Type: Sport, 280 ft (85 m), 3 pitches
FA: Bernard Gillett and Mark Ronca, 2009
Page Views: 5,199 total · 29/month
Shared By: Orphaned User on Mar 22, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Description Suggest change

This ascends the extreme right edge of the buttress that is immediately left of the main formation of Mary's Bust. It is across the gully from Violet Blue (west face of Mary's Bust), and to the right of Sparky's Cooler.

It chases the extruded rib of rock (the backbone) that forms the right arete of the wall. The name is inspired by Devil's Backbone Open Space, a prominent landmark in the west Loveland below Big Thompson Canyon.

Approach Mary's Bust (a short trail leads to the middle of that wall), turn left at the base, and then turn right around a corner, passing Proud Mary, Mary's Tricks, and Violet Blue. Scramble up the left side of the gully for 100 feet, and then scramble up 20 feet of 4th Class to a ledge at the base of this arete. This ledge is above a 60-foot wall and goes left another 50 feet.

Pitch 1: climb on big holds through an scary bulge (3 bolts, 9+), and sling a horn. Follow a groove just left of the backbone (3 bolts) to a shelf, and then dance up a slab (3 bolts, 11-) to another ledge. Move right around the arete for the final 3 bolts (steep buckets), and pull onto a ledge. Clip the first bolt of the next lead for a directional, and then go down and left to belay at chains, 12 bolts, 5.11a, 100 feet.

Pitch 2: climb delicately on a slab around the left edge of an overhang, avoiding hollow flakes right. Traverse right at the 3rd bolt to the arete, clip the 4th, and then go up the right side of the arete (the bolts on the left). As you near the roof overhead, move over to the left side of the arete (crux), and then surmount the roof to the right on jugs. Beware of a block on a ledge just beneath the roof. It is risk for cars below, but it's easily avoided  Once above the roof, sling a horn, and prance up and left to a ledge to belay at chain, 12 bolts, 11-, 90 feet.

Pitch 3: slab up right, and surmount a steep headwall with knobs (crux). The 5th clip is tricky, and you have to punch it through the crux to get to the 6th. Belay at chains, 7 bolts, 5.11, 60 feet. You can add 25 more feet (6, bolt) to chains at the top of the wall.

Location Suggest change

It follows the right edge of the buttress immediately left of the main Mary's Bust cliff. It's the arete bordering the left side of the west face gully.

Descent: rap with a 60m rope (85-90 feet or 60 feet from the crux headwall; 90-95 feet; and 95-100 feet). Knot your ends!

Protection Suggest change

15 quickdraws; a longer, skinny sling for horns; and lockers for the belays.