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Color of Devotion

5.13b, Sport, 40 ft,  Avg: 3.3 from 3 votes
FA: Gus Glitch (aka Scotty Greenway)
Colorado > San Luis Valley > Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…


As you enter the canyon, this route is located just around the corner from the first routes you will encounter (mysterious redhead, et al). It encompasses just about the most beautiful 25 feet of rock you have ever seen. It is the clean orange face with an arete on the right side, formed by a chimney. About 20 feet right of "Color of Emotion".

In his guidebook, Bob D. eclectically describes the opening moves as a "B2 boulder problem". I don't know what that meant back in the day, but these days B2 would be upwards of V12 or so don't you think? ...based on the original definition formulated by Mr. Gill. In more static terms, I would guess it is around V7 or so.

Anyway, some extremely thin moves on very small pockets get you up to and past the first bolt. I imagine the perceived difficulty will vary with height and the size of your fingertips...and how well you can cram them into tiny pockets. A fun long moves gets you to a good pocket and the 2nd bolt, then relatively easier climbing (11+?) leads to the top.

I didn't really use the arete at all...I tried it, but I found it easier to stick to the face. The Bob D book calls this 13b, the Stewart Green Book says 13a. Who knows? It is likely similar to many routes from this time period which were not frequently repeated, and so no true consensus was ever reached. It is short, so expect the intensity of the moves to make up for it. If you don't mind pissed-off boulder problems, I think this is an awesome route.


3 bolts and one cold shut for lowering.

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Mike on the send.
[Hide Photo] Mike on the send.

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[Hide Comment] The FA belongs to Gus Glitch (aka Scotty Greenway). However, his ascent was unrecognized, because all the CO boys got spanked and figured no yahoo from NC could be stronger plus his belayer was a mystery as well.

I have climbed with Gus and his pal Coma from NYC, and although annoying, ugly and usually drunk, he has pretty amazing strength and should not be doubted. Coma could easily have been the belayer and he is very shy and does not speak English very well which has kept him out of the spotlight. I should add that Coma is an incredible climber as well and has established many routes in the 14 grade at his private crag in VA. May 17, 2005
[Hide Comment] Not sure how I happened onto this page, but it is on topic that I did. I was hanging in the canyon back in 1990 (I think it was) when Gus and his apparent mystery partner were lingering there for some time doing odd jobs on local ranches to make ends meet. His "mystery partner" was Alvino Pon. Gus and Alvino were very friendly amigos, but the more likely reason that the FA was questioned was because Gus was chipping holds - he wasn't too sly about it - the ping, ping, ping rattled up and down the canyon. Maybe comfortizing ...? Anyway, fair number of southerners of pulled down in Colorado so that isn't it (Charlie Fowler, ....) and Gus could pull nevertheless.

Never was sure that Gus's name was Gus and Alvino's name was Alvino. Sep 30, 2006
Sean Cobourn
Gramling, SC
[Hide Comment] Gus and Alvino were (are?) strong as can be. I remember them from the old days at Crowders Mt, NC. Drunk yahoos? Certainly. Darn good climbers? You better believe it. Nice guys as well. And no, those are not their real names. Jul 1, 2008
M. Moore
Albuqeurque, NM
[Hide Comment] Just to clarify, "Color of Devotion" is not a boulder problem hence would not be rated V7. This route is one of the hardest in the valley sitting at 5.13b. Nov 9, 2008
[Hide Comment] Replaced anchor (single unwelded cold shut) in 2018. New hardware courtesy of the ASCA, consider a donation @ Jun 28, 2018