Get ready for some stemming! This route is on the left-facing dihedral area of Rincon (uphill, and around the corner from the right-facing dihedral area). It follows a nice dihedral for about 90 feet. The crux(es) are stemming moves with not much for hands. At the top, you can walk off, or finish with the last pitch of Over the Hill (recommended), which is a beautiful finger crack that goes right through a pink streak on the wall. The summit is also a walk off to the left.
Bring your stoppers, RPs, some small TCUs, a #1 cam, and some slings.
Led this pitch today and I have to say that it is one of my favorite, if not my favorite 5.9 pitch in Eldo...a great finger crack in the back of the dihedral, some cool stemming in the tight corner...the 2nd half has an awesome hand crack that goes all the way to the belay...very sustained and LOTS of fun.
Question: Near the top of the pitch, as the width of the walls that make up the dihedral gets narrower, is it permissible to use the outside edges of those walls as holds? In other words, does staying on-route require one to use only the crack and the two faces?
By Tony B From: Around Boulder, CO May 5, 2003 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
That's a trad route- if you can reach it and still reach the crack, it's on. Eliminates are for boulder problems, but trad routes generally use all holds to create the line of least resistnce within a given system.
Another good route, in a good area. We climbed this after doing Over and Out. I thought the 5.9 rating was right now. Maybe a hard 5.9... but a 9. I thought the crux came down low, but my partner thought it was at the top...
This is another fun climb. the moves are interesting and different. Gear is good. Lots of places for some sweet footwork. The top gets kinda thin, but it's not as steep as the bottom.
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 28, 2003 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
Lead this today after doing Over & Out...and the winner is...E. C. by a TKO. Really enjoyed this little number. Sustained & steep (9), with positive thin fingers, good stemming, good placements & stances (takes small Aliens and stoppers), in a great area (off the beaten path & scenic), make climbing up there a pleasure.
Amazing, especially when combined with the 5.9 second pitch of OTH. I used more stoppers (mostly micro nuts) on the four pitches of this and Over and Out than the last years worth of climbing at Eldo (possibly a slight exaggeration). Thin, 'technical' pro and moves so different from most other Eldo 8/9 that I still ache 2 days later - everything but my forearms.
I agree this may be a though 9, but if you climb with more technique and less power, this feel like an easier 9 than if you're a sport climbing powerhouse. It never gets vertical (either pitch), so affords the opportunity to place gear if you can stand around on small edges and smears. Of course, since I'm not used to placing nuts, this was a good thing as I spent a while trying to fish in those little do-they-really-hold-a-fall RPs.
Thinking about climbing this pitch or Over and Out tomorrow with a friend with a hurt hand. How does the climb compare with the first pitch of Tagger, or the Green Spur crux? Charles, I know you've been all over.... What's your opinion?
By M.Morley Administrator From: Sacramento, CA Feb 24, 2004
William, I just got on this again a week ago. It is excellent, 2++ stars, I would say even better than the first pitch of Over and Out and certainly more sustained. Gear is straightforward. Easier than Green Spur, on par with Tagger P1. The route description here calls for RPs, but I didn't use anything that small. Combined with P2 of Over the Hill, this is a GREAT outing. Have a shot at Faulty Logic too!
Make the guy with the hurt hand lead it! :) Seriously though, the Emerald City pitch is all about feet and stemming, so, probably a good choice for somebody with a hurt hand to try. I think it is pretty comparable to Green Spur in difficulty, and you will probably find the gear to be a little easier than tagger P1. The last pitch of over and out (5.7+/8ish) is pretty good too. Not as good as over the hill's last pitch, but less fingery, and coninues in an asthetic dihedral with good gear (the dihedral to the left of Over the Hill's last pitch). You can also escape left after the EC pitch if necessary.
Great route; when combined with the second pitch of Over the Hill it is one of the best at this grade. The route seemed sustained 5.9 to me, but there are good rests to place good gear between moves. Both this route and the second pitch of Over the Hill are delicate and balance-oriented 5.9 versus pumpy/strenuous 5.9. Enjoy!
Awesome route, especially if you combine with the top pitch of Over the Hill. There is currently a fixed wire about 20 feet up Emerald City, right about at the crux (below the first horizontal rail right of the corner). The crux seems more tricky than hard, but failing to find a trick I found it quite a struggle. If you start liebacking the clock is ticking! Stemming seems to be the key, but even stemming seemed desperate at the crux.
By Matt Richardson Administrator From: Longmont, CO Sep 29, 2007 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
Beautiful route...that fixed nut that George was talking about below the crux is still there. I ended up laying the crux back - it was pretty thin but not unreasonable.
By D. Shaw Oct 7, 2008 rating: 5.9+5c17VIE1 5a PG13
Have climbed Eldo for 25 years and never did it 'cause it always took a back seat to Over the Hill (OTH) and/or A.-Book. What a fool am I? LInk it with last pitch of OTH and you have a "classic."
Great pitch. Dunno about sustained (at all) and this was my first 5.9 lead. A few thin moves, but you always have a jug/ledge in view that is a move or two away to shoot for. As long as you look a move or two ahead (especially for your feet) it's pretty easy. Got in 'trouble' up top when I thought I would walk the last 10 feet of the first dihedral, had to downclimb to a stance after pumping myself out in a ridiculous bearhug with the dihedral. Looked at it with a more critical eye and then cruised it no problem. The handcrack at the top was super enjoyable, I wish it went on forever!
By Joey Wolfe Nov 26, 2009 rating: 5.95c17VIHVS 5a
Listen to the comments above and climb emerald city to the second pitch of Over the Hill or as I refer to it now the "Emerald Hill". Great climbing!!