Type: Trad, 4 pitches
FA: Alec Sharp, Andy Parkin
Page Views: 4,319 total · 34/month
Shared By: reboot on Jul 26, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


17 Opinions

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closure - 2018 Update Details

Description

4 pitch route right of South Face.

P1 & P2: Crux pitches. Traverse right over 2 bolts underneath the obvious, thin crack (optional belay). Climb the crack to the first belay of Athlete's Feat. Logical to combine as 1 pitch.

P1 variation: climb straight to the crack past 1 bolt 20ft up (a bit spicy but secure).

There's now a 2 bolt anchor where the crack ends.

P3 & P4 (I haven't done them): follow dihedral left of belay to P2 of Athlete's Feat, then move left again to easier climbing.

Protection

Small-medium stoppers, small cams to #1 Camalot and a few draws.

Photos

Adam Brink
on the road
  5.12 PG13
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.12 PG13
Hey Shuman,

Good job on sending this rig! Did you really think the 1st pitch traverse was 12a? I've climbed a lot of slab routes and that is one of the most technical bits of climbing I have ever tried. It is at least 12a/b:) Aug 11, 2008
Ted Lanzano
Boulder, CO
Ted Lanzano   Boulder, CO
Brink, I think this is the first time I've heard you say a Bo-can route is harder than the grade given... Are you ok? :) PS - I have to give you back Jess' pack, sorry for the delay. Aug 12, 2008
Adam Brink
on the road
  5.12 PG13
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.12 PG13
Hey Ted,

I think I might be getting weak and old, that's all. To do the slab and crack as one pitch with no falls took me about 5 days of work (and that's on toprope!). It's one challenging pitch. I think it is at least as hard as The Evictor. Maybe someone who has led it recently could correct me. Aug 12, 2008
Rob Kepley
Westminster,CO
 
Rob Kepley   Westminster,CO
 
I guess I can't comment on the original start since I haven't tried it. I've always used the newer direct start. I thought I finally was going to send this thing last Sunday but was denied again at the top. I was pulling that awkward exit move when I fell, ripping the gear just below my feet. When I finally hit the end of the rope I was back down at the bolt near the start! Aug 12, 2008
reboot
.
  5.12b
reboot   .
  5.12b
Adam, I've not been back on the route since you & I were there. I shameless took the grade from Rossiter's book; how am I to judge what the grade of the original traverse is if I haven't been able to do it? Still, I don't think doing the traverse would add any pump to the rest of the route. In that respect, I'd think Evictor is much harder.

This is the only climb (original traverse) I've been on where I think I'd have a better chance of making the move if I strap some weights on my ankle (to shift my weight balance).

As for BoCan grade, Rossiter called both Arms Bazaar and The Spoils @ 12a and I'd think the latter is easily 1 letter grade (if not 2) harder than the former and would be a bit sandbagged for 12a. Aug 13, 2008
Adam Brink
on the road
  5.12 PG13
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.12 PG13
Maybe it's just another case of routes feeling different to different people. I sent both Arms and Spoils in a couple days of work while Never A Dull Moment is still spanking me. Never A Dull Moment (slab linked into crack as one pitch) feels miles harder than any 12a or b trad I have done anywhere in the Front Range.

Grade discussion aside (as it is a rather silly dicussion in the first place), this is one stellar chunk of granite with beautiful movement, excellent rock and continiously difficult movement. Further proof that Alec Sharp had a master eye for finding routes. Aug 14, 2008
Hank Caylor
Glenwood Springs, CO
Hank Caylor   Glenwood Springs, CO  
A little late to the discussion, but I agree with Adam. And I'm good at slabs! I could not figure out the 1st pitch (I only tried it once) for the life of me. I really couldn't compare it to much else, just climbing on nothing with no clear sequence........I got spanked. And the whole time that bitchin' looking crack above my head was mocking me. Hangs head.

Paybacks a bitch tho! Feb 12, 2009
P1: Fingernails (literally).
P2: Onions (pre-micro days). Feb 12, 2009
Adam Brink
on the road
  5.12 PG13
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.12 PG13
Okay, I have to ask... onions? Feb 13, 2009
Cojones...you know, balls. Feb 13, 2009
ChanVan Schaack
Denver, CO
  5.12b
ChanVan Schaack   Denver, CO
  5.12b
BIG THANKS to whoever recently added the 2-bolt anchor on top of this rig. Grade, stars for direct start. Hard 12b crux at 2nd bolt, then finicky but good small & medium gear with another 12- crux about 3/4 up. Not as heads up as I expected although I definitely figured the gear out on TR first. A notch or two harder and just as awesome as its 4-star neighbors to the right. Jul 24, 2011
topher donahue
Nederland, CO
topher donahue   Nederland, CO
I didn't place the new anchor, but I was in on the discussion deciding to add it. The reason for the new anchor was to prevent the rope from running across, and leveraging when top-roping, the big, detached block which sits on the slab between the lip and the bolted anchor on Athlete's Feat. It seemed like a matter of time and freeze/thaw cycles before someone pulled it down with lethal results. Apr 28, 2012
Thanks, Topher. The decision to add these anchors was not taken lightly. The reasons Topher gives are real, and I discussed the placement plenty before deciding where to place them. When you reach the no hands stance for the anchors, the climb is over. To get to the Athlete's Feat chains is 20ft of 5.4. Apr 28, 2012
Just ran across the comments on this one and had to pipe in as it brought back memories. The slab pitch is some tedious footwork and balance, helped by fingernails on micro-edges to just stay in balance. However,I always thought the crack was harder than the slab. Although the slab could be harder now due to degradation of the micro fingernail holds. It took me multiple attempts, with Maurice Reed, Jeff Achey, and others over several different days to finally get the crack on this clean in the early '80s. Protection was tricky, and the finish was always the big stopper for me and seemed to be the real crux overall. A hard Castle Rock classic testpiece for sure! Sep 20, 2013
Adam Brink
on the road
  5.12 PG13
Adam Brink   on the road
  5.12 PG13
The first pitch slab traverse is my vote for the hardest 5.12 in the Front Range. Has it ever been on-sighted on lead? For that matter, how many people have even lead it in the last decade? Sep 2, 2015
Steve Sangdahl
eldo sprngs,co
Steve Sangdahl   eldo sprngs,co
Adam, Like Bob R. says above I always thought the crack was harder than the micro slab start, but they're 2 different animals. Haven't done the slab in like 20 yrs. Try to avoid it, but the crack is killer. Horan use to lead the slab barefoot many years ago. Also watched Roger Briggs lead the crack no problem...rope solo! Peace Sep 3, 2015
Mark Rolofson
Boulder, CO
  5.12b R
Mark Rolofson   Boulder, CO
  5.12b R
I haven't led first two pitches of this climb since 1986. I used to combine these pitches as one, using double ropes. I can understand how someone would call this 5.12b, especially since the block is gone past the crux moves of the crack. After some desperate lieback moves, a juggy wedged block was reached. The block moved but didn't pull off, because it sat a big slot that opened up in the thin crack corner. The jug / block gave you a good place to shake out before the final 10 feet of the climb. Without it, the second pitch must be harder.

I consider the second pitch to be R rated. The unprotected traverse to start the pitch is quite committing.

The rest of the pitch protects quite well, but I wouldn't consider doing it without two sets of RPs or #2-6 Black Diamond steel nuts. I also placed a #1 Friend, #2.5 Friend, & a #11 or 12 stopper. I was surprised to see Peter's gear description recommend small to medium stoppers & not tiny nuts (micro-stoppers) or RPs. I was just looking at an old gear topo I drew back in the 1980s in my personal diary.

I can also understand how someone would think the first pitch was 5.12b. The first pitch is quite hard especially if you are tall with a big chest. While hanging on fingernail edges & traversing the sloping shelf, the wall bulges a bit into my chest. This wants to push me off. Shorter climbers seem to have a bit easier time, as their arms are straighter (not chicken winged) & the bulge is more at face level. Jul 14, 2017