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West Ridge - part B - Long John to Verschneidung
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Washington Irving T 
White Rabbit T 

Break on Through 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jim Erickson, John Behrens, 1968.
Page Views: 8,873
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Feb 2, 2001

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In a wide stem above the crux.

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  • Description 

    What a neat route. This starts left of The Unsaid, Washington Irving, and Chianti in a prominent, R-facing dihedral, just right of a large overhang. The ...R-facing dihedral 10 feet right of Break On Through is Chianti.

    P1: The first pitch is a nice length with varied climbing. Some technical stemming and liebacking are the crux for this pitch (8). After the first steep section, continue up a ramp, then up through another steep dihedral. Belay at the tree off to the right.

    P2: Climb easy ground across the rotten ledge to the base of the large right-facing dihedral. The crux here is some difficult stemming on thin edges to reach great finger jams. Several tough moves is all though. The pro is good here and easy to place at a rest before the hard moves. Descend around the back side then make a single 50m rap to the Unsaid anchors. Rap with a single 50m to a ledge, then downclimb an easy crack back to the base.


    Standard rack up to #3 Friend. Some smaller nuts/TCUs protect the crux on P2.

    Photos of Break on Through Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch is awesome... This is Brian gettin...
    The first pitch is awesome... This is Brian gettin...
    Rock Climbing Photo: This is the trick as someone mentioned - palm out ...
    This is the trick as someone mentioned - palm out ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The dihedral at the start of the first pitch.
    The dihedral at the start of the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the tricky mantle onto the ledge.After th...
    Starting the tricky mantle onto the ledge.After th...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato laybacking the steep flake on the first...
    Mike Amato laybacking the steep flake on the first...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fran stems up the crux right-facing dihedral of pi...
    Fran stems up the crux right-facing dihedral of pi...
    Rock Climbing Photo:
    Rock Climbing Photo: Fran starts up the first pitch.
    Fran starts up the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sorry.... THIS is the palm move.
    Sorry.... THIS is the palm move.

    Comments on Break on Through Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 29, 2017
    By David Benson
    Jan 1, 2001

    I agree that a larger piece (#3.5 or #4 Friend) make the first pitch much easier.

    From the belay tree the second pitch is the large right facing dihedral to your left. Straight above you is the second pitch of Chianti.

    After topping out, if you look to your right and down about 30-40 you should see the rappel anchors. Climb around the backside to the anchors. Rappel down to another set of anchors, then youll end up on a ledge by the start of the Unsaid. Traverse back towards the start of Break on Through (left, facing the cliff) and then downclimb easy terrain.

    The crux pitch is very protectable with small nuts (Wild Country #1-#4).
    By Mike Sofranko
    Jan 1, 2001

    As an added challenge, try to do the crux without THAT song going through your head.
    By matthew sawyer
    Jan 1, 2001

    If you find the right route, (which you wouldn't just using this website), you might want to rack up to a #4 Friend or 3.5 Camalot, the layback crux on the first pitch is off a 4+ inch crack. You can get other good gear in, but I would [recommend] a four inch piece.
    By StanL
    From: Louisville, CO
    Oct 31, 2001

    I think the crux pitch of Break on Through is one of the bigger sandbags in the canyon. I found the moves to be way tricky and thin and it sure felt harder than .10b (.10a in the old guidebook). While definitely a classic climb, it's probably not the best choice for the leader trying to "break on through" into leading 5.10.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Feb 16, 2002

    Compare it to other routes. Break on Through is definitely harder than Cruisin' for Burgers (.10c). It's harder than Laughing at the Moon (.10b). def atleast hard .10c
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Mar 7, 2002

    Definitely a sandbag when I broke on through, thanks Steve. Teaches you to trust RPs or tiny wires. Not a great first 10 unless you like cranking on tips above tiny passive pieces.
    By Zachary Markis
    Apr 12, 2002

    This was first time I'd been to the West Ridge and the first route I climbed there...If you do it on the weekend, and use the tree as the anchor for the first pitch--watch for others on Chianti, directly beneath rappel.
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Oct 12, 2002

    If rapping from the tree after P1 with a 50m rope, be careful and tie the ends. It's damn close to not being enough rope to get you back to the ledge...
    By Joseffa Meir
    Jan 28, 2003

    I finally broke on back through to 5.10 this weekend after not climbing much this winter. I'd agree it's not one of the easiest 10s in Eldo and wouldn't recommend it to a beginning 5.10 leader. The pro is good, but there's still a ledge below you.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 23, 2003

    I wouldn't recommend taking any gear larger than a #3 Camalot. The crack on P1 is pretty wide for about six feet, but it necks down in the middle to fit the #3 Camalot. The issue here is that this piece takes up a good hand jam, but I found the jam wasn't necessary. Anyway, for sure if you are up for the upper pitch this wide section will give you no problems. The first pitch in itself is really good and worth doing.

    As for the crux ... well it did seem devious and/or sandbagged. Suffice it to say we discovered it can be aided!
    By David Conlin
    Nov 11, 2003
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I don't think this was a sandbag at all.

    P1 was some of the steepest, funnest 5.8 around. No need for anything larger than 3 Camalot.

    P2 was tricky. Getting off of the ledge was the hardest part. Look for the opposing hold out right on the roof. Visually this hold is obvious, but it didn't seem useful until I tried about 5 other starting positions, none of which got me anywhere. By pushing on this with the right hand, you can begin to stem up the corner. I placed 2 stoppers and a microcam (blue Alien) before leaving the ledge, climbed up about 5 feet or so to the bomber finger lock, placed another microcam (green Alien) and moved to another, even better fingerlock, which ends the strenuous climbing. I ended up using some "chimney technique," i.e. scumming my hips on the right wall of the dihedral while facing left and stemming out on the left wall.

    Worth doing, short route, good training.
    By Lance Cockwood
    Feb 12, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    Fun, Funky and well-protected. Great route and one of the first 10's in eldo.
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Mar 23, 2004
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    The first pitch is [Beautiful] and fun... as is the second pitch!! However, I really don't think that it's 10b hard...I led this onsight and then a few days later led Over the Hill onsight and this is just [too] short to be given a 10b rating (IMHO). The move getting onto the ledge [before] the crux was rather awkward, once established it's really only one tricky move to get going and then SOLID finger locks to carry you through. If you have an eye for stemming this is really not that hard. [Beautiful] route may try it in one long pitch like Chianti next time?? Anyone done this?
    By Warren Teissier
    Mar 24, 2004

    I guess I must revisit this climb again and look harder for the "bomber" finger locks.

    I simply did not see them, or maybe they are meant to be in the crack where my fingers didn't fit... I tried for a long time to get a good grip in the crack, but try as I may, all I got was a very thin "tips" .

    Maybe my fingers are finger lock challenged.

    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 24, 2004

    These hints make me want to get back up there and try this route again! I do remember some finger locks, but the problem was I couldn't figure out how to get into the first stem and up to the first finger lock. But now with Rich's hint and photo I'm eager to try this. The route seemed much harder to me than Over the Hill, but maybe it is just harder to figure out.
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Mar 24, 2004

    I had not done this climb in many years and did it a few weeks ago. The only finger lock I remember is the one you get after the crux move. With the left foot on the small hold and the left hand on a crimp, and you feel like you are going to fall, look down on the right wall for a small hold to outside-edge your right foot on. That stem gives you enough height to reach the bomber finger lock. It is not trivial after that, but the worst is over.
    By Matt Chan
    From: Boulder
    Mar 25, 2004

    Did the second pitch of Break on Through a couple of days ago and I must concur with George's statement that it seems much harder than Over the Hill. The "bomber finger locks" might be bomber if you have a 12 yr. old girl's hands, but I found the locks to be fairly insecure. Once off the ledge, it's a stemfest to the top of the dihedral. If you can get yourself off the ledge, you've tackled the tough stuff.

    I must add that I did the route with a guy wearing two left shoes - comedy!
    By Brian Weinstein
    Jan 3, 2006
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Instead of the palm smear out right, I utilized the handjam at about chest level to break on into the crux. The gear is solid throughout the three move crux sequence as stoppers and/or mirco-cams can be placed from somewhat strenuous positions. If comfortable placing gear at Eldo...a good intro 10 lead.
    By Armin Colorado
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 28, 2006

    Did the first pitch of this route today thinking it was the start of Chianti, (Whoops) as an 8 leader, I thought it was very stout but an awesome line. I took doubles in BD #1 and #2 and one #3 and #3.5, but next time I as well would only take up to a #3. If you are not familiar w/ the area, Rossiter's guide can be confusing!
    By Chris Weber
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 5, 2006

    I'm with Stan on this. Stout for 10b (and the Rossiter topo even says 10a!). Did Chick On The Side (much shorter) after this, and felt it was easier... Break On Through is relatively short-length wise, but it is sustained. It also requires technical moves, power, and big reaches...great pro, but not the most comfortable stances. I got spanked. Nuff said.
    By Danny Inman
    From: Arvada
    Nov 6, 2006

    Very good route. I felt it was very similar (but shorter) to Over the Hill. Protects very well with small nuts.
    By Steven Lucarelli
    From: Moab, UT
    Sep 24, 2007
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I onsighted this and thought it felt pretty stiff for 10b, it felt like at least 10c to me. The crux is short but the moves are harder than other routes I have climbed at the same grade.
    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Jun 28, 2009

    The first pitch of this route is my favorite way to start "Long John Wall."
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Mar 28, 2011
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I thought the 2nd pitch of this route was very difficult and devious for the grade. Once you get the "good" fingerlock about 9'(?) above the ledge, your troubles are not over. As a hint, I found the arete to the right to be of use.
    By Ben Cassedy
    From: Denver, CO
    May 26, 2011

    "The ...R-facing dihedral 10 feet right of Break On Through is Chianti."

    Haha oops. I accidentally tried the Break on Through dihedral thinking it was still Chianti. Thought I was on the hardest 5.8+ on the planet and wanted to cry.

    Also did the first pitch of Break on Through which was stellar.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Dec 25, 2011
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

    "Beautiful route may try it in one long pitch like Chianti next time?? Anyone done this?"
    Yes, that's usually how people do it. But if so, you have to be solid. With 40M of rope out, the crux has ledge-fall potential.
    By Crackson
    Oct 14, 2016
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I thought this route was harder than Outer Space. Bring your small nuts/RPs for sure to sew up the crux.
    By mhagny
    Aug 29, 2017

    P1 was great fun. We skipped P2 as it looked plenty stout and I had been spanked on Super Scooper earlier in the day.

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