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Boulder Quartz System 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Vaino Kodas & Bob D'Antonio
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 4,229
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Jan 6, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (78)
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BETA PHOTO: Plotinus Wall, middle.

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  • Description 

    Start twenty-five feet right of Lucid Dreaming on the Plotinus Wall at a overhanging quartz-filled corner.

    This is the Boulder Quartz System. Clip the first bolt and climb up nice moves on large quartz holds. After the the fifth bolt make hard moves up and right into a overhanging corner.

    Strenuous moves leads to the anchor.



    Eight bolts to a two-bolt anchor.

    Photos of Boulder Quartz System Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: mid crux
    mid crux
    Rock Climbing Photo: Plotinus Wall, right side
    BETA PHOTO: Plotinus Wall, right side
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony leading Boulder Quartz System.
    Tony leading Boulder Quartz System.

    Comments on Boulder Quartz System Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 10, 2016
    By Dougald MacDonald
    Jul 10, 2003

    I'm surprised this route doesn't get more raves. I thought it was excellent! The diagonal traverse up the quartz dike is unique in the canyon, and the crux is very interesting. Hint: It seemed easier to me to start the crux up and right, then move back left.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 21, 2003
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    Good climb. As Dougald said, this climb seems to be unique in the area. I've personally never climbed anything like it. nickle to fist-sized chunks of quartz litter the ground below, and the system in and of itself is going through a diagonal swath of quartz 6 feet wide. Somewhat of a surprise that the miners didin't get into that years ago, as quartz bands are usually co-located with sought-after minerals and metals...
    A few small quartz flakes blew out under my feet, and under the feet of Peter, who followed it. Nothing large or dangerous, and nothing that caused a fall. The climb is still cleaning up and it will take some time, but the significant holds are pretty solid already. That said, the route is fun. The crux comes when you step out of the quartz onto the granite underclings, then up and over. The feet are hard to find and the moves extended enough to be a gut-buster. The 'crux move' is a "a hold must have broke off" move now, although that made the climb easier, not harder. On my ascent I tried to pinch a little flake under the sloping undercling -- it moved significantly (nice fall produced). I went back up to it and removed it completely with a simple pull. The crux hold is actually now more secure/square.

    I have to give it an extra star for the overall oddity. The moves alone are 3-star, but the climb goes into a bonus round for the rock.

    Easier now that the crux hold changed.
    By Joe Collins
    Sep 11, 2003
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    An instant classic!
    By Kirk Woerner
    Nov 15, 2004

    I found the clip right after getting out of the quartz to be really difficult and tenuous. Maybe I was clipping from the wrong stance, but it just seemed like there was one good edge off to the left you use to get out of the crack, and then a dicey stance to clip from... It'll go soon (I hate having to always say that :)
    By Chris Archer
    Jun 6, 2005
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Thoughtful and pumpy climbing up a unique geologic feature.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 2, 2007
    rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Wow! What a cool feature! Felt more like mid 11 than 12a. All very easy climbing to a couple 5.11 moves. This felt miles easier than other 12a classics like Grand Inquisitor and Arms Bazaar.
    By Nick Weinstock
    Mar 19, 2008

    What can I say... A Boulder Canyon personal classic. Great moves over a beautiful stream in a nice setting - what more could a bolt clipper ask for. Bah. Started climbing at Lower Dream last year and always wanted to get the Quartz System without falling. Today was the day.
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 29, 2008
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Finally a repoint!!! Couldn't even do the moves last fall.

    One guy in our party knocked some very large crystals down, so be careful here belaying or sitting under someone climbing.

    For me, this is 5.9/5.10 climbing to a long, "The Spot Bouldering Gym" like problem. Powerful, fun climbing. All the falls at the crux are clean...believe me I've tested them all.
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 23, 2011

    Having ticked pretty much all routes at Plotinus Wall, this is the one of the last that I did today. Very interesting and easy climbing all the way up to the crux. You can get a good rest right before the crux and the first half of the route in the quartz-filled corner can be made significantly easier if you get creative with the stemming and liebacking. The crux has some funky high undercling moves that felt a bit desperate, but fun and well bolted. I used a hold out right and did a gaston to reach the undercling easier. I completely missed this hold my first time on the route but felt significantly easier the second time when I found it. Overall, a great route. As other people have said, it's gonna take some time to clean up since it's fairly new. Some of the quartz foot holds seem rotten and I had a buddy bring down a fairly large-sized block in the last month or so. So, be careful on the belay! Enjoy....
    By Mark E Dixon
    From: Sprezzatura, Someday
    Apr 17, 2012
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    I managed two unlikely tasks- somehow climbing past the crux bolt, mandating a sketchy reach down and left to clip, and then getting the rope stuck when I pulled it down! Neither recommended.
    Nevertheless a fascinating geological feature, a must climb for that reason alone.
    By slim
    Aug 1, 2012
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    What a neat route. The climbing on this is really fun, the quartz cubes are unique. Very well-protected and the moves flow nicely. After getting through the first part of the crux, I thought it was in the bag, but it keeps a consistent level of difficulty for a bit. I could see 11d or 12a either way without too much argument. Might be easier on a cool dry day. Highly recommended.

    Easiest way to get your draws back is to TR it and clean on the way up. I tried to grab them on the way down, but the route is steep and traverses a fair amount.
    By Eric Thomas
    From: Colorado
    Mar 13, 2016

    The last good right sidepull (right before the real business), feels like it's gonna break -- it doesn't move, but I could hear/feel this thing feeling like it's ready to blow.

    It would suck if this hold broke, because it could not only make this climb much harder, but worse is that the bolt at the bottom for your belayer to tie into would be right in the line of fire.

    Basically, I would recommend not belaying off the convenience bolt or at the very least protect your noggin'.

    Anyways, this climb rules, have fun!
    By Mark Rolofson
    Apr 10, 2016
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    This climb has been one of my favorites, having climbed it many times. The amazing quartz system followed by steep climbing through a strenuous bulge offers some of the best climbing in Lower Dream Canyon.

    I just repeated it & didn't find a loose sidepull. I am assuming Eric is talking about the good lieback hold in the shallow crack system that you clip the 5th bolt from. At this point, there are two ways to go. I go left to a flat edge then up to the undercling flake. It also goes up slightly right & then underclings back left.

    As for the belayer, don't tie in with a daisy chain to the belay bolt. I tie in to the belay bolt with the end of the rope & 8-10 feet of slack, so I can stand directly below the 1st protection bolt. This way you are out of the line of fire should anything break.

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