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Against All Cobbs S 
Bolting Barbie S 
Crack Attack S 
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Matrix, The S 
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Unsorted Routes:

Bolting Barbie 

YDS: 5.11c/d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E4 6a

Type:  Sport, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Alisa Hadfield
Page Views: 6,403
Submitted By: Anthony Stout on Apr 25, 2006

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (96)
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Getting a good shake halfway through the route. Au...


Beautiful line with the crux getting from the first to the second bolt. Belayer should be attentive here, as there is a large block at the base of the climb that would suck to hit. There seems to be a mild lack of consensus in rating this route, as the online guide calls it 5.12a, and the "Taos Rock" calls it 5.11d/.12a. It seems to me to be on the lower end, .11d.


This route is the second one in from the arete on the far left side of the wall. Look for the mutilated, bolted Barbie inside the hueco just below the first bolt.


6 bolts to anchors.

Photos of Bolting Barbie Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Barbie in action.
Barbie in action.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bolting Barbie. Photo by Tara Reed
Bolting Barbie. Photo by Tara Reed
Rock Climbing Photo: Midway on Bolting Barbie
Midway on Bolting Barbie
Rock Climbing Photo: Moving to the exit moves - Bolting Barbie
Moving to the exit moves - Bolting Barbie
Rock Climbing Photo: Allison high on Bolting Barbie.
Allison high on Bolting Barbie.
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling nice holds on the steep middle section of ...
Pulling nice holds on the steep middle section of ...

Comments on Bolting Barbie Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 26, 2016
By Allison Fritz
From: Los Alamos, New Mexico
Sep 25, 2007

Really enjoyable route. The start is hard to the second bolt but for me the crux of the route is moving up to the 6th bolt to clip.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Feb 24, 2009

FA Alisa Hadfield, original grade 5.11b
From: Wherever we park!
Jun 1, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

excellent route! not even close to 11d though?
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jun 1, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I don't know why everyone dogs on the grade of this route. I actually think the crux moves of this are harder than Crack Attack, though Barbie is less sustained. IMHO, there is no way that more than a letter grade splits Barbie and Crack Attack. 12a max/11d min. No f'ing chance at 11b.
From: Wherever we park!
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

not trying to dog on the route grade man. just being honest. 11+/12- is a hard grade for me and i climb it frequently. when i climbed this line i was on day 5 of a trip and was completely wiped out, if anything it should have felt harder for that reason alone. it just simply had no moves on it more difficult than 11b. no surprise the original grade was just that. maybe there's some trick beta your missing?
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a


Indeed there are no "hard" moves on either Crack Attack or Barbie, i.e. neither route has a 5.12 move on it. Both of these routes get their grades for the pump, and no, I don't think there is any trick beta. I came back to NM and climbed at El Rito after having moved away 5-6 years ago. I got on both routes (more or less an onsight at that point) and sent them both first go; the grades seemed about the same to me. The hard moves on Crack Attack come at the end, while the hard moves on Barbie come at the beginning. Thus I think folks have a more difficult time with Crack Attack because they are doing the hard moves with a route full of pump going. Now, I will admit that pumpy climbing is something that goes well for me (shit, maybe the only thing I do well :) ), so maybe I am bias. I'm okay with Barbie being 11d, I just think there is no freaking way that this route is 11b. I would maybe give Ms. Hadfield's original grade more credence if not for the fact that the Hadfield clan climbs so f'ing hard and are therefore prime candidates for sandbaggery (though probably not on purpose). Wow, am I a windbag or what?
By George Perkins
From: The Dungeon, NM
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

My thoughts on El Rito climbs at approx. this grade:
Peach Cobbler (11c) is harder than BB in my opinion.
El Beerto (11c), Walking the Plank (11c) and a number of other 11c's seem slightly easier.
Jug-or-Naut (11b) and Booty/Longjohn (11b) seem significantly easier.
There aren't many other 11d's to compare. Procrastination (11d/12a) seems harder but is less continuous, and is painful or has a hard clip for me. Stroke Me (11d/12a) is harder, and climbs similarly (if you liked Barbie- try it).
All the other 12a's seem harder. Crack Attack (12a), in particular, seems a big step up.

El Rito in general has a reputation for soft grades, especially for people strong on steep stuff. The style is nearly unique, it's hard to compare with most other places.

I'll probably fall on it next time, now that I wrote this.
By J. Albers
From: Colorado
Jun 7, 2010
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

George, I know that El Rito has this 'soft' does the Red River Gorge. Those same folks who trash on the grades at the Red also say things like "That route is easy. I just keep falling on easy moves at the top." Those same folks proclaim how much harder Rifle is than the climbing in NM. Funny, because the sandbag crew at my local crag in CA thinks that Rifle is soft batch. I guess its all about perspective and what kind of climbing you do well. IMHO, Barbie would be solid 11d anywhere that I have climbed...both coasts and the mountain west.

I'm not trying to discount everyone else's opinion, I am just saying that pump climbing usually goes well for me (I'm that a-hole who takes 40 minutes when onsighting at my limit...literally) and I simply thought that Crack Attack and Barbie were comparable.

By the way, anyone who is annoyed by the drivel that I am writing can feel free to gripe, and I will be happy to take down my posts here and/or move them to a hard feelings taken. Cheers.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jun 7, 2010

Hey JAlbers, AOSR (and everyone else)

Your opinion is just as valid as anyone's. Grades are really just a suggestion and the community tries to come to a consensus as best as possible and there will always be outliers on either end of the average.

For my part, because of reasons you (JAlbers) stated, ie: no hard moves but the hardest at the top or bottom, I think Crack Attack is harder than Bolting Barbie. I will however not get into putting a number on either. Needless to say though, if I want a work out I'm more likely to be doing laps on Crack Attack since you have to do the hard moves pumped.
From: Wherever we park!
Jun 16, 2010
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

grades are definitely subjective - and also different from area to area. i certainly thought based on the handful of climbs i did there that this crag is pretty soft. so, considering the softer ratings, maybe 11c. i'll stick with 11b, just my opinion.
Oct 11, 2011
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

Regardless of the grade, this is an excellent route. One of the best jug haul endurance routes I've done in a while.
By Naomi Galinski
Oct 26, 2011
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

Super fun jugs with them disappearing for a few moves at the top.

I'd say most moves aren't more difficult than 11b, but string all of them together for a long overhanging route and you get a 11d/12a enduro climb.
By LeeAB Brinckerhoff
From: ABQ, NM
Jun 6, 2012

Bolting Barbie Swing
By Patrick Vernon
From: Estes Park, CO
Jun 13, 2013
rating: 5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a

Yes a grade debate! .11c in rifle, .lld most places.
By skelldify
Aug 21, 2015
rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

Hate all you want, but I think the plastic toys should be removed. They are trash.
By Jason Halladay
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 24, 2015
rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

Skelldify wrote:
Hate all you want, but I think the plastic toys should be removed. They are trash.

I'm much more offended by the two separate instances of wadded up, used-as-toilet paper, undergarments uphill of the Rad Wall then I am of the plastic toys.
I'm continually flabbergasted by the shitty ethics of people who ought to know better and treat the outdoors with more respect.
From: Northern, NM
Jun 14, 2016
rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

I think we would all agree this is just a good ole 5.11 right??? :-)If you climb 5.11 at your local crag give this route a go, it's super fun.
By Jake Cantu
Jun 26, 2016
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

I think what makes this route a "12a" is a contrivance of good pockets to the left, between the second and third bolts. The pockets seem to be "off route" but are still relatively close to the bolt line. To me they are kind of in no mans land between Boltin Barbie and Procrastination. Without them, the bottom crux is really reachy and powerful which could give it the 12 rating. Despite which way one chooses to climb this route, it is an excellent route and would be a classic at any crag IMHO. Call it what you will but GET ON THIS CLIMB!

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