Type: Trad, 450 ft (136 m), 6 pitches, Grade II
FA: D. Mabe / D. Lawrence, Aug. 2009
Page Views: 9,402 total · 64/month
Shared By: Wiled Horse on Sep 9, 2009
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

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Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures/CDOT Road Work Details

Background

A month ago, the community experienced the tragic loss of Craig Luebben. This route is a personal memorial for our friend, husband, daddy, partner, and local hero. I scoped this route several years ago, wondering how to access the overhanging stem corner at the top. During my guidebook research, I spotted some evidence of an ascent on the first pitch. Over beers one night, for some reason, Craig and I were discussing this wall. To my surprise, the ratty anchors I saw in the first hundred feet were his from a few years prior. He also had the vision of going all the way up but back-burnered the idea due to bigger and better things. Once I took an interest, however, he sparked, wanting to complete it with me, ground-up. Unfortunately we never got around to it...

This route and the style in which we established it, was inspired by Craig, and his seize-the-moment attitude… because someday may never come.... As far as the route name goes, well, I will just say that there were several special occasions we felt Craig was climbing with us on our FA. Thanks, Craig, for your help....

Getting There

Big Bro Watching (BBW) starts left and around the corner of Solid Gold, identified by a green lichened slab. Park in front of the Doghouse, west side of Tunnel 5 (though you can see the route across the creek at the creekside parking). Approach as you would for Solid Gold. Once at the base, continue with the 4th class Perverse Traverse over the water. Follow the line of least resistance and watch for loose rock. After some exposed moves, a brushy ledge ramp continues to the slabby base of the route and comfortable staging ledge with single belay bolt, or belay in the gully at the base of the bolted route at a two bolt belay.

Route Description

FA and FFA pics are here and here.

P1. (5.9-, 100'). Scramble up to the start of the unknown bolted route. Continue up and left of the first two bolts (you don’t need them, you can get in gear), to a fixed pin and move left into a blocky, left-facing corner. Climb through the corner, onto the face and then back left into the left-facing flakes. Laybacking and positive edges lead you to a bolt when the crack disappears. Classic! Mantle to a two bolt hanging belay.

P2. (5.9, 80'). Delicate face moves lead above the belay to a bolt, and up to a crack weakness in an overlap. Crank over (5.9ish) and cruise up blocky terrain (5.5-5.6) to a great belay ledge. Definitely reasonable to link P1 and P2.

P3. (5.11-, 115'). Head for a left-facing, cube-like dihedral. An awkward pull onto a ramp and bolt follows. Continue up the finger crack, steepening to a sequential crux that is well-protected. At the top of the crack, traverse over loose broken ledges past two bolts (5.6) and up to a wide crack splitting a bulge. Thuggish moves (5.10, bolt) and crumbly rock! Once over the bulge, hand traverse 30 feet left, smearing the crumbly ramp-of-sorts to an exposed hanging belay (aka the Kidney Killer). Good pro can be found for this traverse, and your follower will be grateful.

P4. (5.11, 75'). Step up and left off the belay. Surprisingly tricky, but you will soon get a bolt. (EDIT: a #3.5 Camalot can protect the starting moves). Incredible position! Continue traversing the ledge left (ignore the directional-rap-bolt above your head) to a powerful right-angling finger and thin hand crack through the bulge, (loose block out left!) (5.10+) . Two bolts protect the thin, steep face 'skidmarks' crux (5.11 slightly height-dependent) with sharp but strangely solid edges. You may have to brush off some bird poo. Continue up easier terrain to the Loft. Belay left on a comfortable ledge and love-seat.

P5. (5.10+, 50'). "The Loft". There are lot of moves packed into this little pitch. This follows an overhanging, stem corner to overhung jamming and traversing. Pro is mostly thin and somewhat tricky to place mid-pitch. Fantastic stemming movement, especially if your legs are long and/or flexible! Keep moving through the slimy hand crack in the roof (#3 cam) and pull around to the most airy belay perch in the canyon.

P6. (5.4, 25').  Top out, enjoy, and walk to Solid Gold raps.

Descent

(RECOMMENDED) top out, walk to the NE, and rap Solid Gold. Best to have previous knowledge of the SG rap location (they are right underneath a lone bonsai). Advantage of this is you don't have to reverse the perverse-traverse, but you would have had to stash your stuff at the base of SG.

For retreat or to rap the route, the rappels are a bit complex and borderline acrobatic. Pay attention or you could have an epic situation. A 70m rope is necessary.

Protection

A multi-pitch adventure mindset, a helmet, a 70m rope, and a rack up to #3 Camalot including small wires, selection of stoppers. Offset nuts and offset Aliens/MCs are helpful. All belays are from bolts except for the top.

Photos