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Routes in Little Crag

Belladonna T,TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Cool Arete S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Cool Operator T,TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a X
Nothing To Fear T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
Short but Cute T,TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b X
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Type: Trad, TR, 50 ft
FA: Mark Rolofson, Henry Lester, John Payne, 1985
Page Views: 578 total · 5/month
Shared By: James Beissel on Apr 22, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details


Start in a thin crack then pull up and right onto the face to more difficult and tenuous face climbing on thin holds and shallow seams. Work up to a good rest, then stem and crimp to the finish. The climbing is insecure and protection is next to nothing. Leading this would be a bold headpoint.


The route is in the center of the west side of Little Crag and starts in a thin crack on the right side of a rib. Descend by rapping from the bolts or walking off to the south.


There is very little protection on this route. It may be possible to wiggle in some RPs or small cams in places, but falling would be a bad idea. There are two bolts with homemade hangers at the top. Some long slings or static rope would be handy to back these up for a toprope anchor.


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I led this climb twice in 1985. The first ascent & then months later, repeated it with Cindy Peiropan belaying me. There is actually a lot of protection, but most of it is tiny (#2 micro stoppers or RPs). The start is a very short, small right-facing corner with a #5 or #6 micro stopper, that protects the traverse right to the shallow thin seam ascending the steep slab. Marginal #2 RPs protect moves to the end of the seam.

Here is a deep, thin slot where a #2 and/or #3 micro stopper can be keyholed in. In other words, place the nut the narrow way into the slot, and turn it around to the wide profile. A few feet above, a #4 micro stopper can be placed behind a fragile tiny flake before running it out to the ledge. Double ropes were used: one rope into the keyholed placement, the other rope into the flake. A fall or lower-off will distribute your weight onto both peices of gear more equally this way. The good news is the run-out gets easier the further you climb. Above the great rest ledge, the wall is vertical, but the pro is better (still several #2 RPs and a small tricam). Very exciting but not X rated. I rated it R/X.

One other note is the line draw in Bob D'Antonio's Boulder Canyon Guide is incorrect. This route is not on the west face like the other routes. It is on the south face and was the only route on that face.

Lastly, I did not place the bolt anchor on top. I believe John Payne added these years later. Feb 2, 2015
Stephen Felker
Boulder, CO
Stephen Felker   Boulder, CO
I am very happy that this route avoided the drill. One of the better headpoint slabs in the canyon. Apr 26, 2018
The name of this route is Cool Operator, not Smooth Operator. The route name is listed correctly in both Richard Rossiter's guidebook "Rock Climbing Boulder Canyon" & Bob D'Antonio's "Boulder Canyon Rock Climbs". Jul 27, 2018
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
Mark, I corrected the name. Not sure where Smooth Operator came from. Aug 2, 2018

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