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Routes in Redgarden - S Buttress

A Breed Apart T 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Anthill Direct T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c R
Archer McLanahan T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Back in Black S 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Backstroke T,S 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a R
Backtalk T,S,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Black Top S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Blackwalk T 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Book of Numbers T,S 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Bulge Indirect T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Bulge, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
C'est La Fin T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
C'est La Morte T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
C'est La Vie T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Chromium Shore T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Cleopatra Says Happy Birthday to Anthony T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Continue-us T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Crack Variation T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Desdichado T,S 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Dessert T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
East Overhang TR 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
East Side T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Edge of Night, The T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a R
Exodus T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Flakes, The T 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Genesis T,S 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
Genuine Risk T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13
Genuine Risk Takers T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
High Noon T,S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Horizontal Beginnings T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Je T'Aime T,S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R
La Vie d' Pansey TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a X
Le Boomerang T,S 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Left Side of Roark, The T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b R
Mental Cruelty TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Night T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c X
Noggin T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Original Anthill T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
PA's Variation T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Pansee Sauvage T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Pilgrim S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Pseudo Sidetrack T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c R
Pseudo Sidetrack, Direct Finish T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13
Redguard T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Restless Nights T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b R
Semi-Wild T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Semi-Wild Slab T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Shades of Gray T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Sticky Feet T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
To Night T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Trinity Cracks T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R
Vaporizer, The S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Variation to Lower Meadows T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Walk the Talk T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Whistle Stop, The T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Whittle Wall, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Whittle Whisk T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Type: Trad, 3 pitches Fixed Hardware (10)
FA: Rick Horn and Pat Ament, 1965. FFA: Bob Williams and Dave Oh
Page Views: 14,880 total, 72/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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Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
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Description

Brilliant. Pat Ament has had many first ascents in Eldorado, but few are as perfect and fun as this one. Begin perhaps 20 feet left from the start of C'est La Morte. The first tricky face moves begin from a nice, flat rock. Then enter a broken crack system and move up past one bolt, a fucked-up knifeblade (no longer there) that [was] a perfect example of horrible fixed pro, and past one more bomber bolt right below the crux, which takes you up a hollow flake. The first set of anchors are 20 feet past the crux. From here you can lower, 75 feet, or continue up through an easy A shaped roof and then do an airy traverse left to another set of anchors, 100 feet. This sets you up for the second pitch, if you're up to it....

The second pitch really has to be done if you want the fully C'est La Vie experience. Go straight up the huge dihedral. The 5.11c crux is only about 10 feet above the belay, which sits on a small ledge. Two fixed pins ripped recently so there is virtually no pro to keep you from cratering on the ledge if you rip, but many argue it is well worth the risk. From the top, rap to the first set of anchors and then to the ground.

Per Bill Briggs: The route has an exhilarating third pitch that is sadly neglected because the double bolt anchor at the top of the second pitch was not placed at the original finish of the second pitch. Now everyone lowers off the bolts and misses the third pitch. The climb should be completed as follows. Clip the bolts at the top of the second pitch dihedral, then climb another 20 feet to a good stance beneath a six-foot overhand; good anchors can be found here. The third pitch surmounts the overhang with the help of some solution pockets above the lip and a heel hook. Once standing on the lip of the overhang, a medium cam can be placed in a solution pocket. Two more tricky moves up and right lead to easier climbing. The moves are probably 5.10. This pitch used to be the standard finish to the route and was done regularly.

Protection

If you are only doing the first part of the first pitch all that is needed is three quick draws, a #10 BD Stopper, and a #2 Camalot.
As of 8/28/2017, the nut is still at the crux... and it works. =) Aug 28, 2017
Carl Schaefer
Boulder, CO
Carl Schaefer   Boulder, CO
The pitch 2 crux currently has a fixed nut. Apr 26, 2017
Nodin deSaillan
Boulder
 
Nodin deSaillan   Boulder
 
As of 3/15, there is a #2 DMM Brass offset at the crux of pitch 2. Mar 15, 2016
David Cook
  5.11 R
David Cook  
  5.11 R
Just so everyone knows, there is no fixed gear off any kind (i.e. bolts, pins, random gear) on the second pitch excluding the first two pitons. Either way, fantastic route and quite spicy during the crux. GO FOR IT! Feb 25, 2016
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.11b PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.11b PG13
The most natural feeling way to do this thing at a moderate grade is to pass the first anchors and head up and right through the roof. But instead of the airy traverse to the set of anchors above P.S., 30' to your left, stay on the arete with occasional gear (5.8+, PG13), and head to the anchors at the top of P2's diherdral. It is a fun and very worthy var. that I had not done in over 10 years. A 70m rope is long enough to rap/lower from those to the belay ledge 20' up if you started from there. Aug 23, 2015
Moritz B.
  5.11b
Moritz B.  
  5.11b
Clip the two pitons at the start of the second pitch to make sure that your brass won´t zipper up! Aug 11, 2015
Nathaniel Dray
Fort Collins
 
Nathaniel Dray   Fort Collins
 
P1 protects safely with minimal gear: two quickdraws (bolts), two small nuts (offset is best), and cams 0.5, 1, 2.

P1 is mostly 5.8 climbing except for the first 15 feet and the 15 feet between the small corner to the undercling/flake start. Apr 8, 2015
WadeM
Golden, Co
 
WadeM   Golden, Co
 
Fixed nut in dihedral is gone. Bring a yellow alloy offset for crux piece. The rest is up to you! Enjoy Mar 28, 2015
Gregger Man
Broomfield, CO
Gregger Man   Broomfield, CO
Andrew - pound on that block/flake between the two P1 bolts next time: it vibrates with a resonant 'boom'. Lobbing onto that enticing looking #0.75 Camalot placement may prove catastrophic some day if the block detaches.

Vague potentially helpful beta: keep a little lower as you head right. Jan 19, 2015
Andrew Locke
Louisville, CO
 
Andrew Locke   Louisville, CO
 
We went for the first pitch today, after some folks telling us it was a classic 5.9. They were right, but it's definitely hard. It's hard pretty much right off the deck, with marginal gear until about 15 feet up, and even then it doesn't let up much.

Personally, I for the life of me couldn't figure out what to do in the tiny corner below the second bolt. The pin everyone is talking about is gone, but I had a bomber #4 Metolius in that slot under the corner that I whipped on probably 10 times today. I tried stemming out right with bad feet. No go. I tried going straight up, but the hands kinda just disappear. Any beta here? Was I even at the crux of the pitch? Nov 22, 2014
powersjj
Loveland
 
powersjj   Loveland
 
As of 8/7/2014, there is a nut ~1/3 up the dihedral that has become so stuck that it has literally molded into the crack and become part of the rock. The dihedral protected better than I thought, and you're never really that far above your pro to take a huge fall. Very exciting route! My buddy took a HUGE whipper on the P1 traverse over to the second set of anchors, exciting move that protects well with a 0.3 Camalot. Aug 13, 2014
Stan Pitcher
SLC, UT
 
Stan Pitcher   SLC, UT
 
Don't see a listing for the 2nd pitch variation that goes up the arete after the A-haped roof? It's well worth doing. May 12, 2014
Lucien Heart
Boulder, CO
Lucien Heart   Boulder, CO
Anchor the belay! My leader took an exciting fall today when he came off at P1 crux and the #3 blue Camalot he placed in the flake blew. I was VERY grateful I had anchored the belay. It's an sketchy belay stance on those rocks, but there's a good, #2 yellow Camalot placement right at your feet and a red #1 just behind you to keep you where you need to be in case of a fall. Not flying up probably saved me from being hit from above, and at least saved my leader from falling another 5-10 feet.

By the way, we left a draw in the bolt below the P1 crux, because my leader hurt his ankle on the fall and we backed off. FYI. May 6, 2014
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
  5.11c/d
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
  5.11c/d
Still a bomber fixed nut. P2 protects really well and is definitely the money pitch. Jun 5, 2013
Tommey-James
Boulder,Colorado
  5.11b/c
Tommey-James   Boulder,Colorado
  5.11b/c
As of 6/10/2011, there is a fixed nut at the crux. Jun 13, 2011
Richard Radcliffe
Louisville, CO
 
Richard Radcliffe   Louisville, CO
 
As of 5/9/2010, the pin in the crux dihedral of P2 is no longer there nor is there any other fixed gear on that pitch (except at the belay anchors at the top and bottom of the dihedral). Placing adequate gear in the dihedral through the crux is tricky and strenuous. Good luck. May 10, 2010
Newton
Colorado Springs, CO
Newton   Colorado Springs, CO
Pulled the previously stuck nut today, but don't worry, the climb is still hard. Feb 28, 2010
lenore sparks
Denver, Colorado
  5.11-
lenore sparks   Denver, Colorado
  5.11-
This is a sport climb now, not a death-fest. Fixed pro the whole crux, you can crag the second, crux pitch from the belay under the dihedral, and thus only need a 70 meter to get all the way to the ground. Good evening 5.11. You can climb the .9 pitch, work the second pitch, lower from that belay and top rope Pansee Sauvage (.11). Also, the route mentions that this climb can't be .11c at the crux, but if you are 5'2" or shorter, this is at most a .10+. Little person climb...for once. Sep 16, 2008
Marc H
Denver
Marc H   Denver
I did the first two pitches of this thing last year. I thought they were both rated 5.9 when I climbed it; at the time, I thought the second pitch was pretty sand-bagged. LOL, .11b sounds more like it. Mar 11, 2008
Dane Casterson
Boulder
 
Dane Casterson   Boulder
 
On the dihedral pitch, tread lightly on the flake that is on the left wall by the finger lock after the crux. It flexed severely when I tested it and I think it would come with a little persuasion. Feb 13, 2008
Mike Robinson
Worcester, MA
 
Mike Robinson   Worcester, MA
 
This whole climb rocks!!! Do the final pitch it is protected and the sequence is great!!! Aug 22, 2007
Brett Merlin
Boulder, CO
Brett Merlin   Boulder, CO
I found the new red BD C3 works well before the bad nut placement. Incredible pitch. Definitely thought provoking. Classic and amazing. Everyone should do it. Mar 18, 2007
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
Climbed P1 on 12/9/06 with A. Wiedmann. I don't recommend this as a cold-season climb; P1 gets no sunlight and the rock is very cold. Thought the pro was somewhat marginal. First move can be protected with a small stopper but it's effective only if the climber stays well to the right. The bent pin at the P1 crux looks very bad. It can be backed up (I used a stopper), but the backup is not that good and definitely should be equalized.

This is a satisfying pitch though. Crux moves are inobvious, delicate, and fun once you figure 'em out. Think it would be 5.10b for us lesser mortals. No bats--too cold I guess! Dec 11, 2006
Climbed this yesterday late afternoon. Behind the big flake just before the first anchors was a pretty impressive colony of bats, sleeping and crawling all over each other. Its hard to say for sure how many were there, but I counted 30+ distinct bats, and I'm sure many more were hidden from view. Very cool, though the stench of guano was pretty strong.

I know nothing about bats: any ideas on what type might be living in Eldo? Aug 25, 2005
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
On P1, after clipping the twisted knife blade (which I didn't feel a need to back up), layback the flake and step up immediately using one of several small edges at the bottom of this flake, reaching for the two [chalked] up flared pockets in the crack above the piece. This is the most direct, and IMO easiest way to reach the next bolt. Trusting this stance while clipping is the mental crux...balancy... I've wandered a bit farther right before launching up while following this pitch in the past, but I believe the bolt would be out of reach if you get too far right past the flake before launching up on lead... Aug 7, 2005
Chad, There is only one pin on the actual dihedral. The other two are located just above the bolted belay (probably the original belay) and don't impact the climbing at all. Hope that helps clear up any misunderstanding. Jul 22, 2005
TBD
TBD  
Personally, I am disappointed if the above comment means that recently some pins were [replaced] at the second pitch crux. The natural gear was adequate. A perfect example of where fixed pro should NOT have be replaced, in my opinion. Reduces the experience, and, in the long run, reduces the safety. Jul 21, 2005
We just did the 1st and 2nd pitches last night. There are 3 pins on the 2nd pitch, one that protects the crux moves which I backed up with a blue alien below it. The crux pin seems to be adequate, as I fell on it from the top of the crux section. The fall wasn't bad, I basically slid back down the slab with the pin catching me just as my feet were coming to the ledge. The slide is so slow you have plenty of time to look down and see where your feet are going to land. Jul 21, 2005
Ken Cangi
Eldorado Springs, CO
5.11b
Ken Cangi   Eldorado Springs, CO
5.11b
I placed the two-bolt anchor at the top of the second pitch, only after carefully and thoughtfully weighing the pros and cons of doing so. I submitted a written proposal to FHRC, who deliberated on the idea for almost one year, before I was given written approval to install the anchor. I originally proposed the installation of the bolts at a public meeting, at which several local climbers were in attendance and had the opportunity to voice their objections - few did. Consequently, with the assistance of Mark Rolofson and his drill, I installed the anchors. During the following month, a dozen or so local climbers approached me to express their appreciation for my efforts.

Given the sensitivity of such actions - legal or not - I feel compelled to clarify my reason for installing the anchor. It was not as Steve suggested meant to be a convenience anchor. Although I consider Steve to be a reasonable person, I am surprised and a bit disappointed at his comment. The fact is that he was one of the few climbers, at the meeting, who vehemently opposed my proposal. He is also acutely aware of my reason for suggesting the anchor in the first place, because I stated it clearly in his presence. My [sole] intention for the installation of those bolts was to reconcile a safety issue - period.

At the time, I had been guiding for Boulder Rock School, in Eldorado Canyon, three to four times per week in addition to spending almost all of my recreational time there. I frequently encountered competent parties, who had jammed their ropes into the top of the dihedral, while attempting to rappel. The problem was that the antecedent anchor was fixed in the horizontal section of that upper dihedral, which inevitably guided and sometimes lodged the rappel ropes into its flaring crack.

I do not disagree with Steve's opinion that the former belay stance was a bit more comfortable, although I firmly believe that resolving the more important safety issue supersedes any minor reduction of comfort. Mark and I contemplated this issue and spent a considerable amount of time on the upper ledge, determining what we believed to be the most efficient placement of the bolts. I've heard few complaints since.

I respect both Steve's and Roger's desire to preserve the tradition of Eldorado climbing. I too look forward to all efforts toward doing so. I have been an active climber, in the capacity of professional instructor, guide, sponsored athlete, and sports photographer, for almost thirty years. I learned to climb in a staunchly traditional environment, so I understand and appreciate tradition all too well. On the other hand, I also recognize that there is a difference between preserving tradition and becoming consumed by an ideology. Situations change and activities evolve. Such was clearly the case with this route. With all due respect to Roger, during seven years of climbing in Eldo, I never saw more than two separate parties, my own included, on the third pitch of the route in question. Moreover, the presence of my anchors in no way impinges upon anyone's desire to pursue this last pitch. The guidebooks display it, and all interested parties are free to do it. Most parties simply choose not to.

Could we live without the existence of bolted belays on this route? Of course we could. The same argument could be made regarding the bolted anchors on The Naked Edge and several other _traditional_ Eldorado classics. The Edge could easily be ascended without any bolts, and it would still be considered a relatively safe route. We humans have an innate predisposition toward maintain a modicum of comfort in our lives, which is why most people don't free solo routes. We instead form a general consensus to determine what is acceptable to the majority. This consensus is oftentimes implicit by our actions. I can see no benefit from the presence of machismo in our sport. Although the bold and defiant acts of some to challenge nature's patience can leave many of us with a sense of awe, they are still the personal choice of those who pursue them. They should in no way mandate a standard by which we all must abide. Climbing is personal endeavor, and it should be preserved as such.

In any event, this is a classic route, whether done in one, two, or all three pitches. I highly recommend it.KC Jul 8, 2005
Steven Lucarelli
Moab, UT
  5.11b
Steven Lucarelli   Moab, UT
  5.11b
I have another suggestion for pro on the second pitch. You can place a bomber blue alien about 10 inches above the pin and it will hold a fall. I know because I tested it a couple of times before I finally pulled the crux. Jul 8, 2005
StanL
Louisville, CO
  5.11c
StanL   Louisville, CO
  5.11c
Adequate gear, classic line. Calling the little white crystal for your right foot a dime edge seems generous. Jun 18, 2005
Bo Johnston  
 
The party that climbed the first pitch before us today also took a lead fall on the twisted pin! At least we know it will hold one for now... I linked the first pitch and the arete alternate finish into one pitch and it worked out nicely with minimal rope drag. Mar 6, 2005
Shane Zentner
Colorado
Shane Zentner   Colorado
I fell on the twisted piton on the first pitch today-I wouldn't give that thing many more falls. I backed it up with a cam under the piton, I believe an HB quad cam(don't know what size, maybe similar to a BD #.75). We climbed the alternate second pitch, and, I must say, was excellent. Mar 6, 2005
Found gear at base of C'est La Vie - Sat., Oct 2. See Lost and Found section (link on home page) for details. Oct 3, 2004
If 5.9 is pushing your lead limit then the 1st pitch is going to feel pretty darn tough. This seemed a fair bit harder than say the first pitch of Chockstone (10a). The gear is kinda funky in places and the pin below the crux looks pretty bunk. Sep 27, 2004
Lon Black  
 
Regarding pro at the crux pitch crux section: a #2 HB offset and a #2 RP can be placed right next to each other about a meter above the last pin. Falling with the pin as the last piece lands you on some small ledges/large edges. These two #2's are high enough to keep from hitting the edges if you fall....at least that's what I tried to tell myself while climbing. Aug 10, 2004
as of 8/9/2004, below the first set of anchor bolts along the flake, a bat nest with 50+ bats nesting waiting to attack , kinda scary moving past them and sticking your hands near the flake, beware!!! Aug 9, 2004
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Myke's beta photo above is innacurate with regard to belay position on P1. The first set of chains is under the mamouth flake below where he has the dot on the photo. Obvoiously, P1 & 2 can be combined, and often are...The moves in that upper corner, past those chains are interesting and involve a step up and high reach back and way right pulling up into an interesting little traverse to the second set of chains... Aug 2, 2004
Bill makes a good point but actually I think there are 2 variations which work as 3rd pitches. One is shown on the photo and one is as he describes. I believe the one he describes is the Barber Direct. The convenience bolts at the top of the dihedral were approverd by the FHRC to facilitate lowering back down the dihedral and were proposed by someone who was "guiding" in Eldo at the time. It seems to me that any "convenience" is compromised by having the second have to fight thru the rope at the crux. A hanging belay at these bolts is painfully awkward. May 21, 2004
Bill Briggs
  5.11c
Bill Briggs  
  5.11c
...The photo on the C'est La Vie page shows a third pitch, but it is in the wrong place. It should be about 10-15 feet right of the line in the photo.

May 21, 2004
David Conlin
  5.9+
David Conlin  
  5.9+
I thought the first pitch was the hardest 5.9 I've climbed in eldo or elsewhere. Sustained, tricky moves in the crux layback, and add to that infrequent and somewhat tricky gear. May 20, 2004
More thanks to Dale, Bruce, and the ASCA for replacing the first anchor. I'd offer to replace the bent, half-out lost arrow, but I fear the retribution, and it held my 190 lbs. just fine. I also protected the start with a #4 offset and a cam in the slot, but only after sliding off down to the block. Excellent Eldo 5.9! Dec 7, 2003
Yo! FYI A bomber number 3 or 4 HB offset nut can be placed before leaving the ground on the first pitch. I thought the first pitch was more difficult than the Tagger 10c pitch. Nov 17, 2003
The anchors at the top of the first pitch are appreciated. Thanks.The first pitch is hard, I thought. The beginning is scary becuase it is way up off the ground. I protected the start with a .5 camalot in the chalked-up slot. However, doing this takes away your best hold... Nov 17, 2003
Dale Haas and I fixed up the first anchor on pitch #1 (about 60' up). We replaced the old Leeper-style hanger on the left bolt with a Fixe 4mm Stainless Steel hanger. Also, we removed the smash links and assorted hardware from both bolts and installed two 3/8" quicklinks on each bolt.

This work was supported by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). Check them out at safeclimbing.org. They would appreciate your support.

By the way, smash links, also known as lap links, are a poor choice for using as rappel anchors on bolts. When they wear and need replacing, it requires a hammer and a chisel to open the link (hint, hint to those of you who would like to help out removing smash links from bolts). Quicklinks work so much better and are easier to replace. Oct 8, 2003
James Balasalle
  5.9+
James Balasalle  
  5.9+
Couple comments about the 1st pitch. It *is* hard. Hardest 5.9 I've done in Eldo. I thought it was quite a bit harder than Emerald City for instance. Also, Jay is right: taking a big fall is quite the possibility. But it's a good fall. And the bolt before the pin works just fine, believe me.

The moves above the first bolt are so deceiving. There looks like there's a monstrous foot hold just under the pin. But when you make the move, you're not really in a position to step on it.

Also, try to clip the pin *before* making the moves. I didn't even think of the red alien that Jay mentions. So after making the move to clip the pin, realizing that I couldn't use the bomber foothold, I had comitted and couldn't reverse the moves... hence the nice big whipper.

A really good pitch though... Jul 16, 2003
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Went up to climb this fine route yesterday and just wanted to issue a warning to watch out for poison ivy all along the upper talus leading to the base of the wall. Coincidentally, todays Dailey Camera Get Out! section has an article on this nasty plant in case you need a description. Jun 24, 2003
gear beta if only doing first pitch:

there isn't much pro between the first and second bolt. a foot or two below the scary piton there is a very inobvious red alien placement...it goes in right at the nice undercling sidepull thingy. if you miss this placement there is a chance for a pretty big fall, but if you get it this climb is reasonbly protected. the hardest pitch of 5.9 i've climbed, and awesome. Apr 12, 2003
At the risk of this comment field getting carried away w/ gear beta, this may be useful. Many of the above comments list small RPs (#3), etc. that looked pretty good, but no one talks about falling on them. As my partner and I tried to solve the crux (2nd pitch), we fell onto a #5 BD copper/steel at least 15 times. It is bomber, and the fall is very short if you place it where we did. There is currently one fixed pin on the route, and you can get a decent (yet, sideways) blue Alien about a foot above it. The cam is not great, but it provides a little confidence while you slot the higher RP. The #5 goes about a foot (my distances are guesses from memory and may be a little off) above the Alien. You will have to climb up a move or two from the stance to place this piece. After the #5 is in, don't waste your time looking higher, there is a bomber medium stopper at the obvious finger lock at the end of the crux, just go for it. As for the beta, I have seen it done any number of very different ways, so just get on it, and figure out what works for you. The footholds on the slab are pretty slick. I have had much better luck on these moves on a cool day. Mar 15, 2003
TBD
TBD  
To protect the crux on the second pitch I was able to get a good #3 ball nut. I placed it in the "largest" slot below the small crimp in the corner. Placed with the flat side against the left slide it is only in about 3/4 but a small lip keeps it solidly in place. I gave it a few good tests. Oct 6, 2002
My 2_ here--

GEAR: I found either a black or blue alien slotted in nicely above the pin (which I would call so-so), to protect the crux move; though, depending on when you fell, you could still land on the ledge below.

BETA: For me, using any of the holds on the left wall (below/including the Desdichado holds) didn't work out, despite how nice and big they feel. I just couldn't rock my body back into the dihedral-- I am tall, so this may explain the difference here. My success on this crux came when I finally committed to just doing the delicate slab, stepping high with my right foot.

Great challenge, great route. Jul 25, 2002
Carol Kotchek
Louisville, Colorado
Carol Kotchek   Louisville, Colorado
In response to the beta at the crux of the second pitch. Personally, I got my left hand on that higher hold on the left wall and my right hand on a chalked up crimper where the book comes together. The key for me was bringing my right foot up on a very micro crystal. Then I backstepped my left foot on the fairly large, chalked up downward slanting ledge. This enabled me to be wedged in there enough to let go with one hand to get the good hold where the crack comes together. Wow! That was a lot of beta. Anyway I'm pretty short and my tall partner did it a different way. Good Luck Jul 20, 2002
For those such as myself who find the 'regular' second pitch rather intimidating, the 5.9 variation is a great way to get to the anchors, or just do a nice second pitch. This is also a good way to reach the anchors to toprope the crux dihedral (be sure to set a directional).

From the anchors at the top of the first pitch, below the dihedral, traverse up and right to gain a thin right-leaning crack. Execute a few tricky, balancy moves to gain the arete, then work up and left to gain the top of the 11c pitch about 20 feet below the anchors. Finish with that pitch. Rossiter shows this as 9+, but it's easier than the first pitch. Probably 8+/9-, but very nice climbing with interesting holds for Eldo. Recommended. Jun 14, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
What's the beta on the crux? I once followed this route 10+ years ago, but I forgot how and ever since then I have failed miserabley to even TR the crux. Does one use the sidepull way off on the left wall at the crux, or is this a dead end? May 28, 2002
Peter Spindloe
North Vancouver, BC
Peter Spindloe   North Vancouver, BC
One very minor detail: the white line on the above picture goes left around the A-shaped roof, when the route actually goes straight through the roof and a little right, before traversing left to the anchors. Apr 18, 2002
If you don't want to do the 5.11 corner, a fun alternative is to climb the beautiful arete to the right for the second pitch. I think it is around 5.8 or so, but I'm not exactly sure. Never the less, there are a few sections of poor, thin protection; so bring small gear. Feb 15, 2002
Both the first and second pitches seem to protect reasonably well. However, I'm not sure I'd want to fall on a few of those manky pins. I found that most can be backed up with small nuts, though. Feb 15, 2002
Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
 
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
 
I really disagree that the remaining pin below the crux is good. Not quite hall of shame material, but it's sticking pretty far out. There seem to be some good rp placements but you really have to fiddle for them and there's some deceptively bad ones--also, you have to place them from a very insecure stance, meaning that you could fall on that pin. But still, safe enough for the 5.11 leader w/good gear-placing skills, I suppose. Feb 12, 2002
adam brink
Boulder, CO
 
adam brink   Boulder, CO
 
i did the top pitch of c'est la vie on 2/8/02 and the rumors of lacking protection are definately wrong. there is one good pin before the crux and a higher bomber #2 rp. the rp is absolutely sinker and would keep you off the ledge with an attentive belayer. protection aside, this is an amazing pitch and a definate must for any eldo climber. Feb 12, 2002
My BD micro ripped when standing on a sling at the crux. Luckily the blue alien that I was grabing on higher up in the crack held and I was able to clip it. Perhaps an RP or small offset nut would work better for pro. After the first 15 feet or so on the crux pitch, it is 5.8ish to the rap anchors in a nice hand crack. Dec 21, 2001
Did this route on Saturday, 11/17. There is one pin at the crux and you can get a good RP (#3 BD micro?) in to protect a ledge fall at the crux. If you have good gear placement skills this is a very safe lead. Nov 19, 2001
Peter Franzen
Phoenix, AZ
Peter Franzen   Phoenix, AZ  
The first pitch is fantastic, even though it is definately tough for 5.9 (hey, it'd be solid 5.10 in Dream Canyon:). Don't pull too hard on the flake at the top of P1, it's a bit loose.

As of 9-17-01 it looked like there were two fixed pins for the crux of P2. Sep 17, 2001
As of 4/14 there is one fixed pin on the second pitch. It is pretty low down and is very easy to clip, but is not in the greatest location for catching a fall from the crux. There is a ledge above the belay and below the pin that you will land on should you fall from up high and either haven placed RPs at the crux or your RP ripped. The crux of this route is tricky, slabby, very thin, and fun. I definately recomend trying it. Jan 1, 2001
Patrick Vernon
Estes Park, CO
Patrick Vernon   Estes Park, CO
Hmmm, you would really have to know this route well to take the mentioned rack on it, the pitch isn't too long, but is one of the harder 9s in Eldo. The second pitch isn anything close to a death fest, there are one (or two?) pins at your waist, and two pretty good RP placements in the seam. It's really quite sane, even sewn up! Jan 1, 2001