Type: Trad, 150 ft, 2 pitches
FA: FFA: Ross Swanson, George Bracksieck, FA: 5.9 A3, Steve Johnson, George Bracksieck, 1979-80
Page Views: 566 total · 7/month
Shared By: Ross Swanson on Sep 23, 2012
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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From the pulloff, cross the wooden bridge and go up the talus slope to base of low angle, gray rock. Do an approach pitch to the center of formation below the overhang.

P1. Climb up and around the overhang on left side to corner, continue up this to a second corner, then traverse 30' right, just past crack with guano. Set the belay at an inset.

P2. Climb up right side of the inset (fixed RP) at its top, stem left and go up a series of small ledges. At second ledge, place gray Alien in a horizontal crack on your LEFT. Near the top, lasso a horn for the exit move.


While driving south on CO 72 and a couple tenths of a mile before Piz Badille is a rock formation across the river at a pullout with a wooden bridge. The rock sits above on a talus slope, the bottom of the formation is low angle, gray rock.


SR with RPs or HBs, a gray Alien was used midway on P2, an ~25cm sling to lasso a horn on P2's exit move.


In 1979 or '80, I led Steve Johnson (a geologist living in Golden at the time) up this route, using some aid, — except that, on the second steep pitch, we climbed the right-leaning crack that is now filled with guano.

Yesterday, I suggested this climb to Ross, thinking we could try a free ascent. The approach pitch wanders up an ugly apron draped below the steep upper face. The first steep pitch begins under a roof that turns left into a short, left-leaning, left-facing dihedral. From the top of this dihedral, move up and right, passing the base of the guano glacier. Set up a belay to its right, on a sloping ledge beneath a wide, flaring stem box that has a seam in each corner.

Ross's variation, just to the right of said guano glacier, looked improbable to climb and to protect sufficiently, and I'm amazed that he led it. From his position in the photo, he stemmed higher, then reached WAY left to an invisible hold and went flying when it broke. That welded his wired stopper, which is still there. On his second try, he completed the moves left to the crack, above its guano glacier. Bear in mind that Ross is 6' 3" and has LONG legs. That's why he rates this 5.10. Attempting to follow, I barn-doored and Tarzaned left, from my widest possible stem, into the crack above the guano.

The climb is festooned with guano and infested with lichen, but the variety of athletic moves makes it interesting. Sep 24, 2012
My journal entry of Aug. 10, 1980, focused on the day's climb of the "north face of the Batshit Wall, just east of the summit of the Piz Badille." "Batshit" was not only descriptive, it was a fun way to butcher my surname. I rated the difficulty 5.9 A3, partly for my aiding off of a Leeper pin driven only 3/8" such that its eye was wedged against another bend in the rock.

While Steve and I spent 2 1/2 hours climbing to the top (without dislodging rocks!) and scrambling down the west side, my 1 1/2-year-old daughter and two other tiny kids were juggled by their mothers. Juggling the kids (and moms) up and down the approach's 3rd-class slab, without injury or death, was the crux of the day. Sep 25, 2012
Ross Swanson
Pinewood Springs
Ross Swanson   Pinewood Springs
Hi George,
Not 6'3" just a skinny 6'. Sep 25, 2012
Thanks for the correction. I was impressed and grateful for your amazing lead. I must remind myself that, although I was once 5' 11", I am now barely 5' 8" and have had seven shoulder surgeries. Excuses keep me competitive. Sep 27, 2012