Mountain Project Logo
To save paper & ink, use the [Hide] controls next to photos and comments so you only print what you need.

Penny Pincher

V3+, Boulder,  Avg: 3 from 94 votes
FA: David E. Bohn
Colorado > Ft Collins > Horsetooth Rese… > Rotary Park > Pitch Penny Boulder


On the Penny Boulder (see Penny Lunge), find a littering of iron (black/red nubbins) on the north side of the west face. Crimp and edge your way up on the face. I flag here.


It has a flat landing. A pad is nice.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Dalton gripping the grabs!
[Hide Photo] Dalton gripping the grabs!
Penny pinching with a view.
[Hide Photo] Penny pinching with a view.
The crux move.
[Hide Photo] The crux move.
Me moving to the first crimp.
[Hide Photo] Me moving to the first crimp.
Chase extending up The Penny.
[Hide Photo] Chase extending up The Penny.
Upper moves on Penny Pincher.
[Hide Photo] Upper moves on Penny Pincher.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

Mitch Musci
Estes Park, CO
[Hide Comment] Really cool problem. It will do a number on your tips though. Apr 9, 2002
[Hide Comment] Fingerlock Face? I thought that was on the Mental Block. I never did name this anything originally so whatever concensus has decided to call it now is fine with me but let's try for an original name OK? Dave Bohn aka "Old Fart" Apr 13, 2002
[Hide Comment] This is the hardest V3 in the area. I would actually give it a V4, but what do I know? The problem with this problem is if you climb it at the start of the day you lose your skin and can't climb anything else. Jul 25, 2003
[Hide Comment] The problem to the right of the penny pincher is an awesome few moves. V1??? I've climbed lots of V1's and it's definately more of a hard V2. It all depends on how tall you are. And yes, plan on leaving your skin behind. Nov 21, 2005
[Hide Comment] I hate this problem. It seems that I can never really work on it, my tips just seem to be on the verge of falling off everytime I try it. One day she will be conquered........right Tyler? Mar 10, 2006
[Hide Comment] Yep this problem is a killer. You gotta start it fresh and give it your all. Really squeeze that ear shaped hold with you right hand and crank that down on that low crimper with your left as you position your foot to ascend. that left toe has to be pointed on that small little rubber-smeared shelf or you're gonna pop right off the rock. this is the move that kicks my butt, but once you get that, you're gold, or so I hope. Mar 27, 2006
[Hide Comment] Interesting! I worked on this problem fiercely, usually at the end of my bouldering session, and under the impression from a guide book that it was rated 5.10+ (V-1 whatever). Glad to see its in the V2 to V3 range which is what I always thought it felt like. Any way, fun crimp fest. Apr 23, 2006
Jeremy Monahan
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] One problem (original or not, probably not) if you go from the start holds on the dyno (the lower start holds) and traverse up high to your left and climb up the slightly overhanging final prow (all the way across the lake side of this boulder). Probably about V5, but use your best guess, as I have only climbed to the prow, not completely up it. Don't know if anyone else has done this, but the traverses are probably the most challenging problems at this boulder. Dec 2, 2006
[Hide Comment] Does anyone have any info on the short roof problem at the extreme north end of the pitch penny? It begins on the two terrible crimps at thigh height and powers up and right (or left - which ever seems more plausible) to a good hold, then up the NW arete (immediately left of penny pincher). I know it has been traversed into as a harder, alternate exit to the silver dollar traverse but was curious what the problem's name and/or grade is. I would guess a hard 4 for the straight up problem and V9 or harder when used as the silver dollar exit. Any information would be appreciated. Oct 12, 2007
Fort Collins
[Hide Comment] Felt WAY hard for V3 IMO. May 13, 2009
[Hide Comment] I don't know about the name of the overhang on the North side, but I've done the problem going up left and it feels significant;y harder than V4 to me. I'd give it a solid 6. Great problem either way.
As for the Penny Pincher, maybe it's just something about this particular problem for me, but I give it a solid 4, if not 5. I find it just as hard as the Punk Rock Traverse, and definitely as hard as Corner Lock, and Mental block's Standard Route. I think it's harder than the right Eliminator, to compare it to problems in the area. I just felt the need to comment on it because I was having a discussion about it just hours ago and we agreed on solid 4, as hard as some 5s. Oct 19, 2009
Rob Paulsen
[Hide Comment] This is not an easy problem for a V3, but I have a hard time believing that the grade could be much higher than V3+. I've only sent a couple other V3s (Nipple Wall and Finger Ripper) and this problem doesn't feel that much harder than those two. It takes a little while to get a feel for the balance on Penny Pincher, and it also takes a bit for your fingers to adjust to the pinch. Maybe it's just me, but Mental Standard and Right Eliminator feel like a whole different grade. Oct 20, 2009
Yonkonian Yonkers
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] Agree with Rob, quite balancy and delicate particularly on the backstep. Definitely not as hard as Cornerlock or the Standard. Solid V3. Apr 9, 2012
grog m
[Hide Comment] Sweet problem. It would be a tough onsight. Definitely V3. Not a gimme but not V4. If you are shorter like myself, think creatively with your feet.... Nov 25, 2015
Phil Pullshard
Fort Collins, Colorado
[Hide Comment] Wow, it hurts my soul seeing this route being consensus at V3+. Sharp holds and a long reach does not warrant V3, I'm sorry. You're saying this is harder than the Nipple Wall (V3) and Beach Crack (V3) at Carter Lake or as hard as Right Eliminator at Rotary and Monkey Traverse on Flagstaff Mountain (both V4). Outdoor climbing differs from indoor climbing, grades do not translate between the two. Original grade was V2, more like a solid sand bag at V1+. Feb 10, 2017
Aaron Johnston
fort collins
[Hide Comment] Really fun to figure out the beta on this one. It started out feeling impossible.

Now that I finally got it, I’ll say that while I don’t think this needs to be upgraded at felt worlds harder than Beach Crack, and considerably harder than Nipple Wall. I thought Finger Ripper was comparable but maybe a touch easier. Haven’t really started working the V4s yet, so can’t compare them.

Regardless of difficulty, it’s a really good problem that requires some thoughtful movement and pain tolerance. Mar 10, 2020
Gabe Allen
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] Leagues harder than Finger Ripper. Probably well graded though. Any time I see a plus I know I'm in for it. Sep 1, 2021