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Kingfisher
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Colorado Northeast Ridge 
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Colorado Northeast Ridge 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c C2

   
Type:  Aid, Grade IV
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c C2 [details]
FA: Harvey T. Carter & team
Page Views: 16,279
Submitted By: Ben Folsom on Oct 23, 2001

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This is the fixed gear we pulled and replaced on t...

Description 

This is a great introduction to the bigger towers of the Fishers. The climbing is relatively clean, quick and easy. The exposure is fantastic. This route climbs the left hand arete of King Fisher as viewed from the parkinglot. To reach the route, hike out to the Cobra (just past Ancient Art). From there, hike up the hill past Death of American Democracy, and just below the northeast arete, you'll see the first pitch bolt ladder.

P1- Climb a bolt ladder which used to be very scary, but now has a couple good bolts on it to a hanging belay. P2- Climb a fun 5.8 chimney with lots of holds and good gear. Pitch 1 and 2 can easily be combined. P3- This is the crux pitch and has fun aid moves with a few mantle moves onto dirty, sloping ledges. The last 20 feet before the belay is the crux and climbs some scary, old fixed gear. P4- Climb the bolt ladder, with one hook move up to the roof where the rock changes from Cutler to Moenkopi Sandstone. Climb up and left over the roof and onto the caprock. Above the roof there is a short bolt ladder to a huge belay ledge. P5- The last pitch free climbs a short hand crack to a short 5.8 chimney to the summit.

To descend, rappel the route

Protection 

Two sets of cams from tiny to #4 camalot, Micro Nuts and stoppers. Bring a big hook also.


Photos of Colorado Northeast Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
The Kingfisher from the NE. You can see one of us in the shade at the base of the fourth pitch.
The Kingfisher from the NE. You can see one of us ...
Some of the quality fixed gear found on route
Some of the quality fixed gear found on route
 Rons topo
BETA PHOTO: Rons topo
nick broeder Thanksgiving sunset summit!
nick broeder Thanksgiving sunset summit!
Jugging the fourth pitch.
Jugging the fourth pitch.
Rick Winters showing his opnion of the gear on Pitch 3.
Rick Winters showing his opnion of the gear on Pit...
Livin' on the edge.
Livin' on the edge.
The view from the top of the Kingfisher is awesome.
BETA PHOTO: The view from the top of the Kingfisher is awesome...
Wad of tat taken off the first belay
BETA PHOTO: Wad of tat taken off the first belay
What's wrong with this picture?
What's wrong with this picture?
Patricio celebrates his third desert tower
Patricio celebrates his third desert tower
Jon Burnham enjoying the ledge at the top of P1(P2)
Jon Burnham enjoying the ledge at the top of P1(P2...
The exposure is great on the 5th pitch, where a short roof must be negotiated to gain the crown of Moenkopi caprock
The exposure is great on the 5th pitch, where a sh...
Packing a chute to take the fast way down
Packing a chute to take the fast way down
Sunrise over Castleton, as seen from the base of the Colorado NE Ridge
Sunrise over Castleton, as seen from the base of t...
Turning the caprock. I thought this was the best pitch on the route.
Turning the caprock. I thought this was the best p...
Looking down from the caproof.  Aaron is below
Looking down from the caproof. Aaron is below
Andrew Gram leading Pitch 1 of the Colorado Northeast Ridge of the Kingfisher.
Andrew Gram leading Pitch 1 of the Colorado Northe...
There's the parking lot. What am I doing here?
There's the parking lot. What am I doing here?
Big Al Bartlett on Colorado Northeast Ridge. <br />Photo by Todd Gordon.
Big Al Bartlett on Colorado Northeast Ridge.
Photo...
Shawn R. On the crux
Shawn R. On the crux
Todd and Andrea Gordon at the base of the Colorado NE Ridge.
Todd and Andrea Gordon at the base of the Colorado...
First pitch fixed
BETA PHOTO: First pitch fixed
Aaron chillin'on the Summit of King Fisher
Aaron chillin'on the Summit of King Fisher

Show All 26 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Mar 17, 2014
By flaco
Jan 24, 2002

did this route oct of 2001. note- you may want to bring a small cheater stick for p.1 bolt ladder or replace missing rivet.
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Jan 31, 2002

A great route overall. Pitch 2 is a bit sandy and funky.
By Ben Folsom
Feb 1, 2002

To back up my original description, there were good stopper placements on pitch two about every ten feet. At each move there were ledges for your feet, and if not, the chimney is a good width to just hang out in. I've done that route 3 times, one time soloing. I think pitch two is the best on the route. You can combine some pitches to make it faster also. pitch 1 and 2 are easily combined, and that saves you from sitting at a hanging belay.
By Aaron Shupp
May 31, 2002

I just climbed this route a couple of weeks ago. That P2 chimney really isn't that bad. Although deep within, the back of the chimney has some fairly good pro. Some larger cams work nicely (#2 and #3 camalots) as well as some stoppers. There are, however, some kinda spooky parts where the sandy mud crumbles and cracks with the slightest touch. Overall, P2 is fun (assuming your bag is sandstone chimneys). The last pitch chimney is also fun. The protection there is very reasonable, too.

I also wanted to mention that the P1 bolt ladder is really solid. There is one missing rivet that makes the pitch a little more exciting. I had to top-step my aiders to reach far out right passed it to the next piece. For the shorter folks, bring a little hook or hunk of metal for the hole. A far more serious peril seems to be the scary star-drivens that can be pulled out with your fingures on P3 and P4. Other miscelanious chunks of manky metal slung by almost totally severed cords make the upper pitches slightly more devious than the first two. Overall, this a great line. Enjoy!
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Oct 21, 2002
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2- R

The second pitch isn't that bad. 5.8 is my limit and I was pretty comfortable leading it - I thought the last pitch was harder though both protected very well.

The second to last "bolt" on pitch 3 moved about a 1/4" on me as I was clipping the last bolt. Scary - may want to either replace it or use a cheater stick to get past it. I also took a pretty good fall onto that bent up knifeblade just over the roof when a fixed tricam blew. Test the fixed gear before getting on it, and I can't believe that KB held a good sized fall.

Good climb - I especially enjoyed the short hand crack on the last pitch and pretty much the entire third pitch.
By Peter Holcombe
Apr 14, 2003

Just climbed the route this weekend (04/12/03). Pretty cool.It is mostly a bolt ladder of varying ages of bolts/pins. Some of the fatter bolts are sticking 2-4" out of the rock it looks like they were placed this way kind of weird. They worked though.Bring 12-15 rivet hangers mostly big cinch hangers will work best.RP keyhole hangers worked well on some of the 3/8 studs.Also bring a few 1/4 & 3/8 coarse thread nuts for the occasional bolt missing its nut. Some of the old homemade hangers would only take a smaller diameter biner, newtrinos worked. Not much gear is needed we had way too much.I used a few nuts, green-orange alien, .75-4 Camalot, 1 EA. On the cams, many hero loops, No Cheater stick, I Placed one angel in a hole missing its bolt. A hammer was good to test and tighten a few old pins one drilled angel was supper loose and went in 2" and was then bomber.No hooks, no bolts placed.

All anchors were fixed and were adequate.

The 2nd rap is WAY AIRY, enjoy!
By Brad Brandewie
Apr 18, 2003

Peter,

Thanks for pounding in some of that crap. I did the route not long before you and there were several times I wished for a hammer. (to reset existing pieces)

I assume you put the angle in the second to last piece before the third belay? When I tried to peel a butterfly rivet hanger off of that down sloping bolt, it fell out in my hand! I tell ya, that delivers a pretty good dose of whatever it is that makes aid climbing fun. :)

Not sure I would recommend this route as an aid climb though. More of an exercise in trusting manky fixed gear. In four aid pitches, I don't think we placed more than 20 pieces of our own gear. Turning the roof was certainly entertaining though. And it is a great summit and a proud looking tower.

Brad
By Colin Coulson
Sep 15, 2003

How is the sun exposure on this route? Is it totally shaded? We are looking into a possible Sept/Oct climb and are curious about late summer conditions. Any advice would be great! Colin 9/15/03
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 15, 2003

Colin - we climbed it on October 1, 2001 and the weather was great. From what I can remember, once you get past the first couple of pitches and gain the "saddle", the route mostly goes up the north side of the ridge. However, you end up kind of poking around onto the east side once in a while, so you do get some sun. I remember being a little chilly in the shade and a little warm in the sun, but not excessively so. Bring a warm layer and you should do okay. Enjoy and good luck - it's a fun one!
By Colin Coulson
Sep 16, 2003

How long are these pitches, how many ropes are neede to fix the route. Is it doable in a day? how long of a day? How high is the whole climb? Eh? C
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
Sep 17, 2003
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2- R

The route is totally doable in a day unless you are really slow or you get stuck behind a party. You wouldn't want to fix lines on the whole tower, but it bould be done with 4 ropes.

P1: 90'P2: 70' - these two often combined.P3: 120'P4: 165'P5: 80'

those are all approximate - i would use a 60m ropes if linking the orginal pitch 4 and 5 which i list here as only pitch 4. i do a single rope rap with a 60 off the summit, and then three double rope raps to the ground.

it is very easy for being such a big route in the fishers, and you can easily bail from any station if you need to. have fun.
By M.Morley
Administrator
From: Sacramento, CA
Sep 17, 2003

Bjornstad calls the route 500' (1999 Desert Rock III Falcon guide) and adding up Andrew's pitches gives a very close 525', so that gives a good relative scale (Ancient Art is also about 500' and the Titan about 900' for comparison). Very reasonable to do in a day, unless you are just learning aid and don't have your systems dialed in yet. I suppose you could fix up to the saddle (top of P2 chimney) if you are concerned about time. From my memory, once you're through P3 (crux pitch), the rest of the route is pretty cruiser. P4, while long, is mostly a bolt ladder, and P5 is a short free pitch. One more bit of advice, there are/were two belay stations for the top of pitch 3 - you'll want the higher of the two.
By Joe Gartner
Nov 3, 2003

I remember there being some exciting 5.7 face climbing in the Moenkopi above the caprock roof with knifeblade. I was expecting a cruiser bolt ladder and got a little nervous when the bolts ran out. Awesome route with one of the best summits anywhere.
By Dave Levy
Dec 15, 2003

I wouldn't necessarily compare this route to Ancient Art's Corkscrew Summit via the Stolen Chimney with respect to length. Ancient Art couldn't be more than 250 feet, given that you can rappel to the ground from the large ledge aboe the chimney pitch with two 60m ropes.
By Ron Raimonde
Mar 15, 2004

Just climbed this route a few days ago. All of the beta above was helpfull, thanks for posting. Look below for a topo that I have submitted. I drew it when I returned yesterday. I measured the pitches as we rapped. Just a few comments.Currently The rap anchors are adequate. All of the bolt ladders are complete, yet manky. Never was I in my topsteps on any of the ladders. Please dont hammer on the fixed pins on this or any sandstone route, while there is a slight possibility the hole is deep enough to allow the pin to set further; it is more probable you will weaken the placement by enlarging the hole.Cheers.
By Colin Coulson
Aug 31, 2004

Gear Alert
I heard a rumor that someone replaced some of the fixed mank on this route. Anybody know the details?C
By Ryan Hughes
Oct 11, 2004

This route is totally awesome. We climbed it on Saturday and had a killer day. A couple of tips on our experience:

The route starts on a bolt ladder on the east face. We hiked up through the saddle through a nasty slippery slope. Don't do that.

If I were to do the route again I'd take:double set of camalots .5-3.5 with an extra #1no nuts, no hexes, no hooks, 4 rivet hangers, a few tie-offs, set of tricams .5-3,set of aliens,set of TCU's

We brought a double set of nuts and didn't place one piece. We also were a little bit rusty with our aid climbing and finished the route in a day, starting at 8:30 and summiting at around 4pm. Last ascent was 3 months ago! Totally awesome route and I highly recommend it. Lots of fixed gear to keep up the speed and morale. No fixed gear seemed too bad, so that was nice.

last note: The second pitch chimney is really dusty. I jugged the line and got to the belay with totally brown teeth. funny, but not so funny.
By Brad Brandewie
Oct 12, 2004

More Pictures and a TR at

piquaclimber.com/past/kingfish...
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 12, 2004

I climbed this route solo over Oct 10th and 11th. I was actually right behind Ryan from the above post. I passed the time swilling beer and complaining about the shower of dirt untill I thought it safe to proceed behind them.

As far as gear goes:

- double set of camalots (don't bother with #4, I did have 3 #2, 3 #3) - (15) or so nuts/rivet hangers for studs/rivets - (5-10) tie-offs - (1) set Aliens - (1) set TCU - bunch of biners - slings etc..........

Don't bother with a drill (just in case), hammer (just in case), pins (just in case), cheater stick (just in case), tricams, hooks or offset nuts. Instead of carying all this crap up the hill you could take a cooler. I should know because I DID carry it up the hill and it sat in my freaking pack and I ran out of beer much too early.

The bolts/rivets on this route are BOMBER, it's like a sport climb. No kidding. The only suspect fixed gear was on the pitch that pulls the roof, (2) funky old pins at the roof and (2) Star Drives after pulling it. The pins seemed OK, but those Star Drives...who knows? All the anchors were good.

Link pitches 1 and 2 with a bunch of biners, (15) wires/rivet hangers and (1) set of cams to save time. Make the second jug with everything else just for fun.

Great route to solo because of the bolted anchors and easy free climbing.

Hope this info helps.
By Colin Coulson
Oct 14, 2004

Hmmm, did either of you guys see any shiny bolts on that ridge? I am still curious if there was an effort to replace the old rusted crap... maybe just the anchors? Well, as far as the fixed gear- I know that the bent pin at the roof looks sketchy, in fact I didn't clip it when i climbed it cause I thought it would pull, bit I have heard a story about it catching someone's fall. Use it... its "bomber" (fisher towers bomber - its different). Maybe its time for another tour up this heap anyway...

C
By Ryan Hughes
Oct 29, 2004

I didn't notice too much new stuff. I followed most of the fixed gear pitches, so I didn't examine the bolts that closely, but nothing really "shiny".

AC, (I forgot your name), good to hear you made it up on Sunday. Hope to see you 'round the fishers again.
By Anonymous Coward
Dec 13, 2004

I just climbed this route last weekend. The newest gear I noticed was a bunch of new bolts with red Fixe hangers. Not exactly shiny but confidence inspiring nonetheless. Thanks to whoever placed them!

Jon
By Ryan Ray
May 23, 2005

A good friend of mine (Marcus) and i spent several days this last year upgrading the bolts on the Colorado Ridge. We pulled old manky bolts, manky fixed junk, and redundant bolts. We were able to do the route clean after pulling the junk. We payed special attention to not reducing the quaility or rating of the climb. We wanted the crux pitch to stay the crux, but there was tons of useless gear that didnt need to be there. On Numerous ascents people had placed new bolts and pins without care. Instead of taking the time to replace an old one, they just slapped in a new one in between. The overall bolt count of the route was reduced. We left a few of the old star drives up top for good reason. For one, they were fairly bomber..Those bolts were suprisingly harder to remove than one might think. And two, to leave some of the historic nostalgia to the route.

Hope you guys enjoy the route. I sure enjoyed climbing it and putting in the time to make it safer.

below is a photo of some of the fixed mank we pulled or replaced.

Ryan
By Colin Coulson
Oct 4, 2005

I might very well be alone in this, but it seems to me that the old fixed junk was one of the highlights of this climb.I fully understand the need to replace bum fixed gear for the sake of safety - especially on heavily traveled intro routes like CNeR. However, I've always felt that part of the fun of the Fishers is in finding the occasional fixed gear freakshow that was likely placed by the first ascentionist. The star drivins, drilled angles, and the occasional hardware store funk is fun to see - even if it is right next to a bomber shiny bolt. For example, on the final bolt ladder of the Titan's Finger o' Fate (when I climbed it a few years ago) there were occasionally nice new bolts right next to the protruding fixed pins. Perfect. That preserved character - I still had to do a little lassoing - yet it protected me from falling on dubious gear. Some of those recently cleaned pieces look like they were historic first ascent placements. Those funky bolt hangers might have been tough to clip with today's wider 'biners, but that just added to the fun - aiding is all about problem solving! From my memory even that pounded in stopper has been part of multiple conversations about that tower. How often does a shiny string of perfect new bolts create superb bar story fodder? I can answer that one. Except for the awkward beginner or the terminally imaginative - never. Sure, clean the ''new redundant bolts that were placed without care or consideration,'' but leave me the hair-raising old school funk. Though there is an apparent need to turn some of these classics into modern sport aid routes, there is no need to deflower them by stripping them of their visible history. Is there? By the way, what is the plan for all that old fixed gear?
By Ron Raimonde
Jan 16, 2006

I totaly agree with the above statement. well put.
By Ryan Ray
Jan 20, 2006

I can definately see your point. We knew when we did the rebolting that we would face critisism from some and welcome from others. I happen to enjoy seing the mank and junk on the routes too. But the fact of the matter is that the route was deteriorating in its current condition. Old bolts had blown, and people had pounded and pulled pins in the old bolt holes, to the point that they were just an ugly scars that could no longer be used. Therefore new bolts were placed right next to the old holes and even next to old bolts. By pulling the old bolts we were able to place new ones right back into the same holes. If we would have waited until all the old bolts were loose and falling out, then those holes would be destroyed and new holes would have to be drilled. Is that conservation and environmentally friendly? I dont think so!

With the increasing popularity of the sport, and the larger numbers of climbers who are out climbing these routes, its only a matter of time before they degrade so much that its a terrible eyesore. Look at serinity crack in yosemite (and thats granite). These towers cant take that much abuse. We as climbers should be more conservation and preservation minded so that these routes will remain classics when we are long gone. Yeah, its fun to see that old stuff, and yeah its def fun and part of the character of the fishers to see the old gear. But how old is too old? When do we draw the line? When the route is a line of blown out holes and redundant bolts? Or do we act now and fix things before they get worse?

When that route was originally put up..All those bolts were bomber and good. If someone dosnt take the time to do things right and upgrade the fixed gear, that route is going to wind up with twice as many bolts and 3 times as many scars and holes as it currently has. At the point in time when we did this work, we patched dozens of holes in order to preserve the original character and state of the climb. The climb is still just as hard as it was before? The crux pitch is still scarry. It just makes it that much longer before someone else starts drilling more holes and adding more bolts to the route.

Just my opinion though. Glad to hear your comments though.

Ryan

By Tristan Perry
Apr 2, 2006

I climbed the Colorado NE Ridge on 1/8/06 as my very first aid route, along with my equally inexperienced partner, Patricio from Chile. We had a great day, and made steady progress on the route, swinging leads until we finally attained the summit about 30 minutes before dark. The views were incomparable. Well, I actually took a couple hours to lead the crux pitch, as I was committing to very shaky cams in flaring slots, equalizing pieces here and there, and using trickery I had seldom used before free climbing. Overall, I thought that the route was in outstanding shape, and I commend Ryan and his partner's efforts to clean up the route. We used most of the fixed gear, although we found ways around using the worst pieces. We were pretty cold for the most part, but we had beautiful weather and the chill provided excellent motivation to keep moving. The rappels down in the fading light were gripping!! Never had terra firma tasted sweeter (yes, I kissed the ground).

As Patricio was leading the long bolt-ladder on the 4th pitch, a helicopter came roaring through the Fishers. Upon seeing us on the tower, it circled around three times or so, with men in black leaning out of the chopper doing who knows what. We tried not to make gestures so that they wouldn't think we needed help. Each time, it seemed to fly absurdly close to the Oracle, and I thought I was going to see a collision each time as it pulled away.
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
May 24, 2006

Would like to do this route within the next couple of weeks. I know it's hot out there even as I type this but I'm wondering how much sun the route gets. I may have to wait until Fall but I thought I'd put some feelers out there. Thanks.
By Andrew Gram
Administrator
From: Salt Lake City, UT
May 25, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2- R

The route is very sunny.

Phantom Sprint over on Echo Tower is a cold and shady route, and it only has one pitch that is significantly harder than the climbing on this route. If I was to do a big Fisher tower route in the heat, that is the one to do.
By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
May 25, 2006

Ditto on Phantom.
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Littleton
May 26, 2006

Thanks Andrew and Jeremy. I'm not familiar with that route but I'll check it out.
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Apr 24, 2007

Just so all of you and Ryan R. are aware, I am one of the offending people who placed stuff up there and didn't replace (remove the bad). This was an accident. On the way up I put in new bolts with the intention of removing the extra stuff on the way down. On the way down I was running from a thunderstorm and told myself "you'll get back up here to get this in a few weeks." Well, weeks rolled into a season, another season passed, and before long it was a couple years and here I am reading about the mess on the web.
So, sorry gang, for leaving extra stuff up there. It was not my intention, but still my fault. I'm glad and thankful some others came along and cleaned it up.
Sam
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
Apr 30, 2007

I forgot to say that I couldn't agree more with you about the museum like feel that old gear gives the Fishers... its really cool. However, a lot of people complain that the route starts to look like a junk show and would just as soon have the old crap yanked. I find myself torn, when replacing things, between leaving a cool relic that has coats of rust and will probably catch a fall AND a good bolt that has no appeal other than it will save your life. After all, they were consdered good when they weren't rusty.. I'm guessing Harvey Carter and friends laughed at some of the stuff they used.
From now on, in the FIshers, I will leave the really cool old stuff in place.
By toddgordon
From: Joshua Tree, California
May 2, 2007

I did this climb with Big Al Bartlett and Brian Moore in April 1999. While jumaring a trail rope up the steep headwall (out of the notch after the easy chimney pitch), I sawed the rope through the sheath and into the nylon core;....my wife got me a 200' static rope after that! Sandstone climbing is exciting! Climbing in the Fishers RULES! I was surprised at how fast and relatively easy this climb went;...it's a good one! I wasn't too scared on this one.....(Yeah , I guess I was;....I'm scared of my own shadow!)
By Brumbrown
Sep 26, 2007

This route is amazing, but I did find it kind of scary. It was my second aid lead ever, I had the great fortune (or misfortune) of leading the crux third pitch and fourth pitch! I didn't need the hook for the fourth pitch, so it could be something left behind. Before the King Fisher I had only led Kor's Corner at the Garden of the Gods. With that said, I still found it quite challenging but definitely a great intro to the Fishers!
By Chris Cox
From: Logan, UT
Sep 29, 2007

Attempted the route on 9/28/07. It was my first aid route and the 3rd crux pitch stumped me so we bailed. I got a small TCU in above an old intermediate anchor (that we conveniently rapped off) and then couldnt figure out how to proceed. the next bolt was about 10ft up (right before the belay, so close!). there was a 2inch hole a bit off to the side that I might have been able to get a narrow cam or tricam in but had none. Is there some fixed gear missing? Any suggestions?
By Paul Gagner
Oct 9, 2007

Chris - Orange Metolius TCU in seam down and right of the hole, then bolt w/out hanger.

Soloed this route on 10/7/07.

Solo rack:
6x rivet hangers
2x Camalots 0.5 to 3
1x 3.5 Camalot (optional, could do without)
1x Orange Metolius TCU
50x biners
15 QD's
A few slings
That's it!
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
Nov 3, 2008

Up there yesterday. Decided to go with the better judgement and bail, not risk being out there in a potential rain/lighting storm. I can only imagine the difficulties faced with a wet Fisher Tower. We did replaced the slings at the first belay, lower part of the chimney. It was becoming quite a rat's nest of webbing, unsightly and sun-bleached. Could really use some chains, and that goes for the first three belays we saw. We left some new cord, red in color, not easily seen, but you will want to bring some back-up. As for the initial bolt ladder, there is a long piece of white webbing there to avoid needing a stick clip. I have seen this white webbing in pics up to 3-4 years old. While it did hold me, and still maybe good, it may be time to replace that as well.

On the third pitch, some of the pods are becoming more and more eroded, potentially to the point of not being able to be used at all in the next 5 years. My partner had some pieces begin to grind out, and while it did hold, with this soft rock, it is only a matter of time before those pods become useless. We will be back in the spring to finish it. Anyone have any recent memories of how the roof and last pitch went? Stories of bent KB 5 years ago are all I have read.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 2, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 R

First off - kudos to Ryan, Marcus, and Sam for fixing up the route. The fixed hardware is all in pretty good shape. And they seem to have done an excellent job of replacing the bolts, but leaving the spice.

This was only my second aid tower, and I thought there were definitely a few scary spots on this route. Some of the pieces on the crux pitch seemed pretty dodgy, and the falls aren't exactly clean - usually with a nice ledge below you. A few spots had my full attention.

I used multiple tricams on the crux pitch, and frankly I'm not sure how I would have gotten normal cams to work in the flared pods.... but YMMV. The tricams saved my bacon. I also used a hook on the crux pitch. Maybe someone with a longer reach wouldn't need it, but I needed it.

What I would bring next time: 2 sets of camalots from 0.5 to #3, a #3.5, and a #4. A set of tricams from pink on up. One set of nuts, including small wires. I don't remember placing any C3s, but I'd probably bring them again just in case. 6 rivet hangers. A hook. Lots and lots of slings and free biners for the bolt ladders.

The raps as described in the uploaded topo above works perfectly (skipping the belay below the roof). You can avoid getting your knot stuck in the crack on the last rap by walking way out and then pulling.

It took us 9 hours pack-to-pack. We moved steadily, but we weren't setting any speed records. The approach took about 40 minutes and was straightforward.
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
Sep 14, 2009

Climbed this past weekend. As stated before the exposure is exhausting, especially for those like myself that get out less than others.

Link up the initial bolt ladder and chimney. Then the C2 pitch, then link the long bolt ladder through the roof to the large ledge. Then free the mantle and funky chimney to the end. 4 pitches total, with 60m ropes. No need for nuts. But bring rivet hangers, cams, and lots of biners and slings. The initial bolt ladder has a long piece of white webbing dangling needed to complete it. At least 3 years old. I would bring a stick clip in case this piece is gone when you get there.

I attempted the crux pitch, and was shut down before the very end. If not for the Almighyy Teague Holmes, who placed the worst cam I have ever seen, I would not have been hauled up. In retrospect, a hook would have made the crux move on the C2 pitch, but I never found it. The first pods encountered on the C2 pitch will eventually become interesting encounters. Very worn.

A humbling and exciting intro for those looking to aid in the Fishers. It was for me.
By Erik W
From: Bay Area, CA
Nov 11, 2009

Climbed with Avery N. this past Saturday (11/7/09) in 4 pitches (P1+P2, P3, P4, P5). Contrary to topo above, P3 (crux pitch) requires some free moves here and there, as does P4 (roof/capstone pitch). Partner used a hook on crux sequence - I think without it you're turning around and heading back down.

Gear recommendations:
-set camalots .5-4
-extra #2 and #3
-set tricams
-set offset aliens (helpful, but not a deal breaker if you don't have them)
-4 or 5 offset nuts (large ones, no micros needed on this route at all), could probably do away with nuts entirely if bring the micro tricam sizes
-rivet hangers (3-4)
-tie offs (4-6)
-10 quickdraws
-5 screamers (always good to bring on aid, but not totally necessary for this route if you don't have them)
-slings (4-5)
-40 free biners
-hook/s

Lots of good bolts on this route. I just left a rivet hanger (cinch style) on each lead biner and took it with me after use.... you're never more than 2-3 drilled angles or hangerless bolts away from a good bolt so just run it out. Adjustable daisies recommended for pulling the roof on P4, quite strenuous otherwise.

The climbing itself isn't necessarily "stellar," given the long stretches of A0 bolt ladders, but the setting definitely makes this a climb to do. And the summit view... one of the coolest vistas you will ever gaze upon.
By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
Jan 16, 2010

I soloed the first three pitches of the Kingfisher last November. While on the crux sequence (or at least up to where I was), an offset alien blew out on me and I took a really nasty fall...

There is an intermediate belay on the third pitch, which sits on a fairly large ledge. Above this ledge is a very worn crack, above that is a hole maybe 1.5 inches in diameter, above that a hangerless bolt, above that a bolt with a hanger, which was the extent of my upward vision. I believe many of you are familiar with this point, as it seems to be referenced in several posts. After a bit of a struggle, I was able to [really poorly] place an offset alien in the worn crack. This piece held my weight for some time, as I was able to either top, or fourth step in my atriers (I was just able to touch the next bolt). Unfortunately, in anticipation for the moves ahead, I added quite a bit of slack into my rudimentary solo-aid system. At this point, the alien ripped out and I struck the ledge on the way down. I'm not sure how far I fell below the ledge, but it certainly seemed like a really long way when jugging back up on one foot. After righting myself, I instantly knew I had broken my ankle, as my right foot was maybe 35 degrees out of plane.

I was able to make it back to the ground in two rappels, but was unable to walk whatsoever. I owe some serious thanks to the local SAR! It turns out, to everyone's disbelief, not a single bone broke. It's still mind-boggling to me that an ankle can turn that much without shattering every bone in there.

I'll be back to finish it in a few months...
By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
Jan 22, 2010

Geez man...be careful...
By Tombo
From: Boulder
Apr 11, 2010

We got up to the bolt below the crux of the third pitch the other day and was totally stymied trying to move from the downward flared crack up and right of the bolt in to the seam above. I tried everything in the crack, black alien to gold cam, 1,2 and 3 Mastercam offsets, tricams, etc. It looked like people have been hooking at the bottom of the crack, at least my hook matched up with the scratch marks on the rock. Anyway I tried that and it blew sending me to the ledge. Quite the puzzle for me, I was getting on the third step when it blew and figure I'd have to second step to reach what looks like a good tricam or offset cam placement. Pretty puzzling for me, either I'm really missing something or it's the hardest C2 move I've ever encountered. Any shameless beta appreciated.
By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From: Bend, OR
Apr 21, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 R

When I did it last year I hooked off the ledge and then placed a pink tricam in the flare. I didn't love the tricam, but it held me for 15 minutes while I pondered the next move. If the tricam blows, you are falling on the ledge.

I was utterly stumped on how to reach the hangerless bolt from the tricam, and I was not willing to risk an even higher ledge fall on a dodgy piece. Any piece that blows is putting you on the ledge with disastrous consequences as the post above indicates (hope it healed!)

So I "girth hitched" 4 wired nuts together, and after about ten attempts of gingerly sliding the impromptu cheater stick up the rock I managed to snag the stud! Quite crafty I thought :) Cheating... yes? But better than a 10' ledge fall!
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
May 3, 2010

Tombo,

This route has certainly changed in that spot. Having been on the route in 2008 and 2009 I have noticed changes in the crux. The ledge prior to the crux initially had a false belay, bolts directly down into the ledge. The following year, those bolts were gone, and my partner swears the ledge is further away now from the first placement. He performed the first move without hooking and was able to place the Metolius Orange while standing on the ledge. When I was the up there the following year, this was not close to possible. Also, the worn edge, usually hooked, had become a sandy pod, when in the past it may have had a positive edge. The third in our party was able to place a cam that I would never have dreamed possible. Much more shallow than A3-4 placements I have seen pictured on Artist's Tears. A stick clip would, or easily bypass this section, if one was truly intent on climbing it. But I what do I know, I am a noob as well.
By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
May 12, 2010

Kingfisher: Round 2.

I returned last week to the Colorado NE Ridge (with a partner this time). After nearly crapping my pants through the worn pods maybe 20 ft into the third pitch, I was again defeated by the crux sequence above. Again, I top-stepped in my atriers off of the bolt on the ledge, allowing me to just barely place a single 0.4 camalot in the increasing worn crack above. After having several flashbacks of a very painful fall months earlier, I committed to the cam. I tried all sorts of aiding wizardry in the worn holes, but nothing was trustworthy, whatsoever. Finally, since I was unwilling to step very high in my atriers on a small cam in mud, I held an ice axe in one of the worn holes to take some of my weight. I made it as high as my third steps, when the axe popped out, increasing the forces on the cam, and [again], sending me to that dreadful ledge. Judging by the pain in my side, I think I cracked a rib.

I'm not sure how people are climbing this now.
By Brad Brandewie
May 13, 2010

Mike,
Holy shit man, I'm with Jeremy, be careful up there.

Did you try girth hitching nuts together like Andy mentions above? That would be my preference if I got to a section that seemed like it wouldn't go. Having said that, I usually carry a stick clip (or a collapsed trekking pole) on old routes like this one that have a lot of fixed gear.

I have also had good luck lassoing studs with slings or cordelettes or an aider. (don't know if that will work for the stud in question here)

Another option is to bring a bolt kit. I would caution against that though if you're not WELL versed in the local ethics and/or don't have a lot of experience placing bolts in that type of rock.

In any case, I'm glad you're still posting.

Cheers,
Brad
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
May 13, 2010

Sounds to me,
like it needs to be,
un-C... for a while.
By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
May 14, 2010

Sam,

Seems like that might be a good call.

I just have a hard time remembering where the move is and wtf happened to the placement/s???

How could it be that jacked up?

Anyone?

J
By Sam Lightner, Jr.
From: Lander, WY
May 14, 2010

I did it many many moons ago. It no doubt changed many times since then. However, I remember the crux on that pitch above the ledge being protected with a tcu that was barely making contact on its outer lobe... it must have gotten so worn out its unuseable.
There was a seam there. It would take a pecker. Peckers do minimal damage.

There is one other option... has anyone tried to free it right there? In the fishers that sometimes works out nicely. Just sayin.
By Jeremy Aslaksen
From: Albuquerque, NM
May 14, 2010

Sam,

Somebody should just fix a Pecker there and call it good.

And by fix I mean WELD.

I will be willing to donate the piece...although some jackass might just end up taking it.

Jeremy
By Steve "Crusher" Bartlett
May 14, 2010

led this third pitch back in November 2009, and the last section looked really blank. Thought about free moves, but it's steep, and they would be very hard, and the fall onto the ledge would be bad. After reading some comments here before this trip, I made sure to bring a tent pole with me....

Back in the early 1990s, on a previous ascent, I kinda recall there was a nut, hammered sideways into a pod/pinscar, with a longish, and much used sling; you could reach this sling from the bolt, then stand up really high, and reach the bolt above, or place an intermediate pin or something. This was a no-big-deal section of the route back then.

That part of the route now seems way out of proportion with the rest of the climb. Something fixed here would be nice, and would be replacing what used to exist.
By Mike McMahon
From: Vernal, Utah
May 15, 2010

I've broken enough bones trying to climb this route clean. You certainly have my vote for a new bolt.

When walking down the trail a week or two ago, I relayed my story to a few other climbers. They said they would put a bolt on the Colo. NE Ridge the next day. Maybe they did, maybe they didn't.

Have fun!

-Mike
By Darren Knezek
May 17, 2010
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2+

I placed a cam, stood in the top step, put my fingers of my left hand in the first pin hole, put my fingers of my right hand in the upper pin hole, stood out of my aiders on the rock with my left foot and could barely reach the rivet with my left hand to place the rivet hanger. It felt like a 5.11 climbing move.
Did not want to fall on the cam below as it seemed like it would rip and deposit me on the ledge below. :)
By Kevin Landolt
From: Fort Collins, Wyoming
Aug 21, 2010

I attempted to solo this route a couple of weeks ago but bailed at the caprock due to dehydration and the severe heat. A friend of mine asked that I share my thoughts on the 3rd pitch "crux". I brought a short cheat stick and ended up using it. A really fun hook move off the ledge got me to a horrible looking tri-cam placement, which I high stepped to clip the obvious bolt above. Once I climbed up to the bolt I noticed a hangerless bolt several feet below, which isn't visible from the ledge. Had I known about this bolt, I believe I could have climbed this section without the cheat-stick. I'm hoping to make it back there soon to give it another try.

I believe the route should remain in it's current state, offering a challenge to those who seek to do this route without the cheatstick. It's easy enough to bring one along just in case, and since the route is essentially a bolt ladder, is it really cheating?
By Marcus garcia
From: Durango, Co.
Sep 10, 2010

I feel that the crux ledge has washed away and made getting to the akward crack harder than it use to be. i am going back out there soon to solo the route again and see what is up.
By Ryan A. Ray
From: Keller, TX
Oct 23, 2010

Steve, yes, that fixed chouinard nut you mention now sits on my dresser. Back in 04 or 05 when we did some rebolting on this route, the sling on that nut was just about warn through. We cleaned it and it opened up a nice clean flared crack that took an offset alien really well. I dont remember this section being that hard either so i guess its changed a bit there. But of course my arms are like stick clips to begin with so i could reach those next placements pretty easily.

I would like to get back on the route and see how its changed and figure it out without adding a bolt.
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Nov 20, 2010

Did this route yesterday, got a late start but still got it in a day despite the short days(left the lot at like 8 or 8:30 topped the first 2 pitches out by 11). I even hauled a mid/small haul bag up this thing. It was dark when we finished rapping though. I lead all the pitches and found it to be pretty fun to fly up and run out the bolt ladders. I found the section atop the original second pitch to be interesting after turning the first ledge. This is the first section that you have to place some of your own gear (besides the chimney pitch which didn't take much gear anyway) and I felt the gear was pretty funky, talk about blown out flaring pods.

I think I placed a funky #1(poor contact and pretty flared) that I didn't feel good about, then a funky red tcu, then a green dmm alum. offset nut with a hybrid alien to a bit of free climbing. I felt a fall here could be ugly and the gears not real inspiring. The free move (mantle) is a little funky but not too bad.

If I remember correctly shortly after this you are at a belay station (apparently intermediate). I stopped and used it but didn't like the thought of factor 2 falling onto the anchor after hitting and bouncing off the ledge. I brought an avalance probe and some tape, stick clipped a quick draw to the bolt a little ways above so I could do this section that everyone is talking about on TR.

I high stepped off the anchor and held on with my hands as I really reached for a hybrid alien in a slightly funky flare (the ones below seemed more strange to me I think), then kinda high stepped that and reached the hanger less bolt with a stopper as a rivet hanger. It's really not to bad but that fall could suck with out the TR. It looks like people have been hooking a crappy edge to get to this placment, and it doesn't appear to look like it's gonna last nearly as long as those bolts (in fact none of the natural placements will).

Didn't need more then a single set of anything, hybrids and offsets came in handy.

This things pretty classic though for sure.
By Bryan Feinstein
From: Jackson, WY
Apr 8, 2011

Climbed it a few days ago. The edge that everyone has been hooking on is pretty terrible, not positive and sloping. There is a decent cam placement higher up if you can reach it. Heads up climbing for sure!
By Drew McLean
From: Colorado
Sep 6, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 PG13

Did this last spring. C2 in the Fishers = C3 anywhere else.

key pieces were Gold DMM offset alloy nut at the crux. Being 6'5.5" helped me reach the bolt even when top stepping. Good .75 at the C1 before the mantle above the 3rd belay. Crazy exposure with some pretty serious aid pitches. But I only have Yosemite to compare it with :)
By dyingdream
Dec 16, 2011
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2 PG13

Did this in one day Solo Aid 10/20/11. Not too hard of time crunch due to vast number of bolts. Definitely a few tenuous moves but made it through with extreme high stepping/climbing and two nuts strung together. Didn't use a hook (not too familiar with them and didn't see anything very inticing).I brought a double set of cams (don't bring two sets of the same kind, you want as diverse as possible per size) brought a few offset master cams (worked really well). Lots of nuts for pro and bolts. Long day but worth the effort. Brought two ropes so I could bail easier, being a solo party and all.
Cheers

Steve
By Hayley Ashburn
Feb 8, 2012

Did this route for my second aid-solo ever, didn't find it too tough. The roof at the beginning of pitch four is the trickiest bit, would have been nice to have a big offset cam but made do with a .5 and a .75 equalized. There is a "thank god!" bolt just above and to the right that is hard to see until you topstep your ladder so don't lose hope! I pulled out one piton on the third pitch but mostly all the fixed gear was dependable.

Last pitch of handcrack and then chimney was my favorite, what a topout! this is a must do route!
By Chris Weber
From: Boulder, CO
Apr 11, 2012

Ended up using a cheater stick 2x on this 4/8/12. Once right off the pitch 2 belay (or top of pitch 1 if you combine the original 1st and 2nd). Lassoed the drilled angle at first but wasn't psyched to move up on it and if it pops you hit the ledge. So I broke out the stick. Then, higher up on this (3rd pitch if you don't combine 1 and 2) pitch used it where others have mentioned the empty holes and blown out pods--I was stumped. I'm an inexperienced aid climber, but I would not be getting through that pitch without the stick. Didn't have any hangers, so used a bunch (we got by with 4, but used them a lot) of tie off loops on all the hangerless bolts. Otherwise, pretty straightforward route.
By Noah8000
From: Vail, CO
Apr 22, 2012
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2

Did this a couple days ago. Stellar route and a good intro me thinks. Some thoughts. You really don't need much gear. You only place a couple pieces on route. I didn't use one stopper. Single set would do but bring lots of biners/draws/rivet hangers for the bolt ladder as this is what the route mainly is.

The crux aid pitch was exciting. I was to stubborn to stick clip the first pin off the belay. Some very exciting free climbing was needed to reach it....where a fall would be no bueno...bad ledge/chimney fall potential. I had to use a mono hold (old bolt hole) to basically clip..but then again the taller ones might find it not to bad....
Needless to say, I stick clipped the last bolt after experiencing the excitment on the first part...A few people have broken bones on it and eh..guess I didn't want to. Next time I think a hook would work on the upper scar to reach. Upper pitches are awesome!!!! Classic route.
By Mr.K
Nov 3, 2013

Fun route. I only used cams (.5 - 4), a set of nuts for the hangerless bolts, and about 15 draws. Pitch 3 wasn't as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I dropped my stick clip in the chimney so I had to free the first move on the third pitch. I was going to add a bolt that was originally there but it didn't really need one. The move was creepy but not that hard. Stand out of your ladder, reach high, high, high, or lasso the angle with a sling. Have your belayer spot you in case you fall. It would hurt hitting the ledge. Also, 2 bolts from the end of the third pitch (one with a hanger and one without), there is a big gap between the bolts, but if you stand high in your ladder and look left around the corner, there are some rap bolts that you can clip and make the big gap not so big. Over all I thought the route was pretty simple and straight forward. Without a stick clip, the first move on pitch 3 was creepy but everything else was easy. All cam placements seemed solid and almost all bolts were "good" (at least I didn't see any that I was too hesitant to use) The route took about 5 and a half hours to do, from bottom to bottom, and we spent about 15 -20 on top enjoying the view. Great intro to aid climbing.
By Noah8000
From: Vail, CO
Nov 13, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2

Soloed this the other week. The crux moves everyone talks about is no longer the crux. Sketchy Andy added two new FAT bolts at the crux for another "high line." Reach around the corner from the bolt and clip them and then you're able to skip that crux pod to a rivet hanger. I always thought a fixed pecker would be better rather then two big bolts but who am I to say that. Are the Fishers Andy's palace for adding bolts everywhere? Sheesh

Anyhow, I feel like the moves getting off that next pitch are the crux now. They feel more blown out then before but I also forgot the offsets. Maybe that's why. I forgot how awesome the exposure was on that roof. Rad.
By Steven Lucarelli
From: Moab, UT
Nov 20, 2013
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2

A few helpful notes for anyone that is going to try this in the future.

One 70m rope is all you need to rap off (a 60m would probably reach but might as well be sure with a 70m).

A shoulder stand seemed like the safest and easiest way to clip the first pin at the start of pitch 3. If your short or going solo a stick clip or a replacement angle in the existing hole would be highly recommended. (Looked like a #2 or #3 angle to me?)

The higher crux on pitch 3 has two blown out pin scars that won't hold a cam but it looked like a tricam might work? I didn't have any tricams so I placed a bomber offset stopper (Gold #7 DMM) a little higher and to the right of the bolt. And then high stepped off the piece and was able to lasso the next bolt stud.

Everything else was pretty straight forward, good luck.
By Joshua Payne
From: Los Alamos, NM
Mar 17, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C2

Did it 3/14/2014, took us about 6hrs to top out. Pitch 1 was my first aid lead, and P3 was my second. This was also my first climb in the Fishers...

Like others have said there are some shiny new bolts on p3. I still ended up placing a 0.5 X4 in a pin scar to get to the final rivet but overall that wasn't all that bad. The muddy crap below that was a lot scarier I ended up using a hook to get high enough to get a #3 C4 in. From there it was clean sailing.

A stick clip or should stand is highly recommended for clipping the first pin on P3. It looks like there is a pin missing and the first one that is still there is about 10' above the belay anchors.

It looked like there was a bolt or rivet missing near the start of P5 right after the roof. I could see a threaded tube for a bolt in the rock, but no bolt on it. A pink tricam in the pinscar above that was perfect and enough to get to the sketchy ring piton. You can probably get away without using any of that gear at all by placing a couple of #2's in the space between two large rocks a couple of feet to the left.

Don't take anything I say too seriously, this was the first aid climb for my buddy and I, and my first time aiding on the sharp end. I felt fairly safe the whole time but there were a couple of spooky moves.

Also, don't bother with doubles, single set of cams, tricams, and nuts. Do bring lots of draws and be sure to extend the bolts at the bottom of P1 with double length runners if you want to link P2.