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Over the Hill 

YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches, Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.10b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VII- ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Jim Erickson, Pat Ament, and Bill Putnam, 1972
Fixed Hardware: 3 Lead Pins [details]
Page Views: 22,119
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (312)
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On the magnificent face of the last pitch.

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  • Description 

    An all-time classic with some unusual climbing. Hike to the Rincon Wall, and head west (uphill) to the "left-facing dihedral area". The climb is identified as a long, acute, thin dihedral with a tree near the top and another just above the top. There is a semi-detached flake about twenty feet up which marks the start of the difficulties.

    P1 - Climb the dihedral, with a full-body 5.10 stemming down low, and another awkward crux exiting the dihedral (optional belay at the first tree, but why?)

    P2 - From the shelf above the dihedral, move left (moving the belay, if desired), and find a thin 5.9 crack up a beautiful steep slab. As good as any 5.9 pitch I've ever done.

    Belay on top and descend down ledges and gullies to the west.

    Protection 

    Standard rack with lots of thin stuff (up to a #3 Friend).


    Photos of Over the Hill Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Les Sikos palms, smears, and stems his way up Over...
    Les Sikos palms, smears, and stems his way up Over...
    Rock Climbing Photo: The lower crux of Over the Hill.
    The lower crux of Over the Hill.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Clay on the last pitch of Over the Hill.
    Clay on the last pitch of Over the Hill.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jenny Schillinger follows 'Over The Hill (10b)' th...
    Jenny Schillinger follows 'Over The Hill (10b)' th...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Drew Hildner leading P2 of Over the Hill.
    Drew Hildner leading P2 of Over the Hill.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Kat A follows P3 of 'Over The Hill' (5.10b) at Rin...
    Kat A follows P3 of 'Over The Hill' (5.10b) at Rin...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Drew Hildner leading P2, 3-25-07.
    Drew Hildner leading P2, 3-25-07.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Placing pro.
    Placing pro.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mark Sellers, Over the Hill, 2005.
    Mark Sellers, Over the Hill, 2005.
    Rock Climbing Photo: April Wright flexing her guns as she enters the cr...
    April Wright flexing her guns as she enters the cr...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Lewis Rodgers follows the crux second Pitch of Ove...
    Lewis Rodgers follows the crux second Pitch of Ove...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato scoping out the 10b upper crux.  He's c...
    Mike Amato scoping out the 10b upper crux. He's c...
    Rock Climbing Photo: DC pondering the old pitons.
    DC pondering the old pitons.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Amazing 2nd pitch of OTH.
    Amazing 2nd pitch of OTH.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Joey Thompson.
    Photo by Joey Thompson.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Second pitch of Over the Hill.
    Second pitch of Over the Hill.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The classic finger crack on the second pitch of Ov...
    BETA PHOTO: The classic finger crack on the second pitch of Ov...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Second pitch.
    Second pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Marga Powell working up the beautiful second pitch...
    Marga Powell working up the beautiful second pitch...
    Rock Climbing Photo: On P2 of Over the Hill, with climbers on P1 in hot...
    On P2 of Over the Hill, with climbers on P1 in hot...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Armin Goodin finishing pitch 2.
    Armin Goodin finishing pitch 2.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dr. Armin Goodin, Chief of Surgery, Eldorado Unite...
    Dr. Armin Goodin, Chief of Surgery, Eldorado Unite...
    Rock Climbing Photo: April Wright looking happy with two big jugs in he...
    April Wright looking happy with two big jugs in he...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Bubb follows the third pitch finger Crack on ...
    Tony Bubb follows the third pitch finger Crack on ...

    Show All 34 Photos

    Only the first 24 are shown above.

    Comments on Over the Hill Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 28, 2014
    By Patrick Vernon
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Jan 1, 2001

    One of the most fun stemming problems Ive done. Maybe only second to Practice Climb 101, or the Naked Edge.
    By Matt Bauman
    Jan 1, 2001

    I have to agree that the 2nd pitch is as good as it comes....I led it yesterday as a 2nd pitch to Over and out...I still wanna climb the 1st pitch of Over the hill but haven gotten the nerve to, yet...soon, very soon.
    By Ben Mottinger
    Founding Father
    Jun 4, 2001

    Even though the route's high quality should be apparent by all the other comments, I have to spray a little more on it. I've only done a few routes where each pitch has such continuous, excellent climbing with fantastic position and exposure (especially on P2).

    The crux pitch gradually increases in difficulty until the last move before a "thank you God" jug. Like Pat said, quite fun stemming--bring shoes that can smear and hold a small edge. The second pitch has several 5.9 cruxes that are all very entertaining.

    This route should be on everyone's to do list if you haven't already. Ok, I've rambled long enough now.
    By Kreighton Bieger
    Jul 17, 2001

    I don't know what it is worth, but I have to reiterate the quality of this route as well. The first pitch (I guess technically two run together) is my favorite in all of Eldo so far. Desperate, thin gear, balancy, and so on. And I apologize to anyone who had to witness my cuss-fest getting to the first pin...and my thanks to whomever replaced the pins, although, as a general rule I try not to fall on pins in Eldo, it is nice to know you can.
    By Mark Morehouse
    Apr 23, 2002

    The first pitch is awesome. Enough said.

    Don't miss the upper pitch. It is about as good as 5.9 can get. Well protected and fairly sustained.

    The walk off to the climbers left goes along way, but keep going.
    By Ben Mottinger
    Founding Father
    Jun 14, 2002

    Nice PSed pic, Myke. ;-)
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Jun 14, 2002

    No lens flare filter, I swear! It was about 12:30, that's where the sun was. :-)
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 14, 2002

    Yeah, but I think the photo needs to be rotated 90 degrees!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Aug 30, 2002

    Loved Every minute of this climb's first 50-60 feet, though it was delightfully entertaining thoughout especially when you utilize the addition of Bachar [Yer] Arian as a TR from the top. Back to that first dihedral, Kick ass stemming lots of fun fancy stem work and tall boy opportunity. I would do it once a week if I didn't live in the Gunks. Had the honor of chatting briefly with Richard [Rossiter] about his thoughts on the climb later that day. Rick Clark
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Jun 1, 2003

    Well protected with good moves. Stem and palm your way up the first pitch, finger jam on the second. A light rack will suffice(e.g. small cams and stoppers). Very enjoyable lead.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jul 5, 2003

    Followed the lower pitches of this yesterday and got spanked. In that upper dihedral there's 3 pins hammered in roughly 5' apart. Its a stretch clipping the first, but the smallest purple alien will fit just below the first one if you can't reach the pin and want security before launching up. Higher up, near it s finish, look for the thin quarter size crimper out on the right face for the final crux pull. Took the sharp end on that upper face, and it put a smile on my face. An awesome pitch, with a perfect finger crack, that was sustained, but not as difficult as I thought it might be. As others have posted, small nuts are the ticket for the 1st 3/4 of the pitch. Then slip a small cam (yellow alien) in the upper flake and your home. As good as it gets for the grade.
    By Hayden Yurkanis
    Jul 17, 2003

    I was [surprised] to find actual holds on the upper crux dihedral. [The] second pitch is easy 5.9 with rests after each move, although it looks really hard from the belay-it is very unsustained.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jul 27, 2003

    Cool photo, Myke.
    By Michael Amato
    Oct 4, 2003

    Got suckered out of a stem by left edges at first pin... don't do it! Stem and smear, both hands and feet all the way to the top - great climb!
    By Jim Amidon
    Oct 12, 2003

    Just another Eldo classic with all the spice that goes with it !!!!
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Mar 22, 2004
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I know, I know but, I gotta say it...THIS ROUTE IS THA [BEST!] Awesome stemming the entire way. IMHO the moves off the ledge, to get to the first pin are rather FREAKY, solid but freaky, At least the tree would slow your fall!!! Seriously, if your short you gotta do quite few movs to comfortably clip that first pin (thank god they're solid) Did anyone else find use for that little one finger pocket?? I sure did!! The lower portion of the route was pretty hard as well, The stemming after the flake was pretty tricky_ As for the second pitch... I vote three stars at 8+, The crack is oh so fun but not that hard. Led it one day after Emerald City and thought it was quite a bit easier. Any how Over the Hilll is one of the funnest routes I've led!!!! Enjoy. climb on!!! rs
    By Lon Black
    Apr 27, 2004

    Funny Rich...yeah that one finger pocket was sweet. It's hard to believe how positive it was. I've never done stemming like that. What a route! At the crux, my calves were burning more than my arms. I wonder what it was like to finish the first ascent of that line? Jim must have been smiling ear to ear. Classic.

    By Trevor Nydam
    Sep 13, 2005

    Fantastic. Excellent stemming. The second pitch is a joy with great pro. The route is a must do.
    By pfwein
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 14, 2006

    Classic line, but I can't quite agree with all the rapture -- the stems are tricky and it's hard work getting past the row of pins. If you're only talking about the top pitch, sure that's lots of fun.
    By Danny Inman
    From: Arvada
    Oct 23, 2006

    Classic line. Did this in 45 degree temps, and the open-book nature of the dihedral made it quite balmy in the sun. While Aerospace and Aerial Book were experiencing sprindrift and ice fall, I soaked up the rays on this beauty.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Mar 12, 2007
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    After doing this I think 1/2 dozen times over the years, I had the best time on it yet on Sunday...doing it as a single 65-meter pitch! I ran out the bottom of the 3rd pitch a little way, until I was in the finger crack and then used a 2' sling on the first piece or two and had surprisingly little rope drag after I flicked my rope a few times to make it run down and right to the top pin of the second pitch. It was not difficult to pull rope for clips even on the last piece of the pitch. Disclaimer: I was climbing on a new-ish 9mm rope. Using longer slings on the top two pins of that would have probably made drag a complete non-issue even on a fatter or older rope.

    The PG-13 rating I am assigning to this is to take note of the awkward moves at the start of the "second pitch" that could produce a somewhat bad fall into and through that little tree.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Oct 17, 2008
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Both pitches are stellar. If you are solid at the grade, get on it! Not good for someone breaking into the grade though, as the moves before the first pin in the upper dihedral would have a fairly nasty fall....
    By Mark Cushman
    From: Cumming, GA
    Oct 19, 2008

    Stellar route, hardest stemming I've done to date! I led P2 only, but I don't think we placed anything over a #0.75 Camalot anywhere on the route. P2 eats thin nuts and cams, I placed a #1, #0 and #00 Metolius and a few small Aliens on the way up.
    By Derek Doucet
    Sep 8, 2010

    Loved the first pitch. Fine, sustained stemming. I thought the second pitch (the 5.9 crack off the ledge that folks seem to love so much) was only fair. Uninteresting face climbing around a finger crack, and some hollow rock up high. OK as a second pitch, but I wouldn't bother with it again. Now the stemming corner on the other hand was superb. I'd just rap off from there and do one of the other brilliant pitches at Rincon instead.
    By jeremy long
    From: BOULDER CO
    May 20, 2011

    Wow, the Vernons got all the good posts.
    By James Hulett
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Jun 17, 2011
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13

    Do this climb.
    By Jeff McLeod
    Oct 31, 2012
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Raise your hand if you cranked off the single digit pocket after the tree on the first pitch! What an awesome route; the 5.9 pitch can be lead using only stoppers.
    By Rennie Putnam
    From: Davis, CA
    Dec 31, 2013

    First ascent was by Jim Erickson, Pat Ament, and Bill Putnam in 1972. The climb is so named because Erickson was apparently feeling a bit past his prime at the time.
    By claytown
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 28, 2014

    With a single 70m, you can link all of it to the top as one pitch, but it uses the whole rope. So make sure yours isn't short unless you want to simul a little.

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