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Routes in Arch Rock

Arch Rock Direct T,S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Arch Rock Route T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Blackjack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Cake Walk T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a X
Death by Drowning T,S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Dorsey-O'Donoghue Direct T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Haircase T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Hollow Flake T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
In Two Deep T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Kansas Honey T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Middle Dihedral T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Middle Meanie Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Mighty Young Joe aka Captain Fist T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Obscura T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Obscura Direct T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b X
Persistence S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pride of Sweden S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Right Meanie Crack T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Smiley Face S 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Sprout Route T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Staircase, The T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Village Idiot S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Waiting for Staircase 1-3 S 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
Waiting on a Resolution aka Unknown S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Waiting on the Staircase aka Unknown 2 S,TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Zamboni Man S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Zendance S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Zorro's Cave T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
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Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 18,438 total · 89/month
Shared By: Dan Mottinger on Sep 10, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures January 1- July 31st Details


This great moderate route goes up the prominent notches on the North side of Arch Rock.

Start the climb by finding the low angled dihedral below the notches. This first pitch is interesting, with actual moves and great protection. Hold up a nut and the crack will swallow it. Make a belay on the prominent ledge below the steeper, upper part of the climb. Take heart, the climb is easier than it looks. Enjoyable stemming, and crack climbing takes you up the obvious "steps". Above the steps, step left onto easier ground or follow the 5.8 OW section to the summit.


Standard rack with a few large slings for belay anchors. Many nut placements abound.
This climb really is worth doing. It's so easy to protect I think it's one of the best 'beginner' climbs in the canyon. For non-beginners the 2-3 move OW adds a bit of spice. Oct 3, 2001
The "5.8 offwidth" variation isn't much of either, and is highly recommended. One of the best beginner routes in the state. It makes trad leading as mindless as it gets. Remove large nut, throw in crack, repeat. Dec 2, 2001
I did this route on a Monday morning a few days ago and there were still three climbing parties on this rock. It was well worth the wait, but expect to wait regardless of when you go. This climb is no secret! I don't think I've ever been able to put so many nuts in a route before even though they're not needed. Jun 14, 2002
Lance Bischoff  
I would just submit that "spicy" moves for beginners does not justify automatically retaining a 5.5 rating. Seems I recall that a climb is rated for the hardest moves, and others who have led this route agree there may be merit to a 5.6 (two moves or so) below the exit ramp near the top. The flared crack included in route topos at top is not a 5.5 - most parties exit left (before this crack)on a small babycrawl ledge to avoid the flare moves (5.8?), traversing to scramble rocks up to last belay. Jul 16, 2002
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
Personally, I thought this was an easy 5.5 to a 5.7 finish. The "5.8" wideness at the top is not nearly as hard as Vedauwoo 5.7 and slightly easier than the 5.8 cracks on the Turkey Perch for instance. Jul 17, 2002
On the 5.8 part I put large pro deep in the OW and climbed just to the left of it on small flakes, felt like a 5.7. Dec 14, 2002
Ran up the Staircase on Saturday 5-3-03 with my buds Jerry and Martha and had an excellent time. This was a great into for me to doing more than one pitch since this is a friendly moderate on great rock. Martha led the first pitch in fine form and Jerry cruised pitch two. The crux is at the start of the second pitch just prior to getting into the actual staircase portion of the climb and once you are into the staricase it is just fun climbing on a cool formation. Far exceeded my expectations and well worth the effort. May 5, 2003
Don't be afraid to do the "5.8" variation to the end of the second pitch. It's one move of 5.8 (5.7?) into the crack, which protects well with a #3 Camalot, then easier climbing to the top. Highly recommended. Aug 12, 2003
What Jim Erickson said of the East Slab of the Dome goes double for this climb,"pure, unadulterated fun - ignore it at your own loss". Sep 17, 2003
Lance Bischoff  
Clarification: the "crux" section is just above large alcove at top of first pitch (across traverse from top of 5.10 and 5.8 bolted routes/anchors) and just below the actual stairs on second pitch. There is a quite vertical section which if sequenced properly can yield 5.5 moves, otherwise it ends up being 5.6. The OW crack up higher (5.8) above stairs marks a left escape to a ledge and various solutions to the summit. There is yet another crack higher (but easier) that also could justify 5.6, but it is clear the majority votes to split no hairs --thus it remains 5.5. Fantastic route, either way! Enjoy! Oustanding for new lead practice, too! Oct 13, 2003
Just a note: this climb is not backpack friendly. Narrow slots in a few places made me wish I'd left my pack on the ground. Jul 4, 2004
Larry Shaw
Larry Shaw  
Soloed this route today, fun easy jug haul. Sep 2, 2004
Michael J Yarros
Colorado Springs, CO
Michael J Yarros   Colorado Springs, CO
Took Victor up his first rock climb ever today (Saturday 7-2-05). He loved it. Jul 4, 2005
Buff Johnson
Buff Johnson  
Could be the best 5.5 in the Platte. Good belay stance for a party of three. If this is your first lead, be aware that on the second pitch right off of the belay is an area that you don't want to take a leader fall. It's a stem & smear problem, but if your head is not into it, you may want your partner to take the reins. A rescue here turned out to be a recovery.

I found, to avoid the rope drag issue, either commit to the short 5.8 OW (more like a .7- handcrack for me), or runout on easy terrain the traverse left, then right & up to a summit tree.

Descent by walkoff to the south. Jan 20, 2006
Michael J Yarros
Colorado Springs, CO
Michael J Yarros   Colorado Springs, CO
Climbed this route at least 10 times, and I fell on the 2nd pitch about 25 or 30 feet up from the belay. A Blue Alien caught my fall, it was very wet in the back part of the crack (I slipped out trying an arm bar). We started first thing in the morning, you might want to wait for it to dry out before trying this section. ;) Sep 10, 2006
Rick Blair
Rick Blair   Denver
I had to back off and clean the hand/fist crack on P2 for the sake of a follower, it felt 5.7 to me. Wish I could have gone that way because the rope drag going left on the ledge was horrendous. For a new follower, just pitch it out and belay from the huge ledge and do a short 3rd pitch to the top. Great easy lead! Jul 6, 2010
For extra spice factor, the roof above the the first belay is phenomenal and protects easily with a pair of C3s. I did this variation a couple of weeks ago, you've just got to watch out for rope drag! Jun 20, 2011
Salida, CO
Blazer   Salida, CO
Wanted to do the 5.8 finish but was concerned that my follower who was shorter (and new) would have a hard time with it. Would recommend going for it and bringing the #3 cam up as you go and then pulling it altogether when you are on safer ground (and letting them follow on easy terrain to the left of it). Watch for the rope getting stuck in the crack and recommend belaying on the ledge above the 5.8 crack as noted previously (finishing with a ~10 walk off on 5.2 ground w/no exposure) - communication with the belayer was super difficult due to noise of the river, wind, and ledges between. Jul 7, 2011
David Reuille
Denver, CO
David Reuille   Denver, CO
Truly fabulous route! Jul 11, 2012
Peter Lewis
Bridgton, Maine
Peter Lewis   Bridgton, Maine
I took my son up this perfect little route when he was about 10 years old. We hiked down and then floated around in the river on inner tubes for a while. In just a few years, I'll be able to take my son's daughter up the route---what in the world happened to all those years!!! Sep 30, 2013
Patrick Yarbrough
Colorado Springs, CO
Patrick Yarbrough   Colorado Springs, CO
This route can easily be done with only nuts for pro and makes excellent practice for those learning how to use them. Jul 22, 2015

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