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front range trad moderates with fixed anchors

Original Post
Jeremy Justus · · Steamboat Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

hey all, just getting into trad climbing with a few leads under my belt, two 5.6 climbs where I could build an easy anchor around a rock from the top before climbing, and then I did chickenhead (5.8 3 pitches) at devil's head which has fixed anchors at all the belay stations.  So much fun! I haven't had to build an anchor off gear yet, and although i feel confident in judging bomber placements and understand how to set up an anchor, my climbing buddy is a little newer to the sport and doesn't quite trust me to build anchors yet (or at least not enough to trust his life on).

anyways I'm hoping to get an idea on some good trad climbs around 5.7-8 difficulty (maybe up to a juggy 5.9) with some bolted anchors that i can climb with my friend when i go to the front range. just trying to get some more practice placing gear while having fun and pushing my friends abilities, and not having to put anyones life but my own on my gear placements (my main protection is my climbing ability). Working with a single set of cams (.1 x4 to #3 c4), BD stoppers, and DMM alloy offsets.  He lives just west of castle rock, but we're willing to drive a few hours for a good day of climbing, and the more pitches the better!  thanks for any help!


trice Rice · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 0

In Eldo:

First pitch of works sup is about 5.8 and has bolts at the top.

First and second pitch (often combined as 1 awesome 35 meter pitch) of touch n' go is about 5.9- but soft for the grade in eldo.

first pitch of c'est la vie is 5.9-5.9+ and has bolted anchors.

top of the second pitch of green spur(hard 5.9) and/or rewritten(5.6-5.7) has bolted anchors that you could rap off. the next pitches all are gear.

first pitch of calypso (5.6)

first pitch of the bastille crack (5.7)

first pitch of west buttress (5.10a) 

Jeremy Bauman · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Feb 2009 · Points: 720

There are quite a few trad climbs in the front range with bolted anchors. Calypso in Eldo comes to mind as a great one. Lookout mountain has a 5.6 on the left with bolted anchors. North Table is full of them-- but you'd have to suffer the heat this time of year. Curving Crack in Boulder Canyon is super fun. Route Canal at Canal Zone in Clear Creek is a great 5.8 with bolted anchors. 

Have fun out there!

T G · · Colorado · Joined Jun 2015 · Points: 0

Hmm. I wouldn't put C'est la Vie, Green Spur and West Buttress in Eldo in the same 'moderate' category as 5.7 to 5.8. The lower part of West Buttress in particular can be terrifying. Also, the start of Rewritten to the massive bolted anchors at the Red Ledge is moderate, but somewhat finicky and typical Eldo in terms of gear placements. If you're starting out in trad and aren't 100% ready to go with natural gear anchors, I'd work up to those routes in Eldo...

There are many single and multi-pitch trad routes in Boulder Canyon with bolt anchors for belays and raps and/or walk-offs. Check out Cob Rock and Tonnere Tower on the south (shady) side of the canyon, and Blob Rock on the north (sunny/hot) side of the canyon.

Jeremy Justus · · Steamboat Springs, CO · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks friends! That's enough for the next few trips for sure, maybe I'll try eldo on Thursday. Stoked!

kinder · · Fort Collins, CO · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 0

The bomb in eldo. Has rings on first, and I believe 2nd pitch.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365

You could  also try the 1st pitch of Snuggles to Falls crack, Momster crack and end of an era at the Garden of the Gods.  Different style and a little slick, but really great routes with bomber anchors. 

coppolillo · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2009 · Points: 70

I'd ease into Eldo--some of those climbs aren't appropriate for a less-experienced leader...just a heads up. And the rap stations on the Wind Tower are mostly for rappelling--if there are other parties up there, that is the rap route...there are ample gear anchor opportunities nearby.....

Calypso seems like a good intro, Washington Irving, the West Chimney (make sure you're not in there on a weekend; also a rap route), there's a 5.3 on the back side of the Whale's Tail in Eldo (West Crack?) with bolts at the top...but I'd avoid Touch 'n Go and Werk Supp and the Green Spur for the moment....all tricky in their own ways....

There are several sport climbs in Boulder Canyon that offer gear opportunities, too---great practice, as you can skip the bolts you like, but back up your placements with fat, shiny bolts! Tonnere Tower, Cascade Crag, and the Sport Park all come to mind....all fixed anchors on those, too....

Have fun, man! 

jason.cre · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10

When considering most of the climbs mentioned, keep in mind that most are where the most accidents happen in Eldo -- I know calypso, werksupp, bastille crack, and rewritten are all in the top 10.  I think Calypso is home to the most accidents in Eldo.

 Also keep in mind that Chickenhead is probably easier than Calypso (by my estimation, and certainly easier to protect) and substantially easier than werksupp.   C'est la vie and West Buttress are a completely different universe than Chickenhead.  

Washington Irving is a good option, though.  Duh Dihedral might most fit what you are looking for, but its not very good.

Jon W · · Longmont Colorado · Joined Jun 2010 · Points: 95

If Larry Dalke did the FA and rated it a 9, then it'll be hard. 

A lot of gear placements in eldo are not straight forward.

Check out Happy Hour  in Bocan.

Beth Caughran · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 0
Dan Cooksey wrote:

You could  also try the 1st pitch of Snuggles to Falls crack, Momster crack and end of an era at the Garden of the Gods.  Different style and a little slick, but really great routes with bomber anchors. 

New Era also has anchors at the top of P1 and P2 (I always do them in one pitch, though).

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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