Type: Sport, 150 ft
FA: Jimmy Surette
Page Views: 13,230 total · 75/month
Shared By: Jim Redo on Aug 6, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details
Access Issue: Closures Details


Snake Watching is the farthest left route on Overhang Rock. It is the "Eighth Day" of the Flatirons.

Scramble up easy 5th class to get to the first bolt. A three move boulder problem takes you up and over the initial overhang. From here, it's crimp, crimp, and more crimp for about a mile to anchors just below the summit. I don't know if something broke, but I found there to be a pretty hard boulder problem at about the 11th bolt. The rock is a little friable in spots. I could not get to the ground with a 70 meter cord, so bring an 80 meter cord or use the lowering station midway up.


15 bolts to a two bolt anchor. There is a midway anchor at the 8th or 9th bolt.


A 70m rope will get you down with some shenanigans, but it's very close. Best to use the midway anchors. Aug 23, 2007
Jonathan Siegrist
his truck
Jonathan Siegrist   his truck
This is a brilliant climb! Crimps for daaaaayyyyysss. Definitely climb (past the first anchor) to the top of this beast for full value- a must do climb at the grade in the front range. I was also skeptical about lowering with a 70m- it would be really close. Mar 17, 2009
Dan Levison
Boulder, CO
Dan Levison   Boulder, CO
Old school Flatirons mega-classic. V6 boulder problem to 120 feet of techy 5.12, capped by an enormous two-tiered roof. Jun 23, 2009
Taylor Roy
Salt Lake City, UT
Taylor Roy   Salt Lake City, UT
Got down very easily from the last bolt before the anchors with a 70m. Reached to top of the boulder that you scramble on top of to start the route. Some very easy downclimbing gets you to the ground. Mar 29, 2013
Curt MacNeill
Boulder, CO
Curt MacNeill   Boulder, CO
Amazing route! It just feels like it goes forever. I have lowered safely from the top anchors with different 70 meter ropes. Have a knot tied on the end, and with minimal shinanigans, you can lower straight to the ground. If you have a stretchy 9.4 or 9.2 cord, you can lower pretty easily from the very top. Thicker 70 meter ropes may require the belayer to scramble up at the base a little higher enough for the climber to reach the slab ramp at the bottom that most people climb up to start the route. It is totally safe and saves a lot of time on the lowering. Just have a solid knot tied in the end of the rope to allow someone belaying with a Grigri to go hands free if need be right before you touch down on the ground. Also, I have learned that most people can yard on draw #1 and reach the jug fairly easily allowing you to avoid using a stick clip for bolt 2, again saving you a lot of time when your warming up or hanging draws on the route. This route is just plain awesome! Get on it, and smile your whole way to the top.... Jul 29, 2013
Alex Shainman
Las Vegas, NV
Alex Shainman   Las Vegas, NV
Heads up on the crux start.... The other day we broke what was the end of the crux jug, just left of the second bolt. It broke from the force of a heel hook moving past it to stand up! That jug was very spider-web fractured and part of a very hollow, large time bomb of a flake which still exists. The hold that remains is now lower by 3" but smaller and squarecut. The very next hold just above is also very hollow. Belayer beware and consider wearing a helmet on all three of these routes! We were very lucky that nobody was hurt. I would not recommend yarding on the 1st bolt to grab the "jug" to clip the 2nd bolt...if that thing breaks, it'll smack you up in the face and then hit your belayer. Use a stick clip. It's best to hang something burly and as long as a shoulder length sling, etc. to keep the rope from grating along the lip. Of course, there are more flexy holds on this route, but that's par for course on the left side of this rock face. Jun 2, 2015
Replaced the fixed sling at the 2nd bold on Snake Watching today. From the front, it appeared fine ... but turned it around to find that it had almost worn through completely. Always check the back of fixed slings on this climb. Due to the position of the bolt and the cruxy nature of the climbing (to access the 3rd bolt), slings wear pretty easily with a few falls. Be careful out there!
Aug 16, 2015
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
This climb is eroding like my optimism in the intelligence of the American population as Trump gets closer to election.

Holds have seriously degraded from when I was up there last 2 weeks ago. That bottom boulder is fecking hard. I still haven't been able to stick the huck from the bad right hand to the sloping 'jug'. I wonder what it felt like in its near-virgin state. Apr 2, 2016
Mike Humphries
Arvada, CO
Mike Humphries   Arvada, CO
Indeed, this thing is eroding!

I ran into a reachy stopper section in the redpoint crux (just above the side-by-side, really thin crimp moves). It's been years since I've been on the route, but I don't recall this section being that hard, really long reach to a small seam. You can use a number of holds, but they are awful, and the feet even worse. Perhaps I suck or perhaps it was too hot. Even with these poor excuses, it certainly hurt my ego.... Jun 30, 2016
Oh no! The key right hand crimp in the crux between the first and second bolts broke off today. The crux can still be done via a big dyno to the big flexy cracked flake at the lip, but that thing isn't going to last long. It would be good to try getting some glue behind it. Anyone know what kind of glue was used to reinforce a bunch of other holds on this route?

We also swapped out the very worn webbing at the second bolt today.

Mike, the fixed quickdraw at that upper crux section runs right over a key hand hold. Makes me think there were originally better options nearby. Jul 3, 2016
Nederland, CO
ROCKMAN2   Nederland, CO
The small right crimp on the lower crux is gone, fortunately, it still goes and can be done static, even by shorter folks (5'5"). I like the new hold/beta more than the old.

The upper crux just below the bulge is pretty fierce, feels like a hard V5 boulder problem with all kinds of pump! All in all, hardest 13a I've ever tried! Stellar route! Sep 21, 2016
Abel Jones
Bishop, ca
Abel Jones   Bishop, ca
The jug that you may or may not dyno to has been reinforced by some charitable person. Everything felt pretty solid on the route. The new route to the left has no red tag now. It was cool too. Sep 22, 2016
Plain Toast
I had very high expectations for this route, and it most certainly did NOT disappoint! The Front Range's gift that keeps on giving and giving and giving.... Don't get too excited about the redpoint after the initial boulder problem, as you've still got another 9,000 moves or so to the chains. A mega classic, a must do and my favorite route of the grade in any area. My belayer was able to lower me by the skin of his teeth with 9.4 diameter, 70 meter rope. KNOT THE END OF YOUR ROPE IF YOU HAVE A 70. Mar 25, 2017
Hot damn! This route is pure majesty. Beautiful exposure, excellent moves, and an eye catching line that doesn't let up until the very, very top. Must do. It seems that this route has crumbled into a fairly solid state at this point (with the help of a ton of glue). The only suspect hold to me was the left hand crimp after the boulder problem jug. If you're belaying it wouldn't hurt to wear a helmet as there may be a couple pebbles kicked off the wall by the climber, but I guess that goes for most climbs. V5 for the boulder down low, V4 up high but with a serious pump.

If you have a 70, TIE THAT KNOT! There's a long stick at the top of the scramble to pull the climber in from deep space. Nov 17, 2017
Was up here last Sunday 6/17; someone had left a rope hung through the top anchor of Snakewatching that had blown around the arete. We pulled it, as it was blocking Thulsa Doom, coiled it, and left it on a stick clip on a ledge below Ouribouros. Came back a week later to climb more and both were still there up on ledge, as we'd left them. If these are yours, PM me to describe, and I'll get them back to you. Thanks. Jun 24, 2018