Type: Trad, Mixed, Ice, 400 ft, 3 pitches, Grade IV
FA: Jesse Huey and Ryan Vachon
Page Views: 2,167 total · 43/month
Shared By: Jesse Huey on Jan 13, 2015
Admins: Edward Medina, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

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Access Issue: Yield to mining vehicle traffic Details


An artifice or expedient used to evade a rule, escape a consequence, hide something, etc.

This is an awesome, new, mixed addition gaining the ice to the right side of the super classic Talisman.

Pitch 1: start with the first pitch of the Talisman proper, then move right across the ledge system 50 feet to the right of the start to the Talisman's 2nd pitch.

Pitch 2: look for a thin seem and a single bolt leading to a hanging corner (gear) and a overhang. At the corner, move left below the roof to a blind bolt just left of the corner around the arete. Climb overhanging rock protected by 2 more bolts with increasing difficulty to thin ice and a small stance. It is possible to continue on up the steep ice, but this stance was used by the first ascentionists (belay off ice screws). M7. ;)

Pitch 3: climb steep ice to the top of the Talisman, and belay off a tree or screw anchors. WI6.

Rack: a single set to # 3 with nuts. (The anchor for the belay at the start of the mixed pitch: large Pecker, #3, & #0.75 in choss)

Rappel the Talisman.


Were those bolts placed on lead? Also, have you consulted the locals about placing those bolts? People get touchy about bolts on that side of the canyon. Jan 14, 2015
Land of Snow & Ice
Iceman   Land of Snow & Ice
I am also curious about the style of this ascent. Rumor has it, it was bolted on rappel and worked on top rope. Of course, I would like to hear from the FA team before jumping to conclusions based on the rumor mill.
My personal opinion is that there should not be bolts on the Talisman area. This area is known for bolt-free ascents with no fixed gear. I believe the saying "no bolts, all balls" was coined in this area. If this was an independent line, I could maybe see the merit in adding bolts to create or link ice together to make for a nice route, BUT there already exists a natural line that goes without fixed gear in the best style possible. The Talisman is one of the most classic lines in Colorado, and with a great history, it would be a shame to change that tradition. I could see this starting a precedent for anybody who sees a potential line or variation to go out and add bolts just so that they can claim an FA.
There is plenty of FA potential on the other side of the creek, where the ethics of bolting is accepted and welcomed.
Remove the bolts and clean up your mess, and return the Talisman to a bolt-free zone.
Thanks. Jan 18, 2015
Jack Cramer
Mammoth Lakes, CA
Jack Cramer   Mammoth Lakes, CA
I climbed the Talisman before these guys on 1/11. We began rappelling in early afternoon and watched as they inspected this new variation on the right of the ledge at the top of pitch 1. We were then impressed to watch them link the standard Talisman 2nd and 3rd pitches together to the top at a high rate of speed. They were hauling a small pack.

These circumstances lead me to suspect that they bolted the new variation on rappel. This would be greatly disappointing and undermine the established ethics on the "dark side" of Campbird Road. Two climbers of such significant ability should know better. Jan 18, 2015
Madaleine Sorkin
Boulder, Colorado
Madaleine Sorkin   Boulder, Colorado

4 bolts in 125 feet suggests an adventurous route and hopefully a great contribution to the area. Jan 19, 2015
Ouray, CO
Highlander   Ouray, CO
I edited my comment, since others above have stated the ethics and history of the area in question. I have no dog in this hunt and personally don't care, just wondering is sport climbing tactics appropriate for this side of the canyon. Is it ok to rap bolt routes on the "Dark Side"? or is it only ok for certain people to rap bolt routes? Jan 19, 2015
Boulder, CO
MauryB   Boulder, CO
Well, Highlander, are you referring to the new 11c bolted variation to the first pitch of the Edge, or the 13b bolted variation to the final two pitches? Regardless, pretty sure we're all ok with both.

To clarify: the route was bolted on rappel and climbed on lead. Any other approach would have dictated an X-rated, onsight free solo. Thus it was done in the best style possible, short of this effort the route would not exist. It is a completely independent line on the opposite side of the feature from the Talisman 2nd and 3rd pitches.

Plenty of 'locals' have expressed their gratitude for the addition. However, if some lonely crusty out there deigns himself the reproachless vanguard of local ethics and style then by all means go chop the bolts. The first ascensionists have already had the joy of climbing it, you will only be robbing the rest of us the opportunity and proving your dubious character. Jan 28, 2015
Eric Wright
Telluride CO.
Eric Wright   Telluride CO.
So, gentlemen, let us be clear. This is a one pitch variation to a three pitch, 15? year old, mega classic, The Talisman! A route that has been inspiring and terrifying mixed climbers longer than many folks reading this have been climbing. This one pitch variation (which you have claimed as a three pitch first ascent) is the first contribution to be established on the dark side with top rope/rappel pre-inspection, then of course bolted on rappel, perhaps even top roped into submission then finally led. This is the first pitch ever established this way on the dark side of the Camp Bird Road.

We can't call it a new route as it shares the first pitch of the Talisman and the last pitch of the Talisman. As it stands now, it is the Subtrefuge variation. Just as we have the Demon variation to the left put up by Jay Smith. We know it's a variation because two party's meeting at the base will now have to compete for the privilege of going first. If the first party continues up your new variation then they will drop ice, rock, snow and gear on the party on the Talisman. Any party climbing the Talisman first pitch and most of third pitch is under threat of bombarment from a party climbing this new variation, and of course both parties would have to share the stance at the top of the route.

In response to "Madeline's" posting: so if people have a disagreement with your opinion, they are tagged as "Haters"? That seems to be a rather unsportsmanlike comment. No surprise that you feel comfortable saying that behind the anonimity of your Madeline title.

Furrymurry, who is that? You mention some bolting in Eldo. Well, I for one am not sure that everyone in the San Juan's knows about that or cares. That's rock climbing on the Front Range. We hope you are managing your resources with care and humility and keeping alive the traditions that have made this such an engaging sport. This is about mixed climbing that is a full day's drive away in the Wild Wild West. We hillbillies don't appreciate you Front Range city folks cursing us and telling us we are "crusty or dicks" if we engage you in a polite conversation about a new creation established in a unorthodox manner.

Ouray climbing has experienced an explosion in popularity. The number of people climbing here in the last 5 years has perhaps doubled. I blame it on the climbing gyms, the end of the Great Recession, cheap gasoline and all the fantastic new gear. If we don't work together, then climbing here might devolve into a junk show. There are all sorts of rules, ethics, and closures regarding climbing in Eldo, Boulder Canyon, and the Flatirons. We have the same need as the Front Range to manage our resources.

We hope you consulted with the likes of the beastly strong, Phil Wortman, Noah M, and Front Range friends. They feel strongly that the dark side should remain as bolt free as possible. Though out of respect for your God given gifts I doubt they will hold you to the same high standards.

There are two stations for rapping the Talisman. The first station takes you right over the area in question. Everyone, myself include, that is capable of leading the second pitch on the Tailisman upon rapping here has thought to themselves. Wow! That would make an exciting addition to the area. But we all knew the local unwritten ethic would never allow it. The obvious question for us all to collectively decide, is it now ok to indiscriminately and in whatever style suits the bolter to install bolts on the Dark Side? Will this new variation, installed in a subterfuge, become the new model for route creation? Are there essentially few if any rules on the dark side now that these gentlemen have gifted us (lazy plodding locals) with their new creation and new rules?

Steve House installed the first route (to remain intact) with not only bolted belays as well as bolted intermediate protection. Rusty Cage. His goal being, to create something that would have repeat ascents. As an industry sponsored climber this met with little resistance.

It would be a shame and unfair if dark side standards are changed and new standards are introduced and meet little to no resistance solely because the new router feels they have been granted Carte Blanche by LaSportiva or Grivel USA to behave as they please. The standards have changed so quickly!

And on a final note: can't wait for all the stars to align in the great cosmos and give this a try.... Looks hard and run out too! Hope you put 3/8 by 3.5 inch stainless steel Fixe in that chossy, volcanic rock. Apr 11, 2015
15 year classic? Much older than that. It is a junk show, junked to mediocrity by SJMG and too many guides.
Where's the indignation when they climb Skylight area on top rope with their clients when they put up bolts for top roping? When the ethic was you go up a climb and bring up your partner, then rappel the route and go do a different climb. This is how ice must be climbed, because it is a fragile medium. Now guides use the gym mentality, rape and pillage, it's all about me. Oct 27, 2015
Looks hard, I look forward to testing myself on this. Dec 4, 2018