Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,694 total · 39/month
Shared By: Matt Bauman on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

91 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure / Update Details


2 pitches. Start on top of huge boulder right of North Face Center and a huge, right-facing dihedral. Start right of this dihedral in a crack and head up. Continue thru right-facing system (not the huge one 15 feet left) and when it dies out keep going up on face (crux) to small ledge, then traverse right of arete and belay on small pillar. Head straight up to overhang and crank with a reachy and blind (but perfect) jug above tricky roof and on to easier ground and summit.


Standard rack.
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
I can't help it. So it's crowded. And you can actually still hear traffic...but Cob is my favorite rock in the canyon. It becons to be climbed. And the roof on the second pitch of this route (of course from the cushy belay tabletop in the sky) - exquisite. Big jugs above two pins. Beta? Lay it back and crank! Aug 24, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
After reading Michael's comments this morning, I KNEW which route I had to do today. Matt's description is accurate - however, I believe the route corresponds to number 8 as drawn on the photo... while the first belay ledge works well at about 5-10 feet down and right (at a fixed pin, just below the large fist-sized jams flake.

Yup, and I have to agree, turning the roof is pretty dang sweet. Took me a couple of minutes to figure it out, but not that bad once you figure it out.

I think you can probably lead this route with just stoppers, hexes, and draws... I rarely had to use cams, and even then it wasn't mandatory. Fun! Aug 24, 2001
I do think that new leaders should be warned that the face above the crack on the first pitch should be listed on the Spice Network! Good edges up the face but zippo pro. Aug 30, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
I think you mean the second pitch? That's the only place where I couldn't sew it up at will...

At the top/end of that shallow V-dihedral (where the face climbing starts) there was a great stance just left of it on a ledge. I was able to place a #3 stopper (or close) in a little notch (horizontal placement)- it made me feel a lot better than doing the moves with the .75 camalot 10 feet below. Aug 30, 2001
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
well, let's see. I climbed the crack to the right of the tree/bush with great jams and pro, then found myself standing on top of a small triangle/shelf before the face propper. There was a GREAT horizontal stopper placement at hip or lower (can't rememmber) - prob the one you speak of. Then I hit the face and moved straight up and then right to the arete where the small roof/left leaning crack is...I certainly felt the exposure with the rope 15' below me on that stopper! But I am a coward so that was pretty exciting. Maybe the route to the arete was my problem - looked cool/was cool - maybe better pro further up instead of right to the arete? Aug 30, 2001
FWIW, I also found the face above the crack to be "exciting". I certainly didn't feel like I was sewing it up. The most reasonable explanation is that I probably missed the gear to which Myke refers. Aug 30, 2001
If you start just below and to the right of the large boulder, there is a nice finger crack. I think that some of the guidebooks call it Northwest Corner Direct and give it a 10a rating. The hands are good but the feet are thin. The crack is easily protected with some smaller stoppers, you can even place one about ten feet up by getting on the boulder to the right. I know how many feel about pre-placing gear, but it protects you from a potentially painful fall into the cave below. A great variation to a wonderful climb. -BPC Jul 6, 2002
Definitely a fun route, spicier than others on [Cob Rock] with that face section. We should all give thanks to Layton for putting this up back in the day, imagine how hard and sketchy that first lead musta been in 59!!!!! Aug 14, 2002
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
Fun, varied moves on excellent rock. A bomber yellow Alien can be placed on top of the pedestal before committing to the runout face section. Jul 21, 2003
What a fantastic mental focus problem. Those face moves are pretty easy, but blowing it would be extremely unpleasant, wouldn't it? I found myself standing there for several minutes, irrationally waiting for the traffic noise to die down a bit, consequently exhausting my feet. After a short retreat I pulled thru it without difficulty. After the face I apparently got off-route, moving left into a short dihedral, under the roof, then traversing left on a neat hand crack, finally pulling up and over on a system just to the right of the top of Empor. There was a bit of lichen, but a fair amount of chalk, too. Is there a route between Empor and NW corner? I also did the whole thing in one pitch, and I didn't find the drag to be too terrible. Sep 27, 2004
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
An alternative start to the route is to climb down under the big boulder and climb the shallow dihedral (5.8) just to the left of the route. This is also an alternate start to Empor. There are some fun moves on this and good pro. Be careful if you climb down from the west side of the boulder as the landing is a little nasty.

You can bypass the runout face on this route by going a few feet right into a flaring corner with an old pin (probably Layton's!). The moves are harder (5.9ish), but the pro is decent. Jun 21, 2006
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
For added excitement, don't bail around the corner, but continue straight up the corner to the top! Aug 30, 2009
Matt Swartz
Camper van on the road.
Matt Swartz   Camper van on the road.
We started around the right of the arete at the base, going up a face with a crack that took a blue TCU. A slightly spicy start (not sure what this route is part of) but a fun alternative to the standard start. Sep 3, 2009
Mark Cushman
Cumming, GA
  5.8 PG13
Mark Cushman   Cumming, GA
  5.8 PG13
Matt, that alternate start is called Hurley Direct, great start to the climb! Sep 3, 2009
Hoag Hoag
Littleton, CO
Hoag Hoag   Littleton, CO
This is a really fun route with lots of variety. The face sections are a bit run out, but the features are solid, so there's very little risk of taking a big whipper.

We climbed this in one pitch with a 70 meter rope. I ran out of alpine draws along the way, so the rope drag got pretty bad. If you link both pitches, make sure you have a bunch of extendable draws with you. Apr 25, 2012
Cornelius Jefferson
  5.8 PG13
Cornelius Jefferson  
  5.8 PG13
Rated this PG. If you're solid at the grade, the face is no big deal, but a fall there would be fairly long and very painful considering the ledgy nature of the rock. Heads up to the fledgling 5.8 leader.

Nice varied climbing on a cool chunk of rock. I do it as one pitch, usually w/ the direct start, and with long runners in the right spots there isn't much rope drag (70m rope). Jul 24, 2013
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
There is a new rappel route from the summit. It was installed to help mitigate the degradation of the standard walk off, which is in major disrepair. There are two chain anchors near the summit, basically between the top of Empor and Northwest Corner. There is another rap station on a small ledge between those two routes for a second rappel. Two raps with one 60-meter rope gets you down. Aug 1, 2013
I climbed at Cob yesterday, did NF center and Northwest Corner and used the new raps. I think the location of the lower station changes the character of the slight runout section on the Northwest Corner. You can now clip the bolted anchor instead of trusting the "seemingly" bomber sideways placed nut backed up by a green Alien below. I have never taken the fall on that gear, but over the years I have stood on the ledge having to muster the courage to cast off into the territory above. I did not clip the bolted station for pro, but it seems like future climbers will be having a different experience on the route if they do use it.

I also think the location of the rappel line will create problems for climbers doing the Northwest Corner as other parties rap down, as it did with only two parties on Cob on Friday. I can appreciate the efforts of wanting to minimize erosion, but walking down from the summit takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Perhaps the trail could be improved, or the location of this rappel line can be moved further right, to routes that get much less traffic than Northwest Corner. I have enjoyed climbing the historic routes like North Face Left, North Face Center, Empor, and Northwest Corner over the years with no bolts or fixed stations, only ancient pitons, marveling at the skill of those early ascensionists. This is an experience that is disappearing in Boulder Canyon with this small section of Cob Rock as one of the last holdouts.

Installing the rap route was probably not done with the intention of altering the experience on this route, but in my opinion it has. Aug 3, 2013