Type: Trad
FA: Jim & Dave Erickson (FFA)
Page Views: 5,144 total · 24/month
Shared By: slevin on Jul 9, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

119 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Looking for a well-protected, challenging 5.9 crack to climb? Eldo feeling a bit too greasy in this heat? If so, the shady "West Face" (a misnomer- this is a crack climb for the most part) route on Bell Buttress is for you. Locate this little beauty as the right-most of three crack systems right of Cosmosis. Climb the crack in the shallow right-facing corner, over a roof at a big flake, to a 2-bolt belay.

Rappel (watch you don't miss the ledge!) or continue up the system to the top of the rock (a bit of wandering around). Solid 5.9!


Doubles, wired nuts, TCUs to 3" cams. A 50m rope is OK for lowering.


Great climb. A must do! Before the roof place some bomber pro, because the moves over the roof are scary since all I could find to protect them is small wires (2-#3s). Yikes!! Jul 25, 2001
I have to agree....went and led this yesterday and it is definately one of the best pitches of crack climbing in Boulder Canyon... exciting, steep, sustained, FUN.... The part above roof is a bit thin, but easy stemming will get you to the anchors if you stay left (easier than it looks/seems). RECOMMENDED.... Jul 26, 2001
Michael Walker
Loveland, CO
Michael Walker   Loveland, CO
This one is rising as one of my favorite pitches in Boulder Canyon. I absolutely loved it. There are so many good moves on this climb (fingerlocks, stems, laybacks, a couple roofs to manueaver - the second and crux roof is a GAS) that I had a perm-a-grin all afternoon.

Three stars. Cosmosis drew me to the area, West Face and West Crack will have me coming back! Jul 13, 2002
If you want to continue . . . climb straight up on easy terrain past the rap anchor to a ledge. Above you is a lonely piton and not much pro -- that's 15, "Headwall." Instead, traverse R thru a bit of brush, then up the dihedral. Good pro, fun roof, then very easy climbing. P2 is just over 100' Jul 19, 2002
Ernie Port
Boulder, Colorado
Ernie Port   Boulder, Colorado
Led this tonight...IMO it's the best (9) trad route on Bell and ranks high as best at the grade in the entire canyon. The move right off the top of the small pinacle just past the roof is awesome...took me awhile to find the hidden hold up high. Great position there. The entire route is well-protected and interesting. A must do.... Sep 10, 2003
About ten feet up the route a shallow right facing corner starts. This corner lasts for about ten feet, at which point you are standing beneath the roof. Near the top of where the corner runs out, on the left face, a series of flakes exist. The first one I encountered was well chalked but extremely loose and I avoided using it. After finishing the route, my friend ripped this leg-sized flake loose with very minimal effort. The scariest part about leaving this thing in place would be what would happen to the belayer directly below. So.... the route has not changed in quality or difficulty (you'd be nuts to use that flake, but the chalk indicated that lost of people had and it was only a matter of time before someone yarded on it just a little too much), and should be cleaner, but just be aware of that spot. JGH Sep 22, 2003
Boulder, CO
pfwein   Boulder, CO
This is rated 9+ in my guide (Boulder Climbs North), which I think is accurate. Jun 4, 2006
The West Face contains one of the best knee bars that I've ever done on natural rock. The knee bar is of the horizontal type. Your left toe fits into a notch and your left knee is pushed up against a corner just below the first roof. At this position, you can comfortably place a RP and a number 5 BD nut to protect the roof. The knee bar provides a nice rest for a sustained old school 5.9 route. Jun 29, 2009

Yeah, I kind of thought so, too. Jun 30, 2009
prod. Kenny
Boulder, Co
prod. Kenny   Boulder, Co
Great climb. Sort of runout, mildly, after the roof.

Prod. Apr 29, 2012
There is a placement for a #0 Metolius in the crack on the right side of the fin when you are standing on the pedestal before pulling the roof. The placement is relatively good, and it gives the leader a piece at the roof. Oddly, "West Face" is much more of a pure crack climb (below the roof) than "West Crack," which uses the face much more. Jun 9, 2012
Joe Brannan
Lyons, CO
Joe Brannan   Lyons, CO
I've climbed quite a bit of 9 in the area recently, and this was a step up in difficulty. Felt more challenging than Dead Can Dance on Avalon or Hair City on the Bastille. Also harder than West Crack IMO. Jul 11, 2013