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Heart of Gold 

YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.12- French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Dan Hare, Kris Hanson 1988
Fixed Hardware: 11 Lead Bolts, 3 Rappel Bolts [details]
Page Views: 2,528
Submitted By: Chris Archer on Jul 17, 2001

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  • Description 

    If this route were anywhere else in the Canyon (other than the Rotwand) it would be incredibly popular. Unfortunately it is 2/3 of the way up Hawk Eagle Ridge, an area which has fallen desperately out of vogue despite being home to some forgotten Eldo classics, such as DOA (5.11); Cinch Crack (5.12); Jupiter (5.9); Tombstone (5.11-); and Die Heeda Rule (5.11). If one were to brave the steep hike up the eroded and vegetated trail, which seems imaginary at times, a stellar climb awaits.

    If you want to onsight this route, don't read any further.

    The route has three difficult sections of decreasing techinical difficulty, but increasing endurance. The first 3 bolts protect the most technically dificult, crimpy climbing of the route.

    The business is at the second bolt and involves stemming the left foot up as high as possible on some good foot holds on a diagonalling ramp/crack system and reaching a small, sharp, good hold below the third bolt. There are several options on how to get your left hand on the elusive hold just below the third bolt. Once there, hit the curving ledge and stay right of the third bolt, stemming to the crack, and cruise to a good rest by a double bolt anchor.

    The second difficult section is above the aforementioned anchor. Some tricky climbing involving toe points, heel hooks, and other inobvious tricks gets you to opposing laybacks and finally a bucket. (Well, its really sort of a finger bucket, but welcome none the less.) Having overcome this, there's a bit of interesting climbing to what appears to be a long runout to a bolt in a flake. Fortunately, the climbing is substantially easier than the 2 sections just described. Again a long rest is possible before embarking on the finale.

    The last difficult section involves several inobvious holds. After clipping the second to last bolt off good holds, heel hook with the right foot up and left for a great inobvious hold beneath a small roof with the left hand. From there it's a long move right to an OK edge, from which some feet arranging is necessary to get a very small left facing corner (L of the bolt) with the left hand. More feet juggling to gain height and get in balance, a right hand pop to the obvious diagonal ledge and you're at the anchors. If you have a 50 meter rope, you're in trouble. If you have a 60m you'll just make it.

    All in all an admirable route that tests the face climbing skills that Eldo is famous for without the fear factor that Eldo is also famous for.

    One last note: Do it on a cool day.


    Approximately 11 bolts to 2 bolt anchor about 30 meters up. A 70 meter rope is real nice; a 60 meter works fine; plan on downclimbing rush buick or leaping if you've got a 50 meter.

    One could place a 1, 2.5, or 3 Friend getting to the first bolt, and an alien, tcu or 4-6 rock could be placed about 2/3 of the way up, but the climbing in both of these sections is substantially easier than the cruxes on the route.

    Photos of Heart of Gold Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Relocated bolt during replacement: the flake was h...
    BETA PHOTO: Relocated bolt during replacement: the flake was h...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Keen Butterworth entering the 2nd crux on Heart of...
    Keen Butterworth entering the 2nd crux on Heart of...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Keen Butterworth resorting to "inobvious tric...
    Keen Butterworth resorting to "inobvious tric...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Heart of Gold.  Start up Rush Buick, then break le...
    BETA PHOTO: Heart of Gold. Start up Rush Buick, then break le...

    Comments on Heart of Gold Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 31, 2001

    As the other comments indicate, make sure you are a SOLID slab climber before attempting this route. The crack rules--but the serious part of this climb comes at the top (end) of the finger crack, where, unless you climb 5.11b, you must traverse directly right to gain a ledge/rail. This right traverse comes after good gear, but is very run out and could lead to a long pendulum into the belayer on steep cheese grater [Eldo sandstone].
    By Hank Caylor
    From: Glenwood Springs, CO
    Feb 9, 2008

    A great route until the runout between the 8th and 9th bolt. Sorta weird clipping bolts every few feet and then getting schooled on the runout section up high. Maybe it's just payback for those Flatiron routes I mis-bolted the late 80s. Anyhoo, congrats to K. Stricker and anyone else that's onsighted this baby.
    By Brad Durbin
    Feb 9, 2008

    Agree with Hank. Great route until last bit.
    By Kevin Stricker
    From: Evergreen, CO
    Feb 9, 2008
    rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Did you step right and work up to the flake then up to the roof? I was able to get a few C4s in the flake and the climbing looked easier than continuing straight up past the 8th bolt. It was a bit spooky, and I was a bit pumped and glad I didn't whip. BTW I didn't onsight, as my partner had tried it first and hung the draws and chalked all the key holds! So beta flash at best.
    By Hank Caylor
    From: Glenwood Springs, CO
    Feb 9, 2008

    Naw man, I tried to boot it straight up the arete to get to the 9th bolt but then just didn't want to take the whip (it's sorta loose and all I had were draws anyways).....oh well, I got payback incentive for that thing. As soon as I fire it easily next time, I'll give it 3 or 4 stars. Nice job on the beta flash anyways Kevin.
    By Scott Bennett
    Jan 19, 2010
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Really fine route, I'm glad I finally made the hike to check it out (not that bad a hike, btw). Though it looks slabby, I thought it climbed rather steeply. Also, it's fairly unique for Eldo in that it makes a lot of use of the arete.
    We just took draws, and that was fine. There's a bit of a run getting up below roof (near the end, between bolts 8 and 9ish), but the climbing gets easier as you get further from the bolt, it didn't feel at all dangerous. A well bolted route, IMO.
    All in all, a great pitch with plenty of thought-provoking climbing!
    By Japhy Dhungana
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Mar 2, 2017

    FYI - the only modern/bomber bolts on this climb are 2 bolts on the top anchors, and the left of the 2 bolts on the mid-anchor. The rest are all ok, not great, not terrible, but aging bolts with SMC hangers. A good candidate for an ACE upgrade.
    By Gregger Man
    From: Broomfield, CO
    Apr 17, 2017

    Bolts are all stainless and modern now. Bolt #9 is ~2' lower because the previous location was in bad/hollow rock.

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