Type: Trad, 210 ft, 3 pitches, Grade II
FA: Steve Wunsch, Jim Erickson, Larry Marquardt, Bob Hritz, 1973
Page Views: 6,668 total · 32/month
Shared By: Tony B on Nov 14, 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


Psychosis is on the W/SW face of Redgarden Wall, and thus it gets morning shade and afternoon sun. The route begins from the same ledge as The Yellow Spur and Vertigo, and is more or less half way between the direct starts of these two routes.

Go up the Redgarden Wall trail from the Streamside trail until a metal ladder takes you up just beside the large boulder against the wall. The dihedral just above the ladder on the wall, behind the boulder, is Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a 5.8** approach pitch to Psychosis and will deposit you more or less at the base of the route.

If you do not want to climb Schizophrenia, continue up several switch-backs until a broad ledge appears as for the approach The Yellow Spur. Cut back S/SW on this ledge at the base of the rock to an impressive looking evergreen (Douglas Fir). Just down and right of the tree is a weakness in the large roof, some 15' or so from the ledge.

P1) Climb up and over this roof on small but positive holds with poor protection (10a/b, S). This is essentially a mantel move with one high reach. Short climbers will find this more difficult than those who are tall. After that sequence, some gear can be had here and there for the rest of the way up, the now more moderate pitch. A belay is reached soon, as this is a fairly short pitch.

P2) Climb up and left to a junky and nondescript right facing dihedral to a ledge, which can afford a belay, the position of which will depend on how you will do the 3rd pitch, so that is where the belay is described. Better yet, don't do this pitch at all and instead do the 2nd pitch of 3 Old Farts Young At Heart (10d) which adds challenge and quality to the line.

P2a) Climb up directly above the belay on P1 through a crack. This crack splits a short dark section of rock which passes through a small roof (crux, 10d). This pitch consists of good rock with good gear.

P3) The standard finish of Psychosis. From the top of P2 ledge, move up and left on the ledge, then up again to a good stance to belay. From the belay, traverse down and right (5.10d) to a 5.10a handcrack, which goes to the op of the wall and deposits the climbing party on the top of the upper ramp. Some people find the traverse frightening due to its position and lack of gear.

P3a) The better finish of Psychosis. From the top of P2, arrange the belay as if directly above P2a. There is an enormous overhanging wall which a handcrack and pockets galore directly above you. Climb it (5.11a) until the angle eases off to where the standard finish merges with the crack at the end of its traverse. Continue to the top on the handcrack (5.10a). There is a little questionable rock on the overhang, but the holds for the climb and the crack are good and take good gear; it is better and probably safer than the standard finish, although harder.

From the top of the route, some length and quality can be added by finishing your day on Italian Arete or Body Tremors.


The protection in some places leaves a little to be desired. Take a standard Eldo Rack and make sure you have small gear with you. Some of the runouts can be avoided by taking the harder alternate pitches of "3 Old Farts..." and the 5.11 finish instead of the 5.10 finish.
I just did this route for the first time monday 11/12/01 and was very impressed. As described, we did p1 of psychosis; p2a, which is '3 old farts. . . ' (the last pitch of that routye looks very good!); and the direct .11- finger to hand crack 'variation' described as p3a.Next time I'll combine the two lower pitches into one as they were rather short. Fun, diverse climbing with nice position and increasing difficulties as you ascend. We were surprised that this route doesn't have more of a reputation as the gear is all very reasonable, and overall we thought it to be more sustained and every bit as good, if not better, than Vertigo. A great addition to this site.

WDC Nov 14, 2001
I just did this route for a second time this morning. It is stellar! Do the variations as described above and in the above comment. The protection is good at the cruxes and the clmibing is just so good. I think this is a three-star route. Jul 31, 2002
Joe Collins
Joe Collins  
As good as Vertigo. If the Vertigo roof is benchmark-11a, then the roof on this one is considerably easier... yet I thought it was way more fun. The 10a at the start deserves an "S" Oct 5, 2002
An excellent 3-star route. I recommend climbing P1 of Psychosis then combining P2a of 3 Old Farts Young at Heart with P3a. Belay at a tree on the first ledge above the overhanging crack to minimize rope drag from knocking rocks on your partner, then take it another 20 ft to the top. A #1/2-green & #3/4-yellow alien was useful on the P1 roof . Its also convienently tops out next to the Upper Ramp rappel station between Vertigo and Psychosis requiring two single rope raps back to the ledge. May 5, 2003
david goldstein
david goldstein  
Gear is good at all the hard parts. P1 has some runout climbing on easy ground.

Possibly THE neglected classic of Eldo if P2 of Old Farts is done. At least as good as Vertigo. Good suggestion by Tony Bubb to start w/ Schizophrenia.

A soft 11a by Eldo standards. The crux pitch resembles the last pitch of Vertigo; the Psychosis roof has no move as hard as the V roof's hardest but is a longer, more continuous pitch. Jun 3, 2003
This route rocks the mic!!! Feb 8, 2004
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
Since the late '70s, I've been attracted to Psychosis and its neighbor Neurosis, but also afraid of them. Afraid partly due to the names of the climbs, partly due to my unfamiliarity with that part of Redgarden, but mostly due to the stature of the first ascent climbers. These climbs were physically within my ability but psychologically out of reach. I finally did Psychosis, and it was anticlimactic. Great climb, but nowhere near as hard as I had expected and not at all scary.

On our first attempt a few weeks ago, we did the original 5.9 second pitch. It's very steep and impressive but very hollow. Lots of gear, but most of it in the hollow flakes. We wanted to do the original 10d variation to the last pitch. The description, "traverse right to the hand crack" confused us. We were looking for a long traverse and unknowingly did the last pitch of Neurosis, despite that traverse not ending in a hand crack. Turns out the Psychosis "traverse" is just a couple of moves right off the ledge. Obvious now....

On our second attempt, we did the 10d Old Farts' second pitch. It's intimidating from the ground. The rock is black and smooth looking. Once on the route, it is indeed a bit intimidating pulling over the ceiling. You can't tell where the next good pro or stance will be. The crux for me of the entire route was the 10 feet or so above the second pitch ceiling.

The third pitch 11a crux seemed quite easy. Huge holds, good gear, although I was expecting a better rest above. I struggled more on the 10a hand crack that followed.

The first pitch crux is well protected and easy, if you're of medium height or taller, with the right sequence and body position. We had 3 cams at the lip, two of which we bounce tested. The rock there is a little suspect, but you are top roped for the crux reach. The gear on the easier slab above (5.8 or 9 in places) is fair to poor. You can get in a lot of pieces, but few are reliable. May 9, 2004
Jeff Chapman
Boulder, CO
Jeff Chapman   Boulder, CO
Did this climb Saturday on the suggestion some climber I met in Eldo -- can't remember his name. He described it as every bit as good as Vertigo and other such classics. I would heartily concur. I ran the first two pitches together, doing the 3 Farts variation, and I see no reason not to do this other than that you are carrying 100+ feet of rope on your harness as you do the crux 10d moves. The rope runs straight, and there is no drag to speak of.

I found the pro totally adequate for the first roof move. At the 3 Farts roof and above, I would call the pro adequate again, but not necessarily plentiful.

Belay on the obvious ledge directly below the 11a overhanging crack. My partner lead this pitch, and it is stellar.

The 3 Farts variation and overhanging crack are some of the most classic rock climbing Eldo has to offer. Do it! Sep 25, 2006
George Squibb
Boulder, CO
George Squibb   Boulder, CO
Karin and I did P1 of Psychosis to the belay at the start of the crack on P2 of 3 Old Farts. I thought P1 was safe - 1.5F behind the undercling flake at the .10- crux, looked like it would stay, especially since you're toproping the move - rest of pitch is typical Eldo. We then did P2 of Old Farts directly into Psychosis P3 in one long pitch. The steep part at the bottom of Psychosis P3 - I think it get's .11a - was way easier - no joke, I'm thinking 5.9 - as long as you don't try to crack climb but istead use all the buckets. If this is .11a, then the roof on Vertigo is 12b. Protect this whole bottom section with a #4 camalot placed high in the flare. Overall, this is quite a good pitch. Mar 26, 2007
I think the second pitch is getting unfairly dissed. Althought it's true that P2 of Old Farts is much better, the second pitch of Psychosis is no looser than many passages on Eldo classics, and the climbing is steep, well-protected, and fun. Do Old Farts if it's your first time in the area, but don't rule out doing P2 of Psychosis on a return visit. Apr 18, 2007
Please check your spelling of my last name. And it was Bob Hritz, not Chris Reveley completing the foursome. May 12, 2009
Chris Archer
  5.10+ PG13
Chris Archer  
  5.10+ PG13
I hadn't done this route in over 15 years until Saturday and it was terrific. Much better than I remembered with the 3OF 2d pitch var. While 11a for the 3d pitch start seemed generous, 10a for the upper hand crack seemed quite stout. A blue Camalot was the biggest piece of gear we took and it came in handy protecting the crux moves above the roof on 3OF as well as the flare on the 3d pitch direct start. The rest of the rack consisted of RPs (optional), Nuts 1-6, and 2 sets of cams: Aliens - gold Camalot, (1) Blue Camalot. This is probably more than most folks will need, but we managed to place most of it! Jun 1, 2009
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
  5.11a PG13
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
  5.11a PG13
There is currently a very sleepy or very dead bird in the third pitch. Maybe a pair of BBQ tongs should be added to the required equipment list. Please extract this bird and give it a final flight.

The direct 3rd pitch variation is one of the better ways to get air between your legs at Eldo. Wild!!! Jul 1, 2009
Danny Inman
  5.11a R
Danny Inman   Arvada
  5.11a R
The direct third pitch roof is better than the roof on Vertigo, IMHO. Aug 14, 2010
ChanVan Schaack
Denver, CO
ChanVan Schaack   Denver, CO
*CONDITION REPORT* The big jug chockstone in the middle of the P3 direct roof pitch is VERY LOOSE. Use extreme caution! Oct 19, 2010
Dave Vaughan
Boulder, CO
Dave Vaughan   Boulder, CO
The jug in the middle of the roof crack on P3 is now gone! I was quite surprised to see this when a buddy and I did the route a couple of days ago. Feels just a tad harder to climb and definitely harder to get the no feet hero swing that used to be part of the P3 fun :-) Jan 23, 2012
This route is now my favorite Eldo pitch. I did it in one pitch through the direct roof, passing the rope management Levin test without knowing there was one here! The second pitch is not perfect rock, but it really fun and steep. The third pitch is more sustained than Vertigo and much more fun. Mar 21, 2012
Keith Leary
Broomfield, CO
Keith Leary   Broomfield, CO
It was great watching you get this, Anthony. Thanks for letting me try to follow you on this great long pitch. Mar 22, 2012
David A. Turner
David A. Turner  
Vertigo roof is shorter, with one hard move. No one move is as hard on Psycho Direct, but the burly factor goes on much longer, and the pump starts to stack up. Canyon classic with 2nd pitch of 3 OF. Nov 7, 2012
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
I linked up P1 of Psychosis, P2 of Three Old Farts, and the Psychosis direct roof for an onsight attempt yesterday. It required 75 meters of an 80 meter rope to reach the belay trees. While resting below the top roof, an apparently solid block that I was standing on decided to pop off and fly towards my belayer. Fortunately, my belayer dodged the flying block, and I had good handholds and stayed on, averting a potentially spectacular whip to my last stopper 25+ feet below. Be careful where you put your feet below the top roof. Some of the rotten blocks may be less solid than they appear. Dec 14, 2014
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Linked Psychosis to 3 Old Farts to direct roof this morning with a 70m and had plenty of rope to get to the good trees. Don't know which way the previous poster went to have to use 75m.

Carried doubles in finger, singles in 1-4, with an extra 2 and seemed to be about perfect. Double in 0.75/1 would probably help.

One of the best roofs in Eldo! Sep 4, 2015