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Overhang Rock

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Big Picture, The S 
East Face T 
Honey Badger S 
Junior Achievement T 
Missing Link S 
North Ridge, South Spire T 
Ouroboros S 
Rogue's Arete T 
Short Attention Span S 
Snake Watching S 
South Ridge of South Pinnacle T 
Thulsa Doom S 
Tits Out For The Lads S 
West Side (Story) T 
Unsorted Routes:

Overhang Rock Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,790'
Location: 39.9706, -105.2873 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 16,065
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Jan 1, 2001

67° | 53°

77° | 58°

83° | 57°

77° | 55°

74° | 52°

73° | 54°
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A view of Overhang Rock from the West on Gregory C...

Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


The Overhang Rock does not look like much from the East, but when looking back from the West it appears to loom over Bear Canyon like a guardian demanding its due. This gorgeous, huge fin holds only a fraction of the routes it could. In the mid 80s, when Boulder was deciding whether to advance into the future of climbing or succumb to the righteous protectionism of the Boulder City Council, a handfull of climber/atheletes started developing the West faces of many of the Flatiron crags. Close on the heels of Dale Goddard's Five Year Plan, the Overhang Rock saw two new additions to its then sparse development. Nothing has been added to my knowledge since 1988 leaving numerous difficult possibilities untapped. Climbing on the Overhang Rock generally fires vectorially up its yellow West face, with none of the routes running through the obvious roof system above. Numbering here begins on the left arete (North edge) with #1 being the Layton Kor classic, Rogues Arete. Climbing difficulty spans the gamut with at least one very moderate trad route (the notch) and a few more difficult lines from 5.10 to 5.12b.

Getting There 

Take the trail From NCAR down to the service road. Head South, and after the road winds up-hill a ways the trail to Bear Canyon will branch off into the canyon. This is near the power lines that are protected by a wire fence. After several a hundred yards or so and across the canyon from Stonehenge, follow an indistinct "trail" up to the talus field below Overhang Rock. Expect 3rd class terrain.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.6 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Overhang Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Overhang Rock:
Junior Achievement   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad   
Short Attention Span   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
The Big Picture   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport   
Tits Out For The Lads   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Missing Link   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Thulsa Doom   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 115'   
Ouroboros   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   
Snake Watching   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   
Honey Badger   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Overhang Rock

Featured Route For Overhang Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Dan Levison entering redpoint crux.  Photo by Seno...

Snake Watching 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  Colorado : Flatirons : ... : Overhang Rock
Snake Watching is the farthest left route on Overhang Rock. It is the "Eighth Day" of the Flatirons.Scramble up easy 5th class to get to the first bolt. A three move boulder problem takes you up and over the initial overhang. From here, it's crimp, crimp, and more crimp for about a mile to anchors just below the summit. I don't know if something broke, but I found there to be a pretty hard boulder problem at about the 11th bolt. The rock is a little friable in spots. I could not get...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Overhang Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Overhanging Rock, The Seal & The Goose as viewed f...
BETA PHOTO: Overhanging Rock, The Seal & The Goose as viewed f...
Rock Climbing Photo: Overhang Rock.  Climbing photography by: vandiverp...
Overhang Rock. Climbing photography by: vandiverp...
Rock Climbing Photo: fixed pins from rappel anchor
BETA PHOTO: fixed pins from rappel anchor
Rock Climbing Photo: Goose Rock, Seal Rock and Overhang Rock (left to r...
BETA PHOTO: Goose Rock, Seal Rock and Overhang Rock (left to r...

Comments on Overhang Rock Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 22, 2016
By Peter Beal
From: Boulder Colorado
Mar 14, 2017
Check with OSMP about access via the Mesa Trail. Full trail closures are in effect in the area.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
May 23, 2002
Summit baggers note: it is just possible to rap from the top all the way to the ground with a 60m rope. The rap goes eastward from a long sling just south of the summit. If you don't have a 60m rope, you will need to do a second rap from a pine tree that you will rap through.
By Leo Paik
From: Westminster, Colorado
May 24, 2004
Weird thing, we rapped this with a 60m cord. It didn't touch down. Got close but had to downclimb. Maybe I got gipped on my 60m cord. Also, the rap now sports 2 slings. Also, the bolt on Chorus Line, 5.9, is a manky 1/4 inch Star-Dryven (edit, thanks for replacing it). Yee uck!
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Oct 9, 2005
I replaced the anchor on top of this rock with two 3/8" x 3.5" Stainless Steel Rawl 5-piece bolts and added quick links and chains for rappel. Note, that you can hit the ground with a 70m rope but a 60m or less will require some downclimbing. There is a second rappel anchor, slings around a tree, on the east side of the ridge crest. If you are going to use this second anchor, make sure you angle a bit to the south when rappelling from the top.

The old anchor consisted of two, old, 15-foot ling slings around a block tied into two, old fixed pins (see photo below) buried under a layer of dirt on the south side of the slung block.

The hardware for this work was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association ( They appreciate your support. Also, thanks to Tony Bubb for leading Rogue's Arete to get us on top.
By Aimee Rose
From: Bend, or
Apr 28, 2011
About how long is the approach to this area? (time or distance would be great. Thx)
By adam brink
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 28, 2011
Expect a burly 45 minute hike with bad trails at the end.
By Ted Lanzano
From: Boulder, CO
May 22, 2011
All of the routes on Overhang Rock’s west face have been upgraded with half-inch, stainless steel hardware, and the old bolts and anchors have been removed and holes patched. The list of upgraded routes includes Snake Watching, Tits Out for the Lads, The Big Picture, Missing Link, Short Attention Span, and a Chorus Line.

A special thanks to the volunteers for your awesome work - Matt Samet, Terry Murphy, Chris Weidner, Brian Lichtenheld, Dan Levison, Greg Bilinski, and Ted lanzano. Also, thanks to the Flatirons Climbing Council and OSMP for making this possible.

The new bolts and anchors were generously provided by the Anchor Replacement Initiative (ARI) and the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA).
By kevin murphy
From: Lafayette, Colorado
May 23, 2011
AWESOME, great work. Very unselfish of you guys.
By Pinklebear
Nov 7, 2011
Five applications have been submitted to the Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) of the Flatirons Climbing Council (FCC) for the September 2011 voting cycle:

•Two applications for new climbs, a 5.11 on the Slab and a 5.10 on Dinosaur Rock
•Two applications to add new, lower first bolts to the existing climbs Touch Monkey, a 5.11b on Der Zerkle, Dinosaur Mountain and to Short Attention Span, a 5.11d on Overhang Rock, Bear Canyon.
•One application to add an anchor to the existing climb Big Bob Cranks on Dinosaur Rock.

To view and comment on these four applications, please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordp...

The vote and public meeting for this cycle will be held Tuesday, December 6 at 6:30 p.m. at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado. Anyone interested in voting on and discussing these applications is encouraged to attend!
By Pinklebear
Nov 23, 2012
A second application has been submitted for the Autumn 2012 cycle of the Flatirons Climbing Council's Fixed Hardware Review Committee, this one for the west face of Overhang Rock. Please visit flatironsclimbingcouncil.wordp... to view the application in full, as well as comment on it.

The public meeting and vote will be held 6:30 p.m. Wednesday January 16 at The Spot gym, Boulder, Colorado.
By Ben Sachs
May 20, 2013
The best way to approach the West Face of Overhang is to walk up the Bear Canyon trail until you come to the huge boulder on the left side of the trail (the Shelf Block). Just before the boulder there is a climber's trail leading up and left into the woods. Follow the trail up past a few boulders, contouring and following a few cairns until you reach the big flat rock directly under the power line. From there, head straight up the talus (walking parallel to the cliff) for about 15 yards until you can break left through the woods onto the main talus field below the West Face. Wander across the talus to the base.
Rock Climbing Photo: Shelf Boulder (turn here).
Shelf Boulder (turn here).
By AndrewSykes
May 4, 2014
Found a dog leash in the boulder field beneath these climbs. Looks like quite a nice (expensive) one. Contact me if you'd like it back.
By Flatirons Climbing Council
May 15, 2016
An application for bolting a new route on Overhang Rock has been received by the FCC for the May 1 cycle. Details of the proposed route can be found here on the FCC site:

Please feel free to post any comments you have on the application. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on June 2, 2016 at 6:30, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there.
By Trevor V.
From: Santa Barbara, Ca
Nov 22, 2016
When is the wall in the sun? Looking for some warmer spots for this week?

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