Type: Sport, 600 ft, 5 pitches, Grade II
FA: Rex Wolters (and others?)
Page Views: 8,546 total · 72/month
Shared By: Lee Frazer on Jun 2, 2009 with updates from DaveT
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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I first learned of this route after seeing this article climbing.com/exclusive/feat…;>>>> by Durango climber, Jared Ogden. Though he listed it as a Grade III, experienced multi pitch climbers will find it closer to Grade II. Beware of loose rock, and some infamous San Juan choss, in spots. [Warning: Unless you have experience on multi-pitch climbs, do not attempt this. Friends and I've seen several parties, with little more than a few years - or less - of single-pitch sport climbing experience, attempt this (and nearly kill themselves or others). There are much shorter multi-pitch sport climbs, out there, than this. This is alpine terrain, not an outdoor climbing gym!]

Pitch 1. 9 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains (atop the first big ledge). It's a short pitch, but with a fair bit of rope drag, as the pitch wanders a bit near the top.

Pitch 2. 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains (short pitch). With a 70 m rope, it's possible to link pitch 2 and 3 with a 70m rope (if you are short on time or feeling up for it). To do this, however, I suggest moving your belay (at the top of pitch 1) about 20-20' left of the fixed anchor (which is easy to do, as this is a big ledge).

Pitch 3. 6 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains. This too is a short pitch.

Pitch 4. This pitch moves up and left. 8 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and no chains.

Pitch 5. This pitch starts up the exposed ridge (which is good fun), and then angles right with the ridge line. 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains.

For more on the route, see Gary N's description in the comments below (from whom I drew to edit this).


It is a 30 minute hike from Eureka, the second 15 minutes of which includes an uphill hike through scree.


This is well bolted - all the way up.


Rappel the route with two 60m ropes, which will require 3 rappels to get you to the base. The second rappel begins at an independent anchor (below and climber's right of the fourth pitch anchor). Use the belay anchors for the remaining raps.

In addition, the second rappel, which ends on the big ledge at the top of the first pitch, will require you to down climb the last 3-4' (of very easy 5th class) to the ledge. Given this, two 70m ropes is more ideal.

A single 60 is not enough.
San Juans, CO
chosspector   San Juans, CO
The Eureka Pillar is the large formation just to the south of the box canyon by the old Eureka mill. Hardrock Miner starts in an alcove and climbs up and left to a ledge, then up the center of the slab to the top. Although this route is bolted, it is still an adventurous alpine climb with some loose rock.

2 ropes, draws. Aug 27, 2009
Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
S.Mckinna   Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
This route is sweet! I would say it is a grade II, from the first clip back to the ground it takes about 3 hours. But I have been up there longer. Feb 1, 2011
Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
S.Mckinna   Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
Bring as many long runners as possible instead of QDs. Jun 13, 2011
Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
S.Mckinna   Cañon City, CO
  5.7 PG13
It is the bolted line on the face. Gold Digger is to the right in the corner it looks to be trad. Jul 15, 2011
Colorado Springs
Andito   Colorado Springs
There seems to be some confusion about which route is which, but my wife and I started the bolted line after forgetting our helmets. Not advisable. The climbing was casual, but I inadvertently sent more loose rock down the line by the second bolt of the first pitch than I have in my entire climbing career. Make sure you bring a helmet for this one. If you do, it looks like a promising climb. Think of it as Silverton's zipped-up version of the third Flatiron in Boulder. Be ready for a thirty-minute approach over loose and sharp scree. Jul 24, 2011
ozman   CO / NM
Definitely 5 pitches, not 4. Bring a single 70m rope. We climbed this today with a single 60m rope and we ended up downclimbing in 3 different places. Double 60m ropes will not allow you to double rap pitches, so leave the doubles at home or you'll end up making 5 rappels anyway. A single 70m rope is the way to go. Car to car took us 3 hours. My opinion, it's a grade II climb. Great bolt job whomever drilled it. Do NOT stop at the chains on the ledge after the 4th pitch (these are rap anchors). Once you reach the ledge, skip the chains off to the right and start traversing to the left up and out to the arete. The belay anchors two naked bolts out near the arete. The fifth pitch climbs the exposed arete climber's left. Great pitch. Every pitch is better than the one before. If you're out there, clean the route the best you can; it needs traffic and cleaning. Great time in great setting. Sewn up version of a Flatiron is a great way to put it. Sep 18, 2011
Larry Earley
Los Alamos, NM
Larry Earley   Los Alamos, NM
This is a one of a kind climb. It is a near alpine bolted route. Well bolted. We only did the first three pitches due to rain. Pitch 1 had most bolts and most loose rock. Middle of pitch 2 was nice. Pitch 3 easy. Most climbing in 5.6 range. Pitch 5 did look good from a distance. A single 70m did not work for rapping down. Did some extra raps off single bolts. Great view of the new mega RV/ATV private campground in Eureka. Jul 11, 2012
Durango, co
dhunsworth   Durango, co
Can anyone give an estimate on how many draws needed? thx Aug 17, 2012
Gary N
Gary N  
Fun (sport) route in an alpine environment. My partner and I were following our friends up and let them get up a few pitches due to classic San Juan choss. We then proceeded to see if we could link pitches and we did the route in 3 pitches. Here's what we came up with:

Pitch 1 - 9 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch, but lots of rope drag on this wandering pitch. I belayed at the top of the first pitch.

Pitch 2 - 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch. My partner and I decided to link pitches 2 and 3. From the ledge at the top of the first pitch, I belayed about 30' to the left of the anchor, as it is a big ledge and this is where the second pitch starts.

Pitch 3 - 6 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains, short pitch. We were able to link pitch 2 and 3 with a 70m rope, extended slings, and we skipped 2 bolts. I would only recommend this if you are short on time or just feeling up for it.

Pitch 4 - 8 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and no chains, short pitch. Intermediate rap station with 2 bolts and chains. We linked pitches 4 and 5. See below.

Pitch 5 - 7 bolts with a 2 bolt anchor and chains. My partner and I decided to link pitches 4 and 5. Again, I was able to do this by using only extended slings, a 70m rope, and I skipped a few bolts here and there. I would only recommend this if you are short on time or just feeling up for it.

Since we climbed under our friends and they also had a 70m rope, we decided to see how few raps we could do. We simul-rapped to the ground in 3 raps. We did 2 double rope raps with our 70s tied together. This brought us to the ledge at the top of the first pitch. From here, we had to walk about 75' east (rappellers' right) to the 2 bolt anchor with chains at the top of the first pitch. From here, we did a single 70m simul-rap.

Took us just over 2.5 hours ground to ground. This route is definitely a grade II. Like it has been said before, bring only trad/alpine draws. 9 total if you don't plan on linking pitches. I used mostly 24" slings extended.

I think this just about covers everything. Climb on. Nov 9, 2012
Patrick Yarbrough
Colorado Springs, CO
Patrick Yarbrough   Colorado Springs, CO
I did this again but with an 80m rope this time. The 80m rope seemed perfect for all the rappels. Much better than carrying two 60s. Aug 1, 2014
eli poss
Durango, Co
eli poss   Durango, Co
This is rappel-able with a single 70 if you don't mind like 5ft of 4th class downclimbing on the last two raps.

Also, I would not recommend linking p4 & 5, because p5 is just so much more aesthetic that linking them may spoil the experience of p5.

P5 is definitely the best pitch, following a beautiful arete to a ridge-like feature at the top. Don't forget to enjoy the views from the top, they are killer.

Also, as much as I hate to sound like a sandbagger, this is definitely either 5.6 or 5.7 by Durango standards. I would consider it on par with "Wasted Asparagus" at the Fume Wall. Aug 12, 2015
Silverton, CO
tsciacca   Silverton, CO
Had a wee, lil' mini-epic due to weather and stuck rappel ropes today (7/12/2018). There's a magnetic locker on the top of pitch 4 and a quickdraw on the second bolt of pitch 3...REWARD AND GOOD KARMA if these find their way back to me :) I live in Silverton and will reward you in beer or beverage of your choice (or cash if that's better for you :) ).

Always a fun route, but I forgot how "fun" the raps can be :) Jul 12, 2018
Mike K
Grand Junction, CO
Mike K   Grand Junction, CO
Was disappointed and turned around after first pitch due to continuous rockfall onto my belayer. Aug 25, 2018
amerotrash H
Durango, CO
amerotrash H   Durango, CO
We attempted this route today and turned back after the second pitch. The first pitch is a choss pile. My partner fell leading the first pitch because of a broken hold and being off route. He bruised his heels, but the bolts are solid. The 4th bolt on the first pitch is not obvious. The line moves right, and the bolt is recessed. I recommend bringing several 4 foot runners, especially if you plan of linking the the 2nd and 3rd pitch.

The climb was clearly bolted on lead. I suspect the FA climbed it mixed. Leaving the 1st pitch anchors, you are on a ledge. The first bolt is properly spaced but the second one is a good runout away with obvious ledge/groundfall potential. Upon inspection when rappelling, I saw a perfect horizontal crack that would take a #0.3-.4 Camalot or equivalent right where I would have put the 2nd bolt to safely protect the moves. Based on how well-bolted the rest of the route is, it is hard to believe the FA would have intended the groundfall, other wise he should have moved the 1st bolt higher from the ledge.

I recommend bringing a small rack of small cams as supplemental gear. This would make the climb safe and really perfect for people transitioning from single pitch climbing in my opinion. My friends say it gets better the higher you go.

Gary N.'s beta about skipping bolts is definitely throwing it out there, with potential for 40+ foot whippers on ledgy, chossy terrain. I believe with a few supplemental small cams and some long runners the rest of the beta is good. Twin 70s will get you wherever you wanna go and back if you have 'em.

With some traffic, this route will get better, and the bolts are all solid, just kind of meandering and spread out. The approach is a scree field, so wear good shoes/boots. I did it in Chacos, and it sucked. The climb fits with the ice climbs around the area. Sep 9, 2018