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Road Rash Roof

5.12a, Sport, 100 ft,  Avg: 2.8 from 65 votes
FA: Alan Nelson, 1997
Colorado > Golden > Clear Creek Canyon > High Wire Crag
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures & Rockfall Mitigation Project - Completed Details
Access Issue: Closure 8/22/18-10/16/18 7a-5p weekdays Details


Road Rash Roof looks a bit intimidating from the ground (and it looks intimidating from just underneath the roof as well), but the climbing is well protected and very secure. Begin on a sparsely protected slab to the right of the dark gully with Jackpot on its left side. Rolofson's guide calls the slab 5.9, but don't believe it. A tricky move crosses a small prow below the roof, and this is certainly a 5.10 section. To launch the roof, turn out and look straight away from the crag. Jugs, to a heel hook, to a jam, to a crimp along with some big juice will get you over this grunt, and the crux is pulling over the roof on the crimp. Gotta love Alan for that move! If you bring the muscle, this route is a kick; if you are feeling soft, pick a face route. Three stars for good continuity, well-protected, and the chance to launch through a big roof.


QDs only and some slings for below the roof. This route has an 85 feet rap for close to 100 feet of climbing. It makes a very poor top rope problem, and the best ascent is to climb both partners to the top and rap with a 60m rope.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Pulling the big roof with a nice heel hook.
[Hide Photo] Pulling the big roof with a nice heel hook.
Finishing the crux sequence - get the right hand and stand up.
[Hide Photo] Finishing the crux sequence - get the right hand and stand up.
Pullin' tha lip! Heel hook for the win!
[Hide Photo] Pullin' tha lip! Heel hook for the win!
Ryan Fiore on Road Rash Roof.
[Hide Photo] Ryan Fiore on Road Rash Roof.
Ryan Fiore clipping the crux draw on Road Rash Roof.
[Hide Photo] Ryan Fiore clipping the crux draw on Road Rash Roof.
Dane vs. Goliath.
[Hide Photo] Dane vs. Goliath.
Ryan Fiore pulling out of the roof.
[Hide Photo] Ryan Fiore pulling out of the roof.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] A great route with a fun crux section. Lean out using the big jugs under the roof to the crux. An acrobatic move is necessary as the feet are needed while trying the roof ledge. Try a heel hook above your head if your upper body or fingers are not very stout. Then use the crack to lean against while rocking onto the heel hooking foot. A very thrilling crux move that everybody sould try! Jul 22, 2003
Jesse Ryan
[Hide Comment] Very Fun! Oct 9, 2003
[Hide Comment] Get your right heel way up high so you can move your left hand up next to it then campus. It ain't often the holds are good enough to do this, and the fall is so clean. Use a long draw under the roof and a super shorty above the roof to avoid the rope getting stuck in the crack as you turn the roof. Jun 7, 2004
richard magill
[Hide Comment] I just had a mountain bike wreck that left me with some serious road rash, so it seemed doubly appropriate to do this route in my current condition.

Pretty fun - a one move wonder, but it is a very interesting crux with cool exposure.

Be careful not too lower off the end of the rope! Tie a knot in the end. A 60M rope will get you close enough to scramble down, but won't get you all the way.

Also, it is much easier to clean this on a top rope, rather than cleaning on the way down.This route arcs up and right so it is somewhat of a hassle to get back to your gear as you lower. Jul 29, 2004
chris deulen
Castle Rock
[Hide Comment] I had a great time heeling with my right, then switching to my left and mantling to a hold out right. Many variations! Aug 13, 2004
[Hide Comment] I climbed this route the other day. It was really fun, but when I got to the anchors, there was a red sling around it. So, I had lower off the bolt before the anchor. Just wondering if anybody knows what's wrong with it? Jun 15, 2005
Derek Lawrence
[Hide Comment] Fun route! Basically 60 ft of 5.9 to a V4 to 20 ft of 5.8 (the 5.10 mentioned in the description above is easily avoided by climbing left of the 4th bolt, rather than straight over it)

There are now chains w/ a ring at the anchors. A 60m will just get you to the sloping ramp. Jul 21, 2006
Dean Cool
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Fun one move wonder though the climbing is fun above and below the crux roof. Put a long draw/sling at the bolt under the roof. Lots of rope drag if you dont! Apr 3, 2010
Adam Peters
Salt Lake City, Utah
[Hide Comment] Maybe you should go back to New York then, you guys are so much better with your real ratings out there. Man, I wish I could downgrade stuff, too! May 17, 2010

[Hide Comment] Definitely a silly comment, as I have climbed routes at the Gunks (particularly roof cracks) that seemed pretty fluff rated. May 18, 2010
[Hide Comment] FUN route! The climbing up to the roof is heady but not difficult. You get to the roof, turn around, and WOW, can we say exposed! But as you lean out over nothing on those awesome jugs, it's just amazing! One of the most fun routes I've climbed anywhere, just for those few moves on the roof and pulling the crux on the lip. The clip just over the lip with the heel hook is classic and awesome!

I second D's Nutz's suggestion on putting a long (like 2 ft, using a sling) draw under the roof...a 20cm draw is NOT long enough to avoid massive rope drag. And, to make it even smoother, put a long draw below that one, too. MUCH better. Jun 24, 2010
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] My friend trying the lip move.… Sep 6, 2012
[Hide Comment] Great roof! The route is not very sustained, but the roof is well worth it! Jul 26, 2013
Castle Rock, CO
[Hide Comment] A couple people above said "throw a high heelhook", three of the photos for this route also showed people getting a heelhook way high. Does that beta actually work for anyone? I tried the high heelhook, and all it did was getting me stuck in a weird body position.

The climbing up to the roof is pretty interesting. Under the roof is all dirty and sandy, with some bird poop here and there. The sequence going out from the roof and pulling the lip is really fun and quite unique. I would give this route 3 stars if the difficulty was more consistent.

My 60-meter rope actually got me all the way to the ground from the anchor, BUT I did fall a few times at the roof, so maybe it stretched out? In any case, tie a knot on the end of your rope just to be sure, and maybe take a victory whip at the anchor to stretch out the rope. :) Jun 6, 2015
[Hide Comment] Someone told me the right heel hook beta the same day I sent this. Instead of pulling left of the the crack, my friend and I went to the right. You can throw a left heel, then with a sidepull and small rails, you delicately rock over back into the crack. Lots of fun. I'll have to try the right heel next time. Feb 24, 2016
Derek Plafcan
Golden, co
[Hide Comment] Fun roof problem but a bit of a pain to clean. The description is right in that the best way to clean would be to either belay the 2nd from the anchor, or simply have someone clean on a big old scary toprope. I left a double-length sling in the roof and another QD on the next hanger. The rope-drag in combination with a potential swing while lowering didn’t make me feel warm and fuzzy, like I prefer. If the draws are still there and you’re going to use them, please make sure they’re in good condition, as they will need to be replaced at some point in the future. Great route nonetheless! Mar 19, 2018
Conor Jonson
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] The bolt in the roof and the one after were both loose, I hand tightened them. Could use a wrench for sure. Apr 6, 2019