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Climb Of The Century 

YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.11 French: 6c+ Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E4 5c [details]
FA: Sharp, Newman, Butterfield, 1980
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 10,449
Submitted By: Alex Shainman on Oct 27, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (99)
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Patrick making it look like a walk in the park. S...

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  • Description 

    Judging by the amount of chalk on the holds, this must be a popular route. The line is stellar. One of the best pitches of the grade, but probably not led as often as one might think...Modern gear has made an amazing impact! Before micro cams this was a super serious lead. Now its still a bit heads up, but the competent climber with Aliens or TCU's should be OK.

    The start of the route is a play on angular irregularities. Two ways to start: Power straight up the pillar (reachy), or stem the left side and tiptoe out right(balancy). Small cams protect between the two fixed pieces (both dubious). Crank past that pin and now climb the cool dihedral with stems and liebacks and better pro. Lower off 78'.


    0.3"-1.5" cams (2x.4" "sews it up"), nuts, 1 fixed peg + 1 fixed Roller (YIKES!). Lower off anchor.

    Photos of Climb Of The Century Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Sonnie T. walks up the Climb of the Century..
    Sonnie T. walks up the Climb of the Century..
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kurt on his flash of Climb of the Century.
    Kurt on his flash of Climb of the Century.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The best climbing is above the crux,  there are go...
    The best climbing is above the crux, there are go...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Chrissy Sloan in 2005.
    Photo by Chrissy Sloan in 2005.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Matt, high on the route.
    Matt, high on the route.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kurt placing crux gear, small TCU.
    Kurt placing crux gear, small TCU.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb in the steep corner of 'Climb of the Cen...
    Tony Bubb in the steep corner of 'Climb of the Cen...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tim Fleming on Climb of the Century.
    Tim Fleming on Climb of the Century.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The crux is getting to a large rail up and right. ...
    The crux is getting to a large rail up and right. ...

    Comments on Climb Of The Century Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jan 16, 2017
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Oct 29, 2001
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Like some other climbs at Rincon (including the namesake), this climb is a little soft at it's grade, feeling more like 11a to me. The climb plays best to people who stem and smear well. Ballnuts and micro-cams are both useful.
    By StanL
    From: Louisville, CO
    Apr 18, 2002
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    FYI: A while back a friend and I hammered in the pin on this climb. We were able to drive it in at least an inch. While still not bomber, it no longer belongs in the Eldorado fixed gear _hall of shame_ like, say, the tattered ball nut directly below it. Great line.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 8, 2002
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    you lanzanos are always good stewards at your local crags. i finally got to do this route yesterday and it was even better than i had hoped. a classic for sure. and the pin looks pretty bomber now. thanks stan.
    By Joe Collins
    Apr 21, 2003
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Two words: Black Alien!

    eldo top-10, maybe top-5

    About the same difficulty as Center Route. I can see this being thought of as harder-11 back in the pre-small cam days.
    By Joe Collins
    Sep 29, 2003
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    The black alien backs up the old fixed slider nut at the start.
    By Kirk Woerner
    Feb 27, 2004

    Somebody tell me why this seems easier than Center Routeto me? This is now officially on my lead list (TRed it clean first time, which is way more than I can say for Center Route)
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 27, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    kirk- in my opinion, this really isn't any harder than center route, it is just that the moves are much more serious on lead. you can sew up the crux of the center route while climb of the century has a decently uncertain fall at the beginning crux. all that aside, they are both classic!
    By Charles Vernon
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Feb 27, 2004
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    I don't think the moves are "much more serious on lead." I led this route for the second time last week, and whipped twice off the crux onto a bomber cam. Short, safe fall. In fact, I'd feel comfortable falling anywhere on this route. There are some tricky placements but the gear is good!

    Kirk--it may feel easier because the crux, while hard, is kind of a boulder problem (and balancy rather than powerful), plus there are decent rests most of the rest of the way.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 27, 2004
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    charles- glad to hear that the gear held so well. when i lead this route i didn't fall on the gear so i never had a good sense if it was as good as it looked. it just didn't seem as straight forward and easy to guage as the gear on center route. that is why i said is was more uncertain. either way, a definate must lead route.
    By d-know
    From: electric lady land
    Jan 26, 2006
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    I've only been to Eldo once, but this route is what I remember most.
    Good lead.
    By Kirill Kireyev
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 18, 2008
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Somehow I managed to get suckered left around the corner at the beginning. Don't do that.

    Bring a black and blue Aliens or two blacks for the crux. Blue TCU/Red BD are too big.
    By Scotty Nelson
    From: Boulder
    Mar 23, 2009

    As of 3/21/09 the slider nut at the start was gone, although a grey TCU works in its spot.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Oct 7, 2009
    rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Be careful placing a blue Alien in the slot before the crux move to the jug. We fixed one that took 15-20 minutes to extract. A black Alien or blue ballnut might work better there.

    We also managed to temporarily stick a blue Alien before the pin. The trigger bar became wedged in the crack. I guess it wasn't a good day for blue Aliens for us.

    Great climb with good gear and holds when you need them, but not at the same time.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    May 26, 2011

    I got the RP on this yesterday, and if anyone cares the following gear sewed it up through the crux nicely.

    Grey/purple Mastercam hybrid.
    Medium nut in the finger slot where the pillar gets steep.
    Green C3 in the slot below the jug/rail.
    Green C3 just below the pin above the jug/rail.
    I found a blue/yellow Mastercam hybrid useful for the next placement.

    That crack is pretty funky up high. I recommend bringing hybrids, or just placing a lot.
    By Tommey-James
    From: Boulder,Colorado
    Jul 11, 2011
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    Really fun climb with really small pro for the first 20/25 ft. I found the crux to be a reasonably well-protected. It is a little scary busting the crux moves near the deck on thin pro, though. Up higher, the climbing eases off, but the gear is a little spaced, not too big of a deal if you made it through the bottom, though. I would recommend taking doubled of 0 and 00 size cams (may be even triple of 0 but not necessary). I thought it was more sustained than the crux pitch of C'est la Vie just for reference.
    By Bob Rotert
    Apr 11, 2012
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    If you have confidence in the gear or are able to get good gear in reasonably quickly, that helps with the difficulties of this route.

    I can see the opinion of a rating rise or fall for the individual ascent depending on how well the leader gets the gear in and how much confidence they have in the gear placed. When led, the climb has a bit of gear, head, and pump factor that can add to the pure technical difficulty. The small cams you can get on this seem pretty good. Some people have total confidence in micro cams and are totally comfortable whipping on them. However, I always prefer not to put them to the test myself and this route has a really bad landing area.

    Critical placements: A blue Alien or purple TCU in the upper slot before the jug. Blue TCU placed in the slot before the pin, from the jug, are what I use to protect the opening moves.
    By Corey Flynn
    From: USA
    Feb 20, 2015

    Over the years I've probaly lead/sent this thing 15 times and taken 3 times as many TR laps, and I've never been able to climb it straight up. One time on a little bit of a warmer day I even decked trying to figure out the straight up beta. The only way I can do it is to stem up on the left and do a funky lieback/crossover move into the sloping rail. Maybe some Aliens would inspire more confidence, I've always placed a few so-so grey TCUs. Maybe it could be a little height-dependent as well? I'm barely 5'9", anyway just my two cents.
    By John.A.Kirk
    Jul 15, 2016

    2nd ascent in 1980. Fine route.
    By michalm
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 16, 2017
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    Offset Mastercams, c3s, and DMM alloy offset nuts make this route PG-13 if you aren't too short. The crux is getting to and getting established over the big jug rail. Each move after the crux feels easier than the last. A fair onsight grade is 11 if you are tall and perhaps 11+ if you are short or have only one working ankle. ;)

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