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Cardinal Richelieu 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c X

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 160'
Original:  YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c X [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 604
Submitted By: Tony B on Jul 1, 2001

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The climb is difficult to find, but can be identified by the "elephant ear" flake near the bottom and the "cat claw" flake in the middle of the North Face of Upper Peanuts Wall. I finally tracked down this climb because it was the ONLY 5.8+ in Eldo that I had never climbed. In the book it gets a *, but I disagree. This review is meant to WARN you about this route, not to encourage you to go climb it.

My partner (a 5.10 climber in his own right) said that he would never lead the route and that he thought it would be a horror for an intermediate leader.


The pro is difficult in places and non-existent in others. Where it is available it is usually in questionable rock. This route could end the climbing career of anyone who is not "SOLID" at this grade of climbing.

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By Peter Spindloe
From: North Vancouver, BC
Jan 11, 2002

I was Tony's partner on this route. I would like to agree with, support, and reinforce what he said. You don't want to do this route! Vertical lichenous kitty litter, climbed with fingers spread wide to spread the load. Tony coined the term "cragmire" to describe this climb.

It was so bad that rather than pitching it out into the two guidebook pitches, Tony ran it to the top to get a safe belay. While seconding, I found that the rope had flipped around a flake requiring me to aid some moves under the "cat claw" flake. I placed a cam blind, hauled on the 'biner and stuck a hand jam in the same crack as the cam. The combined outward pressure of the cam and the jam moved the block.
By Cisco
Jul 10, 2003

This route was fun but DIRTY definitely not deadly and not very serious but eye opening and enthralling...ahh that silly Cardinal.
Jan 14, 2004

My partner and I decided that "Cardinal Douchebag" might be a more appropriate name for this route when we did it sometime in the mid to early 90's. It's right up there with "Voodoo" (if you like doo-doo, do do Voodoo...") for starred routes that no one should go near...
By Clint Locks
From: Boulder
Jul 18, 2007
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R

This climb reminds me of everything I love about climbing...since it boasts absolutely none of it! That it was bestowed a star in the guidebook is purely mind-boggling. Perhaps the most positive thing about it is its random name, which inspirited me to embark on a webquest for its namesake.

The Cardinal is quoted as saying "If you give me six lines written by the most honest man, I will find something in them to hang him." We must assume that Rossiter is an honest man...with an imperfect memory of his climbing experience on Cardinal Richelieu.

BUT...The first 25 feet of this climb is actually really fun! Bummer.

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