Blue Collar Corner
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It's been almost 10 years since we did this route, but I have run into people since then who have climbed it and said that it is really a great line. I am adding it now, because it will make another classic moderate addition to the area. From the base of the raps, scramble onto a sidewalk ledge to your left with the rock at your back and river in front of you. This ledge is an exposed sidewalk that leads out to the nose of the formation and dead ends into a dihedral with a little roof 25 feet up. Rack up and go for it.
P1 - Climb the dihedral for a short pitch to a good ledge just past the roof. 5.8.
P2 - The day I lead this we called it 5.9, the consensus however has made it 5.10, so I am calling it 10-. Climb the beautiful plumb-line corner through some small overlap style roofs to a belay ledge at the ropes end. This is a rope stretcher and the belay was very contrived (don't fall for the 2nd), so I believe bolts were added for safety, not sure though. This pitch is the real gem of the climb.
P3 - The original line went from the ledge out right to right-facing corner with no gear and then traversed back left at the top. If you go this way, be prepared for 5.9 R climbing. I am told that the way most parties are doing it now is by going up a thin-hands crack overhead at 5.8 through what back then was full of bright orange lichen. This is a short pitch to a ledge below a bunch of large roofs.
P4 - This is a casual but really cool pitch. Walk left to the end of the belay ledge, and step over a void to a shallow right-facing corner. Climb to its top and continue traversing left under the large roofs till your standing below a perfect hand crack. Follow the hand crack to the top of the wall.
Walk 5 minutes back to the car.
Pull into the main overlook parking lot for the Curicanti Needle. From the parking lot, you will see a ledge that is just to the right of the main overlook. It is a ramp that leads down below the overlook 20 meters or so. Where it ends, we placed 2 rap bolts (it's been so long now I don't remember where). It shouldn't take but a few minutes to find them. Rap into the canyon (a full 60m) to a hanging belay under a roof. At the time, this belay was a fixed nut and T-ton, who knows now though. Rap from this to the ground and walk to your left with the wall at your back. Scramble onto the obvious ledge and follow it like a sidewalk till it ends in a left-facing corner capped with a small roof. The corner is pitch one. One note for those of you heading down there, you must climb out, there may be a way to walk out, but it will make for an epic on top of a retreat from the climb.
By desert dirtbag
From: crested butte, co
Oct 15, 2011
Hey Mike, did the route a couple weeks ago and the crux felt like 10+ to me. jp
Feb 28, 2012
JP, long time no hear from you. If this is the JP I know, didn't mean to sandbag. I could have just been having a good day I suppose. Haven't been back since that day.
By Caitlin Mac
Apr 10, 2013
Just curious if there are still fixed rappel anchors?
By Matt Lisenby
Oct 12, 2015
Can anyone add to the location detail for this route and its rappels? For starters, which of the 3 overlooks is the "main" overlook: from the perspective of the parking lot looking out over the canyon: left, center, or right?
My partner and I ended up rapping from some nice chain anchors on skier's left of the far right overlook. After the second 60m rap, we determined we were not on route and decided to just rap again to the ground and make our way up easier rock 4-500 yards climber's right from the base of the raps (the routes that we rapped down looked great but were harder than we were prepared to climb. I would love to get more info on these routes if anyone has any: PM me if possible).
En route we did find ancient evidence of prior passage but truly got lucky finding a reasonable but stressful exit ~4-5 pitches up to 5.10 R.