Type: Sport, 90 ft
FA: Bob Lagier & Dan Levison
Page Views: 2,162 total · 11/month
Shared By: Dan Levison on Apr 28, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Access Closed Details
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Any escape from East Germany was difficult since you had to climb over the Berlin Wall.

East Germany is located on the Berlin Wall, which occupies the amphitheater between the Krishna Buttress and Wall of Winter Warmth. Approach via the steep gully that climbs to the terrace at the base of the Wall if approaching from Boulder Falls, or rap in from the top if approaching from Upper Dream Canyon parking area. Start East Germany by clipping the first bolt on Fall of the Wall and diagonal up and right to the vertical line of bolts and the route's technical layback/crimp crux (13a). The climbing eases off until the final (11d/12a) section under the roof overhang.


11 bolts; 2 bolt anchor.


Quality rock climbing. I [recommend] this route and it's neighbor to the left "Fall of the Wall". Both are [probably] a letter grade over graded but so what. Get ready to pimp some little grips. Jun 9, 2003
Not exactly the great escape but a fine 12b. E.G. is difinitely not 13a. The short crux is easier than any consensus 12c. Watch the z-clip! Jun 26, 2003
Hey AC (Pat Adams or Duncan Burke), you're welcome to your opinion, yet we beg to differ.

12b is outside the range we think is possible for East Germany.

Take ''Plan B'', as consensus a 12b as there is in Boulder Canyon. Saying EG is the same grade as Plam B is not credible, the very first time I got on Plan B, I did every move on it (but didn't redpoint it that time). Compare this to EG which took something like 10-15 tries before I did every move on it (and I think I'm climbing better now than when I got on Plan B the first time several years ago).

While EG may well not be 13a (since I don't have the exeperience at that grade level to be sure), neither is it 12b. If you (AC) are Duncan, then please note that your height would pretty much let you reach past the hard parts of the crux whereas those of us of shorter stature don't have that advantage. If you (AC) are Pat Adams, then you climb at a much harder level than the rest of us and maybe are not as good a judge of easy to mid 12 grades in the canyon, which is the range where most of my accents are. So I think I know 12b. EG is not 12b in my opinion.

A more productive discussion would be possible if you identify yourself and your background and credentials would then be clear to all of us. Having someone like Duncan come up behind me in Mountain Sports and say ''12b'' is not exactly the way to start a conversation about such a topic as the consensus grade of this route.
Jun 26, 2003
Dan Levison
Boulder, CO
Dan Levison   Boulder, CO
East Germany (EG), being a new climb, has only seen a few ascents, thus a consensus rating hasn't emerged. Based on my experience, I think the face crux, albeit short, and very well-protected is a technical 12d/13a. Both Jim Redo and Vaino Kodas (credible Boulder climbers) feel E.G. merits a 12d rating. 12b seems way off, AC, but in the realm of things, what's important is that it's a fun route on beautiful granite. Jun 26, 2003
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. My opinion is 12b, you guys can rate E.G. anything you want. What's the big deal? Sometimes a subtle variation in beta (especial on a slab) can make a hugh difference. My sequence was 12b! E.G. felt easier than Camouflage, Genesis, The Evictor, Power Bulge, Animal Instinct, Hairstyles, Pretty Hate Machine, Big Sky Corner and Mystery Arete. That is why I think it is 12b. If you want to do a 13a check out Bed Hog, Buddha Belly or The Rainbow Wall. Jun 27, 2003
AC onsighted... it was moderatley impressive :) I got it second try, despite my enormous reach, it was still hard(12b). I agree with ac too, that local routes like evictor, hairstyles, your mother are all way harder than this one. Even more local, Grand Inquisitor(12a), frogman pinnacle(12b/c), the arete at animal world.... So big deal, it's overrated. Now let's talk route quality... crux moves are cool! That's about all of 6 feet with 4 bolts to clip. The rest of the route is nothing to write home about, not to mention the gallons of glue it took to hold the sucker together. With so much wonderful climbing in boulder, this route doesn't even show up as a blip on the classic radar screen. No offense Bob. Jun 27, 2003
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Not that I am about to go get on this route, but I [looked at the] 3rd picture and though to myself- Hmmm... a X'd flake hanging there- looks like a death block. So if one were to spend the time rap bolting this thing, and putting epoxy into it to hold on the key holds, wouldn't it have been proper to clear the deck below and get rid of the death block? This is something I wondered [about] for Free Willie at Animal world too, though there I am sure the concern was that it'd bomb the road after smashing down through the Boulderado. What is the normal and accepted ethic in the sport arena that sort of concern not-withstanding?

Is extensive gluing really that widely accepted? It bumbed me to see it on Empire Of the Fenceless- since the climb would go without that glue-reinforeced hold just the same.

Again, I acknowedge that I have not been on this route, so my questions are rhetorical, but since both FA-ists are obviously reading, please share your thoughts... Jun 27, 2003
I think after reading Duncan's mis-characterizations of certain aspects of the route as well the false statements he previously made to me about his onsighting the route that no further purpose is served by me further participating in what has simply become some sort of pissing match.

So I'm checking out here. Form your own opinions guys. Jun 27, 2003
I exaggerated. There are 3 bolts not 4, protecting a body length of crux moves evidenced by your own photo. When I told you I onsighted, it was in passing, and I wanted to make my point fast and simple by saying, "there is no way I could onsight 13a." Honestly, I just blurted it out w/o thinking. I did not realize that I would have to own up to those words, or that anyone besides you and I would know I said them. I'm sorry this has been such a headache Bob, and I'm sorry I felt compelled to give you my honest opinion of the route. I liked the other routes a lot more. Sustained and interesting (never mind the rating). OK, I'm done w/ this too. It was briefly amuzing. Jun 27, 2003
Dan Levison
Boulder, CO
Dan Levison   Boulder, CO
This has certainly been entertaining and fun, but I think we all can agree it's starting to get old. Some final closing comments to hopefully bring this chapter to a close:

Quality: EG is definitely not a classic, but a decent route worth doing if in the area. I agree with Duncan, my other two new routes (Fall of The Wall & Interrogation) on Berlin Wall are better.

Protection: When bolting the route, I knew the well-protected crux would draw criticism. Actually, on the redpoint attempt, I didn't clip the last crux bolt until I was well past it. I agree, it's over bolted here and the top crux bolt should be removed. I'll do it when I get the chance.

Glue: I hated to glue the block, but I was afraid that the block might come off and someone would get seriously hurt. I feel that safety is more important than ethics.

Ratings: I honestly felt that the short EG crux was harder than the crux on Radlands (12d), which is of a similar genre: high-angle face. EG may well be mid 5.12, as AC firmly states. I just don't know anymore. Ratings are subjective, and AC is correct, everyone is entitled to an opinion. The Charlie Fowler quote sums it up best: ratings don't mean shit.

Comments: It's easy to take things personally when one feels his/her achievements/contributions have been criticized, I apologize if any of my comments have offended anyone. Be safe, have fun, see you out there... Jun 27, 2003
For the record, my position was and always had been only that the route was 12c or harder based on other Boulder Canyon ratings (excluding S.P.). I didn't know any more than that. My judgement once I get past 12c/d is just too spotty to have any meaning. Had AC or Duncan said 12c in the beginning, I would never have said a word. I just felt based on my Boulder Canyon experience, that 12b for EG was outta line with other Boulder Canyon ratings. The difference between b & c is pretty small, so maybe it wasn't worth quibbling over. The rock should speak for itself.

I think that a significant thread that hasn't really been pulled out of this mess is exploring the question of "Are Boulder Canyon ratings seriously outta whack with the rest of the world and, if so, what should be done about it?" My philosophy on ratings has always been that ratings within an area should be consistent, but an alternate philosophy (that I think AC has) is that there is an absolute universal ratings scale that should be everywhere uniformly applied. That's a fine philosophy, but doesn't address the problem of what to do once a whole area deviates from the universal absolute. I'm guessing that AC's solution to that problem is to try to "fix" the ratings of certain routes to meet his understanding of this absolute standard, but that creates the new problem of inconsistency within the area. I don't have any good solution to this problem and thus I fall back to simply grading to be consistent with the published ratings within the area in question, in this case Boulder Canyon.

Regarding quality: we rated EG two start out of three. That means pretty good, but not classic. We never said it was classic and that was never our position. I thought Interrogation was brilliant, that's why we gave it three stars. Dan did an outstanding job on that one and people should check it out. Jun 28, 2003
Dan Levison
Boulder, CO
Dan Levison   Boulder, CO
I added a three-bolt direct start to this last week. Grade is still the same (12d/13a) despite all the noise from 2003. Anyway, the line is a lot more lineal now with no rope drag, and a fun/steep bouldery start up the pillar. Oct 17, 2008
Taylor Roy
Salt Lake City, UT
Taylor Roy   Salt Lake City, UT
Really nice route. Nov 24, 2008
Jack Sparrow
denver, co
Jack Sparrow   denver, co
Nice route, seems like it hasn’t been climbed in quite a while. The direct start is the way to go, after a nice rest head into four bolts of techy thin face climbing. Unfortunately the middle bit after the crux is quite flaky. I think with another good brushing it would add a star to the route. As far as the grade, I thought it was similar to the War on Freedom, which gets 13a, also similar to Buster Brown at Dude's. I’m sure compared to some Eldo climbing it could feel easy, but we’re in Boulder Canyon where I think this would maintain a soft a or hard d. Regardless, it’s nice winter route in cool hang. Should get more attention. Nov 27, 2018