Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in West Ridge - part E - top to Xanadu

A Cut Above T,TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Android Tilt T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
As We Liked It T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Bat, The T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Between the Cracks T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
Blackout T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Born Under Punches T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13
Bushwhack Crack T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Chock Suey T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Chockstone T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Cornerstone TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Fade To Black T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Fading Light T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Friends in High Places T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Ice Nine T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Jeep T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13
Jericho T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a R
Joke Crack to Superstone T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
Knight's Move T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Laughing at the Moon T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Ministry of Fear T,TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a X
Modern Defense T 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b X
Muscular Dystrophy T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Prince of Darkness T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Purple Haze T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Red House T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c R
S&M T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Sirens of Titan T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Speakeasy T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Superstone T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Sylvia's Bush T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tales of Ulysses T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tilt Right T 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a R
Whiplash T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Type: Trad, 165 ft, 3 pitches Fixed Hardware (2)
FA: George Hurley, Bob Culp, 1966.
Page Views: 9,559 total · 44/month
Shared By: Matt Bauman on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

253 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 Closures Details


Find this climb at the upper end of the West Ridge in a stretch where the trail levels out. It is characterized by a small buttress with a bulge and a crack going up to a break with a tree with slings about 65 feet up. It lies West of Xanadu and East of Knight's Move.

P1. About 65 feet. Starts with delicate face moves and 15 feet up is crux, getting into fingerlock and transfering into this crack system. Crack is perfect for stoppers and has great fingerlocks for 20 feet and then goes to tight hands and perfect hands for the final 30 feet. Chockstone kicked my ass last month but I flashed it twice my revenge. Note that there is typically a tat anchor at the top of this pitch.

P2 The second pitch continues up a thin face with occasional opportunities for small wires for pro. An awkward traversing/mantle/arete move leads to the second belay at two bolts. The second pitch (9+s the s is for sandbag as quoted from the new Eldo book) might seem a bit harder that the first....

P3 Third pitch consists of easy climbing to walk down gully. Continue 10' up broken rock from the second belay to a nice vertical 15-20' finger crack in a right facing corner. This would be quite hard if stems weren't available on the right, but as it is it's probably 5.8. Past this things really easy off - continue up to a large tree with slings and rap rings.

Rappel from here back down to the Purple Haze rap tree or take the walk-off ledge to the left...per Jason Wells.


Standard rack with extra hand pieces. You can toprope, but must lead one of 2 5.7 pitches to set up toprope.
Matt Bauman
Matt Bauman  
I led this this morning and found the crux to feel quite a bit harder than Xanadu.....very off-balance and insecure move and fairly sustained for 10-15 feet. Cool climb but felt much harder than Xanadu and both are 10a (and about 100 feet apart). Cool eery clouds pulled in and filled the whole canyon......noone else in the area made the atmosphere very cool. Jan 1, 2001
Charles Vernon
mind & body in Colorado, he…
  5.10a PG13
Charles Vernon   mind & body in Colorado, he…
  5.10a PG13
The crux is thin and technical but short and well-protected, only about 15 feet up, with a reasonable stance to scope it out, make false starts, etc. The rest seemed like a good 5.8 hand crack to the first ledge, if I recall. It was one of my very first 5.10 leads, and for the above reasons I'd reccomend it to someone looking to break into the grade. Jan 1, 2001
Ben F
Benfield, Kolorado
Ben F   Benfield, Kolorado
Using a few long runners, P1 and P2 can be combined to get some value-added climbing. For me, P2 was at least as difficult as P1 and more interesting. Oct 30, 2001
Chris Dawson
Denver, CO
Chris Dawson   Denver, CO
I'd just like to comment on the quality of pitch two. I love this pitch. Great stemming and positive edges! It works quite well to combing pitch one and pitch two. As for the S rating, bring RP's and save some very small cams for the top. The last move around the corner is a little scary without the proper gear. Nov 11, 2001
Ivan Rezucha
Fort Collins, CO
Ivan Rezucha   Fort Collins, CO
The old Erickson and Ament Eldorado guides call the first pitch 9- and the second pitch 9+. The first pitch is pretty easy if you're tall (I'm 6'2" with mediocre reach). Pitch 2 is exciting. Be optimistic and keep going. There's a good stance and gear after every move. The last move is much easier going straight up (if you're tall enough) than swinging around to the right. Save several tiny wires (#1 stopper, RP) for the last move and a 1 1/2" cam (red camalot?) for a pocket after the last hard move. That will protect the second. Pitch 3 is not worth the hassle. Rap from the Purple Haze tree. Combine pitch 1 and 2. Nov 25, 2001
Jeff Lockyer
Canmore, AB
Jeff Lockyer   Canmore, AB
This is a SUPERB route, one of the finest I have done in Eldorado thus far. The crux is very well-protected on very small nuts, RPs. The cross through at the crux is very exciting and esthetic. The climbing is also very fun once this business is over, you may have a little pump but the jams on the upper half of the route are GREAT....

Have fun with this one, it is an excellent route. Dec 2, 2001
P1 and P2 combine great for one long pitch. I do think there might be one 5.10a move at the crux of P1; however, I think the scariest part is topping out on P2. A fall here would smart! This route is substantially easier than Blind Faith (5.10a). For Eldo, this is definitely one of the easier 5.10a's. Jan 30, 2002
Shane Zentner
Shane Zentner   Colorado
Combining pitches one and two works fine. The first pitch felt 5.10 to me, the second pitch was scarier though. I placed three RP's on the second pitch, one of those placements was decent, the other two marginal. Interesting move on the second pitch. Jun 1, 2003
Finding the climb: (someone asked)... It's near the top west side of the ridge, just before you get to Rincon wall. There are gullies on either side of this section of cliff. There are several great looking cracks in this section-- Purple Haze being one of the most aesthetic in my opinion.

P1 is the tad-easier first cousin of the first pitch of Rincon. In other words, I think it has more in common with that climb than Xanadu. (Talk about sandbag-- the first 40 feet of Rincon are rather stiff for a nine...) P2 is great and the pro's there if you look-- one small wire and a med cam got me through its second half. P3 is short but worth doing, too. (See photo below.) Jun 8, 2003
Jake Wyatt
Longmont, CO
Jake Wyatt   Longmont, CO
The crux of the first pitch can also be protected well with Lowe Balls (or Ballnuts, or whatever they're called nowadays). Aug 1, 2003
Awesome climb. Pitch one is more strenuous I think but less subtle with good gear. Pitch two takes lots of small gear but you have solid (read that perfect) stems throughout until... The end of pitch two, you had better have saved a couple small nuts (like number ones and twos) because the last move around the corner is nerve-racking. I'm a solid 5.10 climber and I found it scary as hell to do it with crappy gear since a fall would be a long bouncy pendulum. Feb 27, 2004
#4 Wallnut fits well for the blind placement on P1. P2 isn't bad if you climb 11 sport. I thought the gear was even good (better than moving into P2 of Purple Haze).

But the hell can't someone put in a decent anchor at the top of this or Purple Haze? I mean you really want to rap off those meager trees? Fine bomber....but the slings are killing them. Face it Eldo is a high use area and could use some decent anchors in places. Mar 27, 2004
Willem, what about if you climb 10- trad???

Seriously, though if P1 is one of the easiest 10s in Eldo, then budding 10 leaders should try it, if for no other reason than to realize that even 'easy' 10 is significantly harder than 'hard' 9 here. Definitely not a one-move-wonder.

I agree with the anchors, have they been suggested to the FHC? Mar 29, 2004
This first pitch of this route is kind of a one move wonder (in terms of the 10a rating), but none the less it is super fun and well worth doing. Sep 13, 2004
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
I thought this was a good route, the crux requires some thinking and a [definite] move of faith or two. I protected the crux with a #1 stopper that looked OK and a green alien that evoked maximum happiness. The climbing gets easier as you go up P1 but it is still quite a pump, I moved quickly to avoid burning out. The only really good rest is 3/4 of the way up the route. Jun 17, 2005
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
Led this one a few weeks back, it felt like 10a for at least three moves. But, it being my second 5.10 I would say it's great for new 5.10 leaders. I had great pieces in the crux, a #1 stopper and a green alien did a perfect job followed by a #1 camalot another 10 feet up once you're through the business. It felt quite pumpy though and really had to keep moving so I wouldn't burn out. I would agree that some bolts at the top of P1 would be a great addition. I always cringe rappeling off that crappy anchor up there. It would be great if you could use the bolts for Knights Move as well as chockstone and purple haze. Jun 28, 2005
A couple of comments -

First, if you protect the crux and then placed the next piece 10 feet later as Jason describes, you would no doubt deck if you blew the clip on the second piece. Yes, it's a little pumpy through that section, but it's worth the trouble to place a piece a bit above the crux rather than waiting for ground fall potential.

Second, to Willem, Edward and Jason - what is wrong with doing the whole climb rather than rapping off after the first pitch? If you are not up to the challenge of the second pitch on Chockstone, leave it for later and finish on Knights Move. If you want a sanitized experience with anchors after the first pitch, there is always bolted canyon just up the road. The whole "convenience anchor" thing in Eldo has been beaten to death in a dozen other threads and the concensus seems to be that the anchors are neither wanted or needed by the majority of people who climb in Eldo. Jun 29, 2005
Larry - I didn't have a cup o ire for breakfast.

I was simply pointing out that these are not one pitch climbs, (even though they are often climbed as such) and that you could actually *gasp* climb the second pitch, get to the top and use already established rap anchors or *gasp* walk off.

Ron Olson is dead wrong when he says that this is not a convenience anchor.

This anchor is not necessary to actually climb either of the routes in question as there are plenty of good gear placements and a tree for a belay anchor. It doesn't matter whether or not it is ratty slings on a tree or shiny new bolts, the fact remains that it is an anchor designed for rapping after the first pitch of a couple of two pitch climbs. And for that reason, it can only be a convenience anchor.

Ron is right about one thing though - you can submit an application to put in a couple of unneeded bolts if you wish to do so. Jun 30, 2005
I agree with the AC. An anchor at the top of P1 is the very definition of a convenience anchor. Actually, I don't have any problem with certain convenience anchors per se, but Chockstone's first two pitches are really one pitch.So, in effect, this would be a midpitch bolted anchor. Silly. Just climb the first "two pitches" as the single 90-foot pitch it should be.

If someone really wants to do something useful in this area, then I suggest putting in bolts to replace the ridiculous anchor that people use to rap from the top of Chockstone P2, Superstone, Friends in High Places, and Purple Haze. If I recall that is a scrawny tree backed up by a sketchy block, and sees a ton of use. Jun 30, 2005
Jason Shatek
Jason Shatek  
AC, I don't believe you would deck when laying gear as I suggest. If you look at the picture below of Ivan Rezucha in his "hero shot". He is protecting exactly like I did except his last stopper was a bomber green Alien. Where Ivan is standing in the picture you can place a bomber #1 Camalot on a very good stance, if one were to miss the clip here you probably can't climb 5.8 much less 5.10.

I didn't take a good hard look at the anchor with the thought "hmm maybe there needs to be bolts here" my recollection is that the tree isn't that big and the pile of rocks that are slung looked pretty fractured and there really wasn't any other bomber spots to build an anchor. From a safety standpoint, I would vote for a bolt anchor but I understand why some of the better climbers that continue with the other pitches would frown on the idea. Nobody wants a bolted anchor for every climb, that's for sure. Jun 30, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Seems to me like a lot of bolts are going in where they were not needed before. I like Ron, he's a decent guy, but at present I'm largely against his influence in the canyon. Ron seems to be generally in favor of bolting a lot of things. When logical and decent people disagree on points, it is usually not the pro and con data that they disagree on, it is the value assigned to each [argument]. Ron was in favor of the bolts placed on most of the applications I've seen, wanted a retro-bolt placed on Aerospace, and came out pro-bolt [on the] Bitty Buttress thing. I guess that means he's generally in favor of retro-bolting climbs and anchors.Shoot, this was hashed out regarding bolting the mid-point anchor on Blind Faith.

In my own opinion, I think adding rap stations to multi-pitch climbs is generally a bad idea. Adding TR anchors to the top of walk-offs is similarly bad. If gear can be placed, place the gear. There are a lot of areas near bolder that have a lot of TR and convenience anchors, do we have to turn [Eldo] into one of them? What about when there are 10,000 bolted anchors in the park, all aging? Who will keep them up and good at [the] rate they age when everything [is] bolted? When will none be trustworthy? Are we building a [dependency]? Will we create "blighted" areas where people crowd at the bolted TR anchors? I can't say, but I really like Eldo and maybe I just fear change.

Chockstone is a nice climb for people competent to climb it, and for 30 years, there has not been a problem with that. I'm opposed to bolts being added to the middle of this historic climb. Jun 30, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Anonymous Coward is dead wrong when he/she says this is a convenience anchor. It is a rappel anchor that allows rapping from the top of Knight's Move to the ground with two rappels on one 60m rope.

Few climbers routinely bring two ropes to Eldorado in order to do long rappels. It is the norm in Eldorado to have rappel routes that can be negotiated with a single 60m rope.

Following AC's logic, we should remove the bolt anchors atop the first pitch of Tagger, the Bastille Crack, Bastille West Buttress, Hair City, and Calypso. These are multi-pitch climbs; why allow rappelling after the first pitch?

I hope that someone will make an application to the FHRC for a bolt anchor atop the first pitch of Chockstone.Let the climbing community hash it out and see how the chips fall. Jun 30, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Joe - I think your idea for a bolt anchor for Chockstone p2, Friends in High Places and Purple Haze is excellent. Why don't you suss it out, figure out where the bolts should go, and submit an application to the FHRC?If you don't feel qualified to drill the bolts, I'm sure other members of the community will step up to implement the proposal if it is approved.

I strongly encourage all climbers who have ideas for improved anchors in Eldorado to put in applications to the FHRC.Again, the application can be found at… Jun 30, 2005
Ron - Last I knew, it was an easy walk off from the top of Knight's Move. At the very least, you can walk a short distance and use some already placed bolted rap anchors. In my book, that makes it a convenience anchor.

Just how many different bolted places do there need to be on the West Ridge to rap down? Aren't there plenty already? Is a little walking going to hurt anybody? Probably not, but it's more convenient to just rap down the route. And it's definitely more convenient not to have to deal with that pesky second pitch. And wouldn't it be super-convenient if there was a pair of shiny fat bolts to rap from.

To twist the meaning of your words like you twisted mine, we could use your logic to mandate that there be a rap route at the top of each and every climb in Eldo.

Now wouldn't that be convenient? Jun 30, 2005
I guess I could understand having rap anchors here, just because the upper pitches look bad, The time I was there I didn't see many people continuing past the first pitch. Do you think this might turn into an overused toprope though? further causing confusion and arguments about what the anchor should be used for.

P.S. I'm all for removing the bolts at the end of pitch one on [Bastille Crack], what a waste and an obvious visual distraction, there would be no bolts at all on the whole route without these. however the bolts on west butt seem more reasonable given the size of the crack on that climb. Jun 30, 2005
Josh Janes    
Ron, you are exactly right. These anchors should not have been placed to begin with - they are convenience anchors. I don't think that the solution is to remove them however - this just further damages the rock and stirs up tension in the climbing community. But the point I'd like to make is that their presence doesn't justify more anchors - such as on Chockstone. Jul 1, 2005
Certainly an argument for bolted anchors in Eldo can be made: when the walk-off is creating excessive erosion, such as the case with the Kloof area; when an historical anchor uses a natural feature such as a tree or flake that is deteriorating or damaged (for example, The Unsaid or Rincon 1st pitch variations); perhaps when no original anchor was installed, and potential for rope damage or a pain-in-the-arse situation for cleaning the route exists (rarely the case, but Another Pipeline Bonecrusher comes to mind); or, possibly, when the historical anchor is an unsightly wad of slings (Le Void area) and a bolted anchor would create less of a visual impact.

With no judgement on the current debate, I hate to see bolts placed anywhere in Eldorado, but acknowledge that many more people are climbing in Eldorado than 30 years ago, and hence impact to trees, anchors, walk-offs, etc. are very different than they used to be. While some bolted convenience anchors have been installed (Bastille Crack, Calypso, etc.), many of these were done by individuals with no input from the Eldo climbing community.

Much like the debate over replacing antiquated fixed hardware with bolts in Eldo, the placement of bolted anchors should be done on a case-by-case basis, and the bias should always be towards NOT damaging the resource further (i.e. not placing drilled anchors). I would hope the FHRC holds this bias. Jul 1, 2005
"Ron, you are exactly right. These anchors should not have been placed to begin with - they are convenience anchors."

The anchors on Tagger at least saves the tree and are justifiable on that basis. The others might not make it through the revew process if they were to be added now since there are gear options.

In the case of Chockstone, this would just be nothing but convenience. The "second" pitch is easier even. Also, putting a bolt on Aerospace would be a travesty. It's scary, but that's why it's fun. Jul 1, 2005
I agree with [Bubb, Janes], et al. Bolts on this would be purely convenience. Is the current anchor really that bad? Why miss out on the second pitch? etc.

An example on a similar note, I climbed [Blind Faith] for the first time with my gf last summer. I got the first pitch, and pulled into the little cave area and set an anchor. She came up, and as light was waning I made her lead the second pitch (being somewhat of a coward). She onsighted the pitch in the dark, complete with a pigeon flying in her face when she was well above gear. I followed the pitch, thinking damn this little roof is tricky. We descended the [Bastille] walkoff in the dark, excited by a great after work experience. We still remember it with great happiness. If there were fat bolts there to bail on, we would have probably done so. The siren call of a pint of stout at the sun being too strong a pull. Alas, I am a stingey bastard, completely unwilling to leave gear unless the situation is beyond [desperation]. We would have missed out on a great memory.

As far as retrobolting bold routes (i.e. [Aerospace]), that is absolutely absurd. Odds are you have at least one tough friend who will let you hitchike. Even if you don't have any friends, what's wrong with emailing [Bubb], or [Janes], or [D'Antonio], or a million other people who would gladly run up it with you in exchange for a pint somewhere? Some may argue that this isn't legit, but isn't it a lot more legit than ruining the experience for those who can?

the lemon wedge Jul 1, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
AC - glad you and your girlfriend had a memorable time climbing the second pitch of Blind Faith in the dark. Beth Coats, an Olympic biathlete and professional mountain bike racer, wasn't so lucky. She and partner Pete Takeda arrived atop the first pitch of Blind Faith at dusk and she decided to traverse off to the right, unroped, instead of climbing the second pitch. A hold broke and she fell and she is now paralyzed from the navel down. See Pete's account at…

A quote from Pete's article: "This incident or any like it nullifies the seeming glory of our pursuit. Climbers talk about ethics and what climbing means and what climbing is all about. When Beth was carted away it was as if someone had taken my passion and reduced it to mere frivolity, a game of petulant children..."

In this case, having a fixed anchor there would have done far more than entice someone to a cool brew at the Southern Sun.

Climbing is worth living for, but it's not worth dying (or getting seriously injured) for. It's only a game, folks. Jul 1, 2005
Josh Janes    
The very purpose statement of the ACE is to "conserve Eldorado." In some cases that means adding bolts to protect trees, prevent erosion, or clean up visual pollution such as nests of slings. In other cases it means preventing unnecessary holes to be drilled in the rock. I believe Chockstone fits into this latter category.

I was looking in my guidebook and I realized that Chockstone was my second ten in Eldo - right after "Bolting for Glory." I vividly remember doing the second pitch and finding it more of a challenge than the first - I was freaking out because a wasp kept landing on a hold I wanted to use. I also remember completing the climb and walking off. Jul 1, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Josh Janes writes: 'The very purpose statement of the ACE is to "conserve Eldorado." In some cases that means adding bolts to protect trees, prevent erosion, or clean up visual pollution such as nests of slings. In other cases it means preventing unnecessary holes to be drilled in the rock. I believe Chockstone fits into this latter category.'

The Eldorado Fixed Hardware Review Committee guidelines (…) state:

"Section 3.4. Applications Regarding Anchors. Applications to install new anchors shall be generally given favorable consideration when the new anchor replaces anchors on trees or other vegetation or where the anchor replaces visual eyesores, e.g., wads of slings attached to pitons, fixed nuts, and or bolts. "

The current anchor atop the first pitch of Chockstone is a wad of slings around a block.Replacing this anchor by bolts falls within the above guideline.

Replacing the tree anchor atop Purple Haze by bolts also falls within this guideline.

Climbers who want their views heard on FHRC applications should visit the ACE website and click on"current applications".Input from the climbing community via on-line voting and voting at the public meeting carries tremendous weight.

Again, quoting from the FHRC guidelines:"Section 3.1. Voting. In considering all applications, the FHRC shall give great weight to the opinion of the majority of the climbing community. Any FHRC member voting against prevailing public opinion must have excellent reason(s) to do so, and must describe and discuss those reason(s) in detail at the public meeting."

I encourage all climbers who care about Eldorado to read the FHRC guidelines, vote on current FHRC applications, and attend the semi-annual FHRC public meetings.

If you feel a current belay/rappel anchor should be replaced by bolts, make an application to the FHRC for it.…

If you really want a say in the future of Eldorado, appiy to become a member of ACE or the FHRC.Applications for ACE and the FHRC will be sought in October for terms starting in January 2006. Jul 2, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Should we conclude then that a bold anchor will eventually appear then in any place that someone eventually leaves bail gear? Should those who don't want to see the canyon bolted to kindom come start removing every fixed anchor in the canyon now? In anticipation that a wad of slings around a horn or tree 1/2 way through a climb in some odd parthenogenesis will eventually become a bolted anchor? I feel sorry for anyone who is injured in a fall, but citing that as a reason to put up fixed anchors mid-pitch is lower than pathetic. It smacks of paternalism and superiority. People are people and can guide their own lives, assessing risks and making choices. It's not like I never lost a friend to climbing, but I know that sanitizing climbing to whatever level will make people more dependent on fixed gear, not safer. Having personally cleaned brains, yes *brains*, off of the walls in Eldo twice now, I can tell you that inexperience and lack of self-reliance has caused the accidents I have seen, and that "nicer" fixed anchors would not have saved either climber. Besides, you are going to have to pick an arguement, is it about saving trees or parenting and protecting other climbers? More people have been hurt approaching the Bastille Crack's initial right facing dihedral then anywhere else in the park I can think of. Please tell me that we are not going to bolt that! Jul 2, 2005
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
Most of the time when logical and rational people argue a point, it is not the data upon which they disagree, it is the value they assign to each point- thus reaching a different conclusion when weighing the arguements.
This climb is a ~40-year-old classic multi-pitch climb, it has stood as long without needing bolts and although the canyon and it's visitor numbers and profiles have changed, I don't see such an anchor as being necessary. This is a convenience anchor. Perhaps it would replace less sightly slings around a horn, but as long as those have stood they have been reasonably safe and I am unaware of any injuries precipitated from their use. Now, I have seen a lot of bolts placed in the park lately, where trad gear was available, and I have seen the impact that they have had. With the new anchors above Duh Dihedral, Handcrack, Terminal Velocity, Pool of Blood, etc... the character of the area has changed. Notably, all of those climbs are climbs I have lead and then placed a normal gear anchor above, some requiring directionals, some not. But by bolting these do you instead attract big crowds of people into certain areas and degrade the area? There are already plenty of areas around boulder with loads of single-pitch climbs with bolted anchors. Do we have to turn Eldo into one of them? How many more TR anchors does Eldo need on climbs that have been there for 40 years?
We've hashed this out before, on Blind Faith, but I can see that that whole discussion has been erased, and since I suppose it was considered resolved and does not affect the "beta" for that climb, that is a reasonable resolution. As a person who will be submitting a bolting application to ACE, I appreciate ACE and believe it to have a legitimate function, particularly when it comes to evaluating new route applications and replacing old gear- like with like, or occasionally saving a tree, etc.

But as they say now, the shoe is on the other foot. For years ACE FHRC was dominated by an anti-bolt faction that was over protective and wouldn't approve anything, but now the tide is reversed. I like the FHRC as a concept, but I am against the present interpretation of the policies and I honestly believe that the present influence in the park is a negative one. ACE and the FHRC are also directed to listed to public imput. Please consider visiting this site frequently to review these submissions and give your input & feedback.

For my own part, I do more than complain and criticize. Having climbed over 600 routes in Eldo over the last decade, and on every crag there... and not being against new routes and anchors in general, and beleiving myself rational enough to consider each route on it's own merit. I did volunteer to serve on ACE a few years ago. I was turned down as there were "a great number of qualified candidates" apparently much more qualified than me. So for now I speak from the outside. Jul 2, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Tony Bubb writes:

"Should we conclude then that a bold anchor will eventually appear then in any place that someone eventually leaves bail gear?"

No, of course not. Every proposed bolt anchor goes through the FHRC review process. Only those that muster majority support from the climbing community will be installed.

TB: "Should those who don't want to see the canyon bolted to kindom come start removing every fixed anchor in the canyon now?"

I hope that fixed sling anchors that are regular rappel routes would be made better by climbers who use them. Cut off old tatty slings and install a new one of your own. Feel free to remove bail slings from places that are not standard rap routes.

TB: "I feel sorry for anyone who is injured in a fall, but sighting that as a reason to put up fixed anchors mid-pitch is lower than pathetic."

I was not advocating putting up a fixed anchor mid-pitch. Beth Coats' accident occurred when traversing off the top of the first pitch of Blind Faith. It is unlikely that a bolt anchor will ever be placed here, since community sentiment is against it.

My argument is one made by Richard Rossiter: there are far more important things in life than the arrangement of bolts on a rock face.

TB: "More people have been hurt approaching the Bastille Crack's initial right facing dihedral then anywhere else in the park I can think of. Please tell me that we are not going to bolt that!"

I can tell you unequivocally that no bolt will ever be installed at that spot on the Bastille Crack, as long as the FHRC process is in force.

TB: "For years ACE was dominated by an anti-bolt faction, but now the tide is reversed. I like ACE as a concept, but I am against the present interpretation of the policies and I honestly believe that the present ACE influence in the park is a negative one."

Regarding a bolt anchor on Chockstone, I am speaking as an individual and not as a member of the ACE board.

ACE and the FHRC do not have a pro-bolt ideology. ACE and the FHRC are committed to implementing the FHRC process in a fair manner. Input from the climbing community carries the greatest weight in decided if new bolt anchors are installed. If you don't want to see a particular bolt anchor that has been applied for, vote against it on the ACE web site, and come to the FHRC public meeting and vote against it a second time.

Another ACE function is fund raising. Money raised by ACE goes to the park to maintain and build climber access trails. This year's project is a new trail on Hawk Eagle Ridge.

I urge all climbers to support this effort by attending Celebrate Eldorado. There will be a party and bouldering competition at The Spot on Thursday September 15th, with an auction where people can bid to climb with famous climbers. Roger and Bill Briggs, Christian Griffith, and Alec Sharp have already agreed to participate. Other activities include a trail run, trail building, and a self-rescue clinic, which will be held in the park on Saturday September 17. Mark your calendar and plan to attend! Jul 2, 2005
Like Tony, I have done well over 500 routes in Eldo, many of them numerous times, and have been climbing there for 35 years now. I also have applied for a position on both the ACE board and the FHRC but apparently I don't have the qualifications either. I firmly believe that these positions are not filled with the most qualified people that apply which makes it a "who you know" kind of appointment.

The FHRC has done a commendable job in the past towards preserving the Eldorado experience and the limited resources available there. The problem that we face at this point is to prevent the pro-bolt faction from sanitizing the Eldorado experience beyond recognition by placing both midpitch and first pitch anchors that are simply not needed. The logical extension of this policy would be to replace degrading fixed gear with bolts, etc.

As has been pointed out countless times, there are plenty of areas around Boulder where short climbs with bolts and fixed anchors abound. The bottom line is that not every climb or climbing area needs to be accessible to every person. Jul 2, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
AC writes: "The problem that we face at this point is to prevent the pro-bolt faction from sanitizing the Eldorado experience beyond recognition by placing both midpitch and first pitch anchors that are simply not needed."

Mid-pitch anchors will never be installed. From the FHRC guidelines, Section 3.4: "Applications to add anchors in the middle of existing pitches, i.e., anchors that make it easier to retreat before the traditional end of the pitch, shall be denied."

As to other bolt anchors, the following has to happen before such an anchor is installed:

1. An application has to be made to the FHRC for such an anchor.2. The application has to conform to FHRC guideline Section 3.4.3. The application has to garner majority support from the climbing community via voting on the ACE website and voting at the FHRC public meeting.4. The application has to be approved by the FHRC and the park.5. The applicant has to install the anchor or find someone to do it. Believe it or not, but there are several anchors that have been approved by the FHRC that have never been installed.

Fears that the Eldorado experience will become sanitized beyond recognition are overblown.

Climbers who don't want to see new bolt anchors in Eldorado should vote no on FHRC applications for such anchors and make sure their like-minded friends vote no also. Jul 2, 2005
As another avid Eldo Climber -- though I haven't kept track of the number of routes; let's call it 'plenty' -- I'd like to weigh in here.

Bob D, and others, state: "There are more important things than an arrangement of bolts on a face" or something similar.

I agree, and there are less important things as well. Its the balance between pure convenience and ethics that we're trying to find. This is not a simple argument; climbing isn't simple, and it does it and this discussion a disservice to treat it as such.

Ron states: "Its just a game, folks", or something similar

I disagree, at least largely. Even after reading the sad story of Beth Coates. Sure, climbing is not war, or solving poverty and world hunger, or curing cancer. But its also not "just a game" -- at least not to me. And, it is my opinion after 18 years of climbing that there's an ever increasing trend to trivialize the climbing experience, simplifiy it, dumb it down and reduce it to a small subset of what it really is. Climbing is *not* just a trivial, playful, passtime... it is a serious endeavor that requires concentration, skill, technique, practice and dedication. There are risks, they are part of the experience; why turn climbing into something trivial?

I have *never* started up a route, in Eldo or elsewhere, considering it was "just a game" -- those that do, (Ron?) I suggest, should re-appraise their choice of activity. To take something like climbing lightly, to take a downclimb lightly, to take any moment of potential exposure lightly is -- as the Coates story exemplifies -- a grave error. But that is part of the experience!! That is part of climbing!! If you don't get that... well, then -- you don't get it.

And, Eldo -- perhaps especially lately -- has been a sacred ground where those of us who appreciate the full experience of climbing can trust won't be dumbed down, and turned into something less.

Keep the convenience bolts to the Sport Park. Vote "NO" on these conveniences and other attempts to reduce the experience of climbing to just a game. Jul 2, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
When I said climbing was "just a game", I was not trying to trivialize it or imply that it was, or should be, risk free. Climbing is "serious play", as Steve Dieckhoff says. It's a game; a serious, potentially deadly game, that requires skill, concentration, vigilance, and constant awareness.

Inattention, overconfidence, distraction, fatigue, hastiness: any one of these factors can precipitate a mistake that can kill even the most experienced climber.

What climbing is not: a test of manhood or machoness, taking on risk and danger more than what is inherent in the sport. We climb for adventure, excitement, the joy of movement, the challenge of testing ourselves, the bond we share with our partners. But - it is a recreational pasttime; not something that is going to change the world in any meaningful manner.

I draw the line at unnecessary risk: accidents waiting to happen.The 31-32m between the rap station on Knight's Move and the rap anchor atop the first pitch of Chockstone, for example. Anyone doing that rappel without having the ends of their 60m rope perfectly aligned could be in big trouble. The hardcore say tough; deal with it, you screw up, you die. I say move the anchor up 5 or 6 feet and allow people to clip in before coming off rappel at an exposed stance.

In 25 years, I've seen my share of nasty climbing accidents and even have seen one person die right in front of my eyes; something I never want to see again.

Climbing can never be dumbed down; risk is inherent in the sport. But foolish risks? Sorry. The game is already risky enough. Jul 3, 2005
Josh Janes    
Is Ron the head of the ACE? If he is, shouldn't his views be unbiased? I do appreciate his encouraging of others to get involved in making decisions about managing Eldo. Jul 3, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Josh - I am not the head of ACE; Rick Casey is the ACE president. I am just one of seven members of the ACE board.

I am speaking as an individual in my advocacy of the Chockstone anchor, and not as a member of the ACE board. For all I know, every other member of the ACE board could disagree with my position; I haven't asked them. In fact, I know that several other ACE board members have strong feelings against convenience anchors.

My position on ACE in no way confers any special powers to make anchors happen. I will not submit an application to the FHRC for a bolt anchor on Chockstone. This anchor will never be installed unless someone else submits an application, and the application receives majority support from the climbing community. Frankly, I don't see this happening.

My advocacy here is just trying to express another view, to give the "we like Eldo the way it is and don't want any more convenience anchors" folks something to think about. For me, there is more to climbing than just my experience of it. I often think about less experienced climbers and what difficulties they might confront. Handling a rappel rope that doesn't quite reach the next anchor may not be a problem for you or me, but I am saddened by the number of accident reports I've read of people going off the ends of their rappel rope and dying. I don't want to see this happen in Eldo.

I'll bow out of this discussion now; I've made all the points I want to make, and I appreciate the fact that others, perhaps the majority of the climbing community, disagree with my position. I know we all care passionately about Eldorado, and want any changes to be for the better, not for the worse. Jul 3, 2005
no offense, but what does an unroped accident have to do with this route? I have found bail booty on [Blind Faith], which is indicative of someone rapping off from the top of the first pitch. unroping is a personal decision, free soloing in [Eldo] is another altogether.

I think [Chockstone] will become crowded as a top rope if there are rap anchors installed Jul 4, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
My last comment on this thread has disappeared from the site. Let me reiterate some of the points I made and make a few new ones. I hope that no one "jerks" this post!

1. I am not the head of ACE; Rick Casey is ACE president. I am one of seven ACE board members.

2. My advocacy of the Chockstone anchor is as an individual, not as an ACE board member. I don't know how the other ACE board members feel about this anchor; I haven't asked them. In fact, several ACE board members have spoken against new bolted anchors atop the first pitch of climbs in the past.

3. My position on ACE in no way confers special powers to make new bolted anchors happen.

4. I won't apply to the FHRC for a new bolted anchor on Chockstone. I wanted to express another view to give the "we like Eldorado the way it is and don't want any new bolted anchors" people something to think about.

5. To me, climbing is more than my personal experience. I often think about less-experienced climbers and what difficulties they may confront. Dealing with a rappel rope that comes up short of the anchor may not be a problem for an experienced climber, but an inattentive climber could rap off the end of the rope and die; certainly there have been many accident reports to that effect. I don't want to see this happen in Eldorado.

6. Solid belay and rappel anchors are the bedrock of roped climbing.Having solid anchors in no way makes the actual climbing any easier!

7. I'm sure all people involved in this discussion care passionately about Eldorado; we all want any changes to be for the better, not for the worse.

And finally, a pop quiz:

What Eldorado classic now has a mid-pitch bolted anchor that is often used to bail from the route before the original end of the climb?

Have you bailed from this route using this mid-pitch bolt anchor?

Do you feel this anchor "dumbs down" and "sanitizes" the Eldorado experience? Or is it just a "convenient" way to do the climb today without having to go all the way to the top?

If you have bailed using this anchor, don't you think it is hypocritical and elitist to argue against bolt anchors at the end of the first pitch of more moderate routes? Jul 4, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
Tevis Bloom writes: "I think Chockstone will become crowded as a top rope if there are rap anchors installed".

Tevis - Chockstone already has a rap anchor at the top of the first pitch; it's a bunch of slings around a block.

The first pitch of Chockstone already is a popular top rope, accesible by leading the 5.7 first pitch of Knight's Move or Purple Haze. Jul 4, 2005
It's called censorship thats what's going on. Jul 5, 2005
Ron Olsen
Boulder, CO
Ron Olsen   Boulder, CO
I think has some bugs in its software that are causing comments to disappear. I posted two comments on routes in Clear Creek Canyon last night and now they are gone.

No one would have "jerked" these beta comments, and the site administrators would have no reason to remove them.

The site administrators need their software and database experts to look at this problem and fix it.

In the meantime: don't get paranoid; I'm almost certain that comments are not being removed intentionally. Jul 5, 2005
I have been quoted, but my post has been removed. I know there is already an anchor there. That is why some people don't see the need for another one...duh. anyway I thought that my comment was fairly simple and to the point, that it would be more popular as a toprope if it had bolted anchors. and that some parties hoping to lead the climb may experience more of a wait than usual because of the ease of TRing this route with bolts. either way, I'll use whatever is there. Jul 7, 2005
I went back recently, and I have to admit that the sling anchor is total sheit. Perhaps a bolt anchor would be better than the decaying slings and rock mass.

p.s. careful for the "chockstone" Oct 14, 2007
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
The one leg of lamb chockstone near the bottom crux of pitch one will move in and out of its slot about three inches, but still won't come out. Did the second pitch for the first time yesterday and thought it was very interesting. It has some funky moves in there that get you thinking. Short and fun. You can rappell to the base with a single 60m rope from here or move down the ledge and use the other rap station. Oct 31, 2008
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
I combined the first and second pitches today and it made for a nice, long pitch. I had avoided the second pitch for a long time but found it to be fun and well protected with small nuts and small cams. I was pleasantly surprised to find the bolt anchor at the top of the second pitch. You are missing out on some good climbing if you only do the first pitch! Sep 29, 2009
Andrew McLean
Andrew McLean   Colorado
I lead this yesterday combining P1 and P2 as my second 10a lead in Eldo. Combining both pitches is a solid and full value endeavor. Pro seemed fine on P! as I took a small fall on a #1 rock at the crux. The 2nd pitch was a bit trickier and spaced out pro for me. It took a minute for me to figure out how to protect the last traverse move. If you look close there is a good .5 Camelot if you don't mind giving up a handhold. The cam made it WAY easier to commit to the traverse moves.

Oh and seriously guys... This is a beta forum for Chockstone. If you want to debate anchor ethics in Eldo. than maybe move it to the general forum? Nov 28, 2009
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Go for combining the first two pitches. It turns out into a great pitch, and there is a bolted anchor waiting to convey you down into the arms of your belayer after crying a little at the very top. Bring small nuts of the metallic persuasion and larger nuts of the other variety. Oct 10, 2010
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Oh and I don't know why everyone calls it a blind placement. You have massive feet and can place a nut clearly in view way above your head. Then just finish the crux and place another piece. Don't stop halfway through the 3 move crux. Oct 10, 2010
Ben Weisman
Boulder, CO
Ben Weisman   Boulder, CO
I found a pair of shoes at the base of this climb today right after some people packed up for the day and left. Shoot me a message with how many people you were with and what brand of shoes they were, and come pick them up! Mar 31, 2012
Jeff McLeod
Jeff McLeod  
I wasted a good amount of time reading the flame war in the comments above after doing this route yesterday and came away with the thought of "why would anyone only want to do the first pitch of this route anyway...?" I linked the first and second pitches, and I would have given it 3 and a half stars if I could, I think it was a delightful, challenging, sustained pitch with one of the coolest and most awkward topouts I've ever done. A great spot to belay off a tree at the top while you laugh at your partner trying to finish it a few feet away from you and try to remember how the hell you did it. I think it is important to place a #0.75 Camalot in the big hold at the finish to make sure your follower doesn't swing into you if they blow the topout. May 16, 2014
Mark Rivera
Boulder, CO
Mark Rivera   Boulder, CO
Fantastic route - P1 crux was more awkward than difficult - seems fair at 10a crux to easier terrain. P2 had creative moves (look outside the crack for some great edges and jugs - likely covered in chalk). I struggled to make the move to the chains! Ended up with a strenuous transfer to left hand jug while smearing feet. There is probably an easier way. Helpful for leader to place a green Camalot at the very top of the exit to protect the second from a possible pendulum with the rope over the arete. Aug 17, 2017
Tom Robinson
San Diego/ Denver
Tom Robinson   San Diego/ Denver
I may have left my Tenaya climbing shoes at the base of this crag last Saturday 1/6/2018. Please let me know if you picked them up! Jan 11, 2018