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Emerald City 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Ed Webster, Doug White, 1976
Page Views: 8,697
Submitted By: Joe Keyser on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (174)
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Almost to the belay ledge below the second pitch o...

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  • Description 

    Get ready for some stemming! This route is on the left-facing dihedral area of Rincon (uphill, and around the corner from the right-facing dihedral area). It follows a nice dihedral for about 90 feet. The crux(es) are stemming moves with not much for hands. At the top, you can walk off, or finish with the last pitch of Over the Hill (recommended), which is a beautiful finger crack that goes right through a pink streak on the wall. The summit is also a walk off to the left.


    Bring your stoppers, RPs, some small TCUs, a #1 cam, and some slings.

    Photos of Emerald City Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Heading up the second pitch of Over the Hill or th...
    Heading up the second pitch of Over the Hill or th...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Me finishing up emerald city with the 5.6 crack of...
    Me finishing up emerald city with the 5.6 crack of...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Not Emerald City but add it to encourage the "...
    Not Emerald City but add it to encourage the "...
    Rock Climbing Photo: CM finishing Emerald City.
    CM finishing Emerald City.
    Rock Climbing Photo: LET THE STEMMING BEGIN!! me leading Oct. '09.
    LET THE STEMMING BEGIN!! me leading Oct. '09.
    Rock Climbing Photo: CM starting Emerald City.
    CM starting Emerald City.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ben in the upper part of the dihedral.
    Ben in the upper part of the dihedral.
    Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Emerald City, January 7 '06. Photo ...
    First pitch of Emerald City, January 7 '06. Photo ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dave at the crux.
    Dave at the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dave Gentry entering the crux of Emerald City.
    Dave Gentry entering the crux of Emerald City.

    Comments on Emerald City Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 26, 2009
    By Matt Bauman
    Jan 1, 2001

    Led this pitch today and I have to say that it is one of my favorite, if not my favorite 5.9 pitch in Eldo...a great finger crack in the back of the dihedral, some cool stemming in the tight corner...the 2nd half has an awesome hand crack that goes all the way to the belay...very sustained and LOTS of fun.
    By Darin Lang
    Jun 4, 2001

    One of the harder 9s I've done, although it is a fantastic route. I had more trouble with this climb than with the first pitch of Over the Hill (we climbed both yesterday). Go figure.
    By Jake Wyatt
    From: Longmont, CO
    May 5, 2003

    Question: Near the top of the pitch, as the width of the walls that make up the dihedral gets narrower, is it permissible to use the outside edges of those walls as holds? In other words, does staying on-route require one to use only the crack and the two faces?
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 5, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    That's a trad route- if you can reach it and still reach the crack, it's on. Eliminates are for boulder problems, but trad routes generally use all holds to create the line of least resistnce within a given system.
    By James Balasalle
    May 8, 2003

    Another good route, in a good area. We climbed this after doing Over and Out. I thought the 5.9 rating was right now. Maybe a hard 5.9... but a 9. I thought the crux came down low, but my partner thought it was at the top...

    This is another fun climb. the moves are interesting and different. Gear is good. Lots of places for some sweet footwork. The top gets kinda thin, but it's not as steep as the bottom.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 28, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Lead this today after doing Over & Out...and the winner is...E. C. by a TKO. Really enjoyed this little number. Sustained & steep (9), with positive thin fingers, good stemming, good placements & stances (takes small Aliens and stoppers), in a great area (off the beaten path & scenic), make climbing up there a pleasure.
    By Brian Weinstein
    Sep 29, 2003

    Enjoyable route of sustained nature. I felt the top of the first section a crux of sorts. Neat area with good exposure. Three stars all the way.
    By Edward Jenner
    Jan 12, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Amazing, especially when combined with the 5.9 second pitch of OTH. I used more stoppers (mostly micro nuts) on the four pitches of this and Over and Out than the last years worth of climbing at Eldo (possibly a slight exaggeration). Thin, 'technical' pro and moves so different from most other Eldo 8/9 that I still ache 2 days later - everything but my forearms.

    I agree this may be a though 9, but if you climb with more technique and less power, this feel like an easier 9 than if you're a sport climbing powerhouse. It never gets vertical (either pitch), so affords the opportunity to place gear if you can stand around on small edges and smears. Of course, since I'm not used to placing nuts, this was a good thing as I spent a while trying to fish in those little do-they-really-hold-a-fall RPs.

    Definitely a must-do.
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Feb 24, 2004

    Thinking about climbing this pitch or Over and Out tomorrow with a friend with a hurt hand. How does the climb compare with the first pitch of Tagger, or the Green Spur crux? Charles, I know you've been all over.... What's your opinion?
    By M. Morley
    From: Sacramento, CA
    Feb 24, 2004

    William, I just got on this again a week ago. It is excellent, 2++ stars, I would say even better than the first pitch of Over and Out and certainly more sustained. Gear is straightforward. Easier than Green Spur, on par with Tagger P1. The route description here calls for RPs, but I didn't use anything that small. Combined with P2 of Over the Hill, this is a GREAT outing. Have a shot at Faulty Logic too!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Feb 24, 2004

    Make the guy with the hurt hand lead it! :) Seriously though, the Emerald City pitch is all about feet and stemming, so, probably a good choice for somebody with a hurt hand to try. I think it is pretty comparable to Green Spur in difficulty, and you will probably find the gear to be a little easier than tagger P1. The last pitch of over and out (5.7+/8ish) is pretty good too. Not as good as over the hill's last pitch, but less fingery, and coninues in an asthetic dihedral with good gear (the dihedral to the left of Over the Hill's last pitch). You can also escape left after the EC pitch if necessary.
    By Michael Kullman
    Mar 14, 2004

    Very nice route, definitely worth the hike. I totally agree that this + the second pitch of Over The Hill makes for an excellent link up with a lot of varied and interesting climbing.
    By Danny
    Apr 18, 2005
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Great route; when combined with the second pitch of Over the Hill it is one of the best at this grade. The route seemed sustained 5.9 to me, but there are good rests to place good gear between moves. Both this route and the second pitch of Over the Hill are delicate and balance-oriented 5.9 versus pumpy/strenuous 5.9. Enjoy!
    By coop Best
    From: Glenwood Springs, CO
    Dec 12, 2005

    Superb route and a great winter treat in the sun.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 30, 2006

    Awesome route, especially if you combine with the top pitch of Over the Hill. There is currently a fixed wire about 20 feet up Emerald City, right about at the crux (below the first horizontal rail right of the corner). The crux seems more tricky than hard, but failing to find a trick I found it quite a struggle. If you start liebacking the clock is ticking! Stemming seems to be the key, but even stemming seemed desperate at the crux.
    By Matt Richardson
    From: Longmont, CO
    Sep 29, 2007
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Beautiful route...that fixed nut that George was talking about below the crux is still there. I ended up laying the crux back - it was pretty thin but not unreasonable.
    By D. Shaw
    Oct 7, 2008
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a PG13

    Have climbed Eldo for 25 years and never did it 'cause it always took a back seat to Over the Hill (OTH) and/or A.-Book. What a fool am I? LInk it with last pitch of OTH and you have a "classic."
    By Eric Goltz
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 23, 2008

    Do this, then finish with the last pitch of OTH for a four-star classic, one of the best 5.9 linkups in Eldo!
    By Jay Samuelson
    From: Denver CO
    Jan 19, 2009
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Following this pitch with the second pitch of Over the Hill adds up for a 5.9 classic.
    By Phill T
    Nov 9, 2009

    Great pitch. Dunno about sustained (at all) and this was my first 5.9 lead. A few thin moves, but you always have a jug/ledge in view that is a move or two away to shoot for. As long as you look a move or two ahead (especially for your feet) it's pretty easy. Got in 'trouble' up top when I thought I would walk the last 10 feet of the first dihedral, had to downclimb to a stance after pumping myself out in a ridiculous bearhug with the dihedral. Looked at it with a more critical eye and then cruised it no problem. The handcrack at the top was super enjoyable, I wish it went on forever!
    By Joey Wolfe
    Nov 26, 2009
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Listen to the comments above and climb emerald city to the second pitch of Over the Hill or as I refer to it now the "Emerald Hill". Great climbing!!

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