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Routes in West Face

Amber T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
American Beauty S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Curve of Binding Energy S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Furious Howard Brown S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Impeachara S 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a
Mercy Drilling T,S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
North Crack T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Northwest Passage T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Other One, The S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Pocket Fisherman S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Shakedown Street S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Space Goats S 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Wise Crack S 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Type: Sport
FA: Chris Alber, 2000
Page Views: 221 total, 1/month
Shared By: Elijah Flenner on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

21 Opinions

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Seasonal Closure Details


This route climbs just to the right of the left arete on the West Face of Surprising Crag. It starts up a large lieback flake to a crux pulling the lip. The second bolt is hard to clip. After the crux, there is a short hard section to much easier climbing to the anchor, which is up and right. The left anchor is for Pocket Fisherman.


7 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor.


Mark Rolofson
Mark Rolofson  
I struggle to understand Nathan's comment, regarding if the 2nd bolt was lower it would avoid breaking an angle. First, the landing is quite good, and if you blew the 2nd clip, it is not far to the ground. By bouldering standards, it wouldn't be too bad unless you landed on your back or head. Still avoiding a groundfall is always wise. I ALWAYS STICK CLIP THE 2ND BOLT TO AVOID A GROUNDFALL. Lowering the bolt would make the clip marginally easier, while not protecting the moves over the lip as well. It may even make it harder to work the moves pulling over the lip too. The bolt could only be lowered about 6" or less. Putting it below the handhold or in the roof would likely be putting a bolt in a hollow flake.

Regarding the quickdraw blocking the handhold, it has never been a big problem because the good part of the diagonal hold its upper left side. This is at least a foot left of the quickdraw.

I have climbed this route many times since 2000. The start is a powerful roof problem. Taping the right hand helps for a flared hand jam in the flake in the roof. Apr 6, 2017
Nathan Welton
Estes Park, CO
Nathan Welton   Estes Park, CO
Would love to see that second bolt placed lower, so you don't break an ankle if you fall and also so you don't have the draw hanging right in the middle of the hold. Jun 26, 2013
I did not notice the drilled holds at the bottom the many years ago that I first did the route. One is in a natural foot placement, but I don't use the others. I think the one can be avoided with the foot, but it is lame that it exists at all. Feb 4, 2013
Phil Lauffen
The Bubble
Phil Lauffen   The Bubble
Massive, drilled jug holds at the beginning. Way lame, and also completely unnecessary. Aug 30, 2011
S. F. Pitman
Boulder, CO
S. F. Pitman   Boulder, CO
I really enjoyed this route. Making that first clip would be much less frightening if you had a bouldering pad. The moves never really seemed to get into the .12 range to me, but I haven't climbed much at the grade in Boulder Canyon, so it could just be a matter of [lack of] perspective. Dec 23, 2009
The guidebook suggestion to place a long draw on the second bolt is helpful. Otherwise, make sure your belayer is right underneath you and paying attention. Too bad I had to climb the miserable route to the left to set it up. May 6, 2002