Type: Sport, TR
FA: Paul Piana and Suzanne Jackson, 1989.
Page Views: 4,694 total · 21/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

55 Opinions

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Access Issue: Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: Details
Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


Rossiter rates this as 10c, but it is definitely not that hard. The pump factor may push the grade to 10, but technically it's 9. This route is 15 feet west of the West Bench of the amphitheatre, on the north-facing wall, a gentle overhanging route with the holds getting smaller as you go up. The crux is the moves above the third bolt. You should not have to use the large crack anywhere past the 1st bolt. This rock is a little flaky... we pulled a 12" plate off the rock in October of 1999.


4 bolts to 2 chains. Some trad gear for the start. Access the bolts for TR via a 4th class chimney about 30 feet to the right of the route.
There is a more difficult start up a thin crack with crappy feet that seems obvious. Harder than 9 plus, easier than .11. Jan 1, 2001
Given the friable nature of the rock and the terrible landing, the first bolt seems a little high. If you start directly, which is to say left of the crack, then a piece of gear is a good idea. A #5-6 BD stopper will slot nicely in a taper crack on the left, or a mid-size cam (~ #1 Camalot) might come in handy a bit lower. Just my $.02 Aug 12, 2001
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
Way back when, in the dawn of time, like '97, the guy I was was climbing with (Boulder local) called this route "Raptors and Celophane" - to me this name has stuck (much cooler than Red Wall, no?). I do not know where he pulled this name, has anyone heard it before, and if so, where?? Dec 12, 2001
I'd forgotten about that! The first time I went up there, probably November '94 or so, a woman clued us into the name, as you said, "Raptors and Cellophane". "Ya know, like birds and plastic", she said.

She and we also called it 'stiff 5.8'. About two years later, I went back and two guys were finishing up TRing it and just for fun I asked the grade and name. Didn't know the name, but they informed me that it went at 5.12. I still say it is 9+ or 10a tops. Dec 13, 2001
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Better description? Maybe... This is a sport route on the North Face of the Ginseng Tower (part of the "outside" or West face of Tower Two of the Gregory Canyon Amphitheater. Walk on the Amphitheater trail past the open amphitheatre and then walk North up a 30-40 degree incline past the west side of the Second Tower, which forms the West wall of the Amphitheater. At the North end of this there is a huge corner formed by thte two rocks that form the two summits. Looking back South at these they are Tower Two (left) and the Ginseng Tower (right). The bolted route going up the North Face of the Ginseng Tower goes at easy 5.10. It is a well protected affair once the first bolt is clipped and ascended primarily on large and secure holds. Some body-English may be required. Good fixed anchors are up top to rap from, lower off on, or set a TR from, using 2 slings. Oct 14, 2002
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
BEAUTIFUL day today. I love these warm chinooks! This climb always seemed rather daunting to me. Finally nailed it today. Crux is definitely between the third and fourth bolts. Not much to hang onto unless you go for the layback right facing dihedral . Definitely a "pumper." My rating would be 5.10a as well. Give it a shot. It's worth it. Easy clean-up if you don't make it. 4th class chimney allows access to the chains on top to get your gear back ; ) Nov 21, 2002
I thought the old name was "Raptor in Cellophane." That conjures up interesting images.... Nov 22, 2002
The old name *was* "Raptor in Cellophane" - I remember when PP did it. The name is a layered pun, referencing both bird closures and a popular TV show of the time, "Twin Peaks." Recall the state of Laura Palmer's body...

Pumpy, yes, but it seemed about 10a, at least when the holds stayed on. Nov 22, 2002
James Garnett
Bellingham, WA
James Garnett   Bellingham, WA
  • OLD* name? I remember climbing this in 1985, at least 5 years before Twin Peaks (which I also remember well, FWIW). The route had to have a name then, and it couldn't've been related to Laura's beach landing....
Aug 14, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
As Myke says, tread lightly here. My partner knocked off a decent flake about the size of a burrito this afternoon on TR. This face will exfoliate if you yard on the thin stuff (for proof check out the ground downhill of the base). If you stay true to the line of the four bolts, the route is a hard 5.10. Take the dihedral to the right of the line between bolts #3 and #4 for "easy 5.10" if there is such a thing. Oct 14, 2003
Jorge Calhoun
Jorge Calhoun  
I think Tony Bubb may cause a bit of confusion here: this climb is on Tower Two, not Ginseng Pillar. The equivalent route on Ginseng is Siberian North Face, which has only one bolt near the top.

The setup for TR (if you don't lead the route) will feel rather exposed because you have to reach around from a small ledge to access the chains. If this doesn't suit you, you can rappel down from the Tower Two summit eye bolt to the chains. Frankly, this may not be a hell of a lot safer - you basically rappel along a ridge - but it definitely makes the setup easier.

-Joe Oct 29, 2003
Good #11 BD stopper before the first bolt, too - there's plenty of pro available to protect the 5.7+ish start.

However the first 2 bolts are crappy - homemade hangers beginning to rust. I bailed at the first clip because of visions of a 15' whipper at the second clip (made worse my recent unpleasant first lead fall, so cut me some slack for being a wuss). The anchor on top (did the TR again) isn't so hot either. The bolt hanger on the right (again homemade) BENT about 1/2" when I rapped off to clean up the TR. The other bolt/chain looks pretty okay.

Anyway, a nice before-work climb on a warm November morning. Nov 19, 2003
Chris Plesko
Westminster, CO
Chris Plesko   Westminster, CO
The first bolt is definitely high for most people. I placed a mid-sized stopper about 10 feet below bolt one. The first two hangers are not the greatest, but I blew a foot and fell on the first one and it held fine. The route was fun and a good lead for me. It was getting cold and dark so I lowered off a couple heavy ovals and didn't scramble up to get them. As of this post, they're in good shape to stay on the route or as booty. The flakes, especially lower down are not totally solid, so I wouldn't yard on them too hard if you like your belayer. Nov 23, 2008
Bill C.
Fort Collins, CO
Bill C.   Fort Collins, CO
This route has some serious potential to be a truly great climb. Steep wall, consistent overhang, and jugs the whole way up really make this climb a treat (however, probably not much harder than 10a). This route does however require a fair bit of maintenance. It seems that some of most attractive holds could blow at any minute, and the homemade hangers are pretty dubious. The left anchor bolt is pretty rough, too (just a few links of rusted chain sitting on a rusty hanger-less bolt). If someone would take the time to bolt and clean this properly, then 3 stars for sure. Just my opinion, though. Dec 29, 2010
Eric Klammer
Boulder, CO
Eric Klammer   Boulder, CO
Awesome route! Sport line with a little bit of a trad feel. I wouldn't call it more than 5.9, just a little pumpy towards the top. The creaky holds and old bolts also add some excitement. As others have said, a good medium stopper will get you to the first bolt, and the climbing there is easy anyways. Finally, the first couple of hangers have a pretty cool built in feature, you can tell which ones have been fallen on because they are bent much flatter to the rock than the others. Much be some sort of new technology.... Jun 7, 2013
As per Ray Snead, in 1992 this was regularly referred to as 'Raptor in Cellophane'. Jun 17, 2013
Weston Hamilton
Denver, CO
Weston Hamilton   Denver, CO
Modern 10a grade. Definitely pumpy but lots of jugs, and it stays shaded pretty well. Worth doing if you're in the amphitheater doing other routes. Sep 4, 2018
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
All of the bolts have been replaced.

Before today I was confused by the bolt location, especially the seeming runout to the 2nd clip. After thorough inspection with a hammer, I realized the bolts were in the only rock that might hold. Between 1 and 2 is what seems like hollow mud. The last bolt was in a loose, detached flake. It's been relocated to a better spot.

Conclusion: yikes! Choss city.

Huge thanks to OSMP for allowing the upgrade, and thanks to the ASCA for supplying the hardware. Please consider a donation to them.

safeclimbing.org Nov 29, 2018