Type: Trad, TR, 70 ft
FA: ...Jim Walsh, 1970
Page Views: 8,308 total · 38/month
Shared By: Ben Schneider on Mar 30, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


This is a steep and wonderful crack littered with big jugs. This is also the site of the conception of ClimbingBoulder. To get there, continue up the West Ridge trail past Long John Wall for a couple hundred yards. You'll also pass the [prominent] R-facing dihedrals of Chianti and Break on Through. As the slope of the hill shallows out, look for a short cliff right next to the trail with several cracks. You've gone too far if the trail has departed the cliff bottom.

The route starts up the steep crack on the right side of the wall (5.9). After about 20 feet you can move left and up to a tree. Or you can go straight up through the crux (5.10a). Walk off to the left.


Small and medium nuts. Up to a #2 Camalot. 50 feet long. Can also take easy scramble from the left to set a top rope.
When I did this, I definitely thought 5.9, but no way does it reach 10a. I thought the crux was hard, but once you find the hold, which can be hard to see at first, then [it's] really not bad at all. Jan 1, 2001
Michael Komarnitsky
Seattle, WA
Michael Komarnitsky   Seattle, WA  
Well protected the whole way... but don't overprotect. I made that mistake and got pumped up 2/3 of the way up the route since I spent so much time fiddling with gear. Jul 29, 2001
Jeff Lockyer
Canmore, AB
Jeff Lockyer   Canmore, AB
Not sure what they were thinking when they rated this 10a ? I [don't] think anyway you do this, unless you [do it one-armed], it can even touch a 10 rating. The rating seems very out of place for [Eldorado], as most of the 10s I have been on have been pretty hard, but not in this case, if you are a 5.8 leader looking to get into 5.9's with good gear, hop on this one. Have fun. Nov 3, 2001
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
it is supposed to be 10- if you go straight up at the end, not sneaking either left nor right, which is 9+. It is only one slightly tricky move if you go straight up and it is easier than Green Spur, Cest La Vie, Werk Supp, and Touch and Go. My first 5.9 trad lead. Feb 9, 2002
Funny comments. Personally I totally agree, the climb seems technically easy. However, not all climbers are alike. One fine day in the mid '80s, while hiking up West Ridge alone, intent on soloing this very route, I heard some strange shreiking noises up ahead. I stumbled across an unpleasant scene. One Mary Riddel, after cruising up the crux of Break On Through for her first 5.10 lead (see Break On Through for interesting comments on its rating), was expecting to be able to hike Positively Fourth Street. Alas, she ran out of gas near the top and was taking repeated and dramatic lobs (with loud screams and curses) much to the embarrasment of her quaking belayer. Her mood (somewhere between frustrated and murderous) was not helped by my showing up and (shameful to admit) soloing it while she watched. If the rating feels soft, it is because this pitch is juggy and has no rests. Gym/sport-climb trained climbers just eat up this stuff, whereas (in the old days) 5.9+ Eldo-trained leaders used to thin edging, cracks, stemming and training in Juanitas might not have the finger strength to finish. I guess as climbing evolves, ratings should change to reflect this. Feb 17, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Any climb that can be done in sloppy Tevas by slobs like me can't be 5.10. 5.9 power-endurance, is that an oxymoron? A boy climb. Way easier than Break On Through; betta gear, too. Mar 7, 2002
James Balasalle
James Balasalle  
Just like the gym: big holds, slightly overhaning (in parts), and pretty pumpy. Great gear. I agree with Crusher, not too many rests (least I couldn't find 'em). I fell seconding it, so it'll be a while before I lead it... Apr 15, 2003
Boulder, CO
Jeremy   Boulder, CO
Great route with really good gear. Felt much like a sport route to me. I stayed to the right and used a little of the arete and a sloper toward the top. It didn't feel harder than 9 to me. Jul 6, 2004
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
Led this one yesterday. This route is a gym rats' dream. The climb is entirely overhanging and has no rests to get you off your hands. After doing a couple of other climbs, I tried to fire up this one as fast as possble before burning out. But, alas I had to hang on my gear a few times till my forearms could recover. Outstanding route with excellent pro! Mar 7, 2005
Jim Erickson
Jim Erickson  
Although I always seem to get credit for leading the first ascent of this climb, it was actually my long-time climbing partner, Jim Walsh, who led an excellent, ground-up first ascent here, via the Direct Finish. I merely belayed him and followed the pitch. A very fun climb, which is way, way too short. I still have my original writeup of the route that I gave to Pat for High Over Boulder. In accordance with the standards of the day, we graded the route 5.8- if you went left at the top, or 5.9- if you did the direct finish!!!

Jim Erickson Sep 20, 2005
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
IMO its the easiest 10a on west ridge. Especially if in the last 5' you reach out right to the corner and lay back with the left hand to reach the jug...suppose if you completely commit to the crack with both hands it would be 10a, but this route has so many hold options. I instinctively reached out to the right corner and sent it with little difficulty. Fun route nonetheless.Ernie Sep 25, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
It seems to me Jim already voted in at 5.8- "old school". I think of it kind of like a easy gym climb - if you don't run out of power you'll find it easy. But if you over-grip and try to place pro every few feet you may run out of gas and fall off. So with all the gym training these days it probably makes it feel easier. However, I believe it has logged a few serious accidents over the years due to leaders pumping out while gunning for the top. Sep 26, 2005
Peter Yakovchuk
Tempe, AZ
Peter Yakovchuk   Tempe, AZ
Led this route yesterday. I suspect it is not 5.9+ at all, better grade is probably 5.9- and really the direct finish is no harder than the rest of the route. It felt MUCH easier than the first pitch of Werk Supp, for example. Anyway, good climb. Oct 8, 2006
Paul Hunnicutt
Boulder, CO
Paul Hunnicutt   Boulder, CO
This is kind of like a face climb that happens to have a crack in the middle of it. Yes, it felt very gym like climbing. Relatively straightforward movement. Good gear and maybe the crux is that last move, but felt pretty Eldo 5.9ish. Maybe a bit harder if you get pumped, because the rests are not so straightforward. Easy to then TR the other climbs to the left and run some quick laps. Feb 9, 2008
boulder, CO
grant.rudd   boulder, CO
I would say 5.8+ tops. I climbed this with a stitched up finger, and couldn't really use the crack which made the crux harder, but all the holds were massive. I would feel confident leading this guy, even though I am a mediocre 5.7 trad leader. Apr 15, 2009
Cale Farnham  
Thought this line was awsome! Did this after a warm up on sister morphine and thought it would be an easy walk up due to the stellar feet and hands but soon realized I was wrong! Got to the top pumped up as a bike tire and barely topped out! Super fun route super pumpy! Sep 7, 2009
NickinCO   colorado
Underestimated this route, got to the crux with my last piece about 10' below me. Luckily it wasn't too terribly difficult. Sport climbers will probably find this route pretty easy. Place gear quickly and climb fast. Feb 27, 2012
San Francisco, CA
JLV   San Francisco, CA
Such an awesome route! Dec 4, 2014
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Maybe easy 5.9. 5.9+ only if you completely refuse to use the crack (i.e. finger injury). Jan 25, 2015
Ben D.
Ben D.   Colorado
Ditto on the comment to not overprotect this climb. I did just that, sewing up the beautiful crack with WAY too much gear. As a result, I was completely pumped out halfway through the climb, and it took all I had just to finish the the easier, left exit at the top. Climbed it again after the gear was cleaned and cruised it through the harder straight-up finish. I couldn't figure out how to use the crack on the very last move but was able to reach far right for a sloper to make the final move.

Really fun climb but still pumpy whether you lead it or TR it! Oct 10, 2016
Climbed this again after many years. Still feels pumpy! My thought on the grade is that in 1970 when this route went up it was all on nuts. That would have been wayyyy harder and thus a higher grade of 10a even though the moves feel 5.9 for us now. After running up the arete, I was happy to have the mental comfort of a bomber yellow Alien and C3, placed down left a bit and quickly, before the business. Can't imagine hanging out to place nuts all the way up this sucker and still having the gas to finish. Feb 4, 2019