Avg: 3.8 from 41 votes
Routes in Big Rock Candy Mountain
|Type:||Trad, Sport, 1000 ft, 12 pitches|
|FA:||Ken Trout, Eric Winkelman, Brian Hansen, 1984 (with help from Robby Baker & Kirk Miller)|
|Page Views:||22,262 total, 137/month|
|Shared By:||Josh Janes on Jul 15, 2004|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
DescriptionChildhood'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 & 7: Runout 5.9 slab climbing: Head up the arete past bolts, then veer left to a nice ledge with an anchor, belay here or continue on. Head up and right, passing two more bolts to another 2 bolt anchor (this one is not so good), continue up past another bolt and on to the anchor at the base of the 5.12 pitch. If you do this all as one it is a long pitch but a reasonable option.
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. Peform 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: Head straight up off the belay for a few pitches of easier, lower angle climbing. Unfortunately, besides a stray bolt, nilch for pro. 5.7 R.
A single double-rope rap, or two single-rope raps, down the NE Corner of the formation gets you down in a somewhat less-epic fashion, or so I've heard.