Avg: 3 from 3 votes
Routes in Big Rock Candy Mountain
|Type:||Trad, 700 ft, 7 pitches, Grade III|
|FA:||Glenn Schuler & Kevin McLaughlin|
|Page Views:||5,197 total, 44/month|
|Shared By:||Glenn Schuler on Feb 16, 2008|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
Description:This route was established over the course of eight days during the summer/early fall of 1991. The name comes from our encounter with lightning during our first attempt at climbing the entire route in one push. As others have mentioned, being on the upper flanks of Big Rock during a full on South Platte electrical storm can be one of the scariest things youll ever experience. Keep in mind that due to the orientation of the wall, you cant see any approaching storms until they are right on top of you.
The climb follows crack systems for most of its 700 length, finishing with a spectacular headwall pitch. Shock Treatment has a little bit of everything cracks of all sizes, a huge roof, arête moves, classic South Platte face climbing with a little loose rock and vegetation thrown in for good measure. All but two of the belays are equipped with two 3/8 bolts and overall the protection is pretty good, especially at the cruxes. Since the first half of the route parallels the steep hillside, it is possible to rappel to the ground with a single 60 meter rope from the 5th belay. In comparison to Childhoods End (the only other route Ive done on Big Rock), Id describe the climbing as more sustained without the big run outs. This is one of the wildest and hardest routes that Kevin and I have ever done together it took everything we had to complete it. The climbing is varied and interesting with some great exposure, hopefully some of you will venture up there and put those 30+ bolts to use! One last note even though there is 5.12+ climbing on the route, the crux is only about 15 long and can be easily yarded past using the fixed pins if need be. This method makes for a pretty sweet 5.11+ A1 climb.
Approach: from where summit rappels are, head down the steep hill on the NE side of the rock. Scramble down 3rd class slabs staying out away from the base of the cliff 100 feet or so (dont go down the gully right at the base of the cliff). Continue down until you find the obvious left leaning clean dihedral.
P1 Climb a short, wide crack that deposits you on a spacious ledge below the dihedral proper. 30, 5.8.
P2 This is the business, climb the left-leaning dihedral. A few hand jams give way to sustained fingers and stemming , eventually pinching down to a seam near the top. Pass 3 or 4 fixed pins through the crux of the climb and belay at the anchor on your right. 80 5.12+.
P3 - Step out left and head up the vegetated crack above. After about 20 the quality improves, continue up the gradually thinning crack until you reach the belay at a small ledge. 100, 5.10.
P4 Continue up the meandering finger crack passing a couple bolts along the way, belay above the bush. 100 5.10+.
P5 The Pterodactyl Traverse Climb straight left for about 50 across the exposed horizontal crack system. Set a couple bomber big cams here, then climb up the steep flake/arête that forms the left side of the crack above. A few exciting moves up the flake and you finally get some more gear (#1 TCU or similar). Continue left behind the giant pterodactyl head to a nice belay stance below the big roof. 100, 5.9+ PG13.
P6 Face climb past a bolt and continue up the 4 wide crack angling rightward out the big roof. After the overhang, the crack system turns into a chimney which has some loose rock in the lower section. The rock gets better the higher you go and there is pro to be found using cracks in the back & sides of the chimney. Near the top of the chimney follow an obvious left angling exit crack to a hanging belay at the base of the summit headwall. 130, 5.11+.
P7 Climb the face above past 14 bolts to the top of Big Rock. This is a sustained rope stretching pitch, one of the best I have done in the Platte. 165, 5.11+. (If you happen to top out on one of the other routes and still want more, you can lower down this pitch and give it a go on TR)
Descent: same as for Childhood's End.