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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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Arms Bazaar T 
Beethoven's Fifth T 
Bell Air T,S 
Bell Buster S 
Cosmosis T 
Daedulus Direct T 
Double Jeopardy T 
Epiphany T 
Epiphany Direct T 
Freak on a Leash S 
Gates of Eden T 
Grand Inquisitor T 
Headwall T 
Hound Dog S 
Joe Pontiac T 
Little Man in the Boat T 
North Face T 
Pitts, The T 
Purpose, The T,S 
Route That Dan Missed, The T,TR 
Saved by the Bell T 
Spoiled Moose, The T 
Spoils, The T 
Three Minute Hero T 
Tiempos de Ceguera (Times of Blindness) S 
Unknown T 
Unknown Crack T 
Verve S 
West Crack T 
West Face T 
Wrinkles T 


YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Ament/Mayrose, 1964, FFA Ferguson/Poling, 1970
Page Views: 15,636
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jun 1, 2001

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Keller cleaning up the [Cosmosis]. A super fun rou...

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


This is one of Boulder Canyon's best moderate routes, although a new guidebook gives the route 5.10a--watch your definition of moderate. Most people do the first pitch and then rappel (one rope) from 2 new bolts.

Bell Buttress is split by a large chimney. The left half offers several right-facing corners; Cosmosis is the large right-facing corner, about 70 feet high, which overhangs at the top. Shortly right of it, the wall bends inward to the large chimney. The second (or third) pitch finishes in a large, left-facing corner above. The route is further identified by the beautiful bolted arete just to its left - Verve - though there are a lot of bolts on this cliff.

It should be easy to cross the river on a huge tree that lies across it. Cosmosis is directly above, but broken 5th class bars access to the start. Go left on a path, then back right when feasible up a ramp that leads to the ledge going under the base of the route.

The crux is the thin bottom section (site of a small, chalked up flake), solved with interesting stemming. More excellent stemming lead to the beautiful hand crack finale. Belay from bolts just above the corner.

Eds. Do not think of The Route That Dan Missed as a reasonable alternative finish. It does not have bolts!

Rappel, or continue up a crack, up easy but unprotected face, and then back right into a large, left-facing corner to the top-- a very long pitch, rated 5.7-5.9 depending on where you go. Descend SW and then go down when feasible. Or look for rappel anchors east of the finish. Rappel from there, bypasses another set about 50' down and far left. Find a somewhat hidden intermediate station about 80' down. From there, rap to the trail.


Bring a standard rack to a #3 Friend. Maybe a couple RPs for the start.

Photos of Cosmosis Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ellen Brodrick on Cosmosis. June 7, 2017.
Ellen Brodrick on Cosmosis. June 7, 2017.
Rock Climbing Photo: Great route.
Great route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Deb coming up the nice handcrack on P2, approachin...
BETA PHOTO: Deb coming up the nice handcrack on P2, approachin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Chris Keller cleaning up the first pitch on Cosmos...
Chris Keller cleaning up the first pitch on Cosmos...
Rock Climbing Photo: Pulling the crux on Cosmosis.
Pulling the crux on Cosmosis.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cosmosis.
Rock Climbing Photo: Mark doing what he does best, stemming the crux.
Mark doing what he does best, stemming the crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Big holds and a nice crack at the top of the route...
Big holds and a nice crack at the top of the route...
Rock Climbing Photo: Tom beginning Cosmosis.
Tom beginning Cosmosis.
Rock Climbing Photo: Kat A. follows the old-school 5.9 'Cosmosis' on Be...
Kat A. follows the old-school 5.9 'Cosmosis' on Be...
Rock Climbing Photo: This is the coolest finish after the thin start.  ...
BETA PHOTO: This is the coolest finish after the thin start. ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Close up of the route.
Close up of the route.
Rock Climbing Photo: The well-chalked Cosmosis dihedral.
The well-chalked Cosmosis dihedral.
Rock Climbing Photo: Cosmosis
BETA PHOTO: Cosmosis
Rock Climbing Photo: Ivan Rezucha approaches the crux.
Ivan Rezucha approaches the crux.

Comments on Cosmosis Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 1, 2014
By Jake Web
3 days ago

We had a climber fall on the first 25 feet of the first pitch. There was a nut and a 0.1 camm and they both popped out. Search and rescue was called. Fractured vertebrae, and ankle....

There are a few pieces of gear left on this route consequently due to all the craziness. Please contact me if you have found this gear.

610 209 9176.
By Michael Komarnitsky
Founding Father
From: Seattle, WA
Aug 12, 2001

There's a fixed #2 Camalot at the top of the hand crack with black tape on the sling. I used but did not fall on it....

Anyways, that's my excuse to also compliment this route. Great stemming up the steep dihedral up top! The pro at the lower crux: geez, I found three places to put pro, but all three felt pretty sketch. Fortunately as Charles says, you can crank up to the crux, and then reverse the moves easily back down to a rest to check your mind before going for it.
By Mark Tarrant
Apr 18, 2002

Wow! The only reason I thought about bolting "The Route That Dan Missed" was that nobody did it (too runout) or cared about it. I've only done it twice, back when I was much braver, and thought it was fun but not too significant in the big world of hard climbing. I will leave the route as is forever. Thanks for your suggestions/objections. By the way, MG and I TR'd the route once first (mainly to check rock quality), and then MG led it.
By Karl Nichols
Jul 4, 2003

AMAZING!!! Trad is where it's at. Small RPs protect the first 20 feet well - I put two in low and equalized them and then a number 5 RP in the crack a little higher. Right after the first crux throw in a #1 Camalot...the rest of the climb protects great with some bigger Camalots (I used a 2, 3 and 3.5). Enjoy!
By Joseph Proulx
Jun 25, 2004

Gumbies beware: Pitch 2 (assuming 3 pitches) is really run-out 5.6.

I tried the old "I'll lead the easy pitch" routine, and got scared walking up the easy 5.6 after flailing up the P1 dihedral on TR. Perhaps I was off route, but I went left on the face as noted in this description and shown in Rossiter's photo. I got in a #1 Trango cam (1-1.5cm) about 30'+ above my first placement, which was right off the belay. It felt similar to the First Flatiron P1 run-out.

Regardless, a good fun climb.
By TBlom
Aug 6, 2004

I took a fall trying to place gear at the crux about 5 years ago (my first trad whip). After getting my head together I realized that if you make 1 or two more moves past the crux, a good dropknee/stem can be found with your left foot on the jug you just passed, which lets you place gear pretty easily. It's nice to know that you can get in gear at the crux, but if 5.9 is your trad limit, it will be very pumpy to place gear there. The piece I fell on was a #3 Black Diamond nut, it held about a 12 foot fall, I weigh about 190, so the gear is pretty bomber!
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 3, 2004
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

Followed this route last year...lead it today for first time...spicey and sustained for the grade IMO. Pumpier than neighbor West Face for sure. The black Alien fits the upper corner before the lower crux. Placed a .75 cam above the crux and down climbed, then went back up for the clip.The move half way up, off the corner, is a high reach, sloping layback, sans pro from above...kinda sketch. That move is equally as hard for me as the lower crux. Got a good #4 BD stopper in a chalked crack near the corner before this move. Bring a #2 and #3 for the last 15'...
By Michael Amato
Oct 18, 2004

Two or three cruxes and sustained hard between them! My pro: three stoppers, a TCU, a #2 and a #3 Camalot in the upper crack and then I ran it out a bit to the anchors. This route made me think more than I'm accustomed to. That may not have come off right.....
By Rob Kepley
From: Westminster,CO
Jun 4, 2006
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Climbed this amazing route again yesterday. One of the best pitches in Boulder Canyon. Too bad it's not longer. Just make sure you protect the crux move before committing to it. A small BD micro nut works well in the lefthand seam and if you climb up high enough you can put in a really good #1 Camalot before executing the crux move. Four star quality!
By Stephanovich
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 18, 2007

Love Cosmosis, lots of fun, I used a #4 stopper, after that reach up and squeeze in a #1 Camalot, clip the old angle piton, get up into more vert. climbing, place a yellow Alien, and then gun it to the anchors, (one can also get a solid #2 Camalot placement in the handcrack up top).
Yes is very nice. I rate it 5.9**** (super fun).
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Jul 4, 2008

Small wires protect the crux, however, it can be a bit heady making the move to the good finger jams above. Good gear placements throughout the entire route. Similar to Curving Crack but harder, not as sustained as West Face to the right. Rp's to a #3 camalot, concentrate on small/medium cams. The crux felt 5.10a with sections of 5.9 throughout the climb.
By Christina kalb
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 25, 2008
rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

Good route. If you have small hands, watch out...the top section becomes an off-hands, not quite fists crack. Small gear at the bottom.
By Nick Wilder
Site Landlord
From: The Bubble
Jul 10, 2011
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Done this 5 or 6 times but never the second pitch until today. Very worthwhile! A bit easier, but the pro is not as good. Nice long pitch to near the top. From there, find a rap station to the east; two raps gets you back to the trail.
By Hamlet73
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 7, 2011
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13

I climbed the first pitch yesterday and did not find the piton, which I guess might have fallen off or was removed. There was a purple BD fixed nut at the crux, which I found a little scary, because if you blow it and the nut pulls, you are likely hitting the flake below you.

Overall, the route is great and, except for the crux move, protects easily and is a lot of fun.
By reboot
From: .
Jun 5, 2012

Found a set of nuts 8 ft off the ledge. Seem to have been there for a while (and a little blood stained). Describe correctly and they shall be returned.
By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 27, 2012

Great route and one of the best in Boulder Canyon! Amazing position, perfect granite and just plain awesome. Do it!!!
By BrianWS
Aug 4, 2012
rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Great stone and a wide variety of movement make this a damn fun outing. The gear is good at the start, just a bit small.
By Stephen Nance
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 14, 2012

Been looking to do this route for a while now. This climb protects much better than what I have heard if you have small RPs. I got two good nuts on the left side of the pillar. I still didn't want to commit.... But just after the pillar slightly (where the pillar turns juggy), there is a perfect slot for a large RP. It is a SLOTTER nut that protects the crux. From here, you hike your foot up onto the pillar's juggy top and place a bomber #1 cam.... When you get to the top of the ramp where the route steepens, it can seem devious on how to protect the moves to get up into the steep corner and to the ultimate prize (the chalked up juggy flake). Place another small yet bomber nut in a small slot close to the corner.... It's hard to see, but it's there. You can also place a marginal 0.4 Camalot in a slightly flaring crack.... Lieback the greasy slopers and go to an incut crimp up and left, and then latch the jug... over from there. Hope this wasn't too much beta....
By slim
Aug 14, 2012
rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

IIRC, you can get a pretty good (but inobvious) #3 Camalot in just before the lower crux.
By Jason Albino
From: San Francisco, CA
Jul 4, 2014

Wow, wow, and wow. If you did not give this pitch 4 stars, you simply do not like granite dihedrals. Combined with the sweet Tyrolean traverse approach 5 min from the parking turn-off, it is perfection.
By climberboy228 Romano
Jul 12, 2014

Awesome route! The pro isn't scarce, it's just really small and often shallow. So, for unseasoned trad folk like myself, it's a bit of a heady lead. That said the position, exposure, and moves are AWESOME!

Did this yesterday and had to leave quickly when the weather came in. I had to leave a cam that was stuck about 1/2 way up. Blue cam. Please email me if you are able to pull
By Joe Brannan
From: Lyons, CO
Aug 1, 2014
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Second pitch makes this an even better outing. From a great hanging belay atop P1, it adds interesting face climbing to thought provoking dihedrals to hand crack (fixed #1 C4) to an offwidth (old #4 C4 was welcomed) and then even a short chimney move to top out! We did the walk off, I would rap next time for sure.

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