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Routes in Milton Boulder

Donna V5 6C
Milton V4 6B
Never Say Never V10 7C+
Smeary Thing V7 7A+
Undercling Problem V3 6A
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Type: Boulder, 15 ft
FA: Steve Mammen
Page Views: 3,365 total · 33/month
Shared By: Lubar on Mar 21, 2010
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description [Suggest Change]

This climbs the blank scoop on the far right of the Milton Boulder. Ascend small holds with awkward positions.

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Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
I recall that someone tall did an alternative ascent with a leap, foot on the wall, and slap to the top. Was it another Bob? Mar 22, 2010
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
^That was Jim Ratzlaph's ascent Leo. To say that Jim's circus trick send was the FA of Never Say Never is a misnomer at best. Never Say Never begins statically from the ground and I was always under the impression that Steve Mammen did the FA, although BH seems to think he did, as documented in Best of Boulder Bouldering.

FWIW, a handful of other people have repeated NSN, including a 2009 ascent by Dave Graham who called it V11. Grades schmades. Mar 22, 2010
Thanks for clarifying the FA info. I will change that. Mar 23, 2010
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
No worries, Matt. The history for much of the quality bouldering in and around Eldorado State Park is a sordid mess at best. Nobody - AND I MEAN NOBODY - has all the problem names and FA info adequately documented for a grade A guidebook to the area.

It is a project, however, that someone should get started on. Mar 23, 2010
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Chip, Sharp End is compiling the new Front Range Guide which has a lot of the new problems. However, I don't know about the history part. Mar 24, 2010
bhoran Horan
Boulder, CO
bhoran Horan   Boulder, CO
Never Say Never was worked at the same time by Steve and I. We intially tried it as a dynamic, hop to the out left layaway, we were at that time unsuccessful with holding the move, but would push on each other's back allowing each of us to stabilize on the face and then complete the rest. A week or so later Steve sent it with the hop start, an awkward move but impressive. That was considered the 1st ascent, and the way Steve described how he did it. A week later I was able to statically do the move from the ground, a new and somewhat more strenuous approach. I would use an inverted mantle push with my right hand after latching the layaway. It would kind of tweak your shoulder if you did it to many times. I repeated it many times and found that it was way easier to do in cool temps.

The Milton Hop was a run jump problem done on the Milton Boulder problem by myself in 1980, Jimmy had not moved here yet, his run jump problem ran up the Never Say Never face, equivalent to a slam dunk on a standard basketball hoop. I was unable to slam dunk the Never Say Never face although I had tried many times, very height dependent and rather challenging for someone under a certain height.

Chip, when did you move to Boulder and how long have you been climbing in the Boulder Area? Apr 7, 2010
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
@BH ... It was not my intent to suggest you did not do NSN and very close in time to Steve's ascent. Are you saying that Steve's ascent was via a hop from the ground or a dynamic move after establishing on the face? If the former, you may have arguably done the first move in better style (defined by today's not 1980's standards). If the latter, then I really don't view your ascent as anything more than a repeat of Steve Mammen's NSN.

I'm still a newbie Bob, having moved here in 1999. Although I've spent a lot of days in and around Eldo, I'm definitely not suggesting I'm an expert on Eldo Bouldering ... quite the contrary. I was merely suggesting that the history of Eldorado bouldering is a bit of a mess, particularly the stuff that is a long hike from the car. Yes, I have your Best of Boulder Bouldering book and it covers some of the boulders in and around Eldo quite well, although as you know there are hundreds more problems in, behind and around Eldorado Canyon State Park that are not currently covered in any guide and rarely with FA info.

Merely speaking for myself, I like details, including names and dates, which requires a lot of work and keeping in touch with developers who are actively hiking around and pulling down lines, some of which are new and some of which are not. I can think of one nice line pretty far back that no less than three people have claimed the first ascent of in the last few years. I'm not blaming anyone for the discrepancy and in the end, I suppose FA info in a guidebook is irrelevant to the enjoyment of an area. However, it does serve as a historical insight into the progress of the development of an area going forward AND facilitate a better appreciation for those who went before us.

Peace. Apr 8, 2010
bhoran Horan
Boulder, CO
bhoran Horan   Boulder, CO
@Chip, Steve's way was to run at the face and hop onto it by using the dynamic motion to latch and stabilize onto it. My way was to start at the base and statically mantle and pull myself onto the face, (the crux move without a doubt) much more difficult than the hop onto, which I was also able to do just after hearing of Steve's ascent. The static way was unrepeated for many years. How many people have actually repeated NSN, via my static move from the ground, or done the problem at all, just curious? You also maybe interested in another problem of mine on the River Block, around the corner from Eastern Priest, The Kiss of Life, V12?hb,(1985), I originally sent it as a traditional lead, from a cheat block start, at 5.12c/d, belayed by Rolofson, Later I removed the cheat block and bouldered it out, several grades harder without the cheat stones, and unrepeated to this day? It's a serious hb boulder problem now, not the greatest landing, but then neither is Germ Free. I mention this because I see you have started to seek some historical Eldo reference points and for all the problems new and old they have some interesting historical origins deep rooted in their final ascents. The essence of bouldering is in the moment, after the fact is a whole other dimension.
Boulder On! See video below! Apr 23, 2010
Chip Phillips
Broomfield, CO
Chip Phillips   Broomfield, CO
Nice video! ... and thanks for providing some clarification about both Steve and your ascents. Apr 24, 2010
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
That is a good video. Nice work, Bob! Apr 24, 2010
Caitlin Mammen
Boulder/ Greeley CO
Caitlin Mammen   Boulder/ Greeley CO
I am a little confused why the first ascent of this is even being questioned. Again. Well, all due respect, nothing I've read here about someone other than Steve Mammen doing this first (and there is only ONE first ascent after all) is congruent with anything I've read or heard from anyone (the exception being Best of Boulder Bouldering, of course, by Bob Horan himself). Because this was first done back in the stone age, and there weren't iPhones or YouTube back then, there is no footage of the FA I am supporting. I feel ridiculous posting "evidence" of my claim on here, but here are a couple links to make up for any lack of credentials I may not have for NOT being Steve Mammen himself.

Climb Talk Radio
Front Range Bouldering Jul 8, 2010
Fort Collins
Dusty   Fort Collins
Taken from the frontrangebouldering link:

"The first move was different than any move I had ever done. I would dyno off the ground to an upside down gaston for the left hand and dyno my left foot to a tiny foot hold as thin as a nickel, all in one move. After about a month of working the first move I was sticking it enough to begin linking it with the upper moves and maybe a week later did the problem. It is a great feeling doing something you have put so much effort into, especially a first ascent that required so much figuring out. I think it is the best of bouldering." - Steve Mammen

This seems consistent with what Bob is saying. It appears Steve did the first ascent of the dynamic start, Bob did the first ascent of the static start. Apr 22, 2011
Bob, I am very interested in "The Kiss of Life" boulder problem. Can you provide a more clear description of where it starts, on which holds, and the line it takes? That is a big, amazing boulder, and I've checked into a couple possibilities on it - I'd be really keen to try this line you mentioned above. Feb 15, 2012
bhoran Horan
Boulder, CO
bhoran Horan   Boulder, CO
The static version of Never Say Never, V12/13.

Never Say Never from bob horan on Vimeo. Mar 14, 2014

More About Never Say Never