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Ship of Fools

5.10a, Trad, 90 ft (27 m),  Avg: 2.4 from 28 votes
FA: Richard Rossiter and Pebby Johns, July 2006
Colorado > Boulder > Boulder Canyon > Avalon > Third Tier > Crack Land
Access Issue: Seasonal Closure / 2020 Update Details

Description

The 3 crack climbs, Ghost Ship, Ship of Fools, & Mystery Tour (aka Crack Land Dihedral) begin from a common system and branch to individual lines after the first 25 feet. Begin about 10 feet left of Mystery Ship and follow vague, blocky terrain to where the lines diverge (5.6, gear to 1 inch, 25 feet). All 3 lines top out at the belay tree for Dragon Slayer. Lower off or rappel 90 feet from slings with rings. Extensive cleaning and trail work have been done to provide access to these excellent crack climbs.

These routes are located on the NW corner of the Third Tier of Avalon, just left of Mystery Ship. This is actually the far right side of the NE Face, perhaps 100 feet right of Ancient Light.

Ship of Fools: Climb a right-facing corner to a small roof, pull right and jam a perfect hand crack to where it narrows. Continue up difficult terrain to a horizontal break. Step right and climb a flared crack to the alcove at the top of Mystery Tour. Climb a short crack on the left wall and gain a good ledge and the belay tree for Dragon Slayer.

Location

This is the middle of the three cracks in the Crack Land Dihedral. Begin 10 feet left of Mystery Ship.

Protection

Nuts and cams from 0.5 inches to 3.5 inches. Lower off or rappel 90 feet from slings with rings around a tree.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

Crack Land as viewed from the trail that runs along beneath the Northeast Face, Third Tier of Avalon.
[Hide Photo] Crack Land as viewed from the trail that runs along beneath the Northeast Face, Third Tier of Avalon.
RR committing to the hand crack.
[Hide Photo] RR committing to the hand crack.
Ship of Fools, the actual first lead.<br>
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These cracks were initially so dirt-filled and grown over, it was necessary to carry a broom for the first ascent AFTER they had been cleaned extensively.<br>
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Photo by Pebby Johns
[Hide Photo] Ship of Fools, the actual first lead. These cracks were initially so dirt-filled and grown over, it was necessary to carry a broom for the first ascent AFTER they had been cleaned extensively.…
Richard Rossiter on the FA of Ship of Fools.  Photo by Pebby Johns
[Hide Photo] Richard Rossiter on the FA of Ship of Fools. Photo by Pebby Johns

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Nice hand crack and great work on the trail from here to Crack Love. Jul 17, 2006
claytown
Boulder, CO
 
[Hide Comment] Ship of Fools is a fun climb with solid gear. It's one of the cleaner routes up in crack land and should not be missed. Ends up being about 90 feet to the tree. Rap off of two slings with two rap rings. Someone could do a service and replace the slings. I would have but I just used my last ones yesterday. SR to #2 Camalot. Maybe a #3. Aug 19, 2007
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
  5.10a
[Hide Comment] I think the route is more like 80' or maybe less. I'm pretty sure a 50m would reach all, but I didn't try, because I don't own a 50m (short ropes are not sexy). Anyway, pretty good climbing, but watch the black right before the overlap in the handcrack- there is fresh breakage in the area and a good dictionary-sized chunk looks and sounds ready to go next.
Also, the uppser section where it goes right might not be best for a tentative leader at this grade. There are a few, but not a lot of gear options. Jun 19, 2008
GabeO
New Haven, CT
[Hide Comment] Regarding the "good dictionary sized chunk" - it was hanging on by a thread and we trundled it. The whole block just left of the number "2" in this photo is now gone: mountainproject.com/v/color… Jul 18, 2010
[Hide Comment] Climbed Sept. 2012. It was pretty clean. The gear is great and easy to place and the climbing is fun. As usual, I just wish the hand crack was longer. Sep 23, 2012