Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Larry Hamilton, Roger Briggs, 1974
Page Views: 8,031 total · 36/month
Shared By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 10, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Pretty good route with a nice finger crack on P1 then a hand and fist crack on P2.

P1. Start in the dihedral in between fins 4 and 3 (fins numbered from R2L). At the top of the large block, move left into the obvious finger crack (8). Jam it up as it arches left and belay just below a small tree around the corner.

P2: Take the large crack up the face (7) to the summit. This pitch you'll need both of those big cams and possibly a few other larger pieces.

Descent: Walk off to the NW along a worn path.


Standard rack plus an extra #1 Friend, and two #3 Camalots (or the like) for pitch two.
Led the first pitch today....short but FUN!!!!!! The second pitch is just as fun in a wide crack sorta way....I give it 3 stars, way cool route. Jan 1, 2001
I also led the first pitch yesterday. I thought it was a lot of fun. Just wish it was longer. The second pitch was also well worth finishing. Jul 2, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
I did this route this morning and after comparing the picture of V3, which shows this route, to what I saw today, I have one question. Who is/are the prick(s) who are trying to kill that little tree at the belay? You really suck and should take a rusty razor blade to your wrist. That little tree barely had anything green on it.

Good route. Aug 25, 2001
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
And yet another cool route in an area that does not see too much traffic. I climbed this in the fall and saw two other people there on a warm and sunny saturday afternoon. One should check out the boulder that is adjacent to the parking area...Shane Mar 14, 2002
Brice W  
Fun climb. Nice to have the crag to ourselves on a busy Saturday afternoon in Eldo. This climb can be done in one pitch with a 60M rope, but I don't recommend doing that unless you are a fan of rope drag. To me, the awkward, slanting crack on p2 (5.7 in Rossiter's guide) felt harder than the nice finger crack on pitch 1. The scramble off is obvious and easy. Aug 22, 2002
Casey Bernal
Wheat Ridge, CO
Casey Bernal   Wheat Ridge, CO
The first pitch felt easy for an Eldo 5.8. There is really only one hard move - and the gear is great for the whole pitch (it might be easier for fat-fingered crack heads). The second pitch felt harder because it is more sustained. At least 2 #3 Camalots for the second pitch as it is sustained at that size. I don't think you need 2 #1 Friends for the first pitch - there are some bomber nut placements and you only need 1 or 2 small cams for the lower section and a couple in the roof, we had green-red Aliens and were fine. Fun climb.

casey bernal Sep 9, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Did this today and agree with Brice W. that P2 (7) crack up high felt harder,more sustained, than the P1 crack at (8). Used arm bars in the wide crack up there, as there are no obvious holds to reach for and shakey stances for (7) climbing on P2. Nonetheless, a good route. I didn't like the looks of the start to the left of the boulder, so I opted for the same start as V3, to the right of the boulder. Once on top of this large rock, you can gain the Gonzo crack by traversing the top of the boulder and stepping across a void. I felt this protected better and was a fun start. Jul 17, 2003
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
A great route with two very distinct pitches. The finger crack under the traversing roof of pitch one looks a lot thinner from the ground than it really is and allows for some solid jams. The second pitch is sustained and by the end (at least for me) the crack was even to wide for a solid arm jam. Fun route though. If the approach was roadside it would be climbed everyday. Jul 18, 2003
watch for a really loose block in the crack on p. 2. there is chalk all over the top as testimony that people have pulled here before, but when you jam between the block and wall of the crack you move the block. After realizing how loose it was, i went out left around it, and that seemed harder than if you pulled on the block for sure, but id hate to rip it out on myself, get hurt, and ruin some poor bastard's day below.Contrary to this web site, i thought gonzo was nicer than V3. Oct 20, 2003
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
You can get away with a single set of cam's for both pitches, if you bring hex's. The crack sucks them right off your rack. Jan 12, 2004
William McGehee
Choctaw, OK
William McGehee   Choctaw, OK
Don't even need the hexs. Just bring finger and big hand-sized cams. Don't even really worry about bringing the mid-size cams. Also, make your anchor immediately after the traverse so you aren't inclined to use the little tree as a belayer's personal anchor. No telling how long that thing will support people.A fun alternative to the walk-off and/or rapping: Walk north approximately 30' to a large downed pine tree. Downclimb the limbs of the dead tree, carefully placing feet on the limbs as close to the trunk as possible. Gets you RIGHT down to the bottom and a rather fun option as well!~Wm Sep 24, 2004
I followed P1 and thought it was fun. I led P2 and thought it was horrid. The leaning crack made the entire pitch really uncomfortable and harder than most of the 5.8s that I've done. There are no rests and not much for feet. In one section the crack becomes too large for jamming adding to the spice. It looks to me like you have to do P2, I didn't see a way to retreat as some of the comments might suggest. I would love to lead P1 but I felt P2 was really awful. I probably won't climb this one again anytime soon. -jason Nov 3, 2004
The first pitch of this one is great, the crux feels spicy but protects very well with a red alien. I agree with the 5.8 rating, however compared to V3 (which is also a great route) this route is more difficult technically IMO. In short, take the hike (which is nothing compared to many approaches) and loose the crowds. enjoy! Apr 4, 2005
Mike McKinnon
Golden, CO
Mike McKinnon   Golden, CO
Did this route last weekend. I did the whole route in one pitch with no rope drag. I placed about 4 pieces o n the lower section and [found] that it was actually easier than the upper section. [Definitely] bring more than one 3 if you want protect it well. I had one 3 and had to run it out quite a bit. Also, at the beginning of the 2nd pitch there is a large loose block wedge in the crack. There is a chalk X marked on it. This block wobbles and is really loose. I had to climb around it making hte climb a little harder than usual. Give it a try and do it in one pitch. Spare the baby tree:) Jul 22, 2005
Kevin Currigan
Kevin Currigan   Lakewood
The BIG loose block/flake is still there-lookout! You may want a good directional on P1 at the top of the block and right at the bottom of the crack. Your belayer is about 30' from you horizontally at this point. Aug 12, 2006
Richard Radcliffe
Louisville, CO
Richard Radcliffe   Louisville, CO
P1: The hard part is short (15-20') culminating in a classic tricky Eldo move to get out of the corner onto the first big ledge. P2: Felt very insecure for a non-crack climber -- I felt more secure leading P1 than following P2. My partner basically used 2 pieces on P2. Hand-sized cam about 10-15' above the belay and then an old blue Camalot (#3 or 4?) that he kept sliding all the way up the crack until almost at the top. Jul 21, 2007
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
Climbed 10.6.2007 with S. Costello. Tried this earlier this spring as one pitch and ran out of large pro on the wide 5.7. I would recommend doing the route as two short pitches 1) to avoid a lot of rope drag and 2) have a full rack of big pieces for the second pitch.

Second pitch is especially cool--plenty of arm-jams but scanty feet in places.

There is a great deal of choss at the top of the route--be VERY careful. On my earlier attempt, I managed to knock off a piece and gash the hand of a woman on the ground--if you're reading this, my sincere apology! Oct 8, 2007
Boulder, CO
tooTALLtim   Boulder, CO
Don't place a lot of gear at the bottom, sling them well, and you'll be loving this as a one pitch route without the awkward belay. Two #2s and #3s were welcome, and I could've put in a #4. Sep 7, 2008
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
Climbed this Saturday, I thought it was better then V3 personally. ?One pitch, long runners, clip the tree to run the rope around the lip of the roof smoothly. A double rack especially in the 1-3.5 range is nice. I really enjoyed the second pitch which I had not done before as I had gone on Deviant in the past. Lots of good jambing in the hands/off hands/fists range. I thought the feet were great as we did this right after Deviant which in comparison is way thinner for the feet. Sep 8, 2008
tony y
Denver, CO
tony y   Denver, CO
Pretty fun route with finger to hands to offwidth size. throwing that right leg into the leaning offwidth up top was awkwardly fun. A couple #3-3.5 Camalots for the top section make things G-rated.

BUT all the loose rock above the route sucked. I ended up belaying from a tree maybe 15 feet above all the loose rock on top and kept worrying if my partner was gonna get taken out by the rope dislodging some death block. Yuck. Is there a better belay at top? Nov 3, 2008
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
I thought this route was fantastic.

The second pitch tops out on an awful pile of stacked choss. The pitch diagonals quite a bit so the belayer is out of harm's way, but being on Deviant or anywhere in that vicinity while someone is up there would be a bad idea.

For the average leader, I would suggest a single set of cams from thin fingers to hand size and doubles of #3 and #3.5 Camalots. Throw in a set of Stoppers and you should have no problems.

Please leave that poor tree alone! Jan 19, 2009
Boulder, CO
kevinnlong   Boulder, CO
Gonzo is an excellent, sustained crack climbing route. Next to other 5.8 classics in Eldorado, such as the Long John Wall, Regguae, and Gambit, it easily holds its own and is actually 5.8 for more than just 5-10 feet.

To squeeze even more crack climbing out of the route, one should crawl through the hole at the base of the climb (under the block between V3 and Gonzo, and start from inside. This will add ~10 feet more of beautiful laybacks. Mar 23, 2009
Count Chockula
Littleton, CO
Count Chockula   Littleton, CO
Climbed this yesterday and thought the P2 off-hands/fist crack was harder than anything on P1, V3, or Ghetto Cruiser. 5.7? Hmmm...maybe for taller folks or those with big hands. I was burying my arms into that crack and never felt super secure with the jams. I thought the move to the reasonable stance just over halfway up the crack was pretty burly for 5.7. If you like to sew things up like I do, three #3s wouldn't hurt.

P1 was excellent. Great finger crack with solid yet committing laybacks for a couple moves at the crux. Jun 28, 2010
Adam McFarren
Boulder, Colorado
Adam McFarren   Boulder, Colorado
Thought pitch 2 was harder than pitch 1 or V3. May have been b/c I left one of the #3 cams at the anchor and had to run it out in the upper section more than I'd like. Pitch 1 sews up, and with all the face holds, the "roof" isn't as hard as it looks. Oct 2, 2010
Ross Hokett
Fayetteville, AR
Ross Hokett   Fayetteville, AR
This route is great the upper pitch is pretty cruiser if you have large hands and the width reminds me of Supercrack. The route definitely seemed easier than V3. Jul 17, 2012
2nd pitch is quite wide. Didn't have anything bigger than a single #2 Camalot. the jams were secure enough, but it was run out. Bring at least 2 #3s. Apr 21, 2014
Keith W
Keith W   Denvah
Both pitches are great. Great stances and moves on the first and excellent jamming and crack work on the second. Leading the second pitch I had 4 #3s, 2 #2s, and a #4 and was able to sew it right up. I thought the whole crack was very secure, because you can always get a right foot. Oct 11, 2016