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Slave to the Rhythm 

YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 50'
Original:  YDS: 5.13b French: 8a Ewbanks: 29 UIAA: IX+ ZA: 30 British: E7 6c [details]
FA: Dan Michaels
Page Views: 7,045
Submitted By: Taylor Roy on Nov 10, 2008

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (13)
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Taylor Roy on Slave to the Rhythm.

  • Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: MORE INFO >>>
  • Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    Unusually steep for the Flatirons, and peppered with pebbles and cobble stones, Slave to the Rhythm (STTR) is Boulder's little slice of Maple Canyon.

    Climb an easy groove and traverse in from the left making some hard moves to gain an obvious set of huecos about 15 feet off the ground. From the huecos, make a long reach to a pebble (crux#1), and continue moving right using small pockets and cobbles until you reach the first good rest. After recovering, make a couple of more right trending moves and then crank through a very pumpy section of pebbles and cobbles (crux#2) that ends at a horizontal break. When you feel rested, kneebar past a very steep, right facing lieback feature (crux #3) to the chains. If you are pumped, clipping the anchors could be challenging.

    Besides the huge hike and a little traversing, there is nothing bad to say about this route. The moves are fun, the rock is great, the holds are easy on the skin, and there is no glue or manufacturing. Too bad there aren't 50 more route just like it! Wait, there probably are, they just can't be bolted.


    STTR is located on the upper portion of the East Ironing Board. It is the middle of the three sport routes and is equipped with ring bolts. Look for three small huecos at the beginning of the route.


    This route sports old ring bolts and a two bolt anchor with chains. Be prepared to stick clip the first bolt. You may also want a kneepad for the upper crux.

    Beware: per Dr. Chris Lee, the 4th bolt (itself) spins and should NOT be considered safe!

    Photos of Slave to the Rhythm Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Dan on Slave.
    Dan on Slave.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Tony Yao on Slave to the Rhythm.
    Tony Yao on Slave to the Rhythm.

    Comments on Slave to the Rhythm Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 16, 2016
    By doug rouse
    From: Denver, CO.
    Jan 9, 2009

    I remember hearing a funny story about this line, and while Dan was working the route. I understand he named all of the features on the route (cobbles, huecos etc.), and would refer to them by their names as he passed. Perhaps someone who knows him could ask him to detail a few or all of these!
    By Brian Hansen
    From: West of Boulder, CO
    Jan 9, 2009

    I recall that he named one particularly large and white cobble "Skinhead."
    By Hank Caylor
    From: Glenwood Springs, CO
    Jan 11, 2009

    Actually, most every hold on the climb has a name (it's that weird). TOTALLY worth hike.
    By Ted Lanzano
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 13, 2009
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    The big rest is called the Bath Tub.
    By Tom Hanson
    Aug 14, 2009

    I recall one hold was named The Skinhead.
    By Dan Levison
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 25, 2009
    rating: 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c

    Brilliant sport route. A Dan Michaels' mega-classic. Solid at the grade.
    By Jim Redo
    Oct 14, 2011

    Whose draws are on Slave to the Rhythm? They look mank.
    By Aaron Ramras
    Nov 25, 2011

    Found the draws lying in a pile at the base of the climb today. They were in bad condition. I gave the route a couple goes and hung my own draws (hard!). We carried out the draws we found, so let me know if they belong to you, although you may not want them back.... My draws should be up for the next couple weeks until I send, so now's a good time to go work it! Also a knee pad would be quite nice for the upper crux! Outstanding pitch!
    By Jamie gatchalian
    From: denver, co
    Dec 25, 2011

    Does anyone know if this wall gets good sun during the winter? Need something other than Clear Creek to stay psyched right now. Thanks!
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Dec 26, 2011

    You have about a month to get on the route as the entire formation will be closed on Feb. 1.
    By Jamie gatchalian
    From: denver, co
    Dec 27, 2011

    Thanks, Peter!
    By gregory locker
    Apr 8, 2012

    Is the closure permanent or just seasonal?? if just seasonal when will it reopen.
    By Pinklebear
    Apr 8, 2012

    It's a seasonal closure. They usually run through the beginning of August but sometimes lift earlier depending on the birds. OSMP announces it on their site and usually in the Daily Camera when the seasonal closures lift.
    By Colin Lantz
    From: Nederland, CO
    Jul 30, 2012
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    Awesome route with fun moves. The "skinhead" is right before the bathtub big rest. Other pebble names I remember: "mono pebble", "peanut cluster", "pistol grip", "soap bar", "quahog", "clam". I used to do this route often while working on Honemaster Lambada.
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 14, 2012
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    Stefan Griebel and I will be rebolting this route replacing the old ring style bolts with brand new bomber hardwear. I currently have some gear up there (as of Oct. 14th). Please be respectful and leave the stuff up there. Hopefully in the next week or so it will get done, since we lugged tons of shit up there yesterday, got both of us to the top of the climb to simul-rap the route only to realize we didn't have a hammer. Got a good laugh out of that for sure. Thanks to Jason Haas for supplying the hardware....
    By Chris Beh
    Oct 15, 2012

    Excellent Curt and Stephen are replacing the hardware on Slave. It really is one of the coolest routes in the Flatirons. I worked it a few times when I was belaying Colin on his Honemaster project. He even had a small piece of closed cell foam to pad out the "bathtub" rest before the top crux on Slave. I never could really do the top one thought about knee bars back then. FWIW, I was chatting with Dan Michael about Slave last week, and he mentioned he never used the final rest off to the side and climbed straight through the top crux after the middle section. BURLY!!!!!
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Oct 26, 2012
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    I just bolted this route with Stefan Griebel. All shiny new hardware with some bomber chain anchors. She's looking good! I chose to relocate a few bolts which makes the rope line way straighter and some of the clips much easier. Couldn't get the old ass ring bolts out. Even tried using a hydraulic pump which ended up just snapping the steel biners we had attached to the rings. Ended up using a dremel tool and sawing off the old hardware and patching it. Thanks to Stefan Griebel for all the hard work (he spent 9 hours rebolting, sawing, and patching), the tools and the quick run back to the car midday to change out batteries for the drill. Stefan, you are a beast! Hope everyone enjoys. This line is a beauty!
    By Jason Haas
    Oct 27, 2012

    Just to add about the rebolt effort - hardware was provided by the ASCA. Please support them if you don't already.
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 20, 2015
    rating: 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c

    Thank you, Stefan, for taking care of the loose bolt. I appreciate it and so does the climbing community....
    By Patrick Pharo
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 15, 2016

    4th bolt (3rd real bolt on the the end of the initial traverse from left to right) is still junk. Doesn't look like the hole was drilled deep enough, or perhaps there's another culprit...but regardless the hanger definitely spins, and there is a fair bit of sleeve showing. Buyer, beware.

    Also, if that comment didn't cast a total pall on STTR, this one might:

    The good flake edge just past and left of "the skinhead" is no longer on the wall.

    Sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
    By Pinklebear
    Sep 16, 2016

    Maybe a glue-in is merited? If that bolt fails, you will likely deck due to the traversing nature of the route.

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