Type: Trad, 2 pitches Fixed Hardware (2)
FA: FFA - Jim Erickson and John Behrens
Page Views: 7,586 total · 36/month
Shared By: Ben F on Jul 13, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


First, let me state that I am amazed how many routes in the Eldo data base have 3 stars. Don't let this 2 star rating dissuade you - I'm keeping things in perspective. This route is as good as most of the "3 star" routes in the vicinity.

P1. For the first pitch (10-), you need to be adept at crack climbing. It has a section of wide hands and fists. Also, this short pitch is rather polished, so watch your foot placements carefully. There are a couple of choices for establishing a belay at the end of the first pitch. Take the one that suits you best. We opted to stay low at the first large ledge to avoid the fumes of bird excrement.

P2. Move up into what can best be described as a twin crack system. Take this upward and move right into a right-facing dihedral. This dihedral is mostly thin, but as I mentioned earlier, a #3.5 Friend (or 2) may have worked. I also managed a #1 Camalot, but a #2.5 Friend may have worked a little better. I got a wobbly, but decent nut at a weird block in the crack near the crux. Anyway, you will know when you get to the business. It looked like persons taller than myself may have moved slightly right at the crux. I pretty much had to go straight-up.

My best advice for someone considering this climb is to 1) be able to crack climb; 2) have good footwork, including stemming; and 3) be comfortable doing cruxes a little above your gear.

There is a 5.9 variation, where you stay left/straight above the first pitch. I only glanced at it and it looked good and may protect better than the 11- pitch. A couple parties that did it earlier and did the climb in one pitch.

Erickson's book rated P1 5.9 and P2 10-!


Bring a standard rack at least up to a #4 Friend. A #4 Camalot was placed on the first pitch by my partner. I possibly could have used a #3.5 Friend on the mid/upper part of the 2nd pitch. At the top of the crux pitch, work up and left to a belay tree from which you will need 2 ropes to rappel to the ground. Also, save a 0 TCU/blue Alien for the crux pitch.
We did the 5.9 variation on the second pitch and it was nice, though it felt pretty hard for 5.9 (harder than Werk Supp or Over the Hill top pitch I thought). Also there is a dead bird in the crack of the 2nd pitch (yuck). As for the first pitch, 0 stars in my book. I am mostly a crack climber and even like weird grungy things but this has more bird crap on it than I have seen in a long time (there was another comment about this but maybe it got lost). Add to that the less-than-enjoyable polished, slippery feet and you have, in my opinion, an unappealing pitch. Maybe it would be a little better on a less hot, humid day, but I could not figure out why this was considered such a great climb. Jul 17, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
Erik, you must have done that thing the within a day of us, since the bird looked "fresh". I forgot to mention the dead bird and figured it would make a good surprise. I think the thing is as good as the Green Spur or Grandmother's Challenge (10-, not c). Of course, in addition to being a crack afficianado, I enjoy technical dihedrals like the 2nd pitch. Jul 17, 2001
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
I can't believe you could give this climb a 11-, pitch 2 has good feet and two great hand jams coming out of the alcove. Orginal grades are fair 5.9+ and 10-. I loved this route. Oct 10, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
Ross, Rossiter's guide gives P2 an 11-. If you were to call the 2nd pitch 10+ and maybe even 10, I wouldn't argue. Ratings are subjective. My second thought the rating was close enough. At the crux (for me) section on P2, I didn't find any hand jams (lower, I did). I felt the climb was similar in difficulty to P2 of Muscular Dystrophy (also rated 11-). I am assuming that you took the right-hand finish/P2 and not the 9/9+ to the left. Oct 11, 2001
This route deserves three stars despite the bird shit. Erickson onsighted it as the first 5.11 in Eldo. The upper dihedral is fantastic and well worth the grovel below. Nov 2, 2001
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
Climbed this 4.30.2002. As Ben states in the description, there are a couple of choices for the first belay. If you opt for the 11a second pitch, it is probably best to belay lower and to the right. Setting a belay on the ledge (higher to the left) causes the rope to run over a sharp edge at the start of the second pitch. May 2, 2002
Chris Dawson
Grand Junction, CO
Chris Dawson   Grand Junction, CO
Just do it in one pitch either 10 or 11! May 3, 2002
Carol Kotchek
Louisville, Colorado
Carol Kotchek   Louisville, Colorado
Even though a pigeon shit on my helmet, and the shit dripped dripped down on my shirt, I thought the route was worthy. Either way, left or right at the top is good. I went to the right and placed a bomber #3 Camalot right below the crux. I think the pigeon situation is worse in the spring than later on in the year. Jul 20, 2002
Ken Leiden
Boulder, CO
Ken Leiden   Boulder, CO
My partner led the 5.11 right-facing dihedral on Sat, exiting the dihedral by using some holds to the right, and then climbing directly out of the dihedral onto the slab above. When I followed, I exited the dihedral at the crux around the arete to the left on to lower angle rock. A good #3 camalot placement protects this move. My partner gave me a hard time for taking the easy way out so I lowered back down and did it his way. I would say that his way was 11a and my way was 10b.Perhaps this explains why some people think this climb is over-rated. Since the rest of the dihedral is no harder than 10a or so, I would say that exiting left offers an excellent 5.10 climb on par with Over the Hill on Rincon. That said, the 11a variation is well-protected and is just one move so it would make an excellent "first 5.11" lead as well. Sep 23, 2003
Is there an easy way to down from the top of this climb with a single 60M? Or, is a double rope rap required? Oct 5, 2004
Traverse climbers' left to the tree atop Disappearing Act. Rap uphill, be very careful of the ends, which don't quite reach, and you may have to do some minor downclimbing. I've done this several times with a 60 meter rope. Oct 5, 2004
Danny Inman
Danny Inman   Arvada
Climbed this on Sat. March 25,2006. Great Eldo crack climb. I highly recommend doing it as one long pitch. To my surprise, the bird poo was minimal, not nearly as bad as the avian feces on Grand Mother's Challenge. Mar 27, 2006
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
Having done this a few times, we rapped off the tree at the top of Paris Girl with little thought with our 60m. We had seen two women rap earlier to the top of the pillar at the start of Disappearing Act with a single rope. Turns out they rapped from the next tree to the left. Do NOT rap off the Paris Girl tree with a single 60m or 70m (the first tree with slings you come to). I got to the second ring bolt on Paris Girl when I realized no way was I going to make it--to the ground or far left to the pillar. It was pretty scary hanging there with about 10' of rope left below me and the ground another 15' below that. The safety knots did not inspire.

I wrapped the ropes around my leg, tied the tails to my harness, and began prussking with my one prussik. Stand up, "rappel" backwards, hang on belay device. Repeat. Re-wrap the ropes around the leg every 4 iterations. Check out the amazing Paris Girl while recovering between upward lurches. Eventually I was able to swing left to the pillar at the top of P1 of Disappearing Act and go off rappel. Luke moved to the left tree and we rapped in two rappels (although one 60m should make it from there to the pillar on Disappearing Act). Sep 5, 2006
SirVato   Boulder
You CAN in fact rap off the tree on top of Paris Girl with a 70m rope. Nov 2, 2006
As of yesterday, there is now a two-bolt rappel anchor at the top of the second pitch. It is about 33-meters to the ground from here and a single 60-meter rope will probably get you down to the top of the easy pillar at the start of the first pitch. From there it is easy (4th class?) scrambling to the ground. Apr 30, 2007
Kyle Douglass
Golden, Co
Kyle Douglass   Golden, Co
Someone told me this was a .10a, not too sure about that. Very sustained but all the moves are great. On the end crux move coming out of that dihedral, it helped a lot to move the left foot out of (on the edge) the dihedral. We did it in one pitch with a double rope rap Oct 20, 2007
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
This climb is sick! All sorts of varied crack technique. Hands, fists, thin hands. Good footwork will ease up the pump a little. Did the 5.9 variation at the top. Whole route goes easily in one pitch (on a single). I didn't even pay that much attention to extend placements with runners.

Don't know if they are new, but there is a nice bolt anchor atop the 11 variation finish. Double rope rap with 60s makes it to the ground with plenty to spare. A single 70 barley makes it back to the ground.

Well worth doing!!!

CL Feb 24, 2008
I rapped from the new anchors with a single sixty. It will make it to the ledge above the 4th class scramble to the start of the climb. You will have to swing in to get to the ledge (watch your ends). A single 70m will get you all the way to the ground. Apr 26, 2008
Brett Brotherton
Arvada, CO
Brett Brotherton   Arvada, CO
Did this 5/14/2011, and bird poo was not bad at all. Great done as a single pitch. We did the 10 variation after coming over from West Ridge and doing Handcracker. This climb was certainly more sustained and difficult than Handcracker, IMHO.

I think I saw a couple feathers and part of the skeleton of the dead bird in the crack mentioned in previous comments. May 14, 2011
Very little bird shit right now.

In its current state, 4 stars. May 21, 2013
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Combine into one pitch with a 70m rope, you can lower off the anchors and TR. Single set fingers, doubles from 0.5-2, one 3 & 4 was perfect. If you really want to sew it up, throw on another 3 & 4.

As everyone else describes: good crack technique is pretty much a must. You can stem around some of the wide stuff but at a harder grade. I got a knee in and was able to get a bomber rest...learn to crack climb.

Awesome climb. A little over graded at 11a, I'd give it sustained 10.

Bird shit is medium once you hit the twin cracks. I was able to make it non-issue.

Afterwards, swing over and give Silver Raven a burn. Jun 17, 2014
Chris N
Loveland, Co
Chris N   Loveland, Co
Because this climb has a 5.11 variation doesn't mean that it is a 5.11 climb. May 24, 2015
Rui Ferreira
Boulder, CO
Rui Ferreira   Boulder, CO
I recommend doing the 11- variation up the dihedral on the right side, as the 5.9 is full of bird crap on the left of the two cracks. May 31, 2015
Black Hawk, CO
mountainhick   Black Hawk, CO
The route itself and movement is very cool, but the slickness and pigeon shit detract (the 5.10 variation, I have not yet done the 5.11 section). Jun 17, 2015
Brett S.
Brett S.   Colorado
The right "5.11" stem corner is not 5.11 if you exit from the top of the dihedral to the left. This is maybe mid-5.10 done with feet a bit above your last gear (a very typical Eldo crux). Lower down in the right hand dihedral is 5.9, on par with the Green Spur. I have not done the right exit. Don't expect 5.11 corner climbing.

Good climb, I liked the wideish crack at the start. Fun! Mar 27, 2016
Brighton, CO
plantmandan   Brighton, CO
Did the 5.10a variation today. Great route, especially the upper section. Bird shit was not an issue at all. Perhaps the recent rains cleaned it up. May 21, 2017