Type: Sport
FA: Alan Nelson, September 1988
Page Views: 3,087 total · 15/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Jul 26, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

19 Opinions

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


Genius Loci, Spirti of the Place, is one route put up by Alan Nelson that has sparked more controversy than any other. Perhaps the most droll comment to emerge in the brouhaha was the one made by the hapless climber who, climbing The Naked Edge, claimed to be drawn against their will to clip bolts on Genius Loci rather than protecting the Edge with natural gear. Climbing on Genius Loci begins from the belay above the cave and to the left of P1 of The Naked Edge. This is around the corner from the Edge, which is entirely invisible until approaching the top of the Edge's P1. The right hand does work the arete left of the Edge's crack. Climbing is on small edges and corners and is largely very continuous. The pitch is long, finishing up near the end of P2 on the Edge at close to 150 ft. Regardless of the controversy, the climbing on Genius Loci is excellent, tricky, and solid. From the top it is possible to run Jule's Verne on a TR, it also provides a good look at Steve Levin's headpointing masterpiece, Goul's Turn. After all the noise has subsided, it is possible to enjoy this route as the fine line that it is, in a great location, on a brilliant face.


Bring a standard rack for approaching The Naked Edge and a dozen QD for Genius Loci itself. The route can be rapped with a 60m rope using the rap anchors for the Edge.


It seems like the FHRC that made the decision to remove those bolts was more interested in preserving the character of Eldo than it was in making the climbing easier. Granted that Genius Loci is a good line, but it's not a good route. The bolts are offensive to many people who do Jules Verne too. It's not the first time Nelson's bolts have been removed-how about Joshua Tree? What about Yosemite? Maybe It's a big conspiracy!! It wouldn't take a "genius" to see that this route is just squeezed in, but that point appears to be lost on Nelson. I prefer to remain anonymous when dealing with people of his ilk. Sep 7, 2001
Jason Nelson
Jason Nelson   SLC, UT
I've done the edge a number of times, and enjoyed the route (genius loci) as something different from the original edge start. I thought it was fun arete and face climbing in a spectacular postion. As to the controversy, I probably wasn't even rock climbing yet when it occured. Nov 18, 2001
I wish this route had never been bolted. The moves are pretty fun, but having a line of bolts within a single arm's reach of one of the best lines in the country is a bummer. This route should have remained a top rope. Apr 10, 2002
I too wish the route had never been bolted and am glad that the upper bolts were removed. Prior to the bolts' removal, I remember hearing a lot of criticism from Lene's Dream climbers as to the proximity of the now removed bolts as well.

If the remaining part of the route has good climbing and isn't too offensive to the Naked Edge/Jule's Verne crew, why doesn't the first ascentionist apply to have a lower off anchor just left of the arete, about the same height of the Naked Edge pitch 1 anchor, but a little lower(so long as it isn't anywhere near Jule's Verne)?

This would eliminate having to climb right around the sharp edge to the anchors on the Edge and maybe give some closure to the route, which does just sort of go nowhere. A compromise would hopefully keep Nelson from having to "work to change the system" in an effort to rebolt the upper half of the route.

p.s. This is just a suggested compromise. You wouldn't catch me placing bolts between the two proudest routes on the planet! Aug 26, 2002
Malcolm Daly
Boulder, CO
Malcolm Daly   Boulder, CO
I was on the FHRC and at that meeting to vote on the bolt removal. In the previous month I had climbed Jules Verne to Lene's Dream and had pretty bummed that someone had placed some bolts that were clippable from Lene's. I felt like the soul had been stolen from Lene's. A few days later I climbed Genus Loci and the Edge because I knew I was going to have to vote on the removal proposal and wanted fresh beta. Genus Loci was really good climbing but for 2 reasons I voted for removal anyway: 1) the upper part of GL covered and bolted terrain that already had a route on it; Lene's Dream, and 2) the nature and type of climbing on GL split dramatically at the top of P1 of the Edge. The lower half of GL is steep, edgy and dramatic. Although it shares the arete edge with the NE they offer distinctly different climbing and are visually isolated from each other. At the break, however, things got all mixed up. The easiest and most natural way for me to climb this part of GL was to palm my way up the break, reaching left to clip. Now maybe Alan didn't intend for this to be the way to climb it, but that's what felt natural to me. I climbed it on lap 2 all on the left face and the climbing was better and harder but I felt I was walking on Lene's grave here. The combo of these two issues are what caused me to vote for the removal. This was the toughest vote I made in 6 years on the FHRC. Most votes were easy but this one caused a lot of angst. Considering the removal or modification of someone else's creation was unfamiliar ground for me and was terrain on which I felt I had little business treading. However, because the upper part of the route literally crossed and violated the line of Lene's Dream, I felt that removal was justified. Sep 5, 2002
Bob Rotert
Bob Rotert  
Aside from the upper part that was removed, and I agree that it should have been. I think this is one sweet climb! When it was put up, it was both a visionary climb and a bit of a travesty. It has amazing climbing up the arete and the position is just incredible! This "untraditional version" up the Edge attracted a lot of nay sayers because of the contrived & intrusive nature of the upper half which continued up the left side of the arete, with bolts for pro. With that part removed, the bolts are not visible for a climber on the edge. I don't find it obtrusive to either the climbing on the first pitch of the Edge or Jules Verne.

This is a great way to add harder climbing up the Edge and like the rest of the climbing on the Naked Edge the climbing here is better than good it's magnificant. Run this thru to the top of the second pitch of the Edge proper in one pitch. I've done a lot of pitches in Eldo and in my opinion this ranks as one of the coolest there is. Mar 21, 2008
Scott Bennett
Scott Bennett   Michigan
Thought this route was so-so, probably a worthy line, but kinda of lame have a prominent sport route between two of the coolest trad routes in Eldo!

Seems contrived (you could climb into P1 of the Edge in multiple spots) and has some flaky rock. Kind of similar to Iron Pony - a slightly forced, difficult bolted arete just left of a classic crack climb. Sep 22, 2010