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YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 40'
Original:  YDS: 5.5 French: 4b Ewbanks: 13 UIAA: IV+ ZA: 11 British: MS 4a [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 6,700
Submitted By: Peter Gram on Jun 22, 2002  with updates from L Kap

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (192)
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BETA PHOTO: Cornelius, route shown in red.

Dirt roads reopened as of June 2014 MORE INFO >>>


This route is located about 2 minutes from the parking lot and is next to Easy Jam. Follow a trail around to the left of the Nautilus until a dihedral is found (Easy Jam) with a beautiful finger crack curving up and to the right. Climb the finger crack and belay at a shelf 30-40 feet up. A walkoff can be found by going to the right, squeezing through a small hole, and descending a easy chimney.


This is a short pitch, and it eats up as much gear as you can stuff in it. It could easily be lead on a set of nuts, but aliens or small cams are also very useful.

Per L Kap: there is a solid 2-bolt anchor at the top now and another ten feet to the left for Easy Jam.

Photos of Cornelius Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jenny Chamberlain leading Cornelius.
Jenny Chamberlain leading Cornelius.
Rock Climbing Photo: cornelius is this stellar little crack on the naut...
cornelius is this stellar little crack on the naut...
Rock Climbing Photo: Trapper on his first trad lead.
Trapper on his first trad lead.
Rock Climbing Photo: The woman wearing black is climbing Cornelius.
BETA PHOTO: The woman wearing black is climbing Cornelius.
Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the beautiful hand crack portion of climb...
Starting the beautiful hand crack portion of climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Rodger, concentrating on crystals.
Rodger, concentrating on crystals.
Rock Climbing Photo: Locker, putzing with pro.
Locker, putzing with pro.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rachel leading the Cornelius. (July 24th, 2005)
Rachel leading the Cornelius. (July 24th, 2005)
Rock Climbing Photo: Cornelius (5.5) on Nautilus at Vedavoo Rocks in Wy...
Cornelius (5.5) on Nautilus at Vedavoo Rocks in Wy...

Comments on Cornelius Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 13, 2016
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Jul 3, 2003
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Another walkoff is to go far right (past the Three Sisters area) to an obvious walk-off. Don't go left or straight ahead to a small hole w/chimney. That's Candlestick (5.7) which I doubt you'd want to downclimb.
By Anonymous Coward
Sep 28, 2003

That small hole to the right is called " the worm hole" and it's a fun descent (canyoneering anyone)
By Michael Kullman
May 20, 2004

This is a fun little route, probably one of the better beginner trad leads at Vedauwoo (along with Easy Jam just to the left).
By Rob Migliore
Sep 27, 2004
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I thought the walk-off was almost as heady as the climb. Otherwise, a must do for the trad-newbie.
By Chris Zeller
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 7, 2006

We decended via the bolts at the top of etude to the left/right hand on the opposite side of the Nautilus. From the plateau at the top of the climb its an easy walk there. This is also an easy way to toprope either of these climbs. There are no bolts left on these climbs and being slab climbs therefore unprotectable.
By molony
Feb 25, 2008

I agree with rob, it's a must for new trad climbers.
By Ben Coryell
Jun 15, 2009

I'm just curious as to why bolts were added to the top of this climb, yesterday June 14. There is a good place to build an anchor at the top of the climb.
By SW Marlatt
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 15, 2009

Were the bolts added on Sunday (7/14)? I had a group of scouts up there most of Saturday, and didn't see them...

Also - does the crack on the slab just to the right of Cornelius (left-arching line which joins Cornelius about 10 feet below the top) have a name? Short, but a fun little sequence of perfect hand jams.

By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Jun 15, 2009
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

First, whoever put bolts on this really needs an attitude adjustment. With a #6 friend. WTF. There is not a single reason for those to be there. The anchor is piss-easy to set, the walk off is of similar difficulty to the approach, and this hasn't needed bolts at any point in the 30+ years since it was originally climbed.

Second, the right variant doesn't have a name, so far as I'm aware of, but it goes at about 5.8 if you start from the ground and do the face below to get to the crack, rather than traversing in from the start of Cornelius.
By SW Marlatt
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 15, 2009

I completely agree about the attitude adjustment, and hope that someone will cleanly remove the bolts in the near future. As you say, it is ridiculously easy to build an anchor on top - with almost whatever rack you happen to be carrying (I think I used a couple stoppers and a mid-sized hex, but there are many, many, many choices.)

To whatever kind soul removes the bolts: please pull, rather than chop! That will keep the slap looking nice, and avoids leaving sharp nasties sticking out for novice climbers.

Per the right crack - I traversed in from the left, and that's harder than Cornelius, but much easier than 5.8. The crack itself is easy - 5.6 if Cornelius is 5.5. I didn't try the wall immediately below the right crack, but the face to the left (below Cornelius) seemed quite a bit harder than 5.8.

By Cory Harelson
From: Boise, ID
Jul 27, 2009

This is a fun route that is a nice change when your whole body aches from all the offwidths nearby. It's a pity it isn't longer.
By Rodger Raubach
Jul 20, 2010
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

A completely "solid" lead for a new trad leader; can be protected well using a set of stoppers. No need for any cams.
By Arlo F Niederer
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 6, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

I agree about the unecessary bolts.

Now, someone has added a three bolt face climb between Easy Jam and Cornelius, with a two bolt anchor.

Vedauwoo was developed with traditional ground-up protection and bolting. People need to respect the historical ethics of the main Vedauwoo area.

Want sport climbs? Go climb on Beehive buttress.
By Petsfed
From: Laramie, WY
Oct 7, 2011
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

You can get details about those bolts, it led me to change my opinion regarding the face climb. Still not a fan of the anchor bolts, but I understand why they are there and would prefer either a clean, correct removal or to leave them in place and fully usable. On the other hand, please climb Slick and Superficial, Pretty Girls With Long Knives, Squat, Arch Stanton, and about a dozen other rap-bolted cracks in the main area at Vedauwoo before spouting about "ground up". While you could claim that the first wave of Vedauwoo development was ground up, all the other waves of development since the 1950s have been any way that got it done. Don't get me wrong, I'm not a fan of these bolts, but anybody who tells you that Vedauwoo is some bastion of ground-up trad-to-the-core values is trying to sell you something. Anyway, the major side-effect of the I-hate-bolts crowd has been the maddening removal of necessary anchor hardware from good, useful anchors, or the eye-sore hanger-theft that was the first "chopping" of that route. Either contact Scarpelli (who placed them, see the Vedauwoo main page for details) and arrange for the correct removal of those bolts, or shut the hell up. All the complaints have done is led to ignorant would-be Samaritans making the situation worse, and giving the Forest Service a reason to regulate climbing for us.
By Rodger Raubach
May 19, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

The Worm Hole is the only descent I've ever used. It's pretty easy.
By Rodger Raubach
Jul 23, 2013
rating: 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Due to an enormous amount of traffic on this route, the rock has become quite polished, making the climb somewhat more difficult than "5.5." Was on it today, and it sure felt more like 5.7 than "a mere 5.5."
By Locker
From: Yucca Valley, CA
Jul 24, 2013

Fun climb!

Rodger, I think the big time heat also had a lot to do with the grease factor. Rubber was giving way some, but no doubt the 1000s and 1000s of ascents it's seen also plays a part in the "Oh shit! I might actually come off of a fucking 5.5! What the fuck?"


Had a BLAST!

After you left (Rodger), we did it again on a TR, and instead of traveling below the crack, we simply walked up on it. Dropped that section down to about 5.0 doing it that way.

I personally wouldn't want to lead it that way, placing somewhat blindly below my feet.
By Ross Philip
From: Boulder, Colorado
Sep 8, 2013

Climbed this with young children this weekend and totally appreciated the simplicity of having anchors at the top. IMHO, the anchors were not an eyesore - I couldn't even see them until near the end of the pitch. Fun climb and fun to find that small children can handjam fingerlocks!
By L Kap
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 28, 2016

If you are someone who is not terribly practiced standing on semi-polished slab, placing gear, and/or finger-locking in cracks, the middle of this climb this will feel much harder than 5.5. Me, I'm currently all three. Was mildly terrified.
By tkessel
From: Windsor,CO
Nov 13, 2016
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Bomber finger crack!

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