Type: Trad, 4 pitches
FA: Larry Dalke, Pat Ament, Wayne Goss, 1964
Page Views: 36,085 total · 163/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Start to the left of a large overhang and just right of a large, right-facing dihedral. Watch out for poison ivy near the start.

P1. Start up the easy ramp, and grovel up left through an awkward slot. Climb a thin slab with marginal small pro, traverse back right, and continue up a crack to a decent ledge (7).

P1 variation 1 (5.8). Start on Break on Through, 20' to the right. Climb the layback corner, go up a ramp, turn the overhanging corner on the left, and traverse left to the first belay on Long John Wall. Recommended.

P1 variation 2 (5.7). Start on Ignominity, 20' to the left. Climb a right-facing corner, pass a bulge, and traverse right to the first belay on Long John Wall.

P2. Ascend the great finger crack (8) to a small roof; continue up to a large ledge, traverse left 15', and belay below a wide slot.

P3. Climb the slot, then continue up the brilliant dihedral to the crux--a finger/hand crack in a corner with excellent stemming. Belay on another large ledge by a tree.

P4. Finish the short and easy (5) dihedral to the summit, or if you're in a hurry, rap off a tree 10' to the left.

P4 variation (5.8). Traverse right about 20' and climb up a corner with some old pins. Then move right, and climb past a wide crack to the top.

You can do both P4 variations if you have the time, since the descent takes you back to the starting ledge for this pitch.

Descent: downclimb a gully to the north of the finish back to the same belay ledge for P3. Do 2 rappels from rings (the tree anchors have been removed) with a 60m rope down to a broken ledge, and then follow the ledge uphill to the trail. Angle the second rappel to the left and watch the ends of the rope. Be VERY careful if you only have a 50m rope, but you can make it with some downclimbing.


Start about 20' left of Break on Through and 20' right of Ignominity.


Full set of wired nuts, Friends from 0.5-4 (doubles in No. 1 is useful), a few medium hexes, 12" draws, and 3-4 24" runners.


Heads up on the first pitch. I can't believe this route doesn't get an s rating. Before commiting to the sloper traverse right, put gear in the ledge you e standing on. That way, if you fall, you probably won't die. Jan 1, 2001
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
I had heard horror stories about this section and I won say it was well-protected or a normal 5.5, but it isn't "that" bad. I think people (like my partner, following the pitch) forget to stem out between the ledge and the sloping rightward traverse-that actually seemed to make it 5.5 and pretty secure. I got in a good RP at my waist for this move, which isn't the most comforting piece, but it probably would have held. I actually found the belly crawl leftward, before the sloper moves, to be a bit more spooky.

What's the point of my rambling? If you are solid enough to lead the rest of the route, I don't think the first pitch should be a problem--it shouldn't scare you off from doing the route. Also, if you get to the traverse and do get spooked, it would be easy to escape further left and climb some broken stuff to the belay ledge. Still, definitely not a good lead if you are, say, just learning to lead and your partner is planning to lead the rest of the climb, though. Jan 1, 2001
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
The first pitch of this climb is a scary lead, especially if you are expecting a 5.5 romp up. The traverse right is unprotected, take care to place pro at the start of this section which will not rip out if you slip, or you could hit the ground. Jan 1, 2001
Fort Collins, CO
nolteboy   Fort Collins, CO
The belly-crawl left on p.1 is definitely scarier than the subsequent traverse back right.... Jan 1, 2001
I think the belly crawl is better described as "character building." May 29, 2001
I linked the first pitch with a route to the right of Long John, it was protectable and much fun, then traversed out left to belay, I thought the roof deserves some mention here, absolutely magnificent! Aug 9, 2001
That first pitch is by no means 5.5. It has thin technical moves that would result in a ledge fall even with the gear! This pitch should definitely get an S rating, and we should consider bumping that YDS rating to 7??? Sep 24, 2001
Brice W  
Another alternative to the normal first pitch is to climb the dihedral 25 feet left of the normal start. This is the start of the first pitch of Ignominity. Go up the dihedral past the first tree, then climb up to the right of a second tree to reach a ledge. A descending traverse on the ledge gets you to the belay at the base of the nice 5.8 crack. This start protects much better than the normal one, and goes at about 5.6 or 5.7. You do have to remember to place some gear for your second on the traverse. Long John Wall is a great climb. Oct 15, 2001
Climbed on 11.11.01- Really good route- 1st pitch is scary though. I foung some gear, #0.5 Camalot, right before the notch, definitely spooky. The traverse back right I skipped. With long slings, you can go 10-15ft farther left, get a placement and move back to the belay all well protected. Long slings are needed w/o rope drag would be terrible. Remainder of route is excellent!! Nov 12, 2001
With a "stretchy" anchor and a 60m rope, both P1 and P2 can be combined as well as P3, P4, and P5 to make this a two pitch route. Never the less, combining the last three can give you a bit of rope drag that may be unpleasant. Feb 28, 2002
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
We climbed this yesterday (St. Patty's Day). The first pitch is indeed scary. Squeezing through the slot was tricky. The hands aren't bad but there's nowhere to put that left foot! I agree that the rating is soft for that pitch and it DOES deserve an S rating. Even if you didn't deck there, falling from those moves would be a serious matter.

That being said, the rest of the route was outstanding. The 5.7 roof was a blast and the P3 crux was great, although I thought it was harder than 5.8. Mar 18, 2002
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
If someone has their dog tied to the tree at the base of the 1st pitch, and it won't let you start the climb...you can start about 30-40 feet right, and traverse in to the left. Its a moderate scramble, but, dont put too much gear in or you'd probably have some rope drag. Better yet, the party ahead of you could leave the loud, mad dog at home. or at least make some sort of helmet for him/her! Mar 18, 2002
There is a 20' right-facing corner to the left of the regular start that takes you fairly directly to the rest of the pitch...it might look a little dirty but it's about 5.6 and a better start. Mar 18, 2002
Lots of comments. You can also do the first part of Break on Through to add another pitch of 5.8 to the route. Mar 29, 2002
This route can be done in 2 pitches with a 60m rope. (P1)Go all the way to the ramp above the crux roof. Keep pro, rope as staright as possibe or use slings to keep drag to a minimum. The second might have to start a few feet up on the ramp above the ground-a full 60m. (P2) Go to the top-about 58m pitch. Enjoy! Apr 25, 2002
Most people condense this climb into 2 long 5.8 pitches, and a short 5th class pitch from the large upper ledge to summit. For added quality and another 5.8 pitch try PLUTO. Go right from the large upper ledge into wide block filled slot with tree, this deadends at a headwall with 2 pegs. Stem up, then blind moves left gains final [picturesque] arete. May 9, 2002
We did an interesting variation on P1 thats probably even scarier than the proper line. From the sloping ramp above the good ledge that continues from the 'squeeze', we went left and up rather than traversing to the right. I'm not sure why we did it, because its probably less secure and only protected in the pychological sense, but it goes. You start by placing a #2 or 1 RP in a slight fissure, then go up using the sloping ramp for your feet, then place a #0 or 1 Alien in a horizontal fissure/incut edge to your left, and then go straight up to some dirty but substancial holds, approaching the belay ledge from the left. It might actually be fun climbing if it gets cleaned up a bit...but still scary with ramp-decking potential if the gear pulls (which is probable). I'd call it 7ish. May 10, 2002
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
I highly recommend the variation mentioned above for the first pitch (1st pitch of Ignominity). It avoids the scary slot and traverse as well as the minefield of poison ivy at the base and up the main crack. But most of all, it is quite enjoyable, more in character with the rest of the climb. Most favorite part was the roof on pitch 2 (this version will most definitely require a belay at the base of the superb crack, unless you can solo the start), and, yup, a big cam protects it well. Jun 22, 2002
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
Roger, sorry I told you that was a 3.5 BD cam (all silver) for the roof on the 1st pitch. You placed the 3.0 (blue and silver). If you use Metolius its a 9 (maroon). The 3.5 is just a little too big. You can also get in a bomber nut! Aug 18, 2002
First off, yeah, that slopey traverse is a nutty one. I, too, got in an RP at waist level so if I feel I would hit the ledge, not much more unless the RP popped (can't imagine that happening!). My partner said he was worried about my nut placements, but he sure as hell didn't lead that section! Anyway, what I'm really about here is the red alien I dropped from the upper pitches. Coming out underneath the bulge on the crux section, and jamming around it I must have mis-clipped as I unplaced the piece and attempted to put it away. My guess is that it's somewhere on the middle ledge, lying in dust with the purple Petzl Draw still attached. If anyone sees it, please contact me. Well, good climb! But yes, the first pitch should get an S...if not for "serious" then at least for "screwy" cause that's more what it is.peace Sep 22, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
One of my top 5 favorites in the canyon for the grade. The position at the top is hard to beat, as views of other walls in all directions are unique and interesting. Sep 28, 2002
This climb can be easily done in two pitches. My partner and I did this on 9/12/02 and we didnt need a" stretchy" anchor and my rope was not a full 60 meters. Before doing the traverse back into the crack on the first pitch, run a very long sling from your nut or RP placement then you will have no drag to the top of the second pitch. Same thing for the last two pitches, run longer slings and draws. Oct 16, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
There are several ways to do the traverse right on the first pitch. You can go straight up by the RP placement, then down and right. This is the route taken by the climber in the 3rd action photo below. A less obvious but I think easier way is to traverse lower, with your feet on the large horizontal ledge 6' below the RP, visible well below the climber in the 3rd photo. After placing the RP, step back down the belly crawl ramp a few feet and stem right from a nice horn onto this ledge. There aren't any good handholds, but you don't need much. Step right and you are quickly in the nice, easy dihedral. I'm not sure I would rate either of these ways 5.5, but the latter is over very quickly.

This climb is my favorite 5.8 in Eldo and a blast to do as two pitches! Mar 10, 2003
Massive poison ivy grove near ground belay, with the nasty plant growing 20-25 feet up the first pitch. I was [disappointed] to not try this infamous belly crawl on my first go at LJW. We opted for the nice [Ignomimity] start which was fun but would probably cause trouble running 1st 2 pitches together. What a grand tour this climb is, fingers to arm bars, jugs and roofs. [I'm] not sure 5.8 gets more fun. Jun 15, 2003
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
I am not sure where you need a #4 Friend on this route. A #3.5 Friend or a #3 Camalot will protect the roof on P2 and can be placed right before the wide spot on the P4 crux. That being said, the std. P4 crux is harder than many of the Eldo 5.9s that I have been on.

There is a bomber RP before you traverse right on P1. Try and get something in after the ~5.7 move to the good ledge, your second will appreciate it. There is potential to slam into the dihedral, if your second messes up the move next to the RP. Aug 15, 2003
You can place the #4 Camalot (or Friend?) in the wide section of the crux dihedral (P4 if you are not linking anything). It is not needed, but it would shorten the fall potential of a pumped leader who was trying to lieback the whole section. I stemmed that whole section, which is technical and exhausting on the feet, but easy on the arms. If you like to sew your lead up with big, bomber gear (who doesn't?), you'll be glad you brought it. If you can't stand carrying a piece up a climb only to use it once, then stick with just the #3 Camalot, which is definitely useful in a few places. Pitch one? If you are a solid 5.9 leader, you will enjoy that pitch and think it is "spicy" in retrospect. If you are a 5.6 leader, you are going to be sweating bullets and probably just feel glad you survived it. Put the stronger leader on this pitch. Although it is almost as dangerous to follow as lead this pitch probably, I would think a fall seconding this pitch would be unlikely. Aug 27, 2003
Easily one of the best 5.8s in the canyon. Sep 3, 2003
Did this climb again the other day, and I have some more comments to add. First of all, it seems everybody here is really into weight training, because they all seem to think lugging along the big cams is of use. We did this entire climb without placing anything bigger than a #2 Camalot even though we had a #4. I felt the roof could be protected really well with the #2 and that's really the biggest place for gear on the entire climb. Granted, there is some space below the second crux (P4), but I think you can get away with the White Alien or even smaller pieces placed further back.

Secondly, I hate to comment about grades, but I feel like P4 warrants somewhat of a discussion. I opted for a mix of layback and stem, stemming when placing and laybacking to move, and I found it as thoroughly exhausting as wrestling a bear. It's short, which is why I think it only gets a 5.8, but if you've climbed Gorilla's Delight in Boulder Canyon, I think you'll agree that this pitch rivals it in difficulty.

Best climb on West Ridge. Oct 6, 2003
In this route description, the pitch I speak of as being 'more difficult than the rating' is the crux top of the third pitch.

I also [want] to clarify something I feel needs clarification in all discussions of route grade: When I say that the route is harder than graded I don't mean that it is graded wrongly necessarily. Twenty years ago this route may have been a 5.7. Today, however, things have considerably changed. I don't [know why] this is, but it is. So, while Gorilla's Delight gets 5.9+ this gets 5.8.

Both of the cruxes on these climbs are extremely short, in that there is no real climbing above or beneath them. On Long John Wall you can link the crux with the lower pitch or you can run it from the start of the crux to the top of the climb. Either way you do it, you have considerable rests before and after the crux on both climbs. I have climbed easier 5.9's and harder 5.7's and 5.8's, for whatever reason.

In summation, what I am trying to do is give the difficulty of this climb a context that many climbs do not get in their grading. If the average 5.8 leader is looking for the average 5.8, he'll have to see if the definition of this 5.8 matches his definition of average 5.8.

hope this helps Oct 7, 2003
The reason 1960s routes seem underrated is because back then 5.14 didn't exist. Since there wasn't such robust rating scale, people were understandably conservative in assigning ratings. But this climb is 5.8 by today's trad standards. There's nothing on it that requires techniques or strength exceeding 5.8 standards if you make the right call on the choice of technique at each crux. Oct 7, 2003
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
This climb was originally rated 5.8-circa 1970. Its a burly 2nd and 3rd pitches, eh? Oct 19, 2003
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Having done this climb many times, I feel that the best start is Break On Through: climb the layback corner, up a ramp, turn the overhanging corner on the left, and traverse left to the first belay on LJW. This adds a quality 5.8 pitch and avoids the poison ivy and groveling on the standard start. The Ignominity start is OK, but the Break On Through start is stellar.

The descent can be done in two rappels with a 60m rope. The second rap uses all of the rope; angle left for the best landing spot. From here, head uphill on the broken ledge and scramble down to the trail. Oct 22, 2003
Doug Redosh
Golden, CO
Doug Redosh   Golden, CO
Having read all of the above, I started with Ignominity but headed up and right from the first tree. This avoids a long traversing downclimb from the top of P1 of Ignominity. Oct 29, 2003
David Champion
Centennial, CO
David Champion   Centennial, CO
This is my first post to climbingboulder, though I have consulted it many times. Had to chuckle when I read the guidelines for posting a comment ("don't be a jerk").

Anyway, climbed this route on Sunday. I led the first pitch of Ignominity, heading left after the mid-point tree instead of right--as indicated by the white dotted line in the route photo on this site. My partner led P2. Thought something was most amiss until I found the JUG on the P2 roof. I led the last three in one fell swoop with about 5 meters of rope to spare (on a 60m rope). The thing I'll always remember about this route is topping out to a spectacular, panoramic view of Red Garden Wall.

Nowthen, the real reason for my post. On the standard descent (i.e., three raps via slung trees just north of the route) the second tree down--a deadish Juniper, if memory serves--creaked louder than a rusty hinge when my partner and I weighted the rope. I was talking nice to the tree until we reached terra firma. I know it's probably the fastest way down but next time I'm going a different way.

Go ahead, tell me the tree's just fine. Feb 22, 2005
Comments regarding the rap off: The second tree [definitely] makes a lot of noise, creaking popping etc... as you rap off. Secondly, I used a 60-m rope and it does not reach the ground from the second rap tree-Knot your rope. It takes you to a ledge 20 feet above the trail from which you can down climb easily to the west. Mar 28, 2005
Mike Storeim
Evergreen, CO
Mike Storeim   Evergreen, CO
Regarding the rap from this route -

If you walk south a short ways from the finish of the climb you can rap from the anchors at the top of Washington Irving.

First rap is from a slung block with a steel cable. Second is from two fat bolts that will get you to the ledge at the bottom of Washington Irving, Chanti, Unsaid, etc. with a 60M rope. You wind up about 50 feet from your pack and don't have to rap from trees.

The only problem might be if there is traffic below you on W.I. for the second rap. Mar 28, 2005
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
I lead 2 friends up this the other day who had not been on this before and on the P1 traverse, one of them peeled off at the first move onto the ledge, swinging/slamming down into the right corner sustaining a nasty knee abrasion. Several years ago when I lead this, I put a solid #3 BD nut in the tiny crack at the start of the traverse. The crack has flared a bit and that nut did not fit like I remember, so I opted for a tipped out black alien as nothing else I had fit.My 2nd left the alien in as a directional for our 3rd member and it ripped out when he fell. He looked up at me like it was my fault that the piece ripped and he swung so far, but hey, if it were just he and I climbing, he would of had to pull it anyway and probably suffered the same consequences...it is a thoughtful little 5.6 move getting up on the ledge but not that bad.Our 3rd member avoided this move and the lower ramp traverse by going farther left and then up and over right... without incident.They both struggled over the roof on P2, and we all agreed that the crack leading up to the roof is more (7)ish and the roof is more like (8) favoring taller people with longer arms like myself.The rest of the climb was enjoyable and we all nailed the crux dihedral. IMO the upper crux is a bit pumpy towards the end so I punched thru the last 15' without stopping for any placements. This might have been where a #4 cam would have fit nicely, but I left mine back at the truck. I brought doubles of the #2 & #3 cam which were nice to have, but not necessary, as I've done this before without them.This route is in my top 3 5.8's in the canyon and best on west ridge for the grade in IMHO... May 22, 2005
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
My partner Kevin and I agree that the roof on P2 goes harder than the Rossiter-suggested 5.7, sequencing aside. If the fingerlocks were 6" closer to the lip of the roof, it MIGHT be a 5.7, but that's not why I comment here. For the P1 traverse: on a sunny day with blue skies, if you look up at the pitch from the ground before leading, a "secret" green-alien placement will reveal itself to you. JUST as you get done with the belly-crawl, over the bulge toward the ground is a nice green-alien placement. Also, lead this on two ropes! You can REALLY protect your second well if you do. Lead on one rope only until you start the traverse, then on the other rope until you traverse back left at the top of the traditional first pitch. At this point, your first rope should nearly be in line with the green-alien from below and a swing is less likely to occur. I think I've explained this well, but if not, e-mail me and I'll try again.

~Wm Jun 4, 2005
Did the Break On Through start on Sunday and I'll have to agree with Ron, that's the way to go by far. It's fun and well protected. Besides who would trade in a crappy 5.5 for a stellar 5.8? Also, the rap tree atop P3 still creaks and makes a lot of noise when rappeling. Be careful! Nov 1, 2005
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
The "creaking rap tree" that everyone is freaking out about is just fine. That sound you are hearing is only the frictional noise of the webbing vibrating on the bark, and some of the loose bark crackles as you rap. the tree is solid. Currently the webbing is in good condition. There are certainly plenty of worse tree anchors in Eldo that need more attention. Nov 14, 2005
coop Best
Glenwood Springs, CO
coop Best   Glenwood Springs, CO
Excellent route. We climbed it in 4 pitches. My partner and I would climb it in 3 pitches if we did it again because the last 3 can easily go as 1. Feb 8, 2006
Jim Parker
Lafayette, CO
Jim Parker   Lafayette, CO
Had a great time climbing this two weeks ago! Couple of things: On the first pitch after the "belly crawl" you can go straight up on holds along a left slanting crack (be aware: I managed to wiggle in a black Alien but otherwise you're looking at hitting the ledge if you blow the sequence). Maybe 5.8ish?

Also, at the roof on the second pitch I went on an adventure (because I'm a moron and got off route) way out left along a fingertip undercling with bad feet underneath the huge roof. A little crumbly from no use...but solid pro all the way to another crack heading up (where I realized I was off route). Could be a possible more difficult variation, though I didn't try out the crack.

Altogether a brilliant route!! Lots of fun! Mar 19, 2006
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
Great route, it was way too hot today but we climbed anyway. I thought I was going to be seriously injured on the first pitch, come on is an S rating really out of the question? I fished in some awkward nut once out of the belly crawl but like mentioned before there is no left feet and it is scary as hell to commit with a nasty ground fall in mind. Once I got a nut in up left of the crawl, I got a multi-directional RP set to traverse back right (probably would hold better then the crap to be placed in the crawl). This was fun, big time rope drag created but I feld kinda safe unless any piece was to rip.

Combined p1-2, which was the way to go minus the rope drag, would recommend not doing the origional start. P3-5 I also combined with way less rope drag then the first 2 zig zaging pitches. I found the route superb once you reached the first 5.8 section all the way to the top, don't do it in the hot summer sun though because there is no escape.

Oh and the rap route is still fine, some of the slings look brand new. Jul 16, 2006
patrick kadel
  5.8 PG13
patrick kadel  
  5.8 PG13
Good route for the West Ridge. 1st pitch is awkward, but a great thread before the ugly moves gives good protection. So yes, an S rating is out of the question. After the crawl, you can place another good piece before heading back right into the crack which you can sew up as much as you want.

This climb has about 60' of nice climbing spread out over 300', but with great belay ledges, it works out well for the casual climber not looking for too much excitement.

The trees and rap anchors are in good shape. Yes, something creaked in the juniper, but I think it was the sling rubbing on the bark? It is not a small tree. With a 60m rope, you can get down far enough that you can swing left to the ground and walk off. Just run along the rocks to your left. No need for the third rap. Sep 19, 2006
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Did the first pitch of "Break on Through", and it is a stellar bit of climbing that protects well. There are two ways of doing the initial roof move. If you can find the easier sequence, go for it! Overall, I found this route to be all of 5.8. Well worth doing with lots of variety. Hmm, not sure about above comment. If this is casual at the grade, what is serious? Guess climbing is a relative business. For me, a casual 5.8 would be some of the sport climbing walk ups at say "Watermark" in Boulder Canyon. Our party of 4 were all pretty experienced climbers, and I think it had us all thinking in more than one spot. Apr 27, 2007
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
As you top out on pitch 2 at the top of the gully there is a flatish 3'x 3' 300 lb. rock on the left you want to reach for. It is not a good idea. It is just sitting on the ledge and I think (paranoid?) it has moved toward the gully since I was last here a year ago. If this thing goes... Jul 12, 2007
The 5.8 variation to P4 mentioned in the route description above sounds like a variation named "Pluto" that Dakers Gowans and I climbed in 1974. It's the bottomless corner to the right of the regular finish, visible and appealing from the road. If there are fixed pitons here they came long after the first ascent; we did it hammerless. Aug 2, 2007
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I did the awkward slot start and didn't care for the poorly protected step up to get into the crack. So I went left along that rotten band into P1 of Ignominity like suggested above. Climbed the 5.8 first pitch of "Break on Through" and like it the most for a start. You can rejoin Long John at a broken ledge band.

For the descent, there are now two bolted anchors with rap rings in place of the slings around the trees. If you have a 70m rope, you can do two raps and walk off up hill a short way. Otherwise, it is three raps with the last one being a slingfest on a tree. Aug 13, 2007
Chris Archer
Chris Archer  
This weekend, the two trees that have been used for rappels for the descent from Sooberb, Long John Wall, etc., have been replaced with camouflaged double bolt anchors. The first set of anchors from the ledge near the top of the cliff are on the slab just left of the tree and easy to overlook. This location was the best spot for the anchors given the quality of the rock and the pull. Sep 17, 2007
Matt Richardson
Longmont, CO
Matt Richardson   Longmont, CO  
Pitch for pitch, this is an excellent climb. I am not sure where Patrick gets his 60' of good climbing over 100'. I felt that the route was consistent throughout. Especially if you do the first pitch of Break on Through. That being said, this is probably not the best route for a green 8 climber. Apr 14, 2008
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
Roof crux on P2 was fun, but it took me a good 10 minutes to figure it out. Thought that was a good pitch. Pro is adequate but not really plentiful on this climb.

Didn't feel the love on the Break on Through start. The lieback part is good if you're into that kind of thing, but the crux requires a kinda wild move over the roof, or some tenuous 5.9 groveling on a cruddy, poorly protected seam. Aug 11, 2008
Stuart Paul
Denver, CO
Stuart Paul   Denver, CO
2 pitches with 60m rope. Aug 27, 2008
Descent - Downclimb a deep V-Slot just to the north. Scramble just North of the large Juniper trees to find a camouflaged double bolt anchor. Rap number 2 is at the top of P1 of Sooberb. This rap will take you to a bench that you can walk off to the North if you angle the rope left (North). (60 meter rope, 2 rappels) Feb 22, 2009
Nat Thiem
Boulder, CO
Nat Thiem   Boulder, CO
The last pitch has a potentially loose block (about the size of a somewhat narrow sofa cushion). It moved significantly when I was on it. I believe I may have been off route slightly, but it is in a rotten band that goes up to the left just under the top. I ended up completing the route around to the right, thereby avoiding the block. In any case, it would land near or on the belayer if dislodged. May 13, 2009
Dean Cool
Boulder, CO
Dean Cool   Boulder, CO
After the traverse left on P1, we climbed that face straight up instead of traversing back right. Is this by any chance a named variation? Grade? It was harder than the traverse right and protected with a TCU. Fun and would recommend it if you want to climb a variation. Mar 5, 2010
S. F. Pitman
Boulder, CO
S. F. Pitman   Boulder, CO
Did this yesterday and felt that the crux of the route was the roof on pitch two. My partner disagreed, but we realized that we took completely different approaches. I used an airy, bouldery sequence that involved some no-feet dynoing and a pretty technical mantle, and avoided the crack altogether. I would call these V3-V4 moves which translates into what...something like 5.10? It was hard and scary, but pretty interesting, and super fun. Any time you get a chance to throw a heel-hook or hang exposed by one hand on a small crimp while trad leading merits a smile, in my book.

I loved the whole route. The upper cruxy finger crack was beautiful and a little complicated, and presented classic Eldo sequencing. Apr 5, 2010
Robert Buswold
Northglenn, CO
Robert Buswold   Northglenn, CO
Didn't mess with the crappy P1 start... instead did Ignonimity to P1 of LJW and beyond. Linked the first 2 pitches together, and then linked the last 3 for a 2 pitch climb with a 60m rope. Just seems like a huge waste of time to do it in 5 pitches, as long as you use some shoulder-length slings, rope drag isn't too bad. Anyway, loved every minute of it, this is one of my favorite 5.8s in the canyon! Mar 7, 2012
Robert Buswold
Northglenn, CO
Robert Buswold   Northglenn, CO
Hey guys, my partner and I were climbing below you on LJW today (3-11-12) when you dropped the Alien cam. It didn't hit anyone, but some guys on the trail yelled up to my partner to let you know that it landed on a rock after that drop. You might not want to use it any more. I didn't see it laying at the base when I came back down, so I'm guessing you were able to retrieve it.

Happy climbing! Mar 11, 2012
Claire Rose
Boulder, CO
Claire Rose   Boulder, CO
Seventh time climbing - the Break on Through start was a bit of a shock to the system I think. But once I got into the stemming made for a really enjoyable climb. Traverses also a little nerve wracking but can be well protected. Glad for the cruisy last two pitches (of 4) to the summit. Jul 1, 2012
Tombo   Boulder
Think long, blue, cruiser run. Aug 24, 2013
I'm not sure what all the fuss about the first pitch is. I thought it was a soft PG-13. There's a decent micronut before the rightward traverse. Feb 16, 2014
Nathaniel Dray
Boulder, CO
Nathaniel Dray   Boulder, CO
The best part of this climb is the epic, epic belay station at the very top. I can't believe nobody has mentioned the little notch at the summit with a sweeping view of Redgarden/Boulder on one side and the west side of Eldorado Canyon on the other. Plus, you get to sling natural pro in weird rock and sit back and chill. Also, should you find yourself rappelling in the dark, the free-hanging second rappel into pitch blackness is insane. It makes you feel like Batman. Do this climb. May 2, 2014
Did P1 of Break On Through all the way to the broken band. Great. Required some thought on P1 (did not lieback). P2 crux - we used a #4 Camalot. Verrry thoughtful for 5.8, so I rate it 8+. May as well run P2 all the way to the notch with STELLAR views of Redgarden. The 2 rap stations to the N are easy to find. Watch your rope ends, scramble N after 2 raps to the trail. May 4, 2014
a Ball
Denver, CO
a Ball   Denver, CO
With the Break On Through start, this climb is classic! Maybe my favorite in Eldo so far, and I have done most of the classic moderates. Much better than Levin's backup, Sooberb Lite (which was still fun). Bring a number 4. Oct 16, 2015
Jordy Clements
Denver, CO
Jordy Clements   Denver, CO
This is more of a comment on the Eldorado Canyon Climbing Guide by Sharp End Publishing description of the route than the route itself. Why on Earth does the book have you hike up to the Kloof Alcove to start Long John? You end up at polished, sketchy 5.4 ramp that we went up in hiking shoes, only to become even more lost when we realized we were at the chains (but what chains? and are you supposed to be set up a tree anchor to belay the final 10 feet of no-fall to actually then rap the route?). I normally don't gripe about route finding -- hey, it's part of the adventure! -- but I've rarely seen such bad beta in a reputable guidebook. Feel free to tell me how I'm wrong, because we came away CONFUSED: ended up hiking back down, then hiking the obvious trail, and starting at the obvious start...only to get rained off :( Mar 16, 2016
JordyC wrote:Why on Earth does the book have you hike up to the Kloof Alcove to start Long John?
It doesn't. You misread the approach instructions in the book. I'm looking at the 2nd edition right now (I just verified that the same information is in the 1st edition). In the description of Long John Wall Tower, he writes "The South Face holds a handful of routes best approached from the Kloof Alcove and described in that section. For the following lines on the southwestern aspect, begin near the top of the terraced section of trail".

The "following lines" refers specifically to the route Long John Wall, among others.

In the introduction to the West Ridge, he writes, "almost all climbs are approached via the West Ridge Trail... The Kloof Alcove and South Face of Long John Wall Tower are approached from the West Redgarden Trail".

Your mistake was thinking that the route Long John Wall is on the South Face of Long John Wall Tower. It is not. It sounds like you still had a good adventure. Mar 16, 2016
Jordy Clements
Denver, CO
Jordy Clements   Denver, CO
Sadly, it would appear I read about as well as I climb :(

Thanks for the clarification! Mar 17, 2016
Denver Co
climbfofun   Denver Co
We did this route today and had great weather. What a great climb with good pro on all the pitches!

P1. We decided to do Break On Through for the first pitch. We brought the number #4, my partner said we didn't need it 'cause he did it 20 years ago without it. Since I was the puss of the group, we brought it, and it was used. I'm not going to say you have to have it, but there were no complaints. Great pitch, sustained.

P2. This is a really cool pitch, it took me a little while to figure out the roof, but after I did, I felt like an idiot 'cause it is pretty straightforward (stem for good rests and pro placements before the roof). Great pitch, fairly sustained till the roof, good rest before roof, fire the roof, and it's smooth sailing.

P3. The crux pitch, we both felt this was the crux pitch as well. Great pitch with sustained climbing, felt like this pitch was the hardest to place gear in, (the places are there but not from the best stances) even though I didn't lead it, I still try and climb it like I am.

P4. Fun easier pitch to the top.

I would recommend doubles of smaller cams - #2, one # 3, #4, and a set of stoppers (but everybody is different). Feb 22, 2017
Tim Kessel
Fort Collins
Tim Kessel   Fort Collins
Super awesome route, pitch 2 and 3 are awesome. We started to the left with the safer crack. Mar 1, 2017
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
Really enjoyed this route, did the BoT variation. P1-P3 felt consistent in difficulty. The bulges and roofs are all really fun but may be challenging for the grade if you are not familiar with Eldo style climbing. As mentioned above, the topout is amazing and quite possibly the best vista in the canyon. The views of Redgarden wall are jaw dropping.

Beware that this route is heavily occupied most of the time. Apr 8, 2017
prod. Kenny
Boulder, Co
prod. Kenny   Boulder, Co
Finally got on this route. The original pitch 1 was pretty straightforward, the traverse right isn't hard but a little heady as there are crappy hands with good feet. Do the original route.

The rest is pretty easy for Eldo 5.8. Apr 23, 2017
Matt Hagny
Matt Hagny  
P1 is great fun and shouldn't be missed. However, you need to be a solid 5.8 leader and put some thought into your pro just before and after the belly crawl. After you stand up from the belly crawl, there's a good #0.75 Camalot placement at your feet. None of the moves on P1 are all that difficult, just heady.

Ignore what was said about leaving your #4 on the ground. Almost everyone will want it for P3's OW.

Not only is this my favorite 5.8 at Eldo (thus far anyway), it's one of the best climbs I've done here regardless of grade. Quite a variety of climbing crammed into 3 pitches. Lots of cool moves. Aug 20, 2017
Denver, CO currently
A-K   Denver, CO currently
P1: unless you like R rating climbing, take an alternate start. I took the a corner 20ft to the left, then down-traversed to the right on 5.5 terrain to meet up at the P2 base. Easier + safer. I actually started up the normal P1 but blew a foot pulling onto the traverse back ledge. Luckily my hands stayed on, and I could step down and traverse around left to a corner.

P2-P4: stellar 5.8, straightforward. Great summit.

Rack: I had BD doubles 0.3 - #2, one #3. I'm a pretty conservative climber and thought it was perfect. A BD #4 would have fit perfect in the crux, but it was protectable with smaller gear.

Descent option to avoid rappels. if you didn't leave anything at the base, you can easily down scramble towards Redgarden with minimal exposure. We were on the ground in 10 minutes going straight down (the east side of the ridge) from the final belay saddle area. Go straight down (east), meandering through the easy terrain, then slight descender's right down an easy gully. A short walk across on old/faint trails puts you at the base of Green Spur/ Yellow Spur. Could make for a great link up day. No rappels needed. Nov 13, 2017
Kaz Hatfield
Kaz Hatfield   Firestone
My mentor and friend, Mike Darrah told me, "you don't skip 5.7." This was after I told him someone had said the first pitch is runout, and I should think about doing the first pitch of Break On Through or Chianti. I'm thankful I took his advice. I won't give any beta on moves, but alone with what others have mentioned, leave a cam on the upper end of the slot after the awkward moves. Then before you head up the ramp use a micro nut in the small crack leading up to the top of the ramp. It's micro, but it's better than nothing, right? Just a little confidence booster if you need one. After that, have fun! You'll want a #4 for pitch 3. I'm so glad I bought mine a week before. #Confidencebooster #myfirend #thankyou A special thanks to Luke McClure for skipping out on work to climb this with me. May 1, 2018
Pete F.
Denver, CO
  5.8 R
Pete F.   Denver, CO
  5.8 R
The original first pitch is horrifying if you were expecting a casual, easy route, especially with no micronuts for last placement(s) before traverse - runout, wanders back and forth, dubious gear, ledgefall potential, and swing into ledge or corner fall potential for both the leader and follower. The rest of the route after the traverse was great. Sep 28, 2018