Type: Trad, 450 ft, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: Charlie Fowler and Kyle Copeland
Page Views: 7,643 total · 40/month
Shared By: Bryson Slothower on Jun 20, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

37 Opinions

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This excellent route climbs through the left side of the South Face of The Sun in 4 great pitches. To locate the start of the route, look for a clean crack rising up and left from the ground with a wide spot about 15' up. The upper pitches are hard to spot from the ground, but it is fairly obvious where the only weakness through the sheer face could possibly be. The route can be broken up several different ways and climbed in three to five pitches depending on how you choose to do it. This is the way we did it:

Pitch 1. 220 feet. 5.8+. Locate the clean crack that begins on the left side of the formation and angles up and left. Pass a wide spot early on (5.8s without a Bigbro), and continue on via a nice finger crack that leads to a long, arching, corner system that sweeps up and left. Either belay at the top of the finger crack or continue up for another 150' to a good stance atop a large flake just before you are forced to step left into another crack system. It is intense for 5.8.

Pitch 2. 85 feet. 5.9-. Make a slab move left into the next crack system and follow the low angle crack for about 40 feet to a steep corner formed by an enormous block. Move around right via good hands, pass a bush, and power up the corner either by offwidthing or liebacking and belay on a large, flat ledge atop the huge block. This is better than it looks.

Pitch 3. 75 feet. 5.10b. Climb the obvious overhanging hand crack above you via jams and liebacking. Either continue to the top or belay at a very unique rock "saddle" that makes for a comfortable seat with a great view of the next pitch. It is strenuous.

Pitch 4. 85 feet. 5.9. Climb the beautiful corner crack up and right with perfect hand jams, good crystals and knobs for the feet, and great pro to the top of the rock. This is pure fun!

Walk off either side.


Stoppers and cams up to a #4 Camalot, extra #1 through #3.
There is also a bolted route to the left of the first pitch. about 5.9+ face climbing. bring a couple of large cams for the top. there are no bolts to belay from the top.I rope soloed the route 9/21_03. the last two pitches are crazy! don't forget your tape gloves. Sep 24, 2003
The bolted route to the left is Halogen Angels and makes a hella worthy start to Beter Lock... Jul 26, 2005
Christopher Jones
Denver, Colorado
Christopher Jones   Denver, Colorado
Fun route. Good pro all the way up. I don't recommend doing the first 2 pitches together as the description suggest, too much rope drag. Jul 27, 2007
Bill Duncan
Jamestown, CO
Bill Duncan   Jamestown, CO
Worthy route. Try the Halogen Angels start. May 28, 2008
Just did this climb yesterday for my birthday. Great Climb! A must if you like bushwacking your way up to a crag. We recovered a cam that was fixed in the 10b pitch. If you can describe the cam you can have it. Looks to be a pretty cool trophy cam, someone almost tore the lobe off a brand new C4! Jun 23, 2008
John McMullen
El Portal, CA
John McMullen   El Portal, CA
Charley Fowler and Kyle Copeland did the FA/FFA of this route. Apr 25, 2009
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
Triples are not too much! We carried triple Camalots from .75 to 3 and double 4s (old 3.5) and ran out of gear on P2 and P5. On P2, after placing a mediocre small piece--almost my last piece of any size--up and right of the belay, I downclimbed about 40' to retrieve enough gear to belay off to the left. On P4 I used all of the hand-sized cams despite trying to skip pieces. P5 really wants 4 or 5 gold Camalots. We had three this year, and Chuck had to lower twice to back clean.

This climb feels hard to me. Having done this twice, P1, P2 and P5 feel like 5.9. P3 feels like 8. P4 feels like hard 10. Aug 20, 2009
Wally   Denver
GREAT! route. Climbed it for the fourth time on Saturday April 10th. As usual, no one was there. Gear:

Stoppers - set of medium and large stoppers.
Aliens - single set green through red.
Camalot juniors - double set.
Camalots - 3 ones, 3 twos, 2 threes, 1 new style four.

I agree with the post above, the 5th pitch does soak up #2 Camalots - but that pitch is 5.8 most of the way. If you prefer to place more gear, add in another #2 Camalot.

I agree with Chris Jones, no way I would link pitch 1 and 2. Even though a couple of the pitches on this route are short, the route is best climbed without linking pitches.

A 70 meter rope is nice for pitch 2 but not necessary.

The first three times I climbed the route, I walked off left. Last time, I walked off right. Walking off right is more direct and easier.

If you want extra credit - finish up on Teepee Tower Crack for 2 more awesome pitches. Apr 15, 2010
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Classic. Undoubtedly the finest 5.10 (and perhaps the most strenuous 5.10) in the Platte that I’ve discovered. We carried (4) red Camalots, (4) gold Camalots, (3) blue Camalots and a standard rack with a full set of BD stoppers. The original starting pitches are worth the effort as they are fun and offer a gradual warm-up for the upper pitches ahead. Pitches 4 and 5 are sustained. Sep 23, 2010
Dan 60D5H411
Colorado Springs, CO
Dan 60D5H411   Colorado Springs, CO
Fun climb, just wish all the pitches were as good as the last 2 dihedrals. Different style but felt easier than the crux of Rambling Rose to me. I found myself grunting more on the first couple of insecure pitches than the last two for some reason. We found the following rack to be useful: 1 set of nuts/tricams for belays pieces, singles in the small cam sizes (green Alien to green Camalot), triples in the red, yellow, blue Camalot sizes and 1 grey (#4) Camalot.
When walking off left, we encountered a long wet slab. It was possible to rap ~most~ of the way down this with a 70m, but still had to scramble down 15 feet of crud. Apr 18, 2011
Boulder, CO
pfwein   Boulder, CO
A few random comments, skip if you don't like info:

Description is good except to combine the first two pitches--that makes no sense to me. May be possible with extra long rope and/or simulclimbing (I think even longer than a 70m, although not sure about that) but only in the same way that almost any pitches can be combined. The "second pitch" (when splitting them up) is long and sustained, and not totally in line with the first.

Gear: an atomic rack would be something full set of nuts (didn't use RPs but used some small, medium, and large, especially at the belays), 1 green Alien, 2 #0.4 Camalot, 3 #0.5 Camalot, 3 #0.75, 4 each #1, #2, 3 #3, 1 #4 (and save the #4 until you are pretty high on the second pitch). Obviously the climb can be done with much less gear, but remember there is no fixed gear, and at least one pitch is long.

We walked down to climber's right and it wasn't great--not super long but rugged and loose.

I could see 3 stars instead of the 4 I gave, but I bumped it up due to a very nice setting, interesting natural feature with no fixed gear, and each pitch had at least something interesting. May 29, 2013
Colorado Springs, CO
LawHous   Colorado Springs, CO
Seriously one of the best multi-pitch, South Platte climbs I've been on. It is very sustained, exposed, and a ton of fun. The 10b pitch is scrappy and is followed by the most sustained pitch of the climb. It's only 5.9 but will keep you working, so be solid at the grade.

What everyone has said about the gear is pretty spot on. Triples from BD #0.75 to 3 makes the climb very well-protected. We also had two 4s which was nice ,but we could have lost one. I would definitely take a set of nuts and singles of 0.3 to 0.5 (I used them a few times). Jun 29, 2014
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Double cams is sufficient, triples in hand size is OK too, you can use 2 red/yellow Camalots if you take them.
A few notes:

P1. Run P1/2 into a 68m pitch as described.

P2. Run P3 into P4 (P2 and 3 as described). Put a long runner on the first 2 placements up in the 10b pitch so that the rope does not wrap on that corner, and then you'll be fine. Pass the low saddle on the left, and continue to the higher belay ledge on the right. This is larger and more comfy - also out of the sun later in the day, as it faces less south. It can be belayed here on stoppers - which means you can probably run this into the next pitch too....

P3. Keep up on that crack. Belay at the top, then walk over later, or walk way way back to the East to the far side of the summit, since there is no gear up there.

If you don't link P2/3, you can certainly link P3/4, but you might run out of cams if you are not careful about it.

Good climb.
Sep 5, 2016