Type: Trad, 50 ft
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,663 total · 23/month
Shared By: ClimbandMine on Jun 6, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Season raptor closures Details


This is the [50 foot] splitter jam and offwidth crack on the formation 100 feet left of the main Hen and Chickens formation (the question is, which is the Hen and which is the Chicken). Jam up the progressively widdening crack to the top. [Hands, fists, and a hint of the OW at the top.] Set a belay in cracks above (there may be bolts - I don't remember). Scramble off right ot left. [It can easily be top-roped off of gear.]

Per Charles Vernon: take the approach trail which branches left after about 1/4 mile up the Gem Lake trail (marked for Bowls of the Owls/Hen and Chicken). Go to the base of Hen and Chicken Rock (see routes 60-63), and scramble a short ways west to the base of the crack.

[Ed. This description includes 2 submissions...simplifing this to one entry in the database.]


Rack to #4 Camalot.


Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
This route is already on the site, under Twin Owls (this small rock lies up against Twin Owls). Incidentally, there are no bolts on top, but it is easy to TR off of clean gear. Jun 6, 2002
Is this really 5.9? It seems a lot harder to me.

Aug 22, 2002
Joe Keyser
Scottsdale, AZ
Joe Keyser   Scottsdale, AZ
I thought it seemed pretty tough, but, I tried to lie it back too much on the upper section, and after I felt like I would have suffered less by staying more in the crack... 5.9 seemed about right for the area though. Definitely seemed a grade or so harder that the first part of Wolf's Tooth which is an 8. Aug 22, 2002
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
No liebacking required - excellent jams the whole way except for the last few widish moves, but those aren't so bad. Getting the feet in where it turns to fists and bulges a little bit was the crux for me.

If this is at, or as in my case beyond, your limit, bring one piece bigger than a 4 Friend - I was sandbagged into leaving the 4 Camalot on the ground, and I was a shaking mess topping out.

I thought it was full credit 5.9 and certainly not the 9- Gillett calls it, but if I can lead it it can't possibly be 5.10 Sep 9, 2002
Great climb but a total sandbag. I think this was harder than Dementia at Happy Hour which is a 5.10a. Of the few 5.10s I've led, this is harder than any of them and more strenuous.

I got exhausted and I shamelessly rested on my gear. 5.9 A0 for me. Fortunately we had double cams in big sizes or I never would have made it.

On a weird note, when my buddy did it and I seconded it, I went in my approach shoes and found the foot jams to be easier. May 4, 2003
Great jams all the way. Not as hard as other Lumpy 5.9s but still a lot of fun. Used a Camalot #'s 1, 2, and 3. May 8, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Booty, did you see that biner about 12 feet back in the crack? :) How the... Aug 31, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Interesting. Kimball rated it 5.8+, Gillett 5.9-, Rossiter 5.9. Jams are good enough, you can stretch your day one more pitch, despite rain. Tape is nice. Allen will tell you, don't layback the sucker, especially in the rain. Jam it! Sep 4, 2003
A #4 Friend will also come in handy, protecting the scrunchy bellyfolppish topout move. -Sloth Apr 23, 2005
Resist the urge to lieback the crack. Good crack technique is all it takes. 1 #2 Camalot, 2 #3 Camalots, 1 #3.5 Camalot, and 1 #4 Camalot will protect the meat of it. Once you bellyflop over the top, a couple mid-size nuts and .5/.75 Camalots will build a nice anchor. Apr 23, 2005
chris parks
chris parks  
I just did this today. I feel that this is a 5.9. I am not typically that good at fisting, but once it gets that wide the feet get really good so you can almost palm the inside of the crack while you work your feet up or get some sloppy fist jams. This was a good route and [definitely] a good one to practice for wide stuff. Jul 31, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
People with small fists like me may end up forearm jamming in up to elbows in sections of this one. Slow motion that way but great climbing. Jul 6, 2008
fun climb. It's short, but the couple moves of offwidth (like Tony, forearm jams for me) had me panting by the top...don't let the perfect jams at the start lull you to sleep. I thought it felt harder than Rooster Tail, but pretty similar in difficulty to other 5.9 offwidth climbs. Jul 12, 2008
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
It's pretty obvious from the top, but the walk off is to the left, not the right as stated above. Sep 12, 2011
Mark Roth
Mark Roth   Boulder
Really? I walked off to the right...(I think?). Sep 12, 2011
Gladstone, OR
ssimonson09   Gladstone, OR
I've done this thing on TR a few times, it's freaking hard! At the same time, wish it went on for another few hundred feet! Oct 9, 2011
chris magness  
A few notes:

This pitch is not 50 feet, more like 30 feet and a few more back to an anchor stance that takes #1 and #2 Camalots, nor is it an offwidth (perhaps if you're a 5'4", 95 lb., trad chick!). My fists are a 3.5, and I had jams the whole length, rattly at the top with one #4. Approach shoes made for good feet. Stiff 5.9 seems like a reasonable grade. Well worth the effort. Walk off to the right. Jul 12, 2013
Joe Catellani
Seattle, wa
Joe Catellani   Seattle, wa
Agree difficulty is hand-size dependent. Rougher texture than Yosemite cracks, tape or bleed! Oct 15, 2013
The High Country
Cocanower   The High Country
Excellent! Good jams the whole way! Gets a little wide up top, but definitely a Lumpy 5.9! Jan 1, 2014
Northern CO
Anthony   Northern CO
Oh LAWDY! This thing is awesome. Splitter crack that protects well. Find the constrictions, use some off-fist technique, and this thing stays pretty casual until the very top, but there's even some flakes to pull on to ease the pump. Feet are great the whole way. Walk-off to the west or scramble up from behind and set-up a TR. I'd give more stars if it was longer. Aug 1, 2016
Laramie, WY
Petsfed   Laramie, WY
The top of this takes new and old style #4 Camalots and a lot of forearm jams. If you don't have big fists, it will be offwidth. Fortunately, there's a bunch of holds inside the crack if you've the time to look. Keeps the grade reasonable. Don't bring anything smaller than a #2 Camalot and maybe doubles of #3 and #4. Shortest walk off is to the right, but it's 4th class. Oct 24, 2016
erin demarco  
I’m with Tony B on this one. With small fists, I only got 2-3 moves of solid fists before I was swimming up using forearm jams / arm barring (cupping wayyyy back there). A proper challenge! Super fun! Aug 12, 2018