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Lesser of Two Evils S 
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Mr. Mistoffeles S 
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Thinning the Herd S 
Unknown T 


YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Original:  YDS: 5.10d French: 6b+ Ewbanks: 21 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 21 British: E3 5b [details]
FA: ?
Page Views: 2,794
Submitted By: Jeff Lockyer on Aug 7, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (54)
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  • Description 

    To reach the base of Gus, go to the far right side of the catslab and scramble up the 3rd class corner to reach a ledge with a 2 bolt anchor. From here the climbing heads straight up an overhanging face above. The rock is not as clean as the rest of the catslab, due to lack of traffic, unlike the rest of the routes here. Don't let this discourage you. The climbing is steeper than it looks and is fairly continuous once the harder moves start. A great break from the rest of the slabby routes at the crag, great to mix it up. There may be some loose blocks on the way up the scramble so be careful for people below. Enjoy.


    2 bolt anchor - 11 bolts - 2 bolt anchor Approx. 95 feet from lower off.

    Photos of Gus Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark starting out.
    Mark starting out.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Gus, Catslab, Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado.
    Gus, Catslab, Clear Creek Canyon, Colorado.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Raterman, charging up the jug-tastic headwall on G...
    Raterman, charging up the jug-tastic headwall on G...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jeremy at the beginning of the crux.
    Jeremy at the beginning of the crux.

    Comments on Gus Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 14, 2015
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Mar 5, 2002

    One star is generous. Did it once. I'd never recommend it to anyone. Some bolts seem suspicious due to the rock attached to the bolt. 10d for the scare factor only. Shattered rock, I'd call it. Beware!
    By Brad Brandewie
    May 28, 2002

    I like this route a lot. It had more interesting moves than the other routes in the area. (excepting Rum Tug Tugger) The grade was way off though.(as are most if not all of the routes on this slab) I would call this route 9+.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 11, 2002

    A note about lowering and rope management:

    If your rope is 50 meters or shorter you could have some difficultly actually getting to the ground. Since this is overhung and long, you may end up dangling a ways above the ground and out from the belay ledge--we ended up in this situation, and my belayer had to make a few moves up the climb so I could get down to the ground. I would recommend both the climber and belayer tieing in, so no one gets dropped.

    That said, I really enjoyed this climb--it's the definition of exposure (although the moves are no harder than 9+/10-)
    By John Keller
    Oct 29, 2002

    And what's this about the route going straight up? The first few bolts are in a line above the anchors but after that this route wanders all over. I recommend having one or two long slings to extend some of the clips to limit rope drag. Also, it would be very hard to clean while being lowered or on rappel as the top anchors are well left of the bottom anchors and way overhung. We ended up having the second follow to the top then rappelling from there. Our 200 just got us down to a flat spot on the scramble approach. All that said, it was a fun climb but certainly not 10d.
    By Richard M. Wright
    From: Lakewood, CO
    Oct 31, 2002

    So much for my ability to gauge human nature. The "crux" of Gus is on the headwall, and when this line was originally established I looked at the system of jugs on the right of the headwall and (honestly) asked myself "why would anyone choose the easier sequence when such a nice, more exposed, and tricky sequence can be had on the left?" Actually the comment raises an amusing issue concerning grades. Moving left, as I have always done it, entails thin fngers and a delicate smear on far left side of the headwall and close to 10d. The jugs on the right provide a much easier (perhaps not even 5.9) eascape to the anchor. I had placed the bolt a bit left in the hope of forcing the line to the more interesting sequence, however, my last run on Gus two or three years ago showed that most folks take the right side to finish. C'est La Vie. I guess we could ascribe left and right finishes to the line with different grades. I am reminded of the Zen aphorism: "when confronted with a choice of two paths, always choose the more difficult" (it will reward you more). Or perhaps more to the point, is rephrasing the Harvard Law of Biology: "the Climber will do as he damn well pleases".
    By Matt Chan
    From: Boulder
    Oct 7, 2003
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    An decent line that trends up and to the left on jugs. Be sure to have a set, non-verbal means of communication with your belay - the creek drowns out nearly everything. Also, rapping might not be the best idea due to the difficulty getting back to the belay anchors. String your line with lowering (and rope drag) in mind.
    By Nate Oakes
    May 15, 2006

    Definite scare factor - very exposed. Regardless of the grade, you feel like a champ finishing this route. I agree with Richard about the headwall crux, I did the juggy line to the right my first time out, and used the left sequence the next time, much harder. I would definitely recommend holding the rope when belaying down to avoid a tricky landing.
    By Nathaniel Osenga
    Jul 22, 2008
    rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    A great climb! Don't siss out and take the juggy way around the crux though. I'm not a strong outdoor climber and I agree it doesn't feel like a 5.10d so don't be afraid to give this one a try. Very difficult to clean the draws being lowered though so consider having your belayer follow up and clean and rap off the top. Have fun!
    By James McNabb
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Jul 1, 2009

    Just did the climb on 6/28/09. GREAT very exposed route! Adds serious diversity to your day on the Cat Slab, however it is easy to stray and create some potential swinging fall potential due to the blocky, juggy nature of the outcrop. "Gus" wonders around blocky roofs with a few alternatives to summit, so scout your bolts! ( I feel that the bolts were solid and well spaced). I agree with previous posts about the grade, though this was our final pump-out route, I feel the 10d grade may be in place simply due to exposure and the mental trip that this dark, overhung outcrop manifests. Certainly in the 5.10 range. Take a large sigh of accomplishment at the anchors and enjoy the sounds of the creek below and the rockies above.
    By Top Rope Hero
    From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
    Apr 5, 2010
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    A fine, fine line. The best way to skin the Cat Slab, bar none. But let's stuff the Zen master crap.

    Were human nature so inclined, we would all drop acid, climb barefoot in Crisco-covered feet, hack off a limb or two, and call everything 5.16. As it is, it's pretty much SOP any where you go for any climber to take the line of least resistance on, oh, just about any climb in the known universe. That's how--in the twenty plus years I've been climbing--we roll.

    In fact, the only people I've ever known to intentionally manufacture needless hardship have been gurlfriends. Ex-gurlfriends. And they're plenty already. So let's call this 10b and have a day, K?

    Not by the way, just for the sake of spreading the info, my belayer followed this line, on the left, in bare feet (no Crisco, though), and still calls this 10b.
    By Chuck Lynch
    Mar 31, 2012

    This route was really fun, it gave you that feeling of being up high, the rock quality was good, and it was just all around fun! We scrambled up to the anchor then had my partner follow me up, and then set up a rap, a 60m is fine to make it to the ground. Get out there and have fun!!
    By Jeremy C
    From: Golden, CO
    Aug 24, 2013
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Super fun route. Completely different than the rest of the Catslab lineup. The scare factor is definitely in effect. Still a little dirty in spots. 2 or 3 loose rocks along the way, but the holds are huge and solid when you need them to be. This route is probably 10a or b if you are on the taller side, but I could see it being 10d for someone short. Lots of reaching opportunities. I thought that going left/straight at the top felt much more comfortable than the possibly easier climbing to the far right would have felt. I think that you pretty much have to have someone follow to clean this one. You're going to end up about 30ft left of where you started. Gets good shade most of the day.
    By Andy Hansen
    From: Longmont, Colorado
    Mar 9, 2014
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Aka Stallone Bulge. Airy, bulgy, Stalloney.
    By Brad Gone
    May 14, 2015
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Pulling the crux as intended by FA seemed pretty height-dependent.

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