9 in CO.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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