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Romancing the Stone 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Ron Olsen, Bob D'Antonio and Bruce Hildenbrand
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,971
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Sep 21, 2005

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At the third bolt.

Seasonal Closure MORE INFO >>>


The route starts on the northwest face of Witches Tower. Climb up to the first bolt on good holds. Good face moves on knobs and edges get you to the second bolt. A red Alien can be placed in between bolts here. Veer a little left and place gear to gain a ledge and the third bolt. Fire up past the third bolt using a hanging, weird block. Reach the arete and climb up past three more bolts to a two-bolt anchor. A purple Camalot can be place before reaching the anchor.


Mixed gear. Six bolts plus a small rack up to a two Camalot.

Photos of Romancing the Stone Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Jay Eggleston around 3rd bolt. Notice gear placeme...
BETA PHOTO: Jay Eggleston around 3rd bolt. Notice gear placeme...
Rock Climbing Photo: Romancing the Stone as seen from the road.  The ro...
BETA PHOTO: Romancing the Stone as seen from the road. The ro...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bruce cranking the wild move past the hanging flak...
Bruce cranking the wild move past the hanging flak...
Rock Climbing Photo: Bruce climbing the steep face past the first bolt.
Bruce climbing the steep face past the first bolt.
Rock Climbing Photo: Bob on the airy arete near the top of the route, p...
Bob on the airy arete near the top of the route, p...
Rock Climbing Photo: Romancing the Stone. Climb a steep face, work left...
BETA PHOTO: Romancing the Stone. Climb a steep face, work left...

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 22, 2016
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 23, 2005
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

A good route with varied moves and nice exposure. The layback past the hanging flake and the moves up the arete are fun and airy.

I placed a red Alien after the first bolt, a #1 Camalot (or #2 Camalot) after the second bolt, and a #.5 Camalot to protect the final move to the anchor.

Romancing the Stone and the neighboring route Tese are must-dos on your way up to Sherwood Forest.
By Jeremy
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 16, 2008

The creepy and loose sounding rock on the middle of this route really took a lot away from this route. I'm sure it much more solid than it seemed, but I couldn't shake the feeling that I was going to pull a HUGE piece of rock off every other move.
I think it would be a really good route if you weren't a wuss like me and just cranked on everything.
By Tony B
From: Around Boulder, CO
Jun 24, 2008
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I did this one more 'directly' and did not step left to the Camalot placements, and as such hit some questionable rock. A good route overall though, but I was trying to figure out what was what, as maybe 50' up there were two diverging/converging lines available with bolts to the left/right of each other. Was a little confused on which was the intended line.

No less, it was a nice long pitch done to the top anchor and was enjoyable. Thanks for 'finishing' the route.
By David Youkey
Jun 26, 2008
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

A nice route, but it's not 5.9; 5.8 at the most, maybe 5.7. Maybe I'm biased because I've been climbing a lot in Eldo recently. The moves past the hanging flake are indeed cool, but be careful. As Jeremy implies, all things are temporary, and some of those flakes seem to be potentially more temporary than, well, other things. Climb lightly, and tell your belayer to stand off to the side.
By Friso Schlottau
Jul 21, 2008

I have to agree with Jeremy. This climb (while a lot of fun) has a lot of missiles hanging, waiting to release. I'm not normally a fan of altering routes, but it would be nice to see some of the more questionable items removed, simply as a safety matter.

Fun climbing, though
By Chris Piekarski
From: Louisville, CO
Jul 2, 2011
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13

The above comments about loose rock in 2008 are still very relevant today. I did the route a few hours ago and was quite surprised by all the loose rock. The bolts have a lot of run out (the possibly of a ground fall exists even after bolt 3 and 4), so I placed some protection and witnessed a huge flake expand with just a light tug on the cam.

Fun, but be careful both when on the rock and when belaying.
By mtoensing
From: Boulder
Jul 8, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

This route isn't good at all. The looseness of the rock makes it kind of serious, so make sure your belayer wears a helmet for sure. I tried to avoid the loose sections as best as I could making it probably a bit harder, but if you just tromp around on the flakes, it is probably 5.8. Anyways, super crappy climb. Not recommended at all.
By Clint Locks
From: Boulder
Jul 11, 2011
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Matt - I'd have to disagree. I had a blast on it! Really fun, and pretty safe, especially if you place the supplementary gear. Sure, there's some loose rock, but that's all part of the outdoor experience, especially on crags facing that aspect. BTW--a helmet won't do a belayer much good if any of those aforementioned blocks go. Just sayin'. Have fun out there!
By prod. Kenny
From: Boulder, Co
Jul 28, 2011

The climb to the right is much better without the loose blocks.
By Jeff Chrisler
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 25, 2012
rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

I'd agree with those posting about loose stuff, mainly large and some small flakes. Because of the comments, I was doing the hollow punch test, and there was a lot that didn't sound good at all. Unfortunately, this really takes a lot away from an otherwise fun warm-up route. I am sure that in the next few years if not sooner, this route will change drastically due to large blocks and flakes coming off. Be aware of what you are pulling and stepping on while on this route!
By Raiden
From: Royal Oak, MI
Jul 18, 2012
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

Great route. I found the route to be clean with no loose rock so get on it!

It's just fine without any gear if you are solid on the grade. Use a couple long slings to reduce rope drag.

Also, there are two 3rd bolts - not sure why. We clipped the left one.
By carterrrrrr
From: Las Vegas
Sep 18, 2012

Great climb, no need for gear but HOLY SHIT! Loose rock! Be very careful climbing this one. I pulled one baseball-sized piece with chalk on it and felt many a large flake move under body weight. Put your belay far right and wear a helmet!
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
May 23, 2013
rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

I did not notice any loose rock.
By Peter J. Beyel
From: Glenwood Springs
Jun 17, 2013

The bolting on this route needs some work. A fall going to the chains would be nasty. I really think adding some bolts to this rig would be the right decision.
By JimLebowski
Jun 20, 2016

I did this route yesterday with no gear. I didn't feel it needed it. Perhaps a tad run out but nothing compared to what you can find in RMNP. A groundfall from the third bolt seems only probable with a bad belay. I had a lot of fun climbing this, and got down with a smile on my face. Interesting/fun movement for the grade.

Tread lightly. There are some large flakes that if pulled off could be potentially fatal even with a helmet. Belay should back off the wall after the 3rd bolt.
By Andy Hansen
From: Longmont, Colorado
Jul 22, 2016
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

This is a damn near classic route. There is a little bit of hollow rock here and there but nothing that's going to come off in a catastrophic way. I kept climbing past the anchors into the neighboring 10-, and this creates a really good mini-extension to an already awesome moderate. Doing the pitch this way, the route is exactly 30m. Tie knots in the end of the rope! All that's really necessary in terms of gear is a finger-sized cam for after the 2nd bolt and a long draw on the anchor of this route to climb up to the anchor of the 10- without rope drag.

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