2014 Update: Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and all seasonal raptor closure areas on U.S. Forest Service land will be re-opened August 1, 2014 for climbing.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at www.fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/recreation.
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and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
This climb is on what is described here as the Upper Animal Wall. If you approach from the Lower Animal Wall the climb comes into view right away as the left side of the bolted arete. A good winter or evening route which sees its share of sunshine. The route starts upon a ledge 20' off the ground. To reach the ledge, you can clip the first bolt of Sun Dog with a long runner, or scramble up 5.8ish. Thin liebacks will take you through the first 3 bolts, to the first 5.12 crux. A ledge is then reached, which provides little rest before more sustained climbing using the arete on the right. The climbing eases slightly in the last 15' to the 2 bolt anchor. 70' This sustained route is a hard to redpoint (I haven't). The position is excellent.
No one has commented on this fine route? If the grade and bolts aren't [controversial], I should say that I rated the route 12b, not 12c and feel that it should be a benchmark for that grade. Also, a bolt was added by a third party (I gave permission after getting tired discussing it). I just don't want people think I'm another overbolter/overgrader. It's just that I try to use the standards of Eldorado Canyon, Rifle or American Fork.
Geee, Fred, how could we have let this slip by? For what it is worth, here is my impression. First, Animal Instinct is a killer line and truly worth the three stars posted here (That was the stroke). Second, it's tricky and powerful, but well worth the trouble to solve. Initially easy moves gain the base of the arete which is followed by a few straight-forward moves to a powerful undercling off progressively worsening feet. Hunker up with the undercling in the right hand (sic!) and then make a very strenuous reach right with [left] hand to an initially sloping ledge. This move seemed hard. Once established right of the arete and on the ledge, a step around left puts you on the arete proper with holds coming from both sides. We found that a couple of heel hooks worked well for this sector. In fact, a heel hook seemed essential for the last clip on the arete. Move left at the top of the arete to another hard move on largely crisp edges. This is followed by a run up to the anchor on Sun Dog. Frankly, the final 5.9 run to the anchor seemed like a full blown crux in its own right, not difficult but spooky by the time you get here. Overall: great line, interesting and difficult moves, well protected but for the end, on excellent quality Boulder Canyon granite. (***)
We should all be so neglected. You didn't comment on the beta yourself, Fred, but was the left hand cross-through the way you had sussed out the first crux? This move seemed really powerful, has so far always stalled me, and may not even work if you don't have the ape index.
By Joe Collins Oct 2, 2003 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-27E6 6b
To jump in here, Richard... the beta I used for that section was to crank from the undercling straight up with the left to a well-ticked gaston edge. My partner used a four-pad micro-crimp just below and to the left of this. Then I would quickly slap the right hand onto the groper (the one you probably cross to). This might not work if you don't have the ape index. We both initially tried the cross-through to the groper, which went more staticly, but couldn't move up from that hold.
I could buy this as being a really hard Rifle-12b, but in B.C. or C.C.C this is solid 12c.
Joe - Thanks for another view. We had taken a look at the gaston and decided that the feet just got worse. The cross-through leaves your right foot well placed, but requires a great deal of flex in the hips, and it's powerful. Frankly, I'd prefer it without the cross-through since that makes the move even more powerful. Next time we are up there I'll give the gaston a try. In similar situations, I've found the trickier footwork to be more successful than the more powerful solution.
12b? I've heard this thing called a possible 13a (duck and run), not that I'd know. Perhaps solid, very solid 12, possibly +. On the first crux, it seemed best to go up with the left hand first to the sloping gaston, and then match before slapping for better holds. Feet are terrible. Not sure how you could do the upper section without heel hooks.
This is a stellar route; Kudos to Fred and Dan for putting it together.
If you don't step around the corner to the right after the first crux to rest (which drops the difficulty), but instead stay to the left for a more taxing rest, then it is a comparable red point to Latest Rage at Smith Rock in Oregon, although more moves. It is a notch harder than Easy Skankin in Rifle, but a notch easier than Pretty Hate Machine. So, call it standard solid 5.12. (Certainly, no-one will call it 12a.) It would be a difficult route to onsight--very beta intensive.
Yes, you have to use lots of heel hooks, especially on the upper arÍte (I count four). Using these heel hooks and slapping the arÍte_well, you are not going to get better pure arÍte climbing in the Front Range.
12cs at Rifle take me 5 or less tries. This one took me about 10. It is very [temperature-dependent], but I would say the crux move is as hard as any move on Vaso. It's much harder, for instance, than "Bovine Impact" at Rifle, another Fred Knapp route...It's a super good route, though, regardless of the grade. I also moved straight to the left-hand gaston from the right hand undercling, and then slapped the sloper.
My partner sent the lower crux this way: right hand on the undercling...left hand up left to a small 2 finger lip that is sharp. Right foot on tiny dime edge and after moving the left foot up to an ok smear throws with right hand to the sloper. I could get the left hand 2 finger hold, but then couldn't release the undercling...might try the other beta here and skip this crap 2 finger hold.
Not using heel hooks on the upper section would be stout.
Did the sharp left hand crimp next to the first crux-clip break? It seems a lot smaller than I remember it, I hadn't been on this route for years. Maybe it was the smarmy weather. Still one of my top 5 favorite front range routes. I think 13a if you don't do the no hands rest between cruxes, 12d if you camp out on the ledge; moves are as hard (but not as painful and crimpy) as HOD to the left.
This is a magnificent route that climbs the beautiful arete. I have worked the route the last two days and felt that there were two distinct and different cruxes, one about 3 or 4 bolts out and then another near the top. There seem to be a million tick marks for feet all over the route with some fun, body tensiony heel hooking on the upper section. I copped a no-hands rest about halfway up by traversing 1 foot right at the ledge although the guidebook doesn't seem to consider this "on". Either way, it's a pumpy route and fairly consistent with the grade. As usual, you get the climbing grade controversy, I have heard that it's as low as 12b and as high as 13a. I have been climbing lots of mid to hard 12s in Rifle, Potrero, Shelf, Clear Creek, the New, etc. and feel that it's fairly consistent with the grade of 12c. Rate it what you want if it makes you feel better. Nonetheless, the route is stellar and props to the person who bolted the route! Make sure to check out Animal Magnetism close by.... I reckon that this is the best 5.11 in Boulder Canyon....