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The Joker 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Original:  YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: F.A. Alan Nelson & Richard Wright, 7/95
Page Views: 2,246
Submitted By: Peter Franzen on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (70)
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BETA PHOTO: The route after the modification. No more blocks a...

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  • Description 

    This route starts about 10 feet to the left of the leaning tree on the main wall. It follows the slab up to an overhanging dihedral and then to some more straightforward climbing to the anchors.


    Quickdraws. 7 bolts & a 2 bolt anchor.

    Photos of The Joker Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: A missing hold.
    A missing hold.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Joker.
    The Joker.

    Comments on The Joker Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 13, 2017
    By Bill Wright
    Jul 16, 2002

    This is fun, varied route with a brutal and deceiving opening sequence. Above that is a weird flare that feels very awkward and insecure. Finally, it finishes with burly lieback moves.
    By richard magill
    Aug 21, 2002

    Did this route again last night and I have to say this is a pretty great line for a 6 bolt 11b. It overhangs the whole way and stays in your face with slippery feet and hidden holds - it couldn't be much better. I think it is one of the better middle 11 sport routes in all of Boulder Canyon.
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 14, 2004

    People tend to get shutdown on this route. Having a hair-raising and pumping experience on the onsight, I agree that this route is quality and fun. Having watched most climbers get shutdown hard, I understand why some do not regard it so highly. Relax, have fun, and pull hard - this route is cool.
    By Bob Rotert
    May 1, 2008

    Funny to see Elanor getting an 11+ rating and this route 11b on this site. I would agree with the 11 rating for this route. It actually feels harder than Elanor to me. From what I've seen with other folks climbing it, I bet Elanor gets onsighted more than this route. My point being Elanor at 11+ is probably quite over rated. The ratings in Bolter Canyon sure are wacky... But then BC is its own world.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 1, 2008
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    I think it is because Elanor one is more sustained and people burn out. I felt more pressed on that one. I suppose The Joker could be more technical, but doesn't punch as hard at the top....
    By Brian Adzima
    From: San Francisco
    Jul 16, 2008

    Not very similar Elanor, there is a sit down rest 1/2 way, although it feels rather obscene.
    By OkieGirl
    From: Boulder finally
    Aug 10, 2008

    The opening moves are kind of reachy and the landing is not great and if you're short like me (5'4"), it's hard to hang the first draw from a safe stance. If the draw is already hung, clipping the rope is possible.
    Luckily, some nice boys let me use their stick clip pole thingy.
    By Phil Lauffen
    From: The Bubble
    Jun 1, 2011

    Polished and Grovelly(sp?), with a necessary tree encounter at the top. There are more worthy warmups at Easter Rock.
    By Glen Charnoski
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 26, 2015
    rating: 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Warm-up? Who on earth would warm-up on this one? Right from the get go, you have to reach high off a sketchy block to clip the first bolt, then crimp like hell off opposing side-pulls, grovel your feet left, pull hard and throw to a rounded bump with the right hand, then reach way out left, and continue on insecure verticalness to the top. My partner and I were quite pumped after this 2nd route of the day and felt ready to just go home (but we stayed to flail on more routes). Eleanor was more sustained for sure, but this had a more technical, insecure, and just plain weird start.
    By Josiah Cooper
    From: Lenexa, KS
    Aug 27, 2015
    rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a PG13

    Definitely a low crux on this one and very technical, which doubtless lends heavy credence to its name! Be sure you have a good belayer, as a fall after the first bolt could mean a deck on the block. Very sustained movement afterwards, and largely a mental game! Breathe easy and finish strong!
    By mc kaiser
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 13, 2017

    I climbed this yesterday and changed the route forever. On the last lieback section I reached for a jug before a large ledge, and upon grabbing it, heard a faint creaking, and suddenly began to fall backwards with a large 6 x 4ish flake in my hands. Fortunately, I'm pretty large, and my belayer (thinking quickly) hopped up while my fall pulled him up and safely away from the rock fall zone. I only came away with a bruised leg and chest, and my partner was unscathed.
    The scary part about this is that the flake looked totally solid and is very clearly the way the route went. It's now probably a letter grade or two harder. No bolts appear to have been impacted. Wear a helmet! Even if it's 'just' sport climbing.
    By Brady Robinson
    May 13, 2017

    The rockfall event referenced by mc kaiser was major - there was debris visible all around the base of the route today. The trail itself was damaged by the impact. It is miraculous that no one was injured, it easily could have killed the belayer. We did not climb the route but found a few large rocks around the base with chalk on them, so we knew a part of a route and fallen off.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    May 14, 2017

    So 6x4 meaning 6 feet by 4 feet? Wow! I know that the top of that route was always a little unconsolidated but yikes!
    By Brady Robinson
    Jun 2, 2017

    The route still goes in its new form, it's actually more interesting now. From the highest layback next to the rock scar, exit left on slopers and mantel onto the pillar. Maybe a little harder now?
    By Branty
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 25, 2017

    The route is certainly more difficult now! Glad nobody was hurt when the rockfall happened.

    Some of the carnage:
    Rock Climbing Photo: A missing hold.
    A missing hold.
    By Dan Hickstein
    Sep 13, 2017

    We climbed this route today, and there didn't seem to be any more loose death-blocks. The high crux (where I think the flake must have fallen off) is now somewhere around 11d. I stepped left onto some slopers (after some hang-dogging).

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