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Routes in Velcro Wall

Acid Crack T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Bolted Route S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tour de Platte T 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13
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Type: Trad, 100 ft
FA: Ken Trout & Kevin
Page Views: 5,592 total · 49/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Jun 29, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route


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Description

Sheep Rock.

Maybe this is as close to a Half Dome as we can get in the Denver area. Now that the fire damage is fading a bit, Acid Crack is again an outstanding climb for novices who like to hike in rough terrain. A rappel is normally done to descend.

Mark Roth climbing. Photo by Mountain Project contributor, Jay Eggleston.

HISTORY

Colorado Mountain Club climbers where bagging hard summits at Chair Rocks in the 1950s. I used to think Sheep Rock was probably climbed back then, because Kevin and I found a single angle piton rap at the top of the crack. Later, at the old CMC library on Alameda, I found a Trail and Timberline account of the clubs preference to climb the low angle southwest slabs and then rappel off the summit via Acid Crack.

Kevin and I didn't rappel, because we simul-soloed the crack ropeless. Kevin was a Keanu Reeves look-alike; a surfer dude from Cali who showed up ready to learn climbing in 1973. When I told him we could walk off the back, he believed me. Oops! After dropping and climbing, we came on to the realization that there was no walk down the back. So I down-soloed under Kevin with the idea that if he slipped I'd spot him off the excellent finger locks.

We didn't know that Colorado Springs climbers had been calling the area "Acid Rock". It would be no surprise to find out that Earl Wiggins or any number of guys from the Springs did this route earlier and under similar conditions.

Photos

slim

  5.5
slim    
  5.5
This is a terrific crack at the grade (5.1, yikes, I think I called it 5.5 or so in my notes). Linking up Fractured Fairytales to Acid Crack to the summit of the Helen's Dome massif is the ultimate date climb with somebody who is just beginning to climb. Jun 30, 2009
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.5
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.5
Your "HalfDome" comparison/description sounds like the CMC route, Ken? Maybe already posted as South Ramp!? and Jun 30, 2009
slim

  5.5
slim    
  5.5
Finger crack sounds right though. Man, what a nice little finger crack for the grade. Jun 30, 2009
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
  5.5
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
  5.5
Little more description of this little gem.

Probably most insecure move is the first 8 feet starting off the ground. After that, solid jams in diagonalling splitter crack. Takes larger stoppers. A few hand sized cams work higher too. At some point, you step right and switch cracks, and follow this until you pass a quarter-inch bolt, signaling your rope is about out, the crack dies out and you belay with finger size pieces OR sneak right to a two bolt anchor of the bolted route. From this point, you can walk up the summit slab.

I think of this route as kind of a low-angled Charley Don't Surf. Jun 30, 2009
slim

  5.5
slim    
  5.5
That's funny, I was going to say that if this route was steeper it would be like Charlie Don't Surf. Jun 30, 2009
Jeremy Hakes
Golden, Colorado
  5.5
Jeremy Hakes   Golden, Colorado
  5.5
You can keep running this crack up a full rope length. It doesn't get you to the top, though. We set up an intermediate belay 190' up, then my 2nd belayed me from the rap anchors on top of the Bolted Route. Takes all sorts of gear - nuts to #2.5 cams and tri-cams. Great stuff. Apr 18, 2011
Mark Roth
Boulder
  5.5
Mark Roth   Boulder
  5.5
I would say 5.3 except for one tricky slab move after the crack ends (maybe a 5.5 move).

It's easy at the bottom until you reach the crack. Then it gets easier. When the first crack ends, step left to another. The crux comes after the 2nd crack ends. I stepped left again to a big flake then up right to the crack that leads to the summit... super fun.

We simul-climbed all the way to the top. But I think it would be easier (and safer) to belay when you run out of rope. And then either walk up unroped or do it as a 2nd pitch. Jul 1, 2011
Tombo
Boulder
  5.4
Tombo   Boulder
  5.4
You'll need a 70mm to descend. Jun 2, 2014
Ken Trout
Golden, CO
  5.5
Ken Trout   Golden, CO
  5.5
I fixed the grade to 5.5. Also, several photos have been embedded in the text so that they are more prominent for phone use in remote places. Thank you all for the comments and photos posted! Dec 9, 2015
Mike Piwowarczyk
  5.5 PG13
Mike Piwowarczyk  
  5.5 PG13
The climb itself is a classic! The approach is terrible and confusing if you don't climb Acid Rock. With a 70m, you can make it to a two bolt anchor of the bolted route (5.7?) but seriously with only a few feet left of rope. The communication was non-existent with my belayer after 40m or so. I wish I had some more #1s with me. From the anchor, it is a class 3/4 to the summit. We rapped down the bolted route (2 raps), but!!!!! from the 1st rap (70m rope) the knots ended up being about 3 feet above the anchor - just be ready for that. A South Platte must do! Not difficult but spectacular! Nov 9, 2016

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