Type: Trad, 170 ft, 2 pitches Fixed Hardware (5)
FA: Michael Yokell, Jim Walsh, 1992, P2 George Bracksieck & Teri Ebel, 1990
Page Views: 1,459 total · 8/month
Shared By: Ivan Rezucha on Jan 7, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

13 Opinions

Your To-Do List:

Add To-Do · View List

Your Star Rating:

     Clear Rating

Your Difficulty Rating:

-none- Change

Your Ticks:

Add New Tick
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure / Update Details


October Surprise is listed in Rossiter's guidebook as a variation to the 2nd pitch of On Ballet. I am describing it with a nice first pitch, that, unfortunately, has been dumbed down a bit with 3 unnecessary bolts. The first pitch is pleasant but nothing special, but I really liked the second pitch. Moving right from the flakes into the left-facing corner was strange and spooky (although well-protected). Above that, moving left under the slanting roof looked hard but turned out to be moderate with toprope protection.

Rossiter and Rolofson call this 2nd pitch 10a, but I'll call it 10b to be safe.

P1 5.9: Start left of On Ballet at 2 bolts a little above the ground. You could climb trad left or right of these bolts. Pull the bulge at the second bolt at about 5.9 or 10a. Continue up easy ground to a white dike that passes a bulge near an arete. The gear is a bit strange at this move but OK. There is good gear down a ways. Get it. This move seems hard at first, but if you step right then back left it goes easily. More moderate climbing leads to a V-slot through another bulge. This is a little left of the final, right-facing corner on P1 of On Ballet. There is one bolt here. Although useful, it's not necessary, since there is excellent gear a few feet below. The moves here are fun and unusual, but not real hard. Angle left up a ramp then hand traverse right to the On Ballet belay. There are 2 new convenience bolts here. Somehow, people have been able to climb On Ballet for years without these bolts, but they ARE convenient if want to do just the first pitch, and they enable you to rap from the top of the second pitch with one rope.

Addendum: This pitch is the first pitch of Charisma.

P2: Continue straight above the belay on a series of rounded flakes with good gear. When the flakes run out move up and right into a left-facing corner (crux). You can place a blue Alien at the bottom of this corner before starting the moves. Good holds and gear await you at the top of the corner. Angle left across the slab below the ceilng with excellent gear above you to another 2 bolt anchor (also new).

1 2-rope rap or 2 1-rope raps get you down.


Double cams from micro- to finger-sized, single or double above that to #3 Camalot. Single set nuts including micro. More gear, obviously, if you will be linking P1 and P2. Double rope reduces rope drag if you're linking pitches.


Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
Information wanted on the following lines in the vicinity of October Surprise on Blob:

1) The first pitch as described above with the 3 new bolts.

2) The slab left of the crux pitch of October Surprise. There are (at least) 2 new bolt holes. The slab looks trad climbable. Perhaps the bolts were placed recently but then removed? This slab may be part of one of the routes left of On Ballet.

3) The bolted orange corner above the second pitch of On Ballet. This is about 11a with about 10 bolts. It looks real nice and climbs OK, but the rocks is pretty friable. Lots of pieces fell off. WARNING: The pillar left of the top 2 bolts moves. It looks like an integral part of the wall, but when Chuck stemmed against it, it shifted a couple of inches. Jan 9, 2005
I'm thinking the bolts on Pitch 1 are ok? Pitch #2 where On Ballet goes horizontally right and this route straight up, I've twice gone leftward, low across a slab, airy 5.8, clipped a modern bolt then up an easy arete to the 2 bolt anchor below the new bolted corner. Short but good pitch.... Jan 19, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
A fine route. I felt the first pitch had two 10a cruxes: turning the roof at the second bolt, and climbing a bulge on the white dike halfway up the pitch. There are some runout sections on this pitch, so get pro where you can. I got a #1 Camalot in a shallow slot and a small wired nut to protect the tenuous moves past the bulge on the white dike. The V-slot, slab, and hand traverse at the end of the pitch were lots of fun.

The second pitch is shorter but more sustained; the crux is a delicate step right (10a or 10b) to the left-leaning corner. Fun layback and slab moves follow. There is a two-bolt anchor just after the end of the corner/roof.

An excellent 11a bolted route starts from this anchor; I have added it to the database as "Bolted Orange Corner" (changed to Charisma). It's well bolted and well worth doing; be careful of some crispy holds and friable rock. Nov 13, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
According to Mark Rolofson's new guidebook, "Boulder Canyon Sport & Adventure Climber's Guide, Volume I: Lower Narrows to Dream Canyon":

  • The pitch documented here as the first pitch of October Surprise is actually the first pitch of Charisma, 10a PG-13, three bolts plus small-to-medium gear. First ascent by Dan Hare, Michelle Hale, and Noel Childs in January, 2004.
  • The second pitch is October Surprise, 10a, gear. First ascent by Michael Yokell and Jim Walsh, 1992.
  • The pitch above October Surprise, formerly called Bolted Orange Corner, is actually the last pitch of Charisma, 11a/b, 11 bolts. First ascent by Dan Hare, Michelle Hale, and Noel Childs in January, 2004.
  • The slab left of October Surprise is the second pitch of Under the Eagle's Wing, 10d, gear plus one bolt. First ascent by Fred Knapp and Dan Hare, 1997.
May 28, 2006
Did this climb with Joe Chorny yesterday. On P1 the new bolts are nice to have, but if they weren't there, it would exciting 8+ or 9 over the roof's right hand side to the first gear placement. The rest of the pitch felt like 8 or 9 and not 10a. The white dike crux is protected well by 2 cams. The v-slot move is cool and less exicting with a bolt at your waist.

I led P2 and thought is was more like 8+ or 9- and not 10 a or b. I should know since I don't lead 10b trad! This is nowhere near as difficult as P1 of Where Eagles Dare (solid 10b) and comparable to P2 and P4 of WED. From the move up into the corner, the climb heads left out a small crack and up to the anchor. We thought the climb went right, so we hand traversed across the face and around the arete but didn't see the anchor. The bolted belay below the orange corner is up and left from the last belay and can't be seen until a few feet below it. Good pitch - just short, only 50 ft or so. Nov 19, 2007
In 1990, I led Teri Ebel up the second pitch described herein, after starting on On Ballet. After Rossiter's 1999 guidebook came out, I noticed that we had climbed what he had described as "October Surprise," done by Yokell and Walsh in 1992. The first pitch described herein was done by Hare, et al. in 2004. May 30, 2011
On pitch 1, a red tri-cam was good for me in the shallow slot just before the bulge on the white dike, where it's kinda funky for a cam. I thought this harder than the first moves by the two bolts. Pitch 1 - 10a. Jan 10, 2013