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Pen 15 

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

Type:  Sport, 2 pitches, 100'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Team Fitness, Hotness, and Sponsorshipness
Season: All but winter
Page Views: 2,753
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Jun 16, 2011

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (12)
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Pen 15 is steep....

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  • Description 

    This is a two-pitch climb about 50 feet right of Whipping Post, on the broad west face of the Slab.

    P1: 12a.
    P2: 13b.

    The two pitches linked aren't any more than 30 meters, but the rope drag would be bad if you tried to link them, and the crux of the climb comes right off the first belay -- a belayer on the ground wouldn't be able to keep the close eye on you that he needs to. You'd jack your ankles on the ledge and have to slug-crawl down North Shanahan Ridge Trail while soccer moms and contemplative hikers point at you and laugh. Recognize this route by the three brown-painted bolts through the "Borg"-like bulge right off the ground on the lower left side of the big, birdshit arch.

    P1 (12a): Undercling up the big crack, stretch up to a high clip, bust a hard boulder problem to pass two more bolts, and climb to the big ledge. Walk right on the ledge, then move up the overhanging headwall (11c) past four bolts, traversing as needed. For drag, it helps to unclip the first bolt off the ledge once you've clipped the second. You can also do just the 5.11 part as a nice juggy warm-up. The anchors are up over the slab, below the overhanging headwall of pitch 2.

    P2 (13b): Climb easy rock to a high first bolt and master a tough opening boulder problem. Smaller climbers will have to jump -- not dyno, but jump. From there, hard crimping leads past three more bolts to the right-diagonalling slash, which you follow to the big pothole at the top of the wall on excellent dark-red rock. The anchors are on the left side of the pothole -- they might be a little hard on your rope over the lip, so if you're working the climb, it's probably easier to just lower off the last clip.

    Free both pitches and you've joined the very exclusive Pen 15 Club. So, be sure to write "Pen 15" on the back of your hand — or forehead — with Magic Marker before you head back into town.


    This is fifty feet right of Whipping Post.


    Seven bolts to double-bolt anchors, on both pitches. So 14 clips total. 60-meter rope.

    Comments on Pen 15 Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By kevin murphy
    From: Lafayette, Colorado
    Jul 14, 2011

    Some pics of this route.
    By Spencer Anderson
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jan 8, 2013
    rating: 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c PG13

    Good route. As fun as the best at the slab. The approach pitch is a bit inconvenient but worth it to climb the route. Be super careful with the second clip (of the second pitch), blowing it could be disastrous.
    By Ben Collett
    Sep 6, 2014

    Pre-clipping the second bolt and using a single biner on the first seems to be the best way to rig this to avoid the scary clip and getting tangled in the rope.

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