Type: Sport Fixed Hardware (9)
FA: Dan Hare, Mike Downing, 1987, retrobolted by Ken & Marsha Trout, 1994
Page Views: 3,909 total · 18/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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This is well-protected, possibly over-bolted route, but good quality nevertheless. This is the first pitch of Astrophysics. Some neat balancy mantels are the crux (I guess). The route seems more like 9. Pull the roof on the right side and look for the last bolt just over the lip.


8 QDs to a 2-bolt anchor. The last 20 feet are runout 5.6, where a cam could be placed, but it is quite easy.


You might want to take a couple of medium-sized pieces for the 20-25 foot stretch to the anchor. By the way, what does overbolted actually mean? Jan 1, 2001
Ben Mottinger

Ben Mottinger    
To the "overbolted" comment, I mean that most of the route can be protected with stoppers and cams. There are only a few sections where placing gear would be difficult/runout. This applies to Simmer as well. Jan 1, 2001
I've led this route without using the bolts, and there is only one place where I felt the pro was not great, and that was up high, under the roof, just before you get to easier ground (and good pro again). There was a so-so small cam placement below the roof, but the rock wasn't so great around the cams, and I didn't really want to test it. Sep 28, 2001
Variation of Fear: Not knowing where (Read: if) that bolt was on the R side of the roof, I went left and protected the flake/crack with a couple of stoppers. You can then head left to the other set of bolted anchors, or proceed R to the intended anchors. Aug 4, 2002
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
After getting reacquainted with real 5.9 face climbing out in Toulumne this year, I wonder if my toes were out of tune when we rated Bolt Cola. But, if Ken Cangi is suggesting 5.10b, I'm all for it. Close bolts really make things feel easier to me. My purpose was to just have a good warm-up for Jolt nearby, instead of having to roll the dice on Hike with Ludwig Dude. Aug 13, 2003
Actually more like 1 1/2 * ; good , but really outstanding.

[Definitely] over-rated at 5.10 and would probably go at 5.8 in Shelf.

There is a bit of a run-out to the anchors (but it is pretty easy), a couple of 3/4" to 1" cams would help steady down a leader used to an "over-bolted" routes. Aug 13, 2003
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is the easiest route in this area to identify because you start by stepping off a spike of rock. You can't see the last bolt from the 6th bolt (at least we didn't), so without this knowledge we "bailed" left, where you can get some gear in. After placing another small cam you can wander up and right to the chains (looks tricky but is not), or head left for the anchor on "Shimmer".

Down low, there are several ways to get between the bolts so it's kind of hard to rate. No way is this route 5.8, though! Jul 12, 2004
A number of fun moves, well protected with bolts until after the roof, then some runout, but on relatively easy ground. Oct 21, 2004
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
Good route. Nov 15, 2007
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Thought this was a fun route and does have some thoughtful 5.10ish moves. But not knowing where the next bolt was at the roof I headed left thinking I could protect the crack with a cam. The placement looked a little marginal, but I went for it anyways. I slipped, the piece pulled, and I went quite a ways. Pulled myself together and went back up and this time went right, much easier that way and I thought I was wimping out, but I guess that is the way the route goes! Moral of the story is: good to read the descriptions on here first, and of course I shouldn't have tried it on marginal gear. I'll be back. Nov 20, 2007
Coal Creek Canyon, CO
DamageVic   Coal Creek Canyon, CO
Climbed this yesterday- fun route, used a grey Alien in the seam/crack between the last bolt & the anchor. Enjoyed it quite a bit!

  • *As of 17 Sep 09 there is/was an ACTIVE wasp nest very close to the 7th/last bolt...BEWARE!**
Sep 18, 2009
Area Dan
Oakland, CA
Area Dan   Oakland, CA
I found a pair of Evolv shoes at the base of this climb today (1/2/2012). PM or call me if they are yours.
303-709-2214. Jan 2, 2012
Hansen Wendlandt
Hansen Wendlandt  
The main info here says 8 QDs, but for the life of me, there were 6 on the face. If you go right at the little roof, you'll find a 7th, with that 20-25' runout. If you go left over that little roof and you didn't bring gear, I don't care how 5.6 it might be; that's 30+ feet runout, with a real chance of decking if you bumble something at the anchors. That mythic 8th QD would change the world on this climb. Oct 18, 2013
justin hausmann
Fort collins
justin hausmann   Fort collins
Thought this was the best of the climbs on the face. Couldn't see the bolt right and up of the top block, so actually went left into juggy crack on the first lead - fun too. Used a 0.75 and perhaps a 1 toward the top. Nov 17, 2013
Tombo   Boulder
Never found the elusive 8th bolt. You could make this route 10a, but following natural weaknesses in line with bolt felt 5.9. Aug 9, 2014
Jason Haas
G1 Climbing + Fitness
Jason Haas   G1 Climbing + Fitness
This really should just be described as the retrobolted first pitch of Astrophysics. Anyone that has climbed the Simmer/Slimmer/Shimmer/Bolt Cola routes knows there's not enough real-estate to shove in all these routes, and to quote Richard Rossiter's Rock Climbing Boulder Canyon book from 1999, "Climb the first 80 feet of Astrophysics...." Furthermore, Rossiter describes the first pitch of Astrophysics to start off a pointed flake (as D'Antonio describes the start to Bolt Cola). Rossiter goes on to say climb the 7 bolts and that in the FA info, the "bolts on the first pitch were placed by a subsequent party". Dan Hare has even said this is a retrobolt of his original line. (The same flake is described for Astrophysics in Rossiter's 1988 guide Boulder Climbs North too.) The FA line should read FA: Dan Hare, Mike Downing, 1987, retrobolted by Ken Trout, 1994. I recognize D'Antonio's guide suggests starting Astrophysics just left of Bolt Cola. However, the bolts are only five feet right of Simmer so....

Seems crazy people are so accepting of not only retrobolting an established line but also the renaming of it. This has bugged me for a long time, but with the retrobolting of some routes a bit left (see David Schwimmer, et al), I felt the need to chime in. Even those routes, which I am credited with as an FA for on this site, were not my FAs as the leftmost two are partly bolted versions of the first pitches of The Reamer and Lichen to Like. Does history not matter anymore? I recognize a route is first done by an individual and some see it as "their route" while others view all routes as communal, and we could all go round and round about the retrobolting debate, but still, I'm not sure I know anyone who, even when in favor of adding retrobolts, feels it appropriate to also rename the route and claim the "new" first ascent of that line. Nov 17, 2015
Denver, CO
Seb303   Denver, CO
I like how the description says this route is possibly overbolted yet there's a 30ft run out without bolts...you can certainly place more than one cam in this section. Poor description and protection sections on this route's page. It should also be changed to a sport/trad mix route. It's not a sport route. I don't understand why the bottom portion of this route was bolted where there's obvious pro yet the top was not...either bolt the whole thing, or not at all. Yeah the climbing's easy up there, but a fall would be catastrophic. Jul 28, 2016