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High Wire Crag

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
5th of July S 
Ace in the Hole S 
Bouncer S 
Bypass S 
Contrarian, The T 
Crack Swindler T 
Cracker Jack S 
Deuces Wild S 
Everyday Struggle S 
Full House S 
Ghetto Activity S 
Head Up Dirty S 
Hip at the Lip S 
Idiot Savant S 
Idiot's Roof T 
Indirect Savant S 
Jackpot S 
Life After Death S 
Machine Gun Funk S 
Nickels and Dimes S 
Notorious S 
Overpass S,TR 
Passing Lane S 
People's Choice S 
Poker Face S,TR 
Pony Up S 
Power Play T,S 
Road Kill S 
Road Rash Roof S 
Road Warrior S 
Slot Machine S 
Stone Cold Moderate S 
Via Comatose Amigo S 
Wild Card S 
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High Wire Crag  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.7378, -105.3196 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 169,962
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 1, 2001
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You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
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BETA PHOTO: Better pic of where not to park and why.

Upper Canyon access closed - 8p Mar. 22 - 5p Mar. 28 MORE INFO >>>


This is a nice rock, easily seen from the road. There are a number of medium difficulty sport climbs well protected here. People's Choice always seems to have people on it, as well as the routes on the far left side. It is a great place for beginner sport leaders.

Note, this has become popular with large group outings.

Getting There 

Get on US 6 from Golden, going West. High Wire Crag is directly above east entrance to Tunnel 2, which is 4.9 miles from the FIRST TUNNEL. Park before the bridge, on either side. Be careful - the road shoulders are small, and there are always buses full of old people on their way up to Blackhawk. Walk across the bridge on the south side (a little sketchy), and walk south up the hill following the trail up to the rock. There is a bit of exposed 3rd to 4th class which has injured the less than wary.

To approach the right side of the crag, you ascend a gully off the north side of the road and cut back to these climbs.


The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. The fine is at least $22. It has been that way since before the crushed car, ~2006. (Now that was an amazing photo!)

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek a few hundred yards to the east.


A. Pony Up, 8, 1p, 80', bolts.
B. Poker Face, 8 or 9, 1p, 80', bolts.
C. Arete, 9, 1p, 80', TR.
D. Stone Cold Moderate, 7, 1p, 85', gear or bolts.
E. 5th of July, 9+, 1p, 85', bolts.
F. Ace in the Hole, 10-, 1p, 85', bolts.
G. Crack Swindler, 6-8, 1p, 85', gear or TR.
H. Cracker Jack, 9, 1p, 80', gear or bolts.
IH. Bypass, 10, 1p, 80', bolts.
JH. Overpass, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts
KH. Passing Lane, 9 PG-13, 1p, 85', bolts.
KL. The Contrarian, 9-, 1p, 60', bolt & gear.
L. Deuces Wild, 10-, 2p, 135', bolts.
M. Via Comatose Amigo, 10, 1p, 125', bolts.
N. Jackpot, 10+ to 12, 1p, 110', bolts.
O. Road Rash Roof, 12-, 1p, 100', bolts.
P. Road Warrior, 12+, 1-2p, 130', bolts.
Q. Road Kill, 12-, 3p, 200', bolts.
R. In Between Days, 10, 1p, 60', TR.
S. People's Choice, 10+, 1-4p, 210', bolts.
T. Nickels and Dimes, 8+, 2p, 110', bolts & gear.
U. Slot Machine, 11+/12-, 1p, 85', bolts, (right of P3 of S).
V. Full House, 11+ or 12, 1p, bolts (right of P3 of S).
WX. Bouncer, 11+, 1p, bolts, (right of P3 of S).
X. Wild Card, 12, 1p, bolts (right of P3 of S).

Right of Tunnel (different approach)

Y. Power Play, 12 PG-13, 1p, 140', bolts.
ZY. Hip at the Lip, 12-, 1p, 140', bolts.
AA. Ghetto Activity, 10, 1p, 40', bolts.
BB. Head Up Dirty, 12+, 1p, 100', bolts.
above BB. Project, 1p, bolts.
CC1. Idiot's Roof, 11, 1p, 60', gear.
CC2. Machine Gun Funk, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
above CC. Everyday Struggle, 10+, 1p, 40', bolts.
DDEE. Indirect Savant, 12, 1p, 60', bolts.
EE. Idiot Savant, 11 or 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
FF. Notorious, 13-, 1p, 40', bolts.
GG. Life After Death, 13, 1p, 80', bolts.

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.1 miles from here

34 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',10],['2 Stars',22],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for High Wire Crag:
Cracker Jack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Poker Face   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Nickels and Dimes   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
5th of July   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Deuces Wild   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 145'   
Ace in the Hole   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Via Comatose Amigo   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   
People's Choice   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 4 pitches   
Slot Machine   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Overpass   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch   
Idiot Savant   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Wild Card   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Road Rash Roof   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Road Kill   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 3 pitches   
Indirect Savant   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Head Up Dirty   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Road Warrior   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 85'   
Notorious   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Machine Gun Funk   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Life After Death   5.13b/c 8a+ 29 X- 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in High Wire Crag

Featured Route For High Wire Crag
Ben Mottinger straining up the 5.8 pitch.

People's Choice 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b  CO : Golden : ... : High Wire Crag
A popular climb, and deservedly so. This route starts just after the trail meets up with the rock. Rolofson's guide suggests that it is the far right climb. However, a new bolted line is the far right one (Nickels and Dimes). Just to the left is Road Kill. Pitch 1: Start up and follow a great, super-positive flake and then over a hump. Hope you wore your edging shoes, cause the crux is blank as hell for hands. Belay at the end of the right-sloping big ramp. 6 bolts.Pitch 2: ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of High Wire Crag Slideshow Add Photo
The crag, from the road.
BETA PHOTO: The crag, from the road.
This is a very popular area.  Photo: Dave Fiorucci
This is a very popular area. Photo: Dave Fiorucci
Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of th...
BETA PHOTO: Pony Up & Poker Face on the face to the left of th...
For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "...
BETA PHOTO: For all you nitwits that keep parking in the "...
This is an updated topo of High Wire Right.  More ...
BETA PHOTO: This is an updated topo of High Wire Right. More ...
Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dal...
Worn hardware removed by Bruce Hildenbrand and Dal...
View of Clear Creek and the road.
View of Clear Creek and the road.
Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for...
BETA PHOTO: Drive slowly through the canyon, and watch out for...
View of High Wire Crag from the highway.
View of High Wire Crag from the highway.

Comments on High Wire Crag Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 13, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
May 1, 2002
The climb 2 bolted routes left of Peoples' Choice is harder than 5.7, like it says in the guidebook! More like 5.9 at the first bolt! The second pitch of Peoples' Choice is more like 5.6 than 5.8. The new line right of Peoples' is 5.10a or so if you don't grab the big layback flake to the right, 5.8 or so if you do.
By Jason Carter
From: Monument, CO
Jun 30, 2002
Any info on the route just to the right of People's Choice would be appreciated. How new is it? Is it named? It is a good line with great crimpers and edges up the face and a mental challenge to not go for the flake!!
By Clare Shemeta
Apr 13, 2003
We were up there climbing, and did the three bolt climb a few over from Nickels and Dimes (great route! Think 10a up the face, avoiding the flake?). Someone with a book told us it was 5.7, but we found the direct start to the first bolt quite a bit harder: skimpy hands, mininal feet, balancy. Maybe 5.9? I checked all the routes in here and could not find a 3 bolt one that goes up to the little ramp... any ideas? What is the climb, and what's the real rating?
By Chris Carr
Apr 15, 2003

The route that you were most likely on based on your description is indeed a 5.7 to the ramp. It is the first pitch to "Road Warrior" (5.13a). The 5.7 ends at a two bolt stance on the ledge. Hope that helps!
By Anonymous Coward
May 5, 2003
Anyone know what the 13-bolt line just to the R of Via Comatose Amigo and L of Road Rash Roof is? It felt like 10+ with the traversing moves L of 8/9th bolts or a 12 direct line between 8/9th bolts.
By Anonymous Coward
May 6, 2004
I know this sounds kinda odd, but i think i left my climbing shoes (boreal pyros resoled in C4) at the high wire crag just in front of the queen's slab area... if anyone has happened to find them email me at tomalari17@hotmail.com and i will be forever thankful
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Jun 29, 2004
On 6/23/04 Dal Haas and I performed the following anchor upgrades on this crag.

-added 4 quick links to the top anchor of Deuces Wild-reversed the quick link anchor (5/16" into bolt, 3/8" to rope) on Cracker Jack-replaced the smash (lap) links with quick links on Ace in the Hole-replaced the smash links with quick links on 5th of July-replaced the smash links with quick links on Stone Cold Moderate-replaced the smash links and quick links with new quick links and rappel rings on Poker Face

This work was supported by the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA). Visit their website at safeclimbing.org, they appreciate your support.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 20, 2008
I recovered a few draws this evening (3/20) from High Wire Crag.

I will be very happy to return them to the owner.
By Chris C.
From: Lakewood, CO
Jul 22, 2008
I am probably the last to find out, but Colorado State Patrol is ticketing all cars that park on the SOUTH (thanks for the correction, Casey) side of the road (on the left if you're heading uphill) right next to the bridge, closest to the crag. The signs are there, but they are planted facing the road, so if you're coming downhill early in the morning and pull off to the right, you can miss them. $22 mandatory, no sob stories. Got mine Sunday, July 20. I can understand, though, because the city got sued when a car got crushed by a big boulder, according to the officer I chatted with. Just FYI.
By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
Jul 22, 2008
The "NO PARKING ZONE" is on the SOUTH side of the road. It has been that way since before the crushed car, about 2 years ago.

Parking is permitted on the NORTH side of the road, the side nearest the creek.
By B.P.
Aug 22, 2008
Someone left some double shoulder length runners and some nylon webbing by Overpass yesterday (Aug. 21). I picked them up, and would be happy to return them to the right owner. Just contact me through this post
By Jack Crockett
Sep 18, 2008
I left some Evolv climbing shoes up here two days ago and haven't realized until now. If anyone found them, it would be cool to know.

By Ralph Kolva
From: Evergreen, CO
Nov 9, 2008
Found a pair of well used Mojave slippers on Friday, November 7, 2008. TheCrankyMonkey at gmail dot com.
By Robbie Flick
From: Denver, CO
Apr 16, 2011
Found a helmet at the base of 5th of July. Shoot me an email with description if it's yours. robbie.flick[at]gmail.com
By MilkyTech
Aug 29, 2011
This area is popular for good reason. Almost all of the climbs here are fun. Early cruxes gets the hard stuff out of the way while your arms are fresh. Lots of varied moves and holds throughout an individual climb. Great starter 5.10s and great starter roof climbs.
By Michael Slater
From: Denver
Mar 26, 2012
Hey, I left an auto locking carabiner and a Mammut Smart belay device there yesterday. I think someone's German Sheppard was napping on my gear and I got most of it, but the gear I left must have been completely under the dog. Please let me know if you found it and I'll arrange to pick it up or have it sent back. Thanks!
By kzittle
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 26, 2012
Hiked up yesterday to find a top rope city set up! Went over to Highlander and and had it all to ourselves :)
By Patrick Gillespie
May 9, 2014
Pulled the 2nd huge, loose hold off of what I think was Wild Card. It was the climb 2 to the right of the 3rd pitch of People's Choice. This was above the obvious, shaking, death chock. This hold had a ton of chalk on it and clearly was used. Landed on my belayer's leg, he was ok, but we had to rap down and leave a draw. BE CAREFUL! There was so much loose rock up there, those routes from that belay need more traffic, it was pretty scary.
By Kons Kourbatov
From: Aurora, CO
Jul 19, 2014
Found some webbing on the approach to High Wire on Thursday 07/17/04. If it belongs to you, send me a message, so I can give it back to you, or e-mail me at khalonkin@gmail.com.
By astrouth
Aug 13, 2014
I lost my climbing shoes (Scarpa Force - red / white) near Crackerjack on Aug. 5 around 8 am. Please contact me if you found a pair of shoes.
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