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Purple Haze 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Dan Hare and Jim Michael, 1975
Page Views: 6,474
Submitted By: Tyler Jones on Jun 11, 2001

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P1's beautifully colored corner.

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  • Description 

    The route ascends an obvious dihedral about 20 feet to the right (and around a corner) of Chockstone. Rossiter gives the first pitch a 5.7, and IMO I think it deserves a 5.8. It's awkward and a little bit more strenuous than a 5.7 would be.

    P1 (7). Climb the dihedral (the lower one, the crack above it is Joke Crack 11c). I actually used Joke Crack to stem my foot out for the first half, either way, it's awkward but yet fun. Gain the ledge and traverse over a couple of feet to set up the belay.

    P2 (9). The crux is right away. If you can find a way to get a stopper or an RP in, continue to the right up a corner to a hand crack. Follow this hand jam crack all the way up to the tree.


    Bring cams from #0.5 to 3 (Camalots). Doubles in #1 and 2 would be very helpful. The top of the first pitch has a good spot between two rocks (on the right side of the ledge) for a couple large stoppers and some tricams for a perfect anchor.

    Photos of Purple Haze Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: the hand crACK WUSH IT WERE LONGER!!
    the hand crACK WUSH IT WERE LONGER!!
    Rock Climbing Photo: Here I am at the crux of the "second pitch&qu...
    BETA PHOTO: Here I am at the crux of the "second pitch&qu...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Me on the first pitch of Purple Haze (taken by my ...
    Me on the first pitch of Purple Haze (taken by my ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Ben looking at the p2 crux
    Ben looking at the p2 crux
    Rock Climbing Photo: The gear for the top half of the route.  Large 'bo...
    The gear for the top half of the route. Large 'bo...
    Rock Climbing Photo: see how reliable my offset wAS IT used to be just ...
    see how reliable my offset wAS IT used to be just ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: whew! a good rest near the top of pitch 1
    whew! a good rest near the top of pitch 1
    Rock Climbing Photo: Brandon Oldham on P1 by Rick Casey, just below 5.7...
    Brandon Oldham on P1 by Rick Casey, just below 5.7...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline laybacking the crux of the first pit...
    Christa Cline laybacking the crux of the first pit...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Michael leading P1 of Puple Haze
    Michael leading P1 of Puple Haze
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch one.  The start of pitch two visible in the ...
    BETA PHOTO: Pitch one. The start of pitch two visible in the ...

    Comments on Purple Haze Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 27, 2016
    By Tyler Jones
    Jun 13, 2001

    I forgot to mention that the rap from the top of pitch 2 is only 80 feet and can be done with a single 50m rope. If you want to rap off the first pitch, then traverse to your left and up a few feet to a tree at the top of Chockstone's first pitch instead.
    By Jeff Lockyer
    From: Canmore, AB
    Dec 2, 2001

    I think the first pitch of this route could go at 5.7+ perhaps 5.8 if you are no confident on laybacking on the lead, a great bit of fun, except for the rotten band at the top, but altogether a nice route.
    By Michael Walker
    From: Loveland, CO
    Aug 4, 2002

    A blue Alien protects the crux of this climb quite well; look for a small crack high and right once standing on the shelf below the crux face. Provides decent pro right in your face at the point where you are reaching and grunting and smearing those feet up to reach buckets before the hand crack.
    By Graham Rogers
    Jun 2, 2003

    As mentioned in Friends in High Places, which shares the crux of this route in its line, the pro on this route (at the crux) is sketchy at best . A budding 5.9 leader might do this a little later. The (aid gear) blue alien mentioned above did hold a tug and is the best I could find with my fairly standard rack, but it isn't assuring. On the positive side, you would not likely fall very far on the piece since you can manage a good stance quickly. But if it blows (also likely) you would deck on a pretty hazardous ledge.One pitch is better to avoid the risk of a fall on the belay.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Jul 8, 2003

    I second the comment about the gear at the crux. I got in a small TCU and a #3 RP but wasn't ready to call them bomber. I got there by doing the crack in the little arete just right of the corner which makes for a straighter line and a single 80' pitch. Cool climbing up the corner above.
    By Jake Wyatt
    From: Longmont, CO
    Aug 2, 2003

    One can also jam the left foot into the dihedral crack of p1 to cheat on the liebacking a little.

    After traversing right, I wasn't able to find a belay setup at the top of p1 that I felt comfortable with, so I traversed back far left to the ledge at the top of p1 of Chockstone to belay. (Then we just walked off and skipped p2 of Purple Haze.)
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Aug 5, 2003

    Excellent two pitch route. Small stopper placement for the crux, fun hand jam to the tree with green webbing.
    By Rick Casey
    From: Lafayette, Colorado
    Sep 13, 2003

    I agree with other comments: the first pitch is stout 5.7 (5.7+?) at its crux, with no footholds, requiring pure layback technique. The second pitch I found intimidating enough to back off of, this time. The marginal protection above a hazardous deck landing was not appealing. Recommended only for strong 5.9+ leaders. (Rossiter's topo seems to show the left most side of this being a 10a variation; seemed more like 10a S, IMHO.)
    By Guy H.
    From: Fort Collins CO
    Sep 20, 2003

    The start to the second pitch is spicy. You can get a flared small cam or a #3 Ballnut down low. If you are tall, you can get a higher #3 RP in before you commit to the crux. The flared placement might not hold a fall. There is also a 15 foot runout after the RP on positive holds. Fun stuff...
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Oct 4, 2003

    IMO this whole route is a sandbag. Don't be fooled, P1 is closer to an (8) layback fest, and P2 is more like (9+), getting worked the whole way...P2 felt as hard as the (10b's) we climbed earlier in the day up on Cadillac...but still fun and worthy.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Oct 5, 2003

    A black Alien fits nicely in the upper slot, at the spicy start of P2...
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Oct 14, 2003

    I think this route is best done in one pitch. The 5.7 start is great warm up for the fun to be had ahead. If you are shot like myself you wont reach the upper slot in the 5.9 "crux" section. I tried to place a small HB offset in a slot at about face level this was a waste of time the crack spit it out at the slightest outward pull. So I put it in again and shot up. It was only a couple of moves to big holds where I slung the first horn I saw. after that more big holds to a bomber cam in the hand crack (which i thought was the absolute best part of the entire route). This was only my third 5.9 lead and I loved every move of it definitely challenging I think the rating is appropriate. PEEEEAAAACE!!
    By Dougald MacDonald
    May 31, 2004

    Here's a trick for protecting the start of the second pitch. Thread two wires together to give yourself about five inches of extra reach with your chosen nut. (Hard to explain this, but play around with it and you'll figure it out.) With the extendo-nut, you can get a bomber placement at the top of the little crack on the right side of the crux wall, making this move very secure. I backed this up with a smallish nut (#2 or #3 BD) in the nice slot about 6 inches below. Both of these seemed like excellent placements.

    I agree with those who suggest doing this route as one pitch -- that way these crucial pieces won't be the first pieces on your second lead, and they're less likely to lever out from weird directional pulls in case of a fall.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jun 21, 2004

    yeah, P1 is harder than most Eldo 7's, but such is the nature of laybacking dihedrals.

    P2 does have terrible fall potential, but the gear is good. in the low slot: the #3 RP is good, purple TCU good; and, as Dougald suggests, reach up high and you get a good small stopper. 3 pieces of worthy gear in 8 inches, and its not like youre taking a whipper on any of them.

    I would suggest double #1, and #2 Camalots for the second pitch.

    Hop on it, it was my 3rd 9 lead in Eldo and dished out some really good climbing!!
    By Michael Kullman
    Sep 13, 2004

    P1 is definitely pretty darn strenuous for a 5.7. I think it is a lot less strenuous if you don't lieback. Keeping your ass against the right face and putting a foot against the protruding lip of the middle crack on the left face (essentially just making chimney moves) seemed to make it much more manageable and pretty secure, at least for someone as tall as myself. Still quite a workout regardless, very nice.
    By Matt Chan
    From: Boulder
    Oct 2, 2006
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    After doing this one, head down and do 'Hand Crack'. IMO, one of these grades are wrong, as I found them to be nearly identical in difficulty.
    By Merlin
    From: Grand Junction
    Sep 22, 2007
    rating: 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a

    Pitch one is definitely 5.8 and the move off the belay starting the second pitch seemed harder than a lot of 5.9s I've done.
    By Sue Rusch
    Oct 22, 2007

    P2- Just read the threads and wanted to share that the blue Alien didn't hold my body weight!!! I played with a number of small gear and nuts for a long time before I commited to the Alien. Finally got the blue Alien in and gave it a tug. It felt solid, but still knew I didn't want to screw up here with the ledge below. I made the move and had the next two holds above but wasn't secure with my feet. I gently weighted the blue Alien. It held me. I moved fast to get out my next nut. I heard a click but stayed put. Seconds later it gave way, and I tumbled down the wall. Please be careful here. Not sure I would have wanted to put a small nut placement at the knee, since it would have slammed me in the wall??? I think I would have broken some bones if that happened. Not sure this is a 5.9!
    By claytown
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jan 20, 2008

    Pretty fun route. Do it as one pitch to the tree with a 60. Don't screw up the moves above the ledge. Small nuts would hold but won't keep you off the slab. Upper cracks are great. Well worth doing.

    By whittlesticks Whitley
    From: Glenwood Springs, co
    Oct 1, 2008

    Big pile of bird sh*t to pull past on the second pitch handcrack it also is uzing down the walls so you must reach really really high for a non sh#tty jam great climb!!!
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Mar 8, 2009

    While moving into the second pitch, I did the Eldo up-down dance about 5 times trying different pieces in that slot up high. A #3 Ballnut provided the most security, though I was hesitant to take a fall on it, so I backed it up a little lower with another Ballnut. I tried a micronut first, and ended up having to downclimb, only to have it rip out when my belayer hadn't let out enough slack and I had both my feet on the ledge. Almost took a nasty pendulum onto the anchor. This is a pretty burly climb, not a lot of subtle technical maneuvers, just brute strength.
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 13, 2011

    The move off the ledge on pitch 2 seemed to be a low 5.10 move to me...or Eldo 5.9+ :)
    By Andy Kowles
    From: Longtuckles
    Nov 7, 2011

    3 stars for such a bloody classic, cryptic crux. Really, I just cannot get this one dialed. Awesome! Whipped on a large offset brassie at the crux...then was able to remove it with my fingers. Ha!
    By jmeizis
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Feb 19, 2013

    Good route, would rap down Chockstone to make for an easier rope pull.
    By Baumer
    From: Boulder, CO
    Nov 19, 2013

    A few comments on gear: I protected the P2 crux with a yellow X4, which seemed decent (I also found a stopper placement by the point at my feet in case I blew past the ledge). If you do this in one pitch, save a #2 Camalot for the handcrack at the top! I foolishly used mine down low (on the 5.7 section) and had to just sack up through much of the upper section until I could finally fit a #3 in just below the anchors.
    By HughC
    Apr 27, 2016

    Love this route! I would say it deserves a PG -13 rating. I know that would be controversial, given its history, Eldo tradition, and climbing culture, etc, but that gear at the start of the 2nd pitch is sketchy at best even for Eldo, and the ledge beneath would not be fun to crash into if the marginal gear blows. I know it has held falls in the past, but I also have heard, as per the comments above, etc. it hasn't held even when climbed by competent parties. Just some thoughts from an old, cautious guy.

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