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Advice for out-of-towner climbing around Boulder next weekend.
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By Mike M
From Albuquerque, NM
Jul 5, 2011
Leading the ultra-classic plates on Armatron (5.9), Red Rox!
Hey everyone,

I may be heading up to the Boulder area next weekend to take care of a couple hours of business on Saturday morning. Being that nearly all of NM is closed due to fire danger, I'm hoping to get a few pitches in on Saturday afternoon and Sunday morning before I head back.

Since I've never climbed in this area, and having limited time to explore, I'm looking for some advice on shorter multi-pitch routes that are easy to find and have short'ish approaches. Also, since the GF will be with me, I'm looking for something in the 5.7 trad range (or less.)

I've been reading up on stuff in the Flatirons, but driving time and approach length is leaving me with questions. Thus, any suggestions you guys can provide are appreciated.

Thanks,

~Mike

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By Rigggs24
From Denver, CO
Jul 5, 2011
Eldo Painting
Bastille Crack in Eldo. 5.7 and can be done in 3 pitches. Would be on the more difficult end of what you want but its classic and has the shortest approach possible.

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By BryanV
From Fort Collins, CO
Jul 5, 2011
Ouray Ice Park
There are a couple options. I definitely agree with Bastille and would also recommend Wind Ridge 5.8, on the Wind Tower across the way. You could also look at some routes in Boulder Canyon. Not as pristine or long, but still good 2-4 pitch (shorter pitches) options. You could do North Face Center 5.7 or Northwest Corner 5.8, both on Cob Rock. Also, Cussin' Crack 5.7, on Castle Rock in Boulder Canyon.

Good luck.

bv
hite-knuckled.blogspot.com

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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Jul 5, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
I regularly walk to the first flatiron in 20 minutes. It's not *that* far IMO.

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By Erik Tasker
Jul 5, 2011
Yosemite
The Dome in boulder canyon. Lots of moderates. Fun, Roadside crag. Have fun

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By Tommey-James
From Boulder,Colorado
Jul 5, 2011
Go climb on the wind tower in ELDO! Super fun good rock. Most of the routes are 5.7 or lower (Wind ridge, tigger, the bomb) and are fun 2 pitch routes. Then if you and your girl are up for it the bastille is directly across from you and you will see people climbing the bastille crack ALL day so you will get a picture of the line by the end of the day.

or

Go climb the Dome/Elephant Butress in Boulder Canyon. The East Slab on the Dome is one pitch of 5.6 but is super fun. Then go hit the original (or maybe center) route on the third elephant butress. It goes at 7+/8-, 2 pitch and (IMHO) a very fun route. Then if you want more you can go hit the second elephant butress and do the classic finger crack (5.9) wich is super fun. I know that this may be a little harder then what your looking for but it is one pitch and some very good climbing.

Both spots are in the very front of each canyon and are both quality climbing days. Hope you have fun.

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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Jul 5, 2011
Climbing above Black Lake
Tommey-James wrote:
Go climb on the wind tower in ELDO! Super fun good rock. Most of the routes are 5.7 or lower (Wind ridge, tigger, the bomb) and are fun 2 pitch routes. Then if you and your girl are up for it the bastille is directly across from you and you will see people climbing the bastille crack ALL day so you will get a picture of the line by the end of the day.


Do this. easy approach, easy descents - great intro to the area

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By jt512
Administrator
Jul 5, 2011
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. <br />Photo by Hillary Davis.
Mike Pharris wrote:
Do this. easy approach, easy descents - great intro to the area


There is nothing easy about the descent from the summit of Wind Tower. It involves exposed 4th-class downclimbing to difficult-to-locate anchors for a rappel with a somewhat spicy start.

Jay

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By Mike M
From Albuquerque, NM
Jul 5, 2011
Leading the ultra-classic plates on Armatron (5.9), Red Rox!
Wow! Awesome responses. Thanks, everyone! This definitely gives me some reading to do, and plenty of options for an afternoon and the next morning.

I didn't mean to imply that the Flatirons were out of the question, more just that I wasn't sure if the approaches were short or not based on descriptions on the internet.

Thanks, again!

~Mike

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 5, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Jay Tanzman wrote:
There is nothing easy about the descent from the summit of Wind Tower. It involves exposed 4th-class downclimbing to difficult-to-locate anchors for a rappel with a somewhat spicy start. Jay


Have you been to the anchors in the notch to the north of the summit? You don't have to do 4th class scrambling, you can keep it to 3rd. They are a little difficult to find, but certainly not impossible. They definitely don't have a "spicy start." I'm not even sure what a "spicy start" to a rappel is.

--Marc

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By tooTALLtim
From Boulder, CO
Jul 5, 2011
Loving it up in the Creek!
The Dome and Wind Tower for sure.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jul 5, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
I second Wind Ridge. My first climb at Eldo and it was fun. If you have more time The Ruper (5.8+) was awesome

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By jt512
Administrator
Jul 6, 2011
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. <br />Photo by Hillary Davis.
Marc H wrote:
Have you been to the anchors in the notch to the north of the summit? You don't have to do 4th class scrambling, you can keep it to 3rd.


Care to describe the 3rd class approach to those anchors from the summit? I'd be grateful, as I've twice now only been able to find them via a one-mistake–big-pancake approach.

Jay

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By jt512
Administrator
Jul 6, 2011
Jay Tanzman redpointing Lethal Weapon. <br />Photo by Hillary Davis.
JLP wrote:
Is there a less complicated descent than this one from any tower in Eldo? +1 for Wind Ridge. Keep in mind if you can't fire the overhang off the ledge on P2 or 3 or whatever, you can bail on the ledge system, climber's left. No raps necessary.


However, if, despite the odds, you can manage to "fire" the 5.7/8 "overhang" and grovel the last P3 "or whatever" to the summit, you are left with a confusing and poorly-described 4th-class traverse/descent to those rappel anchors. And from there forgoing the obvious rap from the obvious rap anchors in favor of downclimbing would be pretty fucking silly.

Jay

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By Mark Roth
From Boulder
Jul 6, 2011
not climbing
I think The Matron is open... That would be a fun outing and less crowded than the First Flatiron.

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By Greg D
From Here
Jul 6, 2011
Out of the blue.  Photo by Mike W. <br />
There are many choices for sure. But, be sure to consider the time of day and shade or sun. Generally, it is rather hot in the sun right now. So, shady routes are recommended. Below are appox times for sun/shade.

Wind tower shade till 10am and after 4:30pm
Bastille Crack shade till 3pm
Flatirons moderate east facing routes full sun from sunrise till 4pm.
Cob Rock shade til 3 pm (guess).

Remember in the summer the sun rises in the northeast and sets in the northwest. So, even north facing routes get lots of sun either early in the day or late in the day or both.

Consider Icarus 5.6, 4 pitches or Rewritten 5.7, 6 pitches if you go early.

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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Jul 6, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.
Jay Tanzman wrote:
Care to describe the 3rd class approach to those anchors from the summit? I'd be grateful, as I've twice now only been able to find them via a one-mistake–big-pancake approach. Jay


If you stay to the east of the north-south ridge, it stays at 3rd class; it would be pretty difficult to fall down the east slabs. I generally stay right on the ridge for the traverse, but it's 4th & 5th class the whole way across if you stay on the ridge and you need to be comfortable soloing easy 5th class.

--Marc

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By Mike Pharris
From Longmont, CO
Jul 6, 2011
Climbing above Black Lake
JLP wrote:
Keep in mind if you can't fire the overhang off the ledge on P2 or 3 or whatever, you can bail on the ledge system, climber's left. No raps necessary.


probably 90% of all Wind Tower climbers traverse off to climbers left on the big ledge system after P2. The upper pitches don't really have any memorable climbing, worth doing just to get to the summit, but you don't really miss anything.

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By Canon
Jul 6, 2011
The descent off Wind Tower can be tricky to the uninitiated. First time I climbed in Eldo we topped out on The Bomb and ended up passing the highwire cable and then coming down the Rotwand Gully. Rapped off a spindly tree and slung a tiny arch in the gully to get down. NOT recommended.

The traverse over to the rap anchors goes at fourth class if staying on the ridge, IMO. It's pretty easy, but I've seen many parties rap a short ways down to the base before traversing over. If you are confident in your scrambling and KNOW that the anchors are there in the notch, its easy.

Its worth topping out on the Wind Tower a couple times, if only to scope out the babes at the pool.

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By Chris Plesko
From Westminster, CO
Jul 6, 2011
OMG, I winz!!!
(wind ridge) The flake right off the 3rd pitch start is fun and worth doing once and a while for sure. The rest of the pitch isn't too memorable.

But I agree with Mike M about the descent. Go over the summit. Find the cable and follow at that level the path of least resistance to the notch. I'd call it 4th class but it isn't too exposed on that side. The moves should get easier and easier the closer you get to the notch and there will be dirt that's obviously traffic worn at times.

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By Mark Wyss
From Denver, CO
Jul 6, 2011
Mt. Baker
Margs at the Rio if your thirsty at the end of the day! Great rooftop deck. Downtown, corner of Walnut and 11th.

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By NickinCO
From colorado
Jul 6, 2011
after the hard stuff, into cruiser hands.
Mark Wyss wrote:
Margs at the Rio if your thirst at the end of the day! Downtown, corner of Walnut and 11th.



+1!!! (the big texas margarita??) or something like that. They cut you off at 3 but if you order 3 from your server you can sneak 3 more from the bar.

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By Scott McMahon
From Boulder, CO
Jul 6, 2011
Bocan
Am I the only one that thinks that the Rio has the most disguting margaritas in town? They taste as sugary as jello (strawberry at least) and they add grain alchohol.

Give me a good tequila marg anyday.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Jul 6, 2011
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.
Greg D wrote:
There are many choices for sure. But, be sure to consider the time of day and shade or sun. Generally, it is rather hot in the sun right now. So, shady routes are recommended.

+1.
And if you climb in the flatirons take a ton of water, because if it is both sunny and hot, you will need it. The East-facing slabs get first light and heat up early... by afternoon, you are fried eggs...
Also, get an early start for whatever- the approaches can be miserably hot after 7-8am, but wonderful at 6am-7:30. Flatirons sunrises are AWESOME. Get there just before sunup and take a good camera.

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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Jul 6, 2011
Stairway to Heaven
Mark Roth wrote:
I think The Matron is open... That would be a fun outing and less crowded than the First Flatiron.


The Matron isn't open until July 31.

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By ABB
Jul 6, 2011
Martin, OSMP would appreciate your concern and conservative approach. The Matron, however, is currently open for climbing. For more info and a complete list of closures in the Flatirons, see the City of Boulder's Open Space and Mountain Parks (OSMP) closure page:

bouldercolorado.gov/index.php?...

And then click on the individual pdf's for maps showing specific areas and formations, in this case the Shadow Canyon pdf.

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