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YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Ken Trout, 1988
Page Views: 6,807
Submitted By: Bryson Slothower on Jun 26, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (236)
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Note the not-needed bolt.

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Headline starts on the left side of the crag just right of Bonehead and Conehead and cuts up and left for about 80 feet to the anchor atop Conehead. There is a bolt down low that protects a tricky move getting off the ground (10a). Once you enter the crack it never exceeds 5.9 and the gear is very solid.

The crack stays thin with good finger locks the entire way except near the top where it is easiest to lieback. It is possible to clip a bolt on Conehead where the crack widens. This is a nice way to add a little variety to the regular bolt clipping that goes on at Little Eiger.


Now fully bolted with 6 bolts. To lead on gear, bring small cams and wires, nothing bigger than a #0.75 Camalot. Now has its own 2 bolt anchor with links/chains (formerly 2 hook anchor).

Photos of Headline Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Note bolts below the foot, above the knee, and in ...
Note bolts below the foot, above the knee, and in ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Fully engaged in the crack.
Fully engaged in the crack.
Rock Climbing Photo: Peter Dillon stemming and laybacking up the anglin...
Peter Dillon stemming and laybacking up the anglin...
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo for the left side of the Little Eiger; "...
BETA PHOTO: Topo for the left side of the Little Eiger; "...
Rock Climbing Photo:
Rock Climbing Photo: this off route??? this off route???

Comments on Headline Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 26, 2016
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
May 5, 2003

It appears someone has bolted this fine gear route put up by Ken Trout in the late '80s. There are bolts that are inches away from a bomber crack. If you want to lead this route in the orginal style, bring a handful of TCUs to a #0.75 Camalot, and place bomber gear right next to these shiny bolts. Is this the next Sports Park?
By Anonymous Coward
May 5, 2003

Perhaps Mr. Trout added the bolts. If so, is it still lame?
By Bryson Slothower
May 6, 2003

The bolt is for Conehead but can be clipped from Headline. Conehead is just one of the many good routes Alan Nelson has put up in the canyon and I for one am thankful to him.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
May 6, 2003

I agree that Conehead (5.11b) is a fine route, which I climbed for the first time last weekend. Now, there is also a second line of bolts to the right of Conehead that follows Headline, which is a bomber crack. The original bolt that Ken placed for the beginning of Headline is to the right of this new bolt line. This lone bolt is now the start of a new route which is between Eiger Sanction and the bolt line on Headline.

I am guessing you have not been up there in a while.
By Bryson Slothower
May 6, 2003

Yeah, it's been a while, the route must have gone in since I was up there.... I'll go check it out for myself.
By Bryson Slothower
May 7, 2003

I went up and climbed Headline again today and you are right Guy, the three upper bolts on the new route between Conehead and Headline seem rather unneeded. The first three bolts make for a good direct start to the crack however.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
May 8, 2003

Bryson, the picture that you posted shows someone climbing the start of Headline and finishing on Conehead. The first bolt that is clipped in the picture is one of the new ones on Headline. If you cross your eyes just right, you can see two more unclipped bolts above this one that are within a foot or two of the crack.
By Bryson Slothower
May 8, 2003

There is a route between Conehead and Headline now....
By Bryson Slothower
May 8, 2003

P.S. Guy, that action photo is a bit of a joke, I have gear clipped on four "different" routes...
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 29, 2003

What the hell happened to this area? There are bolts everywhere near Conehead, Headline etc... Someone added every other bolt on one of the .10s also. I think at one point you could clip 4 or 5 bolts in 15 feet. What gives?
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Aug 17, 2003

AC, if you feel that you did nothing wrong, why did you not include your name?

I am glad that you made this crag safe for everyone. By adding bolts to the crack climb Headline and 6 bolts to the previously good climb Eiger Sanction, maybe this crag can make the top 5 list next year.

On a serious note, most climbers like myself enjoy the hard labors of the people who put up routes in the canyon. Please don't ruin this great climbing resource by bolting crack climbs and placing bolts 2-3 feet apart on 5.10s.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 18, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

3 bolts from the "nearby" route are within 18" of the crack on Headline, and in fact cross it at the top, meaning one bolt on either side of the top end of the crack. That's just plain wrong. Where's the crow-bar?
I don't see this as one of the 'top 5 worst crags' but this section of the wall sure qualifies as one of the worst sections of rock/botched bolting. Excepting the Sport Park, it's the worst job I've encountered to date.
By Ken Trout
From: Golden, CO
Aug 18, 2003

January, 2008: Sorry it took so long to get my AC comments erased. Thanks for the help getting access Leo!

For me Headline is best as a bolted crack because it is one of the few climbs my wife will lead at Little Eiger. We just don't carry gear in Clear Creek.

We do occasionally see young climbers do the crack as a gear lead, without the old-style crying about bolts. It's new thinking; sport and gear climbs coexisting. Now they've got me thinking...Mrs. Hen on natural gear?

By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 19, 2003
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I lead Headline on all trad gear. Peter Spindloe did the route after me. His wife, Joanne and then Chris Parks came next. The only complaints I heard about this "sucking" trad style of ascent was that the bolts on it didn't belong.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 19, 2003

Hey AC from - or should I say Ken Trout?

It's obvious from your style of writing when you compare it to the rantings about bolting on the South Face of the Maiden that you are one in the same.
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Sep 8, 2003

I'm a little confused about the use of A.C. as a new form of war protest. Political debates on climbingboulder make for lousy route beta.
By Jay Samuelson
From: Denver CO
Nov 8, 2006

Climbed this route yesterday (11/07/06) on gear, highly recommend skipping the bolts. You can even skip the first one if you brought a couple micro-nuts with you, but whatever style you choose to climb, have fun.
By Jon Zucco
From: Denver, CO
Aug 15, 2008

Sick climb. Good finger crack route for trad-impaired. Thanks for the bolts, I swear I'll buy some more pro next pay check.
By blakeherrington
May 4, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

*** for the climbing, and a huge thumbs down for the bolted crack.
By Top Rope Hero
From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
Aug 25, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

TROUT: We do occasionally see young climbers do the crack as a gear lead, without the old-style crying about bolts. It's new thinking; sport and gear climbs coexisting.

ELVIS PRESLEY: Now Adam and Evil, they go hand in hand/ Eve taught him sin, that's the way it all began.

Another online round of pride and prejudice about another (shamefully!) bolted crack. I always wonder, at these moments, if the nay-sayer set would care to spare us the drama and just start chopping.

Regardless, I’m no spring chicken; at 40, I don’t think I qualify for Trout’s “young climber.” But I first happily sent this as a sport route, then came back and as happily sent it trad. No complaints, no worries. And I’d climb it again, either way (though I would, personally, prefer to send it trad, again).

If I’m offended by a bolt, I. Just. Skip it. (Here is a not-so-random question: Why is it OK to pound in multi-point anchor chains, but not an occasional bolt?) Luckily, I’m not so constrained by what we might here label as an outdated, "Puritan" code of climbing ethics or yore.

Not incidentally, no, I don’t think that a bolted trad line in CCC means we’re gonna see an army of drillers bespoil Indian Creek. Facile, blunted arguments like that miss the more nuanced observation that the ethos of any given climbing area will always define itself by the very people who most use it—not by random tourist jocks. (Or, for that matter, by the increasingly marginalized curmudgeons who want their world their way.) The process of policing is always organic, and ethics will always evolve. (In climbing as it is in politics as it is in sexual mores as it is in....)

The thing is, CCC is sporty—VERY sport climbing oriented here. (Duh.) Not only that, it’s wicked close to a major metropolitan climbing mecca; and, yes, younger, newer, urban-er climbers are naturally going to adopt their own set of ethics, their own set of standards for what is right and what is rubbish. They are going. To bolt. (Yes, even the occasional, very rare CCC crack.) We can cry “foul,” but forward thinking climbers aren’t easily swayed by squawking.

For the record, in case it wasn't clear: I do NOT advocate a laissez-faire attitude toward bolting in general or toward bolting cracks in specific. If anything, I detest universal, capital “T” truths. And therein lies the point. CCC is sporty; it will carry with it a continually evolving, sport-climber’s ethicality. Try to bring that purist, Yosum attitude to Clear Creek, and you’re only going to bash your head against the rock of indifference. Oh, wait...Yosemite Valley, the bastion of puritan ethics, right? Too bad all those gaping pin scars. And so much for the "Puritan" ethic.

By the way, if climbers REALLY want to prove their Puritan mettle, then here’s an invitation to let their conviction meet some courage: Climb naked. Don’t bring chalk, don’t lace up in those fancy shoes. For heaven’s sake, don’t use anchor chains or clip into any single bolt, ever, anywhere, under any circumstances. Because the very moment we so much as slather up in sunscreen, we introduce artifice into the natural world—and that sure ain’t all that pure.

Trout has it right: New thinking is in; stale, crusty, supposedly “purist” thinking is quickly going the way of the 8-track. (The wha?) That’s an entry point for friction, sure. But perhaps the answers lie in open dialogue, mutual respect, COMPROMISE. Maybe (gasp!) even an update to what we perceive to be right and wrong. Ethics 2.0. Hey, there was a time, you know, when the conservative set even saw Elvis Presley as the Satan.

Either way, I think we’d ALL be better served trying to figure out things like how to preserve access, how to open new areas, and how to keep those fucking squirrels from eating my PB&Js! And you don’t accomplish any of that by pointing fingers and crying about which bolts are acceptable, which are absolute evil. You want pure, climb naked. Otherwise, let’s work on this thing together and keep climbing, eh?

Oh, yeah. Nice climb. Tons of fun.
By slim
Aug 25, 2009
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

I would think, if anything at all, trying to climb routes with limiting bolt placement and maximizing natural pro opportunities is making a pretty strong comeback. Lots of strong climbers out there doing this currently, and hopefully bending the grid-bolt-at-will mentality a bit.
By Jeff Chrisler
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 18, 2009

Not being a trad climber, I appreciate the bolting on such a great route. However, I will be a trad climber at some point and will pass the bolts as was done on the photos attached to this climb.
By Ben Cassedy
From: Denver, CO
Jun 26, 2010
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Excellent post by Top Rope Hero, and I have to say I agree. I clipped all of the bolts on this, and had a blast on the route. Generally I'm against bolting easily protectable cracks. But I probably wouldn't have gotten on this thing if the bolts weren't there. I did it and really liked the route. I'd like to come back and do it on gear though.
By L G
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 22, 2010

Climbing a crack and clipping bolts is a joy and avoids the encumbrance of a rack in an area where it's not otherwise needed. I, too, agree with the post by Top Rope Hero; It's cool to have the choice.
By Peter Lewis
From: Bridgton, Maine
Sep 26, 2014

I used to guide this a lot back in the mid '90s. It was cool to take good clients up a nice, little, trad route standing proud among a sea of bolts. I really just don't understand why it had to be bolted. Get a little rack, learn how to use it, and start leading some trad. It's actually really fun! And the argument that it's nice to have the option is ridiculous---why not just bolt every crack everywhere, then? Madness. There. I ranted. Felt good.
By Case
Apr 9, 2015

I know it's mostly a sport climbing area, but I don't think continuous splitters should be marred by bolts.
By Robert Chappe
Jul 26, 2016
rating: 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

Fun climb on gear. Not easiest 10a for newer trad climbers, but then again maybe it is, bc if you get sketched out you can just clip the bolts.

Gear beta said up to 0.75, but there is easily a section that would eat a #4 and would make you feel a little better for the 4 feet of OW.

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