Type: Sport, 70 ft
FA: Alan Nelson
Page Views: 3,138 total · 18/month
Shared By: Alan Nelson on Aug 8, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

105 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Face climb straight up past bolts between "Little John's Big Stick" and "Maid Marian", remaining fiercely independent until joining "LJBS" at the last seventh clip.


Nine bolts (three on "LJBS") to the bolt anchor of "LJBS".


Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Fun moves up the thin face between Little John's Big Stick and Maid Marian. There's a 10d crux moving from the 4th to 5th bolts and another hard move at the 6th bolt.

It's possible to climb the route at an easier grade by stemming the corner on LJBS, but for full value, avoid the corner and stick to the face.

The bolts on this route are well to the right of the bolts that were removed from LJBS, so this really is a new and independent climb. Aug 13, 2004
Sounds contrived. Aug 14, 2004
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
It is contrived but the moves are fun nonetheless. Aug 14, 2004
This is not a new route. This is rebolting Little Johns's Stick, but the new bolts are now a bit further away, like five feet right. The person who rebolted this should have explained what they did, and why, not invent some new line three or four feet to the right of the LJBS dihedral. I climbed this last week, without any knowledge of the vast archive of postings about LJBS.

Placing the new bolts an arm's reach away from the LJBS dihedral is a tasteful way of resolving this rebolting issue, so the bolts are not right in your face if you choose to climb the dihedral on gear, but this is a terrible way of posting the information.

It's puzzling to see folks posting nice comments as if this really was a nice addition to the crag. It's sad to see folks removing all the highly critical comments that were posted here a few days ago (if a dozen "bomb" ratings all posted in a couple days are not a consensus about a route's worth, I don't know what is).

Please remove this non-route from the database. Aug 19, 2004
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO

When I climbed Little John's Big Stick (on gear) and Tony Bubb's Little Stick (clipping bolts) last week, I climbed two independent lines to the top of the detached pillar.

My honest assessment of TBLS is that it is:

a. A squeeze job.
b. Contrived.
c. Climbable without using holds on LJBS to the top of the pillar.
d. Fun climbing

You may give it a bomb rating because of a. and b., but I give it one star because of c. and d.

I'm pretty sure that most folks who gave the route a bomb rating in the earlier incarnation of this route description had not climbed the route, but were reacting to what they thought was a direct replacement of the bolts on LJBS. Aug 19, 2004
I'm with Crusher. I can understand Alan replacing the bolts on LJBS, but this is no route. When I climbed it (on TR) I stemmed left at about #5, duh, a full 18" away. The red tape must have fallen off.

The stylistically confused can just climb the obvious link-up "Little John Made Marian," which catches the only good climbing on either Stick at the headwall. Aug 20, 2004
It's a shame, quality should be the issue. Aug 20, 2004
Yeah it's a shame. Because of people making points rather than bolting with some ethics in mind we now have fifteen (!!!!) bolts covering a piece of rock that should have three at most. Nice work, guys. Aug 20, 2004
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO

The red tape never was on the pillar; that was always off route.

There is a long history of contrived routes where certain holds were deemed off-route to make the climbing harder.

Here are two examples from Eldorado. I quote from Ament and McCarty's "High Over Boulder", 1984 edition:

p. 335: "Psyche-Gill-Logical, 5.10b. FA Pat Ament, Dale Goddard 1984. Just left of the Birdwalk is a little right-angling finger crack in an almost overhanging wall. The crack takes fingers and nuts and is one of the nicest short pitches in the area. Climb about 15 feet up the left variation of Birdwalk and make a move left to the base of the finger crack. FOR PURITY, AVOID A SMALL PROTRUSION OF ROCK ON THE RIGHT (NEAR THE TOP OF THE CRACK). "

p. 416: "Joke Crack 5.11. FA Alec Sharp, Leonard Coyne, 1981. This climbs a finger crack in a slightly overhanging wall just right of Chockstone. Climb a chimney to the top of the pillar on the left, then ascend the finger crack USING ONLY THE WALL TO THE LEFT OF THE INSIDE CORNER CRACK."

(There is an easy stem over to the Purple Haze corner which knocks the difficulty of Joke Crack way down.)

So the fact that TBLS places certain holds off-route puts it in the same category as these old Eldorado trad routes done by icons of the Boulder climbing community.

Climb the route Alan's way, climb it your way; it really doesn't matter. Personally, I enjoyed the challenge of avoiding the holds that didn't have the tape! Aug 20, 2004
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Maybe that's why I entered Psych-Gill-Logical in Eldo in this database at a 5.9. I wasn't playing eliminate with it. Looks like my namesake is up for more than a bombing or a chopping, I smell the ultimate wrong-headed evil of a good, solid downgrading coming on. If you can reach it and the bolt at the same time, it's on. Which I guess makes these bolts, or some of them anyway, still "on" LJBS. But whatever....

There would be more to talk about if this were harder than 10a. Aug 20, 2004
Ron describes a stupid but time honored practice, usually promoted by jaded first ascensionists at tiny climbing areas with nothing better to do.

Whether the climbing is good in that 24" swath of rock is irrelevant - the whole affair is disgusting.

Aug 20, 2004
Greg Hand
Golden, CO
Greg Hand   Golden, CO
What happened to the Ray I climbed this route last weekend with?? I leave town for 3 days and he's been abducted! Aug 21, 2004
LJBS is a trivial pile, at best a one star route on a one star crag. I did clip the bolts when it first went in, but personally would never have put them in in the first place, chopped them, or re-installed them.

The "disgusting affair" started with the wrong-headed chopping of the route. All we have is agreement with FA wishes and concensus in matters such as these, and it's pretty clear that neither were achieved before chopping.

Then, if Alan wanted to take a stand he should have simply re-equipped LJBS. Overlaying a pathologically squeezed and contrived "new route" just provides ammo for the choppers.

Disgusting? Check out cb.com, read the transcript, and decide for yourself. Aug 21, 2004
Crusher, Perhaps the bombs were deleted because most of them came from the same person. Hardly a consensus. Aug 21, 2004
History and controversy aside, I think this is a fun route. If you stay completely off the block to the left (LJBS), it seemed like a nice 10a route with a 10+ tricky section before the ledge. Squeezed? Yes... but still a nice climb. Two stars in my estimation. Jul 19, 2008
Frosty Weller
Frosty Weller   Colorado
Another unfortunate, contrived, BoCan embarrassment. Jul 21, 2011
Steven Lamb
West Des Moines, IA
Steven Lamb   West Des Moines, IA
Sticking to the face and avoiding using the crack route left or the arete route right, made for some fun climbing. Slightly committing but fun moves, using thin hands to pull up to get high but solid feet. The crux move, getting up into the undercling flake, only using face holds, felt closer to 11- than 10c, but it goes! Have fun! Sep 24, 2018