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YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- ZA: 31 British: E7 7a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Original:  YDS: 5.13c French: 8a+ Ewbanks: 30 UIAA: X- ZA: 31 British: E7 7a [details]
FA: Christian Griffith, 1987
Page Views: 6,189
Submitted By: Colin Lantz on Apr 29, 2003

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Christian Griffith working Verve. photo: Bob Horan...

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  • Description 

    One of Christian Griffith's menage a trois of exceptional sport climbs put up in the late '80s after CG's return from six months in France. CG's "Big-Three" (Paris Girl, Desdichado, and Verve) were much sought after achievements for any aspiring sport climbing hardman (or woman) and some of the hardest routes in the U.S. at the time. A solid 5.13 on perfect granite with interesting moves and some of the best positioning in Boulder Canyon, this route is essentially two hard V6/V7 boulder problems with a quick shake in between them. The coveted first ascent was done by Christian with other notable Boulder rock stars of the day, e.g. Dale Goddard, involved in the race for the FA. The route is notable also as it became the inspiration for the name of CG's climbing clothing company, which went on to define sport climbing apparel functional-style in the '90s.

    The first crux is right off the deck. With a right foot, heel hook, grab the right hand "shredder" hold (very painful and small), work your left foot up the ramp and start working up the arete with the left. After getting the highest left purchase possible on the arete make a big crank move to a right hand, 4 finger pocket.

    The second crux is a long reach to a modified hold. The chiseled/drilled hold makes the "mega reach" move (second crux) much easier and it makes it possible to match and switch hands for a quick shake. This move is VERY wing-span dependent and is harder for those not endowed with a lot of height and a huge ape index.

    The route quickly slabs out over the top and the anchor is a long way back. Be careful when top-roping or lowering as the anchor position will ensure that your rope gets shredded.


    4 QDs + anchor.

    Comments on Verve Add Comment
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    By Taylor Roy
    From: Midvale, UT
    May 8, 2003
    rating: 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a

    This route should be registered as a modified route. The crux sequence involves a drilled out edge on the arete.
    By Dan Levison
    From: Boulder, CO
    Jul 15, 2008

    I replaced the 4 bolts on Verve today with Roy Barnes. 3 of the bolts were 20+ year-old Mammut Ring bolts, and the 4th bolt was an 8mm Allen Mammut bolt (scary condition). All old holes were patched. The new hardware is 1/2" x 2.75" stainless Powers bolts with Petzl hangers. Special thanks to Matt Samet (Climbing Magazine) and the ARI for supplying the hardware!
    By Colin Lantz
    From: Nederland, CO
    Dec 13, 2009
    rating: 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c

    I did the second ascent of this route on June 22, 1989. I think this is one of the best routes Christian ever put up in the Boulder area. The movement and positioning are first class IMO. I concur with Taylor on the modified hold. On the edge in question you can clearly see a drill bit hole. I don't think C.G. was responsible for this. I think someone else was working on the route first and did the damage.

    Attached is my beta map from 1989 that shows the hand and feet placements I used. The chiseled/drilled hold made the "mega reach" move, which is the second crux, much easier and it made it possible to match and switch hands on this hold.

    I've lived in Nederland since 2003 and drive up the canyon almost every day. I always look up to see if anyone is on Verve and I have never seen another party on it. It's a great route and deserves more traffic.

    Thanks Dan for replacing the bolts, and thanks to Matt and the ARI.
    Rock Climbing Photo: C. Lantz beta map for Verve.
    C. Lantz beta map for Verve.
    By Monomaniac
    From: Morrison, CO
    Dec 13, 2009

    Colin, FYI, "Sven" is a legendary troll from the days. I'm pretty sure he's not a real person, and his story is a fabrication, though it wouldn't be too surprising these days if someone were to flash a route like this.

    PS, your comments are very much appreciated! Keep 'em coming.
    By Chip Phillips
    From: Broomfield, CO
    Dec 14, 2009

    Sven was a troll, but I remember him being a hilarious one!
    By Colin Lantz
    From: Nederland, CO
    Dec 18, 2009
    rating: 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c

    Agreed, the original Sven description is very funny. Here it is for the record before it gets blasted away and lost in cyberspace history:

    "This is a nice climb up a clean arete on very good granite stone. It is a short route with much climbing on not so difficult moves, but the crux is a short sequence of thin holds quite on the arete. With care in looking at the Verve before starting to climb, it was not so difficult make a good flash. Climbing up to the crux near the third bolt was not too difficult so it is possible to be refreshed before starting to make the thin moves. Mostly it is important to be careful with placing the feet in order to get into good balance for the thin hands. It is a steep climb and needed a good combination of balance and finger power in the thin moves. To finish the Verve route, the climbing becomes quite easy."
    By Pinklebear
    Dec 18, 2009

    Sven also "made flash" of this as part of his "four-plan."
    By Colin Lantz
    From: Nederland, CO
    Dec 18, 2009
    rating: 5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c

    Four-plan... come tell... me interest in making up on this for going top... ???
    By Monomaniac
    From: Morrison, CO
    Dec 19, 2009

    A full explanation of the "Four-Plan" is here. (read through all the comments)
    By Tank Evans
    Mar 19, 2012
    rating: 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a

    Really great route, especially for Boulder Canyon. Pay the price of admission and bear-down on those razors to start and then enjoy some of the best movement in Bo Can. Also, non-reachy beta exists for the upper sequence. It is a shame that the edge on the arete up high is drilled because the route would certainly still go without it, and probably only a letter grade harder.

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