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Eldo sucks AKA the crag blasphemer's thread
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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Oct 28, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Kenan: The "Eldo Sucks" statement was to raise ire, and make people click through. I don't honestly think Eldo sucks, I just don't get super psyched for most of what I've done there. I appreciate your point about, well basically elaborating. So, to not be a troll and make my point:

Eldo is the best crag on the Hwy 6/Hwy 93/Broadway St corridor. (Clear Creek is quite good though). But mostly, when given a full day. I'd much rather wake up early and go to S Platte or Lumpy's, I'm not incredibly enthralled with any of those areas.

Why? I think that the climbing that I enjoy is when I'm folllowing an aesthetic line. Indian Creek, Lumpy's, S Platte , Index and Leavenworth, WA, that's the rock that keeps me coming back.

Yes, those are all cracks climbing areas, but I think that style lends itself to striking lines. Yet at the same time, there are many sport routes in the SE, and actually a few in CCC that have that quality. The simple idea that, on this stretch of wall, this is the only way to go. This is the line that you follow. That inspires me.

I think that The Bastille and The Yellow Spur stand out to me as wonderful climbs in Eldo because their lines are so striking, and logical. However I feel as if a lot of what I've climbed there seems to simply be the one path of hundreds up similar stretches of the wall chosen simply due to the difficulty they present. "Here the wall is 5.11, there, twenty feet over there the wall is 5.9, we will belay on top of each other."

I realize, that to many of you, that aspect of Eldo is why it is simply so amazing and memorable. The rock is incredibly featured, there are so, so many options, which is really great, but in the end, it just makes whatever it is that I'm climbing seem less special and fulfilling.


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By Bryan G
From San Jose
Oct 28, 2012
Puffy jackets and Happy Boulders

Tahquitz Rock kind of blows. People seem to love it because it's the only place in Socal you can find a route longer than 2 rope-lengths. But if it was located somewhere in the Sierra's, with the same 45 min approach from the road, it would almost never get climbed. Suicide Rock, although smaller, is stacked with way more classics (and ones that actually live up to the hype).


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By Wyowhitewater
From Golden
Oct 29, 2012

Your all correct Eldo sucks, it is a choss pile, you actually have to know how to place and be creative with gear, be willing and ready to climb above very small gear at your limit. Oh and you might have to wear a helmet.

Now go tell your friends; quit trying to grow a pair, go climb somewhere else, and leave me and my favorite pile of loose rocks and heady leads alone.

And for the record I don't give two shits about my grammer, or spelling


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 29, 2012
El Chorro

John Shultz wrote:
I think this is an interesting thread. Some spots are truly world class and others aren't. Not a specific location, but all basalt crags are less appealing to me than any other kind of stone. Ed mentioned British grit, which is actually great stone, but not worthy of an international trip for that purpose alone. It is short and the weather is always shite. I have climbed once in Eldo and it was beautiful, but somewhat disturbing in terms of its rock quality and its different feel. I think granite just spoils you to some extent.


I agree that once you've climbed on granite, everything else is sort of second to that. Same thing could be said about the Nuttall Sandstone of the New. But I don't think it is fair to say that the Gritstone isn't worth an international trip because it's short. It is some of the best rock you'll ever climb, and if you have ever climbed here you know that topping out a 40 foot E3 feels about the same as topping out a 100 foot 5.11 at most single pitch US crags. A lot of fun to be had on these "short" crags. If I remember correctly, a group of pretty good American climbers made an international trip to climb on God's Own Stone a few years back - they didn't seem to have any trouble getting some climbing done.

As for the weather, it is just like any other climbing area - it has it's season. I will take a week off in March to climb there every year and can be sure that I'm going to get plenty of routes done. It's climbable pretty much year round once you understand which crags to go to. I live three hours south of the Peak District and weather actually doesn't keep me away that often. It's just that I have about 4000 routes on the south coast of England that are closer to me than the 4000 routes on Grit.

But like some people said about Eldo - you have to compare apples to apples. Grit and Eldo are both LOCAL crags - and when compared to other LOCAL crags, they are some of the best in the world.



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By Chris treggE
Administrator
From Madison, WI
Oct 29, 2012
This problem haunted my dreams for 6 years after failing to send in 2008.  Finally got to try it again -- now I can sleep.  Photo Darin Limvere.

Tony B wrote:
Well, it is great stone... if only it were taller than 50'. And then there's the fact that it is plopped down right smack dab in the center of Wisconsin... Yep, I climbed there for years.


I would venture to say that a vanishingly small number of people who live in Wisconsin moved here for Devil's Lake.

Madison is a great place, low unemployment, university, the state capitol, good schools, no traffic, etc. Devil's Lake happens to be nearby which is cool. I have never waited in line for a route, and the post-climbing swimming is great. There is a lot for families and kids to do as well. I'm kind of glad it's "plopped down right smack dab in the center of Wisconsin". I guess it depends on where you are in life.


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

Nice Chris - You're a better sport than my in-laws who live there and claim to actually like it.
As far as WI Vs CO goes, the annual hoofer party is here, as are quite a few of the remaining DLFA folks. They all moved here to climb in sucky eldo. (prod prod)


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By Ed Wright
Oct 29, 2012
Magic Ed

mozeman wrote:
hahahahaha did someone really say that devils lake is the BEST rock in the WORLD?! and we though climbers from eldo were pretentious


I said that and I stand by my belief. Have you ever experienced the amazing quartzite at Devil's Lake? If not, you need to stop laughing and go check it out.


Breakfast of Champs at Devil's Lake <br />photo by Matt Kuehl
Breakfast of Champs at Devil's Lake
photo by Matt Kuehl


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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2012
Got Milk? How about forearm pump? Tony leads "Alan Nelson's Bulging Belly" (5.10, X) on the Lost and Found Flatiron. Belayer is Mark Ruocco. Photo by Bill Wright, 10/06.

And I will say, Ed, that climbs like The Black Rib and Flatus Triple Direct are classics... but we are blaspheming here, are we not?

Speaking of which... how are things going down in that miserable hell-hole you call Potrero? (grin) Got any new stuff to share?


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By EMT
Oct 29, 2012
me bouldering in MT

Andrew Gram wrote:
The Yosemite comment is funny though. Kinda like looking at the Pacific Ocean and thinking it should be bigger.


^^^^^^^That;s funny! and true. Really how can anyone even in jest bag on Yose?

Don't you think that some of the hype comes from the fact that it's the first good climbing you hit when driving west across the plains?

It's a world class place for sure. It's just different, so for some it might not be their cup of tea.


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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 29, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.

It really depends on what is in your back yard. I climb in the Splatte a lot and to be honest I get more excited to go to Eldo. Seems stupid but I get tired of wandering around in the woods to try and find shit and I get tired of crack climbing.

Eldo suits my climbing style though so I guess that could be some of it.


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By Ed Wright
Oct 29, 2012
Magic Ed

EMT wrote:
^^^^^^^That;s funny! and true. Really how can anyone even in jest bag on Yose? Don't you think that some of the hype comes from the fact that it's the first good climbing you hit when driving west across the plains? It's a world class place for sure. It's just different, so for some it might not be their cup of tea.


This is not in jest. I've only been to the big ditch once, stayed a month and had a good time, but have never had even the slightest desire to go back.


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By sanz
From Raleigh, NC
Oct 29, 2012
One of my first trad leads, on Ooga Chocka at Crowder's Mountain.

Just for the record, I'd bang Salma Hayek on the rag.

I also climb in the rain at the New.

Go figure.


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By MorganH
Oct 29, 2012

Kenan wrote:
For anyone who thinks that "Eldo sucks", I would be very interested in seeing a ticklist of the routes you've climbed in Eldo to bring you to this conclusion. Care to share?


I think it's over-hyped, and my ticklist is too long to list, but here's a couple off the top of my head (it's been a few years):

yellow spur
green spur
bastille crack
genesis
naked edge
rosy crusifiction
rincon
center route on rincon
climb of the century
equinox

The issue isn't that there aren't incredible routes (all the above listed are pretty awesome), but that the ratio of incredible routes to utter choss is very high.


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By Tradoholic
Oct 29, 2012

Ed Wright wrote:
I said that and I stand by my belief. Have you ever experienced the amazing quartzite at Devil's Lake? If not, you need to stop laughing and go check it out.


DL is an acquired taste and Eldo certainly sucks but in a good way.


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By Steve Sangdahl
From eldo sprngs,co
Oct 29, 2012

Eldo is not for everyone and that's okay. We don,t call it the "sandstone junkyard museum " for nothin. The classics here can be done over and over. Most of the well travelled routes do not have any loose rock and if they do,like Derek H. Use to say "you only need to pull on the hold a wee bit" I.E. Tread lightly! Sure there might be better areas,but where else could I OWN a house and walk 5 minutes from my door and have some great climbs at my finger tips! As an added bonus I can watch folks on the Naked edge from my deck while swilling cheap swill.
As for Devil,s Lake ,like Tony said a lot of us DLFA types moved here manŷ ŷears ago (29yrs.)to climb in Eldo but we also "NEEDED" to get out west to become more well rounded climbers .....I.e. multi pitch,route finding,crack climbing technique,mountain weather,epics,and back country skiing to name a few. Devil,s lake has some great rock and is a great place to learn how to pull down and has a great community and was the scene of some of the best care free days of my youth....but it is limited!
As a side note,could someone please describe "world class" ? Peace and fuk-nes Steve S. another reason us Dlfa losers moved west was to be closer to the "Ditch"


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 29, 2012

Steve Sangdahl wrote:
As a side note,could someone please describe "world class" ? Peace and fuk-nes Steve S.


My working definition of world class is that it is worth flying from a different continent for, and if you happen to live near one world class destination, another is still worth traveling to.

By that metric, very little in the Front Range is world class, although there are a few places in Colorado that are world class. Rifle and the Black come to mind. Vedauwoo is not world class, but Devils Tower is world class. Indian Creek is world class, but Arches National Park is not. These are all great places, and if the drive isn't too far, worth visiting. But I just could never justify spending $1500 to fly from France (for instance) to climb in Eldo or Vedauwoo if I wasn't also tagging some real world class places in the process.


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By Ryan Williams
Administrator
From London (sort of)
Oct 29, 2012
El Chorro

Brian Scoggins wrote:
My working definition of world class is that it is worth flying from a different continent for, and if you happen to live near one world class destination, another is still worth traveling to.


That's a pretty good definition.

So let's see, I live in London and can be at a half dozen or more "world class" areas in less than 8 hours for a lot less than $1500. So if I were going to fly to N. America to climb, it would be at one of the following areas:

- Yosemite (or anywhere in the High Sierra)
- Southern Utah (not just IC but Castle Valley, etc).
- Wind River Range (was gonna last year but bailed - never been)
- Bugaboos
- Sqamish?
- Cochise Stronghold (great winter weather and no bullshit)
- New River Gorge (including the Red if the weather sucks)
- Gunks and Dacks because it is only a 7 hour flight and only about $600
- NC because it's my home and the flight is same as for NY


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By Kenan
Oct 29, 2012
Shelf Rd

MorganH wrote:
I think it's over-hyped, and my ticklist is too long to list, but here's a couple off the top of my head (it's been a few years): yellow spur green spur bastille crack genesis naked edge rosy crusifiction rincon center route on rincon climb of the century equinox The issue isn't that there aren't incredible routes (all the above listed are pretty awesome), but that the ratio of incredible routes to utter choss is very high.


Well, let's just say that you and I live in different universes. To tick those routes and be unimpressed is mind-boggling to me. There are over 1,000 routes in that canyon and so many are classics. The place has always resonated with me. Oh well, different strokes for different folks. I really should just STFU so this "Eldo sucks" concept can really have a chance to take hold.


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Oct 29, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Brian Scoggins wrote:
My working definition of world class is that it is worth flying from a different continent for, and if you happen to live near one world class destination, another is still worth traveling to. By that metric, very little in the Front Range is world class, although there are a few places in Colorado that are world class. Rifle and the Black come to mind. Vedauwoo is not world class, but Devils Tower is world class. Indian Creek is world class, but Arches National Park is not. These are all great places, and if the drive isn't too far, worth visiting. But I just could never justify spending $1500 to fly from France (for instance) to climb in Eldo or Vedauwoo if I wasn't also tagging some real world class places in the process.


Interesting that you picked Devil's Tower and not the Tetons as the world class destination of Wyoming. They seem fairly similar, IE, the draw is more the view than the movement on rock. Perhaps Jackson Hole is a similar city to Boulder in that the term "world class" applies more to the overall experience of climbing in and in the vicinity of the city than it does to climbing in any one of those areas. (I would concede that the variety and sheer amount of climbing in and around Boulder would earn my $1500 for a trip if I lived overseas, whereas any of those areas alone would not)

Eldo, CCC, Flatirons and Boulder Canyon alone? Eh, cool enough. But all four within 30 mins of each other? Pretty extraordinary.


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By adam brink
From Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2012
Arlo in all his magnificence.

Brian Scoggins wrote:
I just could never justify spending $1500 to fly from France (for instance) to climb in Eldo.


It's funny you said that because I've toured some ripping strong French climbers around Eldo who flew here just to climb on the Front Range and they seemed pretty psyched.


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By Brian Scoggins
From Eugene, OR
Oct 29, 2012

I haven't climbed in the Tetons, but what I hear is that the rock is kinda lousy compared to RMNP. But that's just what I've heard.

I thought the character of routes at Devils Tower put it in standing with Yosemite or Indian Creek in terms of singular cracks, and the position made up for the low number of routes.


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By Alex Quitiquit
From Salt Lake City
Oct 29, 2012
meow

+1 for American Fork. American fork is claimed to be a sport climbing destination but as a previous poster mentioned, it's similar movement on solid, but horribly featured, (polished) stone.

also +1 for granite ruining your perspective on everything.

once you've flavored some unbelievable granite routes, including alpine exposure and perfect friction filled splitters, you lose relative understanding.

Zion is awesome... and whoever says nah doesn't get that zion is like a sandstone yosemite without the unbelievable logistics.

speaking of yosemite... I won't go there. :)


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By jmeizis
From Colorado Springs, CO
Oct 29, 2012
The Beginning of Mr. Clean (5.8) at the Barkeater Cliffs in Adirondack Park NY.

Brian Scoggins wrote:
My working definition of world class is that it is worth flying from a different continent for, and if you happen to live near one world class destination, another is still worth traveling to.


I don't like that definition. Maybe it's because I'm poor but I can't think of any rock climbing destination outside of North America that I'm willing to fly to. I would for example try to get the money together to make a trip to SA to go to Patagonia and the Cordillera Blanca but even having a friend who lives down there I can't convince myself to spend the money to go down there and just go to say Cochamo. Same for Europe. I'd go for the Alps and if I did some cragging awesome but I'm not making a special trip out there to go to say Ceuse.

You could say i'm being alpinecentric but even for alpine I'm more willing to go to places that are closer to me. Classic is a rough defenition. I'd argue it's somewhere you're willing to save up time and money just to go to. In which case I don't know that I'd put any Colorado areas in that category except maybe The Black and RMNP.

It also depends on what kind of climbing you're into. The two areas I just named don't mean crap to a sport climber.


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By willeslinger
From Golden, Colorado
Oct 30, 2012
I was pretty bummed when they didn't greenlight my "Bourne Identity" style reboot of The Eiger Sanction. This was from the rough draft's first act.

Brian Scoggins wrote:
I haven't climbed in the Tetons, but what I hear is that the rock is kinda lousy compared to RMNP. But that's just what I've heard. I thought the character of routes at Devils Tower put it in standing with Yosemite or Indian Creek in terms of singular cracks, and the position made up for the low number of routes.


Very true. Gorgeous routes. Basalt corner cracks are quite awesome.


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By John Shultz
From Osaka, Japan
Oct 30, 2012
Above the beautifully positioned routes at Makapuu. Oahu, HI.

Ryan Williams wrote:
But I don't think it is fair to say that the Gritstone isn't worth an international trip because it's short. It is some of the best rock you'll ever climb, and if you have ever climbed here you know that topping out a 40 foot E3 feels about the same as topping out a 100 foot 5.11 at most single pitch US crags. A lot of fun to be had on these "short" crags.


I don't disagree about the fun, my friend. But as you say it is a local crag. And the weather is likely crap at any time. There is a reason why tap water contains residual traces of antidepressants in England.


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