Type: Trad, TR
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,513 total · 17/month
Shared By: Tom Anderson-Brown on Jan 25, 2002
Admins: Burton Lindquist, Doug Hemken, chris tregge, James Schroeder

You & This Route

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The Jolly Roger is a fun climb with a great crack system. Start the climb by surmounting a 5 foot slab. Once on top of the slab climb the flat face with a series of cracks in it. The bottom of the face has a slight overhang, but it becomes vertical and then less than vertical as you climb higher. Use some fist jams and finger locks to get up this crack. The crux is near the middle of the climb in a smooth blank niche that requires a less-than-sure foot smear.


To get to the top of the Jolly Roger, hike along the East Bluff Trail and take the short scenic trail that dips down to the famous Devil's Doorway formation. There is a staircase that passes between two short walls of rock at the east end of this short trail. If you walk down these stairs you will see an outcropping straight ahead. Walk out onto the rock platform, and Jolly Roger faces southwest off the pinnacle below the east end of the platform.  
 To get to the bottom of the climb from here, walk back up the stairs discussed earlier and take a right (east) down the slope through the woods (before you get back to the main Devil's Doorway Trail).  This is the gully that sits between the Major Mass and Minor Mass. Hug the rock on your right and pass right (south) through the third "saddle" you see. Go through the saddle and turn right again (west) with the rock still to your right.  You are now on the ledge that separates the Upper and Lower bands of the Major Mass.  In Swartling's book on diagram 33E, page 141, you are standing somewhere between the words "Access" and "Angel's Traverse".  Scramble west about 100 feet until you get to the base of the climb.


Standard Rack


J Beta
New Hampshire
J Beta   New Hampshire  
There was a great picture of this route in Rock and Ice a few years back. Apr 29, 2002
Tom Anderson-Brown
Madison, WI
Tom Anderson-Brown   Madison, WI
My directions for getting to this climb are a little off in the route description. Instead of heading right through the first saddle while descending the gully, you should look for the third saddle. This will take you towards a pine tree with a horizontal dead branch that sticks out about 4 feet to the left. Duck under this branch and turn slightly right after passing it. This will lead you to Jolly Roger, Angel's Crack, Cedar Tree Wall, Mary Jane, Split Decision, Indecision, etc. Sep 20, 2002
This is a classic Devil's Lake route. Fun, steep, exposure, and good pro to boot. May 3, 2003
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Great lead. Gear from 1/4" to 2". I think the crux is at the bottom, myself. Sep 8, 2008
Ryan Strong
Golden, CO
Ryan Strong   Golden, CO
one of the most exposed climbs at the lake Apr 16, 2011
This is one of the best protected climbs at the lake and with absolutely classic moves. Aug 5, 2011
James Schroeder
Fort Collins, CO
James Schroeder   Fort Collins, CO  
Decent climbing in a cool position, with tricky, but sufficient pro. Mar 16, 2015
Mike Robinson
Boulder, CO
Mike Robinson   Boulder, CO
I think the gear, position and moves of this route are excellent. You even get an audience if your into that sort of thing. Aug 25, 2015
Mikeyy Blisz
Glendale Heights, IL
Mikeyy Blisz   Glendale Heights, IL
There is a large loose block at the top near the upper part. About the size of a pack, it is to the right of the main crack you follow up. It sits in place, but could easily be knocked out. October 2017 Dec 11, 2017
Andy Eiter
Madison, WI
Andy Eiter   Madison, WI
Loose block is still there. It really looks and feels like it could just pop out at the slightest tug, but apparently it doesn't ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Jul 6, 2018