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Bell Buttress - Main Crag
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Freak on a Leash 

YDS: 5.13- French: 7c+ Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 29 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12d French: 7c Ewbanks: 28 UIAA: IX ZA: 28 British: E6 6b [details]
FA: Steve Sangdahl & Chip Ruckgaber
Page Views: 2,727
Submitted By: Ken Younge on Jul 27, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (8)
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  • Description 

    This route starts up Hound Dog for 40 feet and then cuts sharp-left and then up to a difficult headwall. Extend several of the middle bolts with shoulder-length slings to cut down on rope drag - you'll need to shave off every possible ounce to levitate those feet. The crux is devious (and a bit height-dependent) - many climbers try it a few times and give up because it seems improbable. The route is a hidden gem, though - it is off the normal circuit, on excellent rock, has fun moves, and is a very aesthetic line. It's a stiff "Bell Buttress" 5.12d - quite a bit harder than many 5.13a routes in Boulder Canyon.


    This is on the left side of Bell Buttress, at a mini-alcove with a tree flush against the wall.


    13 bolts (+ 2 at the anchors = 15 total).

    Comments on Freak on a Leash Add Comment
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    By Joe Collins
    Jul 29, 2008

    Not only is this harder than many Boulder Canyon 13a's, it is most likely harder than EVERY Boulder Canyon 13a. I have heard that one local, who has sent several 5.14s, thought it was mid-5.13. Given its difficulty and severely sandbagged grade, I really wonder how many redpoints this route has actually seen. Excellent climbing though.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 31, 2008

    Glad to hear it. I went at it a few times before I gave up. Thought it was over my head. Usually I can work out 5.12 moves with some effort, unless they are very thin slopers. But in this case, no, not at all.
    By Steve Sangdahl
    From: eldo sprngs,co
    Aug 5, 2008

    YO, sorry if this seems underrated but both Chip and myself are old school and did not feel like it was harder than 12d (i.e. if we could do it it was not 5.13). The route was Chip's idea. When I finally did it, I lightened my load by leading it on a 9mil rope. Fun, devious crux, don't clip the last 2 bolts until after you do the crux.
    By reboot
    From: .
    Sep 19, 2014
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    ---Begin rant---
    At 5'6", this route felt mid-13 to me. Maybe it's a bit easier if you are a lot taller, I don't know. I'm a bit annoyed with the grade on MP, if it takes a "12d" climber "special" tricks to send, then it isn't a 12d. Sport climbing has moved far beyond 5.12, there really isn't any need to sandbag at this grade.
    ---End rant---

    The meat of the route is very short lived: two 1 move boulder problems (albeit with some bumping & foot moves) between a bolt high up (3rd from the top) on the route, and you don't really carry pump into it. As with other routes at this crag, it's quite condition-dependent (cool & dry preferred). I found a bad hand jam & a right knee scum, so consider bringing your arsenal for that (not critical).
    By Chris. T.
    Jun 20, 2015
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    This route is a classic and deserves more attention. Seems like it will be easier if you are tall, and good conditions really help as well. The crux section reminded me of Public Solitude in CCC but with opposite hand holds. Slopers on the right side and crimpers on the left. Clipping throughout the crux can be difficult, but long draws help in spots. The stone is amazing, and the moves are so fun.
    By Swavek Gaik
    From: Superior, CO
    Jun 5, 2017
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    This is a great climb. Very cryptic and delicate. It has it all, slopers, crimps, dynos, and high steps. Quality rock, quality climb. It felt hard for the grade, but who cares?

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