Type: Trad, 700 ft, 6 pitches
FA: Chip Salaun, S. Kimball, 1978.
Page Views: 5,164 total · 30/month
Shared By: S. Kimball on Aug 10, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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11 Opinions

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It's hard getting back to places I've already been. Glancing up this thing you think: groody looking...I dare say it is 3 star; steep strenuous and six pitches of superb rock. Scramble up to the highest ledge, as sister route, Progression.

1.Start just left of that route. First, easy up to bush below a orange-lichened left-facing dihedral. Jam and bridge (careful of block corking dihedral) a short but vertical 5.9 pitch, 90ft.

2. Continue a clean 5.9 handcrack followed by a long 5.8 chimney. Exit left (exit right to Progression to an exposed and incredible belay (150ft.).

3. Traverse left across black knobs and pick a perfect 5.8 fingercrack to a nice grassy ledge (100ft.).

4. Choose the middle of several left-facing dihedrals. It is a sharp, steep corner tapering to a point where a narrowing lieback gives the obvious crux. Well-protected with small stoppers and reevaluated from 1978 origins to harder 5.10, as hard if not harder than Progression. Now enjoy a stiff 5.8 corner and belay atop a square pedestal (150ft.)

5. Step right or jam straight up, either way 5.8 and goes to the same area of lower angle dihedrals and slabs (150ft.).

6. Straight up another 5.8 left-facing dihedral to summit (200ft.) or horizontally right 200ft. to descent gully.


Large selection. Small stoppers to 4 cam, extra slings, there is no fixed protection/anchors.


Luke Clarke
Luke Clarke   Golden
This is a great route, as is Progression next door. Maybe it's because the line is less obvious from the ground than Turnkorner and the Nose, but this climb and Progression don't get the attention they deserve. The climbing experience on this one rates with those -- good sustained climbing that rarely strays below hard 5.8 and the cruxes are burly for the grade. Slim Pickens probably weighs in around 10c by current standards (not the 10a in the book), definitely stiffer than Progression, as suggested.
Feeling whacked after doing this in five pitches yesterday. May 29, 2006
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
You can make this route more clean, challenging, and fun by a few minor improvements.
1) By bumping over to to do the crux of Progression as part of the first pitch, which will total 70m. This way skips some of the hum-drum territory.
2) By doing the climb in 3 long pitches plus a short top-out. You need a 70m rope though. The pitches will be 70m 5.10c, 50m 5.9, 70m 5.10b, then move up and over the top in a short pitch or unroped if so desired.
Done this way, the route is 4-star 10c instead of 3-star 10b. Jul 5, 2006
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
  5.10- PG13
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
  5.10- PG13
We decided to go up the wide crack section and were rewarded with a great 70m 1st pitch. This 1st pitch is better than Progression.

After the "Slim Pickens" CH you can find a good belay on a nice horn the size of a small saddle, just before the short traverse left.

This is a great sustained route, it felt like maybe 10a. Jul 12, 2009
Guy H.
Fort Collins CO
  5.10b PG13
Guy H.   Fort Collins CO
  5.10b PG13
There is a lot climbing on this route. It doesn't slab out like its neighbors to the right. There is a great knee bar at the crux, which give you plenty of time to figure out the moves. Placing gear in the crux section would be difficult, just plan on doing the moves. The 5.8 above the crux is demanding and quite runout!

A #4 Camalot is not required, although a #4 Friend is nice to have. I didn't place any small stoppers on the route either, but I guess others have. I felt more worn out after climbing this line then Turnkorner! Jun 25, 2011
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Fun climbing but possible to get off route / be confused by the beta on the proj. My partner and I had both done Progression before and still wondered if we went the right way. Here's what we did.

Start immediately left of Progression.

Climb the left-angling hand crack on the underside of the leaning roof until it's possible to join Progression right after the crux, and then finish the Progression P2 5.8 chimney to the end. 230', 5.9. Great pitch! You could split it into two pitches also if you prefer.

From this belay, about 10' to the left is an arete that kinda drops off into space... so we never found a left traverse on black chickenheads. From the belay, weave your way more or less straight up following path of least resistance (and gear). Pretty easy but fun with some cool crack sections. Belay on the good the ledge above. This ledge is at the base of various dihedrals. ~120'-~150' maybe 5.7ish.

Step left off the ledge (over air) past a broken pillar and onto the slab with a dihedral on its right side. Lieback and smear feet up the dihedral (crux). Currently a fixed cam with red wedding. Eventually the dihedral ends where it's capped by a small roof. #2 under that, then pull some moves to establish above. Maybe 5.8-5.9 at this point but not much gear and then traverse straight right to avoid the decomposing flare above. If you keep two red Aliens and grey Alien, you can get a piece at the start and the end of the traverse, but the first one is finicky and shallow. After the travese, cut back left on easy ground and belay. Maybe 150'. 5.10 crux. 5.8-5.9 PG-13 above that.

It's low angle above this. Take whatever path you want to the top. 5.7 or easier 230'.

Maybe that was Slim Pickens... maybe not. Either way, it was a pretty good route and better than Progression in both of our opinions (Progression is good, but this one is more continuous).

Enjoy Aug 4, 2014