Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Kevin Donald, 1980.
Page Views: 19,300 total · 88/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000 with updates from Carl Schaefer
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is commonly rated 5.8, but the crux is short and it is not really any harder than The Bastille Crack.

Start from the belay above the first pitch of Calypso. Step right a few feet, then head up the obvious dihedral. Finish over a tricky rock into a ledge with a large rock resting over it.

You can continue to the summit or traverse the strata to the left to the walkoff of Wind Ridge. The easiest exit is to downclimb (exposed & mostly unprotectable) the ledge to the right, to two bolts on P2 of The Bomb to rappel.

If you have a 60 or 70m rope, you can rap 90' from The Bomb's P2 anchor, rap from The Bomb's P1 anchor.

If you rap with a 50m rope, there are a few choices: 1) you can downclimb 15 feet to a tree with slings & another 80 feet to the ground from here; 2) you can traverse to the Calypso anchor with a 30m rap to the ground or 25m rap to the top of the boulder, from which you can downclimb; or 3) you can downlead Boulder Direct or Recon.


Standard rack. Fixed pro may exist on the route.
After an 8 year hiatus from climbing, two years ago I picked up my old rack and went at it again. Reggae was one of my first leads, heck, it's just a 5.8 right? Wrong!

Having done many a 5.8s since, I have to say I do not necessarily agree with the comments above.

It is probably a 5.8 but a burly one at that. I think it is significantly harder than say Wind Ridge (5.8 variation), the 5.8s in Yellow Spur and Bastille Crack.

Maybe it's just me, but I would encourage budding 5.8 leaders to approach this one with respect. Sep 17, 2001
I agree with Warren. The crux is short but the moves feel stiff for 5.8. There is great gear just below the crux. The climber on Reggae in the above route photo of the Wind Tower is at the base of the crux.

Once you commit to the lieback crack, the gear placements are still good, but they're blind -- so you may end up burning precious forearm juice while you fumble with the rack (like I did). Climbers with good footwork who can stem WIDE will have an easier time here.

There is a huge incut hold and a great nut placement waiting for you at the top of the crux section. Slot the bomber nut and then grovel into the squeeze slot. Make every effort NOT to look like a beached whale when doing this, like I did.

Wow, what a great pitch! As far as moderate single-pitch climbs go I like Reggae as much or more than Friday's Folly on the 3rd Flatiron.

You can get to the base of this route most easily by climbing the first pitch of Boulder Direct. Cheers. Nov 28, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
As I remember the crux, is there was some bomber finger locks that I was able to hang off of while placing gear the whole way up. You could probably put 10 pieces in that section. I just think the stances and the pro are solid, and a 5.8 leader shouldn't be discouraged by this great route. Dec 2, 2001
Gear is good at the crux, but the 5.8 leader needs to be ready to punch through a few moves without stopping. There are a few feet of layback moves on which one COULD stop to place more pro, but doing so might bump the pump up to 5.8++. I think Reggae is a good indicator of the confidence your 5.8 leader has in her gear; as one of my very first trad leads I recall feeling quite concerned stepping up on the layback until I grabbed that fine jug above. Dec 3, 2001
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
This was my third lead (accidentally). We were shooting for Recon or something and ended up here. I had a backpack on with enough provisions to last 3 days (I didn't know any better). After I pulled on top of the block (after hangdoggin' off a nut) and built my anchor, I pulled the book out of my pack and realized exactly where I was....It really freaked me out.

I've since climbed it twice, and it's still pretty solid for 5.8, but the pro is great and the crux is short. One of my fav's. Mar 14, 2002
I agree with Ben on this one...it is only slightly harder than the Bastille Crack; there is a short steep section right at the end of the pitch. If you wanted to sew it up, you could probably fire in a blue or black Alien (not sure though because I didn't have one) above your head right at the crux. May 31, 2002
This is a fine pitch for intro 8 leaders. It was my second 8. Once at the layback stance in the crux you can throw in a 0 TCU and punch for the jugga at the top. Perhaps, taller people have a bit of an advantage here, but then again, my 5'7'' follower had no problems.

It is definitely a good confidence builder, as Matt stated, but the crux is so short, and the rest of the climb is easy (although very quality!). Jul 8, 2002
Steve Mestdagh
Boulder, CO
Steve Mestdagh   Boulder, CO
Just did this last night. After reading comments above, I think a budding 5.8 leader would want info about the whole pitch, not just the crux. The crux is easy to protect w/ good jams but not so good feet. You could hang your way up the crux if you have to. Getting to the crux flake is what I'd be worried about if I was breaking into 5.8. The section from the belay to about 15-20 feet before the crux is NOT well protected. Also be careful of a well chalked loose jug at a small roof about 40 ft above the belay. Aug 15, 2002
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
I also have to disagree with Steve's comment about it being not 'well protected'. The whole pitch is well protected and the crux is even better protected. Now, while it would be very difficult to have gear above you for every move (if that is your idea of well protected climbing), there is plenty of gear for 'safe' falls and it is relatively easy ~5.6. If memory serves me right, i remember there being good gear placements at least every 6 or 8 feet. It is much more strait forward (easier) and better protected than Calypso, with the only more difficult part being the 10 foot crux. Hopefully, this would be no problem for a green 5.8 leader, especially if he/she has lead plenty of easier routes. Maybe Steve didn't have the rack needed for the climb?

casey bernal Aug 15, 2002
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
Climbed this one in June, and some of the brain cells still work. I found the pro to be awesome, and only difficult to place as I was laying back in the crux fishing through my rack looking for the right piece. Stenuous, but not terrible. You know, like climbing 5.8. Up to that point, there were a number of high steps to reach bomber gear (opting to forgo the mearly good gear placements to be had) and nothing memorable about run outs. Overall impression: fantastic lead for a 5.8 leader looking to expand into Eldo 5.8.

There is a difference in Eldo climbing that is unique and requires some getting used to: the trad climbs were put up my Ma Nature in a frenetic mood when it came to pro and often times climbing in Eldo requires leading above gear. Reggae helped me get over that fear, thankfully in small increments I could control. Maybe it can for others, and I would recommend it. Aug 15, 2002
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
If you're looking for more challenge (which unfortunately misses the fun 5.8 crux), head up and right about 20 feet before the end of the climb, aiming for the wide crack running through the roof. 5.9+, protects well, and moderately interesting, even if it is just 3 moves. Sep 11, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
The variation mentioned in the previous comment is called Rasta Man Roof and is listed on the Site. FFA apparently R. Rossiter. Sep 11, 2002
This is my favorite route. I thought it was equal to the [Bastille Crack]. I didn't use the belay bolts on Calypso, I built a belay about 20ft to the right. I remember getting quite pumped in the crux but it is short. Place good pro then blast up the thing. I had a pack on, and it must have taken me 5 minutes to get through the beached whale section above the crux. I belayed from the top of the flake just above the crux, but a better place seemed to be on a ramp 15ft above the flake. There were several pockets that would have eaten up medium tricams. We went to the summit in 2 pitches, it could be done in one long pitch I suppose.....When you climb a route, usually something sticks in your mind....for me it was laughing my ass off being stuck in the beached whale section and trying to figure out what kind of look my belayer had on his face....fun route. Larry Shaw Dec 12, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Climbed this Sunday and found a small cam stuck half way up the crux layback. If you do clip it, and place your next piece a foot higher, be careful not to back clip. In the second photo below, if the the climber were to peel, he is exposed to a nasty pendulum. This can be avoided by flipping the rope around the inside of the crack/boulder at the finish. Great route that sews up very nicely. Apr 30, 2003
I led this at night, roughly ten years ago, had to test out my new headlamp with my good friend Casey. Outstanding pitch day or night. Jul 29, 2003
The crux felt a bit pumpy, but I'm out of shape these days. However, I wouldn't say the crux was harder than the standard 5.8. Fire some pro in the lower section of the crux, and blast through to the awkward squeeze exit. Good hands all the way with some marginal feet smearing. No problem for a moderate trad lead. Jul 30, 2003
A tricky 5.8 even for Eldo, I think, because of the pump/fingers used at the crux and the burn that can happen if you don't get your pro right off. Would be harder than Bastille if that was still in the condition it was in 20 years ago. Jun 12, 2004
In some of the guidebooks it suggests an upper pitch for this. On my first ascent my partner and I decided to top out Wind Tower for an overview. It is best to think of this route as ending on the ledge for a rap or walkdown. Jun 12, 2004
When I first did this route I felt that 5.8 was a fair rating because: the crux is well protected, relatively short and climbers of average height will be able to stem most of the route. Also it is my opinion that in 1980 the ratings in Eldo were just a smidgin stiffer (or out of sync with the rest of the country) than they might be today. This really is a protectable adventure pitch for the trad climber with 5.8-5.9 skills. The rock quality is superb. Kevin Donald Nov 15, 2004
I'd call this a 5.6 pitch w/ a 5.8 crux for about three moves, So i'd rate it @ .8-. It was my first 5.8 lead and probably about my 5th or 6th trad pitch and I had no trouble with gear or moves minus the pump. The 5.6 portion of the pitch seemed easier all around than Calypso and the 5.8 seemed much easier than my 2nd 5.8 called Mr. Natural. I seem to remember a bomber stopper at the base of Reggae's crux and a bomber yellow alien in mid crux. It'd be 5.9 if you sit at the crux or there wasn't the gigantic jug at the end of the crux.The last move onto the ledge is hilarious for the 2nd. My buddy was laughing his ass off at my wiggling feet sticking over the edge as I shimmied behind the block. I like the beached whale comment above, that's what I felt like. Nov 23, 2004
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
A good alternative to waiting in line for access to Reggae from Calypso, is the giant boulder start , where you can avoid the crowd and send this as one long 200' stretcha...barely reaches w/ 60m rope. May 15, 2005
A nice route with good pro. Makes you feel like a champ after that nice layback, then like an total fool idiot as you flail into the slot. Thank goodness my belayer left his camera in the car. Jun 9, 2005
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
Led this one for about the 10th time last night and it just keeps getting better and better. The fixed cam at the start of the crux is still there but the fixed nut at the top is gone. Also, I think there are bats back behind the flake at the crux. I heard a whole lot of activity as I was climbing by and I was a bit nervious to grab the flake putting part of my hand back there. Still worth doing! Aug 31, 2005
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Thoroughly enjoyed this climb. Other than the short crux, the Reggae pitch felt easier than some parts of the first pitch of Calypso which is probably the most popular way to access the climb. Recommend moving the belay over to the right from the Calypso bolts so one has a clean view of the route and avoiding rope issues. Still two stuck pieces in the crux, a cam at the base and a nut about half way up. Agree with some commments above that probably best option at the crux is to get something in and then just go for it. Somehow managed to avoid looking like a beach whale exiting the top by using a right arm bar and getting my left hand on something. Great climb. Apr 15, 2006
Cody Munger
Carson City, NV
Cody Munger   Carson City, NV
I was more scared by the approach to the crux than the crux itself. Probably because the crack looks so heinous from the ground. The crack had bomber hand holds in all the right places and wasn't too bad. The pro in the crux itself was still the two fixed pieces mentioned previously and I didn't really see a need for any more placements. The gear below the crux I managed to get pieces in every 6 feet, lots of stopper placements.

For an alternative to the whale slide at the top, try doing the exposed hand traverse around the outside of the slot. Much easier and looks much less comical to your second. Apr 18, 2006
Luis Barandiaran
Longmont, CO
Luis Barandiaran   Longmont, CO
I did Reggae with my brother on Friday and it was awesome. We'd been eyeing the line for a year and decided that it was time... A fixed nut and cam at the crux really made it more of a clip-up than anything and the crux is only one 5.8ish move. I found it to just be a touch harder than the 5.7 crux on Rewritten. Combined with Calypso makes it the best and most asthetic line on SW Wind Tower IMO. May 22, 2006
Mike McMahon
Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
Mike McMahon   Little Cottonwood Canyon, UT
Mistakenly climbed this, thinking it was the second pitch of Calypso! Great climb anyway! Jun 18, 2007
Kevin Craig  
You can't "traverse over" and climb West Overhang from the top of this route. West Overhang (the actual overhang anyway) starts from the same big ledge as Reggae but about 50-100 ft' to the right.

Also of interest, someone has cleaned all the old fixed gear on the crux of this route (thanks!) and the key hold at the start of the crux is no longer coated with bird crap as it was ealier in the summer (thanks even more for that if someone cleaned it). Oct 20, 2007
Mark Cushman
Cumming, GA
Mark Cushman   Cumming, GA
I thought the crux was harder than Bastille Crack. Still a fantastic climb, though. Nov 16, 2007
Scott Rogers
Moab, UT
Scott Rogers   Moab, UT
Best route on the SW face. Protects well and has a well-rated crux that will leave you breathing hard if you are a beginning leader. I also love the fact that this entire part of the Wind Tower gets all-day sunlight in the winter. Great for year-round climbing! Feb 28, 2008
Boulder, Co
MaryR   Boulder, Co
Hey everyone! My partner and I left some gear at the top of this climb, it's marked with blue and white tape. If you found it I would love to get it back... PLEASE! Send me a PM, if you have any details!
Mary May 25, 2008
Jeff Welch
Denver, CO
Jeff Welch   Denver, CO
I lost a green #1.75 Tech Friend on Reggae this evening. Dumbass leader (me) didn't sling it long enough, and the little bastard walked on me. Would be happy to buy a beer for anyone who returns it. Sep 9, 2008
Dean Cool
Boulder, CO
Dean Cool   Boulder, CO
This was a sweet climb! Great solid pro placement before you reach the crux. Kind of a tight squeeze at the top behind the large flake/roof. I will most definitely go back and climb this one again. Sep 18, 2008
Climbed this yesterday and found it to be fun and well protected, with a distinct crux at the end. I agree with the rating because the crux is stiff but the rest is straight forward.

Getting a good wide stance at the crux will save you some grief as it can be pumpy and want to make you swing out. You can place throughout the crux, but the strain involved might mean you're better served just moving through it. A good stance before the hard stuff lets you get a good piece in the lower part of the crux and fire up it while still being reasonably protected.

Evan Feb 8, 2009
Boulder, CO
Lordsokol   Boulder, CO
I rope-soloed this route last night after work. I typically won't rope-solo unless the route is fairly straightforward. Such is the case with this route. There are plenty of options for gear, and you can choose to run out as much or little as you like... even on the crux. I found it easier to blast the crux with no pro but what I placed at the very start of the 'overhang'. It's only about 12 feet and there are really only two 5.7ish moves. The rest above the crux comes quickly, so I wasn't totally flamed. Also, I set a belay to the right of the bolt anchors (start of second pitch) to allow other parties to move on without me hoggin' up the area. I liked this route more than Bastille for rope soloing. May 21, 2009
Bob Brockwehl
Golden, CO
Bob Brockwehl   Golden, CO
The best approach to Reggae is the first pitch of Boulder Direct (using the start of West Overhang; see my comment on Boulder Direct). If better known, this approach would take a lot of the pressure off P1 of Calypso. Jul 26, 2009
Marley Hodgson
Marley Hodgson   CO
Very quality climb. Did this Jan. 16 in 48 degree temps after having climbed it 10+ years ago. Better than I remebered it being. The pro is solid, albeit spaced a bit in spots. There is a Nut fixed in the crack about 1/2 way up the crux at the top. Inspected it briefly on lead and the wires looked in good condition and didn't seem to be going anywhere. Just clipped it and fired for the jug. I agree that fiddling with pro in the crux might make this more spicy than necessary. There are multiple good placements directly before the crux 15 foot section. Recommend placing pro at the top of the crux before trying to squeeze into the "beached whale" slot...as it feels like it is going to spit you back out. Hilarious and spooky at the same time. Definitely worth it. Jan 18, 2010
Phill T
Phill T  
No fixed gear on the route as of today. Note that if you don't want to squirm your way into the slot at the top and imitate the beached whale, you can fire in a good cam and then traverse right under the massive chockstone roof thing aiming for the hole on the right. Traverse goes at about 5.7 with decent pro through it, and I thought was a much better finish to a phenomenal pitch. This anchor spot makes for way better rope drag rather than running your rope along the top of the chockstone, and you can see your second the whole way. There is some swing potential if they blow it, but it's pretty mild. Mar 21, 2010
Ryan Day Thompson
Phoenix, AZ
Ryan Day Thompson   Phoenix, AZ
Joined the "beached whale" club today. This was my first serious lead. I've only led 5.4 before. I fell on the crux with a piece at my chest and then gave it three more tries and shot my arms before I lowered off a bomber nut and let my partner try. He stuck it one go (much to my chagrin), but that gave me confidence to trust my feet and do it. Did it. Whoever said that someone who could stem wide was right as that is how I eventually conquered the layback :-)

I feel confident I could lead this now. Good pro. Easy to sew up. The crux has a bomber piece right at the chest. Dec 13, 2010
Rodger Raubach  
Enjoyable climbing at 5.8 on great rock. Protects very well with passive gear. Mar 12, 2011
I climbed this yesterday. Built an anchor right under the route instead of using the Calypso anchor, since there were multiple parties in line for P1 of Calypso toproping.

I found the whole route easy to protect. Great, straightforward gear placements, positive holds, and a great setting. Crux section was short, but even for a sissy like me protectable. Jun 8, 2011
Eric Klammer
Boulder, CO
Eric Klammer   Boulder, CO
Super fun route! The crux may be 5.8, but it is very short so if you can move fast through it you're golden. Fixed purple TCU there as of 4/20. Beached whale move at the top not necessary, just lie back off the big boulder and stand on up! Awesome belay possible just above in the various solution pockets (threads and creative nuts). Scrambled down and right to reach rap bolts. Apr 21, 2013
Andy Hansen
Longmont, CO
Andy Hansen   Longmont, CO
To Page: leave the tricams at home. A wonky but reliable #1 Camalot in a slot + a threaded sling (use your nut tool) in a hueco works really well. Or just bury yourself in the slot behind the flake and use the terrain to your advantage. Jun 20, 2014
tyler.evans evans
Boulder, CO
tyler.evans evans   Boulder, CO
Made a late afternoon run up Reggae today. Such a fun pitch, but got a blue BD X4 (0.3) stuck right at the top of the fun part... just a few feet above the fixed TCU. Huge bummer as it was just a directional. On the off chance someone is able to pull it and lets me know, I'll be super grateful and reward the hero with beer and a big high five. Oct 24, 2014
a Ball
Denver, CO
a Ball   Denver, CO
This is a good pitch. First Eldo guidebook 5.8. Just a heads-up...just to the right (towards the rap bolts) of where you belay at the top of the pitch is a big hole that forms the natural arch that the Boulder Direct route climbs through. It was hidden from view where I belayed and I almost fell through it while off belay scrambling to the rap bolts. Easy to avoid...once you know it's there.... Feb 16, 2015
Albuquerque, NM
farkas.time   Albuquerque, NM
Great pitch, but got a #1 Master Cam stuck at crux. If retrieved, please call 303.818.9238 for your reward!

tim Sep 23, 2016
Matt Rhodin
Denver, CO
Matt Rhodin   Denver, CO
Awkward, beached whale squeeze at the top of the pitch can be avoided by jumping on the face of the big boulder and hand traversing along the lip. Way fun and awesome exposure! Oct 15, 2016
Watch out for a loose block at the start of the dihedral, just off the starting ledge. I placed a cam behind this flake, gave it a slight tug, and felt the lobes expand. Yikes! I marked it, but I worry it will come down before too long. Aug 19, 2017
Rob Lee
Boulder, Colorado
Rob Lee   Boulder, Colorado
I climbed this today (skipping out early from work). In the crux section, I reached up to slot a DMM #10 Offset nut. It got stuck on a horizontal-ish position, and I couldn't wiggle it out. I put in a cam, because I didn't want to fuss with the nut in the crux section. My follower couldn't get it out unfortunately, and I had was short on time. Grateful if someone wants to return it (provided it comes loose) but OK if this is a donation as well. Thanks!

Where do most people set the anchor at the top of Ragge? The only quality crack I could find was to the right where you top out. Climbing above in those caves is really chossy. Thanks! Sep 13, 2017
Ben D.
Ben D.   Colorado
Great climb particularly when linked with Calypso. The whole pitch protects really well. I saved my small cams for the crux but ended up slotting a few small nuts instead. It seemed to me that there were two true 5.8 cruxes linked with some 5.7 moves above and below them. The cruxes were short though, and I think they are definitely easier for taller climbers, though my second who is about 5'4" did just fine. As others have said, this is a great confidence booster for those breaking into 5.8 Eldo climbing! Nov 5, 2017