Type: Trad, 130 ft
FA: George Hurley, Gary Spitzer, 1966
Page Views: 3,284 total · 16/month
Shared By: Darin Lang on Oct 15, 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


Tired of climbing that silly "rock" stuff? Want to revisit the tree-house capers of your childhood? This is your route, once described by Jim Erickson as "an exercise in flagpole-sitting."

Climb any convenient route to the upper ramp (Vertigo would work great if you're a hardman/woman, but then, you probably wouldn't be shooting for this route), and then climb the upper ramp past Italian Arete to a point just below and to the right of Mellow Yellow. Find a good-sized, semi-stripped pine tree right next to a pillar/arete. This is your route.

Climb the tree proper to its very "summit", slinging a branch or two along the way. The top of the tree can be a bit unnerving when it's windy. Reach across to place a good RP, and then lean/jump to the rock and "good" holds (5.7d). Another 5 feet up and you can start hauling on jugs and huge, incut huecos up the steep face, moving slightly right to stay generally in the crack system going up the middle of the face. Go past a couple of bulging, slightly overhanging spots (on great incuts and/or hand jams) to a convenient belay. There is good gear all the way.

Descent: work your way to to "climber's right" of the route and slightly down to the rap anchors on Chockstone Chimney (which will take you to the Upper Ramp with a single 60m). The most direct route traverses straight right and down, exposed 5.2 or so with some loose rock. You might want to rope up for the traverse.


Light standard rack weighted towards hand and thin-hands sizes, plus RPs and a couple of slings for branches.


Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
2-stars for weirdness. Certianly unique. The bark on the tree is chossy- use the big holds and skip the edging at the start. (*grin*).
Definitely a sandbag at 5.7. 5.8 or 8+ if you go sharply right after the left-hand sidepull.

Given the Tree-climbing nature of this climb, I suggest Rocky Racoon (5.9, tree+) as a logical way to reach the upper ramp. Rocky Racoon is between the first Pitch of Yellow Spur or Vertigo. Oct 24, 2001
This is a great route, really fun climbing. The high step move on top of the tree is amazing. EL 100 stands for English Literature 100, a freshman intro. class. The people who did the first ascent were English professors at CU. Carpe Diem! Oct 25, 2001
This is a fun climb, but the rating is hardly 5.7. My partner and I both thought it closer to 5.9. maybe 5.8+ is about right. Dec 16, 2001
Darin Lang
Darin Lang  
Ah ... thanks, Steve, for making me feel better. I wasn't trying to sandbag anyone - the book says 5.7 (not even a "+"), the route's been around for a while, and I figured I just missed the 5.7 moves somewhere along the way. OTOH, I thought I saw my partner that day wink when he said before I set off that the climb was "5.7d". This climb is definitely harder than other Eldo 5.7's I've done, and at least the way I went, it felt like at least 5.8+. Dec 16, 2001
Clint Locks
Clint Locks   Boulder
Tony, I wouldn't recommend Rocky Raccoon to ANYone. What a mess! And as for EL100-- tons of fun. Do it once by bark and limb. After that, traverse in from the wall to the right (Body Tremors?) and access the upper part of EL100 from there. Give the poor tree a break...pardon the pun. I agree that it seemed about 8+. Great handcrack toward the top! May 24, 2009
Luke Clarke
Luke Clarke   Golden
The tree climbing adds a twist but when you get on the rock it is high quality. High angle jugging with some bomber jams tossed in. Kudos to the first ascentionists who found this. The 7 rating is old school. I agree with Crusher and Tony, more like 8+ if your standards are modern. I had never planned to do this because of the tree but my partner, Lenny Miller, did me a favor by putting it on the agenda. (It's also a good way to get to Smoke and Mirrors!) May 10, 2010
Rodger Raubach  
This is a climb "out of the ordinary." Another Eldorado Classic. Mar 19, 2011
Did this climb yesterday to get to Smoke and Mirrors. I thought it was a great lead, a lot of fun climbing the tree. Stepping back onto stone is a lot of fun and fairly committing. The gear is bomber; however, the climbing is pretty stiff for 5.7 but is all there and it's a major jug haul. Nov 4, 2012
Rodger Raubach  
Re degree of difficulty: I'd agree with Crusher that the 5.7 rating is a sandbag. I felt a real forearm pump on this one and was very happy finding a great hand jam that allowed my forearms to deflate a bit. Realistically graded by "modern standards" as a 5.8, or even 5.8+. May 11, 2013