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Gonzo 

YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c

   
Type:  Trad, 2 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.8 French: 5b Ewbanks: 16 UIAA: VI- ZA: 15 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Larry Hamilton, Roger Briggs, 1974.
Page Views: 5,294
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 11, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (119)
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Actually, I'm on Deviant, the crack on the left, b...

Climbing reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Pretty good route with a nice finger crack on P1 then a hand and fist crack on P2.

P1. Start in the dihedral in between fins 4 and 3 (fins numbered from R2L). At the top of the large block, move left into the obvious finger crack (8). Jam it up as it arches left and belay just below a small tree around the corner.

P2: Take the large crack up the face (7) to the summit. This pitch you'll need both of those big cams and possibly a few other larger pieces.

Descent: Walk off to the NW along a worn path.

Protection 

Standard rack plus an extra #1 Friend, and two #3 Camalots (or the like) for pitch two.


Photos of Gonzo Slideshow Add Photo
Ben Mottinger starts up the easy beginning.
Ben Mottinger starts up the easy beginning.
We rapped off the third fin with a 60m, after Gonz...
BETA PHOTO: We rapped off the third fin with a 60m, after Gonz...
Myke Komarnitsky seconding the roof traverse, a fu...
Myke Komarnitsky seconding the roof traverse, a fu...
Russell Hunter and Clint Locks on P2 of Gonzo - 4/...
Russell Hunter and Clint Locks on P2 of Gonzo - 4/...
Myke again, chalking up.
Myke again, chalking up.
Also, there is rests, if you can find them, as Myk...
Also, there is rests, if you can find them, as Myk...
Did I mention there are great finger jams and layb...
Did I mention there are great finger jams and layb...
Jeff and ? and my shadow taken from the belay on M...
Jeff and ? and my shadow taken from the belay on M...
Dave Scully (aka Silent Bob) leading P2 of Gonzo. ...
Dave Scully (aka Silent Bob) leading P2 of Gonzo. ...
Finishing the first pitch. Two 0.5 cams and a big ...
BETA PHOTO: Finishing the first pitch. Two 0.5 cams and a big ...
On a cold, snowy day in April.
On a cold, snowy day in April.
Yours truly leading the 2nd pitch.
Yours truly leading the 2nd pitch.

Comments on Gonzo Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 21, 2014
By Matt Bauman
Jan 1, 2001

Led the first pitch today....short but FUN!!!!!! The second pitch is just as fun in a wide crack sorta way....I give it 3 stars, way cool route.
By Chris Fisher
Jul 2, 2001

I also led the first pitch yesterday. I thought it was a lot of fun. Just wish it was longer. The second pitch was also well worth finishing.
By Ben F
From: Benfield, Kolorado
Aug 25, 2001

I did this route this morning and after comparing the picture of V3, which shows this route, to what I saw today, I have one question. Who is/are the prick(s) who are trying to kill that little tree at the belay? You really suck and should take a rusty razor blade to your wrist. That little tree barely had anything green on it.

Good route.
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Mar 14, 2002

And yet another cool route in an area that does not see too much traffic. I climbed this in the fall and saw two other people there on a warm and sunny saturday afternoon. One should check out the boulder that is adjacent to the parking area...Shane
By Brice W
Aug 22, 2002

Fun climb. Nice to have the crag to ourselves on a busy Saturday afternoon in Eldo. This climb can be done in one pitch with a 60M rope, but I don't recommend doing that unless you are a fan of rope drag. To me, the awkward, slanting crack on p2 (5.7 in Rossiter's guide) felt harder than the nice finger crack on pitch 1. The scramble off is obvious and easy.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Sep 9, 2002

The first pitch felt easy for an Eldo 5.8. There is really only one hard move - and the gear is great for the whole pitch (it might be easier for fat-fingered crack heads). The second pitch felt harder because it is more sustained. At least 2 #3 Camalots for the second pitch as it is sustained at that size. I don't think you need 2 #1 Friends for the first pitch - there are some bomber nut placements and you only need 1 or 2 small cams for the lower section and a couple in the roof, we had green-red Aliens and were fine. Fun climb.

casey bernal
By Ernie Port
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jul 17, 2003

Did this today and agree with Brice W. that P2 (7) crack up high felt harder,more sustained, than the P1 crack at (8). Used arm bars in the wide crack up there, as there are no obvious holds to reach for and shakey stances for (7) climbing on P2. Nonetheless, a good route. I didn't like the looks of the start to the left of the boulder, so I opted for the same start as V3, to the right of the boulder. Once on top of this large rock, you can gain the Gonzo crack by traversing the top of the boulder and stepping across a void. I felt this protected better and was a fun start.
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Jul 18, 2003

A great route with two very distinct pitches. The finger crack under the traversing roof of pitch one looks a lot thinner from the ground than it really is and allows for some solid jams. The second pitch is sustained and by the end (at least for me) the crack was even to wide for a solid arm jam. Fun route though. If the approach was roadside it would be climbed everyday.
By shad O'Neel
Oct 20, 2003

watch for a really loose block in the crack on p. 2. there is chalk all over the top as testimony that people have pulled here before, but when you jam between the block and wall of the crack you move the block. After realizing how loose it was, i went out left around it, and that seemed harder than if you pulled on the block for sure, but id hate to rip it out on myself, get hurt, and ruin some poor bastard's day below.Contrary to this web site, i thought gonzo was nicer than V3.
By Guy H.
From: Fort Collins CO
Jan 12, 2004

You can get away with a single set of cam's for both pitches, if you bring hex's. The crack sucks them right off your rack.
By William McGehee
From: Choctaw, OK
Sep 24, 2004

Don't even need the hexs. Just bring finger and big hand-sized cams. Don't even really worry about bringing the mid-size cams. Also, make your anchor immediately after the traverse so you aren't inclined to use the little tree as a belayer's personal anchor. No telling how long that thing will support people.A fun alternative to the walk-off and/or rapping: Walk north approximately 30' to a large downed pine tree. Downclimb the limbs of the dead tree, carefully placing feet on the limbs as close to the trunk as possible. Gets you RIGHT down to the bottom and a rather fun option as well!~Wm
By Jason Shatek
Nov 3, 2004

I followed P1 and thought it was fun. I led P2 and thought it was horrid. The leaning crack made the entire pitch really uncomfortable and harder than most of the 5.8s that I've done. There are no rests and not much for feet. In one section the crack becomes too large for jamming adding to the spice. It looks to me like you have to do P2, I didn't see a way to retreat as some of the comments might suggest. I would love to lead P1 but I felt P2 was really awful. I probably won't climb this one again anytime soon. -jason
By Danny
Apr 4, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The first pitch of this one is great, the crux feels spicy but protects very well with a red alien. I agree with the 5.8 rating, however compared to V3 (which is also a great route) this route is more difficult technically IMO. In short, take the hike (which is nothing compared to many approaches) and loose the crowds. enjoy!
By Mike McKinnon
From: Golden, CO
Jul 22, 2005
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Did this route last weekend. I did the whole route in one pitch with no rope drag. I placed about 4 pieces o n the lower section and [found] that it was actually easier than the upper section. [Definitely] bring more than one 3 if you want protect it well. I had one 3 and had to run it out quite a bit. Also, at the beginning of the 2nd pitch there is a large loose block wedge in the crack. There is a chalk X marked on it. This block wobbles and is really loose. I had to climb around it making hte climb a little harder than usual. Give it a try and do it in one pitch. Spare the baby tree:)
By Kevin Currigan
From: Lakewood
Aug 12, 2006
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

The BIG loose block/flake is still there-lookout! You may want a good directional on P1 at the top of the block and right at the bottom of the crack. Your belayer is about 30' from you horizontally at this point.
By Richard Radcliffe
From: Louisville, CO
Jul 21, 2007

P1: The hard part is short (15-20') culminating in a classic tricky Eldo move to get out of the corner onto the first big ledge. P2: Felt very insecure for a non-crack climber -- I felt more secure leading P1 than following P2. My partner basically used 2 pieces on P2. Hand-sized cam about 10-15' above the belay and then an old blue Camalot (#3 or 4?) that he kept sliding all the way up the crack until almost at the top.
By John Korfmacher
From: Fort Collins, CO
Oct 8, 2007

Climbed 10.6.2007 with S. Costello. Tried this earlier this spring as one pitch and ran out of large pro on the wide 5.7. I would recommend doing the route as two short pitches 1) to avoid a lot of rope drag and 2) have a full rack of big pieces for the second pitch.

Second pitch is especially cool--plenty of arm-jams but scanty feet in places.

There is a great deal of choss at the top of the route--be VERY careful. On my earlier attempt, I managed to knock off a piece and gash the hand of a woman on the ground--if you're reading this, my sincere apology!
By tooTALLtim
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 7, 2008

Don't place a lot of gear at the bottom, sling them well, and you'll be loving this as a one pitch route without the awkward belay. Two #2s and #3s were welcome, and I could've put in a #4.
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Sep 8, 2008

Climbed this Saturday, I thought it was better then V3 personally. ?One pitch, long runners, clip the tree to run the rope around the lip of the roof smoothly. A double rack especially in the 1-3.5 range is nice. I really enjoyed the second pitch which I had not done before as I had gone on Deviant in the past. Lots of good jambing in the hands/off hands/fists range. I thought the feet were great as we did this right after Deviant which in comparison is way thinner for the feet.
By tony y
From: Denver, CO
Nov 3, 2008

Pretty fun route with finger to hands to offwidth size. throwing that right leg into the leaning offwidth up top was awkwardly fun. A couple #3-3.5 Camalots for the top section make things G-rated.

BUT all the loose rock above the route sucked. I ended up belaying from a tree maybe 15 feet above all the loose rock on top and kept worrying if my partner was gonna get taken out by the rope dislodging some death block. Yuck. Is there a better belay at top?
By James Beissel
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 19, 2009

I thought this route was fantastic.

The second pitch tops out on an awful pile of stacked choss. The pitch diagonals quite a bit so the belayer is out of harm's way, but being on Deviant or anywhere in that vicinity while someone is up there would be a bad idea.

For the average leader, I would suggest a single set of cams from thin fingers to hand size and doubles of #3 and #3.5 Camalots. Throw in a set of Stoppers and you should have no problems.

Please leave that poor tree alone!
By kevinnlong
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 23, 2009
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Gonzo is an excellent, sustained crack climbing route. Next to other 5.8 classics in Eldorado, such as the Long John Wall, Regguae, and Gambit, it easily holds its own and is actually 5.8 for more than just 5-10 feet.

To squeeze even more crack climbing out of the route, one should crawl through the hole at the base of the climb (under the block between V3 and Gonzo, and start from inside. This will add ~10 feet more of beautiful laybacks.
By Count Chockula
From: Littleton, CO
Jun 28, 2010

Climbed this yesterday and thought the P2 off-hands/fist crack was harder than anything on P1, V3, or Ghetto Cruiser. 5.7? Hmmm...maybe for taller folks or those with big hands. I was burying my arms into that crack and never felt super secure with the jams. I thought the move to the reasonable stance just over halfway up the crack was pretty burly for 5.7. If you like to sew things up like I do, three #3s wouldn't hurt.

P1 was excellent. Great finger crack with solid yet committing laybacks for a couple moves at the crux.
By Adam McFarren
From: Boulder, Colorado
Oct 2, 2010

Thought pitch 2 was harder than pitch 1 or V3. May have been b/c I left one of the #3 cams at the anchor and had to run it out in the upper section more than I'd like. Pitch 1 sews up, and with all the face holds, the "roof" isn't as hard as it looks.
By Ross Hokett
From: Fort collins,Colorado
Jul 17, 2012

this route is great the upper pitch is pretty cruiser if you have large hands the width reminds me of supercrack. The route defidentally seemed easier than V3.
By Canon
Apr 21, 2014
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

2nd pitch is quite wide. Didn't have anything bigger than a single #2 Camalot. the jams were secure enough, but it was run out. Bring at least 2 #3s.