Type: Sport Fixed Hardware (8)
FA: FA: Alan Nelson. FFA: Jimmy Menendez, Fall, 1999
Page Views: 7,040 total · 32/month
Shared By: Nate Weitzel on Mar 31, 2001 with improvements by Joseph Crotty
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures & Rockfall Mitigation Project - Completed Details


This is the best and hardest line on the Dog House formation. The route pulls through the big overhang just left of Big Dog, and cranks through the roof on small crimps to a good jug. Some interesting moves up the overhung beginning gain a beautiful rest, followed by the crux sequence on small holds.


Per Joseph Crotty: 8 bolts and a two bolt anchor with chains & permadraws.
Nate Weitzel
Nate Weitzel  
The rating that I listed on this route was after talking with the climber from Golden who told me that he got the First Free Ascent of the route, with Rolofson's permission. He rated it 12c. There definitely is a great no-hands rest if you find the appropriate kneebar right before you pull the crux moves. The crux is tough, but not any more difficult than any of the moves on Sucking My Will to Live at the Primo Wall. Sucking is my benchmark for 12c in the canyon as it is a tough 12c. Mighty Dog is not really comparable to the Anarchy wall routes because of the very overhung nature of the route. But, believe me, there are some trick foot beta and kneebars on Mighty Dog that give you excellent rests on this route, paring down the crux to the two bolt section before the lip. Aug 2, 2001
Holy uninspiring climbs, Batman! Got all psyched up to do this overhanging route, and poof, a cush drilled pocket right off the ground. No matter, keep going for the roof, ok, get ready to grip out under the roof on non-positive holds--it "is" 12c, after all--and woof! my hand disappeared into an enormous overstuffed barcalounger-comfortable hold, then another, and another! What a let-down. came down, and went to the gym to feel what a good manufactured route feels like. Dec 11, 2002
Or maybe that was the line next to it. Dec 11, 2002
Nate Weitzel
Nate Weitzel  
AC: I think you are referring to the line next to mighty dog, called fiddler on the roof. Completely manufractured holds through the roof, quite disappointing if you were not expecting it. MIghty Dog however is natural as far as I know and a worthy line that actually holds the grade of 12c. Try it.

Dec 12, 2002
Kris S
Gunbarrel, CO
Kris S   Gunbarrel, CO
Has anyone climbed the sloper sequence that traverses under the roof? It climbs much more solid rock and doesn't depend on the climber having pencil-thin fingers. This variation doesn't require skipping any clips, but does decrease the difficulty of the roof slightly in my opinion. Thoughts? Feb 26, 2008
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
I replaced that ratty old sling at the crux with a newer draw. The shorter draw does not affect rope drag and is much easier to clip in the wind. If someone would rather put a sling up there, I will gladly take my draw back. Feb 29, 2008
Adam Peters
Salt Lake City, Utah
Adam Peters   Salt Lake City, Utah
Probably needs a chain for that draw. In between a normal bone and that long sling size. Weren't there chains up there before? Mar 2, 2008
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
The new draw works for me, but I clipped it when I was past it. The long sling before let you clip before committing to the flake crimps. Either way is fine. The rest of the bolts have chain draws as of yesterday. Mar 2, 2008
Jamie gatchalian
denver, co
Jamie gatchalian   denver, co
The first crimp in the crux (after the glued jug) isn't so bad to clip off of as long as you work your feet correctly. Apr 24, 2008
SAL   broomdigiddy
I clipped off Gatch's beta.
There is a big ol foot out under the roof to the left that made this much easier.

There is probably a drilled pocket on every climb on this wall. Nature of the beast at the dong wall. Jan 19, 2009
D@n Morta
Boulder, CO
D@n Morta   Boulder, CO
'There definitely is a great no-hands rest if you find the appropriate kneebar right before you pull the crux moves.'

Can anyone describe the no-hands rest kneebar before the crux? Nate? Feb 8, 2009
SAL   broomdigiddy
The knee bar that I used was before clipping the bolt before the roof. After traversing out on the rails, firing to the crimp and pulling up you can sink your right knee in to lock off and make an easy rest and clip before pulling up to the roof. Feb 18, 2009
Kai Huang
Aurora, CO
Kai Huang   Aurora, CO
Matt "Hip Hop" MCkee crushing The Mighty Dog, 12c, at Clear Creek Canyon, Golden, CO.

Watch it in HD.


Short man's beta.

youtube.com/watch?v=2nro65f… Apr 12, 2009
Mark Rolofson
Boulder, CO
Mark Rolofson   Boulder, CO
The first free ascent of this route was by Jimmy Menendez in Fall 1999. After having climbed in Clear Creek since 1991, I have a very hard time calling this route only 5.12c. I have done Sucking My Will To Live, Anarchitect, Great Escape, Ken T'ank, Maestro, Head Like A Hole (to mention a few 5.12c & 5.12d climbs). All these routes were easier than Mighty Dog. I have also watched other climbers on this route. Some of them 5.13 climbers. The ratings I have heard vary from 5.12d to 5.13a/b. If you are tall and skinny with pencil fingers, it will be easier to get your fingertips in the flake in the ceiling than if you have fat fingers. Still, Great Escape on the Wall Of Justice is a much easier route. Perhaps Mighty Dog doesn't cater to my strengths, but I have learned I am not the only one. Feb 10, 2011
Hank Caylor
Glenwood Springs, CO
Hank Caylor   Glenwood Springs, CO  
Not in the same category, not even a little. mountainproject.com/v/color… Feb 21, 2011
Keith H. North
Englewood, CO
Keith H. North   Englewood, CO
Mr. Nick, I am 100% with you.

Using Mighty Dog as comparison, WHAT??? the softest 12c in the canyon....
Mighty Dog is not 13a, compare it to Sonic Youth, now post broken hold widely accepted 13a, or Anarchitect (spelling unsure) stiff 12d, or Pizza Dick, 12c all three routes harder than Mighty Dog.

Either way, ratings are so subjective they are just a starting point, and it's not as if any of us 12/13 climbers are getting sponsored. Jul 7, 2011
gordwah   colorado
I am 12 yrs old and around 5'1", have done around twenty or so 5.12s outside, and have been working on a 5.13a proj. Mighty Dog is equally cruxy and pumpy. Mighty Dog is pumpy enough where I would give it a 12d/13a grade, because even though the moves are technically not that hard, it provides enough pump because of the extreme overhang to make the moves feel 5.12d/13a. However, if I was 2 or three inches taller, I would have crushed this route. Feb 18, 2012
Boulder, CO
Train4life   Boulder, CO
I personally thought that this was easier than Big Dog (I probably didn't do the right beta...who knows?). I think it is mid-range 12c but not a particularly stout one and certainly not 12d/13a...but who cares...it's fun as hell. Get on the climb and just have a blast! Really great climb, the flake is sharp as hell and can make the top painful and not as fun, but the rest of the climb is awesome! Mar 16, 2015
Many of the holds have epoxy holding them onto the wall. Sure hope it holds up some of these flakes you pull on! Nonetheless, a cool route with some interesting movement! Dec 18, 2016
Joseph Crotty
Broomfield, CO
Joseph Crotty   Broomfield, CO
I replaced bolt seven as it was a spinner. Extraction revealed it was also bent. However, while extracting it (i.e,. spin and pull technique), the wedge cone sheared off when a section of surface rock adjacent to the edge of the hole dinner plated. Moved the hole left about four inches. The new bolt is a bomber 16mm (> half inch) glue-in. Apr 8, 2018
Noah McKelvin
Colorado Springs
Noah McKelvin   Colorado Springs
I'm surprised no one uses the lower sequence at the crux section. Much more enjoyable for big fingered folks. Mar 13, 2019
Collen Boudreaux
Denver, CO
Collen Boudreaux   Denver, CO
East Coast climber, so my experience is coming from the New in West Virginia. Honestly not to start anything, but it felt soft for the grade. I've climbed 12a's that were way more demanding than this guy. Don't get me wrong, it's a beautiful route with great clipping stance and mostly bomber holds. Just the crux move was tricky but luckily saw a guy run up it. Still new to the area, so can't compare it to anything in the canyon. Apr 14, 2019