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Instant Clarification (AKA Rap Route) 

YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 400', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.9+ French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: E1 5a [details]
FA: Chris Kalous and Brandon Latham
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,376
Submitted By: chris Kalous on Oct 12, 2007

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BETA PHOTO: This shows the location of the bolt on P1 of Insta...

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Three pitches.

1. Climb up to a bolt and traverse left into a dihedral with a pin (5.9). Traverse back right to a another, right-facing dihedral. Go up to a ledge. Bolted anchor.

2. The second pitch is fairly straight forward up a right facing flake/corner. Bolted belay 5.8.

3. This pitch winds around a lot. Use double ropes or many slings. Zigzag right then left and follow features to the Notch and bolted anchors. 5.9.

4. Finish up easy climbing to the top of the tower and south ridge.


On the west face above the old descent gully. This route starts off the grassy ledge from which the South Ridge route begins. The route starts just right of the gully that comes down from the notch and begins in a groove to a ledge and a bolt about 25 feet up. It is left of Raven's Song and the South Ridge.


Double set of TCUs 0-5.
Set of nuts with extra mediums.
Camalots #0.75 - 3.

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By chris Kalous
Oct 12, 2007

Okay. I submitted the above route really for one reason only - to clear up a little mistaken identity. The raps mentioned in so many Notchtop comments on this site and in a recent Climbing Magazine article were NOT placed there merely to provide an easy way down for the guides at CMS. While I was indeed a guide at the time and did want to have an easier way down than that god-awful ridge descent, Brandon and I established the route ground up and drilled everything on lead with a hand-drill. It turned out to be decent, if obscure, route and a good way down for all the various routes on the mountain.

Sorry the raps are so hard to find - I thought it would be a good idea to camo the bolts. The paint I used has an uncanny match to the shade of the rock. In fact, one time, I had a difficult time finding them myself which really impressed my client.

CMS as an organization had nothing to do with the establishment of the raps. Although, they did promptly adopt the descent as the standard way off of Notchtop.

Marmots at the base are the gnarliest in the Park for sure. They made off with shoes and a helmet despite constant bombardment from above, and others have told stories of their viciousness.

Finally, I named the route after a Scottish girl name Claire with amazing legs that I had met in Estes the night before. I was drunk, and she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen that night. I never saw her again. If you read this Claire, know that I still, and always will, love you. Come home to me, my sweet thistle-bud.
By Josh Janes
General Admin
Oct 12, 2007

Were the anchors (read rap bolts) for this climb placed because natural, gear anchors couldn't be found on the route?
By chris Kalous
Oct 15, 2007

Oh, to be sure, the bolts were completely unnecessary. I had rapped down the tat in the gully to the climbers' left and thought that as far as safety and visual impact, the whole thing could be done better. I also spied the route at that time, too.

After posting the route, I looked in the Gillett guide and lo and behold, the route is in there but the connection to the rap is not established. Brandon must have given Bernard the beta.

Anyway, if you use the raps without incident, then you're welcome. If you get lost or your ropes stuck, then...well, too bad for you, you shoulda walked off like a real mountain man/woman.

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