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Routes in M Crags

Commitment T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R
Cumbria T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Fear Not T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Giraffe, The T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
Haste Not T 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Jack Russell Buttress T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b R
Lance-a-Lot T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Mellow Yellow T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Runout Ridge T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Type: Trad, 700 ft, 5 pitches, Grade III
FA: Paul Ross, Layne Potter, 20th March 2006
Page Views: 174 total, 1/month
Shared By: USBRIT Ross on Apr 24, 2006
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq

You & This Route

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Scramble up the canyon a short distance to a Y junction. The route starts here.

P1) Climb the slab keeping to the left to a bolt at about 100'. Keep to the left to reach double anchors. 140' 5.6 R
P2) Continue up left edge then straight up to a bolt at about 50'. Past the bolt is easier climbing directly up the slab to double anchors left of a deep groove. 200' 5.7+ R
P3) Climb the groove to a rock bollard belay . 60' 5.4
P4) Up the clean easy slab to double anchors. 200' 5.2
P5). Straight up the easy slab to double anchors. 100' 5.3

From here climb 4th class to the end of the ridge and a register in a cairn. Rap the route.


This climbs the ridge out of the slot canyon on the left (south) of the Triple Buttress formation. Drive up the Three Finger Canyon road to within a quarter mile of the canyon entrance. The Triple Buttress is straight ahead. See photo.


One 1/2" stopper. One quickdraw, slings, two 60m ropes.


Boulder, CO
tim   Boulder, CO
4 yrs.........yeah, the math is good. Thanks for bringing me down! Nov 4, 2013
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
One problem there is nothing after you pass through the gates of this eartly existence and many of those guys that walked from St Louis would have survived to live another day if they had stayed in the UK! Nov 4, 2013
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
Did it take you 4 years to think up that comment? Nov 3, 2013
Boulder, CO
tim   Boulder, CO
Aren't all these modernities such as nylon and sticky rubber stripping the adventure out of climbing? I only climb routes in true adventure style: hemp rope, iron mongery, and leather soles. Man up people, you call yourselves climbers!!! Driving to the trailhead, Give me a break! A real man takes a wagon trail from St. Louis with 9 kids in tow and establishes everything ground up on horseback, now that's a clean ascent! Dried buffalo bladders filled with sand and placed in small depressions in the rock are the only pro an adventure climber should use! I've heard tell of rappelling routes, but a true adventurer puts ass to stone and may the good lord see to it that he meets the bottom unscathed. If not, he can become one of the truest and most "clean" of all adventurers, the one willing to venture past the gates of this earthly existence! Nov 3, 2013
Leadvegas, CO
Bjorn   Leadvegas, CO
So many spray-happy player-haters.
When experiencing a climb as scary, the reaction of a rational person would be to climb elsewhere. Or gradually grow some nuts by starting with marginally scary routes and working oneself up. Let's not forget that it is the inalienable right of the first ascensionist not only to establish a route, but to define its character. Most people commenting in this forum should be aware that Paul has been at this since before your parents had pubic hair. I for one find it rather comforting that there are places in this world where new routes can be established and that some people still care to only drill bolts where they have a good enough stance to do it free and on lead. There is plenty of indiscriminately gridbolted choss in the world, and no one is forcing anyone to climb at the Swell. Mar 18, 2009
I can't believe this conversation still... "I had holds break", "looking death in the eye". What a joke.
You know, I have been climbing and putting up routes in the Swell for about 15 years. I rarely have holds break. Sure the rock is softer and sometimes chossy. I just try to put the amount of pressure on holds so that they don't break. Don't come to the Swell expecting to Dyno, chuck and huck and pull down as hard as you can... You WILL break holds! If you come and stand on your feet and equalize the amount of weight you have on each contact point with the rock, you will break far fewer holds.
Saying that, yeah sure holds break. But if you are on a 5.5 slab and have a hold break and can't figure out how to keep yourself from falling, then you better stick to the safer sport climbing areas or better yet, the gym. Or better yet, if you do go up on routes that are more runout than your comfort level, lean how to take responsibility for your own actions! Learn how to make good decisions! If you can't see the next pro and you are not willing to run it out looking for it, then it is time to take a bail biner off the rack and clip it to the bolt you are at and lower down! If you do decide to go for it, that is YOUR decision, and YOU reap the rewards of success, or accept the consequences of failure.
Don't always trust the guidebook, don't always trust the internet, it's all about making your own decisions and judgements. Nov 7, 2008
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
You might read again and note that I said the only DIFFERENCE was one is granite the other is sandstone.I have also taken falls on granite due to rock failure. I am sure the main problem Brian is your very limited experience but not to worry we all started that way. Nov 6, 2008
This is my last post but I must comment. Paul, you compare the reef to whitehorse "sandstone to granite". I must say that you posted that you? or someone? broke an ankle from a broken hold. Keep in mind that through all this conversation that post was deleted. I to had holds break. Thanks for all the comments and I will now go back to what I enjoy? Nov 5, 2008
T Roper
I once tried to get to these slabs in the ole astro van to get the bejesus scared out of me. I was lucky to have made it out of the sandpit at 50mph...

now after waking up and voting(not for Mcsame, sorry Utah) at 6am sharp, heading to the Gunks with the check engine light on and running out of gas 1/4 mile before the Trapps, then realizing the passenger window stopped working and then climbing some really scary shit with no bolts whatsoever I'm feeling pretty good!

now folks, take out the BOM and pray for us here in CT . We are good people mostly.… Nov 5, 2008
I did the early voting thing as well. Go Vote!! Wait in lines, do whatever you have to do, but go vote!
And James, I do not walk 5.12, I'm occasionally lucky enough to flail myself up that grade. Nov 3, 2008
What?!? James, you didn't like my analogy? I'm hurt. Nov 2, 2008
Good on ya, Paul. It is interesting how seriously most foreign born US citizens consider the right to vote.It is worrisome how many people I have heard mention to me they just couldn't find the time to register....? Like it is too complicated or something??
I, too, want to climb at Whitehorse. It is an area that has long been high on my list...cheers.......... Nov 2, 2008
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
You certainly do not have to be a 5.10+ climber to do the 5.7 or less graded routes on the slabs .First and most importantly one needs to get used to slab climbing (its not like crack climbing) and secondly get familiar with runouts (head game) on relatively easy ground.A great asset if one progresses to alpine climbing . Many climbers with today's indoor,sport and crack route preferences will without doubt f not find it easy to adapt to the above.For example the runouts and grades of the slab routes on Whitehorse Ledge in NH are very similar to the Reef slabs ,the only difference one is sandstone the other granite. I am sure climbers familiar with Whitehorse NH slabs would have little if any problem with the Reef runouts and grades.However I know this is the SW where well protected crack and sport routes rule.I posted my vote two weeks ago.....agree much more important than the above. Nov 2, 2008
Deny being defiant as noted above...been chastised, know my place, too aware of Wall Street woes, and know defensiveness is the wrong place to go. Mona Lisa? That's a stretch...even for the Tea.

Everywhere above I read comments that on the 5.7R/X routes, that the climber will always find good/adequate (i.e., bolts) protection where needed. Adequate for whom? Oh yea, the 5.10 or better climber/leader climbing the 5.7 route. I am sure that the bolt count is adequate for those climbers...absolutely sure, no question.

anyway, more importantly Do get out to vote...please. Much more pertinent issues at stake! Nov 2, 2008
James, I did not know your middle name was Brian.
Nudge nudge wink wink say no more. Nov 2, 2008
Guess you've tasted the flavor of Paul's routes. Don't like 'em, don't climb 'em. Seems simple enough, adventure's not for everyone. Would you tell Da Vinci that the Mona Lisa is painted "wrong", just because you don't like his style? Nov 2, 2008
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Yes defiantly the economy comes into it ,I guess some of us still listen to the news. If those concerned about not having 5.7 Reef slab routes fully sport bolted for 1600',they can get their wallets out and pay for them ,or stop just BSing about it on this site and go to the Reef and do some themselves.However I do not think there will be a stampede. Nov 1, 2008
So, you're saying it comes down to an economic issue?

It's all good. No one is right here and no one is wrong...I was expressing my opinion and felt that you hardmen out there seemed to be coming down kind of hard (sorry for the pun!) on a 5.7 climber that WANTS to do some of the Reef routes, most likely is NOT putting up his own routes,yet... and all he was getting from this forum was the equivalant of "Tough buddy, go someplace else and do your own thing".

And Ben, you walk 5.12 routes!

And for those who feel we have tons of moderate multi-pitch well protected climbs here in the USA...well, quantity, like quality is a relative in relative to what? To a little country like Switzerland (1/4 the size of Utah)...NO we do NOT.
To a country like Jordan (with as many as 20 actual local climbers)...No we do not
to a country like France, South Africa, Italy, New Zealand, Canada...well, I think you get the is kind of like when people insist we Americans have the best health care system in the world, yet we are 20th down the list for Infant Mortality Rates...go figure, couldn't be true?...blame it on Roe vs Wade. Oct 31, 2008
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Well lets see if I bolted our last 5.5 route on the slabs or some of our 5.7ers lets say bolts 8'apart I would need between 140/250 bolts and hangers for one route . Hard pressed on SS.. but contributions will be gratefully received .............. Oct 31, 2008
I've put up my share of easy to moderate, very well protected routes. I continue to do so and enjoy doing it. It just seems like the rock should dictate the style of climbing. I mean if you are walking up a 5.4 slab in the reef, then you really shouldn't be needing bolts. As J. Glime said, when the climbing rises above 5.6, the bolts start appearing when you need them. A lot of those slabs are of that nature, a lot of really easy climbing with a steeper bulge or tricky section which usually has a bolt. When the pitches are of a more sustained nature, the protection is usually adequate and more closely spaced. Route finding can be an issue with bolts 30-80 feet apart, but that is part of the challenge of those slab routes, you have to be paying attention to minor details in the line. It seems like most of the routes down there really do have protection when you need it. I mean, if you're not interested in climbing runout routes, it might be better to avoid routes with names like "Runout Ridge". There is room for plenty of styles of climbing in this world. I mean, look at Red Rocks. Certain people were putting up routes that people could enjoy safely, and other people were putting in routes (during the same time period) with more of a traditional ethic of climbing more boldly and leaving less of a mark. I have climbed routes of both varieties there, and they were all excellent. You get a different kind of feeling from different kinds of climbing. In the San Rafael reef, climbing there a lot, I have established my own personal ethic. The first two routes Lance and I put up there, I drilled a couple bolts from the top steps of my aiders off of the previous bolt. Lance on the other hand, drilled all his bolts from free stances. After opening my mind a bit, I realized my own personal ethic for the Swell is climbing from the ground up, free, and only placing bolts from free stances. That is just me, it seems to work really well in that area. I believe that everybody is free to climb as they choose. Oct 31, 2008
I stand corrected...odd that one refers to it as "slaying it". Oct 31, 2008
When all is said and done, I agree with Brian on the implied point that we in the USA have too FEW well protected multi-pitch moderate climbs available to the 5.7-5.9 climber/leader. All too often, it appears inappropriate (to me,anyway) when 5.10 or 5.11 climbers (and not alot of 5.7 climbers are out there putting up their own lines as suggested above)establish a 5.7X that only they really feel comfortable climbing. If certain climbers out there really insist on wanting to climb X routes, all they have to do is lighten up and leave the rope in the pack.

It's a joke to hear American climbers diss the "overbolted" 10-15 pitch moderate climbs in places like Switzerland and Spain and other places, yet they are the very ones forming the lines to climb them... because they can't find routes like that over here. An unfortunate contradiction. Why can't we have long multi-pitch pleasurable moderate consistent well protected climbs in the USA? Do they not exist? No, the potential exists, but they won't be tolerated by the ethics that prevail.

On the other hand...and even more unbelievable to an American climber, I'll never forget hearing about how two Scotsman drilled 3 bolts on lead on a FA in the Gogarth sea cliffs of Wales, which would have otherwise been 5.12X, 3 pitches (one of the bolts was for a hanging belay!)....The lads from Llanberis threatened them with their lives if they ever returned to climb anywhere in the area and the bolts were chopped within the week. I climbed there for 3 weeks and never even saw a bolt...don't get me wrong, it is brilliant climbing over there and I love the people ("It's always dry in the pub"!), albeit they may be sticking to 1930 standards a bit longer than the rest of us! Maybe that is why so many people from the UK come over here (or to the Continent in even greater numbers) to drill bolts or to climb bolted routes?

I believe routes should be bolted for the grade at least to some extent and it is doing the right thing to limit the X routes. It is obnoxious to hear from a 5.12 experienced FA climber who tells the 5.7 climber to shut up and go put up his own easy routes.

I would bet my bottom dollar that if that 5.7 climber did actually find the wherewithal to go out there and drill a new, well protected, moderate, multi-pitch slab FA, somebody would give HIM a hard time about it and maybe even attempt to banish him from future FA ventures to "their" area. Oct 31, 2008
John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
Note to anyone... the slabs on the reef are slabs. If you 'fall' 100 feet on a 5.6 you are more often than not going to 'slide' 100 feet. I mean, they are kind of like X climbs, but you'd need to be a semi-shitty slider to end up dead. Above 5.6 Paul places bolts anywhere and almost everywhere it gets spicy. As in, the few moves that are hard get some bolts, then when it gets 5.6 or easier the bolts go away again. Climbing on the reef isn't as scary as some would make it sound, but it does get your attention. How often does a 5.4 get your attention? That is the pleasure of the reef.

September is almost here, hurray! Aug 23, 2008
Shaun Greene
Shaun Greene
I have been thinking about this argument quite a bit. When I first started climbing I felt that there was no reason for anyone to create an R or X route. However, as I climb more and get myself on some of these routes I find myself liking them more and more. I do not necessarily like putting myself in danger but I love the satisfaction of overcoming my mind and working through routes such as these. When I look back on my most memorable routes a good deal of them are R or X rated climbs. The runouts are what made these climbs so memorable and are the subject of some of my most memorable reminiscing campfire talks. These types of climbs are very satisfying and rewarding for me. Had I not ventured onto some of these routes I never would have found out what the appeal is and what great rewards await the succesful ascentionist. There are a couple of climbs in the wasatch particularly in the narcolepsy area (not crazy runout but still runout for the average sport climber) that contain what some may consider scarce protection. Namely "dreamscape" and "narcolepsy", until you have climbed these routes you can not understand how the runout nature makes these climbs what they are. After you have lead these climbs most will agree that more bolts would simply ruin the route. Admittedly, there are a number of climbs that are better examples of traditionally protected run out routes in the wasatch, but I use these two sports climbs as examples because so many people have climbed them. I have not climbed any of the routes that are being discussed in this forum but the more I read this forum the more I want to get out and give some of them a go. Jul 31, 2008
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
I just noticed Brian says its obvious I haven't climbed there. Dude, I've climbed there, i've put up new routes in the swell, and i've done very early repeats of some of Paul's other routes in the desert. I do know the desert and the swell really well. Jul 31, 2008
A destination for ALL would include climbs for climbers that like to be scared and appreciate the reward of overcoming their fears.
Here is my point; with all of the rock available in this area why are you not establishing routes here that are to your liking? This area has been largely ignored forever. Waiting for someone to do the work and then complaining about what was done detracts from your argument.
If this area was seeing huge pressure from a climbing population and the last available lines were being given over to X rated routes there may be a place for your discussion. As it stands you have the opportunity to give this area a bit of your own flavor. Why not get out there? It is way more fun than worrying about the other guys routes.
Just because some one makes a counter point to your argument does not mean you are being attacked. You seem a bit sensitive for the interweb.
You keep saying that no one knows you. Here is your chance to let us in. Who are you? What routes have you established? How does knowing who you are make your arguments any more valid etc.etc.
Just for clarification I am a wimp and have to work hard at getting on R and X routes. When I pull it off the reward is awesome. The reality is some climbs will never see my passage. That should be OK also.

LUKED Jul 31, 2008
Larry   SoAZ
Why should a person with the skills, determination and desire (or just plain craziness) to climb some rock alter that rock so that others (with only the desire) may also climb it?

Look after your safety by remaining on the ground until you are ready.

Let the Swell remain quiet.

(If it matters, I have climbed at the area in question, but not this route. I do not know brian wilson nor Paul Ross.) Jul 31, 2008
The Eastern reef slabs are not some remote area. They are DIRECTLY off of I-70. This could become a true destination area for ALL. Once again please do not attack me. The funny thing here is no one knows me. Jul 31, 2008
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
What does that have to do with anything? Being frightening is not bad, and the remote desert is a different place than a cragging area.

Its no secret that I get really scared on something like Gordon's Hangover in LCC(though I still lead it), but I manage to pull myself together and climb routes in the Fisher Towers or the San Rafael Swell that are way run out.

The difference between you and me is that I understand that I am a pansy, and try to work around it. I do that by not doing X rated routes over my limit, putting up routes that fit my danger ideal, and climbing other people's routes that I can handle.

Try running whitewater sometime. No bolts there, and you take everything as it comes. It puts climbing in perspective. Jul 30, 2008
QOUTEBy Andrew Gram
From: Denver, CO
Mar 12, 2005
rating: 5.9+

Gear Alert
Hard for the grade - this felt much more insecure than Kermit's Wad. Leading it would be extremely frightening and dangerous. There appear to be two chopped bolts above the high first bolt.

The anchor slings currently only have one rap ring - bring another to back it up.
Jul 30, 2008
Andrew, it is obvious you have not climbed here. Jul 30, 2008
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
Can't you just accept that X rated routes aren't a bad thing? Its a low angle slab. Flatten yourself and lose skin if you fall.

Its good for some routes to be really dangerous - some people like that sort of thing. I learned to climb in the Needles in SD, and 80' to the first piece is normal there. You learn a lot about yourself on routes like that.

You should see some of the threads on British message boards about these Reef routes. They are calling Paul a pussy for putting any bolts in at all, including belays. What a difference an ocean makes.

Just accept that Paul's routes aren't for you. Put up your own in the vast amount of rock remaining with the number of bolts that would make you happy, or climb somewhere else. Jul 30, 2008
How shall we go about this? Jul 29, 2008
No one gets the issue! All say I/we want grid bolting/sport climbing. This is not the case! Read all comments. Just purely want to make a point. I hope I have made people think. Jul 28, 2008
Andrew Gram
Salt Lake City, UT
Andrew Gram   Salt Lake City, UT  
You can't be real Brian. No one needs to attack your character when they can attack your ethics so easily instead. There are exactly 1,348.7 shitloads of rock in the san rafael swell you can bolt the hell out of if you feel so inclined. I'm sure Ben and Paul would appreciate the hangers. Jul 25, 2008
Whats a troll? Jul 24, 2008
brian wilson could not possibly be real because he would already be dead of embarassment!

Given the small possibility that brian wilson could be real I would suggest that he/she should submit one of the routes that they have established so that we may better understand their ethics and thoughts on protection placement.

Or... has Paul Ross and a secret British sect climbed all the rock in the desert!!!! Bloody Bastards!!!!

LUKED Jul 23, 2008
I don't know how I "attacked" your character at all. I did not say anything about your character, I am only stating that You are totally out of touch with this area and with adventure style of climbing. Why don't you tell John Bacher to retrofit the Bacher-Yerian so it will be safe for all? That way every aspiring 5.11 climber can give it a safe attempt. (And that route just got led without ANY bolts protecting the leader!!) That way it can be more of a destination for everybody and we can all wait in line at the base, spraying to each other about our latest flashes and pink points. We should probably drill bolt ladders up every hard hooking pitch in Zion too. Maybe we should outlaw alpine climbing all together since there isn't a way to make that activity completely safe.
Brian, I apologize if you feel that your character has been attacked by me, but I think you are really just doing it to yourself. Jul 23, 2008
Ditto to you. You do not know me. This is an ethics issue. Why do you guys attack character? Jul 23, 2008
Hey Beach Boy Brian,

First of all, you have no idea of the context of climbing in which you are talking about. You obviously don't know anything about traditional climbing, climbing history, rock climbing in general, or rock climbing ethics. Reading the stuff you are writing just makes me cringe. If I were you I would consider taking Paul's suggestions seriously, because obviously rock climbing is not the thing for you.
This area lends itself to adventure climbing, not fat bolts every five feet or so. If that is what you are looking for, go to your local sport climbing area and have a great time, there is nothing wrong with that. In the Swell, this is the real outdoors, not Disneyland.
Brian, your true colors have really shone through, you should find another, tame activity to occupy your time. Jul 22, 2008
Your true colors shine through! You do not know didly squat about me! Jul 22, 2008
Keswick Cumbria.UK
USBRIT Ross   Keswick Cumbria.UK
Brian as I thought you are just a tad full of hot air. You do not need any special skills or extra bolts to climb adventure routes in the Swell you just need to be a traditional rock climber and not a sports/gym "play" climber.I guess its not good for the ego of any climber who claims he climbs 5.11 (sport) or higher to get his arse kicked on a 5.6/7. This of course due to the increased popularity of climbing and that most people in the last few years now start on a indoor climbing wall or sport route and consequently there is a growing reluctance not to move more than 5 feet from solid protection,this also applies to trad/sport areas like Indian Creek. Perhaps you Brian and other "play" climbers would be advised to take up golf (even that might be a bit too risky)as on sight trad rock climbing is defiantly not the game for you. Jul 22, 2008
Hello all,
First let me say there must have been a chord struck. Paul actually responded! I have chosen not to contact the first routers directly as to keep this in the public forum. It is good to have debate especially with such an awsome area. Regaurding the last post let me say if you need anchors to get down do not post the routes as this attracts the common folk who may not desire the possibilities. Why attract people to passible disaster. You say it is my requirement to remove the R and X grades. I disagree strongly! General public safety is involved here in a public enviorment. Regaurding your comments on gas money this is all yours. You choose to drive to public lands and put up routes that I can say most people will not desire to put then selves at risk. This area could be the next great thing and the few who desire to make it unsafe for most of the general public is a shame. Grid bolting is not the issue here as you make it sound. Putting up routes with 50',100',150',200'...falls is in my opinion ruining what could be some truely great climbing. According to your comments money is an issue. Let people contact first routers and work with them to add additional protection. Over time this area could become a destination trip. Or better yet do a more safe job in the first place. Jul 21, 2008
Hello all first routers. I would gladly buy you folks some materials as to not ruin an area of such greatness. If you all have a flirting addiction with disaster thats fine. Try not bolting at all and you will not leave any trace of where you have been. Thus not attracting the common folk to your death routes. Let me know where to send funds or hardware! Jul 20, 2008
Brian in SLC
Sandy, Utah
Brian in SLC   Sandy, Utah
Geez, this even made UK climbing news...…

Too funny. May 6, 2008
Brian, I am not speaking for Paul, but I have spoken with him about this issue recently. If you read his comments (on Mercury, I believe) you will clearly see that he doesn't want extra bolts added to his routes. Those routes were established as adventure routes. If you don't want that type of commitment or exposure to danger, I doubt there is anybody forcing you to climb them. There is no need to keep things "safe" as you say. There are plenty of climbing areas with "safe" routes to climb. There are also plenty of climbs in this world that have death fall potential. I don't hear the masses of climbers saying we should go make them safe for everybody. Boldness has always been a part of climbing and if you look at the history of any major non-sport climbing area, you will see that. Yosemite, Red Rocks, City of Rocks, anywhere on the Colorado Plateau, Eldo, Looking Glass, and on and on, there are many R and X routes and hopefully they will remain to be R and X routes. May 1, 2008
Hello Ben,
So your speaking for Paul. May 1, 2008
I know Paul pretty well, and I have climbed a lot of these routes. The only bolts added should be to single bolt rappel/belay anchors. I am sure that Paul would not be happy about bolts ending up all over his routes, to protect every little move of friction. It is definitely a place to get used to the rock and the climbing. I will also say that Lance and I on the routes we established do not want any extra bolts added. All of our belays are 2 or 3, four inch bolts and are bomber. Except for one route that we did down there, all the bolts were placed from free stances (no hooks) whenever we could get them. They took a lot of effort to equip, and some good falls were taken on most routes during the establishment phase. The pro on the steeper routes that we have established is totally reasonable. Apr 30, 2008
Hello All,
The funny thing is all the comments except from the guys who put up the route. It is good to make people think! Apr 29, 2008
John J. Glime
Salt Lake City, UT
John J. Glime   Salt Lake City, UT
If I may make a comment about protecting "unprotectable" cruxes. The cruxes are almost always protected.

To answer your question about adding bolts. No, that is not okay. Would Paul give his blessing? Well maybe to you because you are a rock legend. However, if you wait awhile, he'll eventually die of old age... maybe. Then he probably won't care what you do to his routes.

I know some people who have climbed on the reef and simply don't enjoy the type of climbing that you mentioned. Rather than asking to change it, they simply said that they don't want to climb there anymore. However, the beautiful thing about the reef is that if YOU want to put up routes to your comfort, there is plenty of rock to accommodate you.

Keep on rockin! Apr 24, 2008
Ryan Brough
Arvada, Colorado
Ryan Brough   Arvada, Colorado
I agree with Ben, Dylan's comment was great because it helped me realize that although difficulty ratings are subjective (due to climber's ability, comfort level, rock type, area, etc.), a route description such as R, S or X should be a more objective measure. I need to re-evaluate my own perceptions of routes, try to account for my ego, and consider the consequences of my actions.
On another note, I think that the reason a bolt kit was recommended was because many of the anchor stations have only one bolt and the FA party hasn't been able to repeat some of the routes to equip them with a "safe backup". Apr 22, 2008
Dylan, That was a very good comment. Apr 22, 2008
Dylan Waller
Golden. CO
5.7+ X
Dylan Waller   Golden. CO
5.7+ X
Hey there is no reason for anyone to get worked up, what’s wrong with me throwing a honest warning out to others? If you read my comment you will see that I just said I was pissed, which I was, but not at anyone in particular (most of it was at myself). I understand everyone’s point, and they’re all valid. I just posted the comment because that is how I felt and I still think it's a solid point. I just don’t want to see anyone get killed due to lack of beta. I understand the subjectivity of ratings, and that will forever be the center of climbing debates, but there‘s a point beyond the gray area (this is one of them) where it really can’t be seriously argued. R and X are about what happens if one falls and X means a good chance of death (ability, difficulty, level of personal comfort with the climb, etc.. should not be taken into consideration). I mean a 90 foot drop into a rock crevasse, or what was someone else saying a 150 ft drop onto to a rock slab, give me a brake, are you guys just arguing for the sake of argument itself or what? It’s really sounding like elitism or machoism to me at that point, or maybe I’m wrong and like someone said people just tend to loose subjectivity after climbing an area a lot (if this was the case with me, I would want someone to point it out)? I don’t know, but what I do know that people shouldn’t be telling others where they should go climb.
By the way, a big thanks to everyone who takes the time and effort to put up new routes. Apr 22, 2008
Brian, that's quite the assumption, but you're wrong. Apr 21, 2008
Hello Nooky,
You have no leg to stand on. From your comment you have never climbed these routes. keep your comments to yourself. Come climb these and then lets see what you have to say. I am not looking for grid routes or would have never came to ERS. Apr 21, 2008
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Nooky, I've had a picture of Paul hanging off one hand somewhere in the Lake District in my various work areas for years.( I think Jim D. gave it to me.) Paul's the man and I'm honored to do his terrifying routes. Keep it going man. The reef is great. Apr 20, 2008
To Brian,
please remember that this route and many others have been put up onsight by someone who's old enough to be my dad, with a rack and a power drill on his back. I think its really sad that so called climbers today have to go online and moan about route safety. Also carrying a bolt kit obviously is nice if you have to back up a belay or replace an old bolt.
If your not in to this type of climbing, have a wife and kid, mortgage, puppys etc etc then stick to the bolt happy areas of Rifle and Shelf Rd.

To Allen,
good for you to go down there and get shit scared. There is nothing like getting the old heart going once in awhile no?. I hope you go back as it is a magical(unspoilt)place, there is not many places left that you can still say that about!.

To Ben,
keep up the good work with Lance. I hope I can get my head and fitness together to try your routes sometime. Apr 20, 2008
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
All I said was the first pitch scared the shit out me. Nothing wrong with that! Hell I enjoyed the route. I climbed at the Garden for many years and understand how one can learn and feel comfortable with the rock with time.( as Ed Webster said about the Garden the key was"speaking the language"). I remember many a fine friend from Boulder coming down to the Garden and getting scared shitless on the finger face ramp. (5.7) Ratings do become very subjective as locals become more comfortable with the area. With that said it's bedtime. Apr 20, 2008
So whats the take on adding some pro to the unprotectable cruxes? An example would be adding "one" bolt at the crux bulge 20' below the first 100' bolt? Keeping it spicy but not a death route. The main ERS page says carry a bolt kit. Is this saying that the first router gives blessing? IMO cool area with great potential if we can keep things safe. I have no problems with long runouts but would like to not take a ground fall on a 5.6 move because the rock is questionable. If a foothold broke the hands would not hold! Apr 19, 2008
It's just the way the area is and is rated. Ratings have always been completely subjective and are particular to every area and the people developing there. It is everyones personal responsibility to not be in situations they don't want to be in.
I did a First Ascent with Paul and Layne down there called Freeze Not which Paul suggested an R rating of a pitch that I led. A fall at the insecure top crux of the pitch would have resulted in a 150 foot fall onto a slab. I was pretty gripped and would have given it an X rating, but to keep it consistent with similar routes in the area we gave it an R rating. It's all subjective.
If you want better protection climbing on the Reef, you may be interested in some of the steeper routes that we have put up. They are still pretty spicy, but the protection is much more reasonable.
I understand your frustration, but don't be pissed at anybody but yourself because ultimately every individual is responsible for whatever situation they put themselves in.
Anyway, the name Runout Ridge should have been warning enough. And in the description he only mentions one bolt at 100 feet, then another 40 feet to the belay. What do you expect?
Also, I know I probably sound like a total asshole which I can be sometimes. I don't mean to be here, just merely stating that ratings are subjective and safety is a personal responsibility. Apr 18, 2008
Dylan Waller
Golden. CO
5.7+ X
Dylan Waller   Golden. CO
5.7+ X
No shit, the first pitch is an X rating all the way, not R!!!
It may be moderate climbing but the sandstone here is far from bomber.
I have to be honest, I was a little pissed after this climb. I understand that this is a run-out area and came here for some adventure but I had avoided the X rated climbs on purpose and still found myself in a situation where a broken hold(very likely in this friable sandstone) would mean a 90 foot ground fall onto rock. Apr 18, 2008
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
The first pitch scared the shit out of me! Apr 8, 2008