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Obscure front range multi-pitch for big wall practice?


Original Post
Irish-Jane · · Chamonix · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 460

So I'm trying to come up with some ideas for somewhere to practice systems this weekend. We are a 3 person team with a decent bit of wall experience but none of us have ever climbed as a 3 before.

The perfect climb would be:
At least 3 pitches (doesn't matter how short)
Bolted belays
Solid/steep enough to haul without rockfall danger
Unpopular enough to not be annoying other folks

We don't care about the quality of the climbing (or whether it is free or aid as long as it is easier than mandatory 5.10) and not adverse to walking for a few miles. The only goal is to get the leader/hauler/cleaner/haulbag clusterfuckage a bit more dialed.

Some ideas and downsides:
China Doll - the aid climbing is much harder than we need to practice.
McGreagor Slab - might be too popular.
Jurassic Park - bit short even with inventive mini-pitches.
Twin Owls Ananconda area - bit short, more time aiding than working on transitions.
Aid routes on Sundance - kinda far away, some stuff crosses popular free climbs.
Royal Flush - We wouldn't bring bags or jumars on this one due to popularity and rockfall, but it does have lots of bolted anchors for rope management and transitions.
South Platte - most stuff seems to either be quite short or has mandatory 5.10+ scary slab climbing.
Cynical Pinnacle - Does anyone actually free climb here when its a bazillion degrees in August?

Rick Blair · · Denver · Joined Oct 2007 · Points: 268

I have never done a wall, only practice aided and played with systems. Slab sucks for this. The steeper the better. Mcgreggor slab, for example, would be a nightmare.

Irish-Jane · · Chamonix · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 460

Having soloed Lurking Fear at a glacial pace I'm very familiar with the joys of slab hauling...

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290

These guides found a place to do big wall practice.

http://www.denverpost.com/2015/06/19/estes-park-guides-lead-the-very-brave-to-bunks-suspended-from-cliffs/

jleining · · CO · Joined Apr 2007 · Points: 33

Hey, I know of a spot that would be decent for this, although it does not meet all your criteria.

It is a two-pitch climb with a bolted rappel anchor in the middle of the first pitch. The first pitch is a long 150' 5.10. The second pitch is either 30-35' 5.12 or a 5.13 bolted roof depending on which line you take. You could break up the first pitch into two making this a three pitch climb at 5.9, 5.10, then 5.12 or 5.13, all with bolted belays.

The location of the anchor on the third pitch makes getting back to the top of the second a little weird as the roof climbs go out right. It might be possible to rap from top of third to the middle of first pitch with double ropes, but I don't recall if I've done this.

It is located on an obscure wall that you won't ever see anyone on, its across a creek from a pullout to park at about 20 minutes from Denver. Approach is minutes depending on if the creek is crossable or not. This time of year it is probably crossable.

If you are interested on info hit me up.

Irish-Jane · · Chamonix · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 460

Awesome, sent you a message. Thanks.

Bill M · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 321

Jane, Combat Rock in the Big Thompson. You could piece together a couple of short pitches and steep enough to haul. Has some bolted anchors\\.

PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

Violet Blue on Mary's Bust--I don't know what the mandatory climbing would be but there are enough bolts and placements that it should be in the 10 range.

Irish-Jane · · Chamonix · Joined Jun 2008 · Points: 460

Combat rock also sounds good. Thanks for all the ideas so far.

I looked at Mary's Bust, are there usually a lot of other parties there on a weekend?

It would be great to haul but I really don't want even the slightest chance of the bag knocking stuff off ledges with people around. Or is it steep enough and clean enough there that it would be a non issue?

PRRose · · Boulder · Joined Feb 2006 · Points: 0

I don't think I've ever seen more than two parties at Mary's Bust, and I've never seen anyone on Violet Blue, which is around the corner from the main face. It's steep and fairly clean.

Bill M · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 321

Both Combat and Mary's Bust are lightly traveled. The rock is more solid at Combat. And they both are <10 min from the car.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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