Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Layton Kor, Ben Chidlaw, 1959
Page Views: 22,608 total · 102/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

307 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure Details


Begin almost directly under the huge boulder just to the right of the A-shaped roof. Skirt a small bulge, instead following a crack from the left up and to the right. Look for the horns on the face to your right. Move up, through the nice fist crack, and belay from the ledge above the boulder.

Pitch 2: do the same as for Cozyhang. Cruise up to a wicked, small A-shaped roof. Jam and stem up and out, and follow the crack up the face to the left another 10 feet.


Standard rack.
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
From the belay atop P1, you can also take the 5.10/9+ hand crack that exits the roof 15 feet up and right from you. It's somewhat awkward, in that it's half roof / half hand traverse, but an enjoyable and well-protected exit variation. Jan 27, 2002
The roof on the second pitch can be made very easy by getting a wide (but not too wide) stance in the chest high shelf that starts below the horizontal part of the roof and leaning a bit to the left. Feb 4, 2002
I must have missed the easy way around the roof. I thought It was another boulder classic sandbag route. What a great climb. Both pitches have good moves. Not a good beginer lead. May 27, 2002
Stephen Allen
Stephen Allen  
I left a 7 BD hex and a carabiner on 4-12-03 to lower from when I got off route. If anyone wants them they are about an inch up and to the left of the woman's head in that picture of the two people at the base of the owl. Once I figured out the route it was really fun (the two roof sections are awkward, but well protected). Apr 12, 2003
Tonya Clement
Boulder, CO
Tonya Clement   Boulder, CO
This was a lead I feared for a long time, in fact I hated following it because I always muscled through the pigeon poop crack and had to take on the roof...a couple nights ago a friend showed me new techniques and it made all the difference. Tonight on lead I learned this route can be easy but I agree it is not a beginner lead. On lead I found (being short 5'2") that reaching for the chicken head on P1 was the hardest move since I was a bit above and right of my last piece. The crack and the roof protect well and in a relaxed state are oh so very fun. Now I gotta find the nerve to lead P1 (over the bulge) of Cozy Hang. Jun 19, 2003
Jay Hippel
Denver, CO
Jay Hippel   Denver, CO
I agree it seems like another classic boulder sandbag. Don't go climb 5.8's at Happy Hour and think you've got it easy. Great climb though. Bomber gear. Tricky but rewarding crux moves. Not a beginner climb, go do east slab. Sep 23, 2003
Matt Chan
Matt Chan   Denver
Fun climb that protects fairly well too the summit. Seems like rope drag could be a real problem on the second pitch if you don't a have a least 1 extra long runner (especially in the dihedral slot). Anyone ever test the pin on p2? Mar 11, 2004
Stephen Allen
Stephen Allen  
I found a stopper below the first belay on The Owl / Cozyhang. I think it's a #11. Give me a call at 303-929-2041 if you want it back. Apr 5, 2005
I've lead this twice now, and it surely feels stout for a 5.7. Definitely not a good beginner lead. That old pin on p2 looks fairly manky (the ring is pretty rusted), probably a good idea to back it up. Apr 18, 2005
Jayer Chung
Jayer Chung  
Watch rope drag on the 1st pitch, and stay on route. 5.7 roof move on the last pitch is committing. Aliens, 1 set of hand-sized cams, and nuts (BD stoppers #4-8) sufficient. May 11, 2006
Cody Munger
Carson City, NV
Cody Munger   Carson City, NV
I've done another 5.9 (?) exit variation to the ending that slips around the left side of the final roof and climbs a steep face to a frictiony dihedral. Not in the Rossiter guidebook that I saw. May 16, 2006
If 5.7 is around your leading limit and you're looking for climbs in this area, I personally found this to be a little harder than the Standard Route on the Elephant Buttress and a little easier than Cozyhang. And the ten minutes or so that I spent gathering the nerve to grovel over to the chickenheads rank as perhaps the most humbling that I can remember off the top of my head. Jul 24, 2006
Grand Junction
Merlin   Grand Junction
I'm with Nick on this one. I plugged a Grey Alien in the crack before the chicken heads then spent 15 minutes thinking about going for it. The move is really easy once you grab them but if you have trouble reaching them it can be intimidating.

The roof at the top is pretty easy though, skip the piton and sink a number 2 BD to your right to keep the rope out of your way, climb up high, stem super wide, jam and arm, and it's over. I personally found grabbing for the chicken heads to be a lot more commiting than the roof. Overall a great and varied climb but I would have been very unhappy to tackle this as one of my first 5.7 leads. Mar 21, 2007
Kaner   Eagle
Left lots of booty yesterday, if anybody cleans my stuff I'd love it back. My partner could not unclip a BD Neutrino QD in the old mangy pin I clipped just for the hell of it. Also, in the final hand crack, I tried and tried and tried until my bloody hands gave up to fish out a green Metolius cam. If found and returned, good beer is your reward. Thanks. May 4, 2007
A 70m rope will get you to the top in 1 pitch with bad, but bearable, rope drag (finishing via the p2 .10 handcrack variation). Accidentally did an interesting variation on p1. Instead of jogging left under the bulge and traversing back right, I went straight up to get into the small dihedral before traversing right to the chickenheads. If you look in the photo with the description "Ran is traversing..." the line I did goes up the small crack about 10 feet right and a little bit down from the climber. An insecure layback over ok gear was fairly exciting and felt more difficult than .7. Feb 16, 2009
Rich F.
Colorado Springs, CO
Rich F.   Colorado Springs, CO
Fabulous route! Climbed it with my wife on Friday. Probably the toughest "short" 5.7 trad climb I've ever led. Protects well, but had to think through the zig-zag bulges and roofs. The moves through the A-frame roof seemed harder than 5.7 to me -- especially on my first attempt! Second try went better after my wife graciously pointed out a good place to stem with my right foot. Despite (or maybe because of) the challenge, I loved the route. I'll be back! Jun 7, 2009
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
"The moves through the A-frame roof seemed harder than 5.7 to me -- especially on my first attempt!"

The key to that move is the infamous "head jam", makes it a piece of cake :-) (see pictures on CozyHang) Jun 8, 2009
No need to worry about the manky pin on P2: the ring and eye are gone. I wonder if someone accidentally tested it. A grey/yellow Alien fits below the pin. Along with the #2 BD, this felt well protected, as long as your belayer keeps you off the slab. Nov 10, 2009
Patrick Mulligan
Reno, NV
Patrick Mulligan   Reno, NV
This was my first climb after moving to Boulder to go to school. Fond memories indeed. Dec 6, 2011
Albuquerque, NM
farkas.time   Albuquerque, NM
Tonnes of fun. Excellent pro. Great fist jamming and some awesome committing moves. Zig-zaggy route, so draw placement and extension were tricky. Nuts and cams, varied to 3". We did 3 pitches to avoid rope drag at the cruxes. This felt pretty natural, except the 3rd pitch was quite short. Communication was difficult on this route (and all of the Dome), especially with a rushing river. May 6, 2012
Yesterday I on-sight free soloed this route. After soloing the slab for the second time and on-sighting the leftmost problem on the East Boulder, therefore finishing the boulder's problems in the on-sight, no-crash pad style, I began up the Owl. Cruising and criss-crossing, I traversed right confronting the "chickenheads". With a quick jerk and snag, I latched a distant knob. My right foot then naturally slid urgently to the lower knob. Pulling over I felt relieved. This initial sequence was over, and went smoothly at that. With a simple yet high step, I was beneath a roof. Confident on hand jams I proceed not knowing the shit show my sight to feet ratio was going to be. Looking back I should have smeared right more, but once I felt the awkwardness set in, I reverted to classic foot below hand jams. Unfortunately the position greatly hindered the sight, feel, and movement of my foot jams, so I put as much body to the wall as I could and powered my hand jams over into the depth of the "V"-shaped slot. Groveling into easy territory, I quickly became free and danced the slab to the final roof, which I found to be the crux. After a few attacks and subsequent retreats, I committed. Right hand jamming high in the right crack, I stood up with my left completely this time, hoping to find a jam or something to sustain gracefully through the obstacle, yet to no avail. I resorted to grope around the left roof arete. Finding what seemed decent in the heat of the moment, I crimped. Matched feet for balance symmetry, and somehow, after a bit of desperation, found a perfect little knob that seemed to be directly above the apex of the roof. Wish I knew that was there. The next few moves appeared to be weird but turned out to be an amazing, exposed, almost completely horizontal rest directly above the roof. Feeling refreshed, I began the escape from my rock bed and stretched my way into the final hand crack. I spent probably ten minutes in the crack feeling the wind and thought before ending the route. Awe inspiring experience. Oddly I felt good about my climbing despite the moments of adverse distress. Jan 24, 2013
Rick Vermeil
Erie, CO
Rick Vermeil   Erie, CO
Beware - classic Boulder sandbag! Apr 28, 2014
Hiro Protagonist
Hiro Protagonist   Colorado
Sandbagged and confusing, not for a beginner lead - probably best if you are a 5.8-5.9 leader because you can get yourself in some pretty sketch locations if you get lost like I did. The climbing was ok, but not great, combined with the fact that you'll spend half your time wondering if you're on route. D'Antonio gives it lots of stars, perhaps he knows exactly where to go, I almost want to give it the bomb for the aforementioned reasons. Aug 9, 2014
Oakland Park, Florida
Floridaputz   Oakland Park, Florida
The Owl is worth all the stars, but it's a "Kor" route, so that explains the 5.7 rating, but forget about the rating and climb it. My partner was not offering up any beta, so I found it kept me guessing and engaged. I felt like I just climbed a classic and was thrilled. Aug 22, 2015
Cary Gaynor
Cary Gaynor   Longmont,CO
A classic Kor route as mentioned from the previous posts. Not straightforward like Kor's route on Cob Rock, but very thought provoking, route finding and protection skills needed. Bring lots of long runners and know how to use them. A five star, challenging route, that is a timeless classic! Climbed East Slab as a warm up. Oct 18, 2015
Justin Brunson
Broomfield CO
Justin Brunson   Broomfield CO
It's a bit of a wanderer, but I wouldn't say it's that confusing. Aim for the break in the roof, follow the line of least resistance, and extend most of your placements. Feb 23, 2016
Chris Weber
Boulder, CO
Chris Weber   Boulder, CO
I posted this under the Dave Clark photo:
Instead of going right to the chickenheads as shown here, I recently followed cracks left and then right to end up just below the huge roof where there is a pin and some tat. From there, a difficult move right can be made (mossy and wet), and I ended up with feet on top chickenhead. Anyone know the name of that variation? Or grade? Rossiter guide makes it seem like the first ascent traversed that way to get into the A-frame/hand crack exit for the end of the first pitch. Aug 23, 2016
Craig Gomulka
Boulder, CO
Craig Gomulka   Boulder, CO
We had a blast following the footsteps of the great Layton, really enjoyed this route, has a little bit of everything. Classic "Kor 5.7" for sure, definitely agree with the other comments, not a beginner 5.7. Aug 12, 2017
David Willenbrink
Denver, CO
David Willenbrink   Denver, CO
Tried to climb before work (2/28/19) but ran out of time and had to rap with the intention of coming back to retrieve my gear. When I came back after work, the gear was gone. I know by booty rules whoever got it has the right to the gear, but I would appreciate getting it back if you don't mind.

It was an orange cordelette, a quickdraw, and 2 nuts (offsets).

If have it, please text or call me at 513-304-7337, I appreciate it! Mar 1, 2019 · Lost & Found