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The Scientist 

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

Type:  Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.11a/b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Bob D'Antonio and Vaino Kodas
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 6,760
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Feb 22, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (149)
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Ethan getting into the crux on the Scientist..

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  • Description 

    This is a three star route that takes a direct line up the beautiful clean slab just left of "Rama" on the Plotinus Wall. Clip the first bolt and make a nice move up to the second bolt. Make a difficult move past the second bolt, then a another dicey move to reach the crack. Place the Aliens and move up over a small roof. Follow the line of bolts up the clean face to a two-bolt anchor. One of the best slab pitches in the canyon.


    Eight bolts, green and blue Aliens will get you to a two-bolt anchor.

    Photos of The Scientist Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Jeff McLeod on the Scientist, 5.11a.
    Jeff McLeod on the Scientist, 5.11a.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Plotinus Wall, middle.
    BETA PHOTO: Plotinus Wall, middle.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Scientist, Boulder Canyon.
    The Scientist, Boulder Canyon.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Scientist! Fun route! Picture taken while we w...
    The Scientist! Fun route! Picture taken while we w...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Unknown climber clipping the 4th bolt on the Scien...
    Unknown climber clipping the 4th bolt on the Scien...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Nick on "The Scientist".
    Nick on "The Scientist".
    Rock Climbing Photo: (I thought this was a cool shot of the route hope ...
    (I thought this was a cool shot of the route hope ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: This high step didn't work for Paul. If you're tal...
    This high step didn't work for Paul. If you're tal...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike Amato making the reach to the slanting crack ...
    Mike Amato making the reach to the slanting crack ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Veronica sending.
    Veronica sending.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The Scientist, Boulder Canyon.
    The Scientist, Boulder Canyon.

    Comments on The Scientist Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 17, 2016
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Mar 17, 2003

    This route is truly one of the best slab climbs in the area. Bring one thin finger-size piece for the crack or face a fairly scary but moderate stretch for the third bolt. Superb rock and excellent climbing, only slightly marred by the last ledge. A must-do.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 11, 2003
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Good climb if you like small crimping. Actually, pretty good climb if you don't, but you probably won't on-sight it- because that's what kind of climb it is. I like this route, which seemed to be a cosmic premeditated revenge upon me for downgrading everything else at the cliff. You are going to 'nickle and dime' your way up the route, so take the appropriate shoes.

    If you like thin climbing (Eldo climbers, think 'Gravity's Angel' or 'Prince of Darkness') and want a bolt at your chest for the crux, this is 2*'s if you don't like thin stuff, it's one.

    Harder than Bobsled, Sleepless in Boulder, Tooth Fairy, etc... At 5'10" and even with a +6" ape index, I was 2" from the crux hold from the good stance, so I still had to do a significant move. I toe hooked and went sideways to hit it static with the right (wrong) hand and had to piano switch to get to the big move right. I was wearing shoes that my foot literally hangs out the side of... but I think it's hard in any shoes- maybe VERY HARD for shorter people.

    If all you brought was draws and no gear- no fear. The moves above where you'd make the placement are not that hard and the distance to the next bolt is not severe. This line goes pretty mellow without any trad gear. It's still not S. I took a cam at the suggestion of a pal, but it was easier to do 5.8 move than to try to place the cam and clip it from a 5.10 stance since the bolt was just left of my feet.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Jul 15, 2003

    RE Tony's comment about the gear: If hanging off a jug and placing a small TCU feels like 5.10, the moves getting to the next bolt will definitely not feel like 5.8. This section isn't really s-rated climbing but feels a bit out of place considering the otherwise closely spaced bolts. I've done this route four or five times and consider placing the piece a lot more casual than going without.
    By Craig Quincy
    Jul 18, 2003
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    Slab-a-licious! Sticking in the gear in between the 2 and 3rd bolts is half the fun and quite welcome. Watch out for the loose rocks on the ledge when pulling the rope.
    By TBD
    Jul 21, 2003
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Perhaps I didn't do it as it was intended, but the fourth bolt seemed to pull me too far to the right. I moved left from the holds just over the small roof. Great climbing overall.
    By Charles Vernon
    From: Tucson, AZ
    Aug 6, 2003
    rating: 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c

    Fantastic climb, thanks Bob and Vaino. I had a raging calf-pump going by the time I reached the crack (I found the moves not only thin and balancy but difficult to decipher), and I was *very* happy to plug in a cam. I didn't think the moves to the next bolt were all that moderate! I also felt the climbing was quite similar to Gravity's Angel in Eldo--slightly harder, but fewer cruxes.
    By Brian Milhaupt
    From: Golden, CO
    Mar 11, 2004
    rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Great route. Tricky footwork gains the crux handhold. Glad to see there aren't bolts near the crack.
    By Chris Malke
    Jun 2, 2004
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    I think this is a great route. I really like balancy slab routes and this one definitely fits this category. I think 11a is appropriate, especially for taller people. Moving at the second bolt requires a pretty far but decent left hand crimper. I'm 5'11'' and I barely reached it. My buddy was an inch shorter and he had to add a pretty crappy foot move. Just watch it as you're going for that really big ledge just before the anchors, some loose stuff there. I ripped off a hold and took a nice 15 footer, so be careful. Otherwise, highly recommended.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Feb 7, 2006

    For the average-height or less, average-to-heavier-than-average, average-to-less-than-average climber, smearing above the good foothold, this climb will beat up your left hand fingertips and you may get some blood blisters. Ow! Bring your slippers. Nonetheless, it is an aesthetic, intriguing sport climb. Kudos to the FAists!
    By SirVato
    From: Boulder
    Jun 23, 2006
    rating: 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    Sweet Route BobD/Vaino!! I am one of those short persons, at 5'4".
    I had to make a shitty left foot smear to get to the left hand crimp (it took me a couple of tries high stepping w/ the right to figure this out). Then, the move to the crack I had to let go of the rock and just teeter over 'til I could make a last second thrutch for the crack. From the ground, we thought the roof would be most difficult, but after all the slabbing down low the roof felt easy on big holds. We didn't know what this route was named or graded before we tried it. That seemed to make it much more intimidating. Before my partner went up,I said that it was probably 11a/b. Good guess I guess ;-) I think that's pretty right on!!
    By GeoffElson Elson
    Apr 15, 2007
    rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

    This is a classic no matter the area, it's good to see smart bolting on a route in Boulder Canyon. Toward the top there is a ledge stance which kinda takes away from this being a five star route, but the bottom 2/3 has really fun slab moves. 11a.
    By Curt MacNeill
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 23, 2011

    This is one of the top slab routes in all of Boulder. This thing is amazing!! Very balancy with super tiny feet. Don't do it when it's hot or it will feel significantly harder. Amazing route, though. It keeps you on your toes to say the least.... Get 'er done!!!!!
    By slim
    Jul 18, 2012
    rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

    i was kind of surprised by the difficulty of this route. it has one of those stand up moves on one foot with no hands that i generally struggle with. a #1 camalot would work really well for protecting the diagonal crack. the smaller crack has some pods and some vegetation that might make it a little more tricky to get a good piece. like others have said, you could probably do without the gear, but it isn't a bad idea to go ahead and place it if you can.
    By Moritz B.
    Jan 17, 2015

    There is currently a stuck cam in the crack. The wires are blown out, and you can´t get it out.
    By Brad Gone
    Sep 19, 2015
    rating: 5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a

    Not sure why you'd use "blue and green Aliens" over a bomber 0.5 Camalot placement in the horizontal/diagonal crack. Glad I brought one.

    At 5'6", this route felt substantially harder than 11a.
    By Aaron Furman
    Mar 28, 2016
    rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

    Could be one of the best slab climbs in the Front Range, but I don't believe this deserves the rating of 11a/b, even with placing a blue Alien, still felt along the lines of 10b/c, nonetheless, amazing climb.

    Post script, not knocking the climb, I think if you are shorter this could be a more strenuous climb, but there are really incredible feet as well as great finger chips to grab on the entire way...again, I think 10b/c.
    By michalm
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jun 17, 2016
    rating: 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c

    One of the best slab climbs around Boulder. A real gem. On par with Bearcat goes to Hollywood and longer than with similar quality as Prince of Darkness. The bolting, unsurprisingly considering the FA, is a bit strange. The first bolt is quite low, and blowing the second clip, although easy, will land you on a ledge. The bolting at the cruxy start is a bit spaced, while the bolting up higher on easier ground is quite close. The route could easily do with half as many bolts up higher and still be safe. Why? Why is it OK to take larger falls close to the ground on harder terrain, but smaller falls higher up where it is actually safe to fall? I may never know. At least Bob didn't put a bolt next to the crack like he has on other routes in the area. Although a blue Alien/purple Mastercam works in the crack, small to medium-size nuts are even better.

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