Type: Aid
FA: Dale Johnson, Phil Robertson, Bob Sutton, 1953
Page Views: 3,550 total · 16/month
Shared By: Andrew Wellman on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

18 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


There is really no point at all in climbing this roof unless you are practicing for something more challenging. As a practice aid climb, though, it does its job at introducing one to aiding a horizontal roof.

This climb is up a crack that splits the horizontal roof for maybe twenty feet. The roof is the huge one on the back side of Castle Rock that is pretty hard to miss. The right crack is the easiest and weighs in at a lofty C1 if you decide to clip the three bolts for protection. If you don't, this could be considered C2 depending on whether you prefer new wave or old school ratings. Put it this way, there are no body weight only placements on this pitch, but it sure is mighty awkward. Aliens get you across the roof to the lip, where the crack widens a bit and takes up to #2 Camalots to a 2 bolt anchor. The left hand crack looks quite dicey, but there is a fixed pin halfway up. I'm not sure how good it is.


Clean aid rack. Cams from black Aliens up through #2 Camalot for the rightmost and easiest line. For the left crack, bring small Aliens, Lowe Balls, LAs, small angles, KBs, and Camalots to #2. Not totally sure about that though, because I haven't done the left crack.
A boulder problem, huh? Interesting. The route goes free at 5.14 and when I solo-aided it, all the bolts had QDs on them (hope you finally worked it buddy). Don't kid yourself into thinking this is a first-timer aid route. I saw a party bail after the first bolt and then spend 20 minutes trying to rap off the bolt in high winds. Keep it low in your aiders. You can cheater-stick between bolts if you absolutely have to, but why? Sep 23, 2002
I tried this route on 10.19.02- worked all of the moves, had a great time, left my draws on it planning to return the next day to try and redpoint it. When I came back in the afternoon of 10.20, I found not only my draws missing, but the first 2 bolt hangers removed. The loser(s) who did this, left one of my slings looped through the third bolt hanger so they could get off. Apparently who ever did this, aside from being a complete asshole, must have been a completely incompetent free climber since they left my quickdraw at the anchor which requires mandatory 5.9 hand crack climbing to reach.

Based on the evidence found at the scene, and composites developed through several witnesses, the suspect is a white male, 25-40 yrs, soft and pudgy with a pasty complexion. He probably suffers from a lack of affection from his mother growing up. Consequently, has never had an intimate relationship with a woman. His only contact with the female sex is through the internet, magazines, or role playing video games. Based on the way the route and my gear was treated, the suspect was probably abused as a child. Suspects poorly developed sense of self-esteem, resulting in below average aptitude in sports, poor social skills Oct 20, 2002
That sucks that someone took your gear. Fortunately, even thought the two hangers were removed, the route accepts bomber gear through out the whole climb. Preplace it on aid if you can't place it while on lead.

It would be nice not to see draws continually hanging from it (especially because of the non-climbers who pass through and see the 'crap hanging on the rock' and want the area closed to those crazy climbers). Oct 21, 2002
It's great some one removed your gear. Yee whoo! Booty. If folks removed everything left at the cliff that wasn't rock we wouldn't be having these discusions about bolts. Oct 22, 2002
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
If everthing that wasn't rock was removed from Castle Rock a lot of classic so-called "trad" routes would be a lot less popular, starting with Country Club Crack and Athlete's Feat. Oct 22, 2002
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
I could see your reasoning on the CCC and Athlete's Feat if there were bolts next to the perfect cracks on each climb with quick draws hanging from it. Two bolts and one visible anchor on each climb are not the eyesore that three brightly colored draws hanging on a roof are. In my original post, I was only pointing out the fact that the draws were very noticeable and it only takes a couple of complaints by non-climbers to close an area (bolt ban in the Flatirons for example). I was also pointing out that the roof takes great gear, whether placed on lead or on aid, and the bolts are not needed. I greatly respect the effort to free the roof, but do the means justify the end? Some climber really need to open their eyes to the impact, visually and audibly in some cases, to the other people who are enjoying the area, climber or non-climber.

I find it interesting that gear left on a route (besides fixed anchors) is considered booty unless it is on a sport climb. As easy as it is to clip a draw to a bolt, is it really necessary to leave the draws on the bolts? I realize the climb is hard, but clipping all the quick draws in place is not. Oct 22, 2002
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Have you tried the route free? What do you think the odds are that any gear placed for a free ascent is going to stay there, eventually welded in place by climbers falling and hanging to work out the moves? By the way it's been a while but wasn't there a bolt next to a perfect crack on Country Club? Oct 23, 2002
No I have not tried the roof free, but that is irrevelent. I think that there are very little odds of the gear 'welding' into place (this assumes that the gear is well placed). Have you freed or aided the roof to see what gear is available? I disagree with leaving natural pro in the rock for several days or more so one can work the moves. There are several empty bolt holes on CCC and I am very glad that all of the unnecessary bolts were removed. I do not detest the bolts in the aid roof, but I do not like to see draws hanging from it - the difference being how much more noticable one is compared to the other. I met one gentleman who was attempting to redpoint the roof and I told him "good work, certainly more than I could do without aiders".

If you want to ask any more personal questions, email me at the email I provided. That way we can keep unnecessary bullshit off this public site. Oct 23, 2002
Comparing the addition of bolts to this route to those on CCC is not fair. CCC was put up when there was crap for gear and free climbing was not what it is today.

While I am a far cry from sending this route free, I have climbed similar features such as Separate Reality or Welcome To China (near Gunnison) where placing gear and having the rope get in the way of my feet was a large part of the difficulty. My guess is that some of these difficulties are why the bolts were added to this route, as the A1 gear is foolproof. I would like to think that in 50 or 100 years climbers will be cruising this thing and will laugh at whoever put the bolts in.

That said, I am more impressed with this as a free route than bummed about the bolts. It's an odd idea to reduce a route by adding bolts while improving the route by freeing it; maybe someone else can improve upon the syle. Oct 23, 2002
It's a bummer that your QDs got stolen, man. However,Castle Rock is primarily a trad area and getting stuff stolen is something to take into consideration when leaving gear behind in areas where such practice is rare (unlike sport-crags). I think that taking the bolt hangers, though, is a much worse offense because its affects go beyond one or two folks trying to free the route. In the particular case of Aid Roof, the bolts really don't matter because it's still just C1. But imagine someone aiding a route with rivets and/or bolts and then rappelling it to chop/take them out. Suddenly, a section of C1 or C2 turns into a C3+(or worse) horror show with continuous top-step bat-hooking. Sure, these climbs exits but for a novice aid climber expecting C1 bolt ladders...

I greatly respect anyone who even attempts to free these kinds of climbs. And just because some hard working free climbers left gear doesn't automatically mean it is booty. I doubt that the dude who stole those QDs and hangers ever attempted to free the line. Sure, the draws might be a little unsightly, but their presence on such a badass route is much more inspirational than annoying. Oct 24, 2002
I aided it in July '02 and it felt like an easy A2. I left a large stopper before the first bolt that I couldn't get out..is it still there? Dec 14, 2002
Craig Quincy
Louisville, CO
Craig Quincy   Louisville, CO
The left hand crack goes at A2+ with Lost Arrows and Angles or can be done cleanly at C3 wtih Lowe Balls and small TCUs. It's definitely a notch up in difficulty from the right hand crack and quite fun.I believe the A4 branches off the left hand line and certainly appears to be dicey.

As a word of encouragement, if you can aid the C1 roof without clipping the bolts and get up CCC in under a couple hours, you probably have the necessary aid skills to do a starter big wall in Zion or Yosemite.

Also, it's worth noting that cleaning either line is probably harder than leading them. Nov 29, 2003
Cleaning the routes is easier than leading them IF:1)you place pro every couple of feet. Do Not place pro at your farthest reach.2)you RE-AID the pitch. The pro is in place, no jumars, clip and go, backup your self Dec 1, 2003
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
I solo aided this route today during the snow storm, it stays really dry.

I used anything from a blue Lowe Ball and larger micro nuts up to a #3.5 and even a hook near the top. I took the right side line with the bolts but decided it was never really necessary to clip them. The right side seemed like it might be harder as an aid line as the placments were often flared out, which the left side did not seem to have the same issue. I found that I used my yellow/red and yellow/green Alien hybrids quite a bit near the lip.
C2? (I have no idea) Mar 2, 2008
Eric Klammer
Boulder, CO
Eric Klammer   Boulder, CO
Completed the left crack (according to the pictures and description) with Eddie as it looked longer and more fun. All placements were bomber, and the smallest gear used was only a black Alien, which probably could have even been avoided. Mostly yellow TCU/Alien-sized pieces, I think we used 3. Overall a very fun (and extremely awkward) little pitch, with the old Star Drive at the lip probably being the sketchiest part of the whole affair.

This is also a great place to go if you want to get out but it's raining/snowing. It rained hard the entire time we were there, but the roof is, well, a large roof and does its job quite well! Sep 12, 2013
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I solo aided this with a Soloist back in 2007. It was my first aid roof and really only second try at solo aiding. It might be hazy now, but I am certain it took me five hours to climb, rap, and clean. A very nice photographer from the Denver Post noticed me flailing all day, took pity on me, and invited me to join her group of friends (thanks Helen!). That was the last time I used the Soloist. :-D, but nonetheless, I had a good time learning how to unweight gear so I could clean it on the horizontal traverses. That was what took the longest to do. Jul 17, 2018