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Routes in Upper East Face

Conan T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a
Erki Nool (WGA) S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Extreme T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Type: Trad, 70 ft
FA: Skip Guerin, 1981
Page Views: 1,957 total, 11/month
Shared By: David A. Turner on Oct 21, 2002
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

Possibly the most consistently steep trad climb in Boulder. As steep as Death and Transfiguration, without the stem rests. As steep as Comic Crack, but not a one move wonder. Not as steep as the last pitch on Vertigo, but way longer. As much value as Arms Bazaar, but steeper yet. Very aesthetic, great rock quality.

Head up the gully past Jolt Cola, past Vasodilator. Crawl through the giant chockstone at the top of a gully to a ledge. An alternative approach is to climb Decade Dance or Aging Time, walk right on the top out ledge to its end, then rappel to beginning of Conan. The alternative makes for a nice Trad outing.

Conan starts thin fingers, jogs right and shoots straight up to a two bolt anchor. The gear is excellent. To get down, scramble onto the brushy slab to the South of the belay ledge and rap from a tree back into the gully.

Protection

Stoppers; Aliens to hand sized cams

Photos

I thought the gear was a bit jingus at the start, which also felt like the technical crux. Maybe anchor in your belayer.... Nov 11, 2009
david goldstein
  5.11d
david goldstein  
  5.11d
Old school trad and new wave sport ratings collide: we found this pitch harder than Hypertension which we did immediately beforehand. I'd give this pitch, 30' of unrelenting, overhanging and even thought provoking climbing, three stars if the crux were not right off the deck, requiring some desperate placements. My 11d rating is based on comparisons to Between the Sheets and Dead Boys Direct at Lumpy, both of which I'd done recently. That said, this pitch would probably seem easier at a cooler time of year. Jul 15, 2004
While in no way dismissing Skip's ascent of Conan, rope solo technique using overhand knots is not entirely as cumbersome as it may sound. By hanging loops of rope from a locking carabiner, it is possible to untie a section and quickly drop it when you reach the end of the active side of rope. Drawbacks to this technique include the added weight of these loops, and the extra distance one would fall before the knot catches.

However, there are (and were "back in the day") several better methods for rope soloing, including: a moveable Munter-type knot system; the "Barnett system" using a prussik-type knot with limp yachting-type rope; using inverted Gibbs ascenders; and an opposing Jumar system (which is still used by a well-known local climber to this day).

None of these out-dated systems compare in safety and ease of use to the Silent Partner, or for that matter the Soloist, Solo-Aid, or modified Gri-gri systems.

Still, no rope-solo device, system, or technique should ever be considered completely safe or fool-proof. For this simple reason, rope-soloing at or near one's limit, particularly on remote, multi-pitch terrain, is best left for those with extensive rope-soloing experience, or better avoided altogether.

-SL Jan 15, 2004
Brad Bond
  5.11c
Brad Bond  
  5.11c
Skip rope-soloed the first ascent of this route in the early '80s, freeing it onsight while using a solo system of tying and untying overhand knots as there were no fancy rope-soloing devices back in the day.

This route is a blast! From the anchor it's easy to toprope Extreme, which felt a touch harder than Conan and seemed like it would be scary to lead. These routes get great late-day sun in the winter and are worth the slog up the gully. Jan 14, 2004
"Extreme" is really good, too, while you are up there. Jan 13, 2003