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Critical Morass

5.10c, Sport, 100 ft (30 m),  Avg: 3 from 114 votes
FA: Rick Thompson, Sam Davidson & Pat Thompson
Colorado > Estes Park Valley > CO Hwy 7 & Trib… > Jurassic Park -… > Big Ass Slab?
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Description

This route follow a beautifully clean line up a blank looking slab and then cruises through a little bulge before reaching the anchors. It is a spectacular line that rates as one of my favorite slab climbs to date in Colorado. Locate this route by finding the 4 bolts on a blank looking, steep wall just uphill from the previous bolted lines (3rd bolted line from the left, facing the cliff).

Climb the delicate slab with tricky feet to the 3rd bolt and reach the 2 nice pockets before the crux, paste your feet high and reach for crimps on the slab above, very nice moves on superb rock. A funky move before getting over the bulge will keep you thinking on this route. This is splendid climbing, a must do at Jurassic Park. Have fun.

Protection

9 bolts + 2 bolt anchor.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Jurassic Park, showing the major formations.<br>
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Updated from original version by Jeff Lockyer.
[Hide Photo] Jurassic Park, showing the major formations. Updated from original version by Jeff Lockyer.
Dancing with my shadow, Jurrasic Park, Lilly Lake, outside Estes Park... check out the beautiful stone
[Hide Photo] Dancing with my shadow, Jurrasic Park, Lilly Lake, outside Estes Park... check out the beautiful stone
Matt giving a good demonstration on the nature of the first half of this route: balancing and not a lot of positive holds.
[Hide Photo] Matt giving a good demonstration on the nature of the first half of this route: balancing and not a lot of positive holds.
Lora Woods topping out on Critical Morass on a beautiful day at Jurassic Park.
[Hide Photo] Lora Woods topping out on Critical Morass on a beautiful day at Jurassic Park.
Nice slab. Thanks Rick, Sam, & Pat.
[Hide Photo] Nice slab. Thanks Rick, Sam, & Pat.
Ben Dory preparing to pull the bulge crux.  Photo by Ian Dory.
[Hide Photo] Ben Dory preparing to pull the bulge crux. Photo by Ian Dory.
One of many ways to mantle 1st crux.
[Hide Photo] One of many ways to mantle 1st crux.
Pulling through the crux...
[Hide Photo] Pulling through the crux...

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] A great route that will really "keep you on your toes" quite literally! No perceptible "crux" but fairly sustained from the 1st to 4th bolt. The headwall will also keep your interest. I'll stick with Rick's rating on this one too. However, because the anchors are set at least 20-30 ' past the headwall on 4th class terrain with a perfect ledge available on top of the headwall to call it quits, I'm going to say only 2 stars in my book. Any thoughts on the anchor placement, Rick? Also, even with a 60m rope, I just made it back down to a ledge where I could untie and walk off (totally safe). So, your belayer needs to stay on the ball as you get near the ground. May 5, 2002
[Hide Comment] This climb is great.. - balancy, sustained, beautiful exposure - you name it... but yeah - after the bulge it kinda gets dumb and 5.6ish and a little too much rope drag- still worth it though... and a 60 m rope will barely be enough to lower, but it's an ez step off from the 1st bolt if you run out of rope... all four of the climbs on this wall are very good... the 9 next to it is also quite good, and the ez climb on the arete is a gorgeous photo op with Lily Lake in the background Jun 2, 2003
[Hide Comment] Very nice route, but the anchor is currently very unsafe. The right-hand bolt is extremely loose -- it wiggles significantly even when the nut is hand-tightened as much as possible -- and the left bolt might also be loose. Be careful! (We were concerned enough to downclimb to the anchor on the route to the left before lowering.)

Given the comments from people above, perhaps if this anchor is replaced because of the bad bolt(s) it should be moved lower... May 24, 2004
Adrian Hill
  5.10c
[Hide Comment] Excellent pitch, but definitely not 11a. Probably 10c/d. Apart from the anchors, all bolts are placed exactly where you want them. Following Dougald's comment, I clipped the last protection bolt then angled down to the anchor on the left, to avoid the Critical Morass anchor. The party after us went to the CM anchor, and said that it didn't seem too bad; one bolt slightly loose. Maybe someone did some repairs. Either way, a pitch not to be missed. Jun 7, 2004
Joel Larner
Fort Collins, CO
[Hide Comment] The anchor seems OK as of 6/23/05. Not fantastic, but fine. The bolts are a touch loose, so the hangers can move a little (I'd rather they were tight), but they seemed safe to us. We used them without concern. Jun 24, 2005
logan johnson
West Copper, Co
[Hide Comment] As of 6-16 the bolts/anchors all seemed perfectly safe. Good route, nice beginning. Jun 16, 2006
Christina kalb
Boulder, CO
  5.10c
[Hide Comment] Great Route!!! Balancy, with a great variety of moves. I would recommend a mantle of some sorts to get past the crux! Jun 2, 2008
Will Spaller
Ogden, UT
[Hide Comment] Not as good looking as the Edge of Time, but much better climbing. Oct 22, 2008
Tom Kelley
  5.10b
[Hide Comment] Good enough route if you're in the area but not spectaclar. Aug 24, 2011
Paul Donald Andrews
Nederland, Co.
  5.10a/b
[Hide Comment] Real good route. Had no trouble with the crux, a fun left foot high step and right hand mantle move. The headwall was interesting as I took a little time figuring out the best sequence for me. My 60 m rope made it to the ground no problem. Mar 31, 2012
David Cooper
Annapolis, MD
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] Well equipped. Super friction. 10a, no harder. Good quality moves through lower crux section and then higher up through seam. Jun 5, 2012
[Hide Comment] I think this is at least 10c. It felt greasy in the hot sun. I didn't find any crimps above the mantel "shelf" -- just the long reach to the steeply sloping sloper, which looks better than it really is.

Installing a lower anchor would be good for the reasons mentioned above and to have an anchor that is NOT shared with the route to the right. Jul 24, 2013
Evan Gohring
  5.10b/c
[Hide Comment] Great route! Second best at Jurassic Park, behind Andrology. Between bolts 2 and 4 are very fun, balancy moves on thin slab. Bolts are placed perfectly. Jul 4, 2015
Emil Briggs
  5.10b/c
[Hide Comment] I led this a couple of years ago on a cool day and thought it was really soft for 10d. Led it again yesterday on a hot and sunny day and thought 10d was reasonable. Aug 1, 2015