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Burley Dudes T,S 
Clear Lycra T,S 
Cup of Java S,TR 
El Nino T,S 
Hammerhead T 
Platte Magic T,S 
Traditionalists at Play TR 
Traditionalists at Work S 
Way Jingus TR 


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

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 130'
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b R [details]
FA: John Bissell, Dave Field, and Ernie Moskovics, 1987
Season: spring through fall (north facing)
Page Views: 582
Submitted By: slim on Jul 21, 2010  with updates from Jay Eggleston

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (7)
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BETA PHOTO: The upper part of the climb.


This route should be called hammertoes, cause your feet are going to get crippled. Now that I think about it though, it will hammer your head while you contemplate cratering from several difficult locations.... Hopefully it won't hammer your body if you actually do cut loose at an in-opportune moment.

Make your way up to the first bolt on fairly easy climbing, clip it, tighten the velcro on your shoes, and launch upwards. The next 2 bolts are a good distance apart with brutally sustained climbing on thin edges and smearing, with serious crater potential just before clipping the 2nd and 3rd bolts. It felt like I had climbed 500 feet, with all of the wandering around looking for a path of least resistance, but when I looked down it was probably only 50 feet. After this, it eases up a bit but is still very continuous. Near the 4th bolt there is one last minor crux, which doesn't feel very easy to your blasted feet.

I thought this was substantially harder than any of the 10s on this wall, and pretty even to the 11b on this wall. If it was in Boulder Canyon, it would probably clock in at 11d or so.

Great route, great stone, great views, this is South Platte slab climbing.


This is the [3rd] route from the left on the north-facing Grey Wave Wall, up the rock gully.


I had thought there were 4 good bolts, but Jay Eggleston has climbed it more recently and noted that there are currently 5 bolts, over 130 to 150 feet, very continuous insecure climbing with major crater potential. If this was bolted on lead (which I think is probably the case), that is damned impressive. The stances for drilling weren't that great for the most part, and I didn't see any obvious hooking possibilities.

Hubbel's book shows bolted anchors (not there). There is a juniper directly at the top (needs webbing and rings) or old buttonhead/Stardryve bolts 30 feet to the right. Also, you can hike off to the left via the ledge.

Photos of Hammerhead Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The type of bolt on the route.
BETA PHOTO: The type of bolt on the route.

Comments on Hammerhead Add Comment
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By Ernie Moskovics
Sep 7, 2012

FA summer 1987 by John Bissell, Dave Field, and Ernie Moskovics (aka the Jersey Gnarlers BITD). You are right, Slim - this route was drilled on lead, actually onsight. We each took a turn at the sharp end to push the line up to the next drill stance. I drew the short straw and drilled the 3rd bolt from a hook, I recall resting my chin right on the slab - like a lizard - to try and see any minor divot or foothold to get in a bolt as I climbed up way past the second one. Soon after this, we switched to rap drilling, it didn't seem possible to keep going in this direction for long, and in fact I took a bad 30 footer lead drilling off a hook a few weeks later putting in a route down the gully around the front of the slab - the unfinished "South Platte Action".

At that point in time, it felt like 10b, but we were comparing it to glassy Toulomne routes. We didn't think to rate it R, the runouts were part of the game, and I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have taken a grounder, but who knows?
By Laura Pyle
From: Evergreen, CO
Apr 12, 2015

I think the comment about this route being much harder than everything else on this wall actually applies to the next route over, Clear Lycra (assuming I figured out which route was which correctly). We did most of these routes on the same day, and Clear Lycra stood out as being quite a bit harder than the others.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Feb 19, 2016

This route is not 150' long. It is more like 130'. It says 100' in the Haas guidebook, but a 70m rope is not long enough to rap.
By slim
Feb 21, 2016

This route is currently the 3rd from the left, which might be part of the confusion. When I first posted these routes, "Cup of Java", which is now the leftmost route, didn't exist.

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