Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: Mike O'Brien, Jim Crandle, 1953
Page Views: 13,410 total · 60/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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P1: begin about 30 feet down the hill from "East Slab" and climb through 3 small roofs. Arc left under the large block to a "cozyhang."

P2: traverse left around the corner and belay from a good ledge.

P3: follow the crack up to an awesome dihedral (crux), which may seem harder than 5.7 if you don't jam and stem. Continue on up the crack past the dihedral to the top.

Descent: walkoff to the right side of the Dome.


Standard rack up to #3 Friend.
Ben Mottinger

Ben Mottinger    
Did the 10a variation today with Charles--instead of exiting through the normal V-slot, take a hand crack angling right, just 15ft from the belay then continue to the summit via another nice crack. Jan 1, 2001
You can easily lead this with just a set of nuts and hexes. Oct 22, 2001
Amos Patrick
Estes Park
Amos Patrick   Estes Park
Great route! We did it in 2 pitches instead of 3. If you use long slings you can skip the first belay head right on up to the second belay ledge without the rope drag getting too bad. Watch out for bird poop! Jul 9, 2002
What a great, unusual route this is! When I first started climbing it seems I was always at the Dome. There are a few great moderate routes here. I remember thinking the bulge on the first pitch was so desperate... It still is non-trivial.

A few years ago, with George Bell, I led this route in one pitch with no simul-climbing! Now this involved some SERIOUS rope drag! Why do this? We were trying to go fast and do this, the Owl, and the East Slab during our lunch hour. I'm not sure doing this as one pitch sped things up though. It's got to be one of the more ridiculous things I've done while climbing... Jul 9, 2002
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
You can also link up pitches 2 and 3 with acceptable levels of rope drag. I remember having 2 pieces for the traverse, both with shoulder slings on them.... after scrambling left and then back right, the rope was straight down from me once I was at the roof.

Why is this roof so hard for me? Maybe it's that old-school 5.7 rating... stupid old-schoolers, denying me my ego-stroking boost... Oct 13, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Myke, I agree about the roof seeming harder than 7. Did it yeserday. Did The Owl and finished going up thru this "A" roof variation. It protects well and even has an old pin to clip up near the opening, which I backed up with a stopper. Once you pull up thru and are standing up there exposed, you realize there isn't much to work with except for the one crack which I threw the last two fingers on the right hand in and locked. Not much for the left hand to grab. Thankfully your standing on the chocked up ledge underneath. I placed a shakey .3 camalot in the shallow crack that probably would have pulled had I fallen, as my fingers began to slip from persperation while I pulled the rope for the clip and thought of a acquaintance who decked from there and broke his ankle a few years back. I managed to regrip and crank up enough to reach a knob for the left foot and a rest. IMHO it felt harder than its rating but it was fun nonetheless. Oct 14, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I agree, this top roof is harder than 5.7 to onsight, but is maybe 5.7 after you have it wired. I remember the first time I cranked over the roof I thought "must be a good jug here if this is 5.7" - 30 seconds later I was still looking for it. You have to stem and use the feet well to get over this. The E Slab roof is also tricky for many beginners although at a considerably easier level. Mar 3, 2003
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
I'd hate to see the sequence shot for that guy's maneuver. Makes my back hurt just looking at it! Apr 12, 2003
I agree with the last poster: tricky bulge on the first pitch. I'd also like to suggest that trusting the fixed pins here (and elsewhere on this route for that matter) is not such a great idea. My brother and I did this last weekend, I led every pitch, and didn't clip a single pin...many are have cracked eyes, and all are manky. Doesn't matter too much, though, as there is plenty of gear placements wherever needed.

The last pitch's roof is definitely a sandbag at "new school" 5.7 -- but, if you get stumped, it eats up the gear and shouldn't be too tough to aid through if necessary with just a couple cams and some long slings.

Great route. Apr 17, 2003
I think the roof might be sandbagged, but not all that much. I'd say it goes at a tricky 5.8 or 5.7+, personally, the crux being figuring out that your head is the most versatile piece of equipment in your quiver. I just put my foot out left on the good ledge, hands on the chalked flake and went left hand way up to the small v-slot, then jammed my head, right hand in the pocket, and right foot up. from there I could peek out, reach right hand up into the seam, and sort of squeeze with my legs straddling the arete until I could reach the bomber handhold at the back.

It pumped me out, sure, but I thought it was just tricky, and you just have to stay balanced and not worry about things like exposure and pro (namely the fact that there's an ankle breaking ledge below your last piece you will surely nail). I've climbed easier 5.10's, though. Anyone try the 5.9+ on th eleft-side, I think it's called Gorilla's Delight? Whatever the second pitch is, that first .9+ corner is a bastard. Maybe it's just something with th eDome... Sep 18, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
After climbing this for the third time the other day, I'm inclined to say that the traverse is a bit sandbagged. At least at 5.7 anyway. I agree with Adam. 5.8 is my grade due to the size of the holds and moves. Rope drag can be a bit of a bear... If you have time, make it three pitches. If not, link one and two together, but make certain your rope doesn't get snagged in the notch just west of the 'hang. Anyone know the real rating for the alternate finish at the top of pitch two? I onsighted Blind Faith on the Bastille and fell on this. Maybe I was too pumped out from a recue performed, but still... If you choose to do this roof (which you ALL should), throw a cam in high, clip it, and go for the fist jam after two positive hands in the crack. It's a GREAT finish.~Wm Oct 21, 2003
Hmmm...I think you are wanting to say that the traverse is 5.8 while my comment was directed only at the overhang on the upper pitch. I'm not sure if I'd necessarily agree that this is too sandbagged at 5.7, but might make a note that it's a difficult 5.7. The upper overhang, however, is definitely harder than 5.7, going at what I would say is either a hard 5.7+ or tricky 5.8-. Oct 28, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
You are quite correct Adam. I apologize for not articulating. My point was that the feet are small and polished (a la pigeon) for the traverse and woe betide the second having to unclip the piton and downclimb to the traverse who is not lead-solid at a 5.7 grade. It is just a little spooky for anyone new to the grade, etc. When I mentioned the alternate finish, I was referring to the 5.10a/b crack-traverse that I believe Ben Mottinger has a picture of on The Owl. You may reach this by not passing it on the way to the last overhang of Cozyhang (there are what... five on the route if you include the starter overhangs...?). It takes immaculate cams in the 1-1.5" range if I recall and gives you a bit of a pump due to the lack of feet. That's what I was referring to, though I remember the bit JUST below the top of Cozyhang (getting off the rest ledge and up to the last 10 feet) was also a bit challenging for my girlfriend. Trust the rope, try something funky, and as James Garnett says, Crank, I tell you!!! ~Wm Oct 29, 2003
  • Damn I'm stupid. The crank part I was referring to just below the finish was supposed to be on East Slab. Forgive my idiocy and forget the bit about the rest ledge... It's on East Slab.~Wm
Oct 29, 2003
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Not a whole lot that feels real "cozy" about this route. I would echo a comment above that even seconds need to be pretty solid because there are some traverses necessary that you just can't completely protect. Unclipping and downclimbing under the "cozyhang" belay is a tricky bit for a newer climber. It's all there, but a little polished and you can't always see your feet the way you would like because of bulges. Also that pin at the top of the final roof has got to be the mankiest thing i have ever seen. Should go any day soon and wouldn't trust it for anything important like maybe say, your life. Nice to be able and get out in climb in January at 65 degrees! Jan 21, 2005
Fun route, although I like the Owl a bit better. I linked p1 and 2 - the rope drag was getting pretty bad at the end, but not unbearable. The traverse is kinda tricky, but didn't feel any harder than say 5.6ish (good pro before and after the hard moves). The second definitely needs to be solid at that grade. I've done the crux roof at the end several times now, and wow, it sure feels hard for a 5.7.... May 9, 2005
Loveland, CO
KevinCO   Loveland, CO
Have climbed on the Dome many times and have introduced many friends to the sport here. Recall a time I climbed Cozyhang with a climber met on the bulletin board. I led all pitches and when we got to the top, he (forgot his name) flopped on his back and exclaimed, "5.7? No way!" I didn't mean to sandbag him.
Another time, with Charlie, (a partner of many roadtrips (Castleton Tower, Shelf Road, Indian Creek, etc) and alpine climbs), we climbed Christmas week when there were many inches of ice seeping out of the crack at the traverse into the slot. I was glad I wasn't leading! Mar 22, 2006
Jerry Cagle
Tucson, AZ
Jerry Cagle   Tucson, AZ
This would get three stars if not for the pigeon shit everywhere... Jul 4, 2006
The roof on the fist pitch is a bit tricky until you figure it out. Not sure about 5.7, but it's only one move.

I have yet to be able to pull the roof on the last pitch. I have finished with the east slab. I about dislocted my shoulder a number of times..ha! Im sure it's all there but I just can figure it out. Sep 20, 2007
Shawn Mitchell
Shawn Mitchell   Broomfield
One glory of climbing is that we can all have different experiences on the same moves. Climbed Cozyhang for the first time this morning. The 3rd roof bulge on P1 felt harder than any single move on P1 of Werk Supp. I slipped off, got mad and cranked through second try. The top roof, however, felt like an awkward 5.6 boulder problem. Pushing off a right hand jam in the wall behind me made it casual. Jun 28, 2008
Moriah Fremd
Boulder, CO
Moriah Fremd   Boulder, CO
This is the hairiest 7 I've done or seen, have had less flop sweat on a 10. Belaying the second pitch from under the big roof feels pretty exposed and heady for a relative beginner. I agree that the mix of moves makes for a great overall climb. Jul 18, 2008
John Maguire
Boulder, CO
John Maguire   Boulder, CO
Watch out for pigeons having sex on this rock. It is the pigeon brothel of Boulder. Sometimes it can be very frustrating. If you spit on them, they fly away. Dec 8, 2008
Tucker P
Tucker P  
I kicked off Boulder Canyon season today with the always enjoyable Cozyhang. The fixed pieces all seemed pretty solid (still, I backed most of them up.) A big thank you to whomever left the sling under the big roof. It made p2 much more enjoyable, especially for my second who appreciated not having to down climb. Apr 8, 2009
I really liked this climb. P1 is the easiest one.... P2 is fun... have to downclimb from the belay stance. But not that hard, good holds and short. P3... well there is one move and I couldn't figure it out. It's not that hard but really awkward. Honestly, I pull on my rope to get over this, but I will got back and nail this one down. Jul 12, 2009
Jake Kay
Jackson WY
Jake Kay   Jackson WY
I honestly felt getting over the third layered roof on the first pitch was a harder move than the crux roof on p3. Maybe because the pigeons living on the crack of the roof were rooting for me. The cozy belay spot isn't so cozy, but the traverse isn't all that bad if your careful. Jul 24, 2009
Greg Speer
Fort Collins, CO
Greg Speer   Fort Collins, CO
For the second pitch we went right around the block from the first belay for some reason. This is a bit of a grovel up an easy chimney. Still ended up at the second belay spot below the devious P3 crux roof problem. I do feel that the P1 and P3 cruxes are 5.8. Oct 8, 2009
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Distinctly undergraded - more like 5.9 in my estimation. P1 technical move past overlap with polished rock, P2 very awkward, P3 a struggle. UK grade HVS 5a, 4c, 5a. More pigeons than Trafalgar Square! Oct 28, 2009
I don't understand ratings in this area. I can usually handle 5.9 leads, but this one, while one of the best routes I've ever done, was psychological warfare. Jun 25, 2010
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Back in the '70s, before it got so polished and slick, you could walk right up it, even in non-sticky shoes (Royal Robbins), that's where the rating comes from. First time I did it (1972), I was told it was a "tricky 5.6, just trust your feet and don't hug the rock". That's a pretty common occurence in high traffic areas. Look at all the holds in Eldo that are greasy with chalk, if you don't use chalk the rating feels like at least 1 or 2 numbers above the original. Jun 25, 2010
Rodger Raubach
Rodger Raubach  
This was only the second climb I had ever done back in Fall 1960, and I thought it was a real grunt fest. I managed the route well enough, but I've been back only once since and still don't care for the climb. It was still a grunt. Other than the E. Slab route, most Dome climbs are pretty devious. I've always preferred Cob Rock for Boulder Canyon elegance. Sep 10, 2010
One of the first ascentionists of this classic climb, Mike O'Brien, passed away within the last couple of years. I learned this about a week ago when on a road trip to El Rito, N.M., Henry Lester pulled out a collector's quality, Swiss-made, wood shafted, north wall hammer to pound in the tent stakes. After remarking on its beauty, Henry informed me that he had acquired it from Mike's estate.

I doubt that when Mike bought this hammer as a young man in the '50s for his alpine adventures that he imagined that it would ultimately be used by two sport climbers to hammer in tent pegs some 60 years later, or even imagine "sport" climbing for that matter. But, he might have appreciated that some of his associations with climbing, whether that be his hammer or his super cool route, Cozyhang, have remained within the climbing realm. Oct 14, 2011
Justin Brunson
Broomfield CO
Justin Brunson   Broomfield CO
I linked P1 and P2, rope drag was minimal. I found it hard to protect the traverse, which really caused my second some stress. Something to think about if you bring a friend who's uncomfortable smearing. Apr 22, 2012
This gets a puddle of ice right after the first belay that doesn't melt very quickly. If you combine this with approach shoes and cold hands, it feels a few grades harder. Jan 17, 2015
Jim Fox
Westminster, CO
Jim Fox   Westminster, CO
Just climbed this with my son for Father's Day. It's the 7th time I've done this route and still fun but seems to be harder than it was 25 years ago.... Jun 19, 2016