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Your Basic Lieback T 

Blows Against the Empire 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Charlie Fowler, Dan McGee, Marc Hirt, 1987.
Fixed Hardware: 2 Lead Bolts [details]
Page Views: 1,861
Submitted By: Ken Leiden on Jun 8, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (42)
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Jimmy works out the thin moves...

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  • Description 

    This route begins with the same 4th class approach as Peanuts (look for a dead horizontal tree part way up the cliff). Set up a belay about 15 left of the start of Peanuts. The crux is above the first bolt and is height-dependent to reach a good edge. The short slab is followed by a short crack, which has one difficult move. Follow the crack to a ramp, up and right, continuing to the desired anchor. This route provides a good approach pitch for Air Guitar.


    2 bolts protect the initial slab. The upper crack and ramp traverse can be protected with gear up to 1". There is a two-bolt anchor where this route merges with Peanuts offering a rappel option, or one can continue along the ramp to the 2-bolt anchor on Just Another Girl's Climb.

    Comments on Blows Against the Empire Add Comment
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    By Ken Leiden
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 13, 2002

    I'm 5'11" and was just able to reach the good edge at the crux. If you can reach this edge, its probably the easiest 11 in Eldo.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 16, 2002
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    Well... I'm 5'10" and I could ALMOST reach the hold. I have to use a funky foot smear to add a tiny bit of height. It felt like 5.11a that way to me. My partner was 6'0" and found it to be quite easy. If I'd been 4" shorter, it would have been *_quite_* hard.
    By Jim Redo
    Aug 21, 2002

    I'm 5'4". It still wasn't that hard. 11a seems fair, but barely.
    By Bill Wright
    Aug 21, 2002

    Who's spraying, A.C.? It seems like everyone here says this route is 11a (the rating listed). I guess there is even a short-person solution that makes this route 11a. Everyone is different and if this routes doesn't play to your strengths, it might feel tougher than 11a or visa-versa. Just like any route.
    By Bill Wright
    May 23, 2003

    I just did this route last night and really enjoyed it. It is very safe and has fun climbing on it. There are no longer the fixed stoppers as mentioned in Ken's description. At the top of the wall, where Peanuts ends, there are two good bolts and a rappel anchor. You can rappel from here with one rope, though we continued up the ramp as recommended (in order to climb another pitch).

    I agree with Ken that this is the easiest 5.11 I've ever done in Eldo. Granted I haven't done that many, but this is a far cry from the first pitch of the Naked Edge. I'm six feet tall and I could reach the jug hold and even got both hands on it before sliding across the face (it was ugly, but worked). If you can reach this hold, the pitch might be as easy as 10a, but I hope no one rates it that easy. Certainly it is an easier lead than the first pitch of Outer Space (10a).

    Now that said, if you can't reach this hold, then it would be an entirely new ballgame. I'm amazed that Jimmy Redo would think this route is only 11a. I'd believe 5.11+ for someone short. You'd have to be a slab footwork master!

    Fun route.

    By Brent Roaten
    From: Anchorage, AK
    Mar 24, 2006

    I've climbed many 10s in Eldo and a few 11s...certainly this route is a one move wonder but far from 10a. Perhaps, for a slabmaster, this route is easier than the first pitch of Outer Space, but for me it was thought provoking and a bit of a challenge. I think the rating is solid.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    May 18, 2009
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    It's a fun, one move wonder at the crux, but I agree that it is an 11a move.
    By Ryan Malarky
    From: Denver, CO
    Jun 1, 2010

    Directly below this face is another face with piton in a seam and a 12" long vertical handcrack. It provided a few balancy and reachy moves to dual crimpers, followed by a big reach to the edge of the rotten ledge. My partner and I thought this was the start to Blows Against the Empire. Anybody know if this is a different route?
    By Tyler Scheer
    From: Boulder. CO
    May 9, 2011
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    Fun route. If you start from the trail, as we did, then I'd take the shallow dihedral up, instead of the large, right-facing flake. It was pretty fun, and took a good nut. Also - if you are starting from the trail, make sure you knot your rope. We took a 70m, and it didn't have a lot left for lowering after the traverse onto the line.

    I'd also be a little careful. This is listed as a "G" rated .10d in the new Eldo guidebook, but if hard .10s are difficult for you, then getting to the first bolt might be pretty terrifying. It would be a bad fall. Chances are, if you can pull the crux, you won't fall getting to that first bolt, but if you're not solid on .10s... watch out, this might not be a good one to push the grade on.
    By pfwein
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 7, 2014

    I put in purple Metolius in the crack I took to the big ledge before the first bolt, then a yellow Metolius on the ledge. The crack to the anchors takes pieces in something like 0.3 to 0.5 Camalot size.
    As to the height-dependent nature, I'm 5'7" and could sorta reach the good hold, at least well enough to make the move. Seemed soft at 10d for me, but that's not to brag--I expect Eldo 10d to feel hard. I didn't feel getting to the first bolt was especially bold (in light of the good-sized holds you're on), but of course everyone needs to evaluate the risk for themselves.
    Be careful of rope drag if you put pieces in before the bolt--I extended, but not enough!

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