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Penitente - Inner Canyon
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Bullet the Blue Sky 

YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12c/d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio, Richard Aschert, 5/87
Page Views: 20,554
Submitted By: Rog on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (57)
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Closed October 12th-15th, 2017 MORE INFO >>>


I'm straying from tradition here. I have not personally climbed this route, but I have (like anyone else who visits Penitente) stared at it long enough to at least write about it. It is just stunning, a Penitente Canyon landmark. Please note this route has rec'd some drilled pockets which were filled in.


8 bolts + anchors.

Photos of Bullet the Blue Sky Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: K. McLaughlin, catching the lip.   Photo - Daryl R...
K. McLaughlin, catching the lip. Photo - Daryl R...
Rock Climbing Photo: K. Mcl. on Bullet.
K. Mcl. on Bullet.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Virgin and the aesthetic arete of Bullet the B...
The Virgin and the aesthetic arete of Bullet the B...
Rock Climbing Photo: Armin Buchroithner on Bullet onsight.
Armin Buchroithner on Bullet onsight.
Rock Climbing Photo: On the arete.
On the arete.
Rock Climbing Photo: Frank escaping the shadows on Bullet.
Frank escaping the shadows on Bullet.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jordan sticking the dyno.
Jordan sticking the dyno.
Rock Climbing Photo: Not My Cross To Bear, 05/21/2005.
BETA PHOTO: Not My Cross To Bear, 05/21/2005.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Wilbur working the last moves!
Ben Wilbur working the last moves!
Rock Climbing Photo: Rocking over to the huecos on the send.
Rocking over to the huecos on the send.
Rock Climbing Photo: The upper half of Bullet the Blue Sky.
The upper half of Bullet the Blue Sky.
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking straight up.
Looking straight up.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ty with some interesting moves down low on Bullet ...
Ty with some interesting moves down low on Bullet ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Ty up high on Bullet the Blue Sky.
Ty up high on Bullet the Blue Sky.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ty on Bullet The Blue Sky.
Ty on Bullet The Blue Sky.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Hoyt in the thick of it on Bullet the Blue Sky...
Ben Hoyt in the thick of it on Bullet the Blue Sky...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nice route, nice vision.
Nice route, nice vision.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben (photo by Stuart Slay)
Ben (photo by Stuart Slay)
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben (photo by Stuart Slay)
Ben (photo by Stuart Slay)
Rock Climbing Photo: BH on Bullet the Blue.
BH on Bullet the Blue.

Comments on Bullet the Blue Sky Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 27, 2017
By Peter Franzen
General Admin
From: Phoenix, AZ
Nov 8, 2001

A truly stunning route. Just trust yourself and be confident on the dyno at the start, then get into your best zen-balance mode for the rest of the arete. A spectacular climb on perfect rock- a must do for any 5.12 climber!
By jonah
Mar 10, 2003

I did. It was so ironic that I had to find out if there was any truth to it.
By Rich Aschert
Jan 28, 2004

Jonah; There is no truth to it.
By ac
Jan 29, 2004

Unfortunate to hear Herman Gollner chipped these pockets. A little hard to believe on a 12c because he runs laps on 13c at Rifle. He's anything but fat. More of a ripped human specimen. They don't call him the Herminator for nothing. But maybe this all happened before he was that strong. Does anyone have any more details on this chipping incident? When it happened, etc?
By ac
Jan 29, 2004

it seems this was going on over here and then polite banter stopped and all was
By ac
Jan 29, 2004

Too bad Herman G. stooped to those levels. The guy is a good climber so I don't know why he bothered with chipping. Thanks for the info, Bob.
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 17, 2004

I think this Alf character might be a bit of a legend. At the Enchanted Tower in NM last March some friends and I ran into Alf -- it must be the same guy, how many people are called Alf? He introduced himself and asked if he could climb with us with a Glock strapped to his hip. How could we say no? For the next three days he did some climbing with us. He claimed to be an astrophysicist and that he lived in a school bus in nearby Datil until some local hooligans took it over, shooting at him to keep him away. He was a pathological liar but he makes a good story. Hearsay has it that he manufactured many holds on established climbs at the Enchanted Tower. Still a wicked cool area, though. He may introduce himself with a gun strapped to himself but he's harmless. To people anyway.
By Joe Collins
Apr 19, 2004
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Being an ex-NM person, I've met Alf a number of times at the Box and Enchanted Tower. He actually comes across as a nice, albeit insane, guy. I can't begin to tell you how many Alf tales (some tall) I've heard. They range from the egregious (chipping next to 45 degree wall at Hueco(see Verm's Hueco guide), threating people with guns, etc...) to the more mundane (destroying the access trail at E.T.). The guy has an " a Blender" problem at Hueco named after him, after all. Glad to see new "Alf" incidents are being experienced to this day.
By chris deulen
From: Castle Rock
May 31, 2005
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Incredible dyno, sweet moves, very balancy.
By Ryan Bibler
From: MT
Jun 29, 2006

I am by no means a 5.12 climber, but I would love a chance to hop on this classic line. Is it possible to reach the chain anchors from above to throw down a TR?
By Chris Cavallaro
Jun 29, 2006

I have TR'd this many times by climbing Huecos and then reaching left to the chain.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Sep 9, 2007

While the aesthetics and exposure of this route are indeed fantastic, I thought it would be worth mentioning that for a shorter climber (as with many routes at Penitente) the positions for clipping on this route are very strenuous and perhaps even dangerous. I enjoyed this climb but thought that poor bolting greatly took away from its status as 'best sport route in Colorado' (?). Maybe with the draws hanging it would be better...who knows....
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Dec 24, 2007
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

I felt some of Jonathan's pain on this. Since fixed draws are quite common for hard stuff, like at Rifle, it can feel satisfying to redpoint on fixed draws. Isn't the Euro-rule: If you hang/grab the draws yourself, then do it that day, that's a redpoint? I'm guessing the FA was done this way.

The second clip is a show-stopper for me. I hung a shoulder length sling on #2 and only clipped it once. No high clipping. This way trades an easier clip for increased commitment getting on the ledge. I call this method moving-a-bolt-without-screwing-up-a-masterpiece.

When Iraq was invaded, our son, Tim, was on the ground with the Marines. We were bummerized by all the war-monger propaganda in the news then. What a relief to see Bob up at Cactus. The first thing he said was "This war sucks!" I'll always be grateful for his morale boost!
By Joe Collins
Mar 20, 2009
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

I agree the bolt placements on the meat of this climb are pretty high, but I think the vast majority of people will pre-hang draws by climbing the Hueco'd 5.10 to the right. As for the 2nd bolt, you are looking at either a serious groundfall if you blow the dyno, or at the very least a bad swinging fall into the arete. Unless you walk this grade in your sleep, you will most certainly want to have that one preclipped.
By Ben Scott
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 9, 2009

Best Sport Route I have ever seen.

Climb tanks for huecos and pre-place draws.
Pre-clip second bolt to save your ass.

Drove 5 hours just to do this route.
It was worth every minute...
By Dusty
From: Fort Collins
Nov 26, 2009
rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b PG13

This is one of the best single pitch lines I have ever done!

As far as safety goes: I think it is mostly a safe bolt up. It can definitely feel a bit spicy throwing the dyno, but I feel like you could flub it and take the fall free from harm as long as your belayer was attentive. The third bolt was fine for me but a shorter climber might want to have a draw prehung on that one (the second bolt is quite a ways below you at this point). The rest of the bolts seemed fine.

Do this climb. Commit to the dyno (it's not that hard), then get prepared for a wild ride up an outrageous arete!
By Ben Randolph
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 21, 2010

This is an incredible line. The draws are hard to hang but "easy" to clip the rope. The dyno can be done statically with a left hand/ foot match, but keeping the body tension is the crux. BRILLIANT!!!!
By Nathan Welton
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 29, 2011
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Totally rad route, though best saved for colder months. Continuous slaps and pinches up the right edge make it hard when the temps are 90 degrees.

Found not one, not two, but three no-hands rests on it: the obvious rest after the dyno, a rest immediately off the ledge from the dyno, and a fat jug half way up the huecos. Would love to know if anyone else has found another!

Will try Ben's static dyno beta with the hand-foot match next time. That move scares the crap of out me for some reason.
By Nathan Welton
From: Estes Park, CO
Aug 29, 2011
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Does anyone know if this has been onsighted?
By Hank Caylor
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Aug 29, 2011

It's been onsighted.
By Mike Howard
Apr 29, 2012

Bullet the Blue Sky anchor replacement Fix the chain anchor set up. The current configuration makes you lower off of one link that is very worn out. Fixed 4/29/2012 with Bob D. and Tim Standing. Musssy hook anchor, upgraded old angle iron to 28kN hangers.
By Bruno Hache
From: Longmont, CO
May 29, 2014

Bolts #3 and #4 were upgraded by Nate Liles 05/24/2014 with ASCA Stainless 1/2 inch bolts.
The existing bolts #3 & #4 were wrong angle, hence the upgrade.
With Bob D.'s agreement, bolt #3 was lowered 8 inches to increase safety of this clip.
Special thanks to the ASCA for the hardware.
This should address the concern brought up by JStar and Dusty.
By Gajewski
Feb 22, 2016
rating: 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b PG13

Don't know about others, but if you are on the shorter side (I'm 5'7") and hanging the draws onsight, this route feels like 12++. To be fair, my technique is terrible.

Stunning line though, I recommend stick clipping the first (or the second if your me) so you don't deck on the delicate opening moves.
By Anus Herder
From: Montrose, CO
Feb 4, 2017

Ben on The Bullet!
By rojasx53
May 27, 2017
rating: 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

Pure majesty. Thank you Mother Nature for this beautiful sculpture. I'm 5'8" and sure, putting the draws up first time can feel sketchy and hard, but once you work through the beta, all the clips are super safe. Get on it!

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