Type: Trad, Sport, 60 ft
FA: Al Simons
Page Views: 174 total · 1/month
Shared By: Anonymous Coward on Dec 31, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

6 Opinions

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The route begins on the far left side of the slab in an often boggy area. Beware of poison ivy. Start up the steep, edgy face (5.9) past bolts and supplemented cams to a small protrusion or roof. Climb over the roof, (5.6). Go up to a top out and step across and right to the base of the finishing slab. Edge past one bolt (5.8) and finish with runout 5.4 to the anchors.


4 bolts and 1/2 to 2 inch cams in three places supplement the route. The R rating is for the runout past the last bolt. The runout is only 5.4, and the crux is well protected.


Are you kidding me? A 5.9 route can get an "r" rating nowadays just for involving 5.4 climbing a ways above a fatty bolt? Damn, I guess I've been doing way scary, gnarly routes for years now. Anybody know [Mark Wilford's] phone number? I'm going to have to find a partner equal to my newly-acquired legendary status.

Seriously though, you're not serious are you? Maybe if you drove a bit further up the [Big Thompson Canyon] to some real climbing around [Estes] you might get an idea what an "r" rated route really feels like. Mar 29, 2005
Wow. here we go again. As far as I know a long fall be it off of 5.11 or 5.4 has the potential to mame or kill. someone told me Just this week a climber died in the boulder area taking a 25 footer. I have been climbing since 1985 and in my experience the x, r, or g rating has only to do with the injury possibilities and the difficulty to do with the difficulty. This is why they are given separatly from one another. Make note that I also pointed out about the route in question that the runout is on the last 5.4 section. If I fell just prior to clipping the chains or even halfway between the last bolt and the chains Im positive I or anyone else would be in a world of hurt. I felt it was better to make note of this easy runout to others rather than drill one or two more bolts on a route where the higher degree of difficulty lies 20-40 feet below. I hope that explains my reasoning for simply pointing it out to others. I would also point out that we all climb for reasons that are personal to us. 10 years ago I chose to take risks I will never take again. At my age running out 5.4 is not very risky to me, but doing the same on 5.9 may be out of the question. Your reasons and level of risk are surley different than mine and others. This is Ok. its diversity, something climbers don't seem willing to embrace well. anyway, I welcome any more comments.Allen Apr 6, 2005

I agree with you that a 40-50 foot fall just before clipping your route's anchors would probably produce serious bodily injury, and mentioning in the route description the 25-foot runout on 5.4 climbing above the last bolt is certainly justifiable, although most guidebooks wouldn't mention it. That's not what I was taking issue with.

The "r" rating you gave your climb is not justifiable since the runout is on climbing that is significantly easier than the route's overall difficulty. Your route is 5.9+ and if the runout was on 5.7 or 5.8 climbing then it would probably deserve an "r" rating. If the runout is 5.5 or even 5.6, it doesn't. A 5.9+ lead climber is not going to fall on 5.4 or 5.6 terrain. On harder terrain, 5.8 maybe even 5.7, yeah he might although he shouldn't.

Nearly every long single-pitch or multiple-pitch climbing route is going to have, somewhere along its length, a section of unprotectable climbing at a level much easier than the route's overall difficulty. Often this is just climbing up on ledges to get to a belay, or low-angle climbing starting off a pitch, or a myriad of other possibilities. If we gave such a climb an "r" rating for seriousness/injury potential, then nearly every route would be given an "r" rating and that "r" would cease to hold any significance. Every route would have an "r" next to it the same way it has a decimal point between the 5 and the number following it.

This is not just my opinion, but also that of every published guidebook that I have ever read. The seriousness rating is intended only to identify routes that have serious fall or injury potential. Yeah, you can get hurt climbing any route, even one that has bottleneck stopper placements every 6 inches. Therefore, the "r" rating is reserved only for those routes which hold a high potential for injury. Getting back to your route and your comments, sure, mention the runout 5.4 climbing in your route's description if it makes you feel better. Just don't give the route an "r" rating, because it just doesn't need it.

chris Apr 10, 2005
Thanks for your response.

I disagree on one point and concede some on the main point though not totally. You remarked that a 5.9 climber is not going to fall on 5.4. I have heard of at least one 5.12 climber that fell to his death on a 5.6, in Eldo, I think and not that many years back. I would agree that the lower the rating from the climbers ability the less likelihood of a fall, but will never agree that they "won't" fall. Poor rock, complacence, sandbaged ratings, or a momentary lapse in concentration are all that need occur to cause a fall. I randomly picked two guidebooks of my shelf after reading your comments on the r rating thing. The first, Joshua Tree, seemed in complete alignment with what you are saying. The second, Best of boulder climbs, used only s and vs, as falls were plainly just notable runouts regardless of difficulty and vs were notable runouts with poor protection at difficult sections. I will make not of this in the future when assiging fall potential and perhaps just describe the runout without applying a rating to it. Thanks for your comments.Allen Apr 12, 2005
Anonymous Coward  
I would add that some guidebooks like Rossiter's do rate climbs "5.11 (5.8 R)" for a climb that has some 5.11 moves and 5.8 runout. This seems like a reasonable compromise. True, a 5.9 climber is not likely to fall on 5.4, but there are 5.9 climbers that would never solo a 5.4, which is essentially what you would be doing on this route.

Thanks for returning some civility to this site with this discussion.


AC. Apr 12, 2005
Any time A C. I'm working on it. And thanks for your imput, it seems reasonable.Allen Apr 13, 2005