Type: Trad, 40 ft
FA: Scott Blunk
Page Views: 1,778 total · 15/month
Shared By: slim on Jul 14, 2009
Admins: Mike Snyder, Jake Dickerson, Taylor Spiegelberg, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Aeon Aki

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Access Issue: Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 Details


This route is about 100 feet left of 'Spectreman'. There are 2 steep finger cracks here. 'The Rookie, 12a' is on the right, 'Barney' is on the left (immediately to the right of the overhanging blocky/dikey sport route 'Mystery Blocks aka Country Swing'.


This is your typical ultrabrutal Scott Blunk route (whatever happend to this guy anyway?). This route is right up there with 'big pink' on the Vedauwoo can-you-say-the-grade-with-a-straight-face meter.

Just right of the route Country Western Swing aka Mystery Blocks is a shallow, hanging corner/seam, that heads up to a really nice finger crack flake sort of thing. There are 2 ways to start:

A) start directly up the corner. At first glance it looks like the protection will be terrible, but you can get a couple really good nuts in. At first, you will be worried about them plugging up your fingerlocks, but rest assured, there is no way in hell you are going to get your fingers in there. Desperately try like hell to finagle your way up to the shallow flared jam or:

B) start up Mystery Blocks and clip the first bolt on that route. Then perform a balancy traverse to the right to get to the shallow flared jam. The bolt will barely keep you from cratering and braking your ankles, but falling is still not really advised here.

Great, so now we get to the good stuff. Launch up into the finger crack above. there are some great jams, but the crack is very overhanging, leaning, and it is hard to incorporate the feet into the gig. PHYSICAL!


Small wires for start, a couple off-fingers to thin hands, several finger sized cams (#0.3 and 0.4 Camalots work well).


- No Photos -

After doing this route, I looked through my notes over the last 10 years. Out of 437 pitches of 11c, this was by far the hardest, IMHO. Can't wait to hear other folks' impressions or beta for this thing. Jul 14, 2009
I believe that option A is the original line, but I'm not totally certain on that. This always struck me as a sandbag that favored the tall and thus extra sandbagged if you don't have a huge wingspan. It might also just be a sandbag period. As a result that boulder problem at the bottom never justified the amount of work required to enjoy that brief splitter above, but maybe I am wrong about that. Good work Slim, I have never heard of anyone else wanting this one bad enough to go do it. Everyone I know (including myself) tried it when they were climbing in this grade range and were so demoralized by the opening moves that they never took it on as a realistic goal, and never bothered going back for it when they were climbing strong enough to actually do it. Some people just blow it off as a Scott Blunk sandbag that he put up for other tall people like himself to enjoy. Others just figure the protection options for the start suck.

I personally find it interesting that some climbs get away with being sandbags and others don't. Big Pink for example: everyone knows it is a sandbag, yet that doesn't discourage anyone from trying it. In this case, however, I think it's sandbagged nature has led it to be unpopular because it is a very nice line. Everyone wants to do it until they find out about the start... Jul 14, 2009
Slim, Blunk is still down here in the Fort practicing acupuncture, as he's done for years.

He still boulders very well, and can sometimes be seen lurking through the many boulders at the voo, poudre, carter, etc. (Although he is often mistaken as a sasquatch.)

Ed... oh.. btw, now I'm going to check this rig out. Jul 16, 2009
Nathan Maxon
Nathan Maxon   Wyoming
One certainly appreciates Mr. Blunk's ape index when attempting cross of iron, but this thing is definitely not dependent upon having a huge wingspan. A hard sporty opening move yes, but unlikely any harder unless you are really short...say under 5 feet. I saw a relatively short person (5'1") fire the opening moves on this thing, but she barely reached the hold. Jul 21, 2009

Nate, are you talking about the hold up and to the left that is really chalked up? When I would try to get up and left to it, it felt like a 200 mph wind was trying to blow me over backwards. I would get instantly throttled by gravity.

Thanks for the info! Jul 22, 2009
Cedar Wright  
I'm pretty sure this is 11c, but we're going to have to down rate Spectreman to 5.10a if this is the standard.... Regardless...this is definitely a classic and exiting line with unprotected and gymnastic "5.11" bouldering for the first fifteen feet followed by overhanging, "5.11", tips lockoff moves and then some power laybacking that might actually be 5.11. One of the most rewarding pitches of 5.11c I have ever done, and certainly the hardest.... I was REAL psyched to lead this thing clean! Jul 30, 2012
Golden, CO
Monty   Golden, CO  
Powerful, sporty, and awesome!
It sounds silly, but a 0.75, 5ft off the ground in the horizontal helps a lot in protecting the start. It keeps your nuts from zippering and your belayer from flying up. Aug 20, 2012
Moritz B.
Moritz B.  
There is currently a fixed nut to protect the start.
We TRed the line and had a blast bouldering the start. Cool moves on small edges. Would be a rowdy lead! Oct 12, 2015