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Momentum Operator 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Roger Briggs, Brian Kew, Steve Kentz, 1971
Page Views: 1,797
Submitted By: Tony B on May 21, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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The Momentum Operator. Photo: Bob Horan.

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  • Description 

    This route would be a classic if it were: A) cleaner, B) on Castle Rock, just 50 meters away. This climb would easily qualify for 3 stars if it were not for the guano on the bottom end of it. (Note - as of 2012, it HAS cleaned up nicely)

    Approach Broken Rock by parking at Castle Rock and going to the Country Club Crack area. Walk across the little bridge to Broken Rock and go then 50 feet up the hill to the right. You will see an obvious pair of super-steep twin cracks that reach a bomb-bay chimney and then another hand crack. This route is obvious and has a 2-bolt anchor fixed biners.

    Tape up. Now climb the twin cracks via hand jams and stems to a tight-hands and fingerlock crux (powerful, and reachy if you are short). You can get the crux done either with brains or biceps, but be sure you have to have a lot of one or the other--it's a tricky sequence that you can power through if necessary, but beautiful if done correctly. Think footwork. This feels like a complex and gymnastic 5.10c, or a brutally muscular and insecure 5.11. Reach the anchors and rap or lower off after 60' of climbing. If you lower off, you'll be quite some distance from the start, so I'd guess that cleaning on second would be hard.


    Cams from 1" to 3.5" and a few stoppers. Double 2s - 3s might help if you like to place a lot.

    Photos of Momentum Operator Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Momentus Fist Trainer and Momentum Operator.
    BETA PHOTO: Momentus Fist Trainer and Momentum Operator.
    Rock Climbing Photo: In the box after the crux.
    In the box after the crux.
    Rock Climbing Photo: In the crux area.
    In the crux area.

    Comments on Momentum Operator Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By david goldstein
    Jun 16, 2007

    This climb is another victim of change in the CB/MP star system. Both of the previous posters' ratings were provided under the old system when a 2* single pitch meant "great". This pitch is quite fun and memorable. The only thing keeping it from classic status is its brevity.
    By lenore sparks
    From: Denver, Colorado
    Aug 25, 2008

    This is one of the best climbs of the grade in Boulder Canyon. It has it all. Rad chimney. Head jam optional. Fingers, hands, tight hands, stemming....
    By Brian Adzima
    From: San Francisco
    Jun 17, 2009
    rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

    More of a boulder problem than the gill crack, the business is followed by 20 feet of 5.4.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    May 1, 2011

    Fun Climb. I was leading and I fell turning the first roof with a cam at about my waist and another right below my feet. The clip in point on the back of my climbing shoe clipped into the quickdraw on the cam at my feet and flipped me over.

    It's pretty hard to extricate yourself while hanging from your heel.
    By slim
    May 1, 2011
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    Damn, I thought that kind of stuff only happened to me....
    By Kevin P
    From: Loveland
    Sep 1, 2013

    The exit is pretty wild.
    By Jay Eggleston
    From: Denver
    Apr 6, 2015
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    The exit is pretty wild in that it involves a strange technique. It is easier than the crux cracks below. The route is fun, but the hard part is short.
    By The Blueprint Part Dank
    From: FEMA Region VIII
    Nov 2, 2015
    rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    How did I spend so much time at Castle Rock over the last couple of years without getting on this? A mystery to be sure, but this climb is just pure fun. A combination of varied crack technique with intricate, sequence-based footwork through an overhang, it's one of those sequences that seems like such a puzzle that it's hard to believe it wasn't created by a route-setter at the Spot.

    Heads up, after the crux I got up into the chimney and set loose a swarm of weird bugs. A sunny winter day after the frost/cold has thinned the bug population would be a more optimal time to hop on.

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