Type: Sport, TR, 85 ft
FA: Layton Kor/ Ray Northcutt - early '60s?, 1st lead Bill Morck/ Mike Clinton - July or August, 1987
Page Views: 68,273 total · 326/month
Shared By: Jeff Lockyer on Nov 7, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Follow the trail to the highest point and turn around (right) to see the obvious sharp arete looking back towards the diamond, a beautiful line.

Perhaps one of the most scenic climbs in the Estes Park area, without being on a wall somewhere. This route is photographed and is on the front cover of the Gillett guide book for the [Estes Park] valley areas. A spectacular line.... It is now a bolt lead only protected by 4 bolts and a pin. You can toprope this route by scrambling to the top of the wall up and left from the base of the route.


There are 5 anchor bolts on top for toproping and 4 bolts and a pin on the route.

Per Dom R: there are now (July 2018) steel biners at the top which can be used for lowering, rapping, or toproping.


Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
This route now sports 2 bolts and 2 pins. Just enough. Though, you would not want to fall as you approach the 2nd fixed piece due to ground fall potential. Minimal natural pro options are available. Still a great short route. Feb 10, 2002
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
Why was this route retro bolted?? Rule #1 in climbing- you never, ever add bolts to a pre-existing route! If you don't have the sack to lead it, do it on TR, or go climb at the Sport Park! Please don't bastardize RMNP! Jun 20, 2002
Actually, it wasn't retro-bolted. It was first led (around 1990) with two bolts on the first half of the route, and two pins iin horizontal cracks on the second half, with a two-bolt rap station. The hanger on the first bolt was stolen (in 1997 I believe), and the rap station needed to be replaced. Any recent bolting on this route has only restored it to its original condition (as Leo describes it in his comment).

Bernard Gillett Jun 22, 2002
Actually it's a little suspicious that the "missing" hanger on the first bolt of "Edge of Time" showed up at the same time that the hanger on the first bolt of "Pocket Full of Kryptonite " disappeared. Jun 23, 2002
I found this climb a little disappointing. It felt like an easy 5.7 with only 5 feet of 5.9+ or 5.10A right at the first bolt. It looks great, but I walked away feeling somewhat empty after climbing it. I planned on trying it on toprope and if it went ok, I was going to lead it; however, I didn't really feel like it was worth a 2nd ascent. Once you pass the 1st bolt, it's over. Jun 27, 2002
A disappointing TR, eh? I suspect that the sharp end would have piqued your interest. The moves to the anchor are a bit strange, and you are surely going to deck when those half-driven bugaboos rip out. Hmmm, 10a at the crux? No, just old school 5.9. Jun 27, 2002
Yes, the sharp end would have piqued my interest: for the 5 foot crux at the first bolt. Jun 28, 2002
Thanks for clearing that up, Bernard. That makes me feel better! Cheers! Aug 10, 2002
On a windy day, scrambling down to the anchors to set a damn TR on this thing actually gets your blood flowing. I agree that the upper part of the climb is much easier than the bottom but it's definitely still worth doing....almost reminiscent of Montezuma's Tower. Aug 12, 2002
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
The gear is totally sufficient on this route, I hope nothing more is added. There are at least 4 anchor bolts on top if you ain't got the stones to lead it. If a toprope does not pique your interest try staying on the arete proper the entire time, it will keep your attention.. Aug 13, 2002
Is this another clever pun?

Bit seriously. Fixed pins are alway dubious, and half-driven Bugaboos even more so. I worry about gym-trained sport climbers who just assume those relics are good - it's the deck if those babies rip. And hey, there are already two bolts, the second of which is a hardware store job in the middle of the easiest ground on the route. I would rather see this one yanked and a good bolt higher.

BTW, there is a good RP out to the left up high, but you'd need double ropes to take advantage of it. Aug 13, 2002
Reading back over these comments I see that "sacks" and "stones" are required to lead this. Come on guys, this is not the area test piece you think it is. It's 5.9 with positive edges. I gotta go with Ray on this one. The aesthetic line, moderate grade, and guide book cover shot are going to continue to attract beginners to this climb surounded by moderates with lots of bolts. Bernard, can you help us out with a little history? Was this a tr before it was led? Is this rock in RMNP? It seems to me a hardware upgrade should be installed before someone get's his/her head broke. A properly equipped route does not necessarily equate to a bastardization or an atrocity like the Sport Park. The rock is already scarred in four places on this pitch by bolts and pins; maybe three of those scars could be used to prevent a ground fall. Thanks for your time and consideration. -Chris Hill Aug 14, 2002
Bryson Slothower
Portland, OR
Bryson Slothower   Portland, OR
..."the rock is already scarred in 4 places"..."the route will draw beginners"..."and hey there are already two bolts"... Just top rope it then!!! Do we have to bolt the climb that appears on the cover of every guide book from now on? I guess the Palisades are next. Why drill a route into submission just because it has already been abused? To put it out of its pain? The day I was up at this crag there was a group that was using a crowbar to pry as much rock as they could off of every route they climbed and were drilling on existing routes. I'm sure they will get to the Edge Of Time soon and make it lack luster for even those who would like to have their interest piqued. So if they have already gotten there, this is a mute point but those same people did their best to yard out those -always dubious fixed pins- at the top of this route, and no dice. I had to leave the crag it was so annoying and headed up to the Diamond to get over it.. Aug 14, 2002
city, state
alpinglow   city, state
Always happy to join the feeding frenzy of cyber slag....

So I must have missed something when I climbed this route for it to elicit so much debate.

First, I don't know where the 10a thing came from...5.9 no question.

Secondly, this seems to be a route growing in popularity because of the cover shot, and its natural aesthetics. Fair enough...leave it at that, a pretty looking route. That alone should make some folks want to climb it.

I have lead this thing twice. Both times were somewhat memorable. I remember thoughtful movements with consequences in spots. I led it in '97 (thanks for history Bernard) with no first bolt, very exciting, but so were all the other routes up there that season.

Now...the business. I think those two pins up high are shiite. In this new "modern" age of climbing I would suspect someone will replace them with bolts. If this were my route that would piss me off, but it's not, I don't know whose it is, or if they would consent (good style to ask) to replacing the time bomb pins with bolts.

Any of us would be psyched to walk across this for the first ascent. It's worthy and novel. If I FA'd it I would have put a combo of bolts/pins too.

This place used to be quiet and undeveloped. Now maybe traffic is picking up, but it is everywhere. I think Mr. Gillett was kind enough to equip the area with some moderates too, not just the 11/12 stuff.

Who the hell is up there with a crowbar and retrobolting?

climb on Aug 15, 2002
I was suggesting that the two pins on this route should be replaced with a bolt to produce a safer experience much in the same way a 3/8 bolt improves on a 1/4 bolt. My personal belief is that fixed hardware should be good. Although I still feel that way after reading these responses I probably wouldn't do this because it would anger some people. As for top roping it, I think I won't do that because I enjoy leading it like these other posters. My concern is for aspiring 5.9 leaders. The protection has deteriorated since the FA. Replacing the pins doesn't seem like a great idea because the rock will get beat a little and the new pro won't be optimal. So the route will remain a 5.9 boulder problem followed by a 5.7 solo. Also, I don't think every cover route should be bolted. In fact I don't think any ethic covers every situation. I certainly don't approve of removing rock from existing routes with cro-bars or wholesale adding bolts to established routes. My comments here relate only to this route. My second hand information is that the FA party approves of the hardware upgrade if anyone cares. Aug 16, 2002
Please don't add any gear to this route. The hard part is well protected. Adding bolts would take away from the experience of this climb. It is "only" 5.9 and I enjoyed the feeling of running it out on the 5.7 parts. Aug 19, 2002
Regarding Chris (Crusty) Hill's questions: The route was TR'd in 1987 by my brother Robert and I, though we found a piton above Andrology (in a horizontal crack one foot below the top), and some years later I noticed old (1960s?) bolt sleeves on top, so I suspect it was done pre-1987. Mike Caldwell put in the bolts and pins and led it (1989?). The name comes from the 1987 ascent. No, these rocks are not in RMNP.

J. Thompson's rule that bolts should never be added to existing climbs is a nice ideal to uphold, though it ignores historical facts. Some examples: The Third Flatiron was soloed countless times at the turn of the century before a bunch of six-inch jeep anchors were installed. Layton Kor added a bolt to The Bulge in 1957, (yes, it was his route, but he did it so that [others] could enjoy the route with some semblance of safety), and belay bolts were added later. Dave Rearick added a bolt to the start of T2 in 1962. Pat Ament added a bolt to Country Club Crack in 1967 to protect the initial crux (see Jim Erickson's guidebook), a long bolt war has left several scars there, and currently one finds two new bolts at the crux. A bolt was added to Athlete's Feat at some point before Erickson's guide was published (1980). The Nose on El Cap has two or three fat new bolts at every belay these days, and I doubt all of these were just gear updates. Same with Salathe Wall. Bolts have been added to the crux hooking pitch on Hallucinogen Wall since its first ascent. I added three bolts to Fair Weather Friends on the Book because I didn't want to fall onto A3 pins, and I hacked the old name into obscurity when I decided to call the free version El Camino Real. Belay bolts were added to Fat City some years back (used to be one pin and an old quarter-incher, though you could always get bomber gear there). Roger Briggs installed a bolted rappel route on the Diamond (he volunteered for the job, really), and he added a few bolts to The Joker. Jim Erickson added a bolt to The Wisdom. Craig Luebben added a bolt to G.I. Joe on Combat Rock (it was his route) and to No More War (G.I. Joe used to have three bolts, and No More War only one). There's been a lot of retro-bolting going on in Boulder Canyon.

Most of these are famous climbs, not just a list of obscure heaps, and I'm sure other people could come up with as many routes as I did in five minutes of reflection. The climbers involved aren't a bunch of renegade Bosch-masters either: Kor, Rearick, Ament, Erickson, Briggs - these guys are modern day heroes. I'm not advocating wholesale retro-bolting - like I said, Thompson's rule is a good ideal to consider. And I think it's this ideal that keeps people from adding bolts to Perilous Journey, or Jules Verne, or the Hollow Flake on the Salathe Wall. These are all pitches where head control is the name of the game, and where a ground-up ethic was employed. But we've been adding bolts to existing climbs since McGuckins started selling them - to increase the safety margin, to replace old gear (think Le Toit on Redgarden), to fix up a poor bolt job by the FA team, or for convenience (rappel and belay bolts).

Edge of Time is a fun climb to enjoy on a Sunday afternoon. I doubt Mike (Caldwell) was trying to put up a route that stressed the mind control aspect of our sport when he led it. If that were the case, he just would have soloed it (he used to solo stuff like this all the time). He put the fixed gear in where he felt it was needed (at a time when bolts were only marginally accepted in Estes Park), and he had the benefit of relying on new pitons.

J. Thompson, I apologize for refuting your statement so thoroughly (I did a pretty nice job of it though, eh?). However, if we are going to discuss whether it is appropriate to add some bolts to Edge of Time, it should at least be done with factual information (and perhaps without reference to sacks or stones). I know of no rule that states we can't add bolts to existing climbs, and Edge of Time most definitely does not fall into the Heavenly Journey/Perilous Journey/Jules Verne category.

Next time I think I'll take a cover shot of a crack climb... Aug 22, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I don't think that any points have been refuted here at all. The point was that bolts should not be added to existing climbs and that the community by and large does not support that. Providing historical exceptions does not refute this point.

By way of example, I can say that murder, rape and theft are all by and large not acceptable. Showing many thousands of transgressions per year in no way refutes that point. Aug 22, 2002
This probably isn't that relevant to the above discussion, but above A.C. says, "The Nose on El Cap has two or three fat new bolts at every belay these days, and I doubt all of these were just gear updates. " This is NOT true. Many of the belays have new bolts. Sometimes one, sometimes two, rarely three. Some belays still have no new bolts. The same situation exists on the Salathe, despite all the free climbing going on there. In particular, the belay beneath the Salathe roof is quite frightening with just a bong, and three ancient, horrible looking bolts. You can back this up with cams in a very flaring crack.

Like I said, not that relevant, but maybe interesting. Also nice to deal with the facts when debating issues.

Bill Aug 22, 2002
So Tony- are you then arguing that the retro-bolting on Country Club Crack, Athlete's Feet, and the Wisdom are "murderous transgressions". Though certainly bolts shouldn't be added to the cruxes of Jules Verne, XM, Rincon, etc... adding bolts to existing routes is acceptable to the climbing community with the first ascensionists permission or, in the case of Eldo, the Fixed Hardware Committee (who would certainly never approve an application for bolts at the cruxes of JV and XM). I'm sure you've done CCC and Athlete's Feet and have gladly clipped those bolts, whose addition it seems is likened to rape or murder. Isn't clipping those bolts an affirmation of the act... by your analogy then, is it looking the other way at violent crime, saying "she deserved it."... I think the analogy is weak at best.

I know nothing about this route except that its on the cover of the Estes guide. However, under certain circumstances, retro-bolting IS acceptable to a large portion, if not the majority, of the climbing community. Aug 22, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
There are exceptions when a FA-ist adds bolts. I may not have been clear, but "replaced" bolts and those added by FA parties don't disturb me. That's what I get for being terse, I guess.

I figured somebody who wanted to argue with me would try to attack the analogy, which is absolutely bomb-proof, in my book. I NEVER said that retro-bolting was like rape or murder, I SAID that showing a transsgression to any ethic does not disprove its overall acceptance. Changing what I said does nothing towards invalidating it. I guess the problem with using an analogy is that someone can distract the point to attack my opinion. Hopefully this was just a hot botton and you are not deliberately twitsing the content and context of my post. So let me try the analogy again:

Theft and Vandalism are both [commonly] accepted as crimes. Showing thousands of transgressions will not change the fact that the public at large does not approve.

Perhaps that will sit better with you. I do liken retro-bolting to retro-holding (chipping) which is vandalism, at least.

Joe, I respect your opinion and that it is different than mine. I am glad you've signed your name so that I know and understand who I am discussing this with as well, but you've failed on a few cruxes here. For example you said- "I'm sure you've done CCC and Athlete's Feet and have gladly clipped those bolts, whose addition it seems is likened to rape or murder. Isn't clipping those bolts an affirmation of the act... by your analogy then, is it looking the other way at violent crime, saying "she deserved it."... I think the analogy is weak at best. "

As previously pointed out, you are either misunderstanding or distorting my analogy to start with. You should also be more careful with what you are so sure of. For example, I did "not" clip the bolt on Athlete's [Feat]. Aug 22, 2002
Tony- I guess I'm not aware of where bolts are added on Athlete's Feet (presumably one of the bolts replaces old pins)... and reading your last post I'm not even sure our opinions differ on this issue. In any case, the analogy you used was a bit strong and is certainly going to be a hot button issue with some. To me an analogy that strong evokes the bolt-wars where self-righteous individuals, without a sense of perspective, think that their actions are making some sort of profound moral statement. As for this route, if the pins in question are in fact that manky, I don't think that replacing them with bolts is unreasonable. Aug 22, 2002
....Tony Bubb - I was thinking along these lines when I said I've refuted J Thompson's rule...Rule: f(n) = n_2 - n + 41 is prime, where n is a positive integer. This rule generates primes for all n _ 41, but fails at n = 41. All it takes is one counter-example to disprove such a rule. I gave several counter-examples to Thompson's rule, and thus showed it isn't true. Based on other posts you've submitted to this site, it appears you enjoy finding logical fallacies in people's statements. That's cool - I like doing that as well; it's a nice intellectual exercise. So, mea culpa, my logic sucks. I dub you captain of the debate team, and you win. I think you end up derailing the discussion at hand, though. I want to talk about whether it's OK to add bolts to Edge of Time, not whether you can poke holes in the structure of my comments.

Bill Wright - you win, too. I shouldn't have written EVERY belay on the Nose and Salathe has new bolts. I think the original bolt count on Salathe was 13. I've done only the first 12 pitches on that route, and there were more than 13 bolts up to that point. I've been to the top on the Nose, and recall a lot of belay bolts (more than Harding installed, I'm thinkning). I guess I need to learn to make my statements water-tight so that I can stand up to the cross examinations that are so prevalent in these discussions.

J. Thompson - I'm sure you are a fine fellow. I was trying to inject a bit of humor when I wrote, "I did a pretty nice job of it though, eh?" an olive branch offering of sorts so that you wouldn't think I was an ass for disagreeing with your rule. I think it may have come across as an over-bloated ego - once again, my apologies. I actually buy into your rule most of the time.

Back to the point: I'd like to see the old pins on Edge of Time replaced with bolts. I did the first documented ascent on a top rope, so can I add the bolts without breaking any "rule"? Aug 23, 2002
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Bernard- If I was just picking on you I'd mention that you'd already said: "...and some years later I noticed old (1960s?) bolt sleeves on top, so I suspect it was done pre-1987." So I don't know if you did do the FA or not. First Documented, OK, but first seems questionable.

And then: "All it takes is one counter-example to disprove such a rule." Someone breaking the rule does not eliminate the rule, thereby causing no rules, by default, as each one is eliminated as it is broken. This is behaviour, not science. And it is not intended to be a distraction of the point- it is a total discussion of the subject matter.

I do "poke holes" in other people's statements when the core of the statement is related to the point at hand. Is suspect if you reread my postings you'll get where I am going with that.

That's aside the point you asked about though... as for the question at hand: I'd say it is reasonable to replace but not add hardware. Others opinions will of course differ. I'm not personally invested in this climb, as I could just as well go on-sight free-solo it as well.

I guess the point was a question of replacing pins with a bolt. Well, then the question is: Will it change the climb from its original state? Taking out an old A4 Rurp and putting in a bolt is "against the rules" in my book. Replacing an old broken/rusted/bent/fatigued Lost Arrow or Angle that was inches deep doesn't seem so bad. So if the gear was good in the first place, why not? You are restoring it not changing it. I am far from the opinion that we should let all protection on all climbs rot.

Will the pins replace easily? Will bolts impact the rock less? WIll they last longer? Will they change the nature fo the climb from when it was first lead? What does the FA party say. (I sincerely doubt that Mike would care- Yes, I do know him.) I'd say you have as much right as he does, however. Obviously you have consensus if he agrees. Aug 23, 2002
Bernard, I didn't mean to be poking holes in anyone's arguments with my El Cap information. Like I said, it was relevant to the discussion. I know the point you were making and you made it. El Cap is just a hot topic for me since I have recently been up it and knew the state. The belay on the Salathe in particular has scared me and hence a hot topic for me and not relevant to the discussion. I probably shouldn't have.

Anyway, I wanted to be clear that my intent wasn't to nit-pick, but to clear up the info on this very popular and highly sought after route. I remember when I tried the Leaning Tower after hearing "all the bolts have been replaced." NOT! I also heard before I climbed the Nose the first time that the "Death Block" had fallen. NOT! (the Death Block is indeed now gone on the Nose). So, I just didn't want people to think the the Nose in completely done.

Bill Aug 23, 2002
When I climbed this my impression was that the pins, being in good horizontal placements, were fine the way they were. So I don't understand where all the anxiety about them is coming from. I also recall that the holds there are probably the largest on the route and the rock is good. I'm quite sure there are more deserving replacement projects around....and for the record - a 3/8th" bolt has a life-expectancy of about 15 years if it's weighted frequently but a 1/2" bolt's life is 100 years. Anchors and popular bolts-to-hang-on should probably be 1/2". Aug 23, 2002
J. Thompson
denver, co
J. Thompson   denver, co
HOLY SHIT!!!! Did I start this mess? Bernard- hey no worry's from me about refuting anything! I see and agree with your point. I was just trying to make a simple statement about a small route and add a little humor with the "stones" comment. I would also agree that any fixed gear (bolts and pins) might as well be good, this is especially important concerning anchors. My statement about "never ever" adding bolts is, as [Bernard] stated, a great ideal. However as history and other concerns dictate this is obviously not always the right answer. I guess the moral of the whole thing is we should all THINK about what we are doing BEFORE we do it! We can all rant and rave but in the end it's the rocks, environment, and our access that will suffer. Sorry if I hit a nerve, people! Sep 12, 2002
Josh, I share your regret that I've contributed to this rant festival. I think sometimes our comments don't read the way we think they do. Rock-on on hard-rock! Sep 12, 2002
This is a very good climb that is short and not too hard, a little difficult towards the bottom. If you aren't sure of your 5.9 abilities you can top rope it. The approach is short and steep but it's worth it there are plenty of climbs up there for all abilities. Oct 5, 2003
Up there on 7/31/04. Looks like a few bolts have been added. Now there are a total of 4 bolts and one piton (which looked solid). The bolts on the way up are good. Most of the 5 bolts on top are good, with a couple being suspect. Bottom part (getting past the first bolt for a few feet) is not 5.9, but it might be "Estes 5.9." A lot of stuff in this area seems very sandbagged, probably due to the inflated heads of the FA and the locals. Go figure.

Nick S. Aug 3, 2004
Gary Schmidt
Boulder, CO
Gary Schmidt   Boulder, CO
This route is just plain fun. The crux is definitely getting past the first bolt and IMHO fairly stiff for 5.9. then the climbing eases up but still remains interesting, with some more thoughtful moves required at the top. Cool summit with great views. May 29, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
I finally went and did this climb. It's a nice route, but gets stars more for the wow factor of looking at how cool it is more than for the climb itself. If this were just an arete on the edge of a dihedral, I don't think people would rate it classic. But as it is and as it stands, it gets extra points for the 'cool factor.'

As for the grade- I did it in hiking shoes. The moves above the first bolt were a little tough, but I went out to the arete, pinched it hard, and climbed it hand over hand like an overhang while pinching the arete between my feet. If nothing else, it made the route even cooler to climb. Up high I had a lot of no-hands rests with my left foot on slopers and my right heel locked out around the arete. I guess I can't say honestly a 5.8 climber would think of that and do it, but the moves were not very hard.

Fun route, DEFINITELY not harder than 5.9. And is protected just fine... Jun 7, 2006
Had to see what this one was all about. Definitely, a classic, but the climbing was more of a three star quality. It probably earns another star for the WOW combined with the thrill of leading this thing. I used a .5 Friend in a horizontal slot between the first and second bolt. Definitely felt at least 10a here, perhaps because of the traffic it's seen over the years. Lots of shoe rubber. Easy climbing between the second and third bolt then a committing move for someone 5'8" (somewhat runout) to reach the good hold beside the piton. That move increased the star value for me, but on TR it would not have. The value of this climb seems to be affected by the equipment, or lack thereof. Sep 4, 2006
Dave Fiorucci
Boulder, Colorado
Dave Fiorucci   Boulder, Colorado
I am pretty solid 5.8 sport climber and ran up this on TR at the end of the day. I would say that the crux is clipping into the second bolt (decking potential exists esp with crimpy and thin rock). Next time on lead I'm bringing 0.5 Friend for the horizontal crack -to take out the fear factor. After clipping the second bolt had no problems. Classic climb with the views of Longs. Oct 29, 2007
Julius Beres
Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
Julius Beres   Boulder, CO
  5.9+ PG13
I agree with Steve Wood's comment about the committing move for someone 5'8" or shorter.

I did the "crux" part of the route around the first bolt and then cruised past the next two bolts to the "ledge" (large foot hold, big hands, comfortable position) below the pin. I'm 5'8" and I could not clip the pin from that ledge nor could I reach the big hold just next to the pin. I made the mistake of going left and peeled... I went all the way down, stopping about 5 feet off the ground (at the point I fell I was about 12' above the last bolt). I hit my head pretty hard on the pine tree near the bottom and got scratched up...

That being said, the two people with me were both over 6 feet and could reach the pin without a problem from the ledge which makes the move not at all scary. They also could reach the huge hand hold, which probably makes the move no harder than 5.7 (maybe even 5.6).

I did it a second time and the move wasn't too bad going right and then I could reach the lip and clip the pin. That being said, I would caution those under 5'8" that it is a bad, unpleasant fall with the tree there. I think if I had a small stick or something to tape to the biner, it would have been fine. I only needed to extend my reach by about an inch. Had someone led it before me and if there were already a draw in the pin, it would have been no problem.

Personally, if I were bolting it, I would have moved the third bolt higher or added another bolt between it and the pin. I don't really care about the bolting discussion... It is how it is and I will definitely climb it again. I would just say, if you are 5'8" or shorter, be careful around the pin because the fall is bad. Jul 5, 2008
Rick Pratt
Rick Pratt   Denver
The first bolt on this route has been removed. Based on the comments and photos submitted it must have happened this late this summer 2008 after Jullius climbed it or maybe after Allen Simmons climbed it for his July 30 photo submission. (Not pointing any blame here. Just noticing the comments on the bolt and the fact that it can be seen if you look very closely at Allen's photo.)

I am new to climbing, so will not comment on the bolt ethics other than to say I appreciate those who have done this hard work so that the likes of me can enjoy so many moderate climbs in Colorado. I can see no good reason for removing this bolt as it took away from our leader's enjoyment of this otherwise very nice climb. Aug 23, 2008
Amos Patrick
Estes Park
  5.9 PG13
Amos Patrick   Estes Park
  5.9 PG13
I was just on this last Saturday. The first bolt is indeed back in place. Wow, be ready for getting to the second bolt if you are on lead. Solid 5.9 with "landing on your belayer" potential!

It looks to me like whoever chopped the first bolt ended up adding a pretty useful hold right in the crux. The new bolt is not in the old hole. It is really unfortunate that such a stellar route now feel like it has a manufactured hold on it. Would it be cool for me to fill that old hole with epoxy? I don't want to step on any toes, but it is really a shame. Oct 30, 2008
Denver, CO
jbarnum   Denver, CO
Was up there yesterday. The bolt has indeed moved, but I did not see a hole where the older bolt had been. The beginning is still as delicate as before. Or maybe I simply missed the new hole. There was a camp up there climbing, as there often is, and one of the counselors relayed that the previous bolt had indeed pulled out. Apparently someone pulled on the bolt, to prevent a fall, and it came out. Not overly surprising given the quality of rock in spots, and the number of times this bolt most likely has been hung on. Jul 8, 2009
Have to agree, the old bolt hole now serves as a manufactured hold, as evidenced by the chalk in and around it. I used it, and found it helpful in moving up a bit. I agree that it should be filled in! Aug 5, 2009
Dan Stackhouse
Lakewood, CO
  5.9 PG13
Dan Stackhouse   Lakewood, CO
  5.9 PG13
Purple TCU works for extra protection between bolts one and two. Oct 1, 2009
Bill Morck  
I apologize in advance for the length of this entry. This concerns the accurate historical (Hysterical) information regarding the first accent. I've been aware for 15 years of the inaccuracy of the first accent info in the Gillett guidebook but didn't worry too much about until I was directed by a climbing friend to this website for route info. With all the hoopla and entries surrounding the route, I thought I'd give the accurate skinny on the route.
Back in about June, 1987, my good friend Justin Kraemer (AKA "Skippy") was living and working at that dude ranch just up road from Lily Lake. We were into exploring areas around there for new rock and wandered up the hillside above Lilly Lake into what is now called the "Jurrasic Park" area. We wandered to the top and were immediately drawn to the edge of the fin on the summit plateau. We top-roped the arete, (anchors way back from the edge) both agreeing that it was a cool climb and lead-able as a ground up ascent with a combination of bolts, pins, and possibly some small nuts. At the time, there was no chalk on the holds and we wire brushed moss off holds. There was a rusty pin a few feet down just over the other side, so we figured that it had probably been top-roped at some other point in time, even though the holds were quite mossy. After smoking a "fatty", we somewhat lamely came up with the name "Edge of Time" (it had to be the edge of something). Justin was well acquainted with most of the better climbers in the Estes Park area, if not with both Bob & Bernard Gillett, so I'm thinking that this is why at least the name we gave to it stuck. About a month later (July or August), I came back with friends Mike Clinton and Chris Jonsson to pick up Skippy and do the lead. Alas, Skippy was not at the bunkhouse - we later heard that he be sidelined by a very hot female the night before and would miss out on the "hysteric" ascent. Once at the base, I pulled out my odd hand drill, a 3/8" bit drill that Paul Mehl from the Black Hills, SD had given me. I got as high as I could for the first bolt, and getting impatient, I didn't drill deep enough and produced a "spinner" bolt. After pulling the 5.8 (yes, that's what we figured) crux, I wandered into groundfall range and placed a better second bolt. Both bolts took about an hour or longer, so I came down, pulled the rope and Mike Clinton quickly lead up past my point and hammered the 2 pins on lead to finish the pitch. We didn't add any summit pins - those were probably put in by Mike Caldwell later.
For the record, I met Mike Caldwell at one of Roger Wiegand's "Hoofer" parties in Glen Haven a few years back and he denied having anything to do with the first ascent - also, he seems a lot more interested in talking fly fishing than climbing these days. Jun 2, 2010
Bill Morck  
To finish up previous comment (timed out, spaced out?)........
Justin (Skippy) Kraemer knew Layton Kor quite well, having gone to the Dolomites with Layton the previous summer - Justin, about a year later, said Layton told him that he and Ray Northcutt had visited the area in the early sixties and had done a "practice aid climb" on a steep wall "up the gully near the top" (Andrology?). He couldn't remember whether or not they top-roped the arete on the other side.....So there you have it. Maybe the next Gillett guidebook will have the correct first ascent info - but who really cares.
Also, for the record, I'm glad, given the popularity of the route, that replacement bolts and even an extra bolt were added to the route to keep it safe. Those were crappy bolts I placed. Some routes should be kept as "scare fests" by their nature and history (like Jules Verne), and some should be just plain fun - which is all I ever intended for this route.
And as for Skippy - lost in a plane crash a decade ago - we'll never forget you, lad.

Route history:
First top-rope: Layton Kor/ Ray Northcutt - early '60s (????)
Second Top-rope: Bill Morck, Justin Kraemer - early summer 1987
Third Top-rope: Gilletts - about the same time, summer 1987
First ground-up lead: Bill Morck/ Mike Clinton - July or August 1987. Jun 2, 2010
Thanks for filling in the lost history, Bill. I will certainly correct my guidebook if I write an updated version. I looked back in my records (I've written down the climbs I've completed since I was a lad), and found a few interesting entries:

7-10-87 Airy Arete* 5.8 (TR with Robert on "Fin Rock") [*Now known as Edge of Time]
[We also did 4 other routes that day, including the face left of Edge of Time (TR), which I published as East of Eden, and the route that is now known as Andrology (TR); we led two other routes]

7-30-90 Sleazy* 5.9 R (I led w/Robert, ...) [*Now known as Gilded Lily, the name I settled on when I published my 2001 guide]
Airy Arete 5.9 (I led, two bolts and pins now in place)

6-30-93 Edge of Time (I led w/Sally. Named area Jurassic Park)

6-18-94 Airy Arete 5.9 (TR'd in Tevas with Etta while guiding for KMAC)

When my younger brother Robert and I first did Edge of Time on 7-10-87 (apparently about 1 month after you TR'd it, but before you bolted it) we called it Airy Arete, and rated it 5.8 (as you did). We found out later that day (my older brother John worked in RMNP dispatch at the time and heard it over the radio) that we were briefly chased by Long's Peak rangers who were calling us to come back from our hike around Lily Lake, but it was a windy day and we never heard them. Lily Lake was private back then (we knew no better), and it wasn't until 1989 that RMNP acquired that land. Returning in 1990 on 7-30, we did Sleazy (which I later published under the name of Gilded Lily) and led Airy Arete, finding your bolts and pins. At least two pairs of bolts had also been installed at the top of the route by this time, because they appear in my 1993 guide topo. [EDIT: Or perhaps the bolts on top appeared between 1990-93, and I made a visit for guidebook research, but didn't climb the route. In any event, they were there before my '93 guide was published.]

The most interesting entry for me is 6-30-93. I've got it named Edge of Time, led it with my wife Sally, and wrote in my journal "Named area Jurassic Park." It appears as though I christened the area Jurassic Park that day. What's bizarre for me is that I could have sworn I also came up with the name "Edge of Time." It shows up in my 1993 guide (which was published before 6-30, I think), where I have it listed as "The Edge of Time." Either we both named it that, or I had by 1993 heard of the route from other sources, or you have somehow written into your memories the name I published in 1993. I certainly recall Mike Caldwell (whom I've known since I was about 17 yr old, and who I interviewed at length for my 2001 guides) telling me he did the FA, though it's possible my recollection is wrong, or that Mike and I got our signals crossed when talking about various climbs. I have no idea when I first learned of my mistaken history of the route from Mike; probably post-1993 because I think I would have recorded the FA info (as I understood it) in the '93 book had I known it at the time. I have no doubt you led it and placed the bolts -- I'm just having a difficult time figuring out when and where I made the error, and why I think I gave the route its name. I've never smoked any fatties, but I'm getting older and have too many memories to keep track of....

On 6-18-94, I was back to calling it Airy Arete, and climbed it while guiding for Kent Mountain Adventure Center (with a girl named Etta, a fellow KMAC guide, who was married to an old Estes Park buddy of mine back then). I didn't check my records any further than that; I doubt I'd find anything definitive.

Justin Kraemer -- any chance he was a gymnast who tore up the back of his arm in a bad fall when the rope wrapped around his muscle? If that's the guy, my older brother and I certainly knew him. I think we met him at the base of Wolf's Tooth (Twin Owls) in the 1980s, and may have climbed with him once or twice (in Eldorado, perhaps?). I think it would have been pretty early on in our climbing forays: 1985/86? I couldn't find mention of him in a brief look through my journal from 1983-1993, but I definitely remember a guy named Justin (however, I have no recollection whatsoever of him telling me about the name of Edge of TIme).

Ray Northcutt -- I've known him since I was about 9 yr old (we summered next to his house 1976/77, and my older brother and I used to play with his son, Eric). Ray has been a family friend for 30+ years, and I still talk to him now and again. I also interviewed him for my 2001 guide (he was living in Leadville at the time), and the rocks around Lily Lake never entered our discussions. He certainly may have done something up there with Kor; who knows? Northcutt and Kor made a number of trips to the Crags, so it's reasonable to ascribe a trip to Lily Lake to them. On the other hand, the history of our little outings to the rocks is often hard to piece together even 10 years after the ascent; 50 years later begins to feel like speculation to me. For instance, Walter Fricke's 1971 guide says Northcutt and George Lamb did the FA of a line on Sharksfin (The Crags) in 1955, so he would have been piecing together the history of that route about 15 years after the fact. Yet I've learned from Northcutt (direct communication) that he never even climbed in the Crags with Lamb (and he didn't make too many trips up there with Kor -- enough to bag ascents of most of the formations over the course of a few visits). Either Fricke made an error, or there's a chance Northcutt isn't remembering all the climbs he did (even with a journal, I get confused now and again about what I did and with whom, etc.). The point being, of course, that history is a slippery thing to reconstruct so many years after the fact.

I found two pitons in Jurassic Park on that first visit in 1987: one on the route "Your Possible Pasts," and one on the top of what is now known as Andrology. So clearly someone climbed there before us (I later found old bolt sleeves on the top of The Fin that also support early climbers in the area). However, in my mind's eye, the pin I'm remembering on top of Andrology was an angle -- an old one, but not of the vintage from Kor and Northcutt's climbing days (late 1950s). Maybe they DID do an aid route on The Fin, and the pin I found was placed by a later party (or maybe it was theirs, and I just don't remember it clearly enough). However, "the early 1960s," as you say, gives me pause: Northcutt did very little climbing after 1959 -- he went to Montana in the fall of '59 to take up a teaching job, then returned to Estes and taught at the high school in the 1960s, but he gave almost all his climbing gear to Kor somewhere in there, after giving up climbing for good. If Northcutt and Kor completed a route at Lily Lake in the early 1960s, it would have been one of the last times they climbed together.

Given that both you and I were drawn to the most obvious route in the area in 1987, it's likely someone else did it before us. Who that person may be is up in the air as far as I'm concerned. Guess I could always ring up Ray and find out what he remembers....

By the way, Bill, you no longer have to worry about the length of your entry! Sorry for boring the hell out of everyone else with my rambling recollections. Jun 3, 2010
Bill Morck  
Wow, quick response! Yes, Bernard, we are talking about the same albino blond haired, gentle giant of a great guy, Justin Kraemer. He had taken a leader fall a few years before I knew him, and the rope went around his arm causing the deformity to his tricep (ouch!). We always reminded Justin that the rope could have wrapped around other parts of his body with worse consequences.... You may or may not be aware of his untimely death in his Piper Tripacer more than a decade ago near San Luis Valley flying with his girlfriend to Crestone.... Anyway, I'm quite sure that we at least independently came up with the name because Justin & I hashed it out for quite a while over lunch (he was always able to raid the kitchen at that dude ranch where he worked). ("Dude, it's Mister's Edge - no Timely Edge - no, the Not-So_Naked Edge -no, the Warped Edge - no, The Edge of Night - no, Edge of Time - OK, fine".) I remember Mike Clinton thinking the name was really stupid and hurting my feelings...sort of. Anyway, the fact that you knew Justin and both had mutual friends leads me to think that it had that name at least informally for some time before it was ever written down in a guide book. As far as the first top rope being attributed to Layton and Ray, that's entirely second hand from Justin who can no longer reconfirm the story. Layton, I've heard lives in Arizona now. You could contact him directly, I suppose. Recheck your info with Mike Caldwell, or, better yet, both of you come to Roger Weigand's climber's party in Glen Haven which is the evening of August 14th this year. Anyone who climbs, drinks beer, or knows someone who does, is always invited. Mike's been there in past years. Lots of people from Mountain Shop show up since Roger's daughter has been a guide there. And, no, I don't smoke "fatties" anymore. Jun 3, 2010
Bill, I had not yet learned of Justin's untimely death; sorry to hear about that.

It'd good to know that you have a clear memory of naming the route. My memory is muddled on the issue, and I suspect you're correct that the name was floating around Estes Park and that's how I came to know of it, perhaps through Mike Caldwell.

I think I have a copy of Roger Weigand's "Fisherman's Guide to Gibralter Rock" (I went to school in Madison and climbed at Devil's Lake, Gibralter, etc. as much as I could). Thanks for the invitation to the party -- if I'm free that day, you may see me up there. Jun 5, 2010
Brian Frank  
I can see where some of the confusion might be coming from on the grade of this climb. I went probably 2' left of where my climbing partner went between the 1st and 2nd bolt and it was a good deal more spicy. Having your right hand in the small "pocket" and not having the good sloper for a foot adds something. If you're looking for a 5.9, I would stay right; like the photos on this page show (crux photos). Aug 23, 2010
Santa Rosa, CA
Royal   Santa Rosa, CA
Amazing climb. Totally worth doing. The view and exposure up top is impeccable. Climbing this thing made my day. Oct 5, 2010
Peter Swank
Edinburgh, UK
Peter Swank   Edinburgh, UK
Great climb. Nice exposed moves with the crux being right above the first bolt. Get in line to climb this one, because it is worth it. Oct 12, 2010
Grant Gerhard
Las Vegas, NV
Grant Gerhard   Las Vegas, NV
This was my first 5.9. Looking at the Gillett book, I didn't know what the R next to the route description meant. I figured it was a typo for TR! Made for an exciting but memorable first 5.9 lead. Feb 27, 2011
I have little computer knowledge; however, it is rad that people have given up trying to rap themselves up in this place and will let the climbers have their personal vision quest. I hope to travel with those before me and know no person is more hard core than me, and I am not better than them. That is what I love about this mode of travel. P.S. I am uneducated and can climb, it will always clear my vision of life and ground me. Travelling with my ropemate on Sept. 15. Hope to have fun with the right of passage on our side. Thank you, life; clean up and climb.
N8 Sep 4, 2011
La Vida
  5.10- R
La Vida   Denver
  5.10- R
Classic and super old school! Love the thin, cruxy, committing moves before the 2nd bolt. After that, it's just pure fun, easy climbing to the top and yes, it tops out! Enjoy the view. Sep 3, 2012
How is the downclimb from the top? May 30, 2016
Climbed in July. The walkoff is easy, if you don't mind some exposure. Views are amazing up top as well. Jul 28, 2016
Rob King
Lone Tree
  5.9+ R
Rob King   Lone Tree
  5.9+ R
A true classic! 5.9+ only 'cuz it's a bit runout if you're skiddish. Right hand arete and small to medium feet. I went out right after the first bolt and found it to be the crux to the second bolt just 'cuz you'll swing to the tree/ground. Don't forget to grab the mini-ledge at the piton and do a pull up after a nice 15ft runout, then clip that bit$h waste high (it's a good piton). Long chains at the top. Make sure to take the occasional view around the right of the fin/arete to some of the most epic routes at this location (Andrology), oh, and The Diamond. Sep 23, 2016
Taylor Lapeyre
San Francisco, CA
Taylor Lapeyre   San Francisco, CA
Climbed this a few days ago. Scrambled around the backside of the formation to set up a top rope at the bolts, but getting over to the bolts at the edge without some sort of protection is definitely super sketchy. I would not recommend setting up a TR here without some sort of protection from falling.

Pretty much every other climb at The Fin can be top roped easily though.

TLDR: leading this climb is probably safer than setting up a TR. Going out on the very thin ledge without protection to set up the anchor doesn't seem smart. Oct 13, 2016
Tim Kessel
Fort Collins
Tim Kessel   Fort Collins
So classic! Mar 6, 2017
Kurt G.
Reading, PA
Kurt G.   Reading, PA
What's the approach time from the parking area, and is it shorter to go behind The Fin and between The Blade or go up and around the top of The Fin? May 4, 2017
Approach time from the parking lot is a very pleasant(though mostly uphill) 15 minutes or so either way! May 4, 2017
AJ Cohen
Fort Collins, CO
  5.9+ R
AJ Cohen   Fort Collins, CO
  5.9+ R
For those looking to bring their dog, the crag does not lie within national park boundaries, although the Lily Lake area does. You cannot take the trails from Lily Lake but can easily bushwhack from the Lily Mountain Trailhead with your dog to stay outside of the NP boundary. You can see the tops of the rocks from Highway 7, just make a beeline to the rocks. I found a wash that was the path of least resistance with a few downed trees but not bad. Overall, aim to be about the same distance and vertical ascent as the traditional trail. Hope that helps. Jun 16, 2017
Matt Glue
Boulder, CO
Matt Glue   Boulder, CO
The crux is getting past the first bolt. Between that and the second bolt isn't easy either, and you'll deck if you blow it uless you bring a 0.3. The rest of it is also spaced far but a lot easier.

Good climb, but Andrology is way, way better and 5.9/5.10 until the end! Sep 5, 2017
Sir Camsalot
thankgodchickenhead, Ut
Sir Camsalot   thankgodchickenhead, Ut
Great climb! There is a loooooong distance between the 4th bolt and the pin that would result in a very nasty fall. To make it worse, there is a second "crux" just before reaching the pin that is very committed but easy to make. I must've stood on the "ledge" before making that move for 10 min before sacking up and going for it. Love this climb!!! Nov 16, 2017
Dom R
Bend, OR
Dom R   Bend, OR
Fixed some steel biners to the anchor today. Enjoy and feel free to lower/toprope through them, that’s what they’re there for. Jul 16, 2018
Frank Robertson
Ridgway, CO
Frank Robertson   Ridgway, CO
A blue Alien fits horizontal above the first bolt. Aug 24, 2018
Kev G  
I did not read the comment about short people not being able to clip the pin. It is true. I spent a long time flipping a sling over the head of the piton which fortunately points upwards. Definitely recommend some way of reaching up to clip. A long wired nut could be slipped over the head of the pin, otherwise a quickdraw taped to a stick would work. It is a long fall if you blow the move before the pin. Aug 24, 2018