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Routes in Der Zerkle

Absolution (submitted as Hot if You're Not aka The Brown Eye Wall) S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
April Fools S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bar None S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Der Fuhrer TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
East Face Left Side T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
East Face Right/Der Zerkle T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Feeling Lucky S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Final Solution T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Happy Ending T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Hot if You're Not aka The Brown Eye Wall (submitted as Absolution) S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Knot Carrot S,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
New Beginnings T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b R
Ribspuren T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Southeast Arete T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Sunny Side One T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Sunny Side Two T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Touch Monkey S,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Two Clucks From Saigon T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
West Face [Der Zerkle] T 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
What If You're Not? T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wing Ding S,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unsorted Routes:
Type: Sport, TR, 50 ft
FA: Sandy Cox, Steve Zich, John Sage, 1989
Page Views: 4,486 total · 22/month
Shared By: Ben Schneider on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Routes on Der Zerkle are closed from 1 April to 1 September Details
Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


Start about 15 feet right of "What If You're Not" and climb up the little flake to the steep face with pockets to the top. This description kinda sucks without a good photo. Sorry.


Since the bolts were removed from this climb, it is now a TR. Bring some 10 foot slings, and some cams ranging from #0.5-2.5 Friend.

Eds. this climb now sports 5 bolts.


  5.10a PG13
T G   Colorado
  5.10a PG13
There are only 4 bolts and there's significant fall potential between the 2nd and 3rd bolt. Fortunately the climbing is juggy at that point, but as has been said, this is not a good lead for a beginning .10 climber. Nov 24, 2017
John RB
Superior, CO
John RB   Superior, CO
I've done a ton of laps on this thing as well as other routes at Der Zerkle. Of course I may still be missing something, but....

Up the handrail is easy (though you still can't clip the first bolt from here!), but from the 1st to the 2nd bolt is 10a the way I do it. After the 2nd bolt, there is a no-hands rest (you can sit in a large hueco), followed by this amazing constellation of pockets in an overhanging section, followed by a crux pulling through a 2-finger pocket to jugs. Then another no-hands rest in a large hueco and a final crux (5.8) to the chains.

This route is mostly moderate climbing, but it can get pumpy if you get off-route or spend too long on the steep sections. Strong climbers could probably hang on forever on this terrain, but a 5.9 climber will certainly feel the pump building!

First bolt is quite high and a fall getting there would be unpleasant. You can get gear before this, if you bring any. The 4th bolt is in a horrible location... hard to clip and off-route. Not sure what FA party was thinking. Oct 11, 2017
Dave Clark 5.10
Golden, CO
Dave Clark 5.10   Golden, CO
Direct start to bolt 1 is good at 10a (but PG-13 due to groundfall risk); angling up from left on sloping hand rail is easier and can be protected with a small cam. Can also protect runouts higher up with 1/2" to 1" cams in horizontal cracks. With enough wandering, this route could be climbed at 5.9. Sep 16, 2017
John RB
Superior, CO
John RB   Superior, CO
How do people do the start? I hand traverse the rail then go straight up (left of the first bolt), but there's a lot of chalk out right. My way feels 10a, but people are rating this thing 5.8, so I must be missing something.

Also, the Editor comment says there are 5 bolts, but I only count 4. Aug 29, 2017
D. Scott Clark
  5.9 PG13
D. Scott Clark   Boulder
  5.9 PG13
My favorite 5.10 in Colorado (though it's probably a 9); the closest thing to Red River Gorge climbing that I've found! If you have a new leader, it could be good to put a #1 Camalot between bolts 4 and 5. Aug 23, 2017
Any chance the type of climb could be changed from TR to Sport so it'll show up in search results?

[added]Cheers to whomever![/added] Jun 5, 2015
-- Chris --
-- Chris --  
My first 10 on lead.... There are some tricky moves, but there are some good rest spots too! The runouts at the start and end were both on easy terrain. So I'd say it's not a bad 10 for a solid 5.9 leader. Nov 10, 2014
Where is the fifth bolt? I have done this several times, and each time I only clipped 4 bolts. Am I missing something or am I just unobservant? Oct 2, 2014
Paula C
Denver, CO
Paula C   Denver, CO
Not a good lead for someone just getting into .10s. The crux is before the 1st bolt which is high off the deck, and there's a runout to the anchors, although on easy terrain. Neither is an issue if you're comfortable leading .10s.

Must have been bolted by a tall person. I'm 5'7" and had to make a move or two past the obvious clipping stances to reach a couple of the bolts. Aug 6, 2014
Brent Apgar
Out of the Loop
Brent Apgar   Out of the Loop
As of the date listed on this post, both bolt hangers and chains are back in place at the anchors. Sep 23, 2012
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a PG13
It's not a crime to replace a hanger and nut back onto an existing legal bolt....
Someone could just go ahead and do it. Aug 19, 2012
Superior, CO
Wayne DENSMORE   Superior, CO
The anchor only has one bolt with a hanger and a second bolt with the hanger missing. Aug 17, 2012
Aeon Aki

Aeon Aki    
This route has been bolted once again and now provides another sport lead on the Der Zerkle wall. A bit run out off the ground and up top, overall the bolted line feels contrived and often quite awkward. This was better as a TR from the What if You're Not chains. May 15, 2012
Three stars is a bit of a stretch IMNSHO. Oct 28, 2004
This route was bolted in 1989 by Steve Zich, Jandy Cox, John Sage. They were old chums of mine from DC that were visiting Boulder when I lived there. This is a fairly insignificant wall in general and all the bolts should be removed as far as I'm concerned. It's fine for top roping.

As I remember the crux was actually an existing boulder problem.

I climbed up to the left of it once with a drill in tow, sat on a hook, the flake broke, and cratered about 15 feet into some rocks and branches. Six weeks in a cast. A small price for the poor judgement of an exuberent youth.

Will Niccolls Dec 19, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a PG13
It is not necessarily at TR. The first 10' of climbing is easy. 15' off of the deck is the "5.10c" crux, which felt like 5.10a, or maybe easier. It is a big move off of big jugs, but for a 5.10 climber seemed like low risk. Above that you can count on more 5.8 with the occasional large cam in a pocket. It can be lead trad without death-risking consequences.

It does seem silly that someone "unbolted" this route. Sep 9, 2002

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