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Buck Fever 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 140'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a R [details]
FA: P. Hubbel, B. Bristol
Page Views: 2,108
Submitted By: Jay V on Nov 14, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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Jason Kaplan

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I've climbed this route a dozen times or so since '95. Its easy access and has a cool variety of crack sizes and friction face all make it a must do and do again route. Buck Fever lies 100 feet left of the "Classic Dihedral" and around the giant boulder sitting up against the slab. It climbs an inviting crack up to a small, crescent-shaped roof (belay), then 3 bolts to the second roof (belay 2).

P1. The first pitch begins with cool hands and a smooth face (climb the crack as much as possible) for 25 feet to a good stance where you can sink a bomber #4 Camalot with a runner. Then head left for the 5.9 or right for a cool 5.10 variation, they rejoin up another 20 or so feet. The left is a finger dihedral that leans until you pull over a wide hands or layback bulge (note: ropes often get stuck here pulling them on the descent). This is pretty secure climbing so far, but it takes a little creativity. Next squirm and grunt through some rough wide stuff that fits med size gear in the back. Climb to the crescent roof and place a small cam then go out the right side and onto the face (always a thrill going from crack onto a face!) then back left to the obvious anchors.

Pitch 2 is all friction face baby! Take only 3 draws cuz that's all there is...3 bolts. The first bolt is a little left and about 15-20ft out from the belay. Don't blow the clip or you'll slide right past your belayer, who will have enough time to cut the rope if you're a whiner. Clip the next 2 bolts then run for the anchors on easier climbing.

Rap the route.

There is also an cool bolted alternative start to pitch 1. It's rated a solid 5.10 and starts on top of the giant boulder left of the origional start (you can see the line of 5 or 6 bolts when looking down from the belay stance atop pitch 1). The friction is excellent to make believe! The crux is between the 1st to 3rd bolts. It ends at the same bolt anchors atop pitch 1.


A good trad rack with small to medium cams or nuts (it eats either), a #3 Camalot is useful pro for the bulge 40ft up. Be sure to have at least 3 QDs for the 2nd pitch. Good bolt anchors at 75ft and 140ft.

Photos of Buck Fever Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian on the second pitch.
Brian on the second pitch.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin down low.
Kevin down low.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian near the top.  Kevin on belay.
Brian near the top. Kevin on belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jason Kaplan
Jason Kaplan
Rock Climbing Photo: This is Scott Peterson climbing
This is Scott Peterson climbing
Rock Climbing Photo: Scott Peterson climbing
Scott Peterson climbing
Rock Climbing Photo: Gray A. pitch 2, before the first bolt.
Gray A. pitch 2, before the first bolt.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jay V on pitch 1
Jay V on pitch 1

Comments on Buck Fever Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 29, 2013
By Caleb
Apr 22, 2003

Last time I checked, this climb was a 5.10a.
From: Englewood, CO
Apr 28, 2003

Great route!! Not sure about the 9 rating on the crack. It's got some interesting moves. Definitely not your run-o-the-mill, straight up, crack climb. Fun and scary exit moves up top to get outta the crack and to the 1st set of anchors. Be on the lookout for the anchors on top of the second pitch. They're just below the 1st "roof" you come to. I didn't see 'em and ran that sucka out to the top with no pro for 'bout 40 or 50 feet. You can then anchor to a tree, but be aware that this variation don't leave much left of a 50 meter rope!
By Jay V
May 22, 2003

Caleb-In the May/June '88 Rock and Ice topos, Ken Trout gives the route a 5.9 on both pitches.He did this again several years ago when he printed his South Platte Select guidebook (the orange one). I respect Hubbel, and I live by both versions of his Platte guide ('88 & recent update), but I feel the .10 grade to be inaccurate or soft (I agree with Trout). It's a great climb they established! It has some thoughtful moves on gear & runout bolts. Don't split hairs, 5.9 or 5.10, it's a respectable climb for either grade. Enjoy the climb, don't get hung up on grades.
Jun 2, 2003

Only did the first crack pitch and slab variation, both are great. I'd give the crack 5.9- for Platte standards and the slab an easy 10.
By Guppy
Jun 3, 2003

I think that Peter Hubbel's book says that it is a 10 something, but that book has its flaws.
By John McNamee
From: Littleton, CO
Sep 25, 2003

Climbed the first pitch after work yesterday. Really pleasant climb with interesting off balance kind of climbing. The crack is straightforward with lots of good edges for the feet out wide. About half way up the crack where it narrows the rope jammed whilst leading the pitch and had wicked rope drag. So be careful to not to overprotect before the pinch. Save a small cam, such as a size 0.75 Camalot and/or a size 7-9 stopper to protect the moves out of the crack to the belay stance. The holds are all there, its just one of those head game things when you leave a crack and go onto a slab. Overall a classic route that I'm sure I'll be back to repeat and finish the second pitch.
By Matt Nelson
From: Pueblo, CO
Jan 26, 2006
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

A classic Bucksnort crack. Excellent pro, good position. I don't see the reason in splitting hairs between .9+ and .10-. It just has some interesting moves on it. Well worth doing!!
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jun 17, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I think this route is great, I onsighted it and I must say it was less hard and less sustained then I would have expected. 5.9 seems reasonable, but I guess there might be a move of 5.10 turning the roof, but it's pretty mellow for the most part considering I don't onsight 5.10 trad.

I will repeat this one for sure. Classic? to me.

Oh yeah, and this route is in no way R rated. The first pitch of LJW is way scarier in my opinion. I brought upto a #4 for the wide stuff and used mostly hand- and finger-sized pieces. Bring a pad if you aren't comfortable soloing to the first great ledge/rest stance or be ready for some rope drag or back cleaning.
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
May 21, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I think the R is for the second pitch. Most people climb the first and rap down, that is what I did for years until just two months ago. The second pitch is a lot of fun, good Platte slab climbing.
By Jeff Bryan
From: Cortez, co
Jul 23, 2008

Great route, I did it today for the umteenth time. Every time I lead it I find different ways to climb it. This climb eats nuts and is a blast!!! Love the Bucksnort Slabs.
By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
May 8, 2009
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Crack section on P1 is OK and good, at 5.9 (UK 5a), with a move of maybe UK 5b just before the end of P1 (5.9+/5.10a?). As a naive Welshman, in view of the number of hostile signs in this area, I was expecting a gun-totin' land-owner to appear at any moment, a thought which is a lot more scary than the climbing.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Sep 29, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

I have done the crack portion of this route three times. Today I led the second pitch. It may have three bolts, but it is not your typical "sport climb". It is hardest between the first two bolts and a bit intense even clipping the first bolt. I can see where the R rating comes from.

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