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Routes in Acid Rock

Charley Don't Surf T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Divine Ms M., The T,S 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Four Eyes T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Sandinista T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
Scary Monsters T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b X
Unknown between Divine Miss M & Erotic Plants S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Type: Trad, Sport, 4 pitches
FA: David Kozak and Eric Boelke
Page Views: 3,021 total · 16/month
Shared By: Derek Lawrence on May 26, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Approach as for Charlie Don't Surf. Climb the first 30 feet of Charley and traverse right to the first bolt. Weave up the rock past 2-3 more bolts to the 1st anchor. The 2nd pitch follows 7-8 bolts up the dark water groove with a slight crux at the top. The stemming and edging up the feldspar crystals in the groove makes this a 3 star route in my book.

This past year, someone has bolted what seems to be an alternative start to this route. It starts up to the right of the wide crack (Erotic Plants-5.6) crosses the crack and continues past a few more bolts to a new set of anchors 10' right of divine's 1st pitch anchors. The rating and quality of this new start is unknown. (It is VERY well protected though).

Rap the route from the top of the second pitch with double ropes (a single rope will rope probably get you to the anchors of the new route). The guidebook shows a 3rd and 4th pitch to the top, but these seem to be rarely done.


2-3 small/med. stoppers and 8-10 quickdraws/runners.


- No Photos -
Laurent Meillon
Golden, CO
Laurent Meillon   Golden, CO
To address some of the earlier posts, there are two new bolted sports lines that go through Helen's Dome south face, in the 5.6 range. The left one is Fractured Fairytales and spans 7 pitches. The right one is Roototop and spans 4 pitches (with some 5.8 moves).
Once on top of Helen's, you can do the short pitch Derek Lawrence refers to as "a bolted route on the rock along the approach to Acid from Helen's which looks contrived and worthless as shit" to link Helen and Acid a bit more. Then you walk to the new 4-pitch line on Acid Rock that Rob Bauer describes above, and unfortunately intersects Mrs M. This is called Roototop as well.

Once on top of Acid, you can walk to the base of Sheep's SW Face (aka Velcro Wall) and keep going with a 5.6 60m pitch which I bolted. From there, you can easily walk up to the summit of Sheep's Rock, and enjoy one of the best 360 views in the Platte. Pete added some more bolts and an intermediate anchor at 30m, to rap using only one 60m rope. Then walk all the way back down the southern side of the formation.

Starting with the 7 easy pitches of Fractured Farytales, continuing with the 1 link pitch, then the 4 pitches on Acid Rock, then the 1 pitch to the top of Sheep, is called Tour de Platte. This was put up by Peter Hubbel and Claude Traufield in 2002. The 4 pitches on Acid Rock are the only ones that truly constitute technical slab climbing.

Inexperienced climbers should take 17 quickdraws to clip every bolt, and 2 ropes in case they want to rap off. A baker's dozen and 1 60m can do, or take more draws and simul-climb the easier ground on Helen - it sure beats walking up to Acid Rock!

All in all, the 12-Pitch Tour de Platte is one of the longer and easier climbing outing in the Platte, in a remote environment, with a friendly approach walk from Molly Gulch and a rewarding view from the top of sheep. Enjoy. Oct 6, 2008
rob bauer
Golden, CO
rob bauer   Golden, CO
The Divine Miss M 3rd pitch starts off the ledge around to the right and goes straight up a shallow goove [old-style R (x?)] to the 1/4" bolt and connects straight up the groove into the crack below the headwall. You could place some medium cams here if you want and traverse 20' right to the anchors on the 3rd pitch of the new route, (see below) if you didn't want to go the last few yards of 'M, and avoids the last crack pitch.

The unnamed line with the new bolts Derek was referring to, goes up 70' to the anchors on 'Miss M. (BTW, it wasn't necessary to hammer the old anchors to shreds, since it was only 6 feet away. Piss poor engineering on that.) Anyhow, the 2nd pitch IS the 2nd pitch of 'Miss M. The 3rd (NEW) pitch starts maybe 10' right of 'M and follows 12 or 13 bolts right and up about 160' to the visible anchors on the headwall. The 4th pitch follows the new bolts up right and over the headwall about 70' to the top. We had a blast and rap'd the route. We agree with the 9/9+ rating. Did anybody have the courage to name it? Jun 1, 2006
Matt Juth
Matt Juth   Evergreen
Did the "alternative start". It makes for a very good 3 or 4 pitch bolted route. All pitches are in the 9/9+ range. May 5, 2005
Derek Lawrence
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
Montay - That's the one! BTW would you have any info on the new line to the left of Sandinista? Looks cool. May 29, 2002
Derek, is the second pitch of this route the bolted line up the dual watergrooves? If it is, a friend and I climbed it a few weeks back, and I have to agree that it is some really sweet climbing. Doesn't let up 'til Roseanne Barr sings! We also did the pitch below it which felt 8ish or so. Also, if you traverse right from the top of the second pitch there are 2 more pitches that go at 10a and 9. We did the 10a, but rapped off due to tired feet and hellacious wind. May 29, 2002
Derek Lawrence
Derek Lawrence   Bailey
Just to reiterate a comment I made in the Helen's Dome Areas section.... Someone with a VERY liberal bolting ethics has been busy here. There are 2 new routes on Acid Rock that look interesting. However, there is also a bolted route on the rock along the approach to Acid from Helen's which looks contrived and worthless as shit (you can almost clip the first bolt from the trail). Since it is a HARD 30-45 minute uphill approach to this rock, I can't justify this as a beginner lead. Furthermore, the backside of this rock has been modified for camping (wind breaks built, tent pad dug out, and 2 bolts in the rock above for food, gear, etc). To the person who has done this - the fact you have a power drill does NOT give you the right to fire in bolts right and left or to construct illegal campsites in National Forest! Use some common sense! May 29, 2002