Type: Sport, 110 ft
FA: Ken Trout, Rick Leitner, and Kirk Miller
Page Views: 19,343 total · 91/month
Shared By: Chris Dawson on Nov 11, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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This is a very fun line on upper Animal World. There is a low crux followed by sustained liebacking/underclinging up a left-leaning, left-facing corner. The route starts on the left end of a ledge in the middle of upper Animal World, just left of Animal Antagonism. Global Gorilla is the next route left, but it starts from the ground. This is one of the best sport pitches of 5.11 in the area. Let me just say that a lot of the ratings (including this one) in this area are a little soft. If this were in Eldo, it would be about 10d/11a or so. Either way, this route is well worth doing.


13 bolts/anchors. bring a 60m rope to lower off (just barely makes it).
I really enjoyed this route. It has a great variety of moves on it with a technical, fingery crux and then a long, pumpy, reachy section above. Good reach is an advantage on this route and seems to bring the grade on the upper section down a letter grade or so. May 20, 2002
I've led this w/3bolts and I think with the right cam another could be skipped. The clean protection is so good near the top that an A1 medium stopper could be tossed into the crack from 10' away (the bolt is inches away). This would have been a great route. The added finish is suspect and is another story. Jul 1, 2002
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
For me, this route was the biggest on a string of "finds" that began with Jolt Cola @ Blob Rock and ended with Empire @ Easter Rock. Ric Lietner was my main partner for many of the first sport routes on Blob, Security Risk, and Animal World. Kirk Miller joined us at Ric's new crag, Bean Liquor Wall where we saw Animal World for the first time. We three hiked over that cold winter evening, pulled by the magnetism of the best wall yet.

Mark was neither with us that night, nor when we bolted the first sport routes at Animal World. I would still count him as a team member on every route I have done in the canyon. After being harassed at Morrison for my bolted overhang, I noticed that the choppers backed off when Mark was on the team!!! After our initial routes on each of the three rocks we'd tell Mark and he'd say: "It's just a slab." Then he'd come check it out, get psyched, and put in a bunch more routes. Our cadre was the first to always install 1/2" powers five-piece bolts, 2 bolt anchors, and put in routes that required only quickdraws.

There was urgency because Eldorado Canyon and the Flatirons had been closed to new sport routes. Twenty-five years ago no one knew that routes like Sunset Boulevard or the Shaft would eventually be allowed. Boulder Canyon seem the last hope for decent sport routes. To get the ball rolling, Dan Hare quietly put in the first long sport route, the New Ticket. Next, we helped as mentioned above. It was at Animal World that the ball got really huge with many others helping to push it along. Finally, sport climbing became acceptable. Even better, in 2017 National Geographic reported Boulder Canyon as the happiest place in America!

We understood the legalities of bolting on USFS land, it's okay. Nonetheless, the same individuals who successfully triggered the bolting closure in Eldo eventually contacted Arapahoe National Forrest requesting a Boulder Canyon closure. The rangers refused! Here's the funny thing though - These same individuals were among the first to show up and climb our new routes. Eventually, they started putting in their own sport routes across the canyon at Vampire etc...

PS, There were previous comments that others below refer to. I deleted them because one comment box per route is enough from me. Aug 11, 2003
Is there, as they say, a grain of truth to Ken Trout's attempt at humor? By skipping 2/3 of the bolts on this route I didn't change it for those who can only imagine bolts, but neither was it much harder than clipping the bolts. It's just a rather disappointing experience given the potential for greatness. Before you list trad routes that haven't had bolts added to them you should ask Alan Nelson about the Bacher-Yerian. Aug 11, 2003
A very, very enjoyable route. It is very height dependant though, my rating reflects that. For me, the crux was the bulge down low, and the rest of the route is fun cranking on jugs. Shorter climbers may struggle through the upper section. May 10, 2004
BE CAREFUL on the lower out, especially if top-roping. A 60 meter rope will not reach in the plumb line. Because of the traversing nature of this route, the lead climber starts uphill on a high spot/pedestal, but lowers off to a different spot further down the hill. If the belayer then stands at the downhill spot and belays a climber on TR, the rope WILL NOT REACH when the TR climber lowers straight back down to where the belayer is. I watched a friend get lowered off the end of the rope here.

Tie a knot in the end of your rope! Always! And a stopper knot, not some weak-ass figure eight. But you knew that.
Feb 1, 2006
Kyle Turner
Brighton, CO
Kyle Turner   Brighton, CO
11c sustained climbing, minus a subtle rest after the first crux. May feel easier to folks with smaller hands, i.e. the undercling seam is a "jug" instead of a one knuckle crimp. Ain't no way it's 11a :). Great climb all editorials aside. -KT Nov 6, 2006
Kenneth Noisewater
San Diego
Kenneth Noisewater   San Diego
11c solid (for BC, not Eldo). The first pitch of Global Gorilla just left is solid 11b, and considerably easier.
Of course if you compare it to Jules Verne, the Edge, Astroman, the whole discussion is irrelevent, bordering on moronic.
My take on bench mark Boulder Canyon sport grades ONLY is.
Freewillie -10d/11a (soft)
Global Gorilla -11b (solid)
Animal Magnetism -11c/d (solid)
Empire of the Fenceless (ER) -11d/12a
Hot Flyer (USR) -12a
Tell Tale Heart (ER) -12a
Plan B (USR) - 12b (solid)
Animal Instinct -12c (solid)

Of course people disagree on these, but relative to each other, I say it's about right. Jan 3, 2007
K. Noisewater's post raises some thought provoking issues about the personal variability of the rating system. In general, I agree with his relative rankings but:

Plan B is much easier for me than Tell Tale Heart, essentially the difference between onsight and total flail.

I'm far more likely to fall at the 2nd crux of Animal Magnetism than at any point on The Edge. My approximate lifetime batting averages on these two climbs: AM .250, TNE .970. For that matter, I like my chances less on AM than on any pitch of Astroman except for the hard (traditional) version of the boulder problem.

Have I crossed the border into full fledged moronism? Jan 3, 2007
Kenneth Noisewater
San Diego
Kenneth Noisewater   San Diego
I guess to fine tune my point is: ratings from one side of a particular crag to another is a relavent debate, or one end of canyon to another.
However, to compare two different styles of climbing or two areas, i.e. Yosemite crack climbing versus Eldo slab climbing versus Rifle steep limestone, is comparing apples to oranges.
Eldo 5.11 does not equal Boulder Canyon 5.11 does not equal Yose 5.11
Grades are basically area and style-dependent.
One man's nightmare is another's daydream.
Just my opinion. Jan 4, 2007
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
Meredith DB   Boulder, CO
I'm short (5' 5") and found the upper crux considerably harder than the lower one. The lower crux is just balancy.

Warning: beta ahead.

Short person beta - for the lower crux - from the decent hold just below the 4th bolt, reach up and left and grab the large sidepull left of the bolt with both hands. Put your right foot on the hold where your hands just were (high step to the hold below the bolt). Then layback/highstep/rock up on to your right foot, reach up and get the finger pocket above the right bolt with your right hand. Next bump up to the jug just above the pocket.

For the upper crux - work your hands up the left sloping rail until your left hand is on the third decent hold - between the two large jugs lower down and the small crimper further up. Move your feet up to the two decent incut feet, then reach up with the right hand to a small, wet, slimy hold just below a large chalked jug. Hop your left foot up and go for the jug. May 15, 2007
This is one of my favorite pitches, trad or sport, in the whole canyon. The section from after the second crux to the anchors is as good as it gets. The fact that I can speak so highly of this pitch despite the fact that it has historically given me trouble is a testament to its quality.

Note on the rating: anyone below a certain height (185 cm??) will find AM's rating quite solid as the second crux will not involve a long reach to a great jug, but instead popping to the jug from a nubbin which is almost always wet. May 19, 2008
Seattle, WA
danelle   Seattle, WA
I agree with the above posters about the second crux and height (I'm sub 5'3). For me, the first crux (down low) was casual, but the second crux was harder because I had to use a slippery hold to reach the jug. Jun 28, 2008
Kevin Neilson
Kevin Neilson   Boulder
This is a great pitch. My beta for the lower crux: use the left Gaston to get the right hand in place. Then lean to the right and do the high step to the hold between the 3rd and 4th bolts, but with the *left* foot. Now stand using a laybacky move Gaston-cranking off the right hand. This seems easier than the right-footed high step shown in the middle picture of the 2nd row. Note: if your belayer refuses to follow, cleaning is difficult. Jul 14, 2008
Doug Lintz
Kearney, NE
Doug Lintz   Kearney, NE
What a fun route, pumpy and tricky. That big hold out left at the first crux fooled me, it felt much easier to move straight up instead of reaching out left. Oct 20, 2008
I left an Ipod Nano near here yesterday April 23rd 2010 at the base of Animal Instinct, the arete climb.... If you found it, would you please please get in touch with me... you will get infinite Karma points! 4252680126.

Jesse Apr 23, 2010
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Best sport climbing pitch in the canyon? I think yes. Oct 14, 2011
Toby Butterfield
Portland, OR
Toby Butterfield   Portland, OR
While I can see this route becoming vastly easier once you have the beta dialed, the lower crux is quite sequencey and the long sustained nature of the upper section can really wear you down if you don't do things just so. I actually think that, in contrast to routes like Free Willie which are obviously soft, that Animal Magnetism felt to me more like 11d while I was attempting to onsight it.

Regardless of the grade this is an amazing climb and absolutely worth getting after! Jun 13, 2012
Matt Richardson
Longmont, CO
Matt Richardson   Longmont, CO  
I agree with Tony's comments concerning - I didn't have much trouble with the lower crux, but the top is more sequency than my tired old self could handle. All the holds are there, so the solid .11 climber shouldn't have much trouble with this. That being said - why all the bolts? It seems pretty protectable throughout most of the climb. Jul 23, 2013
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
Removed some draws off of this yesterday. Happy to return them.... Oct 19, 2015
Geoff E. Mercer
Worcester, MA
Geoff E. Mercer   Worcester, MA
Simply fucking great!!!!! Jun 9, 2016
Castle Rock, CO
Preston   Castle Rock, CO
This climb has awesome great exposure and fun moves! I would say 11a/b simply because of the length of the climb and the pump factor. No single move was 11+, just sustained 10d. Really it's 5.Fun! Great Climb. Mar 8, 2017
Isaac Mauro
Fort Collins, CO
Isaac Mauro   Fort Collins, CO
My favorite 11 in Colorado, great sustained movement almost the entire time. For the second crux, I was able to do a kneebar underneath the undercling, which made moving up to the jug much easier. Rope drag added with the pump factor up top was honestly the crux for me, none of the moves individually seemed hard, but keeping the sequence going was hard. Jul 2, 2018
Redmond, WA
ClimberRunner   Redmond, WA
This route is an awesome example of 5.11 granite face climbing. I thought the crux was at the 2nd to last bolt. Much better than most of BoCan. 1 day ago