REI Community
Bucksnort Slab
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Bouxsnort S 
Buck Fever T 
Bucksnort Boulder Crack T 
Bushes of Baelzebub T 
Classic Dihedral T 
Core Dump S 
Crazy Face 
Good Virbrations T,S 
Gumbi Groove S 
Hurricane Gloria T 
Left Out T,TR 
Motor Mouth T 
Nuclear Burn S 
Overlooked T,S 
Pokey Minds the Baby S 
Prickle's Problem S 
Saque Los Panta Lones T,S 
Shake 'n' Bake T 
Slippery When Dry T 
Slippery When Wet T,S 

Classic Dihedral 

YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 18,383
Submitted By: Tyler Jones on Jun 15, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (151)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Classic Dihedral.

Private Property MORE INFO >>>


This is one of my favorite 5.7s in Colorado. It's long (160 feet), takes good pro, and clean rock the entire way. The route is very easily found right where the trail from the road first meets the rock at a large flat opening. It's the obvious dihedral that continues all the way to the top. There is a second pitch.

The first fifty feet is only an easy warmup, then the real fun begins at a small ledge. Follow the perfect crack up past some great hand jams and into a lieback finish at the top. Easiest way down is with two 50m ropes on rappel.

The 2nd pitch is not recommended, due to the rock and private land issues.


Bring a standard rack with cams mostly between #0.5 and #1 (Camalots). I usually find camp tri-cams and large stoppers to be useful. If you are not completely comfortable at leading 5.7, then I would recommend bringing a #4 Camalot for the last move, otherwise it's not worth the weight.

Photos of Classic Dihedral Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: JC at the crux of Crack of Anticipation.
JC at the crux of Crack of Anticipation.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ethan Hill at the top. Fist crack for him!
Ethan Hill at the top. Fist crack for him!
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top of pitch 1.
Nearing the top of pitch 1.
Rock Climbing Photo: Going up the dihedral.
Going up the dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben at the top of Classic Dihedral  on a really ni...
Ben at the top of Classic Dihedral on a really ni...
Rock Climbing Photo: Anne Carrier seconding Classic Dihedral on a 1984 ...
Anne Carrier seconding Classic Dihedral on a 1984 ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Nathan cleaning towards the top.
Nathan cleaning towards the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: 100 ft. to go?
100 ft. to go?
Rock Climbing Photo: It's a classic!!
It's a classic!!
Rock Climbing Photo: This is Scott leading off on Classic Dihedral 6/7/...
This is Scott leading off on Classic Dihedral 6/7/...
Rock Climbing Photo: Naomi and her dog, L'Hopitol, ready to send the cl...
Naomi and her dog, L'Hopitol, ready to send the cl...
Rock Climbing Photo: Kevin about midway.
Kevin about midway.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ethan Hill closing in.
Ethan Hill closing in.
Rock Climbing Photo: Almost to the traverse left above the lieback.
Almost to the traverse left above the lieback.
Rock Climbing Photo: Tristan near the top of Classic Dihedral.
Tristan near the top of Classic Dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: The fun part at the top.
The fun part at the top.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gary leading on a 1984 ascent of Classic Dihedral.
Gary leading on a 1984 ascent of Classic Dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff found a rest ledge. Take advantage when you f...
Jeff found a rest ledge. Take advantage when you f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Anne making progress towards belay.
Anne making progress towards belay.
Rock Climbing Photo: You can use a #6 tri-cam below the chockstone and ...
BETA PHOTO: You can use a #6 tri-cam below the chockstone and ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt McGregor on Crack of Anticipation.  Photo by ...
Matt McGregor on Crack of Anticipation. Photo by ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Good times at the lieback section.
Good times at the lieback section.
Rock Climbing Photo: Matt's first trad crack climb.
Matt's first trad crack climb.
Rock Climbing Photo: Enjoying the lieback near the top.
Enjoying the lieback near the top.

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Classic Dihedral Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 31, 2016
By Ben F
From: Benfield, Kolorado
Aug 21, 2001

This is a nice and safe route - a true This is also not a bad route to rope solo. To do this, scramble the slabby start to the base of the dihedral and set your anchor there. I think I used a 1 Friend and a 1.5 Friend. This route eats passive gear, but bring some cams in the 3 to 4 Friend range for sure. Any less-than-vertical crack that is friendly to passive gear should sound some alarm bells in your head before you pull your ropes after the rappel.
By Joe Keyser
From: Scottsdale, AZ
Aug 22, 2001

Totally classic! Can (will) be crowded on weekends, but, definately worth doing. This climb makes a good first lead climb for a lot of people...good practice climbing with and above gear. IMO, this would be a challenging first trad lead, but, definately good for that. Also, there is a whoping 20 foot approach!
By Darrin Stein
From: Vancouver, WA
Dec 5, 2001

Another name for this route is the "Classic Dihedral" (for obvious reasons). Great route that normally has a waiting line on any given summer weekend.
By Zachary Markis
Apr 3, 2002

Mr. Shane Zentner introduced this area to me. The Bucksnort Slab is full of fun stuff! This route, in particular, is f*@&%$n' awesome!!! Definitely, save those bigger cams for the top--#3. or #4 Camalot. Top of first pitch is great belay on a huge shelf!
By Jeff Lockyer
From: Canmore, AB
Apr 5, 2002

As Ben mentioned. You will see shredded rope on the way up the crack and you coudl have yourself a mini epic with rope problems on this route. The anchors are placed in a perfect spot to ensure your rope enters the crack at least once after being pulled. Be careful !! This is although a great route for leader breaking into 5.8 leading. The wide stuff at the top could warrant some larger cams (#3 Camalot) for security of the mind. Also, for the top part you DON'T need a big cam, as there is a very solid block slung with several pieces of webbing. Clip these and cruise to the anchors. Watch in the summer for bees in the wide section just before the anchors. Awesome route.
By Scott Duke
Aug 25, 2003

Classic climb. 160 ft of hand jams, finger jams, and laybacks. Bomber anchors and rappel rings. Bring plenty of gear as the route has many spots where you'll want to place it. Leave the #4 cams at home, clip the chockstone at the top, and run out the rest to the anchors. Celebrate with a beer at the Bucksnort.
By Zachary Thomas
Aug 30, 2003

Hey, I heard though the grapevine that the bolts were chopped at the top is that true??? I guess it happened in the last week or so 8-30-03.
By Drew Kurry
Sep 21, 2003

The bolts are intact at the end of the first pitch and are bomber. After the chockstone and lieback section, the bolts are to the left and tucked up on a nice ledge that becomes more expansive as you move climbers left. There is a bomber hand hold at the end making the traverse left from the crack to the bolts easier.

Great climb!
By Larry Shaw
May 29, 2004
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Cool climb with nice finger to hand jams, to bad it's so slick though...medium to large stoppers and .5 to 3" cams worked nicely. I managed to jam my carcass into the layback section up top...mmm love crack.
By Matt Chan
From: Boulder
Jul 12, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Definitely a classic 5.7! Leave anything micro in the pack and carry double 3" cams (save a 3" for the wider section near the top and don't miss the slung chockstone).
By Steve Jenkins
From: Denver
Feb 15, 2005
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great route...only caution you that there has been some rockfall on occasion.I recall one Fred Keith pulling off a bowlingball sized rock from the crack back in the 80s...lucky my GF and I moved from the trajectory and it landed on a jeep in the parking area below on the road. Moral of this story....keep clear of the base of the rock, and NEVER let your infants or anything you dont want squashed to hang around at the base of the climb. Have seen kids in baskets at the base of what is "clean" granite...clean for 99.99% of the time...but shit happens.

Now you are more likely to be hit by another climbers gear, or body, but keep your loved ones or other dumb animals away from the base of this, and other, climbs.

On on
By Anonymous Coward
May 16, 2005

Just to re-iterate.. Great climb. The bolts are there, the route seemed quite clean, and you can leave "micro" stuff behind. As for the first pitch, you really don't need a #3. I took two, saving them for the end and never used them. However, you may want them for the second pitch..
By Ross Tichota
Jun 11, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This was my first trad lead and it was sweet! Nice long route so lots of practice placing all sorts of gear. I mean everything, nuts, tri cams, hexes, and cams. The crack gets bigger as you go up and [definitely] bring the 3 Camalot, clutch before the chockstone. enjoy
By Surlyman
Aug 13, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This crack is indeed a classic. I did it for the 3rd time last weekend, and it never fails to impress. After scrambling up 25 feet to the start of the dihedral, it is fingers and hands with foot jams and some thin feet on the face for two-thirds of the climb. The crack then starts to widen out and you need to rely on some thin face smearing and possibly some off-width technique with the upper body.

No need for a very large cam in the lieback section near the top as the slings on the chock are still sound. Bolts at the top of pitch 1 are solid at a nice belay ledge.

I wouldn't recommend this route as a first trad climb unless you are already comfortable on cracks. The 5.7 rating is fair, but the route is sustained at that grade for 120+ feet.
By Sara
From: Conifer, CO
Oct 17, 2005
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This was a pretty great route. There are some climbs that are too short and this one makes up for it. A little on the slippery side and still pretty busy in mid October. The lieback at the end was great, nice little variety ending there.
By Buff Johnson
Jan 19, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Great natural line!

If you want to find out if you enjoy trad climbing, this is your first real lead. The route is getting a little slick due to all the traffic, but totally protectable. This lead is amazing endorphin rush as compared to seconding or TR-ing it.

The final off-width section, just clip all the slings around the chockstone and go for it as a lie-back, there is a hold that saves you in the end of the section. Don't try to chimney or suck yourself into the final off-width (you will spend another half an hour trying to get yourself out). (the webbing/cords were removed/gone as of 4/23/06 - you may want to bring some webbing &/or slings for the chockstone if you want to protect yourself on the final section - this is a very committing section -- I understand all of that was probably considered "tat", I'm not saying removing all of it was right/wrong, just letting potential leaders know they need to bring some removable webbing to sling a natural, if they feel that they need the chockstone when leading).

Three bolt station at the finish of the route with some chaining for redundancy, 2-rope rap back down (a single 70m - not to the ground, it's just about exactly 50m to the anchor). After a rappel descent, you will learn to whip your rope when you pull it from the anchor so it doesn't fall into the crack.

The photo submitted by Ross shows to really extend your rope away from constricting in the rock at the lieback section so as to prevent the rope drag.

Also, please don't go up the slab near the house (continuing on from the end of the P1 bolt anchors), they haven't minded us climbing here, this rock is their property, but they don't want climbers in their face either.
By Tim Silvers
Apr 26, 2006

I led this for the first time on Sunday. I thought it would be less exposed and easier to reach the start of the crack by climbing up the groove on the left. That was probably about 5.6 and had some reachy moves. I'm not sure I recommend it, although I got a nice sling around a horn before making the more exposed moves up to the first ledge. I was trying to not place any pro that was much out of line with the main crack, in order to reduce rope drag at the top. Some people climb the first 50 feet, place some pro in the splitter crack to the right and then move the belay up to the ledge. I wanted to do it in one long pitch.

Ditto what others said about midsize gear and not needing small stuff. I used most of my big stoppers in the first 50 feet or so. Wish I had more 1" to 2.5" cams for the wider section below the layback section. I ran that out instead of stopping to fiddle with passive gear. As Mark said, the slings around the chockstone under the layback flake have been cut. You could sling your own, or I got a decent green Alien in the crack to the left then ran out to the anchors. Great route! Sustained climbing will give you a workout.
By Sam Benedict
From: Denver, CO
Jul 24, 2006
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

It's sooo freakin' long! I loved it. Don't really need anything larger than a #3. The second pitch is short, harder, and not nearly as fun.
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Aug 20, 2006
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Did this route today, it was my first climb in the South Platte and I must say it was a nice intro. A little harder then I first thought, but every bit enjoyable as it looks. I brought my #4 for the wide section but just ran it out to the anchor instead; a fall would have been fun though. I thought it was easier to keep moving then to stop in a weird lieback with (not the most positive holds) trying to place gear. Is the second pitch above the anchor?

Waited for 2 parties to climb it this Sunday, could have been worse though.
By Buff Johnson
May 20, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Every time I come in to lead this climb, it shows me something awesome about climbing.

I really enjoyed pushing the final section without the chockstone slings and just went for it for the final 25 feet, absolutely a classic!!
By DianaZ
From: Denver,CO
Jun 27, 2010

Climbed this route on Friday. The directions were a little misleading - the wall is only a mile from the turn to go to Sphinx Park, and it's on your left. It's hard to see as you're driving in that direction, so we actually passed it and on the way back it was right infront of us.
Fun Climb....
By Cindy Mitchell
Jul 30, 2010
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Mmmmmmmm, this route will love you long time. I brought a #4 cam and found the perfect placement. Lie back the top - its the easiest way to climb this section.
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Aug 15, 2010
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I would be hard pressed to come up with a more consistent climb for the grade that I've ever climbed. Fingers, hands, fist to laybacking it has it all. But...don't climb it at 1:00 in the afternoon if you want to enjoy it - too hot!
By Rodger Raubach
Sep 10, 2010
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

The suggestion to only do the 1st pitch is a good one; otherwise the descent is a real pain. Very continuous at the grade; felt stiff at 5.7, but not an "8."
By Rich F.
From: Colorado Springs, CO
May 7, 2011
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Fun route. Took two ropes and rappeled after the 1st pitch. Anchors look good, and expected a crowd but none materialized. Had the slab all to ourselves. Then found out on the long sustained route that I am seriously out of climbing shape :-)
By Hiro Kurotsuchi
From: Colorado
Jun 15, 2013
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Slab start, hope you like that, pretty safe fall though. Crack of all sizes here - finger, hand, offwidth. The new Haas et al book suggests double rack #0.3-2, #3. I used everything I brought up - nuts (medium to large), hexes (#1, #2, #3 equivalent). Leave the C3s in your bag. Didn't bring the #4 - as someone else mentioned it, you can place it at the section just below the anchor - wish I had brought it. Doing it again, I would skip the hexes and just double the cams as suggested.

Anchor is in good condition, just choose wisely which bolts you will use, since there are five (new and old).

Be careful of the rap, it's high - we used half-ropes, so didn't have length issues.

Easily the best easy, sustained crack climb I've done outside the Creek. Plenty of protection opportunities too (if you have the gear).

I don't recommend this as a lead for someone not comfortable on crack and don't recommend it if you only have a single rack (you can run it out of course). I rated the climb 5.8-, the rock angle is good, but still demanding of the 5.6-5.9 trad leader.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Sep 29, 2013

I have done this route four times. Once, I placed only passive gear, lots of nuts and some hexes. So, I don't think you need a double set of cams.
By Deke Doty
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Nov 3, 2013

I hadn't been on C.O.A. in twenty years, still a blast with a little Platte spice. Much funner with a nice full rack, instead of two cams, stoppers, and a hex. New book shows being able to rap with a 70m, not true. Double rope rap.
By Clinton woods
From: arvada, co
Mar 8, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Very fun climb. Being good on crack helps.
By B. Smith
From: Denver, CO
Jul 16, 2014

If rappelling the route, you need a double rope system. There might be a way to swing over to the bolted anchors for the route to the left to do a double rappel, but it might just be easier to have the two ropes.
By William Thiry
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 27, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Terrific climb that will give you a great workout. The rock is very polished/slippery, so while the hands usually have good holds in the crack, the feet will be slipping most of the way except where you can jam them. This leads the route to being very strenuous and taxing on the leader. Every climber in our party of five felt that the 5.8+ just up the crag was easier because it had better friction (albeit more awkward moves).
By amyblazintoes
Apr 11, 2016

Rookie my BD C3 #2 stuck 10' above where the real fun begins. If you wriggle it free, good karma and a 6-pack of your choice...pretty please.
By Ben Henson
From: Denver, CO
Jun 24, 2016
rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Such a fun lead! We rapped off the top with a 70 meter rope and only made it down to the ledge where the crack starts, easy walk off from there. Reminds me a little of the first two pitches of the Bastille. Instead of laybacking the last section, I did it more like an offwidth which was super fun and pumpy! Used a full set of cams up to #3, 1 mid-sized nut, and 1 hex.
By KurtL
From: Denver, Co
Jul 31, 2016

I got chased off this route by an angry bat today. I'd rather not have to get rabies shots, but, from what I climbed, it was super fun! It eats pro, I was kind of wishing I had doubles right when I ran into him.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jul 31, 2016

You don't need doubles. I have lead it placing just nuts!

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About