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Hard Luck and Bad Times

5.11a/b PG13, Sport, 65 ft,  Avg: 2.5 from 2 votes
FA: Allen Simons
Colorado > Estes Park Valley > Big Thompson Ca… > Beige Tube Area… > Ironing Board Slabs (…


Grip the right arete and edge up the face past 3 bolts (10+/11a) to a good stance. Start up the upper section, past 3 more bolts, crux at second bolt, (11a), but 10ish thru the entire upper section, finishing with a small roof bulge.
One could conceivably use junky holds on the right and left sides past the edges of the upper section of the rib, but that would be cheating now, wouldn't it? Seriously, I did not use them, but it would make the climb easier. As a side note, one can now climb Otherworld and Hard Luck and Bad Times, fourth class up 70 feet to the upper slab where one can climb Double O Slab or Slipstream Dihedral. From there, you can then top out on the very top of the ridge by climbing any one of multiple lines (many done a long time ago, names unknown). Short But Sweet and Short But Squeezed are two climbs up there that are listed in this guide. So, 4 rock pitches in a row, all raps done with a doubled single rope.


Park in the paved pullout 0.6 miles west of the Beige Siphon Tube on the south side of US Hwy 34. Same as for The Borg and Upper Slabs that contain Double O, Slipstream, Otherworld, etc. Hike west along the road half way back to the turn in the road, and 4th class up 30 feet. Continue up and east to the left side of the lower slabs. Access to the climb is by climbing Otherworld (5.10), or wander up loose 5.2-5.4 rock to the base of the climb. The start is 20 up and right of Otherworld.


6 bolts. 2 bolt anchor, single doubled rope rap to top of Otherworld's 2 bolt anchor, single doubled rope rap to base of climbs. Hike 60 yards down central gully to a 2 bolts in rock on east side of gully and rap 35-40 feet to side of US Highway 34.

Photos [Hide ALL Photos]

All of the upper slabs uphill from the 0.6 mile mark.  Big T Canyon.
[Hide Photo] All of the upper slabs uphill from the 0.6 mile mark. Big T Canyon.
Hard Luck and Bad Times, and the Top of Otherworld.
[Hide Photo] Hard Luck and Bad Times, and the Top of Otherworld.

Comments [Hide ALL Comments]

[Hide Comment] Amazing climb Al, and I give ya style points on how ya led it. I did use the holds on the outside edges and had a grand ole time. What do you think it would rate at with the outside holds? Anyhow, it's a great way to get up to Slipstream, another fav. Jun 22, 2009
Scott Matz
Loveland, CO
[Hide Comment] There's only a couple 11 lines in the canyon, and this is not one of them. You could make this a hard 8 if you find all the hold'. Sandbagging is fine in my book, but reverse style never heard of it. This is a fun, easy 9. Jun 23, 2009
allen simons
[Hide Comment] Eric ad Scott. This climb, unfortunately is a little contrived in the sense that the holds on the left and right are within reach. I think most people would grab them when convenient. Other than the start, I think there are two cruxes in the 11a range and if one grabs the left or right at those juncturs the rating drops to 5.9 in my opinion. If however you add the contrivance and stay true to the religion, I think is is hard and thin 11a. Al Jun 23, 2009