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Routes in Trojan Bunny Buttress

Botany of Desire S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Bruise Collector, The S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Bucket List, The T,S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Crawfish S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Cuervo Gold S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Delivering Dynos S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Dog Will Hunt S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Europithacus S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Fire On The Mountain T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Goldshut Arete S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Half Cracked T,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Lick My Plate T,S 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Only A Flesh Wound S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Pondemonium T,S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Sloping Surprise S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Sonata T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Streatch T,S 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Temptation Arete S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Thy Holy Hand Grenade S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
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Type: Sport, 130 ft
FA: Richard Wright, August, 2000
Page Views: 2,974 total · 14/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Apr 5, 2001 with updates from Laura schmonsees
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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The Temptation Arete is an amazing line with a bit of agonizing history. It has been called, "perhaps the best line in the South Saint Vrain Canyon". The climbing moves were originally freed by rope solo (RW) on jugs, and the bolts were placed accordingly. My own first lead was very scary. Subsequent attempts by Greg Purnell, Alan Nelson, and Mark Rolofson (all very strong climbers and much better climbers than myself) led to the consensus demand for re-bolting, with new placements described in detail. Before this could happen, and unknown to anyone, Rob Pizem led the line and claimed a 5.12 something redpoint. After this, the line was re-bolted as consensus had earlier demanded. Now, it is well (over?) protected.

The Temptation Arete begins on the furthest East face of TBB in a thin crack and seam. This section can be done on bolts or trad with small wires. Exit the crack/seam to a ledge just below a short technical slab. The arete proper follows after 20 to 25 feet. The top of the arete has a double bolt stance for toproping, and the descent anchors are another 15 or so feet higher. The arete itself has at least two good solid 5.12 sections, and overall the climbing never drops much below 5.11.

My own last attempt in December 2000 still evinced a pair of hangs. Nonetheless, with the redpoint in the bag (?), the route should be considered open to all. The Temptation Arete easily gets three stars for the climbing moves, the continuity, the quality of the rock, and diversity of technique used.

In addition, it provides convenient access to the 5.13c project to its left. This line was bolted and led by Greg Purnell in September 2000 and should be considered off limits until he has a chance to pull the redpoint or until he opens it up to all comers. I tried it by top-rope, and it is indeed hard.

Per Laura schmonsees: the main anchor is the the first one. It is loose, easy junk to the second anchor. You can get off the first anchor easily with a 60m. Two ropes are not necessary and only deter other climbers.


QDs only. This route has two anchors, one at 115 feet and another at 130 feet. It is a double ropes only route. That said, it may be possible to get off from the lower anchors using a 60 m rope by angling up-slope since the base here is quite steep. Protected by bolts, it needs at least 15 draws to get to the lower anchor. A short section at the start was done on wires and curved stoppers.

Per Mark Rolofson: the route has 22 bolts and a 2 bolt anchor.


Piz did indeed redpoint the route (end of summer 2000). I belayed him a few days earlier as we worked it. I followed with a hang or two on the upper roofs. BTW, no red tag on the first bolt... The 11 move on the lower thin cracks is AWESOME. I spent three hours in aiders (weeks earlier) cleaning the lichen from the arete. I am curious to how many extra (?) bolts there are now... -Darren Jun 25, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Darren - I did not intend my comments in any way to hint that Piz did not put the arete away. Mark and Alan disputed the 5.12a rating in no uncertain terms. My own lead burn through after adjusting the bolts would lean toward 5.12c or so, as they indicated. Piz thought 5.12a, but he has been pulling down so much at 5.13 that he could easily under-rate at this level. In case you go back, the bolt count is only one clip more, but several clips were moved to coincide with Alan's comments. I think the line is really excellent, so we should get pro on target one way or the other. Frankly, the clip over the first roof was intended to be made from the undercling with a big stretch. Alan though this was way too far away, so it was dropped nearly two feet. Now it is easy to reach and you pull around on to the arete with the bolt near your waist - so pretty comfortable. Getting out of the crack and on to the slab was a another point of contention, and this section got another bolt which necessitated readjusting some of the existing clips. Jun 26, 2001
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Three weeks ago Bernard Gilette put up a cable across the stream to be used as a Tyrollean Traverse. This is on the East side of TBB so it will deposit you at the base of the talus field. At least over the last two weekends the cable had not been chopped. When he described this to me he indicated that some sort of pully may be advantageous rather than using a biner. I have not tried it yet, but it is likely to be fast and a bit tough where the angle of the cable rises. One could try adding a prussik to keep from sliding. The cable is hitched up high in one of the cottonwood trees, and it takes a little scrambling to get attached. Jul 12, 2001
This is probably the best in the Vrain. Nov 2, 2001
Yeah right you didn't intend to suggest he didn't redpoint it. Is that why you used the loaded term "claimed", and then used a question mark when referring to his lead? You're full of shit. And what's the deal with listing yourself as the first ascensionist of a sport route when you STILL haven't redpointed it? Nobody cares that you put the bolts in it and that you were the first to "climb" it on toprope. A sport route's first ascensionist is the person that leads it first without falling. Does anyone dispute that? May 26, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
My initial response to this last comment was to chuck it off as simply more arrogant teenage blather, and while it is certainly no more than that, reflection brings me to the following issue. There comes a point at which grabbing an FFA is significantly different from predatory route snatching, and in principal this point revolves around some indeterminate period of time and some given or tacit consent from the FA team. In the case of the Temptation Arete I had gotten the route sussed out on top rope, run on jugs, cleaned, and finally bolted up. Anna and I had planned to run the lead burns the following weekend when Alan and Mark were interested in going up as well. Since I knew that one of the other routes would fall quite readily, and while it was a bit risky since Alan and Mark are both much stronger climbers than myself, I was happy to let them pick off the FFA. So Anna and solved a different route while Alan and Mark tackled the arete. Things for them seemed a sand bag and some bolts needed adjusting, and this was done on the following weekend. However, prior to getting the bolts readjusted, Piz grabbed the FFA without ever discussing this with me and before I had even had a shot at a lead burn. Now, this is no more than two weeks after the bolts were originally placed - a very short time for a weekend warrior. So how much significance is the FFA worth? It did not represent solving an abondoned project, and while it is true that it usually takes several tries to drag my fifty plus year old ass up a challenging route, this is hardly criteria for recognizing the FFA as anything but predatory route snatching. Now where Piz is concerned, I did not raise an issue because he is a good friend as well, and while it bugged me a bit, my skin is plenty thick enough to be happy that it went down for him. However, and make no mistake on this, the difference between a legitmate and reasonable FFA and predatory route snatching titanic. For the Temptation Arete Piz got the FFA and that is history, but this is of very litttle significance. May 28, 2002
Having read the above two comments, I must reply, although I have never even laid eyes on the route. I can certainly understand why Mr. AC did not leave a name to his comment as it is both brainless and cowardly. Yes, it certainly matters who put the bolts in and who got the FA, as well as the FFA. Many of the major routes around the country have listed both the FA party and FFA. I personally think the the person who takes the time to equip a route deserves at least as much respect as the individual who gets the FFA. I don't know any specifics about the above route regarding whether the FFA was indeed route snatching, but either way I think RW deserves his due credit for finding the line, preparing the route and placing the gear, all very time consuming and difficult work. Thanks for your effort Richard!

May 28, 2002
Interesting conversation... but don't you also think that the FFA of a 5.12 sport route is an utterly trivial piece of information anyway? I mean it is 2002 and we aren't exactly talking about the FFA of Action Directe.

The guy that put the bolts in the route certainly deserves the majority of whatever glory there is to be had. Since there are hundreds of climbers in this region that are capable of actually pulling the moves, the person who did it first is mostly a function of who happens to be around.

One other thought - I have a friend who has done some occasional bitching about a "stolen" FFA. The route in question was not red-tagged.Since then, he is redtagging projects and none have been nabbed. The point -I think climbers still respect red tags! But if there isn't one hanging, my assumption is that it is fair game.

Sounds like a great line! Good job, Richard. May 29, 2002
Looks like another one to move to the issues board now, doesn't it!

-Tony B. May 29, 2002
AC - actually, there are far fewer first ascensionists in the region than there are 5.12 leaders.So if you were to compare the number of bozos with drills to the number of bozos who can lead 5.12, you would find that the guy with the drill is actually far more rare. All those high school kids would literally have no sport routes to do if it weren't for a handful of front range "old guys". And actually, you seem to agree with my point - just about anybody can send the thing, so why bother even keeping track of the FFA? Just climb and have fun (and be thankful that someone took the time to clean and bolt a nice line). May 30, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Well said, Rich. My point was that FFA data can frequently have very little significance. For example, when used to simply to attach someone's name to someone else's labor, the FFA is irrelevant. Also, the style of the FFA, ignorance of the "real" FFA, the importance of the line, etc, etc conspire to diminish the relevance of an FFA. There are times, however, when the FFA really does have significance. The solving of a long standing problem, freeing of an aid line, something cutting edge, or breaking into new territory altogether are all significant and the FFA helps us to track the history of climbing and boost the inspiration level. May 30, 2002
Huh. So the FFA is totally insignificant, yet the fella that actually sent the route gets called a "predatory route snatcher". Why use such dramatic terms if it matters so little? Are there any Route Snatching Predator clubs? I'd like to try it out. We could secretly follow these old-guys-with-drills, find out where their next line-of-bolts-that-they can't-freeclimb is, then send it. That just sounds infinitely more fun than spending our time climbing splitter cracks in the mountains. May 31, 2002
Offensive? Come on now. Just trying to keep everybody honest. Guys putting in as many bolts as Mr. Wright has better have thicker skin than that. Jun 1, 2002
Pardon the intrusion into the spray, but does anyone else, besides me, believe this route might be less than 12b/c. I thought it was11d, possibly 12a.This route is on par with the best sport routes in the Boulder area. So is the project, at the time of this writing, to the left. Oct 21, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
12a was the way I had originally rated it with fore-knowledge of all the moves and terrain, optimal beta in other words. My deference to the higher grade was based on trying to see what Alan and Mark were doing. Relative to other routes at 12b/c, I don't find a move that hard either. The roof move could be done at the higher grade, but not with optimal beta. I'd be pleased as punch to restore the 12a grade (?). Oct 21, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
Since we should get it right and get fixed, here was how I initially referenced TA to established Gold Standards: Crash Test Blonds (more difficult by two letter grades), Plan B (easier by a letter grade), Ten Digit Dialing (easier by two letter grades at least), The Ticket (close, both toss up a crux followed by a rest followed by comparable continuity), Sunset Arete (a bit harder I believe). Oct 21, 2002
I agree with you Dave as I think I indicated 11d/12a. HBL Oct 23, 2002
Richard M. Wright
Lakewood, CO
Richard M. Wright   Lakewood, CO
TA is now corrected to 12a as follows my original impression, Piz's burn, and each of the other comments listed here. Oct 23, 2002
Travis Blair
Travis Blair  
Absolutely amazing line. Can easily get down on a 60 meter rope with much to spare... that being said it is a full 30 meter pitch - aka AWESOME! 12a seems to fit, although I did find the lower crux (before the ledge and no hands rest) baffling and difficult... harder in pure difficulty than anything up on the arete IMO. Bring lots, and lots, of quickdraws. Aug 14, 2011
Laura schmonsees
Boulder, CO
Laura schmonsees   Boulder, CO
Great climb Late summer, early fall is a good time to send since the river is low enough to cross and it's shady but not too cold yet. Two main cruxes, lots of bolts. Cross the river, and look for the trail just downstream and below the boulderfield. Head up the boulders and scree to below the route. About 20 draws. A 60 meter rope is absolutely fine. Oct 2, 2016
Mark Rolofson
Mark Rolofson  
After climbing the route a few times in 2002 & then returning to it 12 years later in September 2014, I contend the route is no harder than .12a. The top of the crack is the most technical section. Pulling over the roof is the 2nd crux. Moving right on good holds over the lip is the logical line. Staying on the arĂȘte would make it harder.

Regarding my first attempt with Alan Nelson on Labor Day 2000, I was quite tired being day 3 of climbing. The original bolting protected most of route quite well except for the hard moves that were above the bolts. The original bolting certainly added to the difficulty.

The climb has 22 bolts / 2 bolt anchor. A 60 meter rope will get you down. Tie a knot in the rope end to be safe. Great pitch with lots of good climbing. Sep 12, 2017

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