Type: Trad, 2 pitches Fixed Hardware (4)
FA: FA: 5.7 A2 Dave Dornan & Joe Oliver, 1960. FFA: Jim Erickson & Jim Walsh, 1968
Page Views: 2,383 total · 11/month
Shared By: StanL on Nov 2, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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42 Opinions

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Access Issue: Subject to Seasonal Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details


Approach Mickey Mouse Nailup as for Vertigo, Yellow Spur, etc. Begin behind a large tree about 20 feet to the left of Vertigo.

In many ways Mickey Mouse Nailup reminds me of Darkness 'Til Dawn: while hardly inspiring from the view at the bottom it is, in actuality, it is a really fun and steep route.

Start climbing on easy rock that gets progressively more difficult (and with progressively worse pro) to the crux at around 40 feet. Figure out the crux, continue up the crack past some old pins (sustained 5.9), and into a weird chimney. Exit the chimney by pulling the fin to the left- -an exceptional move- -and head to the two-bolt anchor with chains. 100 feet.

From the chains, one can either rap to the bottom or (better) continue up over easy 5.5 rock to the top of the Upper Ramp. By combining Mickey Mouse Nailup with the Italian Arete, which starts practically right where the second pitch of Mickey Mouse ends, one is treated to two of Eldorado's more zesty 5.9 climbs.


RPs to a #3 Camalot

While the pro is not as sparse as it is on similarly rated climbs (i.e. Italian Arete, Metamorphosis, etc.), the leader should be prepared to make a couple of committing moves up to and above the crux that are well above the last piece of gear (mid-sized RP). Also, Rossiter's topo shows a pin protecting the moves near the crux. It's no longer there. Climb 100 feet and aim left to a two bolt anchor with chains.
I found this route to be "s" rated more for the quality of the protection than the quantity. Many placements (albeit tricky and easily overlooked) are available, but only a precious few inspire much confidence. Combine the general insecurity of all the moves on the first pitch and throw in a couple of loose blocks that look like good holds (one before the first good gear placement - heads up), and it adds up to an unsettling and generally unaesthetic trip to the Upper Ramp. Opinions certainly vary widely on this, however - Rossiter gives it a star in his most recent guide. A one-star climb in my book, with the brief exception of the really fun moves out of the weird chimney.

For the second pitch you can also move up and right into a right-facing dihedral (5.6 or 5.7), and then back left to the rappel tree. Mar 21, 2002
George Bell
Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
George Bell   Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
I thought this route was much scarier (as a lead) than Darkness 'til Dawn. Definitely not "Mickey Mouse". Mar 21, 2002
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
I enjoyed this route, but my left arm got really pumped pinching and laybacking off all all the ribs on the arete. I agree with Darin that there is lots of gear, but it's not inspiring. At the crux, my partner Luke asked, "How's that piece." "OK by not great." "How's the piece below?" "OK, but also not great." I then looked further down, and it was a long way to what a considered a reliable piece. However, at the crux I got a very good red/#2 Camalot up high. The pins above are not as bad as Rossiter implies. I was glad they were there. The move out of the chimney was a blast. I was messing around trying to get gear, but then decided to do without, because the handholds are so big. You end up close to horizontal looking down through the chimnet to the ground. Exciting. A double set of blue through red Aliens or the equivalent are useful. Mar 8, 2003
Climbed this route again today... steep, exciting and many good stances to place pro. Though the pro is sometimes tricky, the many pins make up for it... as long as you keep you eyes open for them. Nov 5, 2004
Brent Roaten
Anchorage, AK
Brent Roaten   Anchorage, AK
Climbed this route last weekend. From the above comments I was expecting manky pins and runout moves protectable only with small wires and found neither. The climbing is secure with decent rest stances. I was able to supplement the pins with bomber though somewhat tricky gear. The last pin with the perlon sling is definitely suspect but I was able to place a #1 Camalot just above it. Some difficult moves are made above your gear so I wouldn't recommend the route to the new 5.9 leader but it certainly doesn't compare with other routes in the canyon with a 5.9+ rating. Sep 19, 2005
A month or so ago I removed the loose block down low, so no need for heads up there.

Variation: Climb to the chimney in the big hanging flake, but climb right around the flake to a short, dirty right-facing corner (crux), then up past some blocks and a crack (Darin Lang Mar 21, 2002 variation meets here). Exit left on a slab to the rappel chains. ("Mouse Trap" 5.10a PG 0-stars, FRA David Light, Steve Levin Oct 2006). The quantity of jettisoned loose rock on our ascent suggests no climber had ever been there before. Oct 20, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.9 PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.9 PG13
Plenty of gear- it is just that not all of it is good. Place lots and keep cool- if a piece pops, no big deal. Apr 1, 2007
George Bell
Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
George Bell   Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
Looks like the consensus is against an R rating. I'd agree with PG13.

If climbing ratings changed with movie ratings, technically there is no longer an X rating. This has been replaced by NC-17, which could stand for "No Climbing under the age of 17"! Apr 2, 2007
Greg D
  5.9 PG13
Greg D   Here
  5.9 PG13
Wow. What a great climb. Definitely an overlooked gem. Fairly sustained climbing with decent rests after each difficult spot. Found lots of solid gear although not at sport distances. This may be my favorite 9 pitch in the canyon. Apr 6, 2010
Rodger Raubach
Loveland, CO
  5.10a R
Rodger Raubach   Loveland, CO
  5.10a R
I've been on this route twice, and it definitely is NOT a Mickey Mouse route. It seemed to me and each of my partners to be a definite old school "sandbag" at 5.9. Definitely either 5.9+/5.10a. Jun 2, 2011
I had no trouble protecting this route and felt more comfortable on this than for example Purple Haze. Rossiter says 'poorly protected crack', which had me scared away for a while, but once I was on it, it wasn't bad at all. Jul 13, 2011
Chris N
Loveland, Co
Chris N   Loveland, Co
FA: 5.7 A2 Dave Dornan & Joe Oliver, 1960. FFA: Jim Erickson & Jim Walsh, 1968. May 13, 2016