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Routes in Sphinx Rock

Black Crack T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Cheops S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Crunch, The T,TR V0- 4-
Exit Stage Right T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Joint Venture T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a R
Lickety Split S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Locksmith aka Dihedral Route T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Return to Forever T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Slug AKA Summit Route 1960, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
So Honed Yet So Stoned S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Sphinx Crack T 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Talus Food Crack T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Thinner T A3
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Type: Sport
FA: Dave Dangle, Steve Jenkins, 1985
Page Views: 1,220 total · 6/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Sep 18, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Closed: Private Property - Sphinx Rock is on private property Details

Description

Rarely done Cheops is a decent face climb, albeit being in such proximity to its most famous neighbor. Approach from the base of Sphinx Crack and walk along the ledge to its left end. This can be approached from below via a wide chimney, if one is so inclined. Face climb a clean yellow wall on 8 - 10 bolts.

This is friable stuff, although it has held up over the years. Climbing is on edges and flakes and would be largely forgetable but for the fine position on a smooth wall. Hike off to the left, or scramble up right to top rope the most significant crack in Colorado.

Protection

Quick draws and a rope.

Photos

This is a fine face climb but climber beware, it is a slab and most moves are friction smears. As I remember it came in at mid 5.10 about 5 years ago. Sep 20, 2001
That equates to about 5.12a in Boulder Canyon. Sep 20, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
 
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
 
Damn steep slab as well. Sep 20, 2001
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
It's a three star route. Guess you boys don't like face climbs, eh? Nov 19, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
 
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
 
Ross - my reason for stripping a couple of stars off this route revolved around the friable nature of some of the flakes and edges. I also did not really enjoy the climbing as much as many routes of similar grade - and this reflects strictly my own preference. It is an important caveat for all of the quality ratings listed here that they only reflect the submitters opinion. Your comment seems, to me, to be an important merit of the system: it provides a good balance to the original descriptions. Used correctly, the quality rating should reflect consensus and not only the submitters opinion. The score card looks even at this point. Nov 19, 2001
A fine position on a steep wall...by your own admission this is a great route. Give it three stars, or admit that you don't like slabs. The lower section is quality rock, but the upper 1/4 is crappy and out of character with the rest of the route. A few 5.9 moves on crumbling granite can get your attention...and to repeat the experience of the first ascent party, please skip every other bolt. Be sure to skip the last one, and look back down as you turn the corner left... All those nice and shiny 3/8 bolts were added as a retro-bolt.Original route had just a couple of 1/4 inch spinners. Bon Voyage.***Three stars, crack meister. Oct 25, 2002
TBD
 
TBD  
 
Fun climb. I can only imagine the FA because it feels kind of spicy as it is now (pendulum potential). Thin and steep. Jun 2, 2003
I did the route with Steve J. in '85 (though I'm not Dave), and returned last weekend with him to play on the new bolts. As face climbs go, this one is above average due to the spicy finish. After leaving the dish the climb steepens for a few moves, then you have to figure out how to lever yourself around the arete onto the lower angle finish. None of this forms the technical crux, but it's all very thought provoking. The lower angle finishing portion (about 3 moves) does have some friable edges, but the other 95% of the climb is solid.

Steve was my housemate back in the day; his comment to me after he did the first ascent (with half the present bolts): "go do it! it's about 5.9, a good climb to take your girlfriend on!" Jul 25, 2003
Mike Storeim
Evergreen, CO
  5.10a
Mike Storeim   Evergreen, CO
  5.10a
A pretty decent route, though I haven't done it in quite a few years. Kind of sad to see that bolts have been added and not just replaced. I hope that this is not a trend in the Platte. Nowhere near 5.10d unless you are doing it barefoot, in my opinion. Jul 25, 2003
Ray Snead  
 
Is someone saying that additional bolts were added recently?

I did this route in the early '90s and the 3/8" bolts were already in place. At that time it felt well protected for the S'Platte but still a bit spicy at the top.

A very, very good slab climb. The little band of less-than-perfect rock only adds to the charm. Great photo op. I recall that the technical crux seemed to be the first few moves. Jul 26, 2003
Don't worry, no bolts were added "recently", unless like me you define recent as anything post-'90! Steve and Dave put the route up after work one day, and were racing darkness (no Bosch back then, so it was hand drilled 1/4" bolts). Their guideline was to place bolts only as needed to avoid decking; but didn't quite make it on the then second bolt. So after a short time (and a Bosch acquired) 1 or 2 bolts were repositioned, 1 or two added, and the rest upgraded to 3/8". Jul 27, 2003
Ross Keller
Parker, CO
  5.10c
Ross Keller   Parker, CO
  5.10c
Don't blow the move to the 1st bolt or place a temporary piece in the crack to the right until that 1st bolt is clipped. Aug 8, 2003
Fred Keith
Portsmouth & North Conway, NH
 
Fred Keith   Portsmouth & North Conway, NH
 
As per Schaefer's comments...

I still can't f-ing believe that those guys did this thing after-work in the dark.

After the first number of subsequent bolts were placed, I took a winger reaching for the dish and can testify to the consequences.

A classically challenging slab. Mar 23, 2005
Patrick Peddy
evergreen,co
Patrick Peddy   evergreen,co
One of my old school favs. I used to climb with Steve in the late '80s and can attest to his face climbing skill. A good partner who taught me a lot. Feb 26, 2009
Alan Bowman
Woodland Hills, CA
 
Alan Bowman   Woodland Hills, CA
 
This was a favorite after-work route for us (early '90s). We would fly up US 285 trying to beat the summer late-day thunderstorms. Fine route with great position and interesting crux. Aug 30, 2017

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