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YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 3 pitches, 220'
Original:  YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: George Lamb, Dallas Jackson, 1954
Page Views: 21,262
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001  with updates from Sarge

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (330)
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BETA PHOTO: Direct dihedral start of pitch 1, Empor. This star...

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  • Description 

    3 short pitches:

    P1. Scramble 10 feet up from a inset face on the lower right hand side of the face, to a flat area with a large boulder to the right (you can also access by slipping underneath the large boulder from farther to the west). Head up the right-facing dihedral to above the boulder, then follow the flake up and right. Belay at the nice ledge to your left.

    P2: Climb another right-facing dihedral with a cold, deep crack. Reach a slot that runs up and left, and belay on a small ledge ~5 feet into the slot.

    P3: You can exit up the slot to the left (5.0), or take the crack running up and right (5.7+ and fun).


    Standard rack up to #3 Friend.

    Per Sarge: with a 70m rope and well-placed gear with runners, you can do this entire route in one pitch. You can also descend the route in one rappel with a 70m rope. When doing so, stay climber's right.

    Photos of Empor Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Myke Komarnitsky starting up second pitch of Empor...
    Myke Komarnitsky starting up second pitch of Empor...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lyle Monzyk coming back from the climb on June 19,...
    Lyle Monzyk coming back from the climb on June 19,...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Todd Jewell enjoying a fine day out, setting up fo...
    Todd Jewell enjoying a fine day out, setting up fo...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Dillon leading the angling crack on the last...
    Peter Dillon leading the angling crack on the last...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ben Mottinger starts up the confusing first pitch ...
    Ben Mottinger starts up the confusing first pitch ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the top of Empor.
    At the top of Empor.
    Rock Climbing Photo:
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jon Cannon trying not get wet on the traverse at C...
    Jon Cannon trying not get wet on the traverse at C...
    Rock Climbing Photo: At the bottom, Rick and Ben are at the belay ancho...
    BETA PHOTO: At the bottom, Rick and Ben are at the belay ancho...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Shane Irons leading the third pitch of the Empor.
    Shane Irons leading the third pitch of the Empor.
    Rock Climbing Photo: A friendly community can often be found on  the Co...
    BETA PHOTO: A friendly community can often be found on the Co...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Myke Komarnitsky tops out on Empor.  Photo: Mike M...
    Myke Komarnitsky tops out on Empor. Photo: Mike M...
    Rock Climbing Photo: On the crux moves of Empor, almost feels 5.8.
    On the crux moves of Empor, almost feels 5.8.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kirsten Kindt topping out on Empor in fading dayli...
    Kirsten Kindt topping out on Empor in fading dayli...
    Rock Climbing Photo: That is, confusing for most people. Not Ben though...
    That is, confusing for most people. Not Ben though...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lon Black leading out on the stellar second pitch ...
    Lon Black leading out on the stellar second pitch ...

    Comments on Empor Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 8, 2017
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 21, 2001

    A more interesting start is to climb in the dihedral from the very beginning and don't wander too the right right as shown in the photos. The dihedral isn't that hard but I couldn't guess at the grade. I was a 5.9 leader and it felt hardish to me.
    By Todd Jewell
    Aug 24, 2001

    Great route, even if I did soak my butt (and gear) on the tyrolean. The last 5.7+ pitch was a bit challenging for me, particularly with a bag full of liquid chalk on my harness and wet, squishy shoes. The 5.8 dihedral start on the left and the 5.7+ crack above that seemed really easy compared to the last pitch. Cracks aren't my forte' though (yet).
    By Warren Teissier
    Aug 28, 2001

    I agree that the 5.7+ 3 pitch was harder than P1. But as Ben said, it is quite fun. The crack is pretty wide for most of the pitch and I placed my wide pieces up front, leaving me with a good run out. The jams are great though so it wasn't emotionally shattering, I think... :)
    By Jeff Lockyer
    From: Canmore, AB
    Aug 30, 2001

    Very nice route.. 3 stars indeed. We chose the direct approach up the dihedral and it didnt seem much harder than 5.7+/8 so a good choice, once you get that first piece. Also on P3 we took the choice of the line of 4 bolts to the left of the crack, anyone have any idea of what this goes at ? I was thinking somewhere in the range of 11b'ish ? A confirmation on that would be nice, as it is not to be found anywhere. Enjoyable climbing, great for intro leaders with tons of gear placements and great belay stances. A must do at Cob Rock.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    May 1, 2002

    This is a fun climb. The 5.8 start straight up the corner feels stiff to me. The feet are somewhat desperate but the hands/fingers are good. I tried to do this without using the boulder at all but found it to be too difficult and yielded to the stem.

    Also, it's about 100 ft. to the start of the left angling slot so I think this could be led as one pitch with thoughtful pro (and enough of it!).
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 1, 2002

    I agree, the direct start is the best way to start this climb. I thought it was the best pitch. The pictures below show a leader avoiding the corner, and thus IHMO, the best climbing on the route. Stemming to the boulder would definitely drop the grade. I'd say that it's solid 5.8 without the stem. I thought it harder than the last pitch which seemed straight forward jamming to me.
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 17, 2002

    The first pitch seemed to be the most difficult of the three. Not the best pro, not the best feet, not the best landing but the best climbing. By the third pitch your in the zone and the traversing crack goes smooth, as long as you stay in it.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 18, 2002

    Did the "Tour de Cob" yesterday, including Empor. We did the direct, dihedral starting below the boulder and avoided heading right but continued up and belayed where the dihedral opens up to the V-slot. Then, instead of taking the V-slot or the 7+ crack, we did some thin cracks to the right of the 7+ crack that are connected by a couple horizontal cracks. Has anyone done these? I am curious as to what other's thought the ratings of this might be. I thought it was 9ish.
    By Kevin Currigan
    From: Lakewood
    Jun 19, 2002

    A 50m rope reaches the second belay as described above with no problem.
    By Brian T. Wandzilak
    Aug 30, 2002

    My first climb ever in Boulder Canyon. It was a blast. We started from the west side of the boulder, just before the West Cracks area. I wasn't able to do it with the rack I was conned into carrying but it was a good alternative start. The first pitch or two are vastly different than the last. It is a sweet crack on the 5.7+ section. A great move over the bulge that you really have to experience yourself. It is also in the shade a good portion of the morning. I love this place.
    By Greg Kneser
    Sep 30, 2002

    Climbed this route yesterday and had a great time, though we started a bit higher than I think we were supposed to on top of the biggest boulder that is at the start where 3 pitons are (2 broken heads, 1 still complete). The dihedral below this boulder to the East seems like a better direct start. I also wandered off towards the route labeled as "8" in the photo, does anyone know the name/rating on that? When I got to the level of the "V" dihedral that heads to the "5.0" pitch I traversed across and finished off. It was an interesting variation for sure. Also, the top of the "5.0" section has a nice short crack that was good fun.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Apr 27, 2003

    It's pretty easy to boulder up the outside (north side) of the giant boulder at the base of the route, and the tree that's up there is a good spot to belay from. Pitch 2 would make a great first lead because there are lots of face holds, so you don't even need the crack for anything but putting in gear (really good gear too)). If you have some crack skills (i.e. you know how to make a hand jam) the last pitch is kind of awkward, but very secure and takes good gear - it's nice to have camalots 1 and 2 ready when you need them.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 3, 2003

    This climb can easily be done in one nice long pitch. We started on top of the boulder and took the 5.0 left-angling crack. Belayed on top in a handsized crack just down from the tree.mike.
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Jul 16, 2003

    Did this route the other day with a "newbie" leader. This one makes an EASY two pitch route. I started in the "cave" below the boulder, working the RF Dihedral/finger crack. A LOT of fun. Felt like a solid 5.8 start. The last pitch can feel a little sketchy (especially for new leaders). If you make the climb in 3 pitches, let them have the middle as a WONDERFUL beginner lead. Lots of fun on the Tyrolean as well. Thanks to whomever donated the rope (though the unclip on the southern side is a climb in itself...). Any ideas for awkward people with heavy gear aside from using the tree?
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 16, 2003

    William:When doing a tyrolean with a heavy pack it helps to take the pack off your back, hang it on the line with a separate draw/carabiner and then put yourself on the line in front of it and tow the pack behind you using some long slings.
    By Greg Hand
    From: Golden, CO
    Jul 16, 2003

    One tyrolean trick is to not wear your pack, but to clip it to the rope and tether it to you with a sling. Thus you will be dragging it along. When you get to the other side, you will not have the added weight of the pack during the dismount.
    By Shawn Shannon
    From: Everett, WA
    Jul 16, 2003

    A way to ease uncliping on the tree side is to clip a separate sling wherever you can when you get over and then step onto the sling to releave your weight off of the biner you're used to slide across.Another way to give newbies some added comfort is to give them an ascender (or two) and clip to the rope on a pulley rather than just hang on a biner, less friction.
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Sep 26, 2003

    I see the route description and Ben's photo indicate the route goes about 15' ro the West of the dihedral at some point. I always went straight up though. Anyone know if I'm stupid or is that the route? Given the great possibility that I'm stupid, anyone feel going straight up is harder than .7+?
    By Joseph Proulx
    Jun 11, 2004

    I belayed a beginner leader on this yesterday (not his first lead, but close). He did the whole route in one pitch on a 60m rope, taking the easy version of pitch 3. He avoided rope drag by putting a piece off to the right where the route heads left up the slot.

    Actually, Will just didn't know where he was supposed to belay, and kept going up to a few feet below the top. I made him come back down so I could lead the 5.7+ pitch 3. Not having a sufficently large cam made it feel a lot harder than 5.7. Basically, the stance sucked where I put in a cam to protect the crux moves. With a #3 camalot or equivalent it would have been a breeze (I think).

    Great route. Great rock. Beautiful, solid granite. Reminds me of New Hampshire.
    By pfinnegan
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 14, 2004

    I lost a blue/gold Reverso at the base on 6/12/04. If anyone would come across it, I'd offer up a beer or two.

    Fun climb, last pitch a little scary for a beginning leader w/ zero crack climbing experience.
    By Adam Hicks`
    Nov 4, 2004

    I climbed this a time ago, but just wanted to post that I felt as though the 7+ last pitch was harder than Northface left on Cob, and to me harder than Huston Crack. Huston just eats your shoulder so easily, and the 7+ last pitch here is kind of tricky at some points to figure out.

    just my $.02
    By Chris Zeller
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 8, 2006
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    From reading the comments I guess we did the direct start. I remember it being harder than 5.7. We started parallel with the big boulder and there was a very airy move with no feet to get on the climb. Then on the second pitch there was a very difficult crack. I'm not a very good pure crack climber so I won't hazard a guess on the grade but I found it to be quite hard.

    Otherwise its an excellent climb, just be confident at a few grades above 5.7 to lead this one.
    By TBlom
    Jul 2, 2006

    The quickest way is to climb from next to the boulder, and link all the pitches finishing with the right angle crack in one long lead. A 60m works fine. Also, you can rappel from the 5.0 slot all the way to the ground by dropping right from the route. This only takes one 60m rope, but make sure to tie the ends, you will be at them when you step off! If you're worried about weather coming in, this is the quickest ascent (other than solo or simul).
    By Jami S Mohlenkamp
    From: Colorado
    Sep 10, 2006

    I've only been leading this year and haven't lead anything harder than 5.9+. Having said that, the first pitch was tricky for me, and I had to stem to the boulder; the pro wasn't abundant, and the edges below didn't look fun for a fall. P2 seemed pretty straight forward, and I used plenty of stoppers for pro. We combined P1 and P2. P3 was a little tricky for me and there was plenty of exposure. Here, I used mainly cams for pro, #3 being the biggest. Overall, the climb was very cool, and I would recommend it!

    Please note, I was here about a month or so ago and there was a tyrolean. Today, it was gone which made the creek crossing interesting.
    By Jason Kaplan
    From: Glenwood ,Co
    Jun 17, 2007
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Nice route, we did the first pitch from under the boulder, and there was maybe a move or 2 of 5.8 (but there is an easier variation to the right). I got to lead the last pitch which was really classic, good air, good gear, and good jams. Cruised it the whole time no problem, my buddy lead the Classic Dihedral at the Bucksnort Slab yesterday, and he thought this climb was quite a bit easier.
    By Stephanovich
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 10, 2007

    Everyone climbs this one, and I see why, it's great. The start of it is a little tricky. Can also be done in one pitch 60m.
    By percious
    From: Bear Creek, CO
    Oct 8, 2007
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    We did this one starting from the crack below the boulder. We continued up the crack to the left from the top of the boulder. This was the most exciting section, with a phantom alien in there just to mess with you. It would make the route much more enjoyable if someone would go in there and pry that thing out. (I may do that in a few weeks when I get back. I though it was 5.9- for the "cave" section, but everywhere else was 5.7 or easier.
    By Dave Fiorucci
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Nov 5, 2007

    This is a fun route, the beginning is a little tricky, before you get to the ledge after the big boulder on the start, but I think most of the difficulties were in my head, as I am just starting to lead trad. The rest of the route is pretty easy. Big gear is helpful; I remember using a #4 Friend somewhere on P1. There is a nice horn you can sling for a protection point on the 1st anchor at the start of the face crack (P2), also be careful setting up the anchors as I noticed some loose blocks up there.
    By jcntrl
    From: Smoulder, CO
    Aug 9, 2009
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13

    The line that this picture shows Ben taking, while being the route, is not the most obvious line to me. I keep left, staying in the dihedral while working stems and great hand/finger jams. Feels about 5.8, and superfun the whole way. Protection is adequate (a bit tricky in the boulder cave though, so PG13.) Climbing the first pitch this way ties with the 5.7 zigzag crack on P3 for quality of climbing.

    I like to link P1-2 if I have a partner I'm confident can make it up without coaching.
    By George K. Watson
    From: Nederland, CO
    Aug 18, 2010

    I'd bring stuff to 3.5" if I were just leading at this level. Also, the creek is way down, easy to cross, but the downstream tyrolean is definitely in. Love the last 7+ handcrack variant, way better than the slot. There are three fixed pins in the first couple of pitches. The first one looks pretty good, the next two, not so much. We did the first two pitches as one, bring several slings for this.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Sep 9, 2010
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    This was my first-ever rock climb back in 1959, and after probably another 5-6 times over the intervening years still remains my favorite Boulder Canyon climb. Very high quality rock, decent exposure, fine climbing with great pro---what more could a person ask?!
    By prod. Kenny
    From: Boulder, Co
    Sep 11, 2010
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Climbed it this morning, crossed the creek up stream 50 or so yards of the parking lot.

    We opted for 3 pitches so my wife could lead the 2nd.

    1st felt 5.7+ on the direct start.
    2nd felt really light for 5.7, more like 5.5ish to me. A great line for a new leader for sure. Tons of feet, nice jambs, eats up #1 and #2 BD cams.
    3rd. weird positions but bomber jambs with good feet. I'd call it 5.7+, it eats gear too.


    By Robert Buswold
    From: Northglenn, CO
    Sep 11, 2011

    Spicy moves at the beginning made this seem a little harder than 7 for me. Still liked it a lot, great route.
    By Bob Carmichael
    From: Boulder
    Sep 13, 2011

    I loved this climb. The photo here shows a climber skirting around obvious dihedral that I thought was 5.8+. The 1960's 5.7 rating is not accurate in my opinion, and the route is dangerous if you don't protect well at the beginning as the start is exposed and potentially dangerous landing terrain. It is NOT a place for beginning 5.7 leader. I don't know how this is 5.7 when the Bastille is 5.7 and the crux moves here are much more sustained. I started climbing in Eldo in 1968, and I know what 5.8 is and I know 5.9. This first pitch is closer to the latter than the former.
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Jun 21, 2012

    Fantastic route! Inadvertently combined pitches 1 and 2 but glad it worked out that way; don't think there's anything harder than 5.5 on P2. The start of P1 is awesome; probably 5.9 and scary if you don't use the large boulder behind. But either way, stay in the dihedral. The moves in the corner, above the boulder, are fantastic and the gear is excellent!
    By farkas.time
    From: Albuquerque, NM
    Jun 10, 2013
    rating: 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    If you're not good at fist and hand jamming, like me, that zig-zag crack at the top is pretty scary, but there is good pro (Camalots #1-3), and the fall would be pretty safe. It definitely earns the "+".

    We soloed to the top of the start boulder and did the entire route in one long pitch with a 60m rope. I think it was close to all the rope though. A 70m rope would be more prudent for anchor building at the top. Rope drag wasn't really an issue, so if you're looking to get up and down quick, I'd say that's your best bet.
    By Jason Haas
    Aug 1, 2013

    There is a new rappel route from the summit. It was installed to help mitigate the degradation of the standard walk off, which is in major disrepair. There are two chain anchors near the summit, basically between the top of Empor
    and Northwest Corner . There is another rap station on a small ledge between those two routes for a second rappel. Two raps with one 60-meter rope gets you down.
    By Rob Meringolo
    From: Denver, CO
    Jul 26, 2014

    Do the direct start from under the boulder, meaning stick in the dihedral and do not break right to follow the pins, a little harder, but... YOU GOT IT!
    By Dirk Diggler
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Mar 12, 2016
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Felt harder than Grins (5.8) at Happy Hour Crag to me.
    By Justin Brunson
    From: Broomfield CO
    Mar 14, 2016

    @Jake - Empor was put up in the '50s, Grins in the late '70s.
    By Nick Anderson1
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 1, 2016

    Really fun route. My first time climbing trad and my first time climbing multi-pitch (I followed). Not a strong crack climber yet, so I had the most difficulty with what should have been the easiest part of the route - the top of the third pitch with hand jams for days. We did the route in 2 pitches and finished in the dark.
    By Zachary Hanners
    Jun 6, 2016

    Hey all,

    Got my rope stuck on the rappel down today 6/6/16. If anyone has the heart to undo it from the horn on their rap down and return it to me, it would mean the world. My phone number is 401-864-7675. Thanks so much for considering.
    By Ben Pettys
    Apr 8, 2017

    I was climbing North Face Center today, and the party on Empor had to bail. We retrieved the gear for you, but more importantly I hope the leader is doing alright. Shoot me an email, and we can meet somewhere, so you can get your gear back. I will delete this comment as soon as possible as it's not really relevant to the route. Just want to give the gear back and figured this was the best place.

    Ben Pettys

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