Type: Trad, Alpine, 400 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Jeff Lowe and Dan Hare, 1984
Page Views: 25,226 total · 131/month
Shared By: Brian Milhaupt on Jul 3, 2003
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

31 Opinions

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This is a long offwidth route that will leave you gasping for air at 13,000+ feet of elevation. Much of the crack system is completely featureless on the outside with laybacking the positive edges the only possible respite from direct offwidthing. Road Warrior ascends the left side of the Black Wall and shares three pitches with Good Evans. Rappel from the first set of bolt anchors you come across when you reach the Black Wall. After the second double rope rappel (might need new webbing), scramble downhill until you are standing in front of the wide, splitter crack.

Pitch 1: We climbed the left-facing flake and crack system to its top, 5.7 100'.

Pitch 2: Step left to the crack using a narrow foot ledge. Climb the wide crack for over 100' to a belay ledge with a good bolt, fixed nut, and ring piton you probably don't want to tie into. It is not a bad idea to have a large piece left for this belay, 5.10 110'.

Pitch 3: Do more offwidthing through steeper but more featured rock. The wide stuff ends and some seams and ledges lead up to a nice stance, 5.10 140'.

Pitch 4: This is the same as Good Evans. Climb up into the right-facing corner below the large roof past a couple pins and traverse out the left side of the overhang to an old bolt on a ledge. 5.10 50'.

Pitch 5: Continue on easy ground to the top.


Single rack of cams and nuts through #3 Camalot. A set of Big Bros with double #2 and triple #3. A #6 Friend or equivalent size is helpful.
This is a spectacular splitter crack on an amazing, steep alpine wall. I would rate this closer to 5.10+ for its sustained nature. Oct 2, 2003
Steve Annecone
Steve Annecone   boulder
An outstanding splitter crack in a beautiful setting, this has got to be one of the best offwidths in the state! The gear beta above is good, but we brought two #5 Camalots and one #6 Friend instead of the Big Bros, and that worked well. Although the hardest moves may have only been 10b or 10c, it is brutally sustained 5.10 OW for over 200 feet, which in my mind warrants a 10d rating. Have fun, and be prepared for lots of gasping for air and a full-body workout! Aug 5, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Good climb- on the P2 & P3 (the OW pitches) the rock is pretty flakey on both sides of the crack. Lots of flakes and crystals were buzzing by the belay for both of us. If you pop and hang on second, and/or decide to rest, you might as well brush this up a bit. I think it detracts from the climb a little. (Edit to note: It has cleaned up well sense 2004, but there may be still some grit, thanks to anyone who put effort into that.)

I always think of OW being #4-#5 Camalot size, Sheesh- this one is like #5 [old-style Camalot] and up. (Edit to add: the new #6 is about right) The rock is featured well inside the crack though, enough so that you can almost always get some decent feet. There are enough convolutions to get tons of no-hands rests on both pitches, but moving up is still hard. This route's sustained nature gives it a grade close to that of the Diving Board in Eldo, so yeah, 10d sounds good. It's still OW at 13k feet as well.

1) The first pitch belay is over right of the OW crack- you have to leave a good fist-sized splitter (3-4") to get to it, and you traverse an unprotected face to get back to it. I am certain that a 70M would make the link-up of P1 & P2 possible, and a 60M would be close. It would also give a better line, add more interesting climbing, and remove one of the routes flaws (climbing through or around the plants to the anchor). This doesn't require additional rack, as you'll be using smaller gear to point of merging anyway.
2) The second pitch is probably the crux. The cam beta given above is pretty good, but a few big bros wouldn't hurt if you don't like leapfrogging and depending on single pieces while doing it. We survived.
3) The 3rd pitch will be the mental crux, odds are. The #6 Friend was pretty tipped out and there were sections where it would not go, requiring me to pull it and climb with no gear for 20-30 feet below me, and that being a so-so stopper in pegmatite or a tipped out #5 Camalot. If I did it again, I'd take the big bros for this pitch (Edit to add: the #6 C4 Camalot covers this now - so Big-bros are no longer really that beneficial with the larger cams). Big gear or big balls. Or maybe take just 1 #5 Camalot and two #6 Friends... 2 tipped out pcs are better than one? Or at least you can leave one in down lower and keep going with pro below.
4) The 3rd pitch can be extended up beyond it's intended finish on the ledge to a semi-hanging belay in the corner up and left, about 10M extra with an additional 5.10 crux hand traversing above the roof- a #.5 (purple) Camalot, a few medium and large nuts and the pin are bomber when put together here... the advantage being you can now finish the climb in one more pitch... just use long runners under the roof (5.9-) and head up and over. We did this with double ropes, but heck, you need 2 ropes to rap in, so I presume you've got them. Aug 7, 2004
mike schlauch
mike schlauch  
This is an awesome line - a must do if you're into off-widths. Harder than Crack of Fear and the Maelstrom mainly because of the altitude and length. The crux pitch does take some good smaller gear (small to medium nuts & small aliens) at the pegmatite roof, but then gets runout unless you have more than one #6 - which will usually be tipped out.

The second set of rap anchors along the rim seemed like the way to go - two 60m raps put you on a large ledge from which you can combine p1 & 2 in about 50m to the semi-hanging belay. Aug 11, 2004
Some[one] named [Lew] from Golden just added new bolts to this route just so he could retrieve a cam... [Eds. This has been edited and moved off the beta page due to the subsequent rebuttal] Sep 12, 2005
First off, the way I spell my name is Lew....and if you want to do the route and find those new bolts that I put in go right ahead....as far as I know there are no new ones on the route, and I would know if I put them in....granted the pin at the top of the second pitch should be [yanked] out and replaced, but who am I to say as a wanker....also you have no idea why the cam was left in the first place or the rescue that followed it.....maybe one day when you are a big man and able to do [more than] follow 5.7, you can lead, I'll be more [than] happy to follow and we [can] look for those bolts together.....have a good day fellow wankers. Sep 14, 2005
Rob Dillon  
My partner went from feeling slow on the approach, to 'hey, why don't you let me carry the rope', to stopping midway through the first pitch, to dizzy and near-hurling on the second, to prussiking the third, finally staggering to the top and exclaiming. 'oh, flat ground!' at the top.

You want to be in good shape for altitude on this one. Jun 5, 2007
Wayne Crill
an Altered State
Wayne Crill   an Altered State
Phenomenal! I'll never forget gazing up at this crack from the snowfield at the bottom after a rapid descent from the rim, summer '98, Clean Dan was there preparing to rap in for the line. I didn't know a thing about the routes but knew I'd be back for this *splitter*. Did a few other routes on the wall a few times before I sac'd up for The Warrior. I really didn't think it could be too bad since the granite is so rough and the crack edges are not smooth (not *splitter*). And I was pretty acclimitized at the time. I was surprised, super sustained, it felt hella burly. I also thought it harder than Crack of Fear, and I didn't think it was altitude, although that had to have an effect. Agreed!! A must do for the offwidth fetishists. Mar 12, 2009
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Awesome route!
Rack beta: single set from #0.3-5; three #6s; 2-3 #3 Bigbros; 1 #4 Bigbro.

Seems like a lot, but it was very nice to have all of the extra big stuff. Also the 2nd pitch offwidth is very tipped out 6s.... Jul 30, 2011
The drilled pin at the top of P2 was missing, we were looking forward to checking out that little trick, but it was gone. You can easily link P1 and P2 with a 70 meter. You can also get to the top from the P3 belay if you manage your rope drag.
A single rack to #5 and triple #6s would get you there, but a #4 Big Bro would make you feel a lot better about the second offwidth pitch (P3). Impeccable route! Aug 1, 2016
Boulder, CO
michalm   Boulder, CO
This is the most fun, most sustained, and longest offwidth I have ever climbed. I would give it 5 stars if I could. This was a great introduction to Mt. Evans climbing on mostly very good rock.

I linked the two offwidth pitches with an 80m rope. Gear for all of the wideness was 1x C4 #0.5, 1x C4 #6, 2x #6 Friends, 2 #3 (green) Big Bros, a couple nuts, and a bunch of slings. A C4 #4 on a double-length sling is useful to protect the traverse from the 1st pitch belay or to protect the fist crack leading up to the wideness. I dumped off the C4 #5 before the crack got really wide to get rid of it. I wouldn't bring it next time, although it could be placed on the second offwidth pitch.

There is a brand new bolted anchor at the end of the first offwidth pitch, which I happily clipped on the way past. Unfortunately, the installer made off with the novelty drilled pin....

A quick story about the first ascent attempt:
Dan Hare and Jeff Lowe came to the Black Wall to climb a route. Dan was looking at Good Evans, but Jeff Lowe had another idea in mind. "No, we're climbing that one," said Lowe as he looked over at the 6" splitter. Not knowing what kind of gear they would need, the duo started up with only one tricam large enough to fit the crack. After leading the first offwidth pitch to the stance at the now-bolted anchor on one lonely tricam, Dan Hare built an anchor in the flexing, detached flake with a few nuts. Fortunately, Jeff followed clean, and they proceeded to bail off a single tricam. Dan said about the sketchy anchor, "if Jeff would have fallen, he probably would have died." They came back a following weekend and dispatched the route with multiple large tricams, which Jeff conveniently happened to manufacture. Aug 15, 2016
I installed the new anchor bolt at the top of P1 and the P2 anchor as well as replacing the bottonhead at the P4 anchor (shared ledge with Good Evans.) I've been on both routes numerous times and spoke with many people regarding the hardware upgrade before executing it. All old hardware was removed cleanly, and all original holes were used for the new hardware.

The (worthless) drilled piton has been missing for over 3 years. I had nothing to do with that.

This is simply a stellar route that, until now, only was diminished by the ancient and dangerous anchor hardware.

Cheers Aug 16, 2016
Aaron Ramras
Aaron Ramras  
Well...I guess I’ll throw another comment into the mix about gear recommendations:

I would take 3 number 3 Big Bros and 2-3 new C4 #6 Camalots. I also found a reasonable #5 c4 Camalot placement early on the second OW pitch.

The first OW pitch is phenomenal and protects quite well! The second is much easier, not as good, and much more heads up. I only had 2 #3 Big Bros for the second OW pitch and really wanted another (all the other BigBro sizes seemed useless to me). Contrary to some of the comments here...I only found 1 spot for a #6 cam on the second OW pitch...otherwise it was green Bros and some finger-size nuts behind precarious hollow blocks.

As far as difficulty goes, with good technique, this thing seemed a good bit easier than Crack of Fear. Although quite sustained and long, there are lots of great rests in between sequences and the climbing is super secure. I think altitude is the big factor for those who find it harder. Brilliant route! Go do it! Jun 25, 2018
matt hoffman
san diego, ca
matt hoffman   san diego, ca
Was glad to have a Merlin #8 (or VG9) to bump for the 2nd OW pitch. Sep 6, 2018
So, I keep seeing people talk about bringing 3 #6s. I currently have 2 but also have a Merlin #8. It seems like people are talking about the splitter being pretty tipped #6. If this is the whole way, I think I could use my Merlin as a pusher the whole way up and just place the #6s as I go. Any thoughts on this? Going to be moved out in the Denver area in about 3 months or so, and I'm hoping I can get myself whipped into enough shape for the altitude by late summer to try this (if not, I'll try it in 2020). Only other experience at altitude like this was 2nd Apron Right just around the corner last August, and I did pretty well with that for only being 3 days into a trip coming from 300' above sea level. Mar 2, 2019
That's what I would probably do. If you can scrounge up a couple green Big Bros to dump in the wider sections, that might also help. Mar 4, 2019