Type: Sport, 100 ft
FA: Mark Rolofson and Bob D' Antonio, 1983
Page Views: 1,725 total · 8/month
Shared By: William Prehm on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details


This route is located on the east side of South Gateway Rock on the Drug Wall. The fastest way to get there is to park at the main parking area on the north side of the loop. Rocket Fuel will be on the left side of the cement path just before you get to the Twin Spires formation. The route works its way up the slab to a face climb left of the blocky roofs that make up Crescent Corner. Also left of Might Thor (seam next to Crescent Corner).

Difficult slab/thin edge climbing at the bottom to a pumpy face climb up pockets before the ledge anchor.

This is a Garden of the Gods classic climb.


7 or 8 bolts to a cable anchor.


It's worth mentioning that at least as of a few years ago, this was a safe, fun lead. There are pins all over the face, and as long as you trust 30 year old iron, you'll be stoked. Nov 16, 2001
justin dubois
Estes Park
justin dubois   Estes Park
Thirty year old iron? It says the first ascent was done in 1983. I'm confused. Jan 16, 2002
Once you get to the first pin, this climb seems quite well-protected and looks like fun. However, I find it interesting that there is no mention of the healthy run to the first pin (even by Garden standards). While I have come to expect such runouts at The Garden, my tail was placed securely between my legs as I backed off of this one, finding mandatory, 5.8+/5.9, insecure, slab moves well off the deck and well below the first pin. Perhaps I took the wrong path, or there used to be another pin here, or I somehow missed a protection opportunity. Could be that my spirit is just weak. Either way, heads up on this one. Jul 26, 2002
I am just now getting around to my "tick list" and putting my two cents in on CB. I climbed this with Darin over Labor Day weekend and I just have a few comments to add. The beta is very accurate. The anchors are the same as Mighty Thor and you can rap the route with a 60m rope with a few feet to spare on each end.

From what I saw the runout to the 1st pin was just that: really, really run out. This climb changed "personalities" about three different times. The bottom is fairly moderate, standard GoG slab, unprotected but not impossible. The middle is easily the crux. Your slab skills better be sharpened on this section. Once you get under the headwall, you get into the "gym" section. Face climbing on pockets and the standard slopey edges gets you up and over the ledge. A few more edgy moves gets you the anchor.

If you are looking for a good way to try this route, I suggest the following: Lead up Mighty Thor (awesome route), have a second clean that route. Put draws on the anchors up top, rap off the draws. You can then TR Rocket Fuel. Worked well for Darin and I when we got on this really fun route. Definitely worth the attempt. Adios! Oct 10, 2003
Jon Cannon  
This route is concentrated evil.

Whomever declared that it has three distinct personalities was spot on in their assessment. The climbing on the upper headwall was a bit more difficult, IMO, but that's perhaps because I was beat by the time I got up to it. Oct 20, 2003
Larry Shaw
Larry Shaw  
30 or so feet to the first pin. There were several pin lines and I went up the furthest right line. It only had two pins to the headwall and thin slab in the middle. The headwall makes the climb and is tons of fun with good feet....man I hate garden slab :) May 28, 2004
Another option is to do what I did: Lead Mighty Thor, then lower down over this route (or any of the three routes with equally high pins: The Fixer, Pure Energy, Rocket Fuel) and clip the first pin. Pull the rope carefully and the rope should stay clipped to the first pin.

GREAT climb. I absolutely love slab climbing, and the first 60 feet of Rocket Fuel and Pure Energy are as good as it gets for sandstone. The headwall is tricky, but if you follow the pockets on the right, it seems only to be hard 10 I would guess.

The slab portion of this climb would be rated 5.8 if it were granite! Aug 16, 2004
Wyatt Peck  
As of 6/11/16, there are no sport anchors at the top of this route. It is possible that there are cable anchors hidden somewhere in the grassy ledge near the top of the slab, but anything in there would most likely be unusable. We ended up having to climb over to the anchors of Mighty Thor (great climb, btw) which is about 30 feet from the last bolt on Rocket Fuel. Not fun. Note: if you do this, you are most likely going to run out of rope to clean the route, so clean as many bolts as you can, then lower into gully on the left side of this route, swap belayers, and clean the route from the bottom up. Then rappel down the gully. Jun 12, 2016
Mark Rolofson
Mark Rolofson  
Some interesting comments about this climb & the scary solo to the 1st bolt. I am not opposed to adding a lower bolt. Here's a bit of a history lesson: after Kevin Murray removed the first drilled piton on my early attempt at "The Fixer" in 1974, I got used to soloing up its current high pin. So when I established Rocket Fuel, it was no problem to climb this high before drilling its first piton. I don't think the climbing is as hard as 5.8/5.9, if you have good route finding skills. Remember, if you fall on a low-angle slab like this, stay in the climbing position & ride it out. It's much slower than an airborne fall, & you may even slide to a stop.

Secondly, this original finish of Rocket Fuel is actually the finish of Pure Energy & visa versa. I tried to establish Rocket Fuel ground up from free stances & thus was forced to traverse left at the headwall. Once below where the last pin is now (for Pure Energy), I encountered a large, loose flake. With no good way around it, I retreated. I then rapped in & removed the flake & drilled the last pin, as there was no free stance here. Naturally, no one climbs this route via its original indirect line.

The friction crux at the 3rd pin was originally very smooth, & we rated it .12a. I remember blowing sand off the smear to stick to it. By 1985, this poor smear had worn into a nice dish & the rating dropped to .11b. Dec 31, 2018