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Poker Face S,TR 
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Poker Face 

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

Type:  Sport, TR, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Probably Richard Wright
Fixed Hardware: 7 Lead Bolts, 2 Anchor Bolts [details]
Page Views: 8,569
Submitted By: Morgan Brown on Oct 10, 2001

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BETA PHOTO: Pony Up on the left and Poker Face on the right.

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


I'm reluctant to post this route, as I have not led it, have no guidebook handy, and have not been back to Colorado for about a year. Here goes:

The route is next to 5.8 Pony Up, and adjacent parties climbing the two routes often interfere down low. Like many of the other routes, this one starts with a jug haul. Were it not for the miraculous finger pocket, it would be quite tough. This is definitely the crux of the route. The remainder of the route never surpasses 5.7 or so, with the highlight being a fun traverse up a 60-degree crack. I recall some loose rocks, but nothing terrible. The picture below shows nice views (route 2).

Addendum: note, this route is quite challenging for folks in the 5'2" and under range.


I don't lead climbs yet, but I remember that this route is well (and recently) bolted with big bolts. I remember two bolts for the anchor.

7 bolts including the anchor.

Eds. All bolts were replaced with 1/2" SS bolts/hangers 7/16. Thanks, Erika and Jim!


This is the right of 2 bolted lines on this small triangular face, which is on the far left side of this crag.

Photos of Poker Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Ha.
Rock Climbing Photo: Chalking up on Poker Face.
Chalking up on Poker Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: Myong on Poker Face.
Myong on Poker Face.
Rock Climbing Photo: 1st bolt on Poker Face. I believe the climber's na...
1st bolt on Poker Face. I believe the climber's na...
Rock Climbing Photo: A bouldery start and my favorite move of the route...
A bouldery start and my favorite move of the route...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lance half way up Poker Face.
Lance half way up Poker Face.

Comments on Poker Face Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 9, 2016
By Wendie
Jun 25, 2002

Getting to the first bolt is a bit of a challenge if you're not too tall. After that, it's fun, easy climbing to the shared anchor!
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Durango
Jul 25, 2002

The anchor bolts up there that are also shared w/Pony Up freaked me out a bit. They're worn through about half way from rope and could stand to be replaced.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 25, 2002

Gear Maintenance - This topic has come up repeatedly over the last two years. Mark Rolofson and I, along with several other folks, started replacing worn anchors at North Table Mountain last year. I have personally replaced 22 double bolt top anchors on NTM alone and Mark has replaced at least 26, to say nothing of individual spinner bolts and hangers. This is simply a price that will have to be paid if we all intend to use in situ gear. Many of the routes in Clear Creek, Boulder Canyon, NTM, Castlewood, Shelf Road, etc, etc are badly in need as well. We thrashed about with some sort of mechanism for funding the process and organizing the effort. So far, Mark has been stuck with the lion's share of this task and he certainly can't do it alone, nor even with my help. First, we need a list of routes, compiled by area, where the old gear needs replacement. Second, we need to divy up the cost in some rational way. On average, a double bolt top anchor will cost close to 20 bucks for bolts, hangers, and rap system (chains, rings, etc.). Third, we need enough people willing to do the work that the job gets done. Fourth, we need a mechanism for recording which routes have been repaired and when. This is not a minor effort. Pick up a copy of Mark's or Rossiter's guides and you quickly realize that there are hundreds of popular routes in the Front Range alone that are in need of repair. This is also not without its potential legal issues. As best as I can tell, the anonymous individual effort to replace old worn anchors has only scratched the surface. Once again, it seems timely to cobble our thoughts together and see what we can come up with.
By Brad Short
From: Saudia Aurora, CO
Oct 19, 2002

The worn cold shuts at the top of Poker Face were replaced sometime this week. Kudos to someone.
By Kyle Turner
From: Brighton, CO
Apr 5, 2004
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Commiting first move gives this route a 5.9 rating in most guide books, but after the first clip its hard to say its much more than a 5.7. Get the first move wired and this becomes a mellow warm up, worth a lap prior to moving on to harder routes.

- KT
By Nate Oakes
May 15, 2006

A fun little warmup, I agree with Kyle. A friend of mine led this as her first outdoor lead, and it worked out well. She's short, so it was a bit bouldery for the start.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 20, 2008

I recovered a few draws this evening (3/20).

I will be very happy to return them to the owner.
By Jeremy Hakes
From: Golden, Colorado
Jul 2, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

7 bolts including the anchor. The first moves (if leading) could use a spotter - very bouldery, and give the route its rating. Easiest line to start seemed to be on the right hand side for us. Above this first bolt, mostly 5.7ish climbing.
By Alex A
Nov 17, 2008

Fun warm up, bouldery start, if shorter.
Note on worn rap bolts: if people would not TR or lower off bolts they would last a lot longer, so add your own draws for TR, and rappel off, vs lower off, bolts would last much longer.
By Tony T.
From: Denver, CO
Sep 14, 2009

Like Pony Up, this route has a rather tricky first bolt. Be careful getting to it, as it's essentially a pretty pumpy boulder problem.. There is a left traverse and a right traverse to the first bolt. Follow the chalk. The right is a bit harder than the left. After that it's easier, but not super easy. I wouldn't say it's a 7, but an easier 8, but it's relative I suppose. I guess it's a 7, but a less "quality" 7, and so it makes the route harder because it's not as intuitive as a "better" climb.
By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
Oct 27, 2009
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Steep but with big holds at the start - UK technical grade 5a but very safe due to bolts.
By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
May 23, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A great route. First moves feel harder than 5.8. After that, easy but very fun climbing. Very similar to Pony Up. If your partner is shorter, consider leading this yourself and leaving the first bolt clipped....
By Scott Teske
May 1, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

None of the comments mentioned that there are SEPARATE new anchors (higher and to the right) for this route now... very fun route, fun bouldery crux moves to first bolt, then nice holds on great rock the rest of the way up....
By ChefMattThaner
From: Lakewood, co
Jul 8, 2013
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c PG13

The right bolt of the top anchor is a little loose and minimally rusted. I gave it a good tug, and it didn't move, but I would still consider this one suspect. Luckily the left one still seems bomber. With the new, further back anchors, rope drag is a bit of an issue but nothing too terrible.
By goingUp
From: over here
Jul 26, 2013

Found some climbing shoes in the cave a few days ago. Are they yours?
By Matt Powers
From: Madison, VA
Aug 18, 2013

FYI, I went out today and the first two bolts are spinning, and I think at least one more is, somewhere along the way.
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Dec 10, 2013

In October, Dale Haas and I added chains to the existing anchor to lengthen it a bit and distribute the load better between the two bolts.
By curt86iroc
From: Golden, CO
Mar 29, 2015
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

First 2 bolts are spinners...and definitely wouldn't want to fall on the 1st bolt. Fun route, though!
By ErikaNW
From: Golden, CO
Jun 9, 2015

The 1st bolt has been replaced on this route.
By Isaacbg Gorrell
From: Golden, CO
Oct 6, 2015

Possible sit start from the right that adds another move. Doesn't up the ante much, but for the boulder'ers on ropes, it makes it more interesting.
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Oct 16, 2015

In June 2015, Dale Haas and I upgraded the anchor hardware with SS quicklinks and SS rap rings. The American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA - provided the hardware. Support of the ASCA is greatly appreciated.
By ErikaNW
From: Golden, CO
Jul 9, 2016

Jim Wong and I finished replacing all of the bolts and anchors on this route on July 8, 2016 (previously replaced the 1st bolt June 4, 2015). We were able to re-use the holes for all except bolt 1 (bolt snapped on extraction). Replaced the old 3/8" bolts with 1/2" SS bolts/hangers. This work was made possible through the AF/AAC Anchor Replacement Initiative grant, hardware provided at cost through the BCC. Please support these organizations!

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