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Wind Tower - SW Face
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Calypso D irect Start T 
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Calypso Direct T 
Day 444 T 
Erickson's Wide Crack T 
G.Y. Dihedral, The T 
Governor's Climb, The T 
Hard-Up T 
I Did It My Way T,TR 
Jimmy Cliff T 
Left Out T 
Lemmings T 
My Own Way T,TR 
No, Do it My Way T 
Raisin Bran T 
Rastaman Roof T 
Recon T 
Reggae T 
Roofed Out T 
Salvation T 
Stagger T 
Tagger T 
Tigger T 
Tigger Plus T 
Variety T 
West Overhang T 
Wind Ridge T 
Wind Tower Slab T,TR 


YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Original:  YDS: 5.10b/c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Pat Ament, Larry Dalke, 1962. FFA: Jim Erickson, Jim Walsh, 1968.
Fixed Hardware: 2 Belay Bolts, 2 Lead Pins [details]
Page Views: 18,675
Submitted By: Patrick Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

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Derek and friend (Gary Ryan?) on part of his &quo...

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  • Description 

    This is a great climb.

    P1. Start with a technical .9 crack underneath an overhang. This pitch has a reputation for being hard to protect, bullocks, it accepts small stoppers without a problem. Break left, surmount the roof and belay at a tree with two bolts next to it.

    P2. Although one can do the crux roof from here, it is a pain in the ass. I do a short 5.6 pitch to the base of the dihedral that forms the crux roof. From here, climb up the dihedral (easy) and tackle the roof via several technical stemming type moves (solid 5.10) there is some 5.8 above the roof to a belay on a ledge. The pro in the roof (pins) isn't too bad, a #1 Camalot can be placed at the lip to further protect it.


    Bring several small stoppers in addition to a standard rack.

    Photos of Tagger Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Southwest face of the Wind Tower, showing the ...
    BETA PHOTO: The Southwest face of the Wind Tower, showing the ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Tagger.
    First pitch of Tagger.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Robinson on pitch 2/3.
    Mike Robinson on pitch 2/3.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Morley at the roof on pitch 2 of Tagger.
    Mike Morley at the roof on pitch 2 of Tagger.
    Rock Climbing Photo: First pitch of Tagger.
    First pitch of Tagger.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Steph in the business on P1
    Steph in the business on P1
    Rock Climbing Photo: Crux roof on pitch 2 of Tagger.
    Crux roof on pitch 2 of Tagger.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Theo pulling a sweet cross.
    Theo pulling a sweet cross.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Photo by Steph Laube
    Photo by Steph Laube
    Rock Climbing Photo: Eric Ming On 1st pitch of Tagger circa 1976/77.
    Eric Ming On 1st pitch of Tagger circa 1976/77.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Setup we used for P1.
    BETA PHOTO: Setup we used for P1.
    Rock Climbing Photo: If you're calm and do the moves right, this can se...
    If you're calm and do the moves right, this can se...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Just past a blue alien and #3 BD stopper placement...
    Just past a blue alien and #3 BD stopper placement...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline preparing to traverse under the roof...
    Christa Cline preparing to traverse under the roof...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Robinson Pitch 1
    Mike Robinson Pitch 1
    Rock Climbing Photo: Steph setting up for the crux on P1
    Steph setting up for the crux on P1
    Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on P1.  Photo by Steph Laube.
    Topping out on P1. Photo by Steph Laube.

    Comments on Tagger Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 1, 2016
    By Patrick Vernon
    From: Estes Park, CO
    Jan 1, 2001

    The R rating on this route is not necessary. The lower roof eats nuts and tcus. The upper roof has a jug on the right you can hang and place a bomber #1 cam from, and the moves out the roof (technical laybacking) are not too strenuous.
    By T. Maino
    From: Denver, CO
    Jan 1, 2001

    It should be noted that some people have gotten badly injured on the first pitch. If you [aren't] careful, you might place a nut that looks good but could easily be pulled out by a little bit of rope drag; also, the pin-scar tcus can be good if you take your time placing them
    By Kristo torgersen
    Aug 1, 2001

    On P1, I also found the gear adequate, but not great. If you don't feel solid at the 5.9 grade, I would suggest leading it. If you do, there is a super-bomber #3 WC nut placement behind a flake above the initial corner and before the arcing upper corner, where small cams and nuts can be placed, though a bit blindly.
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 27, 2001

    Unlike most 5.10 roofs, on P2 it is not a test of arm crank power. I have done it at least 3 times, and the crux for me is always delicate footwork before you can get your hand in the jam at the apex. There is a foothold for your left foot wwaayy left, seems too far. I remember stemming off this although last time I did this I couldn't figure out where I had my right foot and just dynoed for the hand jam (I was seconding). Even when you get the jam it is by no means over. Very tricky getting the feet above the lip. More footholds left near the arete help here, as I recall.
    By Ben F
    From: Benfield, Kolorado
    Sep 24, 2001

    A nice route. The first pitch is a bit more sustained than the 2nd. That being said, the 2nd pitch was one of the harder 10s I've led and I really thought I was going to fall. In this case I will pull the "its harder for short people" card. I had a better time with the few 11s in Eldo that I've done.
    By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
    Nov 7, 2001

    Second pitch beta (for stem-challenged folks): place some gear, namely a couple Aliens to back up the pin, and a #2.5 or 3 Friend just over the lip. Once these are in, you are totally safe. Layback/undercling/lurch and grab the slopey jug at the lip right of the corner with right hand, left hand leaning off the crack_the jam is probably taken up by a Friend. After pulling up, and craning your neck around for a while, you may notice that there appear to be no more handholds within reach to help with upward progress. Actually you are right, there are none. Swing your left foot over way left to the arete onto an unlikely foothold. At this point, start chimneying, by leaning your shoulder/back against the right wall/lip, using opposing pressure from your left foot. You end up pushing/sitting on the jug on the right, or, for extra style points, the right knee ends up on the same jug. Typical Eldo crux, baffling, counterintuitive, but ok once you have it figured out. No stemming, and no way is this harder for the vertically deprived. Of course, if you don't like move by move beta, don't read this comment.
    By Bryson Slothower
    Feb 8, 2002

    I did this for the third time today and have yet to do it the same way twice. I stemmed the whole way through the upper roof. I think it is harder than Grandmothers Challenge. I belay just after the roof on pitch two for ease of communication while bringing up the second.
    By M. Morley
    From: Sacramento, CA
    Apr 15, 2002

    P1 can be toproped by climbing Tigger (5.5) and traversing right to the big tree and bolt anchor.
    By Casey Bernal
    From: Arvada, CO
    Jun 10, 2002

    The first pitch is well protected but the gear is not [straightforward]. This wouldn't be a good first 9 lead but it is solid if you are good with tricky eldo placements. There are two starts mentioned by rossiter in his book. The real [Tagger] way is to start where [Calypso] starts and climb a shallow left leaning left facing dihedral up to the arching dihedral/roof. The other (which he gives a [separate] name- "I did it my way") seems more natural where you start further left and climb up and slightly right to the A shaped intersection before the arching left dihedral/roof. I have only climbed this second variation and found the protection to be quite adequate. The start is unprotected for 10 feet or so, so a ground spot is nice. The #3 WC rock is bomber. Red, yellow and green Aliens, a couple of medium cams and a few nuts sew it up. For the upper roof a red or yellow Alien can be used to back up the pin for the crux move. *skip if you don't want detailed beta.* Climbing beta for the roof: find a heel hook and [don't] layback until you pull yourself over the roof. Maybe I just like to jam cracks. It feels weird at first but i am sure this is the best way to do it. Great climb - casey bernal
    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 10, 2002

    I agree with Casey, "I did it my way" is an easier start and somewhat better protected. I had always assumed this was the normal start until I checked in Rossiter's guide.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jun 10, 2002
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I'd done it from the right all along. I guess that it just looks most natural since if you follow the roof crack down, that's where you end up.

    Most people seem to start on "I Did It My Way" and traverse right early- firing up "I Did It My Way" straight to the roof is pretty hard and sketchy. I consider myself a pro with pro, but I'd call it S. Maybe I went too far that way and should have stepped to the right. I put this variation on the web under its own name because the comments field had gotten so loaded up on tagger that I figured it probably would not be read. Rossiter listed it as a separate route as well.

    In any case, for the "most" direct line, pull the variation I called "My Own Way" straight through the arete. It is on the site as well.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 27, 2002

    The first pitch definitely warrants the R rating. Although the crack "eats" nuts, most of these placements are marginal. Furthermore, there are no good rests (for a .9) to fiddle with gear from, making an onsight lead a bit sketchy. The start is not too bad, with a textbook nut placement at the A-shaped overlap. However, beyond the overlap the crack angles up and left, providing very marginal nut placements that could very easily rip out with tension from a horizontal pull. It would be prudent to place a couple small TCUs (0 or 1 metolius) or a nest of nuts at the only good rest before commiting to the traverse. Placing gear mid-traverse is difficult, but heeding the temptation to run it out will set you up for a bone-crushing 10 to 15 foot fall right onto the slab below. This pitch was made for the R rating.
    By Chris Fisher
    Oct 19, 2002

    I lead the first pitch this weekend and found that the piton scars took nuts very well while leaving plenty of room for fingers. The roof was very straight forward but fun and all the holds were where they should be.
    By Michael Komarnitsky
    Founding Father
    From: Seattle, WA
    Nov 19, 2002

    FWIW (and for my own memory), here's my beta for the roof on p2. (thanks to Josh Janes for beta assistance):

    Get your right hand on the undercling that's just next to the corner, up higher than the bottom underclings (not as big/nice as the one to the right or the giant one lower). The key is to twist your hand 180 degrees from normal undercling position (think looking down your tricep). Left hand is somewhere (damn, already forgot what I did with it. It's ok, this isn't hard yet). Walk your feet up as high as possible on the right face, then reach out to the shelf with your left hand. Left foot on little nubbin on left face, right hand reaches out to undercling by pin. Match feet, then stretch left with left foot to big foothold. Shift left with body, match on shelf with hands, then left hand into the corner jam. Right hand slightly above and grab sidepull edge. Bump left foot up, then right foot on shelf.

    At least, that's how I did it.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Nov 20, 2002
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    I've done Tagger perhaps a dozen times that I can recall. Although I've done it a little different each time, I've never tried the twisted undercling as described above, which sounds anatomically awkward. Most of the difficulty in this route can be avoided by stepping back and to the right up under the roof a few times to stems and drop-knees while moving the hands. Not many people seem to do this though.
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 11, 2003

    I've done the upper roof 5 times or so (and P1 oodles of times, to set a toprope, etc.). Every time on the upper roof, I've been temporarily utterly baffled, then worked it out after several approaches. I do it similar to T. Bubb, with real stretchy stemming to get out the roof, then a lieback around the lip, until you can grap the jug above. I've led it every time except one (including onsight as my 2nd 5.10 ever), and never fallen, but the one time I followed it (one of the last times), I fell -- go figure.
    By M. Morley
    From: Sacramento, CA
    Jun 12, 2003

    I've avoided leading the first pitch for years frightened away by Rossiter's description of having "no good stances for stopping and placing gear", difficult-to-find placements, and being the scene of several accidents. After finally leading it, I don't get it. The placements are solid, with rests-a-plenty. If you are competent placing gear, you shouldn't have difficulty with this.
    By XOG
    Jun 22, 2003

    I was almost one of the accidents p1 is noted for in 1991 sometime. I'd never led anything harder than 5.6, and not very many of those, although I'd followed as hard as 11c, and a partner sandbagged me into leading it at the end of a winter day, 40 degrees with snow at the base (thanks, Steve). I had no idea what the climb was, but had the beginning leader's willingness to try. On the way up a local climbing ethics authority was heading down the trail with several pitons dangling from his harness. He informed us he'd just removed them from p1 of Tagger. I started up and put a #1 Rock half in a pin scar. I knew it was pathetic. I then proceeded up the curving crack and put a nut in there which I thought was good. The crack traversing left was wet and I put a Friend in there. I was almost finished traversing and had just placed a really good stopper when I freaked out and fell. Why I didn't just grab the stopper, I'll never know. I heard one snick as the Friend popped out and another as the "excellent" nut pulled. The crappy #1 half in a pin scar held me! When I got home I opened up Erickson's guidebook (the only one I had) and read the first sentence, "Scene of frequent accidents and mishaps...." I'd tend to agree with what several people here have written that for an experienced leader this is probably a pretty well-protected pitch. However, its short approach and proximity to large numbers of classic easier routes probably make it tempting for inexperienced leaders to attempt (or be sandbagged into leading as I was) this climb and I'd guess that this along with the fact that the pro while good is also a bit tricky to place, contributes to the accident factor. I imagine modern pro like Aliens and TCUs help a lot too - we didn't have these on our rack in 1991 (although I think TCUs at least were around then).
    By David Conlin
    Oct 8, 2003

    My partner, Mike Flannagan, led this today in great style. He sewed up the first pitch and I would say for the competent leader, experienced with nut placements, this pitch is well-protected. (Of course, some of these placements weren't the easiest to remove). Seconding, I found plenty of rests to remove the gear that Mike placed. I thought the crux of P1 was down low, right after exiting the A-shaped overlap. P2 was much less sustained, with only a few moves through the .10c crux.

    SHAMELESS BETA (stop here if you don't want it): P2: move into the corner on easy climbing. Find a huge hold out right for your right hand and undercling the dihedral with your left. Move left foot to intermediate crystal, stem right foot higher. Move first left hand, then right to match on jug on the overhanging face, just right of the crack. Move left foot to good dish out left (tall folks may be able to reach this without the intermediate crystal) and stem right even higher (now you should be quite spread out. Left hand up and sidepull crack, right hand to just above left hand, step left foot up high and stand up. Boo-ya it's over.

    Someone should remove the piton in the overhanging crack on P2; its easy enough to place good cams and it just gets in the way and seems suspect.
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Nov 10, 2003
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I recall the pitch 2 roof being the oddest sequence I've experienced in my years of climbing. I did it facing outward for the first two moves. Myke suggests matching your right foot with your left foot on the tiny nubbin. If you face outward (this is possible due to the size of the undercling hold for your right hand), your right foot can go immediately to the nubbin, your right hand into the "undercling by pin," and then follow sequence as Myke finishes. *I've GOT to try this again sometime.*

    This was my first lead of this grade and somehow I got the On Sight. Can't say I wasn't fired up! Finished the day with the Northcutt Start. One of my best days of climbing ever.~Wm
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Feb 20, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I took Sally out to climb the first pitch today. Great day and not a lot of meltwater on the route at all. Bring small nuts for the rock and big nuts for your leader. I placed three RPs first 30'. You CAN sew this up. There should never have been accidents here (granted I do not know the particular circumstances). As long as you bring two green Aliens and a few RPs. Just as David says, some won't be easy to pull. See the CB's discussion on Rock Booty. I worked on an RP for the better part of five minutes on rappell today. Part of the job.

    In any case, there are decent stances if you trust your feet and there is good gear if you can place nuts. Climb a few Eldo 5.9s before this one if you're thinking about making it a first. I feel as though it's one of the most solid 5.9s in the canyon (.9+ excluded of course). In short, be careful and bring the approrpiate equipment. I'm usually the retard with Big Bros on my rack in Eldo... I call it weight training, but it's also nice to have them when the situation calls for them, rare as that may be.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Feb 21, 2004

    William - I've seen plenty of women lead this pitch; none of which had big nuts. Maybe large ovaries are a worthy substitute?
    By William McGehee
    From: Choctaw, OK
    Feb 27, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Scott, that's awesome. Perhaps they DO suffice. A note on the roof: Again, I did it facing outwards. I'm still not sure how that happened, but I like it. I think it has to do with the lack of [accessibility] of the toe-pocket on the left face at the crux. It's easier to reach when you do a pull-up facing outwards, then you can slap around the arete... Definitely had no style, just brutish roar-factor.

    BEE MINDFUL OF THE BEES at the beelay. There were about 80 of them swarming around my partner Steve's head yesterday afternoon. Look for honeycomb in the crack on the way up for extra-credit!

    By spanky
    Mar 1, 2004

    on pitch 2 roof, has anyone else done what i did and just underclinged the whole thing? the holds under the roof just seemed too far to the right to be of any use. i must say that doing it this way the roof didn't seem to be any harder than its given rating.
    By Adam Hicks`
    May 3, 2004

    [Spanky], I did that as well-just underclinged as I walked my feet along until I could get my left hand in the V. It didn't seem that hard like this, just kind of funky, but overall not bad. I agree it was right for the grade, maybe even a little soft.
    By Shane Zentner
    From: Colorado
    Sep 5, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Strenuous crux but well protected. Nice ragged alien offset in the roof crack. I struggled at the lip, but managed to pull myself over the roof. I placed a #2 camalot at the lip, stemmed WAY out with my left foot on nubbins (smearing), lay backed the roof, reached high with my left hand and pulled myself over. Solid 5.10.
    By Ernie Port
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Sep 25, 2004
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    It appears many people are misled and intimidated by [what's] been written regarding the difficulty of placing solid gear on P1 of this route. IMO the first pitch can be led safely, with 6 pieces or less, and placed from decent stances... if you keep your head, trust your feet, and bring the right gear. Small Aliens... black, blue, green, yellow and a few small stoppers sew this up reasonably well.IMO there is what I consider decent edging all the way up through this crack. A text book yellow Alien placement or the like, near the middle of the arching crack, should be all a [competent] (9) leader needs in the last 8' or so to the corner. If you get to that point without incident, the corner should be no problem, and not require any additional pro...just send it! There are additional placements if you do feel the need. I placed a #2 Camalot a few feet above the corner just for grins, but its very easy climbing to the chains... Agree with Shane and others on P2 roof technique. I did it a similiar way, although I was following on that pitch. I layed the corner back and smeared up the face, hooking the left hand out around the block to the left. The long stem left seemed too far for me, but in hindsight, I think I'll try that technique next time, as my shorter partner used it, and made it look easy..
    By Michael Amato
    Nov 3, 2004

    Climbed Tagger today, followed P1 and led P2. Though I followed the first pitch, it appeared to have adequate pro (TCUs) and decent stances from which to place it. For me, the crux on the second pitch depended critically on my initial body position. After struggling with several attempts, I found that turning left under the big roof, facing out and pulling up with palms facing me on the large horizontal edge above allowed me to make an otherwise futile step left (I am 5'-9") to a dark smudge on the left face. I stuck my right foot somewhere and then used the inobvious edge/flake straight above on the left wall for my left hand, repositioned my right hand, almost mantling with it on the big edge, and continued with intuitive and now forgotten moves over the roof. After pumping out simply trying to assess what I was going to try to do, I ended up climbing this section with very little power, but rather with a few finesse moves... all totally dependent on my initial body position.
    By Jason Shatek
    May 5, 2005
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Led P2 for the first time tonight, WHOA what an awesome climb. We did P1 of [Tigger] and set up belay at the last ledge about 30-40 feet below the roof and it worked out really well. Although I had to hang dog my first time through the roof. 1 or 2 more times and I will redpoint this one for sure.


    The protection is this, piton, fixed green Alien, piton and then I stuck a purple Friend high in the lip of the roof (though I would have probably used a bigger size in retrospect as it wasn't cammed all that well). Facing the left wall, you can work your right foot up on a series of ledges on the right side of the dihedral, just keep working the right foot up as this is key. Your left foot consists of crappy [crystal] to crappy crystal to crappy ledge, all the while laying back on the crack and moving the right foot up. I'm 6'1" and once my left foot was on the crappy ledge and my right foot was on the highest right ledge; I then could turn and grab the left side of the crack over the overhang with my left hand and a good hold just right of the crack with my right hand. This is where some grunting comes in, once you have those two holds you can move your left foot up to a bomber ledge and then its over. But that last move takes some effort as the position felt weird.

    Also, the crack above and below the roof is really excellent!!! Bring lots of small to medium stoppers as I ran out and was pissed I couldn't get a bomber placement up above. I would say bring two sets of stoppers to sew it up.
    By Jason Shatek
    May 26, 2005
    rating: 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Finally redpointed this one last night. On P2 - the pitons look OK, but the fixed green Alien is now pretty suspect. I took a couple falls on it last week and it held but you can back it up with a yellow Alien just below. Also, I skipped putting in a cam at the lip this time, its too strenuous and makes it so you can't grab the good hand hold in the crack. I fell a few times last week onto the green Alien one move before going over the roof and just fell to my feet it wasn't a hard fall at all. Thus, I'll skip the lip placement from here on out.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Oct 28, 2005

    I would have to agree with Jason about the placement at the lip of the roof on pitch 2. I led it for the first time today and skipped the placement at the lip. [It] appeared as though a placement at the lip would just take away a good hand hold and you can get tons of gear in the roof itself. I fell once at almost the lip, and the angle of the wall in relation to your placements in the roof makes for a surprisingly soft landing. Great route, solid 5.10
    By Jack Gerber
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 12, 2006

    I did Tagger this morning and found a bee's nest on the second pitch, 20 feet after the crux roof. My partner had to exit left and finish on Wind Ridge.
    By patrick kadel
    Jun 29, 2006
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

    A word about the bee's nest...the hive is not on this route, it is about 10 feet to the right of the route and about 20 feet from where you will belay. It is a non-issue. Maybe the bees moved???
    By Jay Samuelson
    From: Denver CO
    Dec 9, 2006
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Good first pitch, solid stances to place gear and plenty of placements to keep the mind at ease. I've now placed the above mentioned nut that has pulled both times once past the piece placed after it (3 - 4 feet). Both times I used a sport quickdraw, maybe extending it would help. As for the climbing on the second pitch; good, solid moves, fun stance, I would recommend just letting your body tell you how to do this one. I tried stemming my way out originally, but I found it easier to just undercling/lieback to the edge, and get my left foot up high. Fun climb.

    • *watched a veteran sew this thing up with nuts and just a few TCUs today; while her belayer had a broken wrist. funny to think of myself trembling up there while these ladies get it done without all the fuss. Awesome 05/16/08.
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    Jul 9, 2007

    It concerns me that some posters are encouraging nut placements below the roof on P1. Take it for what it's worth, but I only found 1 nut placement in that section that would hold a fall if the piece was wrenched sideways. (This would be the case for most falls on that pitch). Bring the nuts for over the roof and beyond, though, 'cause it eats 'em up! Also, I suggest not belaying at the chains; take it all the way up to where the Tigger roof cuts left, and belay there for P2. Great climb.
    By Meredith DB
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 15, 2007

    The fixed blue/green offset Alien and piton at the crux roof are still OK - they held several of my falls today, at least.

    Also, we didn't see any bees.
    By Mike Munger
    From: Boulder, Colorado
    Aug 1, 2007

    The Alien in the P2 roof has been removed.
    By max seigal
    From: boulder
    Aug 24, 2007
    rating: 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a

    This is a super fun route. One can belay in the crack about 20 feet below the crux roof (making it more comfortable with your belayer right below you). For taller people, this route is not that bad.
    By Paul Hunnicutt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Feb 24, 2008
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    Totally agree this isn't a great first Eldo 9 lead. Laybacking and slippery. Placements are all there, just easy to slip off I think. I pretty much laybacked the roof on P2 off the slopey "jug" on the right side. With one hand in the undercling and one on the slopey my left foot way out on a v-shaped divot then matched hands on the slopey thing...then pulled into the crack and cranked my feet up and eventually up onto the big flat spot for the left foot. Then, it is pretty much over. Kind of a 5.8 with a boulder problem in the middle. I liked the first pitch a lot more. 2nd is a one move wonder, though a cool move. Offset cams useful for the 1st pitch.
    By Andy Laakmann
    Site Landlord
    From: Bend, OR
    Oct 23, 2008
    rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b PG13

    Great route.

    P1 is not to be taken lightly in my opinion. I placed plenty of solid gear, off good stances, but there was ample opportunity not to do so.... Many of the stances are somewhat devious IMO. I recommend small C3s/Aliens for the upper arching crack of P1, as nuts would probably pop/zipper out from the sideways and upwards pulls. I felt plenty safe, but it was very easy to see how people would rip gear (particularly nuts) and deck per the guidebook's description. I would only recommend this pitch to solid 5.10 leaders.

    P2 is a three move wonder, but it is pretty damn fun! A gold Camalot goes in nicely just past the lip - strenuous to place but (for me) better than the alternative of crashing back onto the slab :) I got the onsight, and it felt like burly 10c to me, but I could see how once you knew the moves it might feel more like 10b or so. I didn't have one, but a red C3 would fit perfectly above the pin (mine was in the anchor). I placed a orange Metolius master cam instead....
    By Greg Collins
    Nov 11, 2008

    I'm really surprised about the mixed comments on pitch 1. This is relatively straightforward to protect with modern gear - if you have a set of offset Aliens even more so (I didn't place a single nut). Not trying to be macho, just to say that it's a really fun pitch and those who climb 5.9 (even if not 'solid') shouldn't avoid it due to rumors of hard to place gear or no stances - both abound.
    By P.D.Williams
    From: Lakewood
    Jul 8, 2009

    Bring your smallest wired stoppers, copperheads, etc for the first pitch. The first one I place pulled out and created a sizeable runout. P2 is challenging - it took be a few tries; I'm not tall so maybe that's part of it.
    By clint dillard
    From: Louisville, Co
    Oct 24, 2009

    Somehow I fell out of the handjam over the roof on P2 yesterday, I think someone pushed me but not sure. Anyway I took a nice whip on the pin under the roof and it held strong. I did have it backed up with a small cam, but all the force was on the pin. Drop test complete on the pin, at least for a little while longer.
    By Clint Locks
    From: Boulder
    May 11, 2010

    Nice to know, Clint. 'Always liked you...especially when you do the dirty work for us.
    By dameeser
    From: denver
    Aug 28, 2010

    Drop test on p2 pin was a success. Fun fall even though my feet did hit the ground a little.
    By Jeff G.
    From: Fort Collins
    Mar 14, 2011

    Pitch one can be protected well, but it takes some work and can get you pumped. I think the first pitch is one of the more sandbagged routes in Eldo, feels like 10c every time I lead it.
    By Tommy Ormond
    From: Eldorado Springs, CO
    Aug 9, 2011

    Got my feet way left, pressed the side of my head against the right side, and got a no hands rest in the middle of the crux. Then my foot skittered, and I over gripped like a school girl and got out of there. Awesome route, all of it. First pitch is cake to protect, no sweat.
    By YDPL8S
    From: Santa Monica, Ca.
    Aug 9, 2011
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    That 1st pitch is one of those pitches where it's amazing that there are so many different ways to do it, when it feels like there is so little there to work with. The key for me was "trust your feet", use opposition (pseudo-stem), and don't hang around looking.

    That picture of Mic soloing it makes me want to puke, some people just have skills that others don't.
    By Noah McKelvin
    From: Colorado Springs
    Apr 27, 2013
    rating: 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b

    Cool route. P1 accepts gear well. The piton on the P2/3 roof is bomber. I don't see it coming out for a while. Besides great gear is right by it. You really don't need anything bigger than a #1. Lots of nutting.
    By NickinCO
    From: colorado
    Apr 19, 2014
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    My $0.02 since I've followed it a couple times and finally did it on lead yesterday. If you pay attention to your footwork, no gear placement is strenuous and it's definitely not R-rated, or even PG-13 for that matter. I never had gear below my feet and as soon as you get to the alcove there's a pseudo no-hands rest and a #0.75 C4 at your waist that is bomber. The rest of the crack sews up with small Metolius cams and C3s. Shortly into the horizontal-ish crack, there's a huge jug, and if you pay attention to your feet here, you barely need to weigh it.

    As for pitch 2, I followed it and got worked.
    By bonnie bonbits
    From: colorado front range
    Jun 14, 2014

    Honestly, leading the first section of the 5.9 pitch scares me more than leading the roof/crux section of the 5.10c pitch. The start of the first pitch feels indeed "stacked" to me with lots of "delicate" at best stances, with just a few, meaning literally three, "decent" stances, from which to place blind, tricky, mediocre protection at best. I certainly wouldn't want to risk let alone actually take a fall here. The theme to the first thirty feet: MIND YER BITS! Sadly, it's not R rating, no matter how much you're crying inside, and I earnestly know it's not even PG-13. -insert audible sigh here- meow, as fer the 10c roof protection bits: !@#$% !WARNING BETA BITS SURE TO ENSUE! %$#@! Pro: I'm almost certain I placed an orange TCU (though perhaps maybe a yellow) just before (nearly next to) the piton, I also clipped the piton, and placed a gray 0.4 BD C4 after the piton. (Then, my head case self "took" here and proceeded to make a "power equallette" out of a 4' sling and four locking biners to "beef up" and equalize the piton and TCU together - that TCU is in quite the shallow crack, and the crack is a bit rather composed of broken bits as well - and yes, I DO indeed carry all that shite on my harness, aka aluminum tutu.) Next, get a bomber hand jam from which to place a decent #1. The moves: footwork is KEY, be prepared to dance, and just as many others have mentioned, that happy plate of a jug ledge that literally bites back is oh so delicious! It easily holds both hands so you can hang out, dance, match sans piano bits, or just focus on jetting that bomber hand jam or placing that decent #1. The next beta bits, as for climbing out of the roof: I found that the Nov. 7, 2001 comment from Steve "Crusher" Bartlett sums it up best: "After pulling up, and craning your neck around for a while, you may notice that there appear to be no more handholds within reach to help with upward progress. Actually you are right, there are none. Swing your left foot over way left to the arete onto an unlikely foothold. At this point, start chimneying, by leaning your shoulder/back against the right wall/lip, using opposing pressure from your left foot. You end up pushing/sitting on the jug on the right, or, for extra style points, the right knee ends up on the same jug. Typical Eldo crux, baffling, counterintuitive, but ok once you have it figured out," and that's it, folks. Pitch 1, the 5.9, is type 2 fun. Pitch 2, the 5.10c, is "holy, man! I just did that! How awesome!" Kind of fun. ~bonbon
    By SendaGorilla Bishop
    From: Boulder
    Feb 11, 2015

    Wow! What a fantastic route! One of my favorite in Eldo, so far, for sure! I was literally laughing and giggling the whole way up...especially the 1st pitch! What a blast!

    For those of you who have not done it and are in here contemplating leading it based off of these MP users and the "guidebook"--forget them...JUST DO IT!
    Don't mind the naysayers!
    This thing ( including the 1st pitch) is definitely NOT "R" rated...not even PG-13..or even PG. I had PLENTY of good stances..and ample opportunity to place bomber... yes, bomber placements! And everything was there...good feet...great jams!

    Sure...maybe if you're a 5.10 sport climber fresh out of Boulder Canyon and used to clipping up bolt ladders, this will probably freak you out--BUT, if you have climbed in Eldo a few times and have led a few .9s here...then sack up and SEND this thing! Trust me, you won't be disappointed!
    By Andrew Locke
    From: Louisville, CO
    Apr 22, 2015
    rating: 5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

    I'll comment again when I do the second pitch, but here are my thoughts on the first pitch:

    It's frickin awesome. You should do it, like right now. The gear is a little awkward, but it's all good. I took a few good falls on nuts, and nothing pulled. I haven't done too many 5.9s, but this one felt harder and more committing than any of the 9s I've done. It was comparable to the first pitch of C'est La Vie, though shorter, and the gear a little trickier.
    By Theodore Morrow
    From: Golden, Co
    Feb 23, 2016

    This was my first 5.9 trad lead. If you haven't led much trad, listen up here....GREAT ROUTE. Also pretty scary. I had done one finger crack in Lumpy Ridge once before this, so my finger crack technique is non-existent. Also it takes 'em a couple of tries on nut/cam size usually too. Now that you know I clearly am not an accomplished trad climber, let me tell you how it went. Cool cross to the jug under the roof, clipped a fixed nut there which felt pretty bomb, and used the massive underclings to get to the jugs and pull the first roof. I was scared so much on this route due to my gear placements being shitty and the route being delicate. Top roped it again, and it was pretty easy, will go again and do the second pitch next time for sure!

    PS: had trouble setting nuts in the finger crack due to glassiness (one fell out when I pulled the roof).
    By mountainhick
    From: Black Hawk, CO
    Oct 1, 2016
    rating: 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b

    Having led the first pitch many times, it protects quite well for me. I think the R rating comes more from the days when it originally went free without the plethora of small cans in use these days. You CAN find good nut placements and augmented with TCUs, etc, it is good pro, and stances are fine. Perhaps not great for the budding 5.9 leader as it is pretty sustained, but use your feet well, and it's not pumpy.

    Led second pitch yesterday, hadn't been on it since the mid '80s. Resorted to a couple hangs at the lip to get a cam placement sorted and figure out the moves. Seemed very hard comparatively for the grade. Went and led Outer Space afterward, which seemed casual in comparison. Likewise, March of Dimes' third pitch is much easier. Tagger roof seems more comparable to Northcutt Start in difficulty though very different style of climbing. Maybe just me, but Tagger roof is burly!

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