Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: Bill Roos, Paul Sibley, Carl Arndt, and Bernum Arndt, 1968
Page Views: 48,336 total · 217/month
Shared By: Joe Keyser on Dec 31, 2000 with improvements by George Perkins and 1 other
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closure Details


This route is three pitches of some of the best crack climbing around. I've heard it called the best 5.9 in the state. The first pitch is a hand/finger crack where you can use a little lie-backing. Belay at the slings.

The second pitch is the crux, it's a long pitch that leads up a perfect hand crack over a couple little bulges. Every jam is bomber, but, it is pretty sustained. Set a hanging belay once the crack is about to widen up. Edit: The disentegrating chockstone at the end of P2 is reported to have been trundled, but I have not witnessed it personally, so be cautious as always.

The third pitch is a little bit wider and leads up to the false summit with bolts. Do not climb the crack on the left wall unless you are aiming for the 10a variation which is separately posted on this site. From here, you can climb a short, bolted 5.11 to the very top, or rap. The bolts to rap off the back are scary, and lead to heinous bushwhacking and boulder hopping in the icebox. Rap just to the left of the route (looking down).

There is a row of nice bolts halfway down on the face. You can do two raps from the false summit with double ropes, or 4 rappels from the top of p3 with a single 60m.


Bring a few extra pieces, and cams up to #4 Camalot, double or triple #2s and #3s works good. Can substitute some cams for passive pro depending on preference/experience.

Edit: gear suggestion from TBrumme:

1x finger sizes, 2x #0.75 and #3, 3x #1 and #2, and 1x #4 recommended if you aren't confident at the (South Platte) grade. Leave the stoppers behind if you have the above rack.


This is absolutely the best 5.9 in the state, and probably one of the best anywhere. The steep, sustained, bomber jams [couldn't] be better. The line is incredible and leads to a fantastic summit. If you have ever seen the cover of the S. Platte guide you will realize why you need to climb this route. Suck up the seemingly endless 1 hour uphill approach and jam your way to heaven! Jan 1, 2001
Frank Stock - I haven't climbed the Center Route, but I did Wunch's Dihedral and rapped to the top of the Center Route. You can get off this climb with a single 60 Meter rope (and probably with a 50). We rapped off the far right of the false summit down a chimneyish slot using the bolted anchor, and then continued into the gully rapping off fixed slings with rap rings. The gully has some spots of poison ivy so it's worth exercising caution, but the walk beat dragging a second rope. In the FWIW category, Wunch's is one of the better climbs I have done. Jun 5, 2001
Awesome variation to the first pitch: just to the left of 5.8 hands is a fist to offwidth to squeeze to finger to hands, crack. Climb it. Surprisingly good. 5.10 I think. Also, a great way to pass those slow parties on the first (who don't realize how hard the second pitch is...) -dmm Jul 13, 2001
Great route. I wish I had triple #1 and #2 Camalots though. I ended up leap-frogging gear. You don't need anything bigger than a #3. Leave the TCUs at home.

Also, wear sturdy shoes. Something board lasted or with a midsole would be good. I wore my Mythos and cried the whole way up.

At least I had shoes. My partner, Nate Adams, left his in the truck and seconded the pitches in his Adidas! Oct 22, 2001
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Sustained climbing. Nov 5, 2001
I've never done a better 5.9 in Colorado; rarely done a better climb of any rating, anywhere...Tape is your friend, for sure, even if your technique is spot-on: this thing is sustained!...60-degree days in February are a perfect opportunity to climb this magnificent route before the closure. And cold hands are probably better than summer thunderstorms anyway, quoth the voice of experience. Feb 9, 2002
.........Sustained Mar 13, 2002
I've done this route 3 times over the last few years, with both finishes. I like the finish recommended by Steve Levin the best (move [left] partway through pitch 3). The climbing (10a) into the adjacent dihedral is quite good, though the 5.12 finish is beyond me, the A0 bolt pull is good clean fun. By the way, I'm pretty sure that Paul Sibley did the first ascent of this route, though I can't remember who he said his partner was.

P.S.: it is certainly one of the best climbs of its grade anywhere. Apr 1, 2002
Carol Kotchek
Louisville, Colorado
Carol Kotchek   Louisville, Colorado
Awesome route. Hard for the grade. I don't think you need a #4 Camalot. The last pitch looks wide but it narrows to about #2 Camalot size in the back. The largest thing I would bring if I did it again would be a #4 Friend. I don't think you need more than one, but bring two if you really want to sew it up. Probably don't need any gear smaller than a #1 Friend. Just letting you know so you don't carry a ton of gear up the lengthy approach! Aug 5, 2002
Dan St. John
Castle Rock
Dan St. John   Castle Rock
One of the best climbs in the land. Aug 12, 2002
Darin Lang  
An outstanding climb and worth the hike up. Also worth it if you get a late start and have to wait in the queue. Regarding the gear comments above, though: don't sweat it if you can't piece together a rack full of #1 and #2 Camalots. This ain't Indian Creek, and stopper (and maybe even hex ...) placements are all over the place on all three pitches. Just toss them at the crack and they seem to stick. I also placed my green *and* blue aliens. YMMV, of course. Aug 19, 2002
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
Did this route again yesterday. This is one of those that keeps you coming back!! If you are leading both P2 and P3, I think the best plan is to belay in the pod with the mess of slings, and have your second stop short of you to fix their own hanging belay off some cams right at to the old quarter inch bolt. Have them send the rest of the gear up to you, and then take off. I would imagine a rather difficult time to have two people in that pod trying to get organized... other than for the second to just climb past you and start leading. YMMV. Gear wise, I agree with Darin, it really does take up a lot of different sizes if you look for the placements. Having a couple 1s, 2s, and 3s doesn't hurt my feelings though since the route just eats them! Oct 22, 2002
I'm trying not to sound mean spirited here. Please stay off this climb, especially on weekends, if you cannot jam and/or cannot climb 5.9. Be considerate of others as this is a popular route and there aren't too many others of this grade on the formation. Jan 4, 2003
First come first serve. If your fast, get their first and get it done instead of sleeping in and showing up late and whining about the rest of us who might climb at a different speed standard. The whole reason most of us get out there is to get away from the rules and regulations we have to deal with the rest of the week. That's all I need is some guy with a "deadline" when Im trying to take my time and enjoy my climb. Jun 2, 2003
Phillip Morris
Flavor Country
Phillip Morris   Flavor Country
Super route - super physical and super sustained Sep 24, 2003
John McNamee
Littleton, CO
John McNamee   Littleton, CO  
It's an outstanding route in a spectacular setting. Everything has already been stated above about this route, but I just had to add my two cents worth! The walk up the base of the climb isn't too bad and is well worth the effort. Once you are there you have three great pitches of crack climbing, with the second pitch the longest and most sustained. There are plenty of mid size wire placements in the back of crack so it's easy to protect even if you don't have a triple set of cams. Bring two ropes since the bolts for rapping off the backside are shit. The standard rappel route down the face between the centre route and turf spreader is clean and safe. JFDI. Oct 6, 2003
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Joe, we put three people in the pod with the chockstone and slings... It was, well, interesting. Had a couple of Reverso's/B-52's and managed to get three up at the speed of two. I stood on top of the chockstone (loose, but probably ok) and put two #1 Cams in the crack to the left. Not certain if this is synonymous with the site's beta, but we set up the belay after pitch two right at the chockstone. Slings and rings greet you after the crux (for seconding "fun," try the face on the right, 20' or so below the 2nd anchor). DO NOT go off the backside (East side). The rap pins are ok though they 'flex,' but the scramble down is not a whole lot of fun. If you are masochistic and want to do it anyway because it's "Only one rap," after the large chockstone with a grey sling on it (for subsequent rappelling 60' below the base), find a 2' wide, ~20' long crack/chimney/cave to wiggle down. Fun, though narrow. Get to the bottom and crawl out the 'cave' to a scramble through brambles. Not fun.~Wm Nov 16, 2003
Scott Bilyeu  
My partner belayed in the pod after the bolt on pitch #2. I climbed past him into a pod just above him and he handed the rack up to me. As long as you don't drop the rack, it works much better than the cluster in lower pod.

The mileage description in the South Platte guide was wrong by quite a bit. Coming from road just north of Conifer, take a right on the dirt road. Stop at the first pullout on the right. I forget how far the book said to drive, but it was a couple miles shorter than that. Nov 21, 2003
This is a great climb, and the best (longest) crack that I've done in Colorado. When I climbed this recently, I used one 70-m rope b/c I heard that you can easily rap off the back into the "ice box" with just one rope. Anyway, long story short-rapping into the ice box is very very bad idea. Bring two ropes and avoid the ice box at all costs!! Sep 6, 2005
Leave the #4 and 3.5 at home you don't need them. You can also rap the route with one 60m rope. It takes a little longer (raps) but you don't need to worry about hauling (and hiking) with up a second rope. Best 5.9+ I've ever done! Dave of The Kirtlands Oct 3, 2005
I didn't notice this the previous time I was on this route, but the chockstone at the top of the second pitch with the slings/ rap rings is loose. Consider this if you decide to incorporate it in your belay anchor or decide to rap off of it.

It seems fine for a straight down pull, but the outward leverage it receives if you use it as a hand hold could dislodge it. It also wobbles a bit when you stand on it. I wouldn't be surprised to see it gone someday soon. Dec 12, 2005
Tim Criger
Tim Criger   Longmont
One of my favorite routes in this area of Colorado. The South Platte is beautiful, and the climbing on this pinnacle is clean, straight-forward, and fun. Fairly sustained if I remember correctly.

Has anyone else used the rap off to the backside gully requiring only a 60m rope? I'd love to leave the second rope at home. Mar 17, 2006
Ken McVicker
Aurora, CO
Ken McVicker   Aurora, CO
Great route. A heck of an approach. Do your stairmaster to train!! Anyone else try the diagonal crack that starts about 50 ft to the right and joins the main line about 50 ft up? It was pretty good start until the dirt and the Bush you have to climb through. This adds about 20-30 feet to the first pitch. Aug 25, 2006
Olaf Mitchell
Paia, Maui, Hi,
Olaf Mitchell   Paia, Maui, Hi,
Many years back. I linked the first pitch of Turf Spreader to The Rising Crescendo to Center Route to Class Act. I called the combo "Hot Rise" I think it's in one of the guide books. It is well worth the effort! Mar 20, 2007
lakewood, co
mzellman   lakewood, co
Great climb, and it's worth every bit of the steep/loose approach! If you feel up to it, climbing the hand/finger crack variation just above the 2nd belay up to the bolt ladder to gain the real summit is very rewarding.

There is no need to take your pack all the way to the base of the climb. Leave them in the corridor below the climb at the point the trail turns to 4th class (about 25' from the base of the climb). The rappel described below will bring you back to this point.

From the summit, it took 5 raps, with one 70m rope, over the face to get back to the base of the climb. We found good anchor/rap stations for each segment. Some swinging on bely is necessary to reach some of the stations. We made it down with one 70m rope. You could make it down with a 60m, but your last rappel will require some easy 4th class descent.

(Rap 1) From the summit, rap to the false summit anchors. (Rap 2) From the false summit, rap over the face/3rd pitch of Center Route and swing to the right (facing the rock) to the anchor at the top of Turf Spreader. This anchor is 1 bolt and 1 slung chock stone. (Rap 3) From the top of Turf Spreader, rap down and left to a 2 bolt anchor on the face (swing left on decent). (Rap 4) Rap to the 2 bolt anchor below. (Rap 5) Rap to ground. Oct 1, 2007
Found pitch 2 arduous. Found that having a #4 was very helpful in protecting the last, awkward (for me) moves before anchors. Was very happy I had it with me. Oct 5, 2007
This is a great climb....One note, pulling the rope off of the rap on the top can be tough. There is a lot of friction. I would recommend that the 1st one down checks that the rope can be pulled before the second descends. Move the knot accordingly. Nov 4, 2007
Did this route a couple weeks ago with Joe Chorny. This route is awesome from bottom to top! Thanks to everyone here for all the beta.

On the issue of crowds on the route - plan on going during the week. We went on a Tuesday and we were the only ones on the route all day.

On pitch 1 near the top it is possible to step left around the arete and into an easier crack system. The alternative is to layback up and right at what seemed harder than 8. In general P1 and P3 felt hard for 8 and 8+ respectively while P2 at 9+ felt about right.

We had triple 1" and 2" cams and they were useful. If you are a really strong crack climber double cams would probably be fine. Also some good nut placements were available on P2 but difficult to clean, and I even had to leave one.

Pitch lengths are about 120 ft for P1, 110 ft for P2, and 80 ft from P3. The two double rope rap down the front between Center Route and Turf Spreader are clean and pulls pretty well if the knot is moved past the edge.

Nov 23, 2007
Alex A
Alex A  
Great route, but 5.9+ is a sandbag more like 10a every 10 ft I thought crux was over, NOT!!!! great pro Apr 15, 2008
Jason Halladay
Los Alamos, NM
Jason Halladay   Los Alamos, NM  
A superb hand crack route. It is certainly strenuous and sustained but the protection is great and you can throw in a piece pretty much anywhere and rest on it if need be. (I had to rest on a .4 camalot near the top of the second pitch to give my feet a break from jamming.)
The third pitch felt quite stiff for 5.8. I used the term "thuggy" to describe it. I did some grunting.

We replaced the webbing and rap ring at the top of the first pitch on 8/8/08. The old stuff there was pretty sketchy.

We rapped with a single 60m (and some swinging) using the great description above by mzellman. It was nice to climb this route with a single 60m rope because rope management in that pod area at the top of P2 would be complicated with double ropes. Those cracks appear to eat ropes frequently.

We added 2 #3 Camalots to our rack and I appreciated having them both for all the pitches. We also carried a #4, but we didn't find it necessary. You will find places to put it, though, if you want. Aug 11, 2008
Great route! Lots of rests and not as strenuous as people have suggested from their posts. Eats gear. Nov 6, 2009
Doug Redosh
Golden, CO
Doug Redosh   Golden, CO
Agree with comments above re the strenuous nature, though on a beautiful feature. Even my usually very strong partner, Al, who climbs at Indian Creek frequently, thought so. We used lots of pieces in the #2 - #3 Cam range, though midsize nuts work in some places as well - don't leave them home! 60m rope works well with the raps as described above by mzellman. Aug 25, 2010
Cindy Mitchell
Cindy Mitchell  
Top of the second pitch is a bit slimy with bird poop. There are 2 pods at the top of the second pitch. It's much more comfy if each climber occupies one pod rather than cramming 2 climbers into one. Oct 28, 2010
Laurent Meillon
Golden, CO
Laurent Meillon   Golden, CO
DANGER: The chockstone which composes most of the anchor atop pitch 2 is disintegrating as of 11/1/10. I purposely stepped on it because no one was around. The back half fell out immediately. The other half is crumbling and moving back & forth, getting caught in the slings but ripening fast. Do not step on it if your partner is right under you! It's easy to set up a gear anchor. Avoid touching the thing or using its many tempting slings. Nov 1, 2010
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
When that chockstone goes, I hope nobody is on it, below it, or even near it.... Dec 15, 2010
Hoag Hoag
Littleton, CO
Hoag Hoag   Littleton, CO
This is one of the best cracks I've climbed in the state. The sustained nature is like that of the desert splitters but on Lump Ridge style granite.

I can see why some felt it was a bit stiffer than 9+, but I don't remember making any moves that were in the 5.10 arena. It just feels harder because it's so sustained (especially the second pitch).

CAMPING: There is excellent FREE camping on FR 550 if you continue to head south on CO 126 past the turn off onto 96 towards the Cathedral Spires. FR 550 is a dirt road that leads to the Buffalo Creek campground and Wellington Lake. The first 4 miles or so of this road is free camping and has excellent sites at that. If you drive all the way to the established campsite and pay $15 to hear some Texan run his generator all night, you're crazy. Sep 4, 2011
One of the best routes I've done in CO and one of the best cracks I've been on at any grade. We did the 5.10 variation into the bolt ladder, and it was spectacular. The summit is worthy! Bring the #4.

The first pitch has no fixed anchor. The 2nd pitch has a fixed sling anchor which is hard to inspect but easily backed up. The scary chockstone should be trundled!! No slings around it, but I could not avoid standing on it. It moves a lot. Somebody should remove this thing on a quiet weekday so no one gets hurt.

IMO, the single-rope rap kinda sucked. Getting passed by parties with 2 ropes and having to wait for rap stations at horrid stances is not a good time. Oct 31, 2011
The chockstone at the top of pitch 2 is no longer an issue. My partner (Darkness) just plucked it out and threw it right down. We climbed this route New Year's Eve day, and it was windy snowy and cold. Needless to say, there was no one around, so it could be done safely. I just don't understand how people were commenting on this chockstone for 11 years. Either way, it's gone now. So, the comments to come will be about the big flake in the nook that will flex when you put gear in it...as of now, it's solid. Thank you everyone above for the great beta. As far as gear goes, I would stress a little more on bigger cams than smaller ones. I was happy to have 3 Camalot #1s and #2s make room for those by leaving doubles of the smaller guys in the car. We did place a #3.5 too. I had an amazing time and ca'nt wait to go back. Replaced some webbing at the top rap. Jan 1, 2012
Christian Mason
Westminster CO
Christian Mason   Westminster CO
Did this climb today.

Just a heads up, there is a crazy amount of bird crap on the top of p2, near the second belay.

I'm not normally one to whine about getting a bit dirty, but this is really above and beyond. The wall for 10 or 15 feet below the ledge is a solid caked on layer of white. This also means that on the top of p2 (the crux IMO) you need to jam with one side of your hand on a layer the bird deposits. Surprisingly this doesn't provide nearly the same feeling of secure, locker jams that granite does.

Oh yes, if the wind blows when you're up there, you'll get airborne bird goodness in your eyes and mouth...awesome. Also, on top of the belay ledge (in the same nest) there was a desiccated corpse of a small bird (or a baby, can't tell) along with some larger bird nuggets.

Don't let this deter you from getting on the route, the route itself is phenomenal. Just know what you're getting into, and maybe wear a hazmat suit. Aug 10, 2012
Em Cos
Boulder, CO
Em Cos   Boulder, CO
CAUTION: Sat. 9/1/12 - Soon after starting P3, there was a chockstone that seemed like a bomber handhold, and judging by the amount of chalk on it plenty of other climbers thought so too. My partner said he yarded on it, and it seemed solid. When I grabbed it, it let go and rolled toward me, coming to a stop balanced on end just before tumbling out of the crack. I managed to climb back up to it and tried to tuck it farther back into the crack in a less precarious position (couldn't trundle, another climber below me), but be careful in this section!

Bird poo belay is foul, but I've seen worse. Doesn't do your hand jams or your shoe rubber any favors in terms of friction. Sunglasses recommended to keep it out of your eyes. Seriously.

Gear beta 2 cents: triples in 0.75-2 are nice, doubles in others, finger-sized really only necessary on the first pitch, singles of those are plenty. Nothing bigger than 3 seemed really necessary.

Fantastic climb! Sep 2, 2012
Wherever we park!
AOSR   Wherever we park!
About 8' after the bird poop belay, there is a comfy stance with good gear that makes a much better belay than hanging before the bird poop or getting the ebola virus in the bird poop nook proper. Sep 9, 2012
Just did this yesterday. Here's our thoughts on the route after reading the above and being there.

1. Park packs, and gear up, just before the start of the fourth class section which leads to the first belay (but avoid the rockfall area - see below). This avoids humping heavy packs up fourth class. A 70m rope will deliver you right to the packs on the final rap.

2. As others have said, #1 and #2 Camalots are the main sizes for the crux pitch. We had, and used on Center Route, a set of stoppers, #3 and #4 Aliens, a 0.5, a 0.75, two #1s, three #2s, and two #3s. In addition, we had four rigid stem Friends, ranging from just smaller than a BD #1 to just larger than a BD #3. I do not think anything larger than a BD #3 is necessary. If you want to back up the pins on Class Act (the 11b that gets you from the top of P3 to the CP summit), RPs and #1-3 aliens work well.

3. We were scared of the bird poop after reading the comments. In reality, it's there, but it's nothing.

4. Regarding the loose chockstone on P3 - it's in the crack on the left wall about 1/3 the way up. It's pretty well parked. If you're following on a weekday and no one is below you, you *might* be able to remove and toss. I got both hands around it but only managed to wedge it further. Just leave it alone, don't use it for a hold, and it should be fine. It's about the size of a bowling ball and pretty obvious. Otherwise, we found the route to be pretty solid.

5. The belay is not at the manky 1/4" pin near the top of P2. Continue another eight feet to the bird poop belay, identified by a fixed stopper and slung chockstone. Tight, but we found plenty enough room for two.

6. Bail data. Top of P1 - two slung chockstones/threads, about four feet apart. Bring webbing or cord and they can be equalized and used for rap if needed. The lower cord is wedged, so I'd equalize both. Rope may not come down without hitting the crack. Top of P2 - very nice fixed stopper and webbing equalized to cord over chockstone with steel lap link (mallion.) If you have to bail here, I'd rap and swing climber's right to the first face anchors, not far below, then rap to the lowest face anchors and off.

See Ken Trout's excellent posted topo for rockfall area. The rock is solid, but folks on the second rap were inadvertently sending stuff down and it all ends up in this area.

As others have suggested, bring a prussik or shunt or other rap device, at least for the first person to rap off from the top of P3. The move right to the anchors at the top of Turf Spreader may require both hands and feet to pull one over to the anchors - it's a long way.

The two pins on Class Act can be backed up with gear through the ascending right traverse. At the end of the short traverse, three newer well-placed bolts ascend the NE aspect.

We brought microspikes and poles this time for the descent back to the cars - it was faster and a whole lot more fun.

Enjoy this fabulous Colorado treasure. Oct 3, 2013
Tony T.
Denver, CO
Tony T.   Denver, CO
Just did this today and a few thoughts stick out.

First, there's the approach. It's a 1,500 foot gain from the car to the base in under a half a mile. It's steep, loose, and eroding badly. Turn around frequently to the south and enjoy the views as you get higher.

Second, getting to the first belay can be tricky. There is definitely a large patch of poison ivy off to the left of the "trail". The scrambling is 4th class on loose terrain.

Third, tape up if you're not used to coarse, granite, splitter cracks. Bring the roll with you.

Fourth, this route is the epitome of sandbag. I have climbed many a 5.9 from Eldo to Lumpy, and from RMNP to the RRG. This is a sandbag. It doesn't matter that you can clean aid it easily and can leapfrog the same two cams up the splitter sections (which is pretty neat), it's not 5.9. Yes, yes, it's all relative.

Fifth, the second pitch will eat your rope. We had to cut our second rope, because it got stuck in the crack right behind the fixed Trango cam. There were the remains of a few other ropes in there, so we're not the first ones. Hopefully you won't be next.

Sixth, the bird poop belay is disgusting. Wash your hands after climbing or risk getting any number of lovely avian communicable diseases! No joke, the flakes will get in your mouth or eyes, so bring sunglasses. The respirator is optional.

Sixth, the descent. Think ball bearings surrounded by yucca plants, cacti, thorn bushes, and poison ivy. Throw in some tired legs and heavy packs and you have yourself a grand ol' time! Poles and microspikes are a fantastic idea. A better idea would be to get involved with Access Fund and build a bone fide trail up there. The hillside is obviously eroding.

Seventh, yeah, it was fun. I'll probably go back to do it properly. It's in a stunningly beautiful location and the rock is bomber. Oct 10, 2013
Jordan Hirro
Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Jordan Hirro   Colorado Springs/Carbondale
Hopped on this with Ryan today after Dancesatmoonrise highly suggested it.

Aside form the temperamental weather (which included rain, small flurries, and crazy cold winds), this was an excellent route. Everyone's recent beta is spot on, I recommend following that. Have fun! Oct 14, 2013
The Blueprint Part Dank
The Blueprint Part Dank   FEMA Region VIII
Rarely does a route live up to its hype in the way that this did, simply stunning in every way. Thought provoking, sustained, and varied on some of the best granite this side of Yosemite. Is it sandbagged? Probably. Should you care? Absolutely not. If you can place gear well and climb solid 5.9, you'll make it up and down safely. It just may not be super pretty.

I also agree with the suggestion to lead P2 and P3 in a block. Build your belay in the bird poop pod, and have your second build a belay parallel to the big roof to climber's left of the route, about 10 ft below the larger pod. You can certainly get two climbers in the pod, but it's not the best way to climb this beaut. Oct 20, 2013
Jonathan S
Golden, CO
Jonathan S   Golden, CO
There is another variation start to P1. Just before the approach scramble gets steep, look for a left angling crack on the main wall on the right with two small bushes in the crack. Climb this to enter the main part of P1 from the right. A bit dirty, but fun 5.9 climbing. See the beta photo. Feb 16, 2015
John Ryan
Poncha Springs, CO
John Ryan   Poncha Springs, CO
The third pitch has eaten many cams. When I climbed this, there were 5-10 cams, buried 3 or more feet back in the bottomless crack. These have obviously walked so far back in the crack to be irretrievable. This is most likely a result of the leaders not clipping the rap anchor just over the lip to climber's right, instead continuing 15 feet forward to the anchor for the summit pitch route. Due to the crack not having a back, the rope is going from the climber at a wicked angle down to the second, putting a force that would act to walk cams deep into the crack.

So just clip the rap anchor, which should help things significantly. I belayed at the rap anchor, because I felt it added further protection from losing gear due to the better positioning.

Edited to add: awesome route! Pitches 1 and 2 are pure crack climbing. Pitch three has many right foot holds on the face and is much more protectable than it appears from the beginning of the pitch. Feb 13, 2016
Jeremy C
Golden, CO
Jeremy C   Golden, CO
Completely sick from the start. Route felt very sustained in spots. P2 had a TON of bird crap in the vertical handcrack at the end. Unavoidable disgustingness. Bring sanitation supplies! No joke. We didn't end up using more than 1 or 2 placments smaller than #1 and no nuts. We had 4 #2s and 4 #3s, and that didn't feel like overkill. Aug 3, 2016
Big Bert
Golden, Colorado
Big Bert   Golden, Colorado
Be prepared for the stankness at the end of the wild awesomeness of pitch 2! Also be sure to clip the ancient bolt at the end of pitch number 2 just so you can call home and let your mom know you climbed a South Platte classic on shauty gear ;) Seriously though, do this climb. It's amazing. Also be sure to bring hand sanitizer. You won't regret this decision. Aug 28, 2016
Kyle R
Kyle R  
FYI, there is a toaster-size block in the chimney above the bird poop belay that is extremely loose. Be careful up there. Also, the bird poop was not that bad. Aug 29, 2016
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Toaster block is still chilling on P3. I honestly didn't notice it until my partner mentioned it on follow. Pretty easy to avoid.

Man, what a great route! Oct 18, 2016
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
To the comments of sandbaggery...
The Front Range doesn't have many splitters like this, so it's hard to compare to places like Wldo. Keep in mind that the Naked Edge handcrack gets rated 10c-ish and that is quite the step up from this.

This would fit in nicely with many Yosemite 5.9s. Oct 18, 2016
If you do decide to rap with one 60m rope from the top of P3, you will be required to pendulum across the face in order to reach the Turf Spreader anchor. I found this quite unnerving, and your second should keep a close eye on the rope quality as you do so. The rest of the rappels are fairly simple, although you will need all 60m to reach the ground from the last rap. Nov 14, 2016
WARNING: somebody pooped on the first belay ledge Wench's and threw it down to the base of the route. There are little bits of poop scattered at the base and a pretty sizable amount on top of the start. Be warned, my climbing partner got poop-hands this weekend. It was super gross.

If you are the culprit and you find yourself reading this, please go back and clean it up thoroughly. Two of the most classic climbs in the state, and you literally soiled them.

Besides that, stellar route. If you're not totally comfortable running it out, I would bring a couple 0.5s, 0.75s and #4s. Besides that, two - three #1 - #3 cams will be more than enough. Feb 20, 2017
Azissa Singh
Boulder, CO
Azissa Singh   Boulder, CO
To anyone intimidated by the many comments saying this route is sandbagged - it is not. Great rests throughout and amazing gear wherever you want it if you do feel the pump. Sep 10, 2017
This route is stellar, sustained crack climbing. Climbing this route without any crack climbing experience would be a big mistake. It is reasonable to climb this route with double C4's from 0.4 - 2, single C4 3 - 4, single small - med. nuts, and we also found BD Hexes 8 - 10 very useful, as there are plenty of places to rest and place them. They work just as well as cams.

The 1st and 2nd pitch protect well with 0.4 - 2 cams.

The 3rd pitch protects well with 0.75 - 4 cams, and in many places you can wedge yourself, take a rest, and evaluate your gear placements. Save at least a C4 #3 for the final steep crack, identifiable by the sweet foot chips on the right side face.

To descend with 1x 60m:

0. With a 70m rope, you CANNOT skip any of the rappels. It looks tempting near the bottom, but you will be short.

1. Rap from the obvious bolted anchor atop pitch 3 to just below the no hands rest on pitch 2, about 20 feet below the pitch 2 sling belay. Look climber's right, see shiny bolts atop the striking Turf Spreader crack. Pendulum over. This is a pain in the butt and a little scary. This is about a 20-25m rappel.

2. Rap down and climber's left to the obvious belay station on the face. This will also require a serious pendulum. This is also a pain in the butt but less scary than the first pendulum. This is about a 15-20m rappel.

3. Rap directly down. The next rap anchor is not immediately visible but is less than 2 feet climber's right from the fall line of the rope, in the middle of the face. This is about a 15 - 20m rappel. No pendulum.

4. Rap down to a ledge below the starting belay platform, step over the gap, and you're done. A 70m can go farther. This is a long rappel, maybe 20 - 25m. Sep 24, 2018
Reed Case
Denver, CO
Reed Case   Denver, CO
Slings at the top of pitch 1 are gone. It's been a while since I've done the route, so I'm not sure where they were exactly. It feels as though the chock that used to be there has been removed, as I didn't see anything to sling. Anchor building is possible although a little tricky. Oct 8, 2018
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Pitches 1 and 2 link well with a 70! Makes for an awesome pitch of splitter jams! Nov 28, 2018
Max Manson
Superior, CO
Max Manson   Superior, CO
Absolutely incredible climbs.

This can be done in one long pitch with an 80 meter rope (with only a few feet of simuling), and the rope drag is not so bad if you manage your placements well.

Also, an 80 will get you down in 2 raps... barely. The first rap we had to reach down to clip the anchors, so be careful. Feb 7, 2019