This small esoteric outcrop is located on an unofficial trail in Deer Creek Canyon Park. Fireblack is a modest boulder with several moderate and interesting problems. The rock is slightly suspect, the problems straight forward and the setting is stellar. South facing, with a ˝ mile uphill approach, Fireblack is a good workout on a summer evening or a warm winter day. Even though it is very close to suburbia, Fireblack has a wilderness appeal. Bobcats, bears and soaring birds are often seen in this less-visited part of Deer Creek.
NOTE: Great pains have been taken to keep Fireblack pristine and chalk free. The FAs were all done without chalk. Use an Eco-ball or sack up and climb without “courage in a bag”.
Several features break Fireblack into easily identifiable sections. The left (west) side of the formation is split by a large horizontal gash. The mid section is marked by a big detached rock at the base. To the right of the detached rock is the main overhang and right from that is the Elephant’s Ear. The crag peters out to the far right with a bushy crack.
Make your way to the very southwest corner of Littleton. Head south on Kipling Parkway. Just south of the Kipling C-470 exit, take a right (west) on W. Ute Ave. Follow this road past Johns-Manville/Xcel and stay on the main track. This will funnel you onto Deer Creek Canyon Road. Odometer checkpoint is a large power substation on the right near the mouth of the canyon.
From the substation, head up the canyon for 2.9 miles. On the right is the entrance to an aggregate mine. Catty-corner across the road is a large dome of rock. Park just west of this dome at a pullout on the south side of the road.
The trail starts behind the rock dome and immediately crosses Deer Creek. This can be spicy during runoff season or completely dry. Immediately after the crossing the trail goes right through some willows. Follow the trail, which is an old service road, as it winds up the side of the hills. Approximately 0.5 miles from the trailhead, you will come to a rising traverse through a piney woods. At the top of the traverse the trail takes a sharp right. The top of Fireblack Boulder can be seen slightly to the southeast. It is about 40 feet from the sharp right.
Per Jay Eggleston: it is about a 15 minute walk from the main road.
Thanks John. It really is a cool spot to just hang out, much less get some laps in.
I really suck at grading boulder problems so all the problem ratings are my best guess. Everyone who visits should keep this in mind and not scream "soft" or "sandbag" too loudly.
Another note: I am constantly cleaning up old trash at this spot and it constantly unearths more. I think there is a long history of beer bottle/gun parties here. So if you visit think about bringing a plastic bag. Thanks!
Oh wow! That's good to know, Mike. I saw fresh mountain lion tracks up there on Saturday night. There was an aggressive black bear up there last summer that freaked a bunch of folks out in Deer Creek Canyon Park. I'll be keeping my eyes peeled.
It seems like the chalkless effort is already down the tubes. C'mon people. Use an eco ball or nothing at all for that matter. The routes are not that difficult. The area is pretty pristine in comparison. Please clean up after yourselves. The bear and lions will be watching. :-) Kidding.
I tried to hike to this boulder on 6/4/09, but was stopped right away in the hike because the creek was high and had a powerful current. There really was not a good way to cross that I could find. This might be something to think about if it has been raining a lot.
To clarify where the bolder is on the trial, when you get to the hard right the bolder is straight ahead before you make the turn. It looks like a 4 foot rock because you are approaching the back of it. Walk down the side and you will see the rock face. It will look familiar from the picture. It was beautiful and worth the hard hike up there!
There is a bridge on the road just east of the big rock dome. You can cross here and bushwhack over to the start of the trail. You have to be careful since the hill is a little steep and the raging water is at the bottom!
I would have to say this is not the place to be in the middle of the day in August. The rubber on my shoes got so hot my feet started to blister after only about 20 minutes. As a result I only got a few sends in before I bailed. This boulder would definitely be a good spot in the fall, or anytime it's below 80. Nice find.