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Bailey's Overhang 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Walter Bailey, et al. 1950s.
Page Views: 8,964
Submitted By: Matt Bauman on Jan 1, 2001

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BETA PHOTO: Curving Crack and Bailey's Overhang, showing the l...

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  • Description 

    This route takes the huge, right-facing corner on the southwest face ... starts up steep fist crack and gains large ramp ... cruise this ramp/huge dihedral up to an overhanging slot/wide crack (#4.5 or #5 Camalot can protect this well ... also the medium hex way in the back). Make strenuous moves thru overhang and cruise a nice crack up large, right-facing corner until you can belay on left at slung horn.


    Bring stoppers and cams (medium to large) ... could use a #5 Camalot or equivalent for crux slot (good medium hex placement way up inside slot to protect crux also).

    There are Fixe rappel rings at the top.

    Photos of Bailey's Overhang Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Curving Crack and Bailey's Overhang
    BETA PHOTO: Curving Crack and Bailey's Overhang
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brian nearing the crux overhang.
    Brian nearing the crux overhang.
    Rock Climbing Photo: A must-do summit!
    A must-do summit!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Going through the fun overhang!
    Going through the fun overhang!
    Rock Climbing Photo: John Knoernschild leading Baley's Overhang. Pictur...
    John Knoernschild leading Baley's Overhang. Pictur...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brenda Leach heading up to the roof.
    Brenda Leach heading up to the roof.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Dillon chimneying the crux.
    Peter Dillon chimneying the crux.

    Comments on Bailey's Overhang Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 6, 2015
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Aug 13, 2001

    Ditto for sure on this one. The key to the crux is getting that right foot in a small oblong pocket. I was gripped a bit until I found that baby. A sweet 5.8 do the rappel to chains above Curving Crack. 4 slings and ring are permanent now.
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Sep 5, 2001

    I love this route also. The overhang is NOT strenuous. It's almost no hands if you do it as a chimney. Back to the right, feet on the left on good holds. Move up and out. Turn around at the top. A couple big cams are useful but not necessary as another poster mentioned. Last time I did it (Spring 2001) there were slings up and left from the top of the first pitch. These did not look permanent.

    Ivan Rezucha
    By Paul Giglio
    Jun 2, 2002

    I agree that the "crux" isn't particularly strenuous- in fact I strained more on the first few moves off the ground. Just squeeze it a little and recall the womb. :) It also looked to me like a good call to skip the upper pitches, so we did- there is now a beefy fixed cable with a rap link just above and left of the end of the first pitch on the left side of a large ledge- can easily reach the ground from there with a 60m, and of course the anchor above curving crack. Enjoy.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Aug 9, 2002

    At the crux, stay close in the crack, and face the opposite block. I used a small seam hold high and placed right foot on solid, high placement, and stepped up on it. Chalk on the foot placement is a dead giveaway. But you must step up high. A bit awkward and good exposed at this crux. I was too far right when I did this last year, no foot placement there. Hug the crack and look to place that right foot about knee height. This is a pretty cool little corner to turn.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 19, 2003
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    You can protect this climb pretty well without wide gear, but with a 4.5 camalot, it looked like I could have had gear overhead almost anywhere. I [did] the route "backwards" apparently, with my back to the left and feet to the right and it still felt like 5.8, so I think either way is do-able.The route seemed like a 2-star route, and maybe 3-star if you keep going and 'finish' on P2 of Coffin Crack (5.10 handcrack-to-fistcrack through a roof)
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 2, 2003

    At the top of Bailey's Overhang (after the crux) you can bail over to the north and you find a steel cable wrapped around the top of a huge boulder. One can rap from this down to the top of curving crack or maybe even to the ground with a long rope. It looks like the only thing holding this boulder up there is a human head sized chockstone at the bottom of it. It made me think twice about being attached to that boulder...maybe I am just is probably ok, but at some point it may rip loose...that would be very bad.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 20, 2004
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    A 60m rope just makes it to the ground when rappelling from the steel cable that Paul mentions.
    By Jason Shatek
    Oct 5, 2004

    Great Route, I am a beginner 5.8 climber and found the moves very easy. At the crux overhang, on the left is a solid ledge to stand on. Once you have your feet on the ledge its easy to pull over the roof, the hands are big jugs above the roof (on the right side of the crack). At the overhang I stuck in a #5 Friend that subsiquently walked to an open position as I turned the roof. Perhaps a really big hex would have been better? After that the climbing is very easy. The rap anchor is a very scary looking boulder with a steel cable around it. It looks completely detached? I would use something else to rap next time. A very awesome route! -Jason Shatek
    By Jason Shatek
    Nov 22, 2004

    I agree with Larry on this one. The boulder at the top with the steel cable around it looks very very unsafe!!! The boulder is completely detached and looks like it could go if you had someone big enough rappeling on it. I'm not a big bolt person but for safety sake I think it would be a great idea if someone put in some bolts at the top of this route and removed the steel cable. I'm certain it would look better than the cable and be much more safe!
    By Jason Shatek
    Dec 2, 2004

    Watch out for the cable sling at the top of Bailey's Overhang. The boulder is completely detached! If someone large were to rap off that thing, it could pull. It is way scary!
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 9, 2005
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    This is an excellent and sustained pitch. For me, the crux is at the start: insecure flared cracks and slippery feet. Above, sustained crack climbing leads to the roof. There is a bomber yellow Alien placement in a crack on the right, just before you make the final move over the roof. Backstep with the left foot to the highest foothold, then stem the right foot on the lip of the roof, and it's over. Done this way, the roof feels like 5.7.

    I used doubles on #1 and #2 Camalots, and didn't place anything bigger than a #3 Camalot. A #4 Camalot will give you bomber pro below the roof, but I was happy with the yellow Alien a few moves higher.
    By Cindy Mitchell
    Sep 15, 2006

    My partner and I climbed this route a couple of weeks ago. What a nice climb until you get to the top of the first pitch. We took a good look at the cable slung boulder and decided against using it to rap. We didn't want to trust our lives to what appears to be a completely detached boulder supported by a helmet sized chockstone.

    We climbed to the top and downclimbed as for Cussin' Crack, Jackson's Wall, etc. Once we found the correct trail, it wasn't too bad.

    Any chance of relocating the cable?
    By KeithRD
    Sep 20, 2007

    I found this route fun and well protected. The overhang moves at the top are easy once you see it.

    I echo what is said above that the climbing after the first pitch is less than great and your options to rap are sketchy at best. Worth the hassel though, very fun movement.
    By Jake Wyatt
    From: Longmont, CO
    Jun 15, 2008

    We didn't like the looks of the cable/rap anchor, so we continued up to the top of the crag. By heading up and left from the cable we got to a decent chimney with clean and solid rock in the back of it. Easy climbing on that second pitch, but there aren't a lot of chimney pitches in Boulder Canyon, so it was a nice surprise. (Perhaps this is the upper pitch of the West Face?)
    By John W. Knoernschild
    From: Wisconsin
    Jun 21, 2008

    I just climbed this on 6/16/08. A very well protected lead. I left a new sling at the rusty piton halfway up. Didn't trust old runners. Didn't really trust the rusty piton either. But I used it anyways.
    By Nick Orticelle
    From: Denver, Co
    Jun 1, 2009

    Our 4th climb of the day. Planned on it being my first 5.8 trad lead...then I got my foot stuck right in the beginning...getting super tired trying to get it out without decking head first. Anyway...ended up following, and thought it was a super fun climb. Nothing super difficult, but felt like a true 5.8...wasn't a walk in the park by any means for a newer climber.
    By John Korfmacher
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jun 1, 2009

    Climbed 5/31/09 with S. Costello...First pitch is excellent, probably the best moderate at Castle. The roof does need a big cam, but there are good placements below that would hold a fall. I did it left side in, with a left-foot backstep to a solid foothold, then pulled over on jugs. This is a fun and not terribly difficult move.

    There IS quality climbing above the first pitch. We finished on a 40-50 foot left-facing 5.7 corner that looks kinda dirty and grassy but is actually fairly fun. The descent is made much easier if you can locate the big Douglas-fir with the rap chain.
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Aug 10, 2009

    My eyes nearly popped out of my head when I saw the cable/rap anchor. I placed 2 Fixe ring anchors in a better location. I was not able to disassemble the cable as one of the nuts was stuck. I will remove it later this week.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 10, 2009
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Thanks for taking care of this, Greg!
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Aug 20, 2009

    The cable/rap anchor has been removed. Use the Fixe anchors.
    If you want to do a 2nd pitch, see Beetle Bailey.
    By slim
    Aug 21, 2009
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c


    Thanks for replacing the mess of an anchor that was there. Now, instead of grovelling to the top and doing the downclimb (because I refused to rap off of the old anchor), I can get back to the base quicker and get rolling on the next route. I was always amazed that the old anchor didn't just fall of the cliff under its own weight.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Mar 12, 2011
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I agree that it's a "one pitch wonder!" A rap station after the first lead would get a workout and make the climb more popular. Bolts and chains, anyone?
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Mar 14, 2011

    If you look a few comments up, you will see I put in an anchor in Aug. 2009. Perhaps an admin should update the route description to reflect this. There is now a good (bolted) 2nd pitch called Beetle Bailey.
    By Don Morris
    From: Denver, CO
    Mar 27, 2011

    Thanks for the anchors. You will find them after climbing above the overhang and to the left on a nice ledge. This is a nice climb to freshen up on trad climbing for the summer.
    By Rodger Raubach
    May 22, 2011
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c


    I didn't see the earlier note. This will add to the popularity of this climb.

    As an additional comment here; this isn't really the "original" Bailey's overhang route. The original route is about 15 feet to the right, if my failing memory hasn't failed me....
    By Benten
    From: Denver
    Aug 15, 2011

    The medium hex can be done, and you can also lug a #4-5, but anyone with a sense of adventure should just have faith in the 5.8 holds because they are there.
    By Mark Roth
    From: Boulder
    Sep 16, 2011

    Is the boulder that the cable was on gone? I couldn't recognize it. Lots of big loose blocks up there, but they didn't look like the one the cable was around....

    This used to be rated 5.6.
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Sep 17, 2011

    I am sure the boulder is still there. I only removed the cable so no one would use it. You probably do not recognize it, because a sane person would not even consider it as a valid rappel anchor!
    By Mark Roth
    From: Boulder
    Sep 17, 2011

    Where is it in relation to the new anchor? I remember what it looked like, with the little, head-sized rock supporting it. I even rapped off it, so you can imagine I looked at it pretty hard (waiting for it to fall and kill me).... Didn't notice it today, so I assumed it got trundled. But if you say it is there, I believe you.

    Thanks for the new anchor.
    Nov 26, 2012

    I thought this was a 4 star or 3 star route depending on the maximum amount of stars for a route.
    Nice start with some clean and fun crack climbing up to a big roof.
    The would guess the overhang can either be 5.8 grunting or some very tame 5.6/7 stemming.
    Great climb.
    By Eric Werfel
    From: Patagonia
    Sep 12, 2013
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    I didn't find this route worthy of more than 1 star. As some have mentioned, I found the 'crux' to be quite easy, almost no-hands. I post the following for safety reasons.

    1. The first 40' is very poorly protected until you get to the overhanging block in the corner. You can put some larger cams in, but the cracks are all flared. They look pretty good at ground-height, but it's misleading. I would give this a PG rating.

    2. Bring extra #2-#4 cams. Leave the 0.75 and smaller on the ground. There's a few good nut placements once you're in the corner but not where you want them.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Apr 6, 2015

    The last comment says you can place #2s, but I had two and did not use either. Small cams, a #3, and a #4 are what I used, and there are also good nuts. I did this climb in 1996, and it was fun to do it again in 2015. Makes me feel old....

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