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Routes in Der Zerkle

Absolution (submitted as Hot if You're Not aka The Brown Eye Wall) S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
April Fools S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bar None S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Der Fuhrer TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
East Face Left Side T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
East Face Right/Der Zerkle T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Feeling Lucky S 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Final Solution T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Happy Ending T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Hot if You're Not aka The Brown Eye Wall (submitted as Absolution) S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Knot Carrot S,TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
New Beginnings T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Ribspuren T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Southeast Arete T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Sunny Side One T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Sunny Side Two T 4th 1 2 I 2 M 1b
Touch Monkey S,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Two Clucks From Saigon T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
West Face [Der Zerkle] T 5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
What If You're Not? T,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Wing Ding S,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
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Type: Trad, 400 ft, 3 pitches
FA: unknown
Page Views: 3,564 total · 17/month
Shared By: Guy H. on Oct 7, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Routes on Der Zerkle are closed from 1 April to 1 September Details


This is an interesting route on the left side of Der Zerkle. This part of Der Zerkle has been closed in the past for the bats that live in the cave that is climbed on the second pitch.

P1: The first pitch climbs to the ledge system that runs across the East face. This can be done a number of ways. Look for an interesting line and climb it.

P2: The second pitch gives this route some character. Climb into the cave and head for the light at the end of the tunnel (5.6, 1 bolt). After exiting, follow fun rock to the notch.

P3: Either downclimb the chimmey, or head for the summit.


Light rack to 2".
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
This is a fun route! If one heads straight up after the crux hole, you will end up in a notch south of the summit. It is hard to reach the summit from this notch, but you can downclimb the chimney on the west side of the notch, and wander north on a huge ledge and climb west to the Mallory Cave Trail.

If you want to reach the summit, do not go up the gully after you emerge from the hole, but diagonal up and right until you reach a second gully. You can either climb this gully to a notch, and then ascend a ramp to the summit, or head straight up the east face of the summit tower between the gullies (recommended for a fun finish). With a 60m rope, it is possible to climb from the big ledge below the big overhang all the way to the summit (be careful your rope doesn't get stuck in a crack in the hole).

From the two bolts on the summit, you can rap 70' west to the same huge ledge mentioned in the first paragraph (or downclimb W Face route). Jan 28, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Roach's and Rossiter's guides both claim the rap off the top is 100' long. But there was quite a bit of 60m rope left on this rap, so I would guess the rap may be around 80'. There is now a second (good) bolt and rings, so this is a safe exit, but it is a difficult rap to start. Jan 28, 2002
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
The rock in this intriguing hole/chimney is a bit loose/ fractured. That bolt is a wee bit dated. Place good gear. Mar 28, 2002
nick moeckel  
I really enjoyed this one- the second pitch is the selling point, but if you avoid the gullies and head up the face on the third pitch it's quite nice as well.

Edited to add: I climbed this in late fall; this route is closed much of the year, as noted on the main page for Der Zerkle but not here. Don't ignore the closures. Jul 26, 2007
Dean Carpenter
Boulder, CO
Dean Carpenter   Boulder, CO
The tunnel on pitch 2 is a lot of fun. We ran out a 60 meter for two pitches and were just 20 ft short of the summit. We did an easy downclimb from the notch just north of the summit the hardest part was getting into the notch. Good climb too short though. Sep 1, 2007
Mikelsons Mikelsons
Boulder, CO
Mikelsons Mikelsons   Boulder, CO
The second pitch, which climbs through the hole is fun and interesting. One suggestion would be to set the belay anchor for the second pitch as close to the bottom of the chimney as possible. My belayer was across the gully from the chimney and this added a terrible amount of rope drag. I set up the second belay much sooner than I would have liked. We finished on the right (North) spire and then down climbed to the notch. From there we scrambled Northwest to the ground (5.0). Oct 6, 2007
Joe Brannan
Lyons, CO
Joe Brannan   Lyons, CO
I thought the thin run-out face climbing above the tree on P1 was the crux. The tunnel was made easy and unique by using holds on the ceiling. Stick to the fin/arete feature on the last 20 meters to the summit for some fun lie-back stuff. Sep 14, 2009
Ben Burnett
  5.6 PG13
Ben Burnett   Colorado
  5.6 PG13
Good climb. I agree with Joe. The cave wasn't as hard as some of the thin face, and had good gear. What an odd place for a bolt! There are 40 ft runouts on the slab but a bomber #3 Camalot goes 2 feet higher than the bolt! Also, don't go too far to the right after the hole. I thought I needed to traverse across the next gully to the right, but then ended up on the north summit.

Having a 70 m rope was nice, we did the route in 2 pitches. Nov 7, 2009
Dave Clark 5.10
Golden, CO
  5.6 PG13
Dave Clark 5.10   Golden, CO
  5.6 PG13
Pitch 1 to the cave/tunnel entrance is a full 60m, and you can't see the cave until you're close. At about 40m on P1, you reach a large rock protrusion that blocks your view uphill. Good pro underneath this protrusion and you can choose to go either left or right around it to get to a tree near the tunnel entrance. Oct 27, 2013
Doug Redosh
Golden, CO
Doug Redosh   Golden, CO
From the cave, it is pretty obvious to head straight up the gully to a stance 20 feet below the notch for a belay. Then head up and right onto the SE face of the middle tower for a short but fun 5.5 pitch to the summit. Also one can get good pro below the bolt, which I did not see until it was 1 foot from my nose! Oct 28, 2013
-- Chris --
  5.6 PG13
-- Chris --  
  5.6 PG13
Fun climb! The tunnel is the highlight, felt like caving! I was glad we left our bags at the base....

On the second pitch, I wandered up the gully directly above the tunnel for about 15-20 m then traversed on some (sketchy) rock to belay in the northern notch. If you want to make it to the northern notch, I'd suggest bearing to the right much sooner than I did, as soon as you get out of the tunnel. Nov 10, 2014
Andres Fernandez
Boulder, Colorado
Andres Fernandez   Boulder, Colorado
Bat cave is fun and very unique. Use your back if you're tall enough. Makes it a lot easier. Bolt in the cave is still there. I'd back it up with a cam right above it.

Climb with a 60 meter is 2.3-2.5 pitches long.

First pitch seems to have the 5.6 moves. Kinda of like Standard Direct on the 1st pitch on the First Flatiron, although the first pitch is smoother, and there seems to be more moss and needles.

Getting there has a really good trail. Just follow the trail for Mallory's Cave.

About 30 minutes from NCAR. Feb 19, 2017
Tim Meehan
Boulder, CO
  5.6 PG13
Tim Meehan   Boulder, CO
  5.6 PG13
Heads up for winter and spring ascents: when you get to the tunnel on pitch 2, you might find the center coated with ice. That's what we found, so we put pro high up on the right side of the tunnel, attached a long sling or two, and stood in the sling to traverse left, across the ice, to the dry left side of the tunnel. Once on the left side, it was easy going, a few more feet to the exit.

Regarding the bolt in the tunnel, it looks like an old Leeper hanger on a rusted 1/4 inch bolt. As others have mentioned, backing it up is highly recommended. Mar 2, 2018

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