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Buried Treasure 

YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 170'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Ron Olsen and Bruno Haché, 7/9/07
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 13,415
Submitted By: Orphaned on Jul 5, 2007

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  • Description 

    Buried Treasure is a fun, moderate 2-pitch sport route on Treasure Wall. It is the easiest multi-pitch sport route on the crag, and is a great first multi-pitch outing for newer climbers.

    After completing Buried Treasure, you can continue up the final pitch of Stayin' Alive (10a) for a fun, 3-pitch sport route to the top of Tonnere Tower. This variation is called Buried Alive. See ?beta photo?.

    Buried Treasure was intentionally created as a sport route, to provide an easy multi-pitch clip-up for newer climbers. In many places, it can also be protected with trad gear. If you prefer to place gear, bring your trad rack and see how many bolts you can skip. If you prefer to clip bolts, bring your quickdraws.

    Take the Treasure Wall approach, and go uphill about 60' to a slabby face just left of a huge left-facing dihedral. The route starts on this slabby face.

    P1: Climb up easy rock to the first bolt. Stem off the dihedral to the right past the first two bolts (5.9). The rock is a little friable in this area, so be careful. A more difficult variation climbs the thin face directly without stemming (5.10a). Continue up and work left onto an arete. Climb up a steep exposed face, with a cool crux at the 7th and 8th bolts. The easiest line steps up left and traverses back right (5.9). A harder variation climbs straight up past these bolts (5.10). Continue up to the anchor on a small pedestal. 5.9 to 5.10, 95', 10 bolts.

    P2: Traverse right from the pedestal, step up to clip the first bolt, and crank up to a stance (5.7). Angle up right to a steeper face by the 3rd bolt. Make some thin face moves up and right (5.8). Continue up right to an airy arete. You could also go up the gully and face left of the arete, but the arete is more fun. Climb the easy but exposed arete, past some unusual rock, and angle left to the anchor. This anchor is the starting anchor for Clean Sweep. 5.8, 75', 6 bolts.

    P3 - Sport finish: Buried Alive ***: continue with the final pitch of Stayin' Alive (5.10a, 95', 13 bolts), for a 3-pitch sport route to the top of Tonnere Tower. Angle a bit left to get to the first bolt of Stayin' Alive from the anchor atop Buried Treasure. A longer runner or two are helpful if you do this. You could also move the belay 15' left to the regular Stayin' Alive anchor; see ?beta photo?. To descend, rappel 95' back to the anchor atop Buried Treasure.

    P3 - Trad finish: If you brought a trad rack, you can finish on Clean Sweep (5.9, gear).To descend, rappel 90' back to the anchor atop Buried Treasure.

    Descents from the top of Buried Treasure:
    a. Two rappels (70' and 95') back to the start. Angle the first rappel a bit to the left to get back to the anchor atop the first pitch. After the second rappel, pull the rope from the left to keep the rope from landing on a stump in the corner on the right, 40' off the ground.

    b. If you want to do more climbs on the east face, you can do a single 95' rappel from the Stayin' Alive p1 anchor back to the start of Face Off/Nick Of Time.


    Follow the Treasure Wall approach. Hike 60' right up the hill to the start of the route, above a flat terrace. The route starts up a slabby face just left of a big left-facing dihedral.

    Eds. the beta photo has been deleted by its submitter.


    P1: 10 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.
    P2: 6 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.
    P3: (Stayin' Alive) 13 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.
    P3: (Clean Sweep) gear to 3" to a 2-bolt anchor.

    Trad climbers can skip some of the bolts and place gear on the route if they so desire.

    Photos of Buried Treasure Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Low on the first pitch.
    Low on the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Andrew Matthews leading the first pitch.
    Andrew Matthews leading the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Greg K. high on the first pitch.
    Greg K. high on the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Caolan leading the second pitch. Great moves and f...
    Caolan leading the second pitch. Great moves and f...

    Comments on Buried Treasure Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 30, 2014
    By Mike McMahon
    From: Little Cottonwood Canyon, Utah
    Jul 17, 2007

    Climbed the "Buried Alive" (p1 & p2 Buried Treasure, p3 Staying Alive) variation last night. Great link-up. The undercling traverse into the V-slot on the final pitch was really fun. Thanks for all of the work you've done on this area Ron!
    By Jake Wyatt
    From: Longmont, CO
    Jul 20, 2007

    With the Buried Alive finish, this climb packs a nice variety of climbing into the three pitches.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Sep 22, 2007
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    One of the better lines in this part of the wall, sadly, it deserves no more than 2 bolts. Lead ground-up on gear while cleaning it, the only bolts that tempted me were those leading out right to gain the arete 2/3 up, but I found myself on 5.8 jugs anyway... Both bolts there are OK, but only one was really needed to protect the moves.
    If those had been the only bolts this would read differently, but that is not the case.

    I cleaned a lot of cracks out with my nut tool and sewed the climb up as I liked, save for that one place. It's a shame it was not done in mixed or trad style, in my opinion. This is a good candidate for the FA party to reconsider the bolts on. In my opinion, the route would be improved.
    By percious
    From: Bear Creek, CO
    May 26, 2008
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I led this yesterday with a set of cams and stoppers. I feel it is rather well protected. As Tony has stated above, I think this route should be considered for retro-unbolting with the first ascentionist's permission. I think the bolts left of the crack on P2 of Staying Alive are an atrocity. This part of the climb in particular is well protected and does not warrant permanent fixtures. I encourage other 5.9 leaders to lead the route traditionally and weigh in on the issue.

    For those looking to lead this marvelous climb, a set of stoppers (every other size will probably do) and cams to 2 1/2 inches will be suitable, perhaps with doubles in the 1/2->1 inch sizes.

    By Mark Cushman
    From: Cumming, GA
    Jun 2, 2008

    Dear Buried Treasure,

    We first met at the suggestion of a friend, he told me I'd like you and that you were fun. Boy, he was right! We had some good times, didn't we? Sure, I may have gotten a little off-track with you here or there, but I always came back! I'm sorry it had to end - it's not you, it's me! I like you just the way you are. Don't you ever change!


    P.S. I'll come visit again soon.
    By kevinnlong
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 8, 2008
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    If put to a vote, I would support chopping all but two bolts on this route. Leave the anchors; that is fine, but the bolts next to the cracks should be removed.

    With that said, this is an excellent route. I really enjoyed my experiences today at the tower. Thank you FA folk.
    By Wayne DENSMORE
    From: Superior, CO
    Sep 19, 2008

    As a new climber, doing mostly top ropes, just learning to lead some sport routes but having no experience placing gear yet, this route was a blast! Went with a better climber and actually led the middle pitch.

    Thanks for putting this up!
    By Tom Woods
    Sep 21, 2008

    I would like to express my sincere thanks and appreciation to Ron Olsen, Bruno Hache, Bob D'Antonio, Ken Cangi and others who contributed their considerable time, effort, expense and expertise to create the climbing routes that are now to be found on Tonnere Tower. Please keep up your excellent work. I climbed at this area for the first time today and had a truly outstanding day of climbing. I will be back for more.
    By E Johnson
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 3, 2008

    Guess what, there are climbers who don't climb trad. And never will. While trad climbers can choose not to use the bolts and put their gear in the cracks (the bolts aren't in their way in the cracks), but if you lead sport, what? you are sorry out of luck because a bunch of purists get to decide when rock gets bolted?? I was up at Exit 38 in WA appreciating the rare opportunity to have lots of moderate sport routes to gain lead experience on and then thought about Boulder Canyon, or Boulder in general and how there are all these people who think "if it's protectable, nearby bolts are an abomination and should be chopped". As much as I love where I live and the granite of the canyon and the close proximity of a lot climbing, it was a drag thinking about the attitudes I would be returning to.

    It's just rock climbing, people, and there are different styles. Why should trad preclude sport climbing? Sport climbers aren't stopping trad climbers from doing their thing. As soon as you step off a trail you've changed nature. As soon as you apply sticky shoe rubber to the rock, you are aiding. Live and let live.
    By Kyle Turner
    From: Brighton, CO
    Oct 30, 2008
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    Bolts or gear, the buried alive link is a blast. Nice work guys! Look forward to going back for more on Tonnere.
    By kyle breuning
    Aug 29, 2009

    Concering a loose anchor,

    The nut is loose on the left anchor. I still rapped down from both but would not recommend this to anyone! The anchors are mentioned above in the beta. The anchors atop the second pitch, 15 feet to left (I believe these are the anchors to one of the routes on the right of Sport Land) of the typical second pitch anchors.
    By Jeff Welch
    From: Denver, CO
    Sep 3, 2009
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Traddies have been driving past this crag and route for at least 50 years to get to Castle Rock, yet never bothered to do it. It was hardly cutting edge difficulty, even 50 years ago, so you can't use "too hard" as an excuse.

    If it hadn't been bolted, it would probably remain undone, or at best, obscure. As it is, it's a fun, easy, well-protected multipitch climb that seems to get regular traffic. I doubt that would be the case if the bolts were removed.

    I bet not a single person would have carried a rack up here if not for the "see how many bolts you can skip" challenge posed by the FA.
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 16, 2009
    rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

    Buried Treasure was intentionally created as a sport route, to provide an easy multi-pitch clip-up for newer climbers (this is how we rationalize bolting cracks). In almost all places, it can also be protected with trad gear. If you prefer to place gear, bring your trad rack (nuts and cams up to 1") and see how many bolts you can skip. If you prefer to clip bolts, bring your quickdraws, no nuts needed.
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 16, 2009
    rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

    E Johnson: Birds get to fly because they have wings, fish get to live underwater because they have gills, and trad climbers get to climb cracks because they use equipment available since the late '70s that protect cracks without leaving a mark. If you want to climb cracks, learn to place gear in them. No one is making you climb cracks, go nuts on bolted slabs! Just skip the bolts, I mean cracks!

    Just because the rock can be bolted doesn't mean it should be. Placing a nut in a crack and removing it when you're done should preclude drilling a hole in the rock and pounding some metal into it.

    Jeff Welch: I carried a light trad rack up the 5 minute approach because I heard they over-bolted the place and wanted to skip the bolts, yes.
    By Jason Wells
    Oct 21, 2009

    Yo admins, why were my comments about this climb removed?! The Cascade Creek discussion prompted me to look back at some of the prior comments I made after doing most of the Tonnere Tower climbs, but they are all gone! I simply don't understand, are only glowing reviews of this climb acceptable?

    FWIW, I climbed this specific route and found that the overwhelming number of bolts, especially those on the third pitch next to the crack in the corner, to greatly detract from the climb and the overall experience of the wall. It could have been a great route.
    By CJ Coccia
    From: Denver, CO
    May 21, 2010

    Did the Buried Alive extension and continued on the third pitch...seems like it would be good to carry some longer runners as I experienced a lot of rope friction leading up.
    By Michael Kopinsky
    Aug 27, 2010

    With the Buried Alive linkup, this was awesome.

    As a new leader who has yet to place a single trad piece, I appreciate that this is bolted. Thanks to the FAs.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Aug 29, 2010
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I can see where you'd place gear.... But I think some of the bolts are "necessary" near the top of the first pitch. The bolts are there, it would be stupid to remove them, live and let live. This place saw no attention before Ron O, Bob D and crew so they should develop it how they saw fit. What used to be an overgrown, mossy POS crag now sees 20+ climbers on a sunday afternoon.

    Overall, it is pretty overrated. 5.9?!?
    By topher
    Jul 5, 2011

    Climbed "Buried Alive" variation and while this link up could go on gear it was a great line and sometimes clippin' bolts is fun.
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Oct 8, 2011
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Fun route! I felt it was no harder than 5.8, and no more than 5.9 on the direct variations.
    By Rob Davies UK
    From: Cheshire, UK
    Oct 14, 2011
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Good climbing, nice positions, but would be better had it been done as a trad climb
    By L G
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 27, 2011

    Great route with some interesting variety and expansive views. The bolts near the bottom felt a little widely spaced for my tastes. I was glad the route didn't require dragging up trad gear, giving it a more modern feel than some of the "mixed" routes in the Canyon. This area would be relegated to an obscure footnote in an aging guidebook without the bolting effort. Instead, parties were lined up waiting to play on clearly popular routes -- good work!
    By dseltzer
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 1, 2011
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Good route. First pitch is a solid 5.9 with the second quite a bit easier. A great first multi-pitch, or just a fun climb for the more experienced. I for one am glad that it's bolted. I took a less experienced friend on his first multi pitch, and was glad to be able to just climb a moderate sport route with him his first time. It's nice to have a few of these longer sport routes in the canyon to teach or just have fun on. Leave the bolts up!
    By Rich F.
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Apr 21, 2012
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Fantastic climb -- especially when the 3rd pitch is added in the "Buried Alive" variation. This climb is worth doing again!
    By Zack Wentz
    From: Bishop, CA
    Apr 23, 2012

    Just climbed "Buried Treasure" this afternoon, and I must say this has got to be one of my all-time favorite climbs. It's been so hard finding quality, bolted, multi-pitch routes in the canyon. It really is "Buried Treasure," as finding a route this well-bolted with this much vertical climbing in such a bomber spot is really discovering something new.

    That said, please don't retro-bolt or remove bolts from this route. I'm new to climbing, and I'm hoping to eventually become a trad leader doing multi-pitch climbing. The standard progression for a climber learning to lead trad is to lead sport routes before attempting to lead trad. We need routes like these still available for amateurs like myself to practice the belay transition, hauling, and top-belay systems that are crucial to know when doing a multi-pitch and/or big wall climb. The bolts aren't affecting where you place your trad gear, so please cut us a break and leave the route as it is. I'll promise to approach it in a year with my trad gear.
    By JJR
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 12, 2012

    Did the "Buried Alive" variation this afternoon. So awesome, highly recommended! The first pitch is a fun 5.8 with some cool moves (I'm a newer leader so if you're really experienced maybe not as fun). The second pitch is pretty short but has some neat exposure. The real fun is doing the last pitch of "Stayin' Alive", 5.10a. Just awesome... like I said I'm a newer leader, so this felt pretty exhilarating for me. Regardless, I think this route is well worth doing. Great views of Boulder Falls (had lots of tourists staring/pointing/taking pictures of us while climbing lol...) and great climbing. One complaint: if you don't have runners or slings, there is definitely some serious drag on that third pitch.

    As to all the trad vs. bolts debate... sure this route could definitely be done on gear, but some people don't have a rack (myself included); someday I hope to lead trad and have a full rack and maybe I will come back and do this all on gear, but let's face it, this is Boulder Canyon... it's bolted out the wazoo... you wouldn't be preserving anything by taking the bolts off this unless you somehow took the bolts off the other 700 some odd sport routes in the canyon. (In other words... have pity on those of us not fortunate enough to have a full rack.)
    By Andrew Locke
    From: Louisville, CO
    Jun 30, 2013
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    I lead this today, with the Buried Alive linkup, and enjoyed it quite a bit. I would definitely put the third pitch at 5.10a, and I think the first route goes at 8+, if only for the sequence right by the tree. There's a nice two/three finger pocket that makes it much easier, but without it, I can't see the pitch going lower than 8+.

    To anyone doing the three pitch linkup, I would recommend anchoring on the two bolts at the top of Stayin' Alive's first pitch, rather than the bolts on Buried Treasure. There might be some drag up the second pitch, but this anchor is visible to the bottom belayer (the normal anchor is not), and the zig-zag out left to the first bolt only to move back right to the second bolt made for a pretty nasty fall when I took the wrong approach.

    All that said, I really enjoyed the route. The crux on p3 (the finger crack dihedral section IMO) was fantastic!
    By Elijah Flenner
    Sep 21, 2014

    I combined the last pitch of Buried Treasure with the last pitch of Staying Alive, which resulted in much rope drag. However, this does make for a long and enjoyable pitch, just make sure you have several long runners and consider back cleaning or skipping some bolts.
    By Ken Cangi
    From: Eldorado Springs, CO
    Oct 30, 2014

    Buried Alive feels like the most natural line of pitches. Very fun three-pitch 5.9. Great intro for aspiring 5.9 leaders. Carry your approach shoes, as the walk-off is much easier and faster than rapping.

    Pitch 1: (Buried Treasure) 5.8-
    Pitch 2: (Buried Treasure) 5.6
    Pitch 3: (Staying Alive crux) 5.9.

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