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Heavy Weather 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Richard Rossiter
Page Views: 9,200
Submitted By: Aaron Shupp on Apr 1, 2001

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Mike leading pitch four of Heavy weather on a glor...

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  • Description 

    This route is located on Upper Peanuts Wall. P1 begins on a pedastal below a big, cantelope-shaped flake that is sticking out perpendicular to the main wall. Do not confuse this with another similar feature higher and up to the right.

    P1 climbs a lower angle 5.7 crack system up to a 5.9 dihedral created by the huge, cantelope flake. The 5.9 section is short and offers reasonable protection. Finish the pitch by moving left, and slightly down to a big ledge at a large tree (do not go up and right to another large tree). Be careful here not to knock off any of the loose rock sitting on the ledge.

    P2 is the crux of the climb. Continue upward through balancy moves over a "flip-flop" dihedral (5.9) and then traverse up a ramp toward the left.

    P3 takes on a super nice 5.8 fist crack of variable width and gains a huge ramp. P2 and P3 can be combined with a 60m rope.

    P4 is short, but fun. Traverse left to a blocky cave and follow an obvious crack about 15 - 20 feet to the top. You can probably combine P3 and P4 with minimal rope drag as well.


    Standard rack.

    Photos of Heavy Weather Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Laurie topping out on the route. Great position.
    Laurie topping out on the route. Great position.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Laurie on pitch 4 crack.
    Laurie on pitch 4 crack.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The "Death Blocks" at the Top of the P3 ...
    BETA PHOTO: The "Death Blocks" at the Top of the P3 ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting up the 1st pitch. Photo by C. Treiber.
    Starting up the 1st pitch. Photo by C. Treiber.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Moving through the crux of the 1st pitch. Photo by...
    Moving through the crux of the 1st pitch. Photo by...
    Rock Climbing Photo: After leading the 4th pitch.  Photo by Jake Wyatt
    After leading the 4th pitch. Photo by Jake Wyatt
    Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up the 4th pitch.  This would be a 4 sta...
    Finishing up the 4th pitch. This would be a 4 sta...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline starting up Heavy Weather.
    Christa Cline starting up Heavy Weather.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jean Aschenbrenner climbing the slanting crack on ...
    Jean Aschenbrenner climbing the slanting crack on ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline on the third pitch crack.
    Christa Cline on the third pitch crack.
    Rock Climbing Photo: After leading the 2nd pitch.  Photo by Jake Wyatt
    After leading the 2nd pitch. Photo by Jake Wyatt
    Rock Climbing Photo: The first pitch.  It goes up the crack system, the...
    BETA PHOTO: The first pitch. It goes up the crack system, the...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking up at the p3 crack.
    Looking up at the p3 crack.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline climbing the angling crack on the la...
    Christa Cline climbing the angling crack on the la...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Me leading the third pitch of Heavy Weather..
    Me leading the third pitch of Heavy Weather..
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at Clint at the P2 belay.
    Looking down at Clint at the P2 belay.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Melissa struggles through the tree to the pitch 2 ...
    Melissa struggles through the tree to the pitch 2 ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Traversing into the crack on P3...
    Traversing into the crack on P3...

    Comments on Heavy Weather Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 11, 2017
    By Bryson Slothower
    Jun 23, 2002

    This is a very enjoyable route that will challenge you in a variety of ways. Pitches 1-3 can easily be combined into one long lead without rope drag as can pitches 4 and 5. I did the route today in two pitches with a 60m rope and would suggest doing it this way but be careful on the last pitch, you will either get drag or have to make a couple tricky moves with ledge fall potential. The walk off sort of sucked but the variety of climbing, views and exposure were well worth it.......
    By James Balasalle
    Apr 15, 2003
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    This is a great climb. Lots of varied climbing. The crux on the first pitch is thin and smeary, but not steep. The second pitch is very interesting with some weird dihedral stuff, and a great, angling finger crack that you can't really get your feet in. The third pitch is a sweet fist crack with some great, full-on arm jams. And the last pitch is short but pretty cool.

    I thought P2 was the crux of the climb. It is also pretty sustained once you get around the weird dihedral craziness. Rossiter calls both upper pitches 8+ but they felt more like 8 to me. Easier than the crux of Chianti for instance. 5.9 seemed pretty close for both P1 and P2.

    We walked off the the west. This entailed 4th class downclimbing. Wasn't that bad, but it wasn't great either. You could probably descend to the east through the trees, until you get to the saddle between upper and lower peanuts.
    By Jake Wyatt
    From: Longmont, CO
    Apr 15, 2003

    Bring the small nuts (or slider nuts or Lowe-balls) to protect the p1 crux.
    By Mark Hammond
    From: Eldorado Springs, CO
    Jun 5, 2003

    WARNING, DEATH BLOCKS/FLAKES! At pitch3/pitch 4 belay, the rock is highly unstable. Please do not do this route right now. Yesterday, a flake big enough to kill a couple climbers shifted twice while we were near it, VERY SCARY.This should be trundled with the area cordoned off. The big snows of this spring must have moved stuff around. I have done the route several times in the past and it has changed. Right now it (and the blocks around it) are just waiting for someone to breathe on it. Strongly consider also avoiding routes directly downhill such as Gravity's Angel.
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Jul 22, 2003

    The above comment on the "death blocks" deterred me from climbing this route.... until today. After seeing them, I do not believe the dire words accurately projects the situation. I believe Mark is referring to a horizontal 5'x5' flake pushing edgewise on a veritcally aligned 5' x 5' flake by the belay below the summit pitch. Indeed the horizontal one is loose - stepping on it causes wobbling. If it did go and hit someone, they would not survive.

    Disclaimer: Everything I write below is completely suspect. Do not trust me. They are my opinions, please do not trust them. Only read the below if you've read the disclaimer on the site (bottom of every page). I am not responsible for the safety of the route or your safety.

    However... they are on the ramp below the last pitch of the climb and I believe they can easily be avoided to the left or right, without climber or rope touching them (we did, being the curious sort). Secondly, they clearly appear precarious, and any climber with proper experience and judgement should identify them as potentially loose, as they should view any block placed precariously on a ledge high above the ground in Eldorado Springs. Yarding on them is not advised. Third, despite that statement, I did not find them waiting to go if someone "breathed" on them. We pulled, hit, and finally kicked (all in the name of science, boys and girls) the blocks with no loss of life occuring.

    I just wanted to mention this, since I was dissuaded from climbing the route for a month, but after climbing it and seeing the flakes, I felt the risk of rock-fall on this route from these flakes was no greater than other places in Eldorado Canyon (top of P2 of over the hill comes to mind), and I was glad I enjoyed this fun route.
    By S. Kimball
    Jul 31, 2003

    CHICKEN LITTLE;"THE SKY IS FALLING, THE SKY IS FALLING..."Miss this route and ya miss one of the best 5.9's in Eldo.The last pitch ie; site of DEATH BLOCKS is a bit of a pile anyway, and is easily avoided .
    By Mark Hammond
    From: Eldorado Springs, CO
    Aug 1, 2003

    Hey Myke, Sorry to disuade you from doing the route unnecessarily. Also glad the blocks are stable enough to kick. When I was up there, they did slide, not just wobble (and without kicking or stepping on). I thought it was worth being adamant about, since it seemed pretty dangerous. My two partners thought so too, so I posted.Anyone who climbs in Eldo knows there is loose rock everywhere, "just don't pull on it" usually suffices. This situation seemed different; at the time, to me.Great route; based on your assessment, I'll probably be on it again soon. BTW-S. Kimball's Chicken Little comment wasn't what convinced me.
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Aug 11, 2003

    If you are solid at the grade, you can probably leave the big cams at home. I didn't need to place the #3.5 Friend, and a small runout at the top of the third pitch will let you leave the #4 Friend at home. An extra hand size cam and medium hexes do come in handy, though.

    A must do on those hot sunny days. There are nice ledges for belays and good views of the rest of Eldo.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Aug 20, 2003

    Cool climb. Though somewhat disjointed, this route links up some great rock. Bring micro-nuts or RP's for the P1 crux and small to med. cams (or nuts) for the P2 crux. The belay before P3 is the best view in the canyon. You can see the west side of the Bastille, Wind Tower, Whales Tail, entire Redgarden Wall and entire West Ridge and Rincon.

    As for the death block, definitely avoid it. It looks like a giant surf board ready to slide. Many other large blocks on the same ledge. Just pay attention to where you build your anchor and tread lightly.

    For the decent, we contoured south, then west around the wall and ended up at the base.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Aug 20, 2003

    For the not-so-light climber (of the non-sport sized) like me, you don't need to rely upon RPs. I've always used BD wireds for P1. Small Aliens are useful for the P2 belay. Not to push you to climb this route, but some of those blocks have been shifting for a few years. When in doubt, don't touch those loose blocks, climb to the top of Sunrider/The Cruise, or downclimb. A fun, short, pretty, 4-pitch climb that is generally in the shade.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Jul 5, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Stellar route. Every pitch is fun with good pro. Pitch one takes small stoppers(Black Diamond #3 and #4) to protect the crux. Pitch two is the mack daddy, though. Awesome view at the top of pitch two. Pitch three is a fun hand jam. Pitch four is a funky, little crack that goes to the edge near the top.
    By david klein
    Jul 6, 2004
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    I would agree with Shane. This is an excellent route. Fun and varied with good positioning. Pitch 2 is the money pitch, but all the pitches were enjoyable. Watch for loose rocks on the ledges. Have at it - great line.
    By TBlom
    Jun 27, 2005

    We did pitch one, then continued up and right on chossy terrain to the big tree with the horizontal section, easy fifth class all in one lead. This put us at the base of Sunrider and the Upstairs Dihedral. After the dihedral(9), we got to toprope Sunrider, which feels really exposed for a toprope. Very cool link up which let another party do Heavy Weather while we were on our upper pitches.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jul 31, 2005

    This is a very good route. I felt P1 is good but over graded a bit. Felt more like (8+) max to me. Yet my partner, thought it felt bouldery and harder than (9), and he climbs harder than me, so go figure. Good stances for placing gear...used a black alien and a #4 BD stopper for the business in the dihedral.

    P2 may be the crux, and it felt (9) to me, but the finger to hand jams are bomber, on good rock with great pro, made it feel very secure. Took a blue alien at the start of the crux and orange TCU a few feet higher.

    P3 sucked the wide stuff right off my rack, although there are placements for smaller cams under 1" in the first half of the pitch. Hand/fist jams and good stemming edges all the way up this fun pitch. Suggest bringing doubles of #3 cam and a #4 cam for the last 10'.

    Last pitch traverses way left, or I would have linked the last two, but [it's] a good finish. Good rock quality , position, and pro the whole way, I would do this route again for sure.
    By John Korfmacher
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Oct 2, 2006

    P1 can easily be combined with Upstairs Dihedral by going straight up instead of left after the P1 crux. We (+J. Blumberg) did this but not really by intention. No matter, Upstairs is really a sweet old-school dihedral with some surprisingly kind OW.

    Peanuts Wall has choss everywhere--be VERY careful about how you move about at belays, and anything that looks even remotely doubtful should be tested before pulling hard.
    By Mike Robinson
    From: Worcester, MA
    Aug 22, 2007

    Do this climb in 2 pitches. Get ready for a descent that will take as long as the climb, worth it though.
    By Gary Schmidt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 9, 2008

    A great climb with lots of fun variety and superb views. I actually thought that pitch 3 was overall the most challenging, maybe not the hardest moves but the most sustained nature and steep. You will want to have your number 4 cam for the widest slot and a number 3 is very comforting for the final exit. To get off we scrambled s.w. along 3rd class rock and shrubbery until we came to an obvious notch with a rough trail starting down west to woods. This trail continues west for a bit and then starts traversing back north east to your start improving the closer to get to the base. Only takes about 10- 15 minutes to walk back this way. Have fun. Makes a great combo with others classics up there like Star Wars.
    By Shawn Mitchell
    From: Broomfield
    May 30, 2009
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    Climbed today with Ryan Brough. Fun! if a little segmented. Ryan led p. 1, then we top roped Gravity's Angel, also very cool. Ryan led crux pitch 2. I led and linked 3 & 4, the wide crack and blocky finish.

    Fun all the way. I'd say p.1 has a couple slabby 5.9 moves on thin but good pro, and eases quickly. Pitch 2 has a few 9 moves also, that continue at 8+ for a bit. The mental crux is the first 9 move pulling around the dihedral flip in a blind lieback and not being sure what you'll see/grab around the edge.

    The p. 3 wide crack felt easier than 5.8. It may not even be 5.7, compared, for example, to the 5.6 second pitch of Bastille Crack. It's full of awesome hand jams except a short wide move at the top, and there are ramps and edges for feet all the way. I didn't do a single foot jam. The blocky top to a short finger crack was interesting and probably 5.8.

    The descent kept things interesting. We followed corners and bushes up and right* toward Peanut's summit, came to a notch, and wound our way down 3rd and 4th class rock, passing several loose piles. Then we crossed a crumbly red ledge, and took it left* (south, really, same direction as "right" above, but that was when we were climbers facing in, and now we're descenders facing out) toward the hill side.

    Great morning.
    By Greg D
    From: Here
    Jun 20, 2009

    A decent climb. I was a bit disappointed. I guess I had big expectations based on above comments and a friend that said it was one of his favorites. Very short section of quality and business. The rest of the climbing was ok.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Jun 25, 2009

    Might be a favorite to some since it is moderate, in the shade, has great views, has brilliant lichen, and a pleasant break from brutal heat waves.
    By doug rouse
    From: Denver, CO.
    Jul 22, 2009

    Congratulations to Korde Broker on his 1st traditional lead on pitch 1 of this route...Hella nice Bro!!!
    By Rob DeZonia
    Sep 6, 2011

    This route is awesome. I think I climbed it in '04 or '05, and a crazy rain/electical storm hit us hard while my buddy was following P2. With little communication and no upward movement, I eventually lowered him until I saw him running out on talus below to signal me. I then untied and solo'd out somewhere down the ledge with lightning and thunder crushing in on my world. The next morning we returned early to finish route and retrieve me gear. Heavy Weather couldn't be a better name for this beauty.
    By Count Chockula
    From: Littleton, CO
    Jul 15, 2012

    This route is well protected and is a great outing. Well worth it if Lower Peanuts is crowded. It also holds shade for most of the morning, so it's a good option on hot summer days. I thought the P1 crux was harder than the P2 crux, personally...very thin tips, quite balancy, and there's very little for feet, but it's short. I got a #4 and #5 BD micro stopper in at the P1 crux and they are bomber. We did it comfortably in 3 pitches linking 3-4.
    By Kevin Dahlstrom
    From: Fort Worth, TX
    Jul 10, 2013

    Very good (but not great) route - definitely worth doing. If the route were cleaner and had more sustained climbing, it would get 3 stars. That being said, each pitch has bits of really good climbing. It protects well - the crux moves can be sewed up. Reports of "death blocks" are massively exaggerated. I saw only one precarious flake, and if it were to go, it would fall to the left of this route. You can link pitches (I linked 3 & 4), but the climbing is more enjoyable if you do it in 4 per the guidebook.
    By Gregger Man
    From: Broomfield, CO
    Sep 22, 2013

    Post-flood cleanup: The loose blocks on P2 and atop P3 are now gone. So is the dead tree below P4.
    By The Blueprint Part Dank
    From: FEMA Region VIII
    Jul 21, 2014
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    Whoa, what a hidden gem. The first two pitches challenge you in such an interesting variety of ways. Sequence intensive finger-cracks and slabs are the name of the game. On P2, when the crack "flip flops" you've got to pull just the most delicate and challenging 5.8 move I've ever done. It's definitely a 5.8 once you commit, but before you cast off to the left side of the slab, you're totally moving by faith and friction.

    Then on pitch 3, a nice little Colorado hail storm came in. At first, I was pretty sketched and pissed, then I remembered that the route is called "Heavy Weather", and I couldn't help but laugh and laugh. Suddenly the hail didn't seem all that bad.
    By Ed Krejcik
    From: Broomfield, CO
    Jun 20, 2015
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    This is a fun route with solid pro. I can only give it 2 stars because of how hard it is to not launch all the broken scree on every belay ledge. If the descent looks sketchy, you have not gone far enough along the ridge line. I didn't :(
    By bw 4257
    Jul 20, 2015

    Found a small, black Mountain Hardware bag with food and sunscreen hanging on a branch at the base of Heavy Weather. Send me a message if this is yours, and we'll figure out how to get it back to you.
    By Keradactyl
    From: Golden, Co
    Jun 3, 2016

    Dat crux doe.

    Well-protected with great views. What else can a girl ask for?
    By Russ Keane
    Mar 1, 2017

    Some of this is pretty good...but's it chunked out and a little contrived, though the good sequences are quite good. That first pitch is not 5.9 for any single moment.
    By Patrik
    Jun 11, 2017

    There is now a rap line installed starting maybe 10ft up and right of the top out of this route. It is described under the main page of Upper Peanuts:
    Thanks to rangers (for the suggestion), Eldo ACE (for $), and volunteers (for the work).

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