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The Whistle Stop 

YDS: 5.8+ French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

Type:  Trad, 1 pitch, 140'
Original:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Tom Quinn, David Jones, 1958
Fixed Hardware: 1 Lead Bolt, 2 Belay Bolts [details]
Page Views: 2,835
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Aug 17, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (57)
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Peter Dillon starting the steep upper wall.

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  • Description 

    A fun route up a beautiful face with a short approach. This is the easier version of The Flakes but is a bit more runout to start. It shares the same, delicate, balancy crux. Windy days can make this spooky for the inexperienced second, says my wife.

    Begin to the right of some boulders up the boulder field above the large cement slab by the river. This is just right of C'est La Vie and left of the bench between Whale's Tail and Redgarden Wall. It is a few feet right of The Flakes.

    There is little opportunity for clean protection on the first bit of this climb. Climb up and then on a diagonal ramp to the left. Find a pin. Move up on good face holds toward a crack. Find good pro along this crack with wires and small-medium cams. The crack fades and you clip a bolt. Climb past this through a brief crux requiring more balance and finesse than power to a undercling. Place a #3 or #3 1/2 Friend to protect your second or risk a whopping screamer if your second peels above the bolt. Traverse about 25 feet left on a sloping ledge to the 2 bolt anchor. 140 feet of fun climbing.

    Thankfully, the anchor has been improved with 2 modern bolts in solid rock in 2000 by ACE and the FHRC. It used to be a pin behind a hollow flake with a bashie that just made you wonder. Note, it is 30m to the level of scrambling off. Pay attention when you get to the end of your ropes since you do not reach walking ground with a single 60m rope.

    Gary Stetler notes that the Ericson guide rated this 5.7. Hey, but that's the same gifted author who put up, via on sight solo, Blind Faith and thought it was 5.9.


    Eldo rack, wires, cams to 3 1/2 inches. Single 60m rope is nice to rap.

    Photos of The Whistle Stop Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Mike is joining C'est la Morte.
    Mike is joining C'est la Morte.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Whistle Stop approaches via the dark red ramp &quo...
    Whistle Stop approaches via the dark red ramp &quo...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Approaching the fixed pins. The bolt and 9- crux i...
    Approaching the fixed pins. The bolt and 9- crux i...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Christa Cline at the crux of Whistle Stop.
    Christa Cline at the crux of Whistle Stop.

    Comments on The Whistle Stop Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Jan 25, 2003

    This is indeed a nice route. At first it looked contrived with a long traverse, but it's a pretty direct diagonal line. Rossiter says it's 150 feet to the anchors, but it was exactly half of my 60m bicolor rope. You can get some big cams in the #3/blue Camalot range on the ramp traverse if you feel the need. After the bolt, to protect the second you can use a big cam as described above or a #1 red/Camalot. A 60m rope gets you to the ground if you diagonal right across blocks at the bottom. This leaves you about 20 feet below where you started.
    By James Balasalle
    Jun 9, 2003
    rating: 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c

    This is a surprisingly good climb. Also, it doesn't look like it sees much traffic. We found the moves after the initial ramp interesting and fun. The crux is short and well protected by a bolt. New 5.9 leaders or someone looking to get into the grade would most likely feel right at home here. Just protect the second at the top, like Leo and Ivan say. Well worth doing...

    Rossiter calls it 5.9- which I thought was pretty close. Though it's more delicate/technical than powerful.
    By Ron Olsen
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 4, 2003
    rating: 5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c

    I have a hard time calling the move past the bolt 5.9.It's one delicate step up move, easier thanthe difficult moves on Mescaline, which is rated 5.7, and way easier than the 5.9 move on the first pitch of C'est La Vie.I'd call the move 5.7 to 5.8; Erickson had it right.

    Fun steep crack and face.

    If this is 5.9, it's the easiest 5.9 in Eldorado.
    By Scott Conner
    From: Lyons, CO
    Sep 4, 2003

    C'mon Ron, it's rated 5.9-. Everyone knows 5.9- is easier than 5.8. Just as 5.9+ is harder than 5.10a.
    By Tonya Clement
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 13, 2003

    This is such a great climb to do after work since the approach is short and easy. There are definately some 5.8's that are much harder than this route; however, I think it deserves the 5.9- because gear is a bit tricky...not hard, just tricky. I am just starting to lead 5.9's and found this to be comfortable yet still a challenge. It made me think. I only wish the route was twice as long. It ends too soon. Does anyone know if there is a second pitch above this route?
    By Zach Allen
    Feb 3, 2006

    For a nice second pitch, step left around the corner and climb the 5.8 crack on the right side of the open book that makes up C'est la Vie's second pitch. Very nice and ends at a two coldshut anchor. Rap C'est la Vie.
    By clint dillard
    From: Louisville, Co
    Apr 17, 2006

    We had three people climbing yesterday and a 70m rope. The second was able to tie into the middle of the rope and the third at the end. Then we were able to rap to the ground with the 70 and did not have to worry about the down climb like when you rap with a 60.
    By Gary Schmidt
    From: Boulder, CO
    Apr 6, 2007

    More fun and steeper than it looks from the start. Definitely on the easier side of 5.9 but still requires thought and some confidence on the lead. A very nice route. Be good at placing pro and take any spots you can find past the initial easy ramp section as there is not much too work with.
    By Ben Burnett
    From: Colorado
    Apr 9, 2009
    rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

    Easier than most (if not all) 5.8s in Eldo. Sure it takes a little more thought than most 7s, but it no harder than that.

    I think Scott's comment hits the nail on the head - for many Eldo climbs.
    By Rodger Raubach
    Jun 14, 2010
    rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

    I've done this climb many times (5-6). The only really tricky spot is making a move up and left at the second protection bolt where the slickness of the rock may tend to be somewhat disconcerting to some....I find it to be probably 5.8+, but not a 5.9 section. Overall, a neat climb.

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