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Routes in Bell Buttress - Main Crag

Arms Bazaar T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Beethoven's Fifth T 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13
Bell Air T,S 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Bell Buster S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Cosmosis T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Daedulus Direct T 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a PG13
Double Jeopardy T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Epiphany T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R
Epiphany Direct T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b R
Freak on a Leash S 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Front Line T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13
Frontier T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R
Gates of Eden T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Grand Inquisitor T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Headwall T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Hound Dog S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Joe Pontiac T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Little Man in the Boat T 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a R
North Face T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Pitts, The T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Purpose, The T,S 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Route That Dan Missed, The T,TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b X
Saved by the Bell T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Spoiled Moose, The T 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c R
Spoils, The T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Three Minute Hero T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
Tiempos de Ceguera (Times of Blindness) S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Tiers T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Unknown T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unknown Crack T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Verve S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
West Crack T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
West Face T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Wrinkles T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Type: Sport, 80 ft
FA: Christian Griffith, 1987
Page Views: 6,280 total · 35/month
Shared By: Colin Lantz on Apr 28, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Seasonal Closure Details

Description

One of Christian Griffith's menage a trois of exceptional sport climbs put up in the late '80s after CG's return from six months in France. CG's "Big-Three" (Paris Girl, Desdichado, and Verve) were much sought after achievements for any aspiring sport climbing hardman (or woman) and some of the hardest routes in the U.S. at the time. A solid 5.13 on perfect granite with interesting moves and some of the best positioning in Boulder Canyon, this route is essentially two hard V6/V7 boulder problems with a quick shake in between them. The coveted first ascent was done by Christian with other notable Boulder rock stars of the day, e.g. Dale Goddard, involved in the race for the FA. The route is notable also as it became the inspiration for the name of CG's climbing clothing company, which went on to define sport climbing apparel functional-style in the '90s.

The first crux is right off the deck. With a right foot, heel hook, grab the right hand "shredder" hold (very painful and small), work your left foot up the ramp and start working up the arete with the left. After getting the highest left purchase possible on the arete make a big crank move to a right hand, 4 finger pocket.

The second crux is a long reach to a modified hold. The chiseled/drilled hold makes the "mega reach" move (second crux) much easier and it makes it possible to match and switch hands for a quick shake. This move is VERY wing-span dependent and is harder for those not endowed with a lot of height and a huge ape index.

The route quickly slabs out over the top and the anchor is a long way back. Be careful when top-roping or lowering as the anchor position will ensure that your rope gets shredded.

Protection

4 QDs + anchor.

Photos

Tank Evans
  5.13c
Tank Evans  
  5.13c
Really great route, especially for Boulder Canyon. Pay the price of admission and bear-down on those razors to start and then enjoy some of the best movement in Bo Can. Also, non-reachy beta exists for the upper sequence. It is a shame that the edge on the arete up high is drilled because the route would certainly still go without it, and probably only a letter grade harder. Mar 19, 2012
Monomaniac
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
A full explanation of the "Four-Plan" is here. (read through all the comments) Dec 19, 2009
Colin Lantz
Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
Colin Lantz   Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
Four-plan... come tell... me interest in making up on this for going top... ??? Dec 18, 2009
Sven also "made flash" of this as part of his "four-plan." Dec 18, 2009
Colin Lantz
Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
Colin Lantz   Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
Agreed, the original Sven description is very funny. Here it is for the record before it gets blasted away and lost in cyberspace history:

"This is a nice climb up a clean arete on very good granite stone. It is a short route with much climbing on not so difficult moves, but the crux is a short sequence of thin holds quite on the arete. With care in looking at the Verve before starting to climb, it was not so difficult make a good flash. Climbing up to the crux near the third bolt was not too difficult so it is possible to be refreshed before starting to make the thin moves. Mostly it is important to be careful with placing the feet in order to get into good balance for the thin hands. It is a steep climb and needed a good combination of balance and finger power in the thin moves. To finish the Verve route, the climbing becomes quite easy." Dec 18, 2009
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
Sven was a troll, but I remember him being a hilarious one! Dec 14, 2009
Monomaniac
Morrison, CO
Monomaniac   Morrison, CO  
Colin, FYI, "Sven" is a legendary troll from the climbingboulder.com days. I'm pretty sure he's not a real person, and his story is a fabrication, though it wouldn't be too surprising these days if someone were to flash a route like this.

PS, your comments are very much appreciated! Keep 'em coming. Dec 13, 2009
Colin Lantz
Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
Colin Lantz   Nederland, CO
  5.13b/c
I did the second ascent of this route on June 22, 1989. I think this is one of the best routes Christian ever put up in the Boulder area. The movement and positioning are first class IMO. I concur with Taylor on the modified hold. On the edge in question you can clearly see a drill bit hole. I don't think C.G. was responsible for this. I think someone else was working on the route first and did the damage.

Attached is my beta map from 1989 that shows the hand and feet placements I used. The chiseled/drilled hold made the "mega reach" move, which is the second crux, much easier and it made it possible to match and switch hands on this hold.

I've lived in Nederland since 2003 and drive up the canyon almost every day. I always look up to see if anyone is on Verve and I have never seen another party on it. It's a great route and deserves more traffic.

Thanks Dan for replacing the bolts, and thanks to Matt and the ARI.
Dec 13, 2009
Dan Levison
Boulder, CO
Dan Levison   Boulder, CO
I replaced the 4 bolts on Verve today with Roy Barnes. 3 of the bolts were 20+ year-old Mammut Ring bolts, and the 4th bolt was an 8mm Allen Mammut bolt (scary condition). All old holes were patched. The new hardware is 1/2" x 2.75" stainless Powers bolts with Petzl hangers. Special thanks to Matt Samet (Climbing Magazine) and the ARI for supplying the hardware! Jul 15, 2008
Taylor Roy
Salt Lake City, UT
  5.13c
Taylor Roy   Salt Lake City, UT
  5.13c
This route should be registered as a modified route. The crux sequence involves a drilled out edge on the arete. May 8, 2003