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The Agony and Ecstasy 

YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ ZA: 32 British: E8 7a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ ZA: 32 British: E8 7a [details]
FA: Direct start Peter Beal, Upper arete Mark Rolofson
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,574
Submitted By: Peter Beal on May 14, 2002

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The crux of The Agony and Ecstasy.

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  • Description 

    Ecstasy of the People is the striking bolted arete just left of Enemy of the People and was originally climbed with a traversing start by Mark Rolofson. Now the direct start goes free as a V10 boulder problem, making the upper, balancy, 12d arete that much more insecure. The whole line is now one of the classic hard free routes in Boulder Canyon, so train small crimps and have at it.

    Full disclosure: I climbed the start with the first three bolts (which are 2 feet apart) clipped. The first one is a mandatory stick clip, as is the second one. If you fall from the last hard move with just the first two clipped, you stand a good chance of hitting the rope (and maybe the starting ledge?) since the low bolt doesn't keep you out of the way. Since I'm a wuss, and the start is truly a boulder problem, I decided to play it safe.

    (Now that this route, despite being one of the most striking lines in the Boulder area, has gone five (make that nine as of 2011) years without a repeat, I am upgrading it to 5.14a in the hope that it will gain more traffic and there will emerge a consensus on the difficulty.)


    9 bolts/anchors maybe a midsized stopper at the top (it's about twenty feet to the anchor from the last bolt).

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    Comments on The Agony and Ecstasy Add Comment
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    By Anonymous Coward
    May 25, 2002

    Nice tick, Peter!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Mar 1, 2004

    Where is this climb? - what crag? - thanks.
    By Chris O'Connor
    From: boulder, co
    May 25, 2011

    Hi Peter,
    I'm curous about what your suggested grade was before you upgraded it? I heard some folks are getting psyched on it. Maybe it will see some repeats.
    By Jonathan Siegrist
    From: his truck
    Apr 16, 2014

    This is a great little route! Fun boulder problem with varied holds and movement into a stellar arete / flared crack feature. Honestly, I was surprised - I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Not sure on the grade, I'm horrible at rating boulder problems and this is by all means just a 8 move boulder. My guess would be that it's more 13d as Peter originally proposed. Who knows. More people should climb this!

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