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Red Twin
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Incline Ledge T,TR 
Potholes T 
South Ridge, Red Spire S,TR 


YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 60'
Original:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: Mike Borgoff
Page Views: 9,041
Submitted By: Andrew Gram on Aug 29, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (180)
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Breakfast on the spire.

2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting MORE INFO >>>


This climbs the obvious line of large pockets on the Red Twin Spire. It stays in the shade most of the time, so it is a good summer route. Back up the fixed pins as they are not very good.


[2 bolts and 3 drilled pitons]. Back them up with stoppers and some medium cams or it is very frightening.

Addendum: please consider rappeling instead of lowering, when you clean the route, to reduce wear on the top anchor chains. Thanks!

Photos of Potholes Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber on Potholes.  Photo by Tim Menke.
Unknown climber on Potholes. Photo by Tim Menke.
Rock Climbing Photo: Joe Garland sending 'Potholes', Oct. 2013.
Joe Garland sending 'Potholes', Oct. 2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: Rappelling off of Potholes, 2012.
Rappelling off of Potholes, 2012.
Rock Climbing Photo: Martin just at halfway.
Martin just at halfway.
Rock Climbing Photo: Dave W rapping from Potholes.
Dave W rapping from Potholes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Ben moving good.
Ben moving good.
Rock Climbing Photo: The first bolt is visible just below the bottom sc...
BETA PHOTO: The first bolt is visible just below the bottom sc...
Rock Climbing Photo: Potholes, bright and early, before the other climb...
Potholes, bright and early, before the other climb...
Rock Climbing Photo: Working the upper section.
Working the upper section.
Rock Climbing Photo: A quick warm up.
A quick warm up.
Rock Climbing Photo: Reaching hard.
Reaching hard.
Rock Climbing Photo: First time ascent at anchor.
First time ascent at anchor.
Rock Climbing Photo: A very pleasant route.
A very pleasant route.
Rock Climbing Photo: Meg approaching the top of Pot Holes.
Meg approaching the top of Pot Holes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Finishing up Potholes.
Finishing up Potholes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff clipping on Pot Holes.
Jeff clipping on Pot Holes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber rapping down Potholes.
Climber rapping down Potholes.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brian cranking the sandy summit move on Potholes.
Brian cranking the sandy summit move on Potholes.

Comments on Potholes Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 8, 2017
By Barrett Cooper
Oct 26, 2001

This climb is very dirty since the potholes provide a nice resting spot for birds. The climb is interesting in that it moves between face and offwidth climbing techniques. There isn't a shortage of good holds on this climb. Once you get a TR set up on this route there is a good face climb (5.7+ or so) up the east side of Red Spire rock just to the left of Potholes.
By Sean O'Dell
Mar 6, 2002

2 things: 1) The bottom bolt, although not really all that difficult to get to, seems to be an insane distance from the ground, especially given the fact that the landing is CONCRETE. Insanely high 1st pins are typical in The Garden, though. 2) The top move is VERY sandy. Otherwise it's not so bad, but couple the 2 inches of sand with the weak pins and usual Garden crumbly sandstone, it makes the move for the anchors pretty intersting.
By Andrew Gram
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Apr 5, 2002

I was totally gripped on the sandy summit move. I could wiggle the last drilled pin with my fingers (hopefully replaced by now, this was almost two years ago), and a friend sandbagged me into not bringing supplemental gear. Adding to the fun was a field trip of little kids watching me shake and whimper.
By Anonymous Coward
May 6, 2002

Yeah, Andrew, that pin on the summit fell completely out shortly after you climbed it. It has since been replaced and re-threaded w/ cable to produce a much sturdier, and more comfortable anchor on top. -Mick
By Sean O'Dell
May 29, 2002

Ok, so after having done Finger Ramp, Credibility Gap, Sandy Monster, etc., I've come to the conclusion that "insane distance off the ground" is a relative term in The Garden. As Garden climbs go, the pro on this one is actually pretty fair.
By Jon Cannon
Jun 5, 2002

The best climbing on this route, IMO, is the first twenty or so feet before the first pin. Just above the second pin, in what appears would make an excellent slot for a hand (thus affording a good rest) is a MASSIVE pile of bird crap. The last move is really sandy, especially on lead. I probably spent about ten minutes trying to decide between going straight up, to the left, or to the right. As with most Garden routes, the obvious move (going straight up) is the the best one.

A couple of the pins must have been replaced, because I didn't notice any movement at all as I was yarding on them.
By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Oct 22, 2002

One day, I was climbing this route with my buddy, and a lady comes up and asks me how we got the rope up there...we were [joking] around so told her we had a trained squirel that ran [up the] rock and put it through the bolts...then she goes "really? how long did it take you to train it?" ...
By Chris R
Mar 18, 2003

Regarding the previous post and the "trained squirrel" belay slave...climbers must think alike. My buddy and I respond to those tourist questions the same way, but our trained pet who fixes our belays is a monkey. At least 90% of questioning tourists believe the story, and start looking around expecting to see our belay monkey when we start calling for "George" to come back. Fun with's kind of cruel but irresistable, especially in a place like Garden of the Gods, where climbers and tourists have to share the same space.
By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Aug 18, 2003

So I figure I'll actually talk about the route this time, although the tourists around the Spires are always abundant. Potholes cruises up the NE side of the red spire, passing by 4 bolts. They're old, but they aren't too bad. As said before, runout to the first bolt is kinda far, but the climbing ain't too bad. The last move at the top makes you think. Everyone does it differently. The rest of the climb is consistent. And that is what I like about the route. It isn't one of those that has 1 5.7 move on it and the rest is a walk. Good route. Don't pass it up!! -Cheers-
By Larry Shaw
May 28, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Good route with good holds. most of the pitons were sticking out quite a bit which was alarming but the climbing was easy. Thought it felt the same as the White Spire's south ridge.
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jul 11, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

When I returned to the ground after dancing up this route today I was applauded like a busker on Pearl St. by a gaggle of tourists...that's a first for me. Knowing they were there, watching my every move, I couldn't resist blowing the chalk off my finger tips...but seriously, if you're in the area, this is a fun, yet easy (7) climb with positive holds and a shiney new bolt 10' off the ground. I placed no gear clipping 4 fixed pieces that looked ok to me. However, the oval link connecting the two chains at the top is excessively worn and needs replaced. Think layback when in that middle section... avoid going right. If you like solitude and a feeling of isolation from the rest of mankind...don't even think about climbing here...but if you don't mind being on display or crave attention, you'll feel right at home in Garden of the Gods on any given summer weekend.
By Larry Shaw
Jul 15, 2004
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Was bouldering this morning and saw a new 1/2" bolt placed 15 feet off the ground. The shiny new Fixe hanger was set horizontally? Was this part of the anchor replacement day? I would venture to say that enviro or at least subdued hangers would be the standard at The Garden.
By Stewart M. Green
Jul 22, 2004

Yes, a new bolt now protects the first part of Potholes. It was placed by local climbers working with the Park and Rec Department to improve safety on some of the popular Garden routes. Every year at least one leader breaks an ankle by falling onto the sidewalk. This new bolt will rectify that situation. Also we are replacing the hanger this next Saturday morning with an enviro hanger and painting the bolt. It appears someone was messing with the current bolt and twisted it sideways.
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 27, 2004

Good to hear the park had something to do with that bolt, but it is still frustrating to me that it was placed at all. It is about three feet to the left of a bomber Alien placement! I understand the risk involved in the high pin placement, but Shelf Road is only 40 minutes away, come on.... Also, why was a bolt used? Why not a glue in or a pin, something that will [at least] hold up over time in the Garden?

Can we expect other popular routes in the garden to be grid bolted? I.e. South Ridge of White Spire, with a much more [committing] first bolt? What about the runnout on Montezuma's? I heard of a few twisted ankles in the Slash, should we carpet it? Climbers shouldn't need babysitting....

By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Jul 28, 2004

Though, I am not a seasoned expert, I think I have a answers to those questions. First, Potholes used to have a pin there. Way back when, like many other Garden routes (e.g. Finger Ramp), the original pro fell out. Pins are also a little outdated. All new equipment is either expansion or glue in, pins degrade so much faster than any expansion bolt ever would. Glue-ins are harder to come by and more expensive than expansion bolts. And expansion bolts are much easier to place. I know in both Ric Geiman's guide and Bob D'Antonio's book describe Potholes as a sport route. A non-local might come to Potholes with a set of draws and nothing else; they don't know about any Alien placements in the middle of the runout. S. Ridge of the White Spire is described, in both guides, as a mixed route, and they both suggest bringing cams. That way, climbers can come to both routes carrying the gear they know they will need, and nobobdy is ill-prepared. If a climber isn't prepared with cams on Potholes, the balancy, stand-up move just a few feet below the pin is very sketchy. This straight up 5.7 move is much more difficult than the 5.3 runouts on the step ladders of Montezuma.
By Dan Russell
Jul 29, 2004

I have to say I was a little surprised to hear about the new bolt, even though it's replacing an original pin. The rationale that it makes a popular climb safer for beginners is valid, and I've had the same thought process in the past when I've had clients on the route. Nevertheless, my gut reaction is that it's unnecessary. Too many climbers expect evenly spaced bolts. The same climbers often get stuck on the half dozen or so "well-bolted" routes because of the huge mental gap between those and the more common runouts in the Garden.

A buddy of mine started climbing last year and spent way too much time down at Tanner Dome. The extreme grid-bolting there has ruined him. He finds Shelf to be too runout, if you can believe that!

This one's appropriate considering that it used to be there anyway. Still, I can't help lament the fact that too many beginners get strong physically before they get strong mentally.

On another note, I heard that Potholes recently saw some serious chipping/comfortizing that made te upper crux much easier. Can anyone confirm this?
By Anonymous Coward
Jul 29, 2004

Actually, the [original] pin that you speak of was about 6 feet above and 4 feet to the right of the bolt. The original pin was replaced with the first pin on the route, which is about three feet above the old first pin. You can see the epoxied hole from the old first pin.

Also, the guidebook excuse is pretty lame. You can see how high the first bolt is, and if you [don't] think you can get there [without] risking a broken ankle, with your set of 6 matching quickdraws, rope, harness, Grigri, cell phone, latte... blah blah, THEN [DON'T] CLIMB IT!

Ok, I'll settle down now. I'm not a fan of the bolt at all, but I'm also not a fan of endless bickering, hair-splitting, etc. It's not my place as a relative new comer to The Garden (7 years) anyway...

My main concern is that The Garden maintain the adventure feel that makes it so unique to the modern climbing scene (not the [Potholes] has been an adventure for 15 years anyway).

By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Jul 30, 2004

Pat- I agree. Didn't mean to seem confrontational. Guess it floats both ways.

Dan- I was up there this morning, and I don't think there was any chipping of the top moves, at least not that I noticed.

Also, Stewart Green and I put another link up on the chains up top to supplement the current worn link. So, the wearing of the links on TR's should be down to a minimum.
By Stewart M. Green
Aug 2, 2004

My thoughts regarding all the above threads:

The original piton was 10 feet off the ground directly on the northeast corner of Red Twin Spire. The original route went directly up here to the potholes. The way it is climbed now is up the series of steps to the left and then back right.

We chose to put in a 6" long, 1/2" wedge bolt which will last much longer than a drilled piton. The jury is out in terms of the long-term strength of glue-in bolts in sandstone. It is very difficult to get a totally clean hole in sandstone and sand dust mixed in the glue does compromise the strength. If someone has a definitive study and analysis regarding glue and glue-in bolts in sandstone, then I would like to read it. I did read a study regarding construction bolt anchors 2 weeks ago that said the average life of a 3/8" bolt in concrete was 25 years, while the average life of a 1/2" bolt was 100 years.

Every year since the sidewalk was put in below Red and White, a climber has fallen off Potholes and broken an ankle or leg on the concrete. We need to remember that the Garden has a lot of traffic with many beginner and moderate climbers. These folks tend to congregate on only a few routes, Potholes being one of them. I totally understand that people want the adventure factor in climbing and many many routes exist in the Garden with a lot of "hair factor" --long runouts, sparse or non-existent protection, and high chances of a groundfall. If you want this sort of adventure, then go lead Upper Finger Direct, The Water Route, Dust to Dust, Stalactite, or Bilbo Baggins. I don't see anyone retro-bolting these adventure routes or bringing the commitment level they require down to merely human levels. Heck, it's a commitment for most "average" climbers to get to the first bolt on pitch 1 of West Point Crack.

It is important for climbers to understand that the fixed gear in the Garden of the Gods is wearing out. Many of the old Army angle pitons are 30 to 50 years ago. It's in the best interest of climbers that many of these time-bomb pieces are replaced. The Garden of the Gods is a recreational climbing area. This is not a cutting edge area by any stretch of the imagination. Lots of climbers of lots of differing abilities climb at The Garden. It is not a good thing for continuing climbing access to The Garden if climbers are being injured on popular routes or have to be rescued. Climbing in The Garden is a continuing privilege not a right.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 11, 2004

I'm stubborn, I don't like the bolt. But that's just my opinion, which is rather useless anyhow, so on too much more important issues....

I agree completely about the old pro in The Garden and am quite curious what plans there are to fix the situation which as you mention will only get worse. What are the options? Chop the pins and fill the holes with epoxy, then rebolt with these 6" bolts? I'm not too sure of other options. Is there a way to check the integrity of pins?

I'm actually really curious now....

By David Danforth
From: California/Colorado
Aug 12, 2004

Pat- Replacing pins on these routes came up as an issue when the Park and Rec wanted some routes to be made safer. At this point, it's more along the lines of placing bolts where there are runouts. E.g. bolts were placed between runouts on Finger Ramp, Potholes, and Son of Tedricks. Then, the anchors on top of West Point were replaced, because everybody was so sketched about rappelling off of those 2 pins. I think you're right. E.g. all the pins on Potholes look sandy, they're sticking out of the holes, rusted, aged, etc. I don't think you'd have to chop those off. They'd probably pull with a big yank. Eventually, some time soon, it might be a worth effort to consider replacing them, and as you said, pouring in the old holes. It would definitely be safer...but then again, you need to think about how necessary it is. Decent 1/2" bolts with hangers can run upwards of $15 a piece. The ASCA helps with donations for replacing bolts, but they haven't done anything in The Garden, because all the fixed pro is angles and pitons; stuff they don't replace for some reason. And all of that considered, are brand new bolts on this 5.7 necessary right now? I totally agree with you, but it's just fricken' hard finding a way to maintain all of these routes...cause after Potholes, you have to worry about Thor, Cocaine, Credibility Gap, Crescent Corner, New Era, End of an Era, Montezuma...the entire Cowboy Boot Face. All of these popular routes have old pins and angles that are deteriorating...and it's tough deciding where the line is and how we can go about taking care of it and making them safer. What do ya think?-David
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 26, 2004

This is a really difficult issue, as you said. I'm bummed that I no longer live within 3 minutes of the park, in fact I miss The Garden more than anything! Perhaps some sort of organization (i.e. Garden of the Gods Climbers or something) could be established, along with a website and so forth. Members might pay something like $10 a year, or a $10 lifetime membership fee. Once a member, perhaps voting could take place, fundraisers organized, trail work days organized, etc.... The issue seems even more important after yesterday's fatality on Three Graces. What do people think?

By Bob Hostetler
Aug 29, 2004


We have had an informal group of climbers supporting GOG that I've coordinated for the past few years. We have done a number of fixed anchor replacement projects and a number of access trail and other clean-up projects. I am in the process of registering the group with The Access Fund as Colorado Springs Climber's Alliance. We have a constructive relationship with the parks department of the city which is proving to be mutually beneficial not only for GOG but for our newest city park, Red Rock Canyon Open Space. Anyone can contact me for more information, to pass on ideas, etc...we welcome broad participation. Bob Hostetler, 719-488-8867,
By Chris R
Aug 31, 2004

I've been climbing at The Garden for the past 12 years, so naturally this bolting issue hits home for me. My take: I was mildly disappointed but not surprised to see new bolts some of the easy, high-profile routes in the center of the Garden~routes very popular with beginners. I hope, though, that in replacing the old drilled angles and pins, the sanctity of the original line would be maintained, and new bolts will at most *replace* existing pin placements. Heck, do away with some pins on overprotected lines (Mighty Thor, Snuggles). But, for God's sake, don't place bolts where they aren't necessary! A comment above mentioned re-bolting New Era, a line that can be sewn up like a zipper with traditional gear. Cocaine was also mentioned ~ I really hope the long runout to the first pin would be left intact, for two reasons: 1) anyone capable of climbing .10b should be able to deal with 5.2 runout, and 2) that's the way the route was put up. Let's maintain the climbing history of the park. No Shelf Road/Tanner Dome bolt-orgies, please!

All that said, some pins and anchors are in dire need of replacement, and I fully and wholeheartedly support those efforts. I just don't want to see what happened on Potholes and the Finger Ramp become widespread throughout this unique and wonderful area.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 3, 2005

The smash links at the top are showing significant signs of wear, again. It's probably the nature of the area with lots of sand, but maybe only rapping on the anchors instead of TR'ing through them might increase the longevity of the rap links.
By CalebSimpson
Aug 21, 2007

This is the scariest 5.7 I have lead yet. I did Big Sky the next day with absolutely no problems, and it seemed more "run out" than this route. It was a huge head trip for me.

I am fairly new at leading but feel I am a fairly good climber for only have been doing this for a year. I kept fearing falling on the slab-small ledge after the second pin. Moving between the next to the last pin and to the chains were the biggest problem for me. The moves were easy, it was just a head trip.

Is this 5.7 rating old school or is it fairly accurate for now? I climbed it again on top rope later and couldn't believe I lead it. It's amazing the things you can convince yourself you can do before you actually do it. I'm just glad I finished the route.

All the pins were secure though and a new bolt exists close to the start of the route.
By Stewart M. Green
Sep 12, 2007

The bottom bolt on Potholes was replaced on Monday, September 10 by Brian Shelton and Stewart Green with a 4-inch-long, 1/2-inch stainless steel Petzl eyebolt. The previous 1/2-inch bolt had slowly worked loose (although it still took a lot of work to extricate it from the hole) over the last 3 years. It was loosened in 2004 after being in place only a few days when someone decided to try to remove it (see above thread), but all they succeeded in doing was making it unsafe. The new glue-in is a better alternative. The reason this bolt is there is to keep people from falling off, hitting the sidewalk, and breaking a leg. A couple years ago during a trail day at the Drug Wall, one of the park and rec managers commented to me that it was good to have that bolt in there, because they had considered closing Red and White Spires to climbing because every year at least one climber would fall off Potholes and break a leg.
By B Cooper
Oct 1, 2007

Climbed on Red Spire yesterday. The new glue in at the bottom is no longer there. Looks to have been pulled. Personally, I thought it was a good idea to have the lower protection.
By Stewart M. Green
Oct 2, 2007

Yep, someone pulled the glue-in bolt out a few days after it was set. Now there is the possibility that Potholes may be closed and all the fixed protection removed because of the increased risk of someone hitting the sidewalk and breaking a leg. The bolt was originally placed to avoid that scenario. The city parks dept. was getting tired of having a climber fall off that route once or twice a year and breaking a leg. They recommended that we add a bolt or the route would be closed.

Anyone have suggestions on how to handle this situation??? It seems that some dumbs*** wants to ruin it for all climbers. I know that a small Alien can be placed behind a fragile flake down low, but who, of all the folks who usually climbs Potholes, carries an Alien let alone owns one?? Right now I'm feeling that if the fixed protection can't be left alone, then the route should be pulled and the holes filled in.
By Dan Dalton
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 11, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

I talked with the visitor center and mentioned that this first bolt is now missing. I completely agree though, this can be climbed as a sport route and most people that go to the Garden do not bring trad gear for routes such as this. I was told that you cannot drill new holes but are more than welcome to use pre-existing holds to place a new bolt. I suggest that someone add a beefier bolt that is of greater diameter (do these exist?) At any rate be careful. The route is still very doable, but be safe. I am more worried about some of the holds now, (get loose everytime I am on the route, now over 40 times) than the pitons pulling!

By Stewart M. Green
Oct 11, 2007

I have the bolt that was pulled out. Apparently some climbers got on the route before the epoxy was completely set and loosened it and then removed it. We left a note on the bolt saying not to use it for at least 2 days. Anyway we might just place an Army angle in the hole for now. The Visitor Center is wrong about drilling holes. There is no regulation at the GofG that says that holes cannot be drilled not bolts or pitons placed. It is actively discouraged however.
By Dan Dalton
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 12, 2007
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Someone should re-bolt the first bolt then. I have a gun and would be more than willing, but I don't want to have another hole really, although it could be filled. Obviously the epoxy route did not work to well.... I do recommend that someone do this though, since the route sees so much traffic. If the park sees a rise in accidents they might close the route or tower, I would not be surprised.

By Daryl Allan
From: Sierra Vista, AZ
Mar 25, 2008

I frequented this route back in 1990 to 1992 time frame when I was just starting out and that first piton was an issue back then. One thing to remember is that the original bolts were put in way before that sidewalk was paved. It was all sandy trails through there when I left in '92. There was an extension cable placed at the anchor to prevent the rope drag which was digging huge grooves in the ledge up there. I see from the photos, this cable was replaced with chains now.
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Jun 25, 2008

I led this yesterday. Had a couple girls come up and ask how we got the rope up. I said I just carried it up when I went up. That got a couple gasps.
By England
From: ?
Sep 17, 2008
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

Got a chance to do this climb again last night. Seems that there is always someone on it or to many tourist (how d'ya get that rope up der'), for it to be enjoyable. However, a very fun but short climb. The first (new bolt) is holding up well. I suggest rappin' from the top to help eliminate anchor wear. Things are starting to look aged/worn but still in good condition. Not as dirty (bird poo), as in previous years.
By GMBurns
Sep 19, 2008
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b PG13

A good starter climb here. I thought it was more 5.6 but still worth doing.
By Phil Lauffen
From: The Bubble
Jul 7, 2010

First of all, why is this considered a trad climb? Seems 100% sport to me.

Real bummer today. The good jug above the second bolt has broken off. It has made he move noticeably harder. Some knucklehead climbed this thing sometime in the last week when it was rainy. C'MON, people!
By England
From: ?
Jan 29, 2011
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

GEAR ALERT! The quick-links that Jimmie and Stewart installed just two years ago are worn through about 75%. Careful!
By millz
From: Canon CIty!
Oct 13, 2011

Climbed this lil guy today. It was my 8th lead and first in The Garden, and it had me scratchin' my head at least twice, making it awesome! This has some cool side grabs and underclings on the route and even a sweet hold in a bird turd cave. Bring some wipes or Purell or something. My partner was not able to make the last move, so we will be back again soon. The commentary and peanut gallery is just golden there. When I asked my partner to take me off belay, a woman near her asked "is that all she wrote, you just gonna leave him up there?" Good time on Potholes. Lots of school groups, too. Oh and that rock is coooold in the morning!!!!!!!
By Avs Fan 1
Dec 19, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

I think the rating on this climb should be significantly higher than 5.7. I lead it today and found various moves to be much harder than any other 5.7 in the Garden. (The last pitch I lead here was Son of Tidricks, back in November.) Obviously, many holds have broken off in the ensuing years...West Point, Cowboy Boot, Lower Finger Ramp, Lower Finger Traverse...none of those have the vertical element, the reaches, the hard moves right before being able to clip into protection, and the route finding problem that Potholes presents. I have comfortably lead numerous "harder" climbs in the Garden, like Credibility Gap, for example, so I feel like I have a fair sense of the climbs in the park; and there is no rational way this climb qualifies as a 5.7 lead anymore.
By S.Stelli
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jun 21, 2013
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

There is no move on this climb any harder than 5.7 that I could find. The protection is more than ample and easy to clip from practically any stance. Yes, it is more vertical than some of the other climbs in The Garden, but this is not a slab climb such as those. It's just different.

This is a 5.7 climb. No need to inflate the ratings, and certainly found no reason for a PG-13 rating.
By David Regal
Oct 3, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

With so many pitons close together, back to back, I think this route is well protected and should be counted as a sport route. If one pops, then the other will hold or slow you down enough. I have given a 5.8 rating because near the top there were a couple moves that are "think outside the box", and any time I'm clipping into pitons, no matter how many there are, I'm frightened which makes me climb more poorly.

Overall good climb, but be ready for the spectators taking photos or talking about your climbing!
By Jeff Hofheins 1
From: Portland, OR
Aug 31, 2014
rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

Very cool climb. Sport climb. Not scary.
By Biyaya
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 24, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Right off the sidewalk, so there are a LOT of spectators. Can be distracting, so I would recommend an early morning start to avoid crowds. We were in quite a few tourists' photos that day.
By Rory Devin
Jul 8, 2017

Climbed this on July 6, 2017 on fixed pins. Seemed like a sport route to me, the pins looked reasonable. Just don't fall, I guess.

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