REI Community
Wall of the '90s
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
.30-06 T 
7-Minute Abs S 
Alone Time with my Banana S 
American Mustang S 
Black and Tan S 
Casual Stone S 
Centerfold S 
Curvaceous S 
Double Stout S 
Double Stout (w/ extension) S 
Foxy S 
Goin' The Distance S 
Harlot S 
Hellcat S 
Hey Good Lookin' S 
Hot Stuff S 
Interstellar Overdrive S 
Leftover Stuff S 
Litlle Kitten S 
Mission Impossible S 
Mission Overdrive S 
Mission Plausible S 
Porn Queen S 
Pretty Woman S 
Recovery S 
Reefer Madness S 
Roadrunner T 
Slender Babe S 
Slinky S 
Stone Free S,TR 
Sweet Thing S 
Ten-Digit Dialing S 
Vixen S 
Wet Dream S 
Wiled Horses T 
Y2K S 

Reefer Madness 

YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Alan Nelson, 1998
Page Views: 17,759
Submitted By: Ramin Jamshidi on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (515)
Your todo list:
Your stars:
Your rating: -none- [change]
Your ticklist: [add new tick]
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
Kevin heading up Reefer Madness.

Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


Start at the giant eyebolt and head up to sweet, fairly sustained crimpy climbing. Some teeny holds, but you earn a nice rest in the middle of the hard stuff. A really fantasic 11a, but if you want to work even harder, the second pitch ("Porn Queen") is rated 11c/d.


7 bolts to a 2 bolt anchor with lowering rings.

Photos of Reefer Madness Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A sequence shot of free solo of Reefer Madness by ...
A sequence shot of free solo of Reefer Madness by ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.
Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.
Rock Climbing Photo: A good line in a great setting.
A good line in a great setting.
Rock Climbing Photo: Just before the crux....
Just before the crux....
Rock Climbing Photo: Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.
Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.
Rock Climbing Photo: Sam on Reefer Madness.
BETA PHOTO: Sam on Reefer Madness.
Rock Climbing Photo: Well-protected with a brief crux.
Well-protected with a brief crux.
Rock Climbing Photo: Just a cool shot of Reefer Madness.
Just a cool shot of Reefer Madness.
Rock Climbing Photo: Michelle on Reefer Madness.
Michelle on Reefer Madness.
Rock Climbing Photo: Nearing the top-out.
Nearing the top-out.
Rock Climbing Photo: Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.
Brandon Conaway on Reefer Madness.

Comments on Reefer Madness Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 30, 2016
By Jesse Ryan
Jan 1, 2001

R.M. extension, Porn Queen has decent moves but be prepared to be climbing bird poop. Also, reaching the last bolt before the chains is a dicey for those under 6' and a #0 TCU protects a fall onto the ledge and beyond.
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 1, 2001

I wouldn't discourage people under six feet from trying this route. I'm 5'9" not a hot climber by any means and the last section, though definitely out of character for the area (slopy and balancy) was not a sandbag, and I found it doable.
By Jeff Lockyer
From: Canmore, AB
Sep 29, 2001

A great route, I give it three stars. I think it may be a little bit harder from someone that is shorter than say 5', the crux sidepulls may be very hard to get to and be very balancy, will no doubt be harder than 11a. Next time out, ten digit dialing, looks superb... Cheers
By Steve Kelly
Oct 23, 2002

Great route, tons of fun all the way to the chains. Great holds and interesting moves. Definitely harder for someone shorter than around 5'10". My partner had a hell of a time pushing through the crux sidepulls and is about 5'9" with a fairly average reach. The section right before the ledge in the middle is also somewhat reachy. I'll definitely be coming back for more.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 11, 2003

Fun route. Definitely not 11. The hardest move is no harder than mid 10 and there are plenty of very good rests before and after which should make the overall rating mid 10. Fun climbing with lots of bolts.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jun 11, 2003

Thanks AC - I was hoping someone would put this line in its place. I was thinking 5.8 for side pulls on marginal feet and maybe 5.7 for long reach at the end that burls out to the slopers at the finish. So, 5.8 plus 5.7, looks like 5.6 overall. What do you suppose that Alan was thinking? My Grandma could do it, and she has been dead for 45 years.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 12, 2003
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

I did not mean to offend anyone. I was not trying to put anyone down. Route grades should be consistant. I think it would be a bad idea to do this climb and go to another area and think the grade would be the same in difficulty for another route. CCC is notoriously over rated especially compared to other nearby areas (Eldorado canyon, (part of) Boulder canyon, South Platte, Lumpy, RMNP). This is my own opinion on the difficulty of the route, you can give yours (it is harder than 5.6). It is a fun climb.

Casey Bernalc a s e y b e r n a l @ h o t m a i l . c o m
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jun 12, 2003

The notion of the "Gold Standard" has been batted around on this site several times, and I think that everyone agrees that refernce to a Gold Standard is a good way to come to agreement on a grade. For Reefer Madness, one could pick the crux of Superslab (easier but harder to protect), or P1 of Animal Magnetism (bit harder) to bracket RM. That places it between 10C and 11C. How about Evangeline, seems a bit harder, so not 11b. Sea of Dreams? - bit harder, so harder than 10d. Suparete? - similar in difficulty and continuity. I think he got it right on the nose.
By Chip Phillips
From: Broomfield, CO
Jun 12, 2003

Are there routes around here graded 10c or 10d that seem harder? ... Definitely are there routes around here graded 10c or 10d that seem easier? ... Definitely are there routes around here graded 11b or 11c that seem easier? ... Definitely are there routes around here graded 11b or 11c that seem harder? ... Definitely.

My point? Grades as we all know are not an absolute ... does a route or problem really have to "seem harder" to us than every route we've done of a lower grade or "seem easier" than every route or problem we've done of a higher grade before we are willing to settle on a grade or willing to leave a grade alone that's not completely out of whack? Every route if different for every person and to paraphrase a quote from John Gill, "every ascent is different" ... even for the same person.

Secondly, we also know that people's ideas of grades become skewed by the areas they climb at regularly. Unfortunately, ratings at different places here in CO are all over the place and often times make no sense at all (there are places in the US that grades make total sense, but that's another topic). Yeah, a lot of routes of the same grade in Eldo and Lumpy will seem hard when compared with a lot of routes in CCC (BTW ... comparing traditional ratings with sport ratings is a bad idea anyway as it is an entirely different ballgame even if you preplace and inspect all your gear first). Anyway, does that make Eldo & Lumpy right and CCC wrong???

After climbing all over the country, I've come to the conclusion that the truth is somewhere in between, but its definitely not worth using anymore bandwidth over.

That said, I think I'll stop ... peace.
By Edward Jenner
Aug 15, 2003

Comparing to another climb near by; it is definitely harder than Hot Stuff.
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Jun 25, 2004

The grade felt right to me. Realizing that the grades in the canyon can be sometimes soft, Reefer Madness felt right on. I'm a short, skinny little bastard who is not much of a sport climber so take my comment with a grain of salt. I'm comparing this to other 5.11s at Wall of the Nineties.
By Jeremy
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 3, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Man, you guys are taking the wind right out of my sails. This was my first 11 onsight and I loved it! I was really pumped at the end even with the good rests. May be a light 11a but much harder than any 10d I've done.
By Michael Amato
Jul 22, 2005

If you can reach the sidepull on the lower move (I can and I'm 5'-9"), you may take for granted a very tough move to get to that hold for a shorter person. Same goes for the top.
By Lon Black
Jul 24, 2005

Superb line. The thinner section around the fourth bolt (?) was the crux for me. The route includes nice thin climbing then somewhat rounded laybacks in a crack system finishing with sloping holds to top out.
By Luke Evans
Sep 6, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Such a Great Route! The Rock is Amazing. Crisp Edges, Slopers, Jugs........Awesome. The Undercling at the huge ledge after the CRuX seemed to have been broken but it doesn't really make a difference!
By Nate Weitzel
Jul 5, 2007

Added some lowering hooks to the anchors of this one. Left the old chains in place in case people don't like the new hooks.
By Aeon Aki
Jun 18, 2008

Perhaps it was the blazing sun mixed with greasy holds, the contrived nature of the climbing, the choss I had to navigate my way through, or the grid-bolted face I was looking up at, but this route left much to be desired. If this is the best rock in Clear Creek Canyon, I think I've seen enough. Bomb!
By Phil Persson
From: Denver, Colorado
Aug 24, 2008

Great route...crux for me was almost more the final move topping out on tenuous slopers than the lower balancy sidepull move. Definitely sequency this kicked my ass the first time, but looking forward to going back.
By Jon Zucco
From: Denver, CO
Jun 8, 2009
rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

I could've sworn it was 10+ before I checked the guidebook, but I guess it could be the infinite amount of ledges/rests between the business. Haha, what a clean line though. Seems like a great warm up for Ten Digit.
By slim
Aug 24, 2009
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

A decent route, but I was a bit disappointed by the slabby, ledgy nature of the climbing, and how short it was. Grade seemed way off, although some of my shorter climbing partners disagree.
By Luke Childers
Nov 11, 2009

Great climbing on good stone, but I was expecting had a big reputation built up around it & I found it fell short of my expectations. However, this is still a great line and worth climbing again and again!!!
By Deathkills
From: North Denver CO
May 4, 2010

Why would you give a route you thought fell short 4 stars???
By M Lindfors
From: Highlands Ranch
May 16, 2010

My son onsighted and thought the grade was good. I guess if you are really short 5'1" or so, you can use intermediates to get to the top.
By Heyted
Jun 11, 2010

I climbed this, this morning, great climb, fits the grade. All you turds who want to downgrade it should either be climbing harder or haven't climbed enough grades to compare. It is clean and the crux has a great move that is pretty technical, it's just a short thriller.
By dan scales
From: Denver, CO
Apr 13, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Fun climb. A climber's 11. Techy crux that took a couple goes to figure out and good rests throughout. Not burly or pumpy, but you've got to be a skilled climber to send (no muscling up steep jugs..cough...Wall of Justice...cough).
By Harald Harb
From: Dumont
Aug 5, 2011

This is a fine climb, fun, with a techy crux, but not a Rifle level 5.11, it maybe a Clear Creek 5.11, but there are huge standard differences between Rifle and Clear Creek. If you want to be a 5.12 climber, stick with Clear Creek, because you will not send a Rifle 5.12 with Clear Creek experience. Rifle is about three letter grades more difficult.

This is not to put down CC, I love climbing here, but just bringing some reality to the ratings.
By Keith H. North
From: Englewood, CO
Aug 7, 2011
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

Reality: within the canyon, the ratings are consistent.
Reality: compared to the most sandbagged crag in the country (give or take), the grades are soft.
By slim
Aug 8, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

It seems like comparing apples and lawn furniture. Too different to really make a realistic comparison.
By Dwight Jugornot
From: Arvada, Co.
Oct 3, 2011
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Loved the thin moves. Kinda like "Walking With A Ghost" at Canal Zone, but much easier. Great route to practice body position and foot edging.
By nate post
From: Silverthorne
Oct 9, 2012

I just climbed in Rifle last weekend, so this felt like a 5.10, but as was said before, that's like comparing oranges to lawn chairs. I thought it felt 5.11a for CCC. Fun, short climb probably a great one if you're looking for your first 5.11 lead. It kinda felt like a gym climb with plenty a bolts, and the holds in your face obvious.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 10, 2012
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Nice, Nate! Looks like you need to step it up and do Ten Digit, a Rifle 11+!
By nate post
From: Silverthorne
Oct 11, 2012

I can't wait to get back and try Curvaceous, Wet Dream, and Ten Digit. In that order, it sounds kinda dirty. It was the first time for my wife and I climbing at wall of the '90s. She hates waiting and watching me claw, curse, fall, scream, and cry my way up 5.12s or Rifle 5.11s, so I might have to go back to try those with a different belay partner. Thanks for the great guidebook!
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Oct 11, 2012
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Good plan. Wall of the '90s is stacked. Also throw Schwing Salute in that mix, not too much harder than RM.
By Robert Daniel.
From: Denver, Colorado
Nov 17, 2013

FYI there is a big ole pile of sheeit to the left of the anchors.
By climberboy228 Romano
May 26, 2014

Almost got the onsight...misread the mid-route crux and got into trouble...but I loved the route! Also used the route to set a top rope on the famous Ten Digit Dialing to the left.
By Lauren D. Hollingsworth
From: Colorado Springs, CO
Jul 27, 2014
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

At 5'5" I'll take .11b. Undercling off the rest block to clip, then moving up by crimping the left foothold to get into the angled crack= .11b. Couldn't reach the juggy looking thing that taller people were clipping from at that bolt. Great climb!
By Train4life
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 10, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I'm not trying to start a riot, but I'm a little disappointed in whoever chipped the two footholds at the bottom of the route on the crux. I have done this route numerous times and noticed the difference immediately, and my friend was projecting it and sent a long time ago, so she is very intimate with the route and its feet. If people could not chip a route, that would be appropriate. If it is too hard, then just get a bit stronger and try it again. It would seem extremely odd that the two worst footholds on the route chipped off at the exact angle to make the feet better and randomly showed up, so I am going to assume that someone chipped. Anyways, Reefer is a great route, and can we just climb the route and not worry so much about the grade? I know compared to Rifle, this is probably a 5.6 there! Pump up your ego, Go Rifle! I climb in Rifle too, so stop this grade controversy, this would be 11a or 10d in Rifle too! I have been on an easier 11b in the Skull Cave at Rifle that I would grade 10d. Grades are different everywhere and may feel easier for one climber than another. Reefer is a fun route, and that's all that's around the 11- region and just take it at that! Enjoy the climb and no more chipping! Good luck on the climb, friends!
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Nov 10, 2014

Train4Life, did the holds get better or worse? I noticed the footholds crumbled about a year ago. So if they got better than that would be suspicious; however, holds do break all the time.
By Train4life
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 10, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Hey Kevin,

I met you recently at Wof'90s, and you were giving me beta on Mission! Both of the holds got better, and I have had many holds break on me. These both look really, really suspicious. They used to be foot smears both of them, and now they are incut foot chips. Like I said, I have no proof and can't come at anyone. I am just asking that if it happened, please do not let it happen again. If you remember the route, Kevin, try climbing it again and see for yourself. The first crux has a foot that is now incut down and right, and after you hit the gaston rail and you bump your right foot up to a foot hold, you will see that there is now an incut foot there too. Seems suspicious that the two worst feet on the route somehow got conveniently better. I'm not accusing anyone just asking for it to stop. Enjoy the climb though, one of the better 11s in the Front Range!
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Nov 10, 2014

Sounds very suspicious, since before they always seemed to be getting worse.
By Train4life
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 10, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Agreed. I don't think it changes the grade, but it definitely makes it quite a bit easier. Could almost be in the 10d/11a range now. Bummer. Also, if you ever want to head up to Mission to try that rig, give me a call. The name is Chris Smith.
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Nov 30, 2014

I warmed up on this today and didn't find any chipped footholds or change. Still all natural from what I saw.
By Train4life
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 9, 2014
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Seems strange, Kevin, because without me telling my partner, she said she noticed it too. I'm not saying there is, but it seems like we both concluded that the feet were different...but I'll take your word on it! :)
By Brad Gone
Sep 5, 2015

A few of the bolts may by tricky to clip if you are under 6'. It's obvious that the route was set so that the bolts could be clipped at full extension by a climber at least 5'9" tall.

I suspect that climbing the route with the draws pre-hung would make this route substantially easier for a shorter person.
By Theodore Morrow
From: Golden, Co
Feb 18, 2016
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

One of my favorites in the canyon and my first 5.11a redpoint. At the time, it felt like 5.11c, but after I went back the next month, I would say it is a pretty standard 5.11a. Really fun moves, and the holds aren't too chalked up for the popularity. SUPER FUN!
By mountainhick
From: Black Hawk, CO
Jul 17, 2016
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

OS today. I have been cruising some other 5.11a-c CCC and Eldo in the last week, but this felt hard for 5.11a. Took me half a dozen attempts stepping back down to the ledge every time to get a foot sequence that worked, and it finally went. I suspect there are other ways to do the crux but wondering either if I missed a better sequence or if the supposed chipped footholds are no longer. Definitely a couple smears for my feet. Great puzzle!
By Chad Elliott
From: Golden
Oct 6, 2016

Flexibility was key for me to get through the crux. Great route for someone pushing into 11s. Well-protected.
By Gabe Huie
Oct 25, 2016

OS this weekend. can't we just all agree it's a 11b OS and a 11a redpoint. It basically has a couple of technically moves that if you were trying out for the first time is relatively hard and probably easier on the 2nd or 3rd attempt once you know the sequence.
By Ginny Keith
Nov 30, 2016


Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About