The West Bank / Wild West / Secret Crag has been problematic for years due to access concerns. There have been negative encounters with gun-toting landowners who have alleged that the entire mountain is on private property. Typical approaches involve brief crossing of railroad property which appears to be prohibited.
Exact demarcation of property boundaries are not always clear. When in doubt, be discrete or polite.
Do not park your vehicle near the railroad tracks near Plainview. It is a well-known irritant to Plainview residents.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
P1: Begin 8' left of Culp's Fault. Follow a steep crack through a small roof (10a) and belay after 80'.
P2: Traverse left 20' to the next crack, and head on up to belay on the main ledge with 2 bolts that runs across the wall. Walk left along this ledge. 110'.
P3: Climb a short slab to the base of an obvious, right-facing dihedral with an offwidth crack. This is a very short pitch and involves an unprotected 5.8 move up the slab. Probably some of these first 3 pitches can be combined if you like, but with the traverses, it's probably best to stick with this game plan.
P4: Climb the dreaded offwidth! It's difficulty is directly related to hand size (in my experience). If your hands are big enough, you can fist jam the crux (easier). You don't need any oversize cams as the crack is 3-4" in the back through the crux. Continue up an easier chimney, and belay on a ledge with 2 bolts (same stance as the last belay on Perversion).
P5: Cross Perversion and work up and left to a steep, right-facing dihedral, and climb it (10b). This is a stellar pitch in itself and is recommended if you are climbing Perversion and looking for a harder exit.
Standard rack up to #4 Friend. For bomber pro at the crux, bring extra #3-#3.5 Camalot sized pieces. P1 and P5 are mostly thin cracks. [Eds. many folks have reported feeling inadequately prepared with a #4 Friend. #4 Camalot(s) may be wise.]
Nice addition. P1 has a wide section near the end of the pitch. I watched a fellow fail to protect this well, pitch out of the wide section, and deck. He only broke an ankle, because gear well below kept his back off the ground. Very good wires or a medium Friend can be placed just before entering the wide section. At the top of this slot, a good piece can be placed in the roof crack prior to pulling the roof. I think that the guy I watched fell while hauling over roof, which was poorly protected.
I'd recommend bringing a big piece for the wide section on the first pitch. I thought that section was the crux of the pitch; the roof above it is probably the easiest part of the pitch, despite what the guidebooks show.
At the end of the second pitch, if you're looking to bail, you can rap with TWO ropes to the ground. (50m ropes may be long enough--we did this with 2 60s and had about 10-15m extra--anyone else know for sure?)
Excellent route. The last pitch may be the best of its grade in Eldo. The unprotected slab is probably harder for those below a certain height (6'0"?), but one of the (relatively) new belay bolts can be used as a foothold to take the teeth out of this section. Recommended pro for the wide part: #4 Friend, #4 Camalot, #3 Camalot, #3.5 Friend; I didn't have the #3.5 and had to run it out on the upper part.
The second pitch is quality but somewhat contrived. If you continue up the line of the first pitch, you will end up at the big ledge at the start of the 3rd pitch w/out having done the second pitch. The traverse to the second pitch proper should occur shortly around where the first pitch hits easier ground.
I took advantage of the end of the raptor closures and did this route this morning. If there is a better combination of splitter 5.10 Eldo crack pitches, then I have yet to see it. Dave Goldstein's gear suggestion for the crux pitch is pretty much right on.... I had a #3, 3.5, and 4 Camalots which worked, though one could probably do it with less backcleaning with a second #3.5 Camalot (or #4 Friend). A couple specific comments on the 1st pitch: 1) the fixed anchor indicated in the Rossiter topo at the end of the first pitch does not exist; 2) the first pitch is a harsh warm-up... it felt way harder that the last pitch 10b.
Watch out for posion ivy!
Beware of poison ivy along the cliff base! It's everywhere right now. It puts the Black Canyon ivy situation to shame. Watch for the annoying small sprig of P.I. on the last pitch.... I didn't realize what it was until I nearly climbed through it.
#3.5 Camalot is the beta on the wide. The #4 Friend suggestion in the Rossiter guide is all I went by and it only fit at the very beginning of the wide. What a great route!! I thought the first pitch could easily get a 10c rating as well.
One of the best multi-pitch 5.10s I've done on the Front Range. Since the route traverses left for a significant distance over its entire length, it ends up being quite a bit longer than if it just went straight up.
Incredible route that throws it all at you, fingers, hands, fists, hand-fist stacks, slab, etc....
The first pitch is in your face from the start. Leading first pitch, I kept going, following the crack system to a belay that I thought was the one indicated in Rossiter's book. This was about 110' although more direct this caused me to miss the entire second pitch -oh well....
As for the slab, it is indeed pretty spicy, I would suggest running the slab and OW together so you can save a few hand/fist pieces for the 5.7 section above the OW.
Ditto on the offwidth being hand-size-dependent, my boyfriend has big hands and he cruised it, but I had to hand stack, and it was pretty difficult. Mainly, I could move up, but removing gear was tricky. And the 3rd pitch slab is pretty dicey, I led this thinking it was all over once I got my feet up on the first ledge - not so - it still has one more spicy move to give - especially if you're short.
HIGHLY RECOMMENDED ROUTE - Every pitch seemed to be its own climb!!!
Good advice, George.... Even if you don't have little girl hands, you should consider a good tape job. A few extra wraps on the thumb may be helpful. Taping your ankles and wearing knee pads should also be considered for P4. I was glad that I brought 2 #4 C4 Camalots.
Linking P1 and P2 is a demanding 175ft lead. I only had a handful of nuts on my rack when I reached the anchors. A pumpy pitch....
My vote for best 5.10 crack route in the Boulder area! Be careful not to yard on that loose flake on pitch 2.
By Kevin Gillest From: Arvada, CO Aug 3, 2010 rating: 5.10+6b+21VII+20E3 5b
Climbed the route with Brad White the day the closure ended, August 1st. No doubt, one of the best 5.10s I have ever climbed in the area. We did not take doubles on BD #4, ended up leap frogging gear on pitch 3. Very sustained but well worth the effort.
The top rappel needs another long runner, we did not have anything to leave.
Bring a knife, if you think, of it to clean up the rap anchors. They are becoming so filled with tat that it's hard to thread the ropes through...wish I could have fixed them today but didn't have one with me. There is plenty of good material to leave, as well as plenty of junk to clean. Thank you!