Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: [Dan Vasicek and Bob Cormack, 1972]
Page Views: 995 total · 5/month
Shared By: Warren Teissier on May 29, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Closures Details


This steep two pitch route is on the West face of Overhang rock. It follows a nondescript, right-facing dihedral that doesn't quite reach the base. It is the last big feature on the West face as you are looking North. Note that this climb felt burly, not your average 5.6.

Approach the proximity of the base and scramble up on some 4th class to a dirty ledge.

P1. From the ledge, some large flakes/blocks lead up a crack to a couple of bulges. Protection is good but not necessarily in line with the route. Crank on some large holds up the first bulge and protect in a hand sized crack to the right. Traverse left and up over the second bulge (crux). This section can be made trickier if you try to avoid the bat guano that covers the most obvious and useful jugs. Run up an easy ramp and belay in the ramp/dihedral.

P2. Rossiter has P2 continuing up the now menacing dihedral (5.8). We followed the Roach description. He has P-2 traversing right across a large slab with a lot of exposure (5.4 S). You can protect before the traverse and about 3/4 of the way across (large piece).

From there, climb up a hand crack onto a section of lose rotten block and work your way up an overhanging slot (5.6?) to the ridge. Protection before the slot crux is hard to come by and suspect once found. The summit will be some 50 feet to the south.

Descent - Rappel from the summit down the East face. A 60m rope will reach all the way down, otherwise do a second rappel from a tree lower down.


Standard rack, a #3.5 Camalot comes in very handy.

Bring slings for the rappel(s).


George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
You need a 20' piece of sling/cord for the rap off the summit. However, we put in a new sling today (5/30/2002) and there is another older sling for backup, so this should be OK for a few years.

This route has sections of fantastic rock and great climbing, but also some bat guano right at the crux and much loose rock near the top. In other words, normal trad adventure climbing! May 30, 2002
FA actually Dan Vasicek and Bob Cormack, 1972. Dan Vasicek and Gerry Roach tried route in 1971, but avoided the "threatening dihedral" by moving right up ramp, etc (the route in Gerry's guidebook). The route was not named, however, until Dan came back the next year and (with Cormack) pushed straight up from the bottom (dihedral, etc.) -- this crack had fascinated Dan ever since he first saw it several years before. The name relates to the mental strain of having to go as far as possible on each (usually very good) hold before finding the next good (but usually hidden) hold. The route was originally rated 5.5, but has been progressively upgraded: people who expected it to be easy (5.5) have often been put off by the aforementioned mental effort required, while those who expected it to be harder (e.g., 5.8) are pleasantly surprised by the quality and security of the holds. The unusual quality of the route (given its steepness) is that it can be climbed on simple and secure holds, if one is willing to search for them.

The original rappel was from two very secure pins in an expanding flake. The pins walked out a millimeter every rappel and had to be regularly re-driven. The last time I climbed Overhang Rock, the pins had been allowed to work themselves over half-way out. 50 or 60 whacks with a nut-hammer re-set them, but it was obvious that people were no longer maintaining them -- probably just as well that the anchor is now slings.

Bob Cormack Jan 15, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
This feels somewhat reminiscent of the desert for some reason, maybe the rock. P1 is probably gonna be tough for anyone 5 ft 6 in or less. A #4 Camalot is helpful at the start. From the guano'ed jug, a long reach up & L to a great finger pocket seemed to be the ticket. P2 felt full value 8 to a chicken, non-13a, Denver-Boulder climber not used to wide cracks. There is a small tree with slings & rings at the top of P2, though an easy traverse to the summit is quite pleasant. May 5, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.8 PG13
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
  5.8 PG13
You can lead the entire thing from the ledge 30' up just before the #4 Camalot placement all the way to the E-facing summit anchor bolts with a 70m rope via the direct second pitch...which BTW is the steepest 5.8+ I can ever recall doing and deserves more stars and attention than it seems to get, but I'd hate to see a budding 5.8 leader (get hurt) on this one. Nov 2, 2014
Followed this today. For me, P2 up the dihedral seemed burly - agree with Mr. Bubb on the 8+ rating - maybe I was not patient enough to find the better hand holds, but the feet were not there...I found it a lot harder than the P1 5.8 crux.

We did rap off the S face (2 bolts), but a 60m rope did NOT make it all the way down. We ended up about 10 feet off the ground and had to downclimb - one could easily rap off the ends of the rope. There is an intermediate anchor in the pine tree, but we did not use. Sep 14, 2017