Type: Trad, 4 pitches Fixed Hardware (4)
FA: L. Kor, Jack Turner, 1962. FFA: J. Erickson, Dave Meyers, 19
Page Views: 13,975 total · 62/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 7, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Rincon is four pitches in total, but the first pitch is the most popular, checking in at only 9+ compared to the 11a/b on P3.

P1. Start just right of Center Route at the thin crack just right of a bolted line (Camouflage, 12c). The climbing is sustained and takes good gear, but the moves are not straight forward jam and go. I never really felt one distinct crux, but it's probably in the first 15 feet. The climbing varies from finger to fist-size crack to face holds. Good route. At the top of P1, if you're not continuing on, set a directional, and traverse 25 feet right to a ledge with a tree that now has 2 bolts--or set up a top rope for some of the more difficult and runout cracks on this wall.

P2. Continue up on moderate terrain, follow the R side of a flake, and up the dihedral. 95 feet.

P3. Move up, stem when possible, get as good gear as possible (small), clip the pin, pull the roof/bulge (crux). This would be a bad place to take multiple falls. Continue to a tree. 90 feet ish.

P4. Continue up the dihedral, clip a bolt, continue up a great crack to a big ledge.

Descend left.


Wired nuts, TCUs, and a few cams in the 1-2 inch range (up to #2 Camalot) for pitch one.


The first pitch of this climb is beautiful and good, but not the whole route! After climbing the first .9+ crack and setting up and anchor with #3 Camalots, continue climbing straight up the huge dihedral that involves lots of good and not too hard stemming (5.8/9). There are lots of fixed pins on this pitch, but bring the gear as well. Belay from slings on a fixed two-pin anchor. The third pitch is the crux. Climb up through one of Eldos notorious broken/rotten bands(5.8 s). It is rated s because of its rotten nature and loose rock, not because of lack of gear. After that place a good Camalot in a pod and stem like a madman on a pretty blank slab to reach a fixed pin, which protects the crux move. Clip the pin and pull 2 hard moves over the slabby bulge (5.11a/b). Continue on to the ramp and belay (5.7). From here you can either walk off to the North(left), walk and then rap to the south(right), or climb a last pitch, which by the looks of it, is not very popular. This pitch starts right above the belay and goes at 5.9. I didn't do it, we walked off. So, there is the beta for the whole route. Get out there and give it a go since this route is well protected and not too hard for its grade. Jan 1, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
Normally, I don't comment on routes where I did not onsight the crux pitch. Anyway, my partner led the 3rd pitch, wigged and weighted the pin. He said it shifted and I figured I should let you all know. Since life is cheap on top rope, I had no problem with this pitch, but wouldn't lead it if I knew the pin sucked and hadn't been on it before. I led the 1st 2 pitches, they are safe, and you can get to the ground from the anchors at the top of the 2nd if you decide not to do P3. Aug 5, 2001
The fixed pin protecting the 5.11 crux is way scary. The one time I attempted to lead this pitch ('98) the frickin' thing was sticking out at least an inch, bent and OLD looking (does anyboy even know how long it's been there...pre clean gear?). You can clip it with a long reach from below and it's barely at your waist when you're about over the crux, but the whole show is on that one manky pin. You can't back it up and the previous piece is a body length below in a pod where the rotten slab kicks up to vertical.

If that pin pulled on a fall it is likely that you would be seriously injured falling onto the rotten slab...or maybe not...but I wouldn't want to be the first to test the blap factor on that one.

So I played anonymous coward (which I'm really good at) and backed off.

Downclimbing awayfrom the crux back through the rotten band wasn't to hard you'd probably have to leave a cam to lower from there. And there are bail slings at the anchor. A 60M rope will just barely reach the little tree on top of the lower slab.

Don't let me discourage y'all from giving it a go for it's an all time Eldo classic. Really just a boulder problem crux. If it wasn't for that shitty pin this route would be one of the mildest intros to the grade in the Canyon and a fun multi-pitch route to boot.

I'll pobably rot in hell for saying it but I wish people would agree to replace that pin with a bolt. Aug 23, 2001
The pin at the crux has never been an A1 placement, and was not an A1 placement for the FFA way back when. As it stands now Rincon is a "safe" lead for someone able to climb 11a without falling, someone able to reverse the moves and retreat, or someone able to aid through. It is probably not a safe lead for someone pushing things and taking repeated out-of-control falls.

Eventually fixed pins will need to be replaced. If a new pin does not work in the old placement, no other gear is available, and the pin protects a crux from which a fall would cause injury, placing a bolt sounds logical. That may apply to Rincon at some point. Aug 31, 2001
Run the first two pitches together--with a 200 foot rope it makes a classic long pitch, with plenty of rope to spare. You don't need a huge rack either. As for the preceding comment, why not just replace the old pin with a new one? Tom Isaacson Sep 7, 2001
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
You can place a pretty good blind nut up above the pin from a good stance, prior to doing 'the move.' I did it the first time on the route, and Dianne (my 5'4" partner) did it the second time, on in our leads in 1998 and 1996
We both clipped the pin and then got in a high stem, felt in the crack above the overhang for a slot, picked up a nut (I think I tossed in a #10 BD & my partner a #11 offset HB) and placed & clipped it. After that you can 'verify' the nut by Braille and then do the moves. And it is BOMBER, as in TEXT BOOK.

It's not a death fall even if you failed the nut and pin anyway. Twin ropes would be good for this so that if the highest piece failed you wouldn't get all the extra slack back, but we both did it on single lines.

The route is frequently climbed. If the pro were so bad that nobody ever climbed it, then I'd keep my mouth shut, but I feel like there should be routes to practice on and routes to aspire to. At the moment Rincon is one of the latter. A solid bolt at the waist at the crux would change it to a 'practice route' and completely change its nature.

So here's something to consider when you think about bolting it: Was the "bad" pin bad when the route was first freed as well? Are you changine the nature of what was first freed when the pin was already old? Do you have in mind "rebolting" it like Rosy Crucifixion got rebolted? I did Rosy before and after it was "rebolted." It was called rebolting, but really it was retrobolted. The fact is that the gear is different, not just replaced.

If that is what you have in mind, then after you rebolt Rincon, go do Calypso and Bastille Crack and the Yellow Spur. Not all of the pins are so great there either. Oct 29, 2001
Most would agree that very few classic routes in Eldorado should have protection updates, especially if they are still seeing action. Placing a bolt where a dicey pin has existed for years reduces the route and reduces the experience. Selfishly I'd love to see a fat bolt at the Rincon crux, because I haven't yet had the sack to go see what the 'dicey' pin looks like. But softening Rincon would reduce the satisfaction I look forward to on the day I'm feeling ready to tackle the route.

What about pin replacement, where possible? I'm curious about the prevailing opinion on this. Better than a bolt, or ultimately more destructive? Wasn't this done on Over the Hill?

As a side note, the ring pin on the Northcutt might be old, but it is solid - I've witnessed good falls onto it. Oct 29, 2001
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal - If many people are going to climb this route, why have a bad fixed piece as your only protection piece for the crux move? If there is going to be a fixed piece there, why not make it a good one? Whereas bolts are (usually) bomber, a new pin might be a good fix for this route and others like it. Replacing fixed gear doesn't necessarily change the nature of the route when it was first established, because a 20 year old pin is much different from one placed yesterday. Not that the pins have to be replaced frequently, but some of the fixed gear in Eldo is getting ridiculously OLD. On some routes it would be much nicer if the pins were taken out if there is a possibility for good clean gear in its place. I do not feel that everything should be a sport climb, in fact I am far from it, but it makes no sense to have old bad fixed gear that you have to rely on in case of a fall. Feb 11, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This issue has come up many times in the Eldorado Fixed Hardware Committee, and to my knowledge they have NEVER voted to put a bolt where an old piton once was. However, I agree with Steve that such replacements should be OK'd if the piton cannot be replaced and the climb becomes much more dangerous without it. But not all old farts agree. Feb 11, 2002
I think I was the last person to replace this pin (@crux) and I did the best I could but it's not in that far. I am generally in favor of preserving the flavor of a route but I'm also reluctant to see pin scars grow larger, therefore I think a bolt here is appropriate. A pin scar can't be fixed but a bolt can be removed and the hole camoflauged. Feb 11, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
But I got good gear folks! My partner for the second time I did it was 5'4" and she did too. I vote no on the bolt.

Let's not degrade our standards. Not only did the route no have a bolt, but there is nearby gear available. It's certainly not that people aren't doing the route all the time anyway.

The really 'S' rated part is the bad rock in the 5.easier (I dunno, 5.8) section down lower. As previously stated, there is a decent nut overhead for the crux move. I think that this climb is certainly a controversy, and worth some discussion, but certainly it can be protected even without the pin (altough I like it better with the pin, I admit.

Were the pin to ever be replaced again, might I suggest a sawed-off pin so it doesn't protrude so far and lever so hard?

Yes, a bolt can be "removed and covered" but once it is there, it never will be. PU238 has a half-life too, and someday radioactive waste will be harmless- though the human race will never see that day. Feb 12, 2002
I remember seeing the nut placement, but I had already commited to the crux at that point. From the stance just below the pin you could probably place a blind nut *IF* you know the placement is there because I don't recall being able to see it from the stance. Good luck trying to place it once in the crux though.

The key to the move (if you're solid at the grade) is to get a psychological boost by convincing yourself the pin is bomber. That being said, you should also be smart and ready to grab the draw clipped to the pin should you feel you're about to pitch (it certainly holds body weight).

Part of the character of this route is wondering about the quality of the pin and using your best judgement on whether to go for it or aid it. No bolt please! Feb 12, 2002
For those not at home on 11a (like me), if you don't mind losing out on the potential onsight of the crux moves, I suggest climbing to the pin and clipping a screamer to it. Weight the pin slowly by stepping in a sling, or stem to reach that high nut. Clip a screamer to the nut as well. Lower or downclimb back to the cam and then climb smoothly through the crux. This technique is questionable in terms of style, but it may be the best idea for average Joe climbers who have never done those funky moves at the crux.

Also, the pin did not flex very much when I aided through the moves, and I push 225 pounds with a full rack. But the clock is definitely ticking on the pin. I hope Eldo locals and the FHRC can come to an agreement before someone does a high-speed faceplant (or backplant) onto the slab.

How about this for a compromise:??

Fix a nut with a long sling or cable somewhere above the crux - maybe at that blind placement Tony mentions. Make the sling just long enough so it can be clipped from the same stance now used to clip the pin. That way people can decide for themselves if they want extra protection for the crux moves. This is not a perfect solution, but it avoids the options of making a larger pin scar or adding a bolt, and allows the route to be climbed in classic old-school style. Any talk about adding bolts makes me (and lots of others) very uncomfortable.

If I know my history - there is precendent in Eldo for climbing routes equipped with pre-placed long slings. Feb 18, 2002
Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
I know this is a matter of opinion, but the pin at the crux of the third pitch is not really that bad, especially considering that it is literally at your waist when you are pulling the crux. I would be extremely surprised if it failed. If you are considering not doing the route because of the pin, then you are missing a great time for no reason. Mar 21, 2002
Regarding Adam's comment about the pin quality...how do you know the pin "isn't that bad"? Did you haul 1000 lbs of weights up there to test the pin quality? Did you shock load it with a 180lb weight on an 8 foot fall (the crux mantling part comes with the pin nearly at your feet)? My guess is no, so any comment you make about the pin quality is pure speculation.

The best info I have is that a 225 pound person (see Matt White's comments) aided it...if he waited the rope (i.e. a 2to1 pulley) then the pin held 450lbs of weight. I also know from experience that the pin sticks out a bit and is bent slightly downward. Telling people to go up there and just go for it is bad beta. Sure if you're solid at Eldo 11a then you should give it a try but know that it would not be a good idea to take a whipper on the pin.

Incidently, has anyone taken this whipper or know of anyone who has recently? Mar 22, 2002
AC: I stood in a sling clipped directly to the pin, and I had my weight distrubuted between a bad smear, the pin, and a funky cam hook. My guess is that I loaded the pin to 75 pounds at most. A wooden pin might have held that much.

Best advice: Be ready for the route. Do a lot of slippery, roofy, mantely boulder problems first. Be safe. Don't whip on the pin or you'll be sorry.

...and don't aid it. Full-on aid climbing in Eldo is just plain wrong. Aiding Rincon seemed like a good idea at the time, but now I just feel like a huge gumby loser. Mar 24, 2002
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
If anybody reading these comments wants to do Rincon, go up there and try it! If you send, be proud; if you splatter because the pin in question blows, let us know and then we'll all have more info to continue this discussion with. That said, please don't put a bolt here. Mar 25, 2002
[To] avoid the crux pitch by going left around the corner and up though the rotten roof is not recommened, unless you enjoy 5.10 rotten rock roofs with a healthy supply of green and brown lichen. However, you can cut left at the belay (around the corner in a slanting hand crack) efore the crux pitch and go though a rotten roof with some good jams as well as suspect and bad flakes and this is probably no harder then .9+ or .10a and end up on the walk-[off] ledge. Jul 19, 2002
One of my favorite 1 pitch routes (of the few I've done) here is the "Reveley- Adams" variation to the first pitch of Rincon. What a blast! From the ledge continue up left into a reachy, airy hand traverse, round a horn to the bolts on Center rt. Also fun to run 60m from the ground to the top of the 2nd pitch of Center Route. Kind of runout, (unless a sling is draped over said horn?) but good cams at first. and crazy huge jugs. Toprope Camouflage. Flail. Gotta love it. Aug 13, 2002
As part of the Celebrate Eldo and FHRC activities this past weekend, my partner, JC, and I made some discoveries and some improvements to the Rincon route.

At the 2nd pitch anchor/rap station, we added a bolt. That station is now bomber with two existing pins, and a new bolt with chain links.An old #1 rp with frayed wire and tat was removed from this station. The pin at the crux of the 3rd pitch still remains. I tried to remove and replace this pin, but was unable to get it out. Before leaving the pin in place, I pounded it back in. Although this pin is bent and looks bad, I discovered that it is actually quite good (for now) and will probably hold a fall at the crux. I aborted the removal attempt because I did not want to make the situation worse by breaking the pin, or the eye of the pin, while trying to remove it. Leaving a broken pin at that location with no other replacement would be very bad. Before one tries to remove the pin, perhaps they should have the authority to place a bolt at the same location if the pin breaks. This may be a good discussion for the FHRC.

IMHO, a bolt here is warranted. Since 1985, I have led Rincon many times, and I do not feel my experience on the route has been enhanced by this sketchy pin. All these routes used to be aid climbs with many more pins than remain today. This pin (like most) used to be bomber in it's day, however, as time passes, the pin placements degrade. Rust, bending, loading, freeze/thaw cycles, all contribute to the deterioration of these placements. Although I believe this pin will hold a fall (today), this pin will get worse and require further maintenance. As the pin scar gets beaten out, it will eventually be a decent finger lock, and then the nature of this crux move will be changed forever. A bolt at this location will prevent further damage to the rock and preserve the difficulty and aesthetics of this climb. Oct 8, 2002
Hi Steve,

Check with the FHRC on the proposal. It was my understanding that this had been discussed and approved.

I was at the FHRC meeting regarding the pin on the Edge a few years back.

Although I do believe that a little spice can add to one's climbing experience, I tend to enjoy the climbing more than the scare.

A bolt at the crux will certainly change the nature of the crux and the route, but so will beating out this placement, damaging the rock, and possibly creating new jams. The pin on Rincon is good for now. Oct 8, 2002
Joe Huggins
Grand Junction
Joe Huggins   Grand Junction
We must have been the last to climb the route before Willie and JC improved the second belay; a fine idea. As for the pin, it didn't scare me any more than it did 15 years ago, however, it seems that you could get a good Lowe ball in the scar just below it. And Tony is right, you can get a good, even bomber stopper above the pin if you have the strength and presence of mind to stem high. A large wire is very secure about two feet above the pin. Having written this, I want to say that I personally don't have any objection to a bolt. Oct 13, 2002
Joseph Crotty
Broomfield, CO
Joseph Crotty   Broomfield, CO
Did the route free today on lead. This was my first time on this superb gem. Just some background, I am 6'6" and found some very nice stems running up to the crux which where very easy for my height. At the final stem, the manky bent pin is at your chest and a very bomber #10 BD nut can be placed about 1.5' above the pin. Just below the pin there is a slot for a Lowe Ball, but we didn't have one. I feet the mantle crux checks in at .11a.

My partner Jim, 5'11", had no problem with the stems. He linked up the first two pitches in grand style.

Hmm....A bolt to replace the pin? No. I have climbed in Eldo for 18 yrs. striving to cultivate my climbing so that I am within my limits regularly. If you are not ready to belly up to Eldo's standards on a particular route then perhaps its time to step it down a grade and put time and energy towards furthering yourself and your climbing in preparation and growth to those goals. Oh, I know the wicked lament "but that pin was bomber when Erickson and Meyers freed it." Yes indeed. And in the interim we have better shoes, gear, ropes, training regimes, etc. Looking within tends to be difficult.

I concur with Steve Levin that "not every chimp gets to climb every tree". Apr 26, 2003
I think we should put a frickin' bolt up there for Christ's sake. Sure it is safe for the solid 5.11 climber who will not fall...but such a climber would be safe without the piton as well. The piton was initially intended to hold a fall, now it only gets in the way of a potential tri-cam placement and provides a false sense of security. Will all of those above in favor of keeping this rusty piece of mank be able to stand behind their statements when some young aspiring .11 climber who, believing that the piton is good, attempts the move but fails, pulling the pin and consequently smashing into the rotten band below, inflicting serious injury? This route deserves a serious rating due to the fact that the "protection" at the crux is worthless. I think the piton should either be supplemented with a bolt (we could still keep the piton up there for those who think it has asthetic value or those who are too macho for bolts) or be removed so that nobody gets the idea that the crux of this route is safe. May 12, 2003
Anonymoos- my opinion on the bolt vs. pin issue would not change, even if someone were to pull the pin and get hurt. If you are not up to the challenge of leading this pitch, then don't climb it... come back when you're ready.

In any case, your opinion doesn't mean much if you don't sign your name. May 13, 2003
I did this route yesterday (5/16/03). Being 5'4" I must say it was exciting to clip the pin from a comfortable stance. I suppose you could get a green Alien or stopper in about 2.5 feet behind the pin but, in my opinion, it would be after the most insecure moves through the crux (I didn't place anything there). Once you clip the pin and stem up a little more, you get a finger lock with your left hand that would require the complete detachment of your pinky for you to fall on the pin. I've wanted to do this route for a long time and waited until I felt confident climbing at such a level without the blissful security of a bolt. Please don't change the nature of this route to suit your ability; instead, strive to climb the route in a condition most similar to the original. Considering the time and effort it's taken me to reach this point with myself, I don't believe my experience would have been nearly as rewarding with a 3/8" bolt whispering sweet nothings in my ear. May 17, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I did this route again yesterday. You can get a 3-3.5" cam in (SOLID) a meter below the pin. In fact, you can put in two of them. When this is at your waist, you can clip the pin, when the pin is at your chin, you can place the stopper. A BD #10 in that placement can be described by the words "Bomber" or "text book" but anything else seems wholly inadequate to express how good it is. With a 1-foot runner the biner to clip it dangles 4" below the lip and makes a nice point for the rope if you blow it. The edge is not at all sharp. I asked my partner to photograph this placement for those who are non-believers.


No bolt is needed- it would not significantly change the objective hazards of the route, only the subjective ones.Double rope techniques could help with this route if you are still nervous about the runout- that way if you "dunced" the stopper & blew the pin, you'd only fall a few feet to ctach on your cam, 'cause you wouldn't have slack out on that line.

PS- this climb is hard to do on hot days in the sun- SLLLLLiiiipppppery! Jun 23, 2003
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
While hanging from the good nut above the pin on my first flailing attempt to lead Rincon I found a nut placement at the top of the pin scar below the fixed pin. Yesterday, on my second flailing attempt, I placed a #7 Metolius Astro (brass, curved, flared front to back, but less radical than an HB offset). The taper in the crack is imperceptible, and the nut fits snugly. Anything bigger or smaller by even a billimeter (very small) is unlikely to work. I downclimbed and bounce tested it, and it held. The nut is easy to place, since you can place it from the low stem. It's only 5.9 to that point.

I tried placing a red ballnut. I was sure it would work, but the crack gets narrow in back, preventing the ballnut from going in deep enough to seat the ball.

Also tried a #00 Metolius TCU. It's just a fraction too big. So it's possible a smaller cam will work. A 4-cam unit may not seat all the cams. I'm thinking a Zero or the smallest, red, Camalot.

I noticed a pin on the ledge at the start of the crux. A few feet to the right, in some vegetation, is a 1 1/4" angle straight down. Looks good. Didn't see it before. You could use this to bail from the crux. To be safe, I would rap off the pin while being belayed through the lead gear, in case the pin blows (it shouldn't unless the ledge falls off or unless it's totally rusted out--the eye looks fine).

I'm thinking the danger of this climb is being exagerrated. I'm a middling climber. I have yet to onsight an Eldo 10c (not counting in the 70s in my youth). Yet I'm up on Rincon pushing my limits, perhaps beyond my limits. On the other hand, I like messing with gear and enjoy that challenge. I think the danger of a ledge fall is minimal. Up to the good nut placement you are stemming, wide. The corner is overhanging. If the pin (and any backup you may have) blows, I think you'll miss the ledge. Should be a pretty clean fall. Or does someone have experience saying otherwise? Dec 27, 2003
Keith Leary
Broomfield, CO
Keith Leary   Broomfield, CO
TB, thank you for the beta. That pin is scary and not the easiest thing to clip. After I clipped it, I put in a cam hook just below it. I believe were IR said he got in the RP. I kept it cammed by tying a sling to the piece lower. After I had this, I had the courage to get into the higher stem and place a number six rock sideways. I didn't read TB's comments close enough and brought a number eleven Stopper. I was high enough that it wasn't blind, but was still before the crux moves. I am six feet tall. It was bomber. With the cam hook or that RP there is no need for the S rating. This was my first 5.11 onsight in Eldo and I couldn't top rope Center Route without hanging. It could be soft for Eldo. May 2, 2004
Ken Leiden
Boulder, CO
Ken Leiden   Boulder, CO
I think the argument that there is a "blind" nut placement that makes this route safe is one of the most illogical comment I've read on this site. Rincon is a trad climb, which means the rating is based on an on-sight ascent without any specific beta about moves or moves to place gear. So how is the on-sight climber suppose to know where the blind nut placement is? By reading site? Yea, the center of the universe right here. So place your blind nut, but don't use this excuse to justify a crappy pin. Also, the comment about missing the ledge if the pin blows. No, the ledge is ground zero. Drop a pebble and see where it lands. May 20, 2004
L. Hamilton  
Just to add another historical note -- I recall leading Rincon back in the mid-'70s. The crux pin was soft iron and not too good-looking even then. You wouldn't want to pitch off on it; this was a route not to try until you felt ready to bet that you could do it under control. A fat bolt there would make it a whole different experience, I think. May 20, 2004
If you don't like beta, you may not want to read this. After clipping the pin and putting my left hand into the hold that jams your knuckle, I struggled because I used my right hand in the hold above the left and slowly thrutched my body up onto the sloping ledge like a fish out of water. When I did it the second time, I used the left "jam" and mantled with my right hand in order to get my feet up. It was much easier mantling.

Fun route. May 29, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Maybe that's why it get's an S then, Ken. Or maybe you didn't look at the picture or never climbed the route. In the picture, you will see that the 'blind' part is not the placement but how chocked in it is.

I placed that stopper on-sight. I followed the crack with my fingers, felt a notch, and placed it. Dianne did the same thing without beta. That's 2 on-sights with 2 nuts placed, not even the same nuts, and the Gent who placed the #6 Rock sideways? Not using my beta. So what's wrong with calling that good gear?

We can print that Rincon is an S, despite the bomber nut placement at the crux that has been discussed several times on this group and advise people that unless you know how to place a nut or are a solid 5.11- climber, that you should probably not be on it. Seriously, we don't need everything to be sanitized for general use. Jun 4, 2004
jesse gross  
The first pitch felt more like solid 5.10 to me (but it still was an incredible pitch). I just linked the first two pitches, and decided I wasn't up to the 11a task after the feel of the first pitch. Jun 9, 2004
I was on Rincon Sunday the 5th of June, and I gotta say, "That pin is mother&#F@ing scary." If it pulls, you will land on the blocky slab below. Whether this results in you hanging upside down at the end of the rope or with a broken ankle, the odds are not in your favor. I did get good gear (red alien) 3ft above the pin, however, I had to fully (read- fully) commit to the crux before placing it. I am 6'2". Folks, the bottom line on Eldorado gear is this: it should be no scarier and no safer than it was for the first ascensionist. I guarantee that the pin was not bent or rusted for the first ascent party. Therefore, something should be done about this pin. If you read the comments by both Steve Levin and Steve Diekoff (both of whom to my knowledge only place fixed gear where safety requires and both of whom have done some of the scariest routes in Eldo) you should consider the replacement option, and at the very least- need to be careful on this route. To Tony Bubb as a final note I say, "every time you climb this route, skip the fixed gear and put in your nut as a reminder that your memory from 1995 was correct." Jun 6, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Dear A.C.:
Perhaps you are simply a coward, or maybe just not skilled enough to climb at this level. Either way....

As for your attempted insults, I didn't climb Rincon in 1995, but I did climb it in 1996, 1998, 2003, and 2004. Each time, regardless of who lead it, a bomber stopper was placed. And why would I skip a fixed pin? Shoot, I'll clip it, why not? I'm not trying to prove anything, I'm just climbing a route. And if I get to scared to accept my calculated risks assocaited with available pro, I'll go climb something else or something that is already bolted.
Maybe you just lack the skill to climb the route. Shoot, I've been punted from even sport climbs staring the chains in the face- it was because I was too weak, pumped, or unskilled to clip, not because they were not there. Furthermore, I don't claim that the routes are S just because I'm not good enough to get a stance.

You can say the pin was not originally rusty and bent, but it would not be bent now unless it was hanging 1/2 way out in the first place, which it was. So, what do you think the pin looked like when Erikson first freed the route? L. Hamilton lead it in the '70s and said it was sketchy then, too. Like gear with like gear does not mean replacing an A2-pin with a bolt, regardless. Jun 6, 2005
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
A note if you are planning on quitting after the first pitch: I did not see any tree with slings on it, but it is possible to do an exposed traverse about 30 ft right (you can get in some pro to protect the traverse if you want) and rap off the bolts that serve Five Ten Crack and Raccoon Soup. Sep 18, 2006
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Pitch 1 is definitely more towards the 5.10 range. Compare it to the so-called 5.10 crack directly right of pitch 1. I felt way more secure on that one. No, Rincon pitch 1 is definitely old school 5.9, which translates to 5.10 or 5.10+. Nonetheless, today we saw one party lead it with only six pieces of gear. Very smooth.

It's also notable that Steve Dieckhoff, one of the staunchest trads out there, thought replacing the crux pin with a bolt was a good idea. Oct 29, 2006
Dane Casterson
Dane Casterson   Boulder
Did pitches 1, 2, and 3 today. I agree with Tony B. Is is quite safe. I am an aspiring 11 leader, and I felt fine on it today although I did fall while turning the crux. It's a relatively easy stem up to the nut placement that is completely bomber. Don't be scared off, because it's really not that bad. A bolt would certainly detract from this climb. Jun 3, 2007
Kirill Kireyev
Boulder, CO
Kirill Kireyev   Boulder, CO
A few comments on the higher pitches:

P3: Yes, you can definitely place something above the pin, although it's a bit strenuous, so be ready to act quickly. I was able to squeeze in a Metolius cam in the higher of the two finger pods in the dihedral (I had my hand in the lower).

P4: Worth doing - it starts as a slightly overhanging, red rock, shallow, left-facing dihedral (behind the giant boulder) - there's a bolt on the left side. When the seam ends and overhanging bulges begin move left to a ledge, you'll see a tree with slings on the left. While the climbing at the top is quite mellow, the protection is not the best (thin RPs).

(P5): Do Brevitata (you have to walk left for 100ft first) - fun, short, and fairly safe. Apr 13, 2008
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
Climbed this for the first time the other day, what a fun route. In regards to the piton, this was my first .11 lead, and I didn't feel too bad just clipping the pin and going for it. But if you don't feel good about it, as others have stated you can stem up a few moves and place a stopper with the pin at your chest. A bolt here would definitely detract from this climb, and is not needed.

And I would recommend to anyone who doesn't want to lead the third pitch to at least climb the first two, both classic pitches and the 5.8 pitch is one of the best of the grade I've been on. Definitely the best pitch on this route (note: I didn't climb pitches 4 or 5). Jan 23, 2009
Mike McKinnon
Golden, CO
Mike McKinnon   Golden, CO
Shame on me for not doing this climb earlier, but all the spray and hype scared me off. The pin is fine. If you have seen the pin on C'est La Vie, then you know what a bad pin is. This pin is nowhere near the catastrophe that the C'est La Vie pin is. I did not use it because as far as 11a's go, this thing is soft. Stem all the way up and reach high left for a bomber lock and pull - all done. I would say you don't even need to place the nut (a la TB). Way easier than Super Slab, Art's Spar, Grandmother's, Sooberb, Tagger.

Get up there and do it. I felt the first pitch was the hardest part of the climb. Oct 5, 2009
John Parnigoni
Golden, CO
John Parnigoni   Golden, CO
I got my redpoint last Wednesday on this route. While trying to make moves above the crux pin, I also considered putting something in the crack above. But then, suddenly... I felt my right fingers in that same crack slip.... right into a bomber Indian Creek style Ring-lock. I knew then, it was safe to proceed without futher protection! Nov 16, 2009
Nate R
Boulder, CO
Nate R   Boulder, CO
The first pitch is much harder than 5.9+.

Grades should reflect reality, right? Not a bunch of old dude's egos. Aug 4, 2010
Adam Brink
on the road
Adam Brink   on the road
To say that Jim Erickson has an ego is nothing short of hilarious. You would be hard pressed to find a more humble man. I met him a while ago and said that I really enjoyed the routes he has put up. In response, he just shook his head, looked down and said, "I haven't really done anything." Come on! It doesn't get more humble than that. Feb 20, 2011
Colorado Springs, CO
  5.10d PG13
jmeizis   Colorado Springs, CO
  5.10d PG13
Climbed this while it was snowing. Linked the first two which was nice, because it warmed me up to lead the third. My opinion on the gear: it's adequate enough. There is bomber gear below the pin. You could break your ankle if you fell before that. You could also be fine. The pin seemed adequate for what would be a light toprope fall if you fell after clipping it. By the time I got close to being above it, I was able to fit a nut in. It's a little rattly, but it would certainly hold a fall. I'd say this isn't a bad climb for a beginning 5.11 leader in Eldo. Apr 20, 2011
Ross Philip
Boulder, Colorado
Ross Philip   Boulder, Colorado
I'd say first pitch is exquisite but a sandbag, certainly harder than "modern" 5.9+ ratings. Second pitch is really nice, too, so even if you are not doing the 5.11 pitch, don't just rap after the first pitch. There are 2 pins and a bolt with rap rings at the end of 2nd pitch. You can just BARELY make it to the bolts and chains above 5.8 crack with a 60m rope. Aug 21, 2012
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
That #10 stopper a foot above the pin on the crux is BOMBER. Well-protected crux me thinks. Jul 7, 2013
Jeff G.
5.11b/c PG13
Jeff G.   Lyons
5.11b/c PG13
Maybe I just wasn't climbing well, but this does not seem like a good introductory 5.11 for Eldo. Seems very hard at the grade.
The pin seems ok, but it certainly isn't bomber. This is a heads up and difficult lead. Sep 15, 2014
Michael Butts
Boulder, Co
Michael Butts   Boulder, Co
I finally sacked up and led this one today. I got the onsight. I have just started leading low 11s this past year. In comparison, I would say that this one is easier than Zip Code or Practice Climb. I wasn't too worried about the pin as I put about 4 cams in right below the pin. The crux is really one or two moves to a really bomber fingerlock. Yes you could put a bomber nut a foot above the pin or just pull the crux on this jug. Then really fun climbing to the top. I highly recommend this route, and I believe it is really safe. May 23, 2017
I climbed this route with my girlfriend yesterday (5/29/17). It's a beautiful climb and every pitch was full value. I rarely comment on mtn.project, but I wanted to let people know that I broke a (potentially) relevant hold in the middle of the 3rd pitch crux move. After placing a 0.75 and a #3 at the base of the bulge (before clipping the fixed pin) I was stemming with my left hand high on the fin feature on the left side of the dihedral. There was a very helpful crimp/3 finger catch on the back side of the fin that broke off. Thankfully my gear held, and I was able to complete the move on my next go. This is my first time on the route, so I'm not sure how if I was doing the move as efficiently as possible, but it certainly felt harder for me without the left hand 'catch'. 3rd pitch was incredible but the broken hold didn't surprise me as most of the pitch felt relatively dirty/chossy. May 30, 2017
Julius Beres
Boulder, CO
Julius Beres   Boulder, CO
I just wanted to comment about the #10 nut/piton for people reading the beta here.

Having read Tony's comment, I thought I would be able to place a solid (blind) nut, prior to a hard move. Perhaps my interpretation of the crux is different, but I could barely reach the piton before committing to what I thought was a hard move. By the time I could reach the nut placement, it was no longer blind, and I had done a few very tenuous stems.

You can then place a nut and small cam above it as well (I used a red C3). Once placed, the rest of the climb is safe, but it is very conceivable to blow it before this placement and fall on the piton.
I'm not sure how I feel about a bolt.

On the one hand, it is not like all these people have done it without safety. The piton may be sketchy, but so far it has held. I feel bad for the last person when it pulls and they break their ankles. Had the FA or others climbed without the piton, I could say this is just the type of route where you have to be prepared to send or break your ankles, but the majority of people climbing have had a piton, that may look sketchy, but so far has held.... So, that is my pro-bolt argument.

Of course, a bolt would change the nature of the climb. Desperately fishing in a nut from a sketchy stem above of a sketchy piton adds to the difficulty. If you had a solid bolt beneath you, you could just fire through the crux. Also, the nut takes away a good finger jam, making the climb harder (choice between good hold and safety). So, a bolt would definitely change the nature.

I'm not arguing either way, but I do see this differently than had there never been protection for the move and it was always a death route, and people want to add a bolt... but mostly, I found Tony's #10 nut comment misleading. I just want it to be clear that you need to do some hard moves (hard for me) with just the piton before you can place that nut. Mar 15, 2018
Justin S
Justin S   CO
P3 Should be climbed with caution, or not climbed, if there are parties below. The top of the pitch has loose rock that would be dangerous if dislodged. Agree with others that the P3 piton backup nut is not easily placed, but it still felt safe-ish to me. Nov 10, 2018