Beginning Feb. 1st each year, a seasonal wildlife closure will be in effect on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park to protect nesting and roosting sites of the canyon’s falcons. The closure is in effect through July 31st unless lifted early due to early fledging or inactivity.
The closure includes the following climbing routes: The Naked Edge (last 3 pitches only), The Diving Board, Centaur, Redguard (last 3 pitches only), Red Ant, Semi-Wild, Anthill Direct (last 3 pitches only), and The Sidetrack.
This classic route is in dire need of an upgrade. It climbs right to left across the very smooth, very overhanging wall left of the crux (2nd) pitch of C'est La Vie and features bouldery moves on flat to sloping edges and a crux finish on an overhanging arete.
After waiting ten years to try the route, my fat ass pulled off a huge key flake right at the fourth bolt yesterday. Sincere apologies to the climbing community!
There may be some holds left, but they definitely need cleaning, if not a little glue (there was a little glue on the flake, but obviously not enough). The old Mammut ring bolts on this route could use replacing as well. They look pretty sketchy and rusty. It didn't look like anyone had been on the route in a long time.
Anyway, from the belay at the base of the 2nd pitch of C'est La Vie fire up the blank corner past a funky pin, placing a couple of RPs for safety's sake (11a). Reach a good finger lock (a stopper or TCUs goes in nicely here -- use a long sling) and lean waaayyyy left to clip the crispy fixed draw on the first bolt. Continue left via strenuous moves past more crispy draws, then move up past a curious hueco above the fourth bolt.
You'll need some trad gear for the first pitch of C'est La Vie, which takes you to the bolted belay below Desdichado. To get to Desdichado's bolts you'll also have to do the crux (desperate) of C'est La Vie. Bring RPs, a long sling and a couple of mid-ranged stoppers for the crux corner.
I would think if you can fire this route the crux of C'est La Vie isn't desperate! I once was up there when George Squibb was working on this route (maybe 10 years ago). He swarmed up the route past several bolts but could never quite finish (that day). He gave us detailed beta on the crux of C'est La Vie and we still couldn't get anywhere on it.
I have *not* done Desdichado (nor could I), but I have done C'est La Vie a few times. Before riddling out the tricky moves on CLV, I was using a side pull on the left wall of the dihedral to reach up (pretty reachy) and grab a hold on the Desdichado traverse, and then try to work into the CLV finger lock that way (it didn't work. I eventually figured out I had to stay on the slab and in the corner...)
Anyway, my point: I think its possible to get onto this route without doing the (I agree) desperate slab crux on CLV. I could certainly have clipped the first bolt of Desdichado from the holds I reached.
Another thought: no matter how good a climber you are, I can't imagine the CLV crux feeling anything but extremely edgy!
You can get on this route without doing CLV crux if you have long arms and are reasonably strong. Getting past the first clip is the hard part and there is no way I could link it. The falls onto the first bolt were clean though.
I climbed on this line a couple times in 2004, and although I didn't send it, I felt the 13c grade was still applicable. I did not use the crux of C'est La Vie to gain access to the steep face, I used Tony's "long arms and reasonably strong" beta. Also, note that there are no anchors...to finish the climb in the true old school fashion you establish on the slab and take the whip.
This climb is amazing. The movement is very continuous and dynamic- no single move is harder than maybe 12+/13-, but no move is too much easier either. There are restful positions, but there is no rest. All of the [remaining] holds felt solid to me- Regardless of the broken hold, Desdichado (still goes!) and is still an incredible, historically significant, Eldo testpiece classic!
I replaced the draws on Desdichado today. The old dog bones were classic: radically multi-colored, once neon random geometric patterns. I considered calling the Smithsonian, but decided to keep these relics closer to Boulder. Enjoy!
By Bart Paull From: Boulder, CO Mar 10, 2011 rating: 5.13d8b31X32E8 7a
This is a very cool route worth the shenanigans to check out .... C. Griffith put this one up ahead of its time ....
Back in the day, if you were going to give Desdichado a go, you only brought draws up with you, doing C'est La Vie the fun way--runout! lol!
A tip for the start of Desdichado--clip the second pin (may be gone now) in the dihedral and layback the pocket/edge hold on Desdichado with the right hand to clip the bolt, and then pull back into the dihedral and downclimb back to the ledge for a shake out. When you are ready for the "go", go back to the pocket edge, but this time layback it with the left, cross the right over to the sloper, and toe hook (rand pull) under you left hand, leaving the right foot smeared on the dihedral face (layback). Once toe hooked, release the left hand and go for the low corner thing hold. As soon as you get it, the feet break away, and you can stab the cut-out with the left foot. A couple shrugs and you are at the second bolt.
Great Route! More fun than CG's 'The Verve', IMHO.
By Hank Caylor Administrator From: Golden, CO Aug 28, 2011
Verve is pretty sweet though if you like that type of thrutching. Good to see you on here, Larry, way to fire these routes BITD!
HANK! Wow, been a long time. I don't know if you knew Russell Hopper from OKC, but I just found out he died of cancer. It's sad to lose another one of the old crew.
Anyway, glad to see you are still with the sport. I'm just kinda getting back into it after a 15 year hiatus. Not sure why, but it's sucking me back in. I'll be teaching Sharma a thing or two here shortly, kidding. Guys and gals are really tearing it up these days. Amazing.