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West Face
Routes Sorted
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Amazing Grace S 
Borgoff's Blunder T,S 
Cowboy Boot Crack T,TR 
Fastest Drill S 
Grapefruit Dance S 
Indecent Exposure T 
Men at Work T,S 
Over the Rainbow T,S 
Pete & Bob's T 
Pillar Climb T 
Rainbow Bridge T,S 
Trigger Finger S,TR 
Unzipped S,TR 
Warren - Johnson S,TR 
Zipper, The T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

The Zipper 

YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a A0 PG13

Type:  Trad, Sport, Aid, 3 pitches, 250', Grade II
Original:  YDS: 5.11d French: 7a Ewbanks: 24 UIAA: VIII ZA: 25 British: E5 6a A0 PG13 [details]
FA: Gary Zeigler and John Auld, 1965. FFA Rolofson and Britt, 1984
Season: all
Page Views: 1,473
Submitted By: SAL on Jan 30, 2009

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (5)
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Scott starting up the Zipper, circa 1986.

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  • Description 

    This is fun but sandy climbing on marginal pins and spinning quarter inch bolts. This route must go through many changes over the years. We felt like we were cleaning a new route. This does not see too much traffic. It is a good one to tick once the rest of the Garden is getting played out.

    Pitch 1: Climb Unzipped to the two eye bolt belay at the base of the headwall. (One could climb Cowboy Boot Crack and then downclimb or lower to these anchors, but it would just add some more time.)

    Pitch 2: The bizz. Climb up and right from the belay following old quarter inch bolts with no hangers. A fall here could be fun. Establish below the roof and clip the first pin. Pull the roof on sandy holds (5.10ish), then continue up the line of pins. The crux is the top two clips where the holds run out and the feet have been lost over time. Crux (5.11d??) Belay at a two drilled angle anchor with rap slings.

    Pitch 3: Short and spicy. Climb up and right over loose rock to passed two pins to the summit.

    Rap from here.

    Descent Beta:

    Rap off the east side of the spire off two drill angles into Tourist Gully. We beef'd up the anchor a bit with two new runners and put a locker on it. The Original is still in place with an old military cable thing and a single piece of shotty webbing. 1 60 meter rope will do the job for this route.


    This is on Tweedledumbshire Spire on the Southwest side of North Gateway.

    It is just above Cowboy Boot Crack.

    Climbed Unzipped to get there.


    Old drilled pins and quarter inchers. Yeah!

    12 draws or so. Maybe a few extra just in case you wanna clip some manky stuff.

    Bob D's book lists bringing a #3, 3.5 and a 4. We did not bring any of these. Nor would I have wanted to place one in that rock :)

    Photos of The Zipper Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: Richard leading the free variation of the Zipper, ...
    Richard leading the free variation of the Zipper, ...
    Rock Climbing Photo: Topping out on the 3rd pitch.
    Topping out on the 3rd pitch.
    Rock Climbing Photo: My partner kicked this rock off while rapping. I w...
    My partner kicked this rock off while rapping. I w...
    Rock Climbing Photo: My kid painted the route for us. Pitch 2 and 3 sho...
    BETA PHOTO: My kid painted the route for us. Pitch 2 and 3 sho...

    Comments on The Zipper Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Nov 28, 2010

    The Rolofson/Britt FFA starts from the Fastest Drill anchor and traverses left to the bolt line, avoiding any need for aid climbing.
    By LawHous
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Mar 14, 2013

    Thinking about climbing this route. Anyone have some updated beta at all? Are the bolts still loose? I noticed hangers were hacked off some bolts by a line of old pitons, were these the spinning bolts?
    By Joe Forrester
    From: Palo Alto
    Apr 15, 2015

    On an ascent back in 2002 or so, I remember pulling at least one of those old quarter inch bolts out by hand. Fun times....
    By Mark Rolofson
    Jul 13, 2017

    This is a very memorable route & one that caught my eye & imagination many years before I climbed it. It has been over 33 years since I last climbed it.
    I used a #4 Friend in the shallow horizontal crack to protect the traverse from the belay atop Fastest Drill to reach the drilled pins on the route. It would be nice to add a bolt to protect the traverse, so a big cam wasn't needed.

    Once at the drilled pins, I thought the next moves leading upward were the first crux. The face is bulging here. Above the angle eases off, & a good rest can be found before the upper crux face. I remember the rock being quite good on the upper crux.

    It would be nice to see the drilled pins & bolts, on the free variation, replaced with nice, long, glue-in eyebolts. I was surprised to see this climb listed as having aid. Yes, the original line is still aid & how reliable the old bolts are is questionable. I don't think I'd call it A0 as those bolts could pull out under bodyweight.

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