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Dave's Dilemma 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Dave Fields and Ernie Moskovics (Ziggy), 1995
Page Views: 3,849
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Mar 19, 2001

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Seth hittin' the stem on Dave's Dilemma.

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This is the third route in from the left on the Crimpfest Wall. Dave's Dilemma ascends the obvious flake/groove system. Exit the flake onto relentless and insecure crimps. I found that carrying a few TCUs along provided a measure of comfort higher up, and a Friend to start can be comforting. The TCUs can be fished into a system of horizontal slots higher up. However, with a little boldness the line goes quite well on QDs alone. The anchors have been placed at 80 feet and at 100 feet.

This is a great line: I wish that Dave had done more Devil's Head routes. Most locals will remember Dave's brilliant line on Table Mountain called "Winter Warmer". Dave is the author of numerous bold, intricate climbs, of which Dave's Dilemma is a great example.


This can be with QDs alone; however, a Friend to start and possibly a few TCUs will help with the spook factor. The route is very safe, but it is important to keep one's head together since all of the clips arise from stances above the gear.

Photos of Dave's Dilemma Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Wow! A picture of me, and it's good!
Wow! A picture of me, and it's good!
Rock Climbing Photo: Luke Childers finding no dilemma on "Dave's D...
Luke Childers finding no dilemma on "Dave's D...
Rock Climbing Photo: Stan Z. finding the pump dilemma on Dave's Dilemma...
Stan Z. finding the pump dilemma on Dave's Dilemma...
Rock Climbing Photo: Gary Apostolou on Dave's Dilemma.
Gary Apostolou on Dave's Dilemma.
Rock Climbing Photo: Gary & Jen Starting Dave's Dilemma.
Gary & Jen Starting Dave's Dilemma.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave's Dilemma.
Dave's Dilemma.
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Wright, 4 of 4.
Richard Wright, 4 of 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Wright, 3 of 4.
Richard Wright, 3 of 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Wright, 2 of 4.
Richard Wright, 2 of 4.
Rock Climbing Photo: Richard Wright, 1 of 4.
Richard Wright, 1 of 4.

Comments on Dave's Dilemma Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 6, 2015
By Ross Swanson
From: Pinewood Springs
Jul 3, 2001

Thanks for the pictures but it looks like the sequence goes 1,4,2,3?
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 5, 2001

I think that the photo numbering is correct. There is a little, pale flake on the left that appears to drop down as the photo sequence rises from 1 to 4.
By richard magill
Aug 7, 2002

One of the best 11a sport routes in the front range!
By richard magill
Aug 7, 2002

If you are disappointed by some of the short, overrated, and overbolted routes on some of the new crags in Boulder Canyon, come do this route and regain your enthusiasm and respect for routes of this grade.

If, on the other hand, you think you are at your limit on 11a, and you have done a bunch of the afforementioned overrated routes in Boulder Canyon to reach that limit, you may want to be cautious about getting on this line.

By Anonymous Coward
Aug 24, 2002

Excellent pitch. I didn't find it too nerve-wracking. The layback between bolts 2 & 3 is commiting and potentially unnerving. A #3 rock or equivalent can be placed between these two bolts to lessen the psyche factor; unclip the nut after clipping the 3rd bolt to avoid rope drag.
By JDory
Jul 7, 2003

Great climb. One of the nicer 11a's I've climbed. Stay on the lay back for a while, and the turn onto the face is nice. Tough start, and great position and pulls up high.
By Alan Higham
Jul 3, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Great pitch, looks steep but plenty of opportunities to get on your feet. Didn't feel runout, used QD's only.
By Kevin Neilson
From: Boulder
Jul 17, 2006

Great, long route. The burliest section is the layback near the bottom. It's a pure layback of two parallel edges and nothing but smearing and opposition forces keeping gravity in check. Keep your feet high and don't worry about looking for crimpers on the face or the arete. Clip from the layback and keep going until you can reach the holds above. You don't need to place any gear; it would be a waste of energy, and there should be no deck potential from the clipping stance.

Perhaps you could place some cams higher up on the face but the route seemed fine with QDs only. After the initial layback, there are some flake moves, and then typical face crimps thereafter. The route is long and somewhat pumpy, but with decent rests. After the first set of anchors move a bit left for easy climbing to the second set at 100'. The route can get very hot in the afternoon.
By Jeremy
From: Boulder, CO
May 14, 2007

Great route! I seem to remember getting a bit of a kneebar to clip during the layback section.
By Luke Childers
Jul 15, 2009

This is a nice line and a good warm-up for the area. The 1st button head bolt at the start of the climb I could do with out!! But a nice line for sure.
By Ernie Moskovics
Sep 15, 2012

This route was our first (Dave Field and I) at DH, and Dave's last. A bolt has been added coming out from the roof, I believe. We used cams in a few spots as we were both allergic to drilling near cracks. The first bolt protects a tricky move above a bad landing, but no one is obliged to use it.

Dave's Dilemma was stay in Colorado or move to Calgary, which he did soon after.
By Pink Thunder
From: Lakewood
May 26, 2013

This route was a blast. Great moves, and sustained through much of the upper part. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I don't think cams are worth dragging up this pitch; the bolts may be a little spaced from time to time, but the clipping stances are perfect, and the falls are all safe. Kudos to Dave for an excellent bolt job.
By slim
Sep 9, 2013
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Excellent climbing on this one. The 2 lower runout sections wouldn't be bad if the rock was 100% solid (which it isn't). I broke a foothold way above a bolt, at the mantle, and was fortunate not to pitch. The climbing isn't hard through this section, but if 11a is at your limit, you will probably want to be careful.
By Wes Ryan
From: Conifer, Colorado
Sep 6, 2015

One heck of a route! An awesome, old-school, sport line that will tickle any climber's fancy. Bolts are mostly older button-heads that could use an update in the next couple year. Also, beware of a dangerously loose an hollow, tan flake about 1/3 of the way up. That would hurt.

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