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Vampire Rock
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The Vampire 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

Type:  Trad, 4 pitches, 350'
Original:  YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a [details]
FA: Kor
Page Views: 371
Submitted By: Scott Conner on Sep 3, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (20)
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BETA PHOTO: The route.

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  • Description 

    The Vampire scales the entire face of Vampire Rock in 4 short pitches. Although there is a lot of loose rock on this route, I give it three stars because there are quality sections, it has interesting position, thought provoking moves and it's rare to get this far off the deck in Boulder Canyon. I think it's a Kor route.

    P1. There are two ways to start. Either climb the bolted route 'That's Weak' up to the chain anchors, or climb the left angling corner system which starts 20 fee to the right of 'That's Weak' up to the same fate. In keeping with the spirit of the climb, I prefer the original start up the corner system. Some loose rock, but the pro is adequate and it goes at about 5.7. 'That's Weak' is rated .10a but seems easier to me; maybe 5.9 and fun.

    P2. Lead up the discontinuous hand and finger crack angling slightly left to the big corner/slot. Climb past two OLD ring pins and work up into the slot (crux). Pull the roof and move right on a low angled slab. Belay about 10 feet up and right of the slot. I combined this pitch with the next one and had insane rope drag.

    P3. Work up and left under the big roof. Traverse to the left side of the overhang on slabular terrain, exit onto the ramp and move up to the right to belay at some chains.

    P4. Not sure if we did the correct last pitch, but this way was stellar. Climb up the ramp a bit further and work up into a left facing corner with a nice crack. Good jugs lead up to a steep layback and fist crack, past a basketball sized bush (as of 9/3/02) and tops out on a low angled slab with insecure holds. Continue up to find a good belay on level rock. This pitch felt 5.9 to me but is short.

    Descent: we walked off to the southwest to gain the steep, vegetated gully. It was kind of annoying but safe. There are chain anchors all over Vampire Rock, so you could probably do 3 or 4 raps to end where you started. Maybe the norm??

    This is a fun little adventure that seems to see very little traffic.


    SR, mostly mid-sized cams & stoppers up to 3".

    Photos of The Vampire Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Starting the fourth pitch.
    Starting the fourth pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Near the end of the fourth pitch, above the poop.
    Near the end of the fourth pitch, above the poop.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Higher up on the first pitch.
    Higher up on the first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: The super loose first pitch.
    The super loose first pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Pitch 2.
    Pitch 2.
    Rock Climbing Photo: On P4, Kris is doing his best to avoid the prolifi...
    BETA PHOTO: On P4, Kris is doing his best to avoid the prolifi...
    Rock Climbing Photo: This is a picture of the second (very nice, but sh...
    BETA PHOTO: This is a picture of the second (very nice, but sh...

    Comments on The Vampire Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 19, 2016
    By Peter Spindloe
    From: North Vancouver, BC
    Sep 5, 2002

    I'm glad the reviewer found a good finish. We couldn't find a good way to finish (one possible option looked too bird-poo coated) and ended up traversing right on some very difficult terrain after the end of the second pitch.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Sep 6, 2002

    3 stars probably IS too generous now that I think about it... Like I said, the route has sections of very good climbing, and it goes to the top, but when pitted against true 3 starred classics of the same grade like Green Spur or Yellow Spur, it *does* come up short. Maybe 2 stars, though. It's a unique climb for Boulder Canyon.
    By Leo Paik
    From: Westminster, Colorado
    Jul 19, 2003

    Not that great. Summit route. Loose. Many better routes out there. Obscure.
    By Anonymous Coward
    May 23, 2005

    Dirty. Loose. Historical.
    By Eric Goltz
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 18, 2005

    Be sure to do the bolted 'That's Weak'... it's the only clean and decent pitch on the route. Loose, much easier than 5.9 all the way through.
    By Jordan Wood
    Apr 22, 2006

    I thought this route was really cool. It was longer than most routes in Boulder Canyon and fairly sustained. I had a great time on it.
    By jcntrl
    From: Smoulder, CO
    Aug 12, 2009

    We climbed this route yesterday, and while it's enjoyable, I'm not sure if it merits three stars.

    That said, I still found the first two pitches to be worthwhile, and if the final pitch hadn't been so shitty (literally full of shit) it would have been great. If I return to this climb, I'll rappel down after the first couple pitches....
    By Gary Schmidt
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 8, 2011

    Actually kind of a fun route. Has a bit of an alpine flavor to it in terms of the rock itself. (i.e. a bit of moss, looser rock here and there). The first pitch of 5.7 is the worst in terms of quality, so if you would like better rock you can climb That's Weak and arrive at the same anchors. The rest of the climb has some very nice sections and interesting moves. Has a few cruxes so recommend you be solid at the grade. Nice views and a fun adventuresome outing. Solid 5.9.
    By Mark Roth
    From: Boulder
    Jul 7, 2011
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    P1: I wouldn't recommend the original first pitch. It is super dirty, loose and dangerous. The moves are easy as long as the whole thing doesn't fall apart. We went this way so we could claim the historical tick.... Starting on That's Weak is way better.

    P2: is pretty fun. Still lots of loose stuff, but better. My favorite hold was the rotten, loose chockstone being held in place by the old ring pin.

    P3: We were surprised at how easy pitch 3 was, nowhere near as ominous as it looks from the road.... One move off the belay then 4th class-ish.

    P4: The last pitch up the left-facing dihedral looks disgusting but is pretty fun. The gear is good, so you can take the chance and do a full body stem to avoid the oozing poop. If done right, you don't even have to touch the crack....

    Right before you top out, you can step down to a bolt anchor. From here, it is 2 raps to the ground with a 70m. Not sure if a 60m will make it, but there are plenty of other anchors to shoot for it it doesn't....

    1st rap lands you just under the pitch 2 belay @ the anchor for The Good, The Bad, and The Jacked (skipping the anchor on the ramp). And then, from here to the ground....
    By Steve Bond
    Aug 14, 2011

    Best way to do this route is the 5.10 bolted start (5.7 was not memorable) then climb up the slot, left over the roof and then after clipping a bolt descend down 10 feet to the anchors of (??route name?). Everything after that was dirty.
    By slim
    Aug 15, 2011
    rating: 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a

    ...but then you really wouldn't be doing The Vampire. The 5.7 corner with marginal rock quality is proabably as memorable as the generic 5.10 bolted face.
    By Ben Wilbur
    From: Durango
    Aug 19, 2016

    There is now only one ring pin on pitch 2. Pulled the lower one out after noticing how loose it was when I went to clip it.

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