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West Face
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Amazing Grace S 
Borgoff's Blunder T,S 
Cowboy Boot Crack T,TR 
Fastest Drill S 
Grapefruit Dance S 
Indecent Exposure T 
Men at Work T,S 
Over the Rainbow T,S 
Pete & Bob's T 
Pillar Climb T 
Rainbow Bridge T,S 
Trigger Finger S,TR 
Unzipped S,TR 
Warren - Johnson S,TR 
Zipper, The T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

Cowboy Boot Crack 

YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b

Type:  Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 80'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.6 French: 4c Ewbanks: 14 UIAA: V ZA: 12 British: S 4b [details]
FA: unknown
Page Views: 4,853
Submitted By: Darin Lang on Aug 27, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (90)
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Steve Coleman on Cowboy Boot Crack.

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  • Description 

    This is an excellent beginner lead with generally solid gear placements.

    Scramble up onto the large shelf just left of the Tourist Gully. Cowboy Boot Crack follows the disjunct crack system on the left side of the blunt arete until it meets the ridge, then follows easy ground to a belay at huge eyebolts.

    Downclimb the Tourist Gully (5.0) or rappel. A 60m rope will just barely reach the platform for the rappel and for setting up a TR.


    Light standard rack to a modern 2 bolt anchor with chains.

    Photos of Cowboy Boot Crack Slideshow Add Photo
    Looking up the route
    Looking up the route
    Scotty Matz Nice warm up lead, I'd give it a 5.7.
    Scotty Matz Nice warm up lead, I'd give it a 5.7.
    Setting up top ropes on Boot Crack.
    Setting up top ropes on Boot Crack.
    About halfway up the Boot Crack.
    About halfway up the Boot Crack.
    A look back.
    A look back.
    Me after sewing up Cowboy Boot Crack.
    Me after sewing up Cowboy Boot Crack.
    John cranking the climb quickly before the storm.
    John cranking the climb quickly before the storm.
    Cowboy Boot Crack - 5.6.  The rock is chossy and many placemens were less than ideal.  Some of the rock sounded completely hollow (not good!!!).
    BETA PHOTO: Cowboy Boot Crack - 5.6. The rock is chossy and m...
    Wes climbing Cowbot Boot Crack, August '10.
    Wes climbing Cowbot Boot Crack, August '10.
    Climbing: Matt. <br />Rappelling: Josh. <br />Photographer: Jim.
    Climbing: Matt. Rappelling: Josh. Photographer: Ji...
    Matt cleaning the route....
    Matt cleaning the route....
    Jason Alexander enjoying his first lead on Cowboy Boot Crack (5.6), Garden of the Gods, Colorado.
    Jason Alexander enjoying his first lead on Cowboy ...

    Comments on Cowboy Boot Crack Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 4, 2012
    By Jon Cannon
    Nov 6, 2001

    This route just gobbles up small to medium stoppers. One can stop at the bolts for Trigger Finger, the .9 face climb just left of Cowboy, for a more manageable rappel. Remember the Garden mantra: Pull down, not out.
    By Jon Cannon
    Aug 6, 2002

    I did this route again on Sunday. There is a placement where the Cowboy Boot (the 15-foot tall finger-like formation near the bottom of the route) leans up against the headwall where one could girth-hitch a bridge (I hesitate to call it a pot-hole) between the Boot and the headwall. The bridge is dangerously eroded, and I doubt it would hold a fall.

    To me, this raises an interesting question. Obviously, the bridge (or whatever you geologists would prefer to name it) has eroded because of use by climbers. What had been a beefy, thick naturally-occurring Big Bro when I first started climbing four years ago is now a mere finger's-width. I'm sure some natural erosion has taken place, but it's easy to see the groove where slings have been rubbing away at the rock. Besides not using this any more (I won't), do we as climbers have any affirmative obligations to repair the damage? Is there any cost-effective way to do it in the first place?

    Just curious to see if anyone has any thoughts on this issue.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Dec 12, 2002

    Can you climb the Tourist Gully and traverse left to set up a toprope?
    By Darin Lang
    Dec 13, 2002

    It's certainly possible to traverse in to the anchor from the Tourist Gully. There are one or two mandatory fifth class moves, if the correct route is chosen. It feels more exposed than it looks from the ground.
    By David Danforth
    From: California/Colorado
    Dec 30, 2002

    You can climb the leftern part of the tourist gully to get to the anchors. It's a good way to get up and set up a nice TR. When you get ot the base of the route, just right, there is a small gully next to the tourist gully. Head up the one next to Cowboy. its not too tough but a little exposed. Then, when you get to the top, its just an easy move over a horn and you are right above the anchors.
    By Dan Russell
    Apr 28, 2003

    Don't use the bridge-thing, I've never noticed it. You shouldn't need to place there - wait for the crack.
    By Larry Shaw
    Dec 24, 2003

    What a cool route...I like the hand and finger jams up top.
    By Matt Chan
    From: Boulder
    Apr 1, 2004

    If you use the double ring bolt anchors at the top, bring your 60m rope for rappel. Stoppers, #1 Camalot, and a draw (or two if you continue to the upper anchor) will sew it well.
    By Joshua Balke
    From: Colorado Springs
    Jun 24, 2007

    Took some beginners out this afternoon and a friend ascended the Tourist Gully clearly trailing a rope to set up a TR and was told promptly by someone to get down. I was a bit irritated when I showed up to hear this as he was clearly a "technical climber" with rope and gear and climbing perfectly safely. So, the answer to the above is yes you can, but you may be shouted at.
    By England
    From: ?
    Sep 28, 2008
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Good route. Short, and leaves you wanting more. Found excellent placements for a 6 & 7 Hex (passive), and technical Friends 1.25" thru 2" (active). A lot of other placement opportunities, mostly small to medium nuts.
    By bigwallrog
    From: the farside
    Oct 23, 2009

    Well said England, I might add that the whole face up there is a nice place to spend an afternoon....
    By Michael West
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Dec 28, 2009

    Are the anchors for this the ones higher up or a a little down? I top roped it from the higher ones and it seems to me like they are meant for some climb to the left....
    By ashley holmes
    From: decatur,al.
    Jan 19, 2010

    Done in '07.
    By Stan Jones
    From: Benbrook, TX
    Jul 8, 2010
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Take a BD #3 to put behind the Boot flake before the traverse to the pin. The pin is at the bottom of the crack across from the upper part of the flake. Otherwise all medium to small stuff. A 60m rope will easily reach either the shelf or the ground to the west from the anchors for a rappel, contrary to the route description.
    By Travis Merrill
    Sep 2, 2010

    Climbed this one yesterday. Just a warning: beware of the big Petzl eyebolts at the top anchor (second one?). I got up there and found the eyebolts almost 50% worn through. I know it's a beginner route, but people need to learn to preserve some fixed gear.
    By Walt Barker
    From: Reno NV
    Apr 26, 2012
    rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

    Excellent route. Lots of great placements. Ditto on the #3 for the traverse to the pin, which is not as scary as it appears. You can really sew that crack up, if you want.
    By Michael Lucky
    From: Charleston, SC
    Jun 4, 2012

    I would not want to fall on that pin. I clipped it any way, but it is bent up and doesn't give confidence. This was my first time in GOG and it was fun climbing, but the old pins don't give me a warm and fuzzy.