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Mt. Zirkel
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West Face Direct aka "Routt County Choss Rodeo" T 

West Face Direct aka "Routt County Choss Rodeo" 

YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b

Type:  Trad, Alpine, 11 pitches, 1300', Grade III
Original:  YDS: 5.10a/b French: 6a+ Ewbanks: 19 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 19 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: July 2008
New Route: Yes
Season: summer
Page Views: 713
Submitted By: matt j hartman on Feb 3, 2010

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I took this 1973 photo of the West Face from Big ...


This route was put up a few summers ago and climbs a buttress above the Mt. Zirkel, Big Agnes saddle. It is the cleanest and longest buttress north of the saddle.

P1. Climb the clean face, moving left over loose rock to a belay (5.6). One could climb up the clean face to avoid loose rock. Protection above looks grim, though the rock looks okay.

P2. Class 4 to exposed ridge.

P3-4. Move up easy exposed ridge to the base of a rightward traverse to and overhang.

P5. (crux) Climb the traverse (5.9) to steep crack (5.10ish) with some lichen stemming. If this pitch got cleaned up, it would be excellent.

P6. Move right under choss-filled chimneys think after two one finds passage into clean corner to bulge rope stretcher! (5.6)

P7. Climb bulge to cracks (5.7).

P8. Similar to P7, stretch rope.

P8-10. Follow the ridge up. Very exposed on pegmatite and gneiss to summit.

Descend gully to south and back to saddle.


Hike in from Slavonia on Gilpin Trail to Gilpin Creek crossing. Don't cross, hike east, then north on faint trail to a small glacial pond below Zirkel-Agnes saddle. Go over saddle, move right to base on longest, cleanest wall.


Double cams to 3 inch, 2 sets stopper. Use long runners on pretty much every piece. Bring a helmet!

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