Type: Trad
FA: Layton Kor, Larry Dalke, 1962
Page Views: 4,054 total · 19/month
Shared By: Steve "Crusher" Bartlett on Nov 10, 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
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This is one of the top 5.9 Eldo pitches for anyone comfortable on Eldo 5.10. Perhaps not recommended for the aspiring and nervous leader cutting their teeth on 5.9!

The pitch has everything, thin face about 40 feet up, with sparse gear, wild laybacking over the halfway roof, a sqeeze chimney (yes!) and finally steep handjamming right at the top, where the 150 foot of exposure over the Upper Ramp feels more like several hundred feet of air over South Boulder Creek. Add to this a few pigeons, some suspect holds here and there, very few chalkmarks, and definitely no crowds. All in all, this pitch has atmosphere out of all proportion to its rating, hence the name, which I'm sure comes from the similarity to the steep juggy climbing on slightly dubious rock found in the Dolomites.

On a practical note, (ho-hum) this route is located atop the Upper Ramp, left of Upper Ruper and the huge shallow cave, and ascends a proud arete. Start to the left, run it out up an easy face, then move right to the main face. Up thin face here, then join the obvious crack. Stop when the rock doesn't go up anymore. Rap Chockstone Chimney back the base. If you'd rather not use long slings on everything, you can belay just below the halfway roof, but I find it hard to stop....


Bring a regular selection of Eldo gear. No RPs needed, and make sure you have a couple 2.5 or 3" cams.


The final roof protects well with a #3 Camalot. Great line, good exposure, but bird crap and some loose rock on the lower section makes the route a little less asthetic. Good Jams and underclings on the final roof as well as good pro on this part of the climb! Jun 28, 2002
What a great line-especially the first half. Steep, nice moves, really great stuff.

A few comments. You would need a lot of slings to run this as one long pitch.I put a sling on every piece, but I still had some drag belaying between the roofs. If I guy could find a way to keep the rope from rolling into the finger crack through the roof it would help, but still, it would be tough. We broke it in two pitches shown in the Rossiter guide and it was fine.

Also, add pitch two to the list of big time bird shit climbs in Eldo. This is the worst I've seen-my parter lead the second half, and I got crap all over my hands cleaning a cam at the crux. Mostly it was avoidable, but not all. Nasty stuff. Sep 16, 2002
Although the route draw a 5.9 s rating, there are numerous opportunities to place good protection in reasonably solid rock. Be aware that some of the appealing placements might be rotten, loose, or slightly decomposed. But, most of the climbing is steep, and circuitous with good feet and jamming through out. Be aware of the rope getting in the crack going over the bulge on the first pitch. There is potential for a fiasco here. Some folks might want a fatty cam for the upper bulge on the second pitch, but all said most folks will probably be content leaving the heavy hardware at home. The position of this route is awesome, even with a little bird shit on the back of the hand! Jun 27, 2003
Great route, a bit runout down low, reasonable pro beyond. Sep 29, 2004
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
A steep, exposed, and exciting route. Start just right of Chockstone Chimney. The initial slab can be protected with a pink tricam down low and a medium hex or cam at the top. Use long runners to keep down rope drag. Exquisite climbing up a steep flake leads to an airy roof. This pitch is a three-star Eldo classic.

The wide section starting the second pitch is well-protected with a #3 Camalot. No offwidth moves are needed as it can be climbed on the outside. There is some bird poop up higher, just below the crux roof, but most of it can be avoided.

From the top, an easy scramble leads to the top of Chockstone Chimney. From here, continue up on Smoke and Mirrors or rappel 100' back to the start. Sep 29, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.9 PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.9 PG13
Still a section of bird crap on the second pitch- But it was avoidable, so I avoided it.
Still there is so much down in the crack there that you will want to face-climb around it and also so much that placing gear is problematic for a body length unless you intend to shovel the crack out first. There was one fixed HB offset in the doo-doo that you could clip for easy pro, but it was hard to inspect, it was so buried.

The 'R' parts seemed no harder than 5.8. The 5.9 sections had gear within a body length.

Gets a prize for the steepest positive holkds around for 5.9... tied with "Futile Laments" on Wind Tower. Apr 11, 2006
  5.9+ R
SirVato   Boulder
  5.9+ R
We started this route to the right of the line in the beta photo so, the lowest roof on the right in that pic, was our first obstacle. The climbing was great!! I agree that the runout parts are more 5.8 but man, they seemed pretty run-out to me. Jun 2, 2006
M. Morley
Sacramento, CA
  5.9 PG13
M. Morley   Sacramento, CA  
  5.9 PG13
A good route (a minor classic) with reasonable pro where you need it. As others have said, the first 30' is definitely runout, but easy. May 17, 2007
Clint Locks
  5.9+ R
Clint Locks   Boulder
  5.9+ R
We climbed this as one long pitch, and it was quite a surprise gem! Bird poop was at a minimum (05/07). To substantiate earlier comment, make sure and extend ALL slings...it's run-out anyway; what's another 12 inches? Jun 16, 2007
Jay Eggleston
  5.9 R
Jay Eggleston   Denver
  5.9 R
I climbed this today and found it to be a really good route. I had stayed away from it for a long time due to the "R" rating. It is somewhat runout at the start but after that the gear is "good", although spaced out somewhat. Both my partner and I agree that the 5.9 pitch was one of the easier 9s that we have done in the canyon. There are two fixed nuts below the crux roof. Mar 10, 2008
Sergio P
Idaho Springs, CO
  5.9+ PG13
Sergio P   Idaho Springs, CO
  5.9+ PG13
To do it in one long pitch you need about 7 draws, 12 runners and 2 double runners. If not, welcome to rope drag Meca.

To minimize ground fall potential, near the bottom I began in a good crack for about 25' placed a #0.5 Camalot, made the easy, but tricky traverse right to the other crack, placed another small cam then traversed back left to clean the first cam. This eliminated any ground fall potential and by back cleaning minimized rope drag. Apr 7, 2008
Lakewood, CO
Mikeco   Lakewood, CO
As of June 21, 2008, the bird crap is no big deal and is totally avoidable. Jun 24, 2008
Golden, Co
WadeM   Golden, Co
Fun route. Run out didn't seem too bad, although I didn't lead it. I lead the second half of the route. Make sure you are confident with your ring locks (two really good ones pulling halfway roof) and hand jams. The second roof is followed by about 3 to 4 moves of solid jams!!!!!!

Did this in a linkup with Giant Giraffe.

As far as the runout...it seemed 5.6 to me. Really wasn't that bad. May 2, 2012
Boulder, CO
butlerbt   Boulder, CO
Excellent pitch! Some looseness, some tricky gear, some steep climbing, it all keeps you engaged. May 10, 2018