Type: Boulder
FA: Hanson, Sills, late '80s
Page Views: 5,260 total · 39/month
Shared By: Andy Librande on Nov 17, 2007
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details


Located on the seclusive Nine Lives Boulder, the arete offers a great problem in an awesome location.

Beta: left hand in a tiny pocket with a drop-knee starts the problem. Move through sharp pockets to a large left-hand pinch. Put-up a high right heel-hook, and then reach for a decent slot (heel-hook is key for the static move, otherwise just launching to the slot is a ton of fun). Reach-up past the sidepull to a crimp, find feet, and throw to the back of the bulge to find something to hold onto; work your toes-up and pull the mantle. Now you have another 20 feet of easy and exciting slab climbing.


To find this boulder, ignore the directions in the Colorado Bouldering guidebook. The approach is actually decent (compared to a lot of the other bouldering in The Wood).

Park in the “West Trailhead” parking lot at the North Entrance (the one just south of the port-o-potty area), and take the trail that heads towards the river/mud-cliffs. This trail goes through some switchbacks, and right after that, you come to a fork in the road. Take the path on your right (heading south) for only 15-20 feet, and you will notice a ravine heading towards the river. Follow this ravine down to the river, and be mindful of the path you take as the erosion in this area is high. On the otherside of the river, there is a fallen pine tree (still alive) that is where you will climb out of the riverbed at onto flat ground. Crossing the River/Stream should be easy and head towards the tree once you cross the stream. 50 yards past the tree/rim of the river, the Nine Lives Boulder sits in all of its glory. Of course, you can always take the bushwhacking route and start at the Falls Area river crossing and head north for a while staying near the cliffs.


The landing is flat; however, the crux is high. Several pads are useful and a spotter helps once you get to the crux area.


Geoff Elson
Geoff Elson  
This is a stunning problem with fun movement but nowhere near V5. I cringe at my own grade squabbling, but compared to V5s in the rest of the Front Range, it is considerably easier. As the submitter stated above, be very mindful of erosion and human impact while finding this boulder, it is a gem but really hard to locate. It might be best to have someone who has been to the problem before show you the way to minimize the disturbance. Jan 12, 2009
Andy Librande
Denver, CO
Andy Librande   Denver, CO
The original rating in Colorado Bouldering had it at V5 which is what I inputted for the problem here. However it appears that it is more in the V3/4 range from everyone I have ever been with, and I think the original rating may be related to not knowing about some of the hidden beta on the climb.

There is also another real nice variation to the climb that starts the same, but instead of going to the slot with your right hand, there is a hidden right sidepull just below the slot. You then go to the slot with your left hand and rock around to the right-side of the boulder. Oct 4, 2009
As soon as you unlock the crux and figure out how many hidden holds there are, you'll agree with the other reviewers that this should be a 4 - until then enjoy the problem solving. Sharp but sweet movement!! Sep 9, 2011
Austin Cooner  
Really good directions. I felt the crux was V5ish (for me).

Edit. Coming back with the right beta and getting on it fresh, it's definitely a 4. Oct 21, 2012
Jack Sparrow
denver, co
Jack Sparrow   denver, co
This is a cool problem. I don't boulder much, so the grade felt like the crux of a 12b or c which would put it around V4 or 5. May 28, 2013
Brett S.
Brett S.   Colorado
Really cool problem. Every move is fun, several different ways to get to the top. Feels like a classic V4. Pretty tough to find, it's just above the creek on the east side tucked in taller pines, not the scrub oak. Jun 20, 2015