Type: Trad
FA: John Ruger, Billy Roos, Bob Carmichael, 1972.
Page Views: 8,860 total · 40/month
Shared By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 10, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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A fun and long (~140 feet) pitch, great for a trad leader trying to get comfortable moving above gear. This climb ascends the dihedral between fin 3 and 4. Scramble up to the top of the large block, and then continue up the clean V dihedral. About halfway up a 5.9 finger crack moves left out onto the face for 20 feet before returning to the route. Also, at about the beginning of this variation lies a large loose block on this left face - be careful not to dislodge it! The route is long, so make sure to bring enough quick draws and gear to properly protect it.


A full rack.
Followed this today and what a cool pitch....sustained and long for Eldo. I wanna go back and lead that nice finger crack in the left wall and also Deviant, which looks HARD....saw this strong looking dude hanging on it today.....there's no feet. Led the 2nd pitch of Over the Hill today too, that finger crack has been calling me for the last 2 weeks and finally got to nail it today, very recommended!! Jan 1, 2001
I did this route again, this time with the 5.9 finger crack variation. The variation is fun, but not too long and pretty easy for the grade IMHO. I thought it compared in difficulty to the rest of the route (maybe only slightly harder).

Also, some gear advice: some tricams (0.5, 1) work well and bring a #4 Camalot if you have one to protect a section near the end with two wide cracks on either side. Otherwise, you'll have to run it out slightly, but if you feel comfortable on 5.8 terrain, don't worry about the extra weight. Jun 4, 2001
I led the route yesterday and it ranks as one of my Eldo favorites. I enjoyed it so much that I followed my climbing partner on the same route just minutes after the first climb. I also want to do the finger crack variation. Jul 2, 2001
Brice W  
Great climb, it's like the V-slot on Verschneidung, but longer. Note to budding trad leaders: the climb protects well, except for the wide crack at the top (though it didn't feel too hard there). If you want to sew that up, two #4 Camalots would do the trick. There are good stances for placing gear, but in places the crack is a bit funky and takes a little more thought than just throwing in a cam or nut. Aug 22, 2002
Awesome climb! Brice, you are right on--althought the gear is superb and always right where you want it, placing gear is definitely thoughtful--its not your normal plug-and-chug line. althought it looks line a tight finger crack from the ground, the crack eats up medium cams (green BD, etc), and definitely bring hand size and a larger piece up top (#4 Friend baaarely works), or else you'll be looking at quite a runout.

Also, anyone know if trail crews are gonna hit up Cadillac Crag? It's pretty loose, and I'm so used to nicely terraced benches and steps (Eldo is spoiled :) I saw them working on northern Rincon earlier in the summer, so maybe they're workin' down the line. Oct 13, 2002
James Balasalle  
I tried leading this climb 3 weeks ago. There's a fixed stopper about 25 feet above the large block. After moving above this stopper, I was unable to get a good piece of pro in. The crack there is kinda weird and I didn't want to go higher without a piece. So, after fiddling with gear for way to long, I fell on the fixed stopper. I was unable to get the climb that day.

I just went back and tried it again this weekend. The gear is better above that fixed stopper, I just didn't go up high enough. After finishing the lead, here are my comments: I agree with the other posts, the gear placements are all there, but sometimes a little difficult to find or require a slightly strenuous stance to place it. The V is at an angle that is a little less than 90 degrees. So it can get tight, and your gear can get in the way. It is a pretty long pitch, so bring enough gear, and endurance. I used most of my 50m rope. The wide cracks at the top were not so much a problem for me as the lower sections. I found 2 distinctive crux sections, both relatively sustained, both about 20-25 feet, and both below the wide cracks near the top. Comparing this climb to other 5.8s, I found it to be a little bit harder, especially for a beginining leader (like me) because of the tricky pro and narrow, tight space. But this was my first 5.8 lead in Eldo.

I really enjoyed this climb. It's usually empty, and definitely worth the hike.

Great climb.

Solid 5.8 Nov 20, 2002
Led this yesterday and thought the climb was pretty sustained for it's grade (maybe it was the 50mph gusts and cool temps). An awesome climb, nonetheless. A note about the fixed stopper: if you're counting on using it, it's gone (I removed it with hardly any work). I wouldn't consider the pro tricky there anyway, as previously mentioned, or anywhere else on the route.Also, the double bolt anchors atop Trail of Tears are not set up for rapping (needs webbing or chains), and the belay isn't that comfortable.

Art Veenendaal Jan 20, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
This route is kinda like Triple-S at Seneca in the sense that if you don't stem, it's hard. If you do stem, there are still some moves to consider, but a rest between almost every one of them. Apr 3, 2003
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
As mentioned, very similiar to Veschneidung, only longer. Crux for me was in the middle involving lay backing, while walking up the steep wall. As with Verschneidung, because of the angle of the V, you can use your back to pressure your feet against the wall in this section. Didn't see much to stem with there. Higher, a #4 is needed to sew it up completely, but I climbed it without one, as that move is not that difficult. Top third of this route is pretty casual, the meat is in the middle. Quite a hike up to this crag, but a morning start has you in the cool summer shade, enjoying killer views west to the Divide. Jul 17, 2003
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
Three stars all the way. Solid rock, sustained climbing, and even a shady belay stance! Easy walk-off to the left. Jul 18, 2003
SirVato   Boulder
[Beautiful] long pitch !!! If you are not comfortable with runout sections definitely bring an extra #4 or two aside from your standard rack. As mentioned above the moves through the [runout aren't] very hard. I only brought a #3 Camalot and used it early on in the pitch. Awesome route, fun, long, thought provoking lead. Oh yeah when I was there I clipped a fixed nut and about 15-20 feet up a fixed red Camalot. Couldn't get it out though.!!! Enjoy - PEEEEAAAAACE out!! Oct 15, 2003
Mike b.
Mike b.  
My first climb in Eldo. I thought this was a great climb! Definitely sustained. A little easier than it looked but good fun sustained crack. And the approach ain't that bad compared to other areas I've been to. Look forward to many more climbs in Eldo. Nov 14, 2004
Great route! I chose the non-stemming option while leading this one. I am just getting into finger cracks and found this one a good intro to finger jams and toe work (if not stemming). I did not bring big gear (i.e., the # 4 discussed above) and felt fine. However, without a big piece (hex or cam) the last set of moves out right to the bolts will be EXPOSED and a run out, but the climbing is easier at that point. Enjoy! Apr 4, 2005
Peter Yakovchuk
Tempe, AZ
Peter Yakovchuk   Tempe, AZ
Led this route today just after leading the first pitch of Gonzo. It felt definitely harder than Gonzo P1. Long, very sustained, and it looks like there are several cruxes on the route. IMHO, it is better not to use the anchor at the top at all, it looks quite shitty and hard to reach. May 21, 2006
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
The bird shit was not there the first time I climbed this route (many years ago), but it was there yesterday. Let's hope for some heavy rain.... Sep 18, 2006
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
I onsighted this one today and just had a great time. I linked both pitches, but unfortunately ran out of slings. Definitely keep that #4 for when the crack gets wide and splits before a large chockstone you have to haul on to get over. If you use it lower like I did, you can bury a #2 deep to the left. You can get a nut in on the right side of the chockstone before you climb over it. And from time to time see if you can stem the feature instead of puting your feet in the crack. Some awesome no hands rests that way. Oct 29, 2006
Richard Radcliffe
Louisville, CO
Richard Radcliffe   Louisville, CO
Loads of thick, gooey bird crap up near where the .9 variation rejoins the dihedral (7/20/07). We chose to cut left onto Heartbreaker [aka Never Cry Wolf], a superb, thin face climb. Jul 20, 2007
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
Climbed 10/6/07 with S. Costello. This is a fine, high-quality pitch. Keep the #4 cam for the wide bit. I was surprised to find my #2 and #1 Camalots still on my rack when I finished it. There are numerous excellent nut placements and a lot of good spots for medium to large hexes (#6-#12) if you've got them.

The fixed anchor is not so good and would require a hanging belay. Unfortunately there are not many options for a trad anchor either. Beware the choss! Oct 8, 2007
Kyle P.
Lander, WY
Kyle P.   Lander, WY
Climbed yesterday and loved it. A few cruxes with ample protection. The bird shit exists and the wind was deafening, however despite the complaints on the top anchor, the hanging belay on the right wasn't terrible and the following walk-off was easy. Choose between walk-off and a double rope rappel. Have Fun! Apr 16, 2008
Ryan Malarky
Fort Collins, CO
Ryan Malarky   Fort Collins, CO
Climbed this last week. Really fun climb. For the anchor on top, I was able to run an open loop of rope to an anchor around the large pine about 20 feet back from the top of V3. By clove hitching it back to my harness, I was able to sit right on the edge and watch my second the whole time without having to hang off the awkward-looking bolt anchor. This was with a 60m rope. Jun 18, 2008
Tony T.
Denver, CO
Tony T.   Denver, CO
Was able to climb this today, in January! I love living in Colorado!

Turned out to be an amazing day of 50ish degree sunshine.

We used a 70 meter rope and it was too short. However, it was sufficient enough to get us to comfortable downclimbing spot.

Also, when you set up anchors at the top, you can place a few directional draws on the way down for the 5.11b next to it! Great fun. Jan 18, 2010
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
Regarding the comment that a 70m rope is too short. Too short for what? It is an easy walk off to climbers left from the top. No need to rappel this one. Jan 18, 2010
Phill T
Phill T  
A 70m will put you at a nice stance about 15 feet off the ground, easy downclimbing. Just watch your ends on the way down!

As for the route, probably my favorite pitch of 5.8 ever! Not too sustained, good gear, great movement. I had a single #4 and used it before the 'double wide crack' section at the top. Another would have been nice for the head, but it's pretty easy ground. You can avoid the hanging belay by going straight back from the top of the climb onto the next headwall, plenty of cracks to make your own anchor. Or the tree at the top of Gonzo, although it's a bit out of the line of the climb. Mar 8, 2010
Evan S
Erie, CO
Evan S   Erie, CO
Bird poo central, but that just add to the ambiance, right? Probably the easiest 5.8 I've been on in my life. A few backsteps and minor stems make it a cinch. Jun 27, 2010
Count Chockula
Littleton, CO
Count Chockula   Littleton, CO
I followed this pitch so maybe my perception is a bit skewed, but I thought Ghetto Cruiser was noticeably harder. I didn't find V3 to be very sustained either. I found that jamming the crack was pretty secure, so I didn't stem too much at all. Would like to go back and see what it's like on lead. Jun 28, 2010
James Hulett
Boulder, Colorado
James Hulett   Boulder, Colorado
Awkward five 8. Three of us did it all with different tactics. I did less stemming and more foot jamming and it was fun! Bear hug near the top. Jun 17, 2011
Ross Hokett
Fayetteville, AR
Ross Hokett   Fayetteville, AR
Fun route that I really struggled with, much more difficult than Gambit and upper Gambit variation. Oct 31, 2011
Nice climb that's well worth the approach hike. Seemed easy for the grade. May 15, 2013
Good climb, sustained, and straightforward for Eldo. #4 certainly helps for the top section. Apr 21, 2014
Aki K
Westminster, CO
Aki K   Westminster, CO
I led this route yesterday (7/13/14), and it was super fun. I'd do it again for sure. I used crack system and jammed fingers and feet all the way. For a small person like myself, the last 10ft or so was kind of like a baby offwidth, but I jammed my entire legs and used my body as a cam. Gonzo and V3 are must 5.8 routes in this crag! Jul 14, 2014
Jake Dickerson
Lander, WY
Jake Dickerson   Lander, WY  
A #4 Camalot would definitely help at the top. I saw anchor rings at the top right. To end the climb, I traversed left and belayed off a tree. Aug 30, 2015
Keith W
Keith W  
Good long moderate and very enjoyable (minus the bird poop). A couple of spots will definitely put you a bit above your last piece, but the moves are straightforward. I liked having 2 #3, 2 #2s, and doubles in off finger sizes too. A #4 was nice to have up top. Solid 5.8 and worth the hike. Oct 11, 2016
David Ponak
Longmont, Colorado
David Ponak   Longmont, Colorado
I felt it was easier than Verschneidung (5.7), but I think they both should rated 5.8. May 31, 2017