Type: Trad
FA: Joyce and Richard Rossiter, 1986
Page Views: 1,201 total · 6/month
Shared By: Matt Robertson on Dec 7, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

12 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details
Access Issue: 2017 Raptor Closure Lifted Details


Missing Link is a variation to the dihedral pitch of Gambit. From the cramped alcove "belay" midway up pitch 2 (where Gambit cuts right to switch to the left-facing corner), Missing Link instead takes the obvious chalked roof crack out left. The crack is easier than it appears and involves more underclinging and reaching than jamming. A balance transfer onto a high foot ledge (flexibility helps here) moves past sharp hand jams and onto some lower angled, lichen-covered rock. Face climb up to a spacious ledge and continue with Gambit, Ginseng Junkie, or Tiger Balm Arete. The latter is highly recommended to conclude any Shirt Tail route; moderate and extremely exposed arete crawling in a superb position to gain the loftiest summit in Eldorado.

Trade a three-star pitch for a one-star boulder problem and you've got Missing Link. Exchange the beautiful, clean, sustained Gambit dihedral for a cruxy, awkward, flaky and unaesthetic variation only if you really want something a little more difficult than 5.8.


This pitch requires cams up to a #1 Camalot. Unless you're soloing 5.8, your rack for the approach pitches will more than suffice. Handsize pieces may be useful for the belay.


Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
That wasn't chalk Matt, that was bird poo. I went up to do this climb last weekend and backed off. The last straw was [stepping] out onto the overhang and having some crumble into my eye. I ended up finishing on Gambit because the crux underclings were so covered in crap. Feb 19, 2002
This pitch is more than a boulder problem. The crux undercling section is 5.10d, but the small roof above is 10c. Indeed, the bird shit on this pitch is bad and really the only reason not to do the pitch. The disgusting section is quite short, probably just one or two hand placments. The climbing is challenging and cool and would be at least 2-stars if it wasn't for the crap...

A variation can be done on the wall just left of the undercling. My partner in fact led it this way and didn't touch any bird shit. It is quite hard though (11a/b?) and you'll get a ways above gear before being able to reach back into the crack to place gear. I followed in the crack and had to do just 1-2 disgusting moves. Apr 1, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
After waiting 3.7 years (since Feb 2002) for this thing to clean up, I went back to climb it in 10/05. Much to my dismay, it was still full of crap. Figuring that it was not going to clean up soon I figured I might as well just do it.The poo is like teflon, reducing all that would be grippy to a slick powdery coating. It has lost some stench, and is not as pungent as years ago, but I'd still loathe to get it into a cut, or eat with hands dirty from it.The climb is hard at the 10c grade assigned in text by Rossiter, though I note his Topo says 10d. It is considerably harder than Tagger, Grandmother's Challenge, or Sooberb, which I consider to be 'benchmark' 10c's; 10d is probably about right.The moves are cool and clever. If it were not for the crap in it it would be a 3-star [variation]. But it looks like the crap is here to stay, so tape up, put on googles and a dust mask, and tick off one more in Eldo, disease-free. Oct 17, 2005
Billy Danger
Asheville, NC
Billy Danger   Asheville, NC
I liked this variation. I've climbed it twice, both times in the winter of '07, and it wasn't covered in bird crap. I agree that it is a little harder than Grandmother's Challenge. May 18, 2007
Yes, the first 6 feet are basically saturated in bird crap...but I still thought it was really good climbing with great position. Burly underclinging and awkward jamming with good pro (assuming it doesn't grease out on the crap). Save some 0.5-1 inch gear for above where it is mildly runout 5.8 climbing (but seriously runout if you don't have those sizes). Oct 21, 2012
Christian Mason
Westminster CO
Christian Mason   Westminster CO
Climbed this on Sunday 8-22. Left a seriously over cammed purple #0.5 BD on the roof crack.

It's still up there. If someone wants to return it, I'll repay the favor with good karma and beer. If they want to keep it, that's cool too. Aug 22, 2017