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Routes in Wind Tower - SW Face

Across The River From Butt Hair T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
Bomb, The T,TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Boulder Direct T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Breezy T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Calypso T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Calypso Direct T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Calypso Direct Start T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Day 444 T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Erickson's Wide Crack T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13
G.Y. Dihedral, The T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Governor's Climb, The T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a R
Hard-Up T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
I Did It My Way T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Jimmy Cliff T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X
Left Out T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c R
Lemmings T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
My Own Way T,TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b X
No, Do it My Way T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Raisin Bran T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Rastaman Roof T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Recon T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Reggae T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Roofed Out T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Salvation T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Stagger T 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c R
Tagger T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Tigger T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Tigger Plus T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Variety T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
West Overhang T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wind Ridge T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wind Tower Slab T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a X
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 2 pitches Fixed Hardware (4)
FA: Pat Ament, Larry Dalke, 1962. FFA: Jim Erickson, Jim Walsh, 1968.
Page Views: 19,901 total · 92/month
Shared By: Patrick Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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This is a great climb.

P1. Start with a technical .9 crack underneath an overhang. This pitch has a reputation for being hard to protect, bullocks, it accepts small stoppers without a problem. Break left, surmount the roof and belay at a tree with two bolts next to it.

P2. Although one can do the crux roof from here, it is a pain in the ass. I do a short 5.6 pitch to the base of the dihedral that forms the crux roof. From here, climb up the dihedral (easy) and tackle the roof via several technical stemming type moves (solid 5.10) there is some 5.8 above the roof to a belay on a ledge. The pro in the roof (pins) isn't too bad, a #1 Camalot can be placed at the lip to further protect it.


Bring several small stoppers in addition to a standard rack.
Patrick Vernon
Estes Park, CO
Patrick Vernon   Estes Park, CO
The R rating on this route is not necessary. The lower roof eats nuts and tcus. The upper roof has a jug on the right you can hang and place a bomber #1 cam from, and the moves out the roof (technical laybacking) are not too strenuous. Jan 1, 2001
T. Maino
Denver, CO
T. Maino   Denver, CO
It should be noted that some people have gotten badly injured on the first pitch. If you [aren't] careful, you might place a nut that looks good but could easily be pulled out by a little bit of rope drag; also, the pin-scar tcus can be good if you take your time placing them Jan 1, 2001
On P1, I also found the gear adequate, but not great. If you don't feel solid at the 5.9 grade, I would suggest leading it. If you do, there is a super-bomber #3 WC nut placement behind a flake above the initial corner and before the arcing upper corner, where small cams and nuts can be placed, though a bit blindly. Aug 1, 2001
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Unlike most 5.10 roofs, on P2 it is not a test of arm crank power. I have done it at least 3 times, and the crux for me is always delicate footwork before you can get your hand in the jam at the apex. There is a foothold for your left foot wwaayy left, seems too far. I remember stemming off this although last time I did this I couldn't figure out where I had my right foot and just dynoed for the hand jam (I was seconding). Even when you get the jam it is by no means over. Very tricky getting the feet above the lip. More footholds left near the arete help here, as I recall. Aug 27, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
A nice route. The first pitch is a bit more sustained than the 2nd. That being said, the 2nd pitch was one of the harder 10s I've led and I really thought I was going to fall. In this case I will pull the "its harder for short people" card. I had a better time with the few 11s in Eldo that I've done. Sep 24, 2001
Second pitch beta (for stem-challenged folks): place some gear, namely a couple Aliens to back up the pin, and a #2.5 or 3 Friend just over the lip. Once these are in, you are totally safe. Layback/undercling/lurch and grab the slopey jug at the lip right of the corner with right hand, left hand leaning off the crack_the jam is probably taken up by a Friend. After pulling up, and craning your neck around for a while, you may notice that there appear to be no more handholds within reach to help with upward progress. Actually you are right, there are none. Swing your left foot over way left to the arete onto an unlikely foothold. At this point, start chimneying, by leaning your shoulder/back against the right wall/lip, using opposing pressure from your left foot. You end up pushing/sitting on the jug on the right, or, for extra style points, the right knee ends up on the same jug. Typical Eldo crux, baffling, counterintuitive, but ok once you have it figured out. No stemming, and no way is this harder for the vertically deprived. Of course, if you don't like move by move beta, don't read this comment. Nov 7, 2001
I did this for the third time today and have yet to do it the same way twice. I stemmed the whole way through the upper roof. I think it is harder than Grandmothers Challenge. I belay just after the roof on pitch two for ease of communication while bringing up the second. Feb 8, 2002
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
P1 can be toproped by climbing Tigger (5.5) and traversing right to the big tree and bolt anchor. Apr 15, 2002
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
The first pitch is well protected but the gear is not [straightforward]. This wouldn't be a good first 9 lead but it is solid if you are good with tricky eldo placements. There are two starts mentioned by rossiter in his book. The real [Tagger] way is to start where [Calypso] starts and climb a shallow left leaning left facing dihedral up to the arching dihedral/roof. The other (which he gives a [separate] name- "I did it my way") seems more natural where you start further left and climb up and slightly right to the A shaped intersection before the arching left dihedral/roof. I have only climbed this second variation and found the protection to be quite adequate. The start is unprotected for 10 feet or so, so a ground spot is nice. The #3 WC rock is bomber. Red, yellow and green Aliens, a couple of medium cams and a few nuts sew it up. For the upper roof a red or yellow Alien can be used to back up the pin for the crux move. *skip if you don't want detailed beta.* Climbing beta for the roof: find a heel hook and [don't] layback until you pull yourself over the roof. Maybe I just like to jam cracks. It feels weird at first but i am sure this is the best way to do it. Great climb - casey bernal Jun 10, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I agree with Casey, "I did it my way" is an easier start and somewhat better protected. I had always assumed this was the normal start until I checked in Rossiter's guide. Jun 10, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I'd done it from the right all along. I guess that it just looks most natural since if you follow the roof crack down, that's where you end up.

Most people seem to start on "I Did It My Way" and traverse right early- firing up "I Did It My Way" straight to the roof is pretty hard and sketchy. I consider myself a pro with pro, but I'd call it S. Maybe I went too far that way and should have stepped to the right. I put this variation on the web under its own name because the comments field had gotten so loaded up on tagger that I figured it probably would not be read. Rossiter listed it as a separate route as well.

In any case, for the "most" direct line, pull the variation I called "My Own Way" straight through the arete. It is on the site as well. Jun 10, 2002
The first pitch definitely warrants the R rating. Although the crack "eats" nuts, most of these placements are marginal. Furthermore, there are no good rests (for a .9) to fiddle with gear from, making an onsight lead a bit sketchy. The start is not too bad, with a textbook nut placement at the A-shaped overlap. However, beyond the overlap the crack angles up and left, providing very marginal nut placements that could very easily rip out with tension from a horizontal pull. It would be prudent to place a couple small TCUs (0 or 1 metolius) or a nest of nuts at the only good rest before commiting to the traverse. Placing gear mid-traverse is difficult, but heeding the temptation to run it out will set you up for a bone-crushing 10 to 15 foot fall right onto the slab below. This pitch was made for the R rating. Sep 27, 2002
I lead the first pitch this weekend and found that the piton scars took nuts very well while leaving plenty of room for fingers. The roof was very straight forward but fun and all the holds were where they should be. Oct 19, 2002
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
FWIW (and for my own memory), here's my beta for the roof on p2. (thanks to Josh Janes for beta assistance):

Get your right hand on the undercling that's just next to the corner, up higher than the bottom underclings (not as big/nice as the one to the right or the giant one lower). The key is to twist your hand 180 degrees from normal undercling position (think looking down your tricep). Left hand is somewhere (damn, already forgot what I did with it. It's ok, this isn't hard yet). Walk your feet up as high as possible on the right face, then reach out to the shelf with your left hand. Left foot on little nubbin on left face, right hand reaches out to undercling by pin. Match feet, then stretch left with left foot to big foothold. Shift left with body, match on shelf with hands, then left hand into the corner jam. Right hand slightly above and grab sidepull edge. Bump left foot up, then right foot on shelf.

At least, that's how I did it. Nov 19, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I've done Tagger perhaps a dozen times that I can recall. Although I've done it a little different each time, I've never tried the twisted undercling as described above, which sounds anatomically awkward. Most of the difficulty in this route can be avoided by stepping back and to the right up under the roof a few times to stems and drop-knees while moving the hands. Not many people seem to do this though. Nov 20, 2002
I've done the upper roof 5 times or so (and P1 oodles of times, to set a toprope, etc.). Every time on the upper roof, I've been temporarily utterly baffled, then worked it out after several approaches. I do it similar to T. Bubb, with real stretchy stemming to get out the roof, then a lieback around the lip, until you can grap the jug above. I've led it every time except one (including onsight as my 2nd 5.10 ever), and never fallen, but the one time I followed it (one of the last times), I fell -- go figure. May 11, 2003
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
I've avoided leading the first pitch for years frightened away by Rossiter's description of having "no good stances for stopping and placing gear", difficult-to-find placements, and being the scene of several accidents. After finally leading it, I don't get it. The placements are solid, with rests-a-plenty. If you are competent placing gear, you shouldn't have difficulty with this. Jun 12, 2003
I was almost one of the accidents p1 is noted for in 1991 sometime. I'd never led anything harder than 5.6, and not very many of those, although I'd followed as hard as 11c, and a partner sandbagged me into leading it at the end of a winter day, 40 degrees with snow at the base (thanks, Steve). I had no idea what the climb was, but had the beginning leader's willingness to try. On the way up a local climbing ethics authority was heading down the trail with several pitons dangling from his harness. He informed us he'd just removed them from p1 of Tagger. I started up and put a #1 Rock half in a pin scar. I knew it was pathetic. I then proceeded up the curving crack and put a nut in there which I thought was good. The crack traversing left was wet and I put a Friend in there. I was almost finished traversing and had just placed a really good stopper when I freaked out and fell. Why I didn't just grab the stopper, I'll never know. I heard one snick as the Friend popped out and another as the "excellent" nut pulled. The crappy #1 half in a pin scar held me! When I got home I opened up Erickson's guidebook (the only one I had) and read the first sentence, "Scene of frequent accidents and mishaps...." I'd tend to agree with what several people here have written that for an experienced leader this is probably a pretty well-protected pitch. However, its short approach and proximity to large numbers of classic easier routes probably make it tempting for inexperienced leaders to attempt (or be sandbagged into leading as I was) this climb and I'd guess that this along with the fact that the pro while good is also a bit tricky to place, contributes to the accident factor. I imagine modern pro like Aliens and TCUs help a lot too - we didn't have these on our rack in 1991 (although I think TCUs at least were around then). Jun 22, 2003
David Conlin  
My partner, Mike Flannagan, led this today in great style. He sewed up the first pitch and I would say for the competent leader, experienced with nut placements, this pitch is well-protected. (Of course, some of these placements weren't the easiest to remove). Seconding, I found plenty of rests to remove the gear that Mike placed. I thought the crux of P1 was down low, right after exiting the A-shaped overlap. P2 was much less sustained, with only a few moves through the .10c crux.

SHAMELESS BETA (stop here if you don't want it): P2: move into the corner on easy climbing. Find a huge hold out right for your right hand and undercling the dihedral with your left. Move left foot to intermediate crystal, stem right foot higher. Move first left hand, then right to match on jug on the overhanging face, just right of the crack. Move left foot to good dish out left (tall folks may be able to reach this without the intermediate crystal) and stem right even higher (now you should be quite spread out. Left hand up and sidepull crack, right hand to just above left hand, step left foot up high and stand up. Boo-ya it's over.

Someone should remove the piton in the overhanging crack on P2; its easy enough to place good cams and it just gets in the way and seems suspect. Oct 8, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
I recall the pitch 2 roof being the oddest sequence I've experienced in my years of climbing. I did it facing outward for the first two moves. Myke suggests matching your right foot with your left foot on the tiny nubbin. If you face outward (this is possible due to the size of the undercling hold for your right hand), your right foot can go immediately to the nubbin, your right hand into the "undercling by pin," and then follow sequence as Myke finishes. *I've GOT to try this again sometime.*

This was my first lead of this grade and somehow I got the On Sight. Can't say I wasn't fired up! Finished the day with the Northcutt Start. One of my best days of climbing ever.~Wm Nov 10, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
I took Sally out to climb the first pitch today. Great day and not a lot of meltwater on the route at all. Bring small nuts for the rock and big nuts for your leader. I placed three RPs first 30'. You CAN sew this up. There should never have been accidents here (granted I do not know the particular circumstances). As long as you bring two green Aliens and a few RPs. Just as David says, some won't be easy to pull. See the CB's discussion on Rock Booty. I worked on an RP for the better part of five minutes on rappell today. Part of the job.

In any case, there are decent stances if you trust your feet and there is good gear if you can place nuts. Climb a few Eldo 5.9s before this one if you're thinking about making it a first. I feel as though it's one of the most solid 5.9s in the canyon (.9+ excluded of course). In short, be careful and bring the approrpiate equipment. I'm usually the retard with Big Bros on my rack in Eldo... I call it weight training, but it's also nice to have them when the situation calls for them, rare as that may be. Feb 20, 2004
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
William - I've seen plenty of women lead this pitch; none of which had big nuts. Maybe large ovaries are a worthy substitute? Feb 21, 2004
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Scott, that's awesome. Perhaps they DO suffice. A note on the roof: Again, I did it facing outwards. I'm still not sure how that happened, but I like it. I think it has to do with the lack of [accessibility] of the toe-pocket on the left face at the crux. It's easier to reach when you do a pull-up facing outwards, then you can slap around the arete... Definitely had no style, just brutish roar-factor.

BEE MINDFUL OF THE BEES at the beelay. There were about 80 of them swarming around my partner Steve's head yesterday afternoon. Look for honeycomb in the crack on the way up for extra-credit!

~Wm Feb 27, 2004
on pitch 2 roof, has anyone else done what i did and just underclinged the whole thing? the holds under the roof just seemed too far to the right to be of any use. i must say that doing it this way the roof didn't seem to be any harder than its given rating. Mar 1, 2004
[Spanky], I did that as well-just underclinged as I walked my feet along until I could get my left hand in the V. It didn't seem that hard like this, just kind of funky, but overall not bad. I agree it was right for the grade, maybe even a little soft. May 3, 2004
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Strenuous crux but well protected. Nice ragged alien offset in the roof crack. I struggled at the lip, but managed to pull myself over the roof. I placed a #2 camalot at the lip, stemmed WAY out with my left foot on nubbins (smearing), lay backed the roof, reached high with my left hand and pulled myself over. Solid 5.10. Sep 5, 2004
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
It appears many people are misled and intimidated by [what's] been written regarding the difficulty of placing solid gear on P1 of this route. IMO the first pitch can be led safely, with 6 pieces or less, and placed from decent stances... if you keep your head, trust your feet, and bring the right gear. Small Aliens... black, blue, green, yellow and a few small stoppers sew this up reasonably well.IMO there is what I consider decent edging all the way up through this crack. A text book yellow Alien placement or the like, near the middle of the arching crack, should be all a [competent] (9) leader needs in the last 8' or so to the corner. If you get to that point without incident, the corner should be no problem, and not require any additional pro...just send it! There are additional placements if you do feel the need. I placed a #2 Camalot a few feet above the corner just for grins, but its very easy climbing to the chains... Agree with Shane and others on P2 roof technique. I did it a similiar way, although I was following on that pitch. I layed the corner back and smeared up the face, hooking the left hand out around the block to the left. The long stem left seemed too far for me, but in hindsight, I think I'll try that technique next time, as my shorter partner used it, and made it look easy.. Sep 25, 2004
Climbed Tagger today, followed P1 and led P2. Though I followed the first pitch, it appeared to have adequate pro (TCUs) and decent stances from which to place it. For me, the crux on the second pitch depended critically on my initial body position. After struggling with several attempts, I found that turning left under the big roof, facing out and pulling up with palms facing me on the large horizontal edge above allowed me to make an otherwise futile step left (I am 5'-9") to a dark smudge on the left face. I stuck my right foot somewhere and then used the inobvious edge/flake straight above on the left wall for my left hand, repositioned my right hand, almost mantling with it on the big edge, and continued with intuitive and now forgotten moves over the roof. After pumping out simply trying to assess what I was going to try to do, I ended up climbing this section with very little power, but rather with a few finesse moves... all totally dependent on my initial body position. Nov 3, 2004
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
Led P2 for the first time tonight, WHOA what an awesome climb. We did P1 of [Tigger] and set up belay at the last ledge about 30-40 feet below the roof and it worked out really well. Although I had to hang dog my first time through the roof. 1 or 2 more times and I will redpoint this one for sure.


The protection is this, piton, fixed green Alien, piton and then I stuck a purple Friend high in the lip of the roof (though I would have probably used a bigger size in retrospect as it wasn't cammed all that well). Facing the left wall, you can work your right foot up on a series of ledges on the right side of the dihedral, just keep working the right foot up as this is key. Your left foot consists of crappy [crystal] to crappy crystal to crappy ledge, all the while laying back on the crack and moving the right foot up. I'm 6'1" and once my left foot was on the crappy ledge and my right foot was on the highest right ledge; I then could turn and grab the left side of the crack over the overhang with my left hand and a good hold just right of the crack with my right hand. This is where some grunting comes in, once you have those two holds you can move your left foot up to a bomber ledge and then its over. But that last move takes some effort as the position felt weird.

Also, the crack above and below the roof is really excellent!!! Bring lots of small to medium stoppers as I ran out and was pissed I couldn't get a bomber placement up above. I would say bring two sets of stoppers to sew it up. May 5, 2005
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
Finally redpointed this one last night. On P2 - the pitons look OK, but the fixed green Alien is now pretty suspect. I took a couple falls on it last week and it held but you can back it up with a yellow Alien just below. Also, I skipped putting in a cam at the lip this time, its too strenuous and makes it so you can't grab the good hand hold in the crack. I fell a few times last week onto the green Alien one move before going over the roof and just fell to my feet it wasn't a hard fall at all. Thus, I'll skip the lip placement from here on out. May 26, 2005
I would have to agree with Jason about the placement at the lip of the roof on pitch 2. I led it for the first time today and skipped the placement at the lip. [It] appeared as though a placement at the lip would just take away a good hand hold and you can get tons of gear in the roof itself. I fell once at almost the lip, and the angle of the wall in relation to your placements in the roof makes for a surprisingly soft landing. Great route, solid 5.10 Oct 28, 2005
Jack Gerber
Boulder, CO
Jack Gerber   Boulder, CO
I did Tagger this morning and found a bee's nest on the second pitch, 20 feet after the crux roof. My partner had to exit left and finish on Wind Ridge. Apr 12, 2006
patrick kadel
  5.10c PG13
patrick kadel  
  5.10c PG13
A word about the bee's nest...the hive is not on this route, it is about 10 feet to the right of the route and about 20 feet from where you will belay. It is a non-issue. Maybe the bees moved??? Jun 29, 2006
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
Good first pitch, solid stances to place gear and plenty of placements to keep the mind at ease. I've now placed the above mentioned nut that has pulled both times once past the piece placed after it (3 - 4 feet). Both times I used a sport quickdraw, maybe extending it would help. As for the climbing on the second pitch; good, solid moves, fun stance, I would recommend just letting your body tell you how to do this one. I tried stemming my way out originally, but I found it easier to just undercling/lieback to the edge, and get my left foot up high. Fun climb.

  • *watched a veteran sew this thing up with nuts and just a few TCUs today; while her belayer had a broken wrist. funny to think of myself trembling up there while these ladies get it done without all the fuss. Awesome 05/16/08.
Dec 9, 2006
Clint Locks
Clint Locks   Boulder
It concerns me that some posters are encouraging nut placements below the roof on P1. Take it for what it's worth, but I only found 1 nut placement in that section that would hold a fall if the piece was wrenched sideways. (This would be the case for most falls on that pitch). Bring the nuts for over the roof and beyond, though, 'cause it eats 'em up! Also, I suggest not belaying at the chains; take it all the way up to where the Tigger roof cuts left, and belay there for P2. Great climb. Jul 9, 2007
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
Meredith DB   Boulder, CO
The fixed blue/green offset Alien and piton at the crux roof are still OK - they held several of my falls today, at least.

Also, we didn't see any bees. Jul 15, 2007
Mike Munger
Boulder, Colorado
Mike Munger   Boulder, Colorado
The Alien in the P2 roof has been removed. Aug 1, 2007
max seigal
max seigal   boulder
This is a super fun route. One can belay in the crack about 20 feet below the crux roof (making it more comfortable with your belayer right below you). For taller people, this route is not that bad. Aug 24, 2007
Paul Hunnicutt
Boulder, CO
Paul Hunnicutt   Boulder, CO
Totally agree this isn't a great first Eldo 9 lead. Laybacking and slippery. Placements are all there, just easy to slip off I think. I pretty much laybacked the roof on P2 off the slopey "jug" on the right side. With one hand in the undercling and one on the slopey my left foot way out on a v-shaped divot then matched hands on the slopey thing...then pulled into the crack and cranked my feet up and eventually up onto the big flat spot for the left foot. Then, it is pretty much over. Kind of a 5.8 with a boulder problem in the middle. I liked the first pitch a lot more. 2nd is a one move wonder, though a cool move. Offset cams useful for the 1st pitch. Feb 24, 2008
Andy Laakmann
Bend, OR
  5.10c PG13
Andy Laakmann   Bend, OR  
  5.10c PG13
Great route.

P1 is not to be taken lightly in my opinion. I placed plenty of solid gear, off good stances, but there was ample opportunity not to do so.... Many of the stances are somewhat devious IMO. I recommend small C3s/Aliens for the upper arching crack of P1, as nuts would probably pop/zipper out from the sideways and upwards pulls. I felt plenty safe, but it was very easy to see how people would rip gear (particularly nuts) and deck per the guidebook's description. I would only recommend this pitch to solid 5.10 leaders.

P2 is a three move wonder, but it is pretty damn fun! A gold Camalot goes in nicely just past the lip - strenuous to place but (for me) better than the alternative of crashing back onto the slab :) I got the onsight, and it felt like burly 10c to me, but I could see how once you knew the moves it might feel more like 10b or so. I didn't have one, but a red C3 would fit perfectly above the pin (mine was in the anchor). I placed a orange Metolius master cam instead.... Oct 23, 2008
I'm really surprised about the mixed comments on pitch 1. This is relatively straightforward to protect with modern gear - if you have a set of offset Aliens even more so (I didn't place a single nut). Not trying to be macho, just to say that it's a really fun pitch and those who climb 5.9 (even if not 'solid') shouldn't avoid it due to rumors of hard to place gear or no stances - both abound. Nov 11, 2008
Paul Williams
Paul Williams   Bozeman
Bring your smallest wired stoppers, copperheads, etc for the first pitch. The first one I place pulled out and created a sizeable runout. P2 is challenging - it took be a few tries; I'm not tall so maybe that's part of it. Jul 8, 2009
clint dillard
Louisville, Co
clint dillard   Louisville, Co
Somehow I fell out of the handjam over the roof on P2 yesterday, I think someone pushed me but not sure. Anyway I took a nice whip on the pin under the roof and it held strong. I did have it backed up with a small cam, but all the force was on the pin. Drop test complete on the pin, at least for a little while longer. Oct 24, 2009
Clint Locks
Clint Locks   Boulder
Nice to know, Clint. 'Always liked you...especially when you do the dirty work for us. May 11, 2010
dameeser   denver
Drop test on p2 pin was a success. Fun fall even though my feet did hit the ground a little. Aug 28, 2010
Jeff G.
Fort Collins
Jeff G.   Fort Collins
Pitch one can be protected well, but it takes some work and can get you pumped. I think the first pitch is one of the more sandbagged routes in Eldo, feels like 10b every time I lead it. Mar 14, 2011
Tommy Ormond
Eldorado Springs, CO
Tommy Ormond   Eldorado Springs, CO
Got my feet way left, pressed the side of my head against the right side, and got a no hands rest in the middle of the crux. Then my foot skittered, and I over gripped like a school girl and got out of there. Awesome route, all of it. First pitch is cake to protect, no sweat. Aug 9, 2011
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
That 1st pitch is one of those pitches where it's amazing that there are so many different ways to do it, when it feels like there is so little there to work with. The key for me was "trust your feet", use opposition (pseudo-stem), and don't hang around looking.

That picture of Mic soloing it makes me want to puke, some people just have skills that others don't. Aug 9, 2011
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
Cool route. P1 accepts gear well. The piton on the P2/3 roof is bomber. I don't see it coming out for a while. Besides great gear is right by it. You really don't need anything bigger than a #1. Lots of nutting. Apr 27, 2013
NickinCO   colorado
My $0.02 since I've followed it a couple times and finally did it on lead yesterday. If you pay attention to your footwork, no gear placement is strenuous and it's definitely not R-rated, or even PG-13 for that matter. I never had gear below my feet and as soon as you get to the alcove there's a pseudo no-hands rest and a #0.75 C4 at your waist that is bomber. The rest of the crack sews up with small Metolius cams and C3s. Shortly into the horizontal-ish crack, there's a huge jug, and if you pay attention to your feet here, you barely need to weigh it.

As for pitch 2, I followed it and got worked. Apr 19, 2014
bonnie bonbits
colorado front range
bonnie bonbits   colorado front range
Honestly, leading the first section of the 5.9 pitch scares me more than leading the roof/crux section of the 5.10c pitch. The start of the first pitch feels indeed "stacked" to me with lots of "delicate" at best stances, with just a few, meaning literally three, "decent" stances, from which to place blind, tricky, mediocre protection at best. I certainly wouldn't want to risk let alone actually take a fall here. The theme to the first thirty feet: MIND YER BITS! Sadly, it's not R rating, no matter how much you're crying inside, and I earnestly know it's not even PG-13. -insert audible sigh here- meow, as fer the 10c roof protection bits: !@#$% !WARNING BETA BITS SURE TO ENSUE! %$#@! Pro: I'm almost certain I placed an orange TCU (though perhaps maybe a yellow) just before (nearly next to) the piton, I also clipped the piton, and placed a gray 0.4 BD C4 after the piton. (Then, my head case self "took" here and proceeded to make a "power equallette" out of a 4' sling and four locking biners to "beef up" and equalize the piton and TCU together - that TCU is in quite the shallow crack, and the crack is a bit rather composed of broken bits as well - and yes, I DO indeed carry all that shite on my harness, aka aluminum tutu.) Next, get a bomber hand jam from which to place a decent #1. The moves: footwork is KEY, be prepared to dance, and just as many others have mentioned, that happy plate of a jug ledge that literally bites back is oh so delicious! It easily holds both hands so you can hang out, dance, match sans piano bits, or just focus on jetting that bomber hand jam or placing that decent #1. The next beta bits, as for climbing out of the roof: I found that the Nov. 7, 2001 comment from Steve "Crusher" Bartlett sums it up best: "After pulling up, and craning your neck around for a while, you may notice that there appear to be no more handholds within reach to help with upward progress. Actually you are right, there are none. Swing your left foot over way left to the arete onto an unlikely foothold. At this point, start chimneying, by leaning your shoulder/back against the right wall/lip, using opposing pressure from your left foot. You end up pushing/sitting on the jug on the right, or, for extra style points, the right knee ends up on the same jug. Typical Eldo crux, baffling, counterintuitive, but ok once you have it figured out," and that's it, folks. Pitch 1, the 5.9, is type 2 fun. Pitch 2, the 5.10c, is "holy, man! I just did that! How awesome!" Kind of fun. ~bonbon Jun 14, 2014
S B   Telluride
Wow! What a fantastic route! One of my favorite in Eldo, so far, for sure! I was literally laughing and giggling the whole way up...especially the 1st pitch! What a blast!

For those of you who have not done it and are in here contemplating leading it based off of these MP users and the "guidebook"--forget them...JUST DO IT!
Don't mind the naysayers!
This thing ( including the 1st pitch) is definitely NOT "R" rated...not even PG-13..or even PG. I had PLENTY of good stances..and ample opportunity to place bomber... yes, bomber placements! And everything was there...good feet...great jams!

Sure...maybe if you're a 5.10 sport climber fresh out of Boulder Canyon and used to clipping up bolt ladders, this will probably freak you out--BUT, if you have climbed in Eldo a few times and have led a few .9s here...then sack up and SEND this thing! Trust me, you won't be disappointed! Feb 11, 2015
Andrew Locke
Louisville, CO
Andrew Locke   Louisville, CO
I'll comment again when I do the second pitch, but here are my thoughts on the first pitch:

It's frickin awesome. You should do it, like right now. The gear is a little awkward, but it's all good. I took a few good falls on nuts, and nothing pulled. I haven't done too many 5.9s, but this one felt harder and more committing than any of the 9s I've done. It was comparable to the first pitch of C'est La Vie, though shorter, and the gear a little trickier. Apr 22, 2015
Theodore Morrow
Golden, Co
Theodore Morrow   Golden, Co
This was my first 5.9 trad lead. If you haven't led much trad, listen up here....GREAT ROUTE. Also pretty scary. I had done one finger crack in Lumpy Ridge once before this, so my finger crack technique is non-existent. Also it takes 'em a couple of tries on nut/cam size usually too. Now that you know I clearly am not an accomplished trad climber, let me tell you how it went. Cool cross to the jug under the roof, clipped a fixed nut there which felt pretty bomb, and used the massive underclings to get to the jugs and pull the first roof. I was scared so much on this route due to my gear placements being shitty and the route being delicate. Top roped it again, and it was pretty easy, will go again and do the second pitch next time for sure!

PS: had trouble setting nuts in the finger crack due to glassiness (one fell out when I pulled the roof). Feb 23, 2016
Black Hawk, CO
mountainhick   Black Hawk, CO
Having led the first pitch many times, it protects quite well for me. I think the R rating comes more from the days when it originally went free without the plethora of small cans in use these days. You CAN find good nut placements and augmented with TCUs, etc, it is good pro, and stances are fine. Perhaps not great for the budding 5.9 leader as it is pretty sustained, but use your feet well, and it's not pumpy.

Led second pitch yesterday, hadn't been on it since the mid '80s. Resorted to a couple hangs at the lip to get a cam placement sorted and figure out the moves. Seemed very hard comparatively for the grade. Went and led Outer Space afterward, which seemed casual in comparison. Likewise, March of Dimes' third pitch is much easier. Tagger roof seems more comparable to Northcutt Start in difficulty though very different style of climbing. Maybe just me, but Tagger roof is burly! Oct 1, 2016