Type: Trad, Sport, 1000 ft, 12 pitches
FA: Ken Trout, Eric Winkelman, Brian Hansen, 1984 (with help from Robby Baker & Kirk Miller)
Page Views: 26,225 total · 140/month
Shared By: Josh Janes on Jul 15, 2004 with improvements by Doug Haller
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

Childhood's End nearly caused me to voluntarily quit climbing. Or maybe it was involuntarily. My partner and I found ourselves in the middle of a full blown thunderstorm 10 pitches up this thing. In a feat of amazing poise and, well, luck, he climbed one of the upper pitches, runout almost an entire ropelength and climbing directly through a veritable river of water pouring off the slab... ever wonder how those huge, vertical channels form? A pitch from the top, unsure of whether bailing could even be done from that high on the climb, we decided to anyway.

We did learn a few things though. First, nothing will take years off your life quicker than multiple double rope raps from star drives. Second, never forget to untie the knots in the ends of your rope before pulling them... Never! Third, if you take a crap on a climb, like my partner did, it will come back to haunt you. Especially if you have to rap the route. The good news? With enough spare biners you can bail off Childhood's End, even from pitch 11.

The climb is great though, and I'll never forget it. Characterized by runout slab climbing the whole way. I felt every pitch except the 5.12 and 5.10 pitches were PG+ rated, *if* the bolts don't fail. With one exception, every single bolt is either a button-head or a star drive. That includes every belay (most of which are semi-hanging, by the way). Hanging from a pair of ancient 1/4 inch bolts high on the wall, I wondered what would happen if my partner slipped on that 5.7 R section... 100+ feet out with zero gear between him and the belay... Really, it would be a great service to replace all these bolts - at least the belays - with modern hardware. That said, the climb really is quite good. It's a definite adventure to climb such a huge piece of granite outside of RMNP. This area in the South Platte is absolutely beautiful, and chances are you'll be the only ones for miles around. Enjoy!

Double ropes are an asset on this climb as many of the pitches wander, as would be a few screamers for peace of mind.

P1 & 2: Begin a few meters right of the large boulder at the base of BRCM. Immediately right of this boulder is Fields of Dreams Running Wild - you can see a few modern bolts if you look carefully. A little further right is a very low-angle crack with a tree growing out of it. Climb this for a pitch or two all the way across the face to a two bolt anchor at the base of a short chimney (6-10" crack) at the right side of the buttress.

P3: Climb the chimney (#4 Camalot down low or #2 a bit higher), then the slab above past 5 bolts. 5.9.

P4: Step right off the belay to a crack. Up this for 20 feet, then step left onto a slab with 3 bolts (5.9).  Or, for a more difficult variation, step up off the belay then sharply left past two bolts and into a water groove. Up this past another bolt to join the slab above (5.11).

P5: Clip a bolt out left, then go around the corner and up the slab past two more bolts, then run it out to the anchor. 5.8 PG13.

P6: From the anchor reach up and clip the first bolt, climb right to gain the arete and a couple of bolts. Move up and left making a long reach (height dependent) to reach a nice ledge with a two-bolt anchor.  Belay here to avoid rope drag.

P7: Climb about 20 feet up to the first bolt. Traverse directly right about 15 feet to the next bolt (hard to spot).  Continue traversing horizontally right over a ridge to locate the next bolt.  From there spot and climb to two bolts up and a third up and left before the anchors for the crux (12) pitch.  Long draws would reduce rope drag somewhat but the zig-zag nature of each pitch makes combining them likely to add rope drag.

P8: The crux. Climb up off the belay to a finger crack and undercling, clip a bolt and head around to the steep right side of the wall, underclinging and clipping bolts along the way. Continue straight up. All in all 11 bolts on this pitch. 5.12-something and easily aidable, but you'll still have to do 10/11 moves between bolts higher up.

P9: A great lead. Head up off the belay, clipping bolts. Perform a difficult step left into a water groove and then continue up on easier ground. Sustained 5.10 and 9 or 10 bolts.

P10, 11, & 12: There are now new 2-bolt anchors at the top of pitches 10 and 11.  From the belay atop P9 climb slabs up 30 meters and left to find a single bolt. This bolt is out left of the direct line by about 20 feet. Next, climb up and right 20 meters to locate a 2-bolt anchor. Either belay or plan on simul-climbing.  P11: Continue up thought provoking slab climbing clipping one bolt before reaching a 2-bolt anchor. P12 has no bolts, no gear, and ends at a large tree or at the top of the cliff.  Keep in mind this is not a trade route, the only gear are the bolts and that crystals snapping of or damp lichen make this a focused if not difficult lead.

After topping out, hike/navigate the summit rock slabs and ridge north.  Locate the anchors at the edge of the NE corner of the formation. It is recommended that you set-up an anchor and belay each other down to the fixed rap station. Down climbing the slab solo is potentially fatal. Make two 30-meter raps to reach the ground off bolted stations.

Protection

15 draws/slings. A set of Aliens is adequate but a big cam is nice to have for the pitch 3 chimney.

Photos