Type: Trad
FA: unknown
Page Views: 7,920 total · 36/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

144 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure Details


Begin on top of the water pipe at the mouth of the tunnel and pull across to the horizontal crack. A #0.5 Friend is nice to protect this first section. Follow the crack to the bottom of a vertical crack. Follow this up to some blocks and either jam right (5.6) or left (5.9, #5a). Either way ends up on beautiful 5.8 cracks to the summit.

Descent: walkoff.

Extra credit: wade the tunnel all the way through the 4th Buttress.


Standard rack up to #2.5 Friend.


Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
Did this pitch today, and although I wasn't expecting much, it turned out to be one of the best pitches I've done in Boulder Canyon. Steep, continuous, interesting moves, a good mixture of crack and face, and occasionally thought-provoking pro and route-finding. Apr 6, 2002
This is a fun and challenging route. We TR'd it and had a great time with the various route variations. The TR setup is very straightforward with many blocks on top to set up your anchor system. You will need a 60 meter rope to reach the pipe. The tunnel is dry and provides great access to the east side of the buttresses. Apr 10, 2002
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Steep, continuously interesting, varied climbing; one of the best 5.8s in Boulder Canyon. Three stars. Make sure you have Aliens or TCUs to protect the initial vertical section; offset Aliens would work really well here. Watch out for poison ivy on the descent; the worst of it can be avoided by angling left onto rock instead of going straight down toward the tunnel. The tunnel was dry, with one small wet spot, on 8/10/02. A good summer climb since it's in the shade until mid-afternoon. Aug 10, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
A quality, good length pitch that offers positive holds, good stemming and placements.As mentioned above, a few slightly flared cracks down low can be protected with small aliens if you don't own offset cams. Most of the climb is 6 or 7 until above half way where the angle of the route increases. Here a section of hand and foot jams takes you thru what I felt was the 8 crux not too far from the top. Many different variations are possible on this face as cracks are galore. This climb is fun and well worth your time. Oct 16, 2002
Set a good anchor behind the belayer so that a leader fall on the first traverse move won't pull them off the pipe and over the ledge. A small nut high in the crack after the first traverse move will protect the second from a ground fall. A tri-cam works for the start of pitch two. Very satisfying climb! Jun 3, 2003
Climb this last night after work... AWESOME climb. Started off to just do a quick climb, and think I ended up on the 9 portion..Nice. Definite must do climb! Like others said TCUs and or Aliens are good down low. WATCH your rope drag if you protect the starting traverse and head straight up.. cheers Jun 19, 2003
Awesome climb. Red tricam is best for protecting your ass after the traverse which is best left unprotected. Three stars Aug 4, 2003
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Did his today. Great climb on a mild January day. Mental crux (especially for shorter folks) might be the step across from the pipe to get onto the rock. The holds are there but it takes committment. After that enjoy the sustained nature of the climb. Lots of variety with some thought provoking areas. The tunnel was dry as of today and made for an easy return. Jan 23, 2004
A must do in the area for the grade. We started from the ground below the pipe. It's a touch chossy, but it adds a few fun moves that are consistent with the difficulty of the climb. Jul 19, 2004
Great route. It doesn't look like much from a distance, but it's really quite interesting, with some excellent jamming near the top. Aug 5, 2004
Brandon Bogardus
Scottsdale, AZ
Brandon Bogardus   Scottsdale, AZ
Really fun climb. A couple of notes: pro up to the detached block in the middle of the climb is a little sparse. This could be very scary if you're just breaking into leading 5.7/5.8 trad. Be prepared (guidebooks never seem to prepare you for this stuff). Also, the traverse into the climb (starting at the pipe) is a little sketchy. Do your best to protect the second, as a fall here could result in quite a ride. Sep 12, 2005
Boo T. Call  
It's also fun to start this route up the left-leaning splitter of Zolar Czakl (also a great climb) just above & right of the step off the pipe. Climb to the overlap/roof of ZC and traverse right across nice flakes, with occasional good gear. Then link into the 5.9 variation of NW face. Cool wall! Don't forget to boulder the tasty 30' 5.7 splitter in the short wall above the 4th Elephant. Sep 25, 2005
jay baichi  
I think if you're breaking into 5.8, this one will be scary. Gear is sparse and tricky in spots. Jan 1, 2008
John Jennings
Boulder, CO
John Jennings   Boulder, CO
The 5.9 variation of this route is sweet! This is definitely one of the best 5.8/5.9 trad routes in Boulder Canyon. Apr 27, 2008
Boulder, CO
kevinnlong   Boulder, CO
I disagree with previous comments. This route protects very, very well, particularly once the traverse is completed. The difficult sections can all be sewn up appropriately. I would strongly recommend this route to those breaking into 5.8. The climbing is straightforward, the gear is great, and the rock is pretty steep! Furthermore, the climb is varied and sustained; what else could one ask for? Jul 11, 2008
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
The water pipe has a hole in it that fountains right next to the start (if you're starting from the ground).

Rather than get wet, we moved ~50 right, just left of the corner to a nice ledge. There is some crappy rock for ~20ft off the ground that leads to good, left trending, thin cracks. These cracks go up to a bush, that connects to the route after its traverse. This variation felt like 5.7+ S, the S being for the poor rock at the start, but the moves are enjoyable. Jun 8, 2009
John Maguire
Boulder, CO
  5.8 PG13
John Maguire   Boulder, CO
  5.8 PG13
This route is fun for sure. Some will disagree, but I don't think I would recommend this for someone just breaking to the 5.8 grade. The first section of the route does not protect great. Most of the cracks are too shallow/flared to get a good downward facing cam into.

It is also extremely important to consider rope drag. I ran into some problems when the rope was feeding through a crack below me. This made the final 30' quite difficult. It's an awesome climb, but one that you should definitely take seriously. Doubles in #2, 0.75 were helpful. I think a 0.3 and 0.4 would also be worth having since my standard rack ends at 0.5. Apr 18, 2010
It was kinda chilly when I cleaned this route, but the view from the top was totally worth it. Nice to have something with crack and face also the granite is amazing in Boulder (: I love rock climbing. Apr 4, 2011
Justin Brunson
Broomfield CO
Justin Brunson   Broomfield CO
This route reminded me why toproping can be SO MUCH FUN. Do two or three laps, trying all the variations! Apr 29, 2012
Dustin Sysko
Dustin Sysko  
There is a chain (just one) cemented into the rocks at the top of this route. Since there are cracks in the cement and I can't inspect the attachment anyhow, I wouldn't rap from it. The variations add to some internal debate on which way to go. The answer turned out to be 'up'. Bring lots of slings. May 10, 2012
Alex and Kona
Boulder, CO
Alex and Kona   Boulder, CO
Great climb! I would consider this a must do for Boulder and an easy grab after work. The route wanders, so match up your photos or you're in for a headache. Jun 6, 2012
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
The eggs have hatched.... Little ones there now.

Also, if you left some gear and want it back... Found: Booty at 4th Elephant Buttress. Jun 18, 2012
NickinCO   colorado
5.9 variation was lots of fun. Only a couple moves, go for it! Jun 29, 2012
Las Vegas
carterrrrrr   Las Vegas
This is a great climb! One of the first 8s I have lead on trad and had no problem. The gear is simple except in a few situations that require a tiny bit of creativity (or courage). Sep 18, 2012
Matt Chan
Matt Chan   Denver
High gravity day??? I don't know, but I had a tough time with this 5.8. Once you leave the horizontal ledge, the next 20 feet aren't super well protected... flaring a bit. Gear is solid above that, but it's plenty sustained. Great one with really nice exposure. Reminded me of P2 of Over The Hill in Eldo. Jun 3, 2015
Joe Trabucco
Boulder, co
Joe Trabucco   Boulder, co
Fabulous. Heady lead for someone not strong at the grade. First 20 feet coming off the big ledge are best protected with offset cams. It would be tough to safely lead that section without them. After that, the climbing is mostly in cracks and sustained with great gear. Aug 5, 2017
Bruce M
Bruce M  
This definitely did not disappoint! We TR'd it with the idea of climbing the main route and variation. but halfway through, a typical Boulder 50-60 mph gale force wind came ripping through the canyon in advance of a snow storm tomorrow, so we only did the main route. We took a slightly different line from that of the Beta photo: about 15 feet from the top we cut back right about 5 feet into the visible cleft which ends at the top, which was slightly climber's right of the chain (seemed plenty solid BTW - we used it as a backup along with several primary anchors). This flared jam seemed like it might be a little harder than the Beta photo line. Beautiful route with great sticky footholds and sharp face holds appearing when needed and perfect jams up above! Oct 25, 2017