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Raccoon Soup aka Thunderbolts 

YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.11+ French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 24 British: E4 6a [details]
FA: FA Olevsky, 1975, FFA Ken Duncan & Scott Blunk, 1977? Chris Piesker and Christian Griffith, 1980?
Page Views: 2,614
Submitted By: Patrick Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (74)
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Leading Raccoon Soup.

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  • Description 

    This is the route to the right of 5.10 crack, it follows incipient seams up a slightly less than vertical wall. While only 40 feet long this is a pretty classic toprope, it can be toproped off of the tree atop 5.8 crack along with some gear out left for a directional. Short, but it has some classic face moves. (a little soft for the grade too). [It is also known as Thunderbolts or Thunderbolt]


    I have not (yet) lead this excellent toprope, but have inspected the protection and was able to get in reasonable gear at all the hard parts, back when they didn't have micro gear this was an x rated lead.

    Photos of Raccoon Soup aka Thunderbolts Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: TR on Raccoon Soup.
    TR on Raccoon Soup.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The crux moves are getting to this stance and gett...
    The crux moves are getting to this stance and gett...

    Comments on Raccoon Soup aka Thunderbolts Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Andrew Wellman
    Jan 1, 2001

    I watched someone lead this route today (3/4/01). It was very impressive. The route apparently had good gear cause he sewed it up like I sewed up 5.10 crack, with seven pieces including a cam or two!!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Feb 5, 2002

    Whatever name you choose to use, this is an excellent and sustained route. The only thing that has changed about this route is that, with modern gear, it should not even get a severe rating. At every crux there is at least one bomber RP or small cam placement that would hold a good whipper. A definite must do and a classic lead in my book.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Oct 8, 2002
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

    I'd give it an PG-13 on the current scale because it is hard to hang in there and make the placements. The stances are not all positive and I think that it's hard to fiddle in the gear.
    By adam brink
    From: Boulder, CO
    Dec 4, 2002
    rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

    Don't be put off by the above comment if your considering leading this gem. I found a good stance for every placement and to top it off the gear is really obvious (small cams and RPs). This was probably my 5th or 6th 5.11 in Eldo and didn't feel that bad for the grade. Its reputation makes it out to be far harder than it actually is.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Nov 3, 2003

    [Definitely] no reason for the 's' rating lots of gear, only complaint is that it is short.
    By Chris Archer
    May 10, 2004
    rating: 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a

    It's my understanding that [Chris] Peisker first led this stellar pitch in 77. I suspect the differences of opinion regarding the difficulty and protection ultimately reduces to height. Climbers 5'8" and under will have a difficult time placing the RPs at the roof. For me, the placements are either blind or difficult, time consuming and skin shredding. If the placements at the roof blew as you pulled the crux, you might be hurt in the fall, although probably not badly.
    By Ken Duncan
    From: Ft Collins, CO
    Aug 27, 2004

    My understanding is that Alec Sharp actually gave this route the name Raccoon Soup after he did it in the early eighties (?1981). I climbed with both Chris Peisker and his partner Coral Bowman when they were here in the '70s and hadn't heard that Chris had done this route but he certainly may have. Both Chris and Coral were excellent climbers and neat people who were a major part of the climbing community while they were here. Ultimately who did a route first really doesn't make a big difference to me, having good quality climbing available is the important thing. Personally I'd take a a repeat of a great route over the first ascent of a so-so route anyday.
    By Steven Lucarelli
    From: Moab, UT
    Mar 22, 2007
    rating: 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a

    I lead this in Nov. of '06 and found the gear quite adequate. I placed an orange, green, blue and black Alien on the lower section and even fell on the black Alien a few times from the small roof. So, I think the route is pretty safe with the new micro cams that are available.
    By Brian Weinstein
    Mar 5, 2008
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Ken, tough to imagine a FFA without RPs. Great route.
    By Matt Lavender
    May 23, 2017

    I was a regular climbing partner of Alec Sharp, Chris Piesker, and Christian Griffith back in the day. This climb was first done by Chris Piesker and Christian Griffith in 1980. Alec did many new climbs in Eldo, but this wasn't one of them.

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