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Fun Climb 101

5.8, Trad, 350 ft (106 m), 3 pitches,  Avg: 3.3 from 25 votes
FA: unknown
Colorado > S Platte > Buffalo Creek > Top Of The World > Ragnarok
Access Issue: Nestin falcons Details

Description

This has to be one of the best moderates in the S. Platte, as suggested in the Hubbel Guidebook. The approach is fairly long, although with some idea of where you are headed it [doesn't] have to be that strenuous. Pedal your bike along Forest Road 538 until you get to the [Slabbo/Boulder Pile] parking area. There is a faint trail on the north side of the [Slabbo] right below the rock- Follow this. Pick your way through open forest to the saddle between the [Boulder Pile] and [Ragnarock], but the route is around the backside. [Don't] go too far before cutting uphill to the saddle, as the [further] gullies are steep and unpleasant. Now pick your way down and around to the SE face of the crag through the burn, watching for poison ivy along the base of the rock. You will see some old bleached slings hanging from the rock that make you feel like you are in the twilight zone, no one has climbed here in a long time....

The route goes up a large corner system on the right hand side of the alcove on the SE face. Begin in some thin easy cracks to a wide section. Next do a very height-dependent traverse. Im about 5 9" and could reach the key hold hold, if you [can't] reach it, I dunno what you'd do. Reef hard on this hold and get into the corner again. Follow this until a big ledge passing some 5.8 step up and around moves near the top. Classically, this pitch goes as 2 shorter ones but we were able to stretch a 60m rope to the ledge with only a couple feet of simulclimbing. The top of this pitch has some lichen but is good.

Step around a boulder traversing to the left and climb a short, sweet section of hands. Now just scramble to the top.

We walked back down through the saddle and back to the base of the route. Instead of going back up to the saddle we traversed around the [Boulder Pile] on the way back out, but I'm not sure if this is faster. There are some new no trespassing signs near the quarry on this exit path, but we stayed clear of private property. This approach is less up and down, but is completely through the burn and the new plant growth seems fond of thorns, making it potentially less pleasant of an approach. The slogging is worth the adventure at [Top of the World].

Protection

Bring a full S. Platte rack from medium size nuts to a #4 Camalot.

Raptor Nesting

There may be an active raptor nest on the 2nd pitch. Try to avoid disturbing any active nests.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Climb starts in the dihedral above Neli.
[Hide Photo] Climb starts in the dihedral above Neli.
Top of Fun Climb 101.
[Hide Photo] Top of Fun Climb 101.
Fun Climb 101, pitch 2.
[Hide Photo] Fun Climb 101, pitch 2.
The base of the route.
[Hide Photo] The base of the route.
The base of the route.
[Hide Photo] The base of the route.
GPS coordinates of the base of the climb.
[Hide Photo] GPS coordinates of the base of the climb.
Scott W. having fun.
[Hide Photo] Scott W. having fun.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] For those who enjoy peace and solitude with their climbing adventure, this area is well worth seeking out, a grand day out in the woods without the sounds of guns and motorcycles! Apr 26, 2012
Dave Clark 5.10
Golden, CO
  5.8+
[Hide Comment] GETTING THERE: It helps to know that the Boulder Pile and Ragnarok are two large rock outcrops separated by a narrow saddle, yet they appear as a single outcrop for most of the approach because the Boulder Pile obscures Ragnarok from the west and NW. Here are some tips that would have saved us about an hour in approach time:

1. Bike the closed road from the parking area at Hwy 126 to and past the former Top of the World Campground for a total of about 3.5 miles. The last half mile is mostly descending and passes the well-marked Colorado Trail crossing. Right after crossing a low point in the road there is a roughly 90-degree right-hand bend in the road with an obvious old closed road on the outside (left) of the bend, with a barrier and "tank trap" earth berm.
2. Follow this closed road uphill for a couple hundred yards. It's possible to ride a mountain bike on this road, but it is not easy. Stash your bike somewhere and continue about 150 yards past the old plywood sign near the high point on this road.
3. Looking SE from here you can clearly see Slabbo in the foreground and the BoulderPile/Ragnarok combo beyond. Bushwhack downhill off the right side of the road, aiming to go around the east side of Slabbo. There are no trails of any consequence, so find the path of least resistance that stays within about 100 ft of the bottom of Slabbo's NE face.
4. Continue towards the left side of the Boulder Pile and across a wide saddle between Slabbo and the BP. It isn't obvious, but you can start to see the narrow gap between BP and Ragnarok. Aim for that gap, but don't go too far left to avoid the steep gully on the NE side of the gap.
5. As you reach the gap, it becomes a narrow (150 ft?) saddle with Ragnarok on your left and BP on your right. This is a good place to leave any gear you don't need on the climb because you can scramble down a 4th-class gully back to this saddle after topping out on Ragnarok.
6. Descend SE from the narrow saddle and circumvent the bottom of Ragnarok around to the left (east) until you find Fun Climb 101.

Enjoy the fun climb; it's a good one, and there is no chance that all this beta will overpopulate the area. Apr 30, 2013
Hiro Protagonist
Colorado
  5.8
[Hide Comment] I love adventure climbing! Be sure to bring a partner that does too, my partner was less than thrilled. Pokey bushes, no trails, uncertain destinations at all times, plenty of scrambling... Be sure to bring goodies (sweets, beer, etc) to cheer up your partner if you're the one dragging them out there.

Really interesting climb! Various styles, the spice of some rotten rock. The hand crack on P3 is totally fabulous! The walk off blows chunks, at least the way we did it.

Shady in summer though! Not that this really matters if you slogged all the miles to get there!

Seriously, bring long pants for the approach/return, boots or protective sandals/shoes would be in order. Flip flops and open style Chacos would be a huge mistake. This is for pro against plants, not rock. The climb itself isn't that hard on the skin. Jul 20, 2014
Hiro Protagonist
Colorado
  5.8
[Hide Comment] BETA - Haas does not suggest #4 for the P2 rack, I used it right off the belay as the first piece. Might as well, since you hauled a couple along for P1. Otherwise, double rack of everything in the middle sizes is quite useful. Nuts were not that necessary.

I'm 5'9", average dimensions. The P2 crux was just within my reach (assuming I did it right, which I may not have). Anyways, if you're shorter than me, it might start to get sketchy to lead. My second was quite short, I'm sure she did some thin moves to get up, things you wouldn't want to do on lead. I tried to ask her about it, but she was already brain dead from the approach.

P2 zig zags a lot, consider lots of extension. Jul 20, 2014
Tom Halicki
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] Be aware that in 2013 there were falcons active in a nest below the massive roof just right of the belay at the end of the second pitch. The nest is evident in the photo in the Haas guide, which was published earlier, so it seems to be used repeatedly. Interesting that none of the previous commenters mentioned falcons. We declined to climb because of the proximity of the nest to the route and opted to return in the fall. If you climb in the fall, there is a lot of hunting in the area, so consider wearing blaze orange. Fun route, good adventure, maybe a little easy for the grade. Only ravens for company if you do it right. Nov 23, 2014
Dana Prosser
Boulder
[Hide Comment] There is currently a nesting pair of falcons near the top of the second pitch. Jun 30, 2015
E Miller
Denver, CO
[Hide Comment] We climbed this yesterday, lots of fun. Even the bushwhacking was easier than I thought (still, wear pants). We saw the poo trail where the falcons nested, but I think they may have moved on after the forest fires that have probably destroyed a lot of habitat for their prey. Mar 26, 2018
Tom Halicki
Boulder, CO
[Hide Comment] The fire was well before I and Dana posted seeing the falcons. That said, they may have moved on, but if they haven't, please consider the impact of your actions. Apr 30, 2018
Tim nunya
Denver, CO
  5.9+
[Hide Comment] Climbed this on 6/20/19 - there was not a falcon nest above P2, but there was still visible old poop stripes on the rock there.

The "trail" is not a trail, but the beta posted above gets you right there! The climb doesn't seem to have been climbed in a while, as there were hardly any signs of anyone else being there. Lots of moss at the vertical second lie back on P2 that made this a really stout climb for the grade. If the rock was in good condition, it would fit in that 5.8+ range, but I would suggest that it's more of a 5.9+ rating with how little use this route gets.

P1 was a 3 start climb with some fun moves and great belay stance for P2.
P2 was the most sustained and fun 4 stars at the grade with all the fun moves you can think of, while also the most challenging!
P3 was 2 star, and more of a protected scramble to top out with a fun hand crack.

The boulder down is definitely a 4th class scramble. Loved the route! Jun 23, 2019
plantmandan
Brighton, CO
  5.8
[Hide Comment] Climbed this route today. There was no sign of raptor nesting at the formation.

It's a marvelous route. All 3 pitches have great crack climbing and good pro, and the views are jaw dropping from Mount Evans to Pike's Peak. It's well worth the long day of adventure. The grade seemed consistent with other trad routes in South Platte. As a tall person, I agree that the crux move is probably easier for taller people.

I don't have a bike, so we walked the entire approach. I wouldn't recommend that at all. It was brutal, especially on the way back. Luckily, there was some cloud cover. It would have been worse on a clear day. The approach beta below by Dave Clark is solid. I am very glad we racked up and stashed our packs at the saddle before heading down to the route. The final descent from the saddle to the base of the route is not easy and took a while. The walkoff from the summit led right back to our packs. Jun 7, 2020
Tyson Ferryman
Bailey, CO
  5.8
[Hide Comment] 3 star climbing but not worth the hike/bike in my opinion. Maybe if you are going to do some other pitches in the area? Also, it was hot af, so my opinion may be a bit jaded. Aug 18, 2020
Carson Green
  5.8
[Hide Comment] Currently no raptor nesting on this route. Apr 26, 2021