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By Ian Cavanaugh
Feb 13, 2013
Being as I have just moved here, I am still getting used to this area and people. I would like to start this by saying that I, so far, thoroughly enjoy living, working, and climbing here. There are just a few things I would like to know to help my transition here easier.

1st, What is a "Eldo 5.X"? I hear this all the time from people and it is confusing as hell. Does Eldo have its own grading system? Why do people not say 'Boulder Canyon 5.X' or 'Flagstaff VX'? From what I have come to notice, the ratings in Eldo are no harder or easier that anywhere else I have climbed. In fact, there and the South Platte seem to be the truest to the grades. I know you will always find a route here and there that is soft or sandbagged, but the overall is what matters. Just a thought.

2nd, this has been a discussion between a few of my friends and myself as of recent. Are we currently living in the mid-west? I see this argument going both ways, yes there are mountains and everyone thinks they live in the mountains. The mentality of people is as though they are from the west. and its very progressive. but if you were to look to the east, there are no more mountains for a very long ways. I have always thought that the Rockies are the boarder between the midwest and the true west. I always told myself that I would never live in the midwest, but the geographical evidence is hard to argue with.

either way, these are just thoughts I had. Im not trying to be a dick or offend anyone. Im just trying to get a little bit of a discussion going. let me know what you think.

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By Adam B
From Wheat Ridge, CO
Feb 13, 2013
Middle St. Vrain
Colorado, Wyoming, Montana, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona are considered the west, or the Rocky Mountain region. This is NOT the mid west. History of this country would state that your living in the west.

I've only heard the X rating used as a safety statement about the route. If it's X it's dangerous. Or, if you are referring to someone saying it's eldo 5.9, that means that the route may seem harder than a 5.9 sport route in BoCan. Same goes for any older area. For example the 5.9+ routes on the Platte have a reputation for being harder than some other .10's in the area.

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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2013
What Adam said with some clarification.

Geologically, we are in the mid-west or, more accurately, the high plains. Geographically and culturally, we are in the Rock Mountain West.

"X" is a designation appended to a rating that indicates its danger level. I've seen 3 grades in common usage: PG, R and X

"PG" means that there is an opportunity to get hurt but if you're competent at the grade, it's unlikely. I would consider the start to Touch and Go, PG.

"R" means that there is plenty of opportunity to get hurt, especially at the crux section. Jules Verne would be "R" in my mind. The pro is bomber but the 40' fall potential at the crux defines the route. Blackwalk is another that I would rate "R".

"X" rated routes need no explanation. If you fall you die, get seriously injured or you are really lucky.

Climb Safe,
Mal

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By Jake Jones
From Richmond, VA
Feb 13, 2013
Me and the offspring walking back to the car after a day of cragging.
I believe he's asking about the geographic designation. For example, what does "Eldo 5.10" mean compared to 5.10. Similar to saying the ratings at Seneca rocks are notoriously stiff or sandbagged. So saying something is "Seneca 5.9" is actually a way of saying it's probably 5.10.

You are living in the West. Generally, this kind of designation is used to boost egos for people living in, or indigenous to the area. For some reason, Seneca, the Gunks, and Eldorado all seem to suffer the same malady. I've only been to one of the three, but I didn't find the ratings to be any stiffer at Seneca than anywhere else in the east. YMMV.

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By immunizer
Feb 13, 2013
I presume OP is referring to statements like "it's Eldo 5.7," not whether a rate is rated PG13, R, or X. If that's the case, then I'll offer this anecdote.

I just put together my first trad rack, although I've followed plenty. A co-worker is a hard sport climber (5.12+), but hasn't done a lot of trad; I don't think he's led any. He was psyched to get on "that classic Eldorado 5.9." I pondered, but I couldn't think of any truly "classic" 5.9s in Eldo. I told him so, but I was like "there's the Bastille." "Yeah, that's it!" "But that's 5.7." "It's Eldo 5.7" came his reply.

A lot of the routes in Eldo went up when YDS still topped out at 5.9. To hear an old-timer tell it (Buttonhead Spinner, you watching?), the idea was that as harder routes were climbed, everything easier would be adjusted to fit between 5.1 and 5.9, with 5.9 remaining the top grade. So many of the older routes at Eldo will be harder than an equivalently graded route at, e.g., Clear Creek Canyon. Considering how many people get hurt on the Bastille, I don't doubt this.

-- Corey

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By T Howes
From Bozeman, MT
Feb 13, 2013
Do you mean that people say "oh, well that's Eldo 5.9" as opposed to other 5.9s? Meaning that maybe Eldo Canyon is sandbagged with lot's of face climbing and hard to read protection or something along those lines (I've never climbed there, so I wouldn't konw).

I've found that some areas require a certain style or mindset to climb there and maybe people are just trying to relate that when they say it's Eldo 5.X.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2013
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.
Some areas are slippery, some frictiony, some sustained and others cruxy.
I've never climbed at an area where I could call it "average" and not find some difference from a norm.
Eldo tends to be less sustained and a little tricky/sequency at the mid to upper levels. Some of the 5.12's there might get one send a year, or even a decade. Compare that to Obed, Red Rocks, RRG... or BOULDER CANYON where there are lines for 5.12's.

And BTW, I hear "Bocan 5.X" more than "Eldo 5.X." But it means something different.

Chuck Norris wet his pants in Seneca though...

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By tsuji
From Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2013
On Peak 11,300 in the Ruth
I don't know why but the only grade in Eldo I've found to be hard for what it is would be 5.9+. First pitch of Cest La Vie, first pitch of Rincon and a couple others I can't think of right now. Every other 9 10 and 11 I've done doesn't seem sandbagged but for some reason those 9+ pitches...

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By immunizer
Feb 13, 2013
I think more people say "Oh, that's Eldo 5.7" - not Eldo 5.9. Anything harder than 5.9 most likely went up after YDS expanded beyond 5.9. Lots of the old routes, like the Bastille, are the ones that are likely to be a bit sandbagged.

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By Matt N
From Santa Barbara, CA
Feb 13, 2013
OTL
Having never been to either, I believe my MP browsing lets me confidently state that
Eldo 5.7 = Gunks 5.4

and its ice climbing season in Canada ?

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By Wannabe
Feb 13, 2013
Tony B wrote:
Some areas are slippery, some frictiony, some sustained and others cruxy. I've never climbed at an area where I could call it "average" and not find some difference from a norm. Eldo tends to be less sustained and a little tricky/sequency at the mid to upper levels. Some of the 5.12's there might get one send a year, or even a decade. Compare that to Obed, Red Rocks, RRG... or BOULDER CANYON where there are lines for 5.12's. And BTW, I hear "Bocan 5.X" more than "Eldo 5.X." But it means something different. Chuck Norris wet his pants in Seneca though...


No. According to everyone who apparently knows anything about just what chossy crap everything is here in the east (and NOT me) Chuck Norris threatened to kick a Choss Monster's ass-- which was so scared by Chuck that it sh!t Seneca and ran away to take a nap at Long Mountain. Chuck then took a piss on Seneca leaving the gunsight as a remaining message to any and all Choss Monsters to stay out of his sight. Seriously.

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By germsauce
Feb 13, 2013
Hippos kill people
bocan 5. whatever is easy. eldo 5 whatever is sandbagged.

i climb 5.12 bocan (sport), i have yet to touch that grade and struggle on low 11's in eldo. (even ones with most/partial bolt protection)

that's the super reductionist answer.

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By Tony B
From Around Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2013
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.
Bruce Lee knocked over the Gendarme. If fell on and killed Chuck Norris, who was pissing in the already existing gunsight, wagging his little weenie.

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By The Stoned Master
Administrator
From Pennsylvania
Feb 13, 2013
Day Lily.
I always knew there was a secret (to me) history to Seneca. It is one of my all time favorite places for sure, makes sense bruce lee and chuck norris would have business with it.

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By Patrick Mulligan
Feb 13, 2013
The top of the tufa on Magma
I think the reason people talk about Eldo 5.x is that Eldo climbing has a very unique character. The climbing for the most part is vertical, balancy, polished, cruxy, with holds facing the wrong way, and gear while normally good, can be funky. Many folks find eldo 5.9's to be much more challenging or scary than other 5.9s in the boulder area for example. Spend enough time climbing and bouldering in the canyon to learn the tricks of the trade and the grades don't seem sandbagged at all as you learn what you can expect from the climbs there.

Move further west and you'll start hearing people talk about "Red Rock 5.x" or "Creek 5.x" or "Valley 5.x". Climb in any of these areas for a while and you'll realized they're just talking about the character of the routes relative to the grade.

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By S Denny
From Carbondale, CO
Feb 13, 2013
this thread is ridiculous!

Colorado is the midwest, the midwest is the middle east.

Eldo is generally sandbagged a bit, bocan is generally soft.

/thread

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By CJC
Feb 13, 2013
BoCan 5.11 = Eldo 5.9 = Granite Mt. 5.7

and Denver is the Midwest

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By Jon C. Sullivan
From Fort Collins, CO
Feb 13, 2013
approach to the Grand
Not midwest. Sorry. We don't eat casseroles and call soda "pop". Well, some do out here I guess, but it's not the midwest.

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By Buff Johnson
Feb 13, 2013
smiley face
It means two things:

Yer Gonna Die, In Eldo!

In Eldo, Yer Gonna Die


The latter said in a nostrilized, condescending, thumbupyerass manner and you should have already known you are too gurly-man to survive In Eldo.


Sandbagged in Eldo?? please

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By Crag Dweller
From New York, NY
Feb 13, 2013
My navigator keeps me from getting lost
Anyone who thinks this is the midwest has not lived in the midwest.

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By Baumer
From Boulder, CO
Feb 13, 2013
Easy Lieback
John Marsella wrote:
I talk about BoCan 5.x when I want to sound like a (relative) badass and Eldo 5.x when I am being self-depreciating. I crushed that 5.10 (bocan) I pissed my pants on that 5.5 (eldo)



+1

I led a 10a clean at Indian Creek one week and hung on a 5.6 in Eldo the next...and Eldo is my "home" crag.

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By Peter Franzen
Administrator
From Phoenix, AZ
Feb 13, 2013
Belay
Crag Dweller wrote:
Anyone who thinks this is the midwest has not lived in the midwest.

It's slightly hilarious to move from Oregon to Colorado and then hear everyone proclaiming that they live in "the West" though. You have to go pretty far east from the Pacific ocean to hear people talk about how western they are.

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By Martin le Roux
From Superior, CO
Feb 14, 2013
Stairway to Heaven
Peter Franzen wrote:
It's slightly hilarious to move from Oregon to Colorado and then hear everyone proclaiming that they live in "the West"


Also funny to move from Canada to the US and find out that states like MI, WI and IL are considered "Mid-West" when they're on the same latitude as Ontario ("Eastern Canada").

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By Paul K
From Colorado Springs, CO
Feb 14, 2013
Leading
I've climbed quite a bit at Eldo and the Gunks, and took one trip to Seneca. I find them to be graded about the same, which is to say more stiffly than many more recently established areas.

FWIW, my first thought climbing Calypso (5.6) (after "please don't let me break my leg here") was "for a 5.6, this route has an awful lot of 5.8."

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By proto
From Falmouth (MA)
Feb 14, 2013
at the belay on the super classic rewritten
Eldo sandbagged ?? Are you guys kidding?
No way Eldo sandbagged!

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By Greg G
From SLC, UT
Feb 15, 2013
The route in it's entirety.
Maybe 5.X is a creative way of saying 5.10.

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