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Mill Creek Crag
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Face (left of Freeway) TR 
Feline Antics S 
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Lou Reed  T 
Pit of Despair, The T,S 
Scantily Trad T 
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Lou Reed  

YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 65'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: RMWright, Fall 2013 FFA, Mark Anderson, July, 2015
New Route: Yes
Season: Typical of Mill Creek Crag
Page Views: 1,198
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Nov 20, 2013

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (4)
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The airy finish.


It's always momentous to loose one of our iconoclasts, and Lou Reed died in October 2013 after 40 years in the RR business. While I was never a great fan of his group the Velvet Underground, I loved Lou Reed. LR, the route, takes a very steep course through the roof system via mostly 5.11 climbing before a very hard boulder crux getting past bolt 5. A cam placement is very nice in the small roof above bolt 6. Things stay solid at 5.11 above bolt 6 and deliver a final big move at the last bolt (5.10+). LR is very continuous and does not let up until you get to the chains. The rock is largely excellent top to bottom.


Start 25 feet right of Scantily Trad.


Seven quickdraws, a mid-size cam (a green link cam works or #2 or #1.5 Friend), and something for the double bolt anchor at the top.

Photos of Lou Reed Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A big reach at the end of the difficulties.
A big reach at the end of the difficulties.
Rock Climbing Photo: Another shot of Lou Reed which follows the right s...
Another shot of Lou Reed which follows the right s...
Rock Climbing Photo: Sticking the drive-by move on the send.
Sticking the drive-by move on the send.
Rock Climbing Photo: Lou Reed follows the rope on the right.
BETA PHOTO: Lou Reed follows the rope on the right.

Comments on Lou Reed Add Comment
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By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Nov 20, 2013

Lou Reed got squeezed in between snow storms in the middle of November. It was actually bolted while the snow was falling. The crux getting past bolt 5 remains an A0 project at this point, but it provides great incentive to tone up the dynamic bouldering moves this winter. Looks like a lot of time on the campus board at DBC. The redpoint crux will be a solid number grade or more harder than climbing before and after bolt 5. The crux is a dynamic power crimp and throw through a steep bulge. It starts on good feet, but they are lost quickly.

One note of caution: the crimp at bolt 6 is thin and could be crushed if it stood upon. After standing up above bolt 6, it is best to stand on the super solid ledge and not on the crimp.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
May 8, 2014

Patrick Burwick and I had a chance to jump on Lou Reed last weekend after ticking off a bunch of the new lines on MCC. While I still think that LR is super hard, we did uncover an improbable undercling in the main roof that unlocks some of the beast. Helps, but did not free up the A0.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 7, 2014

Out of the chaos a sequence has begun to emerge for Lou Reed; but still a long way from a RP. LR is hard. In rough terms and with the current beta, I think that comparing it to "The Web" in Eldo is not far off the mark. No single move is particularly reach-dependent, so execution through the overlaps becomes the primary crux. The crux transition hold is a nasty little bugger dubbed "Steve McClure", because it's hard to imagine moving off it without Steve McClure's crimp power. No individual move on "The Web" is as hard as moving off SM to an equally nasty half pad slot, and this is not the end of the crux. After a dozen days on and mostly off LR, I think the full link up will tick in a couple of letter grades harder than "The Web", and it is steeper and longer than "The Web". I've been working LR solo using a jumar and GriGri, and it has been my experience that shifting to RP attempts commonly drops the estimated grade by at least a letter; so there is still some uncertainty about the real grade. Like all projects at Dumont, if anyone else has a hankering to give it a run, just move my fixed line aside, but leave it in place when you're finished. Lou Reed is hard; too bad it just begs to be climbed.
By Monomaniac
From: Morrison, CO
Jul 2, 2015
rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

This is a great find--gymnastic moves on good rock in a beautiful setting. Thanks to Richard for the vision and for opening it up. The crux for me was a footless drive-by move to a really good incut edge at the lip of the big bulge--very cool.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 2, 2015

Terrific. Good for you! I've been able to dog through the dyno using the crispy edge under the bulge but never reach the incut in one continuous move. My own assessment was close to but a tad harder than The Web in Eldo, largely for the footless crux. I was thinking 13c, but I can certainly live with 13b. I think you just knocked Mill Creek into a new age. I'm absolutely thrilled.
By Glenn Schuler
From: Monument, Co.
Jul 2, 2015

Nice work, Mono! It's fitting that Lou Reed was recently inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame as well. I'd love to check out this area, looks cool.
By Adam Stewart
Aug 23, 2015
rating: 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b

First off, Richard, thanks for bolting this great route. I really enjoyed every move of this. My friend and I worked this route today and found different solutions. I think I was trying the original jump, drive-by method, but with my height (6'0"), the grade feels somewhere between 12c and 12d. I'm sure for shorter climbers this is much harder, so the 13b grade is well understood. My shorter friend found a really nice, high right foot in order to go to the jug sidepull and managed to flash the route. It seems the solution is in the 5.12 range, but nevertheless, it's great and I hope many people get to try it!
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Aug 24, 2015

Thanks, Adam. I would love to see the beta that brought it to 5.12. The way I have been trying, and I'm 5'7", it still seems harder than 12+. However, I have been trying to camp out on one the crimpers in mid-crux, a definite no-no for this route. Let's see how consensus shakes down; a lot depends on what is used for reference. I thought the crux was harder than Anarchitect or Black and Tan in Clear Creek, a tad harder than Rainbow Wall, but comparable to The Web in Eldo. On the other hand, when you stand up above the crux on Lou Reed you get a nearly complete shakeout, so Lou Reed certainly lacks the continuity of the The Web. Despite this, the crux is clearly several letter grades harder than Sucking My Will to Live, Ten Digit Dialing, or even Y2K in Clear Creek.
By Jim Redo
Jul 22, 2016

I thought 12c/d as well. I'm 5'4". Very good route though!

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