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Cob Rock
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Aid Crack T 
Brownies In The Basin T,S 
Corn on the Cob T,S 
Crystal Arete 
Devil's Dream T 
East Crack T 
Eat Left T 
Eat Right T 
Empor T 
Empor Scary Variant T 
Face Problem 
Face Route T,TR 
Game, The 
Goat, The T,TR 
Headless Horseman, The 
Hug, The 
Hurley Direct T 
Huston Crack T 
Indistinction T,S 
Left Huge aka The Hug Left 
Mantle Arete 
Ms. Fanny Le Pump T 
Night Vision T,S 
North Face Center T 
North Face Left T 
Northwest Corner T 
Othello T 
Right Crack T 
Sleepy Hollow 
South Crack (Unknown) T 
Thunder Road S 
Under The Boardwalk 
West Cracks T 
West Dihedral T 
West Rib T 
Unsorted Routes:

Northwest Corner 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 8,033
Submitted By: Matt Bauman on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (82)
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  • Description 

    2 pitches. Start on top of huge boulder right of North Face Center and a huge, right-facing dihedral. Start right of this dihedral in a crack and head up. Continue thru right-facing system (not the huge one 15 feet left) and when it dies out keep going up on face (crux) to small ledge, then traverse right of arete and belay on small pillar. Head straight up to overhang and crank with a reachy and blind (but perfect) jug above tricky roof and on to easier ground and summit.


    Standard rack.

    Photos of Northwest Corner Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Conan Currigan just below the first belay on July ...
    Conan Currigan just below the first belay on July ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Conan Currigan on the overhang of the 2nd pitch on...
    Conan Currigan on the overhang of the 2nd pitch on...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jon Weekly (or is it Jon weakly?) turns said roof.
    Jon Weekly (or is it Jon weakly?) turns said roof.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the belay after turning the roof t...
    Looking down at the belay after turning the roof t...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down at the belay from pitch 2.
    Looking down at the belay from pitch 2.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ha!  She may be in the middle of saying something ...
    Ha! She may be in the middle of saying something ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Clare Shemeta approaching the belay at the top of ...
    Clare Shemeta approaching the belay at the top of ...

    Comments on Northwest Corner Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 3, 2013
    By Michael Walker
    From: Loveland, CO
    Aug 24, 2001

    I can't help it. So it's crowded. And you can actually still hear traffic...but Cob is my favorite rock in the canyon. It becons to be climbed. And the roof on the second pitch of this route (of course from the cushy belay tabletop in the sky) - exquisite. Big jugs above two pins. Beta? Lay it back and crank!
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Aug 24, 2001

    After reading Michael's comments this morning, I KNEW which route I had to do today. Matt's description is accurate - however, I believe the route corresponds to number 8 as drawn on the photo... while the first belay ledge works well at about 5-10 feet down and right (at a fixed pin, just below the large fist-sized jams flake.

    Yup, and I have to agree, turning the roof is pretty dang sweet. Took me a couple of minutes to figure it out, but not that bad once you figure it out.

    I think you can probably lead this route with just stoppers, hexes, and draws... I rarely had to use cams, and even then it wasn't mandatory. Fun!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 30, 2001

    I do think that new leaders should be warned that the face above the crack on the first pitch should be listed on the Spice Network! Good edges up the face but zippo pro.
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Aug 30, 2001

    I think you mean the second pitch? That's the only place where I couldn't sew it up at will...

    At the top/end of that shallow V-dihedral (where the face climbing starts) there was a great stance just left of it on a ledge. I was able to place a #3 stopper (or close) in a little notch (horizontal placement)- it made me feel a lot better than doing the moves with the .75 camalot 10 feet below.
    By Michael Walker
    From: Loveland, CO
    Aug 30, 2001

    well, let's see. I climbed the crack to the right of the tree/bush with great jams and pro, then found myself standing on top of a small triangle/shelf before the face propper. There was a GREAT horizontal stopper placement at hip or lower (can't rememmber) - prob the one you speak of. Then I hit the face and moved straight up and then right to the arete where the small roof/left leaning crack is...I certainly felt the exposure with the rope 15' below me on that stopper! But I am a coward so that was pretty exciting. Maybe the route to the arete was my problem - looked cool/was cool - maybe better pro further up instead of right to the arete?
    By Darin Lang
    Aug 30, 2001

    FWIW, I also found the face above the crack to be "exciting". I certainly didn't feel like I was sewing it up. The most reasonable explanation is that I probably missed the gear to which Myke refers.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 6, 2002

    If you start just below and to the right of the large boulder, there is a nice finger crack. I think that some of the guidebooks call it Northwest Corner Direct and give it a 10a rating. The hands are good but the feet are thin. The crack is easily protected with some smaller stoppers, you can even place one about ten feet up by getting on the boulder to the right. I know how many feel about pre-placing gear, but it protects you from a potentially painful fall into the cave below. A great variation to a wonderful climb. -BPC
    By shad O'Neel
    Aug 14, 2002

    Definitely a fun route, spicier than others on [Cob Rock] with that face section. We should all give thanks to Layton for putting this up back in the day, imagine how hard and sketchy that first lead musta been in 59!!!!!
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Jul 21, 2003

    Fun, varied moves on excellent rock. A bomber yellow Alien can be placed on top of the pedestal before committing to the runout face section.
    By August Allen
    Sep 27, 2004

    What a fantastic mental focus problem. Those face moves are pretty easy, but blowing it would be extremely unpleasant, wouldn't it? I found myself standing there for several minutes, irrationally waiting for the traffic noise to die down a bit, consequently exhausting my feet. After a short retreat I pulled thru it without difficulty. After the face I apparently got off-route, moving left into a short dihedral, under the roof, then traversing left on a neat hand crack, finally pulling up and over on a system just to the right of the top of Empor. There was a bit of lichen, but a fair amount of chalk, too. Is there a route between Empor and NW corner? I also did the whole thing in one pitch, and I didn't find the drag to be too terrible.
    By John Korfmacher
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jun 21, 2006

    An alternative start to the route is to climb down under the big boulder and climb the shallow dihedral (5.8) just to the left of the route. This is also an alternate start to Empor. There are some fun moves on this and good pro. Be careful if you climb down from the west side of the boulder as the landing is a little nasty.

    You can bypass the runout face on this route by going a few feet right into a flaring corner with an old pin (probably Layton's!). The moves are harder (5.9ish), but the pro is decent.
    By tooTALLtim
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 30, 2009

    For added excitement, don't bail around the corner, but continue straight up the corner to the top!
    By Matt Swartz
    From: Los Angeles, CA
    Sep 3, 2009

    We started around the right of the arete at the base, going up a face with a crack that took a blue TCU. A slightly spicy start (not sure what this route is part of) but a fun alternative to the standard start.
    By Mark Cushman
    From: Cumming, GA
    Sep 3, 2009
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    Matt, that alternate start is called Hurley Direct, great start to the climb!
    By Hoag Hoag
    From: Littleton, CO
    Apr 25, 2012
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    This is a really fun route with lots of variety. The face sections are a bit run out, but the features are solid, so there's very little risk of taking a big whipper.

    We climbed this in one pitch with a 70 meter rope. I ran out of alpine draws along the way, so the rope drag got pretty bad. If you link both pitches, make sure you have a bunch of extendable draws with you.
    By Cornelius Jefferson
    Jul 24, 2013
    rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

    Rated this PG. If you're solid at the grade, the face is no big deal, but a fall there would be fairly long and very painful considering the ledgy nature of the rock. Heads up to the fledgling 5.8 leader.

    Nice varied climbing on a cool chunk of rock. I do it as one pitch, usually w/ the direct start, and with long runners in the right spots there isn't much rope drag (70m rope).
    By Jason Haas
    Aug 1, 2013

    There is a new rappel route from the summit. It was installed to help mitigate the degradation of the standard walk off, which is in major disrepair. There are two chain anchors near the summit, basically between the top of Empor and Northwest Corner. There is another rap station on a small ledge between those two routes for a second rappel. Two raps with one 60-meter rope gets you down.
    By pzman
    Aug 3, 2013

    I climbed at Cob yesterday, did NF center and Northwest Corner and used the new raps. I think the location of the lower station changes the character of the slight runout section on the Northwest Corner. You can now clip the bolted anchor instead of trusting the "seemingly" bomber sideways placed nut backed up by a green Alien below. I have never taken the fall on that gear, but over the years I have stood on the ledge having to muster the courage to cast off into the territory above. I did not clip the bolted station for pro, but it seems like future climbers will be having a different experience on the route if they do use it.

    I also think the location of the rappel line will create problems for climbers doing the Northwest Corner as other parties rap down, as it did with only two parties on Cob on Friday. I can appreciate the efforts of wanting to minimize erosion, but walking down from the summit takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes. Perhaps the trail could be improved, or the location of this rappel line can be moved further right, to routes that get much less traffic than Northwest Corner. I have enjoyed climbing the historic routes like North Face Left, North Face Center, Empor, and Northwest Corner over the years with no bolts or fixed stations, only ancient pitons, marveling at the skill of those early ascensionists. This is an experience that is disappearing in Boulder Canyon with this small section of Cob Rock as one of the last holdouts.

    Installing the rap route was probably not done with the intention of altering the experience on this route, but in my opinion it has.

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