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December Wall
Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Long December T 
Arborvitae T 
Caesar's T 
Climb of the Anonymous Coward (Var) S 
Crown Molding T 
Door Jam T 
I Promise Not To Cam In Your Mouth T 
Life After James S 
Little Caesar T,S 
Mnemonic Plague T 
Moonstruck T,S 
Nocturne T,S 
Nosebleed T 
Ranklands of Perfidy T 
Red Tag T,S 
Seams Alright T 
Short Takes T 
Telegraph Road S 
Winter Dreams / Gene and George's Excellent Adventure T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

Life After James 

YDS: 5.11b French: 6c Ewbanks: 23 UIAA: VIII- ZA: 23 British: E3 5c

   
Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 220'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.11a French: 6c Ewbanks: 22 UIAA: VII+ ZA: 22 British: E3 5c [details]
FA: Matt Juth / Paul Findley 11/15/03
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,826
Submitted By: Matt Juth on Nov 15, 2003

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Almost at the anchor on p2. Excellent climbing!!

Description 

This route is located at the tallest point of December Wall, about 50 feet to the left of Winter Dreams (Gene and George's Excellent Adventure). Locate an overhanging corner beginning at a small pine tree 20 feet up. The line continues straight up the face to a ledge just before the top. There is varied climbing with different rock on every pitch.

P1: 90 feet, 5.10+. Climb up an easy flake system, or the harder slab to the right (directly below the bolt) to gain the overhang (5.6 or 5.9). Climb up and out the strange corner (9+) to reach a good stance on a small ledge. Either climb straight up to a short finger crack on the left (10c) or break right and pull up onto the pillar (10a/b). Finish up nice slab moves to the belay.

P2: 70 feet, 5.10+. Pull up onto the varnished slab, using small edges, and crimp to a horizontal break (10d). Pass another varnished section either to the right (10a) or left (8), and run it out a bit through easy climbing to a bolt and the shining headwall. Move up the slick headwall with fun balancy moves, mantle through the crux (10c) and pull back right into the crack. Easy climbing past a bolt reaches the belay.

P3: 50 feet, 5.11. Slab climb up and right, past 2 bolts, to reach the right-hand corner of the big roof. Clip the third bolt, and pull a strenuous move to good liebacks (11b), clip the fourth bolt and climb easier rock to the anchors. There is a directional bolt for belaying the follower above the ledge. Watch out for loose rock on the ledge. 100 pounds of dirt and rock were removed to make this a safe stance.

Descent: either rap (you and your rope will end up in the small tree above the start. I think throwing ropes to the right at the first belay is best), or escape 10' right past the directional bolt to gain the top. You can walk off to the west. From the top, it is possible to gain the Backstage Wall. It is facing you once you get on the grass around the corner. Just walk 100' around the gully to reach bolts at the top.


Protection 

P1: 10 bolts + a medium piece for the crux finger crack (red Alien size) P2: 7 bolts + a few medium nuts can be found P3: 4 bolts + one shoulder length sling around a horn right after the belay



Photos of Life After James Slideshow Add Photo
The most excellent p2.  The rock on this pitch is phenomenal sculpted varnished granite.
The most excellent p2. The rock on this pitch is ...
James from the base.
BETA PHOTO: James from the base.
Moving out this corner on P1 is intimidating and a bit awkward, but eventually not that hard. I think the photo needs rotating a bit to make it look as steep as it feels. <br />Photo by Kenny Parker.
Moving out this corner on P1 is intimidating and a...
Comments on Life After James Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 3, 2008
By Anonymous Coward
Nov 18, 2003

To reduce the amount of tree on the rap of P1, don't throw your rope down, rather lower the ends down on climbers left (opposite the route), then rap down that way.

By Anonymous Coward
Nov 19, 2003

What is the significance of the name?

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Nov 19, 2003

Responding to a question??

My wife is six months pregnant with our first child. The thought of 'life after James' has been preoccuping me as of late, and has been forcing me to get things done that I have put off. This route was on my to-do list since '99. I hope it lives up to the little guy's name.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Nov 19, 2003

Bolt 6 on pitch 2 is a little hard to clip. I am a short guy and can reach it, you just have to move your feet around a bit. There actually was a reason for that, other than annoying people.

Also; you can't see bolt four on pitch 3, but it is there!

By Crusty
Dec 21, 2003

This really is one of the gems of the Saint Vrain. Many people will be comfortable with only the bolts on this climb but here's the other gear I used to prevent tears. A medium wired nut on the left protects getting to the first bolt. A #7 rock can be placed after bolt #5 on pitch one. A #5 rock can be placed after bolt #6 on pitch two. I know it sounds crazy, but I didn't use any Aliens on this climb.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Dec 21, 2003

I have been trying to get a more established trail up to the wall. The hill is showing signs of increased traffic. I (and someone else) have been putting up cairns on the trail I use to get up there. Park at the far east end of the large parking lot. Cross the street and walk to the east where a green highway pole is. Look for a cairn 50 feet up on a boulder. Follow cairns up to the wall. This will avoid the roadcut.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

Gear Alert

Someone is going to get seriously hurt on this route, unless they normally onsight 5.11R or they are 7'6" tall.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

Thanks for the comment AC. Based on your description, I am either a hell of a lot taller or a better climber than I think I am. Could you be more specific, I am really interested in your experience. Are all of the bolts still there?

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

Gear Alert

Paul. My 'experience' , for what it's worth,

P1: Skipped first bolt because I just cruised up the EZ loose flakes on the left, couldnt safely reach the bolt. no biggie. 5th bolt should be about 2 feet lower (at the natural clipping stance), and was a scary clip, a fall here would rattle you around into the dihedral. I placed a blind TCU in the crack above, to protect getting the 4th bolt on the slab (.10-). 8th bolt a little too far right (difficult clip) and was a long ways to the ninth, I suppose half-wedged RP might have protected this (if the bolt was 4 feet lower, again, you could clip from natural stance and still protect the moves) -- this would mean adding another one cruising to the belay.

P2: Awesome climbing -- the moves between bolt 4 and the anchors were fabulous (10+). Bolt 3 was a little off route (5 feet to the left would be good). And loooong ways to bolt 4.

P3. Bad Factor 2 fall potential for first 3 clips, even if 'ez' climbing. 3rd clip was VERY awkward to clip (foot lower would have been fine) and a fall would have sent me past my belayer and in front of the pearly gates. Are you and your partner like 6'7" or something? Not knowing where the 4th bolt was until right under my nose, I fiddled with an umbrella'd Alien mid-crux (.11- [weird] and clever). Should have read the beta. loose holds topping out gave way when I yarded on them raining down onto my partner. We 'cleaned' up the belay ledge... (so our ropes wouldn't do it for us when we pulled them)

The 'onsight .11R' comment was a bit sarcastic, but I still wouldn't consider this a sport route and climbers should feel comfortable running it out a bit on dirty slab 5.9 climbing with bad fall potential. It protects as if it was put up in the 80s....

All-in-all, most of the bolts were placed just beyond reach -- where you can't clip from natural stances, but have to make insecure moves and dicey clips. Maybe it was intended to be climbed with pre-placed shoulder length slings?!

Unfortunate, because the climbing line is exciting fun and generally good vision.

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

I shouldn't whine too much. I survived. There is life after Life After James! cheers.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Apr 26, 2004

Thanks for the added description. I am 5'8" and have to stretch to reach the clips, so any shorter, or less monkey, and one could have trouble. I guess for me all the clips but a few exceptions were on good stances (The P1 crux was bolted with the intention that someone could go right instead of straight up. That meant the clips were a little too far right from ideal. I also didn't want a bolt next to the crack that took your cam or a good stopper. That would have led to a bolting debate (oops I guess it did) I guess some of it boils down to how an individual does a move also. On your comment about Telegraph's bolt, I end up clipping B2 with the bolt between my legs and just at my feet, but if you do the move differently (more on the natural line perhapse?) than it is not ideal. There is the challenge, and I wish that I could foresee how many others would climb a section.

I agree with your warning, and I reiterate it for all. This is NOT a "sport climb"! The two routes here were bolted with a minimalist attitude, which could be right or wrong. There is potential to get hurt on easier sections, and I would feel terrible if somone was injured because of this. I feel they are adventurous keeping in the spirit with the area, but I also viewed them as safe for a 5.11 climber.

Also, as you mentioned, there is some loose rock at the ledge, and unfortunately always will be.

I [appreciate] your feedback and honesty. You are probably one of 10 people to do James, and possibly the third group on Telegraph, so I haven't heard much good or bad.

Matt

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

Sweet..."It protects as if it was put up in the 80s...", well I take that as a compliment! (I think we used a few more bolts than they would have in the 80's though)

Another climber I did it with who lead it said something to the affect of "I was clipping bolts the whole way, but I felt like I was climbing trad".

Thanks for the comments, they are helpful...maybe this just isn't another 5.10/5.11 for 5.9 climbers.

I am only 6'2".

Paul

By Anonymous Coward
Apr 26, 2004

"... not a 5.10 climb for 5.9 climbers..."

Paul. Then its a 5.10 climb for 5.11+ climbers?!

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
May 4, 2004

TIME TO RANT!!!!!!

Re: AC from Telegraph Road and Life After James.

OK This comment is going to get lost in the engaging Finger Prince debate, so It may never reach the waiting fingers of little AC. But for what it is worth....

I am going to violate the rules here and BE A JERK!!!!!After the little musing by AC I decided there might be merit in some of the comments, so I decided to go do the routes again and see if any additional beta or bolts were needed. AC hacked me off by avoiding any constructive commenting from the start by the classic "obnoxious bolt placement...somebody is going to get hurt.... 5.11R... 7.5" tall...unfortunate...", but perhaps AC was just angry because the route was scary and I was to blame. I was going to assume AC was a nice person, and leave this thing alone. I am typically a very amicable person.....

When I arrived at the route I saw AC's contribution to the good of the climbing community. The little jackass, left cirgarette butts at the base and belays, and added fricken chalk ball spots wherever AC decided the bolts should really exist. Nice big white spots visible from 200 feet below, that my brush didn't even remove! They stuck out worse than the bright YELLOW webbing that was left on Telegraph when our hero bailed apparently without doing the crux pitch. I made a good effort to keep climbing activity invisible, and now it looks like a gym after a special on Bison Chalk. (I will put Quicklinks to avoid any more webbing next week)

I could list a specific reason for every bolt, but I won't waste the time. Your Chalk prints were in bad locations!! Two ankle breakers and a bolt placed straight up on the underside of a fractured pillar, where a fall would be two feet closer to the slab below, and all fall force would be pulling the bolt straight out. That last White Spot is where water will never touch it, and it is visible from the base 200 feet below.

Also, Factor 2 means something different that you think it does. Look for a big horn to sling to get you to the first bolt (on P3), after that nothing will earn you a coveted factor 2 . A fall while clipping bolt 2 would give a factor 1 and a fall at bolt 3 would lead to a factor .5

I understand that you feel that the route should have been bolted differently. you can be a smartass on this website, but don't use the rock as a statement, just because you jumped in over your head. Go back and work on your Sport Park resume, and leave the Ticks, Mtn. Lions, Poison Ivy, and asshole choss climbers like me alone!

So for all the aspiring AC's out there here is the super secret beta to avoid death.

P1.

5.9 slab getting to the bolt is an ankle breaker. Just work in from the right on good holds. Use 5.6 flakes to left, and protect with a small nut, if you aren't comfy.

Exiting the dihedral. Go right immediately. Get situated on ledge. Step on 1" foot hold and use funky hold at the end of the seam. Stem left and clip bolt. Move back to ledge and rest. Now you won't hit the big ledge if you fall at the crux!

Crux- Go right around pillar ( a little easier)_ or place yellow alien or medium nut in crack if you go straight up. Climb up until the piece is at your knees. Reach right and clip off of bad finger lock.

After Crux - The next bolt is far to the right. (So you can do the variation). Don't waste your time clipping from the left. There are two 1" foot ledges just to your right. Stand on them, and clip from a natural stance.

It is a little ways between the next bolt ,(10-12 feet?) but it is 5.7 or 5.8, and the next bolt is at your waist at the one tricky move.

P2 Bolt 3 is to the right. (This is so you can do the "Climb of The Anonymous Coward" Clip the first 3 of James and the last 4 of telegraph to do a fun 5.10 pitch. You can then TR the crux of Telegraph) Climb straight up for a fun 10- move or go way left for easy stuff.

You can place a nut after bolt 3 to ease the 15 foot runout. look for a horizontal placement for a medium size. The climbing is maybe 5.6

After clipping bolt 4 go right ASAP. Don't get sucked into the licheny stuff to the right

You can place another medium nut before bolt 7

Bolt 7 isn't at the best spot( a little low) but the climbing is quite easy at this point.

P3Sling the big horn prior to going for bolt one. This will eliminate any possibility for a Factor 2.

Stand up on horizontal ledge to clip.

Run it out for 15 feet on 5.8 slab to the next bolt.

To clip Bolt 3 stand on 1" foot ledge, and sidepull the first little tier. You can easily reach the bolt (unless you are shorter than 5' 7" If so I am sorry....

You can't see bolt 4 but don't worry it is just above your head. Your feet will be at bolt 3 when you can clip it. Stem and use the finger lock lieback to clip.

By Greaser
May 5, 2004

Matt, you found the route and you put it up the way you wanted to. I think most would feel that, since you found it and put the work into it, you have the right to apply your ethics to it.

If it is open for debate then this same principle could be applied to to other routes as well. Such as some trad routes in eldo that take a good head to lead could become open for retro-bolting. Certain old bold routes like Jules [Verne, Wide Country, Green Willow Wall, Evictor], etc. would be open for debate.

Basically, what I'm saying is that, not all routes should have to be accessable to all people. That's not elitist, just life.

If ac wants a route with more bolts, then ac should go find undeveloped rock and put up his "grid bolt" signature. ...

THANKS for a new route in the St. Vrain, Matt. Since I live in Bongmont, I would like to see a lot more routes there.

P.S.

Are there any access issues with THE FANG?

By Casey Bernal
From: Arvada, CO
May 5, 2004

My impression was that the original Anonymous was upset with the bolts not being able to be clipped from good stances but instead having to clip them on slightly more difficult moves above good stances.

I can definitely see how clipping a bolt in awkward moves above a good stance would be necessary to protect you during a crux above.

I will have to climb it to find out. With the bolt issue aside, is it a fun climb?

casey

By Anonymous Coward
May 5, 2004

Matt. Lighten up. I think AC was just giving his constructive criticism. Humble yourself, and take it for what it's worth. Sounds like the route has not been climbed much, and so to agree with Paul's comment: just wait and see what other's inputs are. You might want to leave room for other climber's opinions that might not be able to climb as "hard" as you. The chalk and butts you mentioned is uncalled for, but easily cleaned up, I would imagine.

AC, stop being an asshole.

Now kiss and make up. This online bickering is ridiculous and foolish.

By ac
May 5, 2004

Quote from AC, IP # 192.31.106.36:

"Matt.Lighten up. I think AC was just giving his constructive criticism. Humble yourself, and take it for what its worth. Sounds like the route has not been climbed much, and so to agree with Paul's comment: just wait and see what other's inputs are. You might want to leave room for other climber's opinions that might not be able to climb as "hard" as you. The chalk and butts you mentioned is uncalled for, but easily cleaned up, I would imagine.

AC, stop being an asshole.

now kiss and make up.This online bickering is ridiculous and foolish."

You are the same AC who was critical of the bolt placements to begin with. Way to back yourself up, buddy!!

Don't you realize that the website logs AC's IP numbers? You've been busted!

By Bernard Gillett
May 5, 2004

"Are there any access issues with THE FANG? "

Greaser - yes, there are several access issues to be aware of. The first is that the standard approach up the "4WD road" is private property. A fellow named Mark Boslough owns an 80 (or so) acre parcel back in there that has strange boundaries because of its ties to the mining in the area. While he allows people to hike on his land (on the Barking Dog Trail), you may not drive a vehicle up there (as is stated in older guides). The second problem is that even after you go along the BD trail and Mark's land, you must leave his narrow strip of property along the stream and climb to the back side of the Fang. This almost certainly means you'll be trespassing on private property. It's not posted or anything, and the folks that own it are apparantly out of state, but it's private nonetheless. Third, the Fang itself may not even be on NFS land. I've not gone to the trouble of GPS-ing the rock, but most of the land in the immediate area is privately owned -- old mining claims from the Balarat days, and the Belle Vagoy/Smuggler mines. The NFS sells a great map that shows the boundaries of the alienated land within the NFS boundaries -- it's a USGS map produced especially for the NFS, and you can buy one at the offices in N Boulder (off of Hwy 36). Until someone shoots the GPS coordinates of the Fang and matches them to the NFS map, I'd assume it's private property.

On the other hand, I've climbed several times at the Fang and have had no problems whatsoever. I've met Mark; he's guarded about his property but fine with people hiking back there. Just realize that you're likely climbing on private property, and act accordingly.

By Crusty
May 5, 2004

You be the judge as to wether or not I'm a jerk: I'm a 5.9 climber (5.10 if the route plays to my strengths and the planets are lined up right). Love the route, the bolt placements are good and a couple are challenging. Sometimes you actually have to try hard to hang on and clip. I don't believe this means they were poorly chosen. I like the way this was bolted, it does climb kind of like a trad route. I used some nuts and cams to mitigate injury and fear. I don't think it's unreasonable to expect a leader to do that. First bolt is hard to get to straight up but as Matt said you can come in from the right or left. I can't see bitching about this route, it's really good. I could see staying off it if you weren't up for it's sustained nature.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
May 5, 2004

To close this deal....

I'm sorry I hopped on my soapbox an [violated] the no jerk rule. AC, if in fact you did get "caught" (if that was you both times), I think you understand that you were a jerk that day. I was one last night, so I guess 2 wrongs don't provide anything constuctive to this site. Just please next time, if you have a problem with a route be civil from the beginning, and you will most likely [receive] the same in return (unless you are dealing with an ego-driven ass, in which case screw 'em). I'll take a squirt bottle up there and get the chalk spots off... No harm done.

Thanks for the support and advice from the others who hopped into this debate. Chris, you don't give yourself enough credit...

Casey. To answer your question, I think it is a fun, exciting and overall good route. It is 3 star for the Vrain, and maybe 2 for elsewhere. It is like 3 different routes strapped together, yet follows one straight line. I still find it a little intimidating.....

By Greaser
May 6, 2004

Bernard, Thanks for the info on the access issues. I thought it looked a little like the approach might cross private property.

Is there a guide out or comming out for the [St. Vrain] area?

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
May 6, 2004

Greaser.

In case Bernard doesn't log back on for a while to answer your question.... Yes. He is working on one right now. I think he is getting pretty close, but I won't speak for him as to its finish date. It's amazing how many routes are tucked into this place. As you can surmise, not all are good..... but there are many worthy routes.

By Petro
From: Golden, CO
May 10, 2004
rating: 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Great Route!!! Welcome to the SSV. Sporto's used to grid bolting need not apply.

Climbed this route with Matt Juth last week to see what all the whining was all about.

P1 - Interesting moves in the dihedral, and pulling out over the bulge into the left crack felt very trad like, nice jams leading to fun funky ones, felt 10c-10d ish. If you are uncomfortable, bring some stoppers or small cams and sew it up.

P2 - MONEY! Sweet slab moves up the polished face, very cryptic. I placed 2 stoppers. Nice job keeping the bolts away from the cracks, I can tell it took some effort.

P3 - The nature of the climb changes again. Sling the horn, and run out the slab Sally! 5.8ish... Keep an eye out for good edges for the feet to clip the bolt at the roof. Pull the wild roof moves, and the next bolt will be in your face.

Three stars for SSV, 2 overall. Nice work.

-Tom Pietrykowski

By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 21, 2004
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I climbed this route last weekend with an old buddy, and had a great time. The climbing is very good over good granite and the protection is adequate. You definitely have to have your head screwed on for some of the runouts, but they are easier. If you expect to be able to climb the cruxes, then the runouts wont be a problem. I was happy to have a few pieces of gear to supplement the bolts.

Quick summary:P1: 10b/c red Alien in the finger crack at the cruxP2: 10c/d solid moves on solid stone, green alien before the last bolt.P3: 11a be careful clipping the 3rd bolt.

Thanks, Matt, for the time, effort, and energy you invested on this route! I think our AC friend here had a stick up his butt.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Jun 15, 2004

I went ahead and added a bolt at the start of the climb. The slab is really good, and people were staying away because of the ankle-break potential. Now it is perfectly safe. The bolts are still out of clipping distance if you opt for the 5.6 start.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Aug 29, 2004

I pulled a loose pebble out of the upper lock on the p1 crux. It definitely makes the move and the clip easier.

By Bo Johnston
Feb 1, 2005

I just climbed the route today and came down after linking P1 and P2. There was nothing harder than a 10b move on the route but there were many of them which made it high quality and well worth climbing. I didn't even know about the route when I got up there but it looked so good I had to give it a shot and was glad to find it here tonight on the website to see what it was. Good show for putting up a quality route and I look forward to trying the 3rd pitch some time.

By Ken Heiser
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 14, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

I wanted to thank Matt and Paul for their efforts and good job developing a really fine route. I climbed this using only the bolts for protection and disagree with the comments people made saying that this route had a trad feel to it.I thought this felt like a well bolted sport route and did not encounter any runouts that caused me concern.I also did not encounter any difficulty clipping the bolts.I thought pitch 1 was excellent with a wide variety of cruxes. I did not climb one side or the other on the pillar. I started on the left using the underclings, laybacked the right side a couple of moves, and then crossed back to the left using a horizontal. A sustained pitch that I think is about solid 10.Pitch 2 was one of the best face pitches I have done in a while.My partner is 5'1" is found the first crux off the ledge to be extremely difficult.I think this crux will be significantly hard for shorter people as the one good edge that makes this go for taller people like myself is well out of reach.Another pitch with multiple cruxes on absolutely beutiful rock. I like 10+ for this pitch for the crux off the ledge and the mantle at bolt #5.Pitch 3 was an okay climbing for the start culminating with a wild roof move that was super fun. I think 11a is about right for the roof. Overall an excellent climb with a wide variety of climbing on rock that is superb for the most part.Once again thanks again to Matt and Paul for their efforts on this one and I cannot wait to get back and do Telegraph road as that looks excellent also.

P. S. Matt, Do you have any info on the crack to the left of LAJ? It is the crack that has a bolt at the start and anchors just up and left from the LAJ anchors.

By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Feb 15, 2005

Thanks for the comments.

The climb is the "Ranklands of Infinity". It is 5.10 with some decent climbing in the middle, but a dirty start. You can do it a couple ways, but overall it is fairly poor quality. I would climb any of the other cracks up there before that one.

No one I have talked to knows who put in any of the three bolts. The anchors are in a pretty useless spot. I've thought about removing them since the LAJ anchors are 10 feet away.

If you go back up there, Gene and Georges with the p1 of Telegraph is great, and I would also do a long december.

Matt

By Ken Heiser
From: Boulder, CO
Feb 15, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

Matt,

"Long December"? Would you care to identify this route and give some info on it?I do not see it posted here and I cannot find it in any guidebook.

Thanks for your help,

Ken H.

By Bernard Gillett
Feb 15, 2005

Regarding Matt's "three bolts" -- I think he's referring to the one at the beginning of Ranklands (I don't know who put that one in either, but perhaps the FA team? -- still haven't figured out who they are), and the two above and left of LAJ pitch 1. Those two can be used as a belay (and rappel point if you bring slings) for a variation to Ranklands that begins with the initial 30-40 feet of Ranklands, and then angles up right into a nice open book corner (with tiny pine). I think Tim Hudgel may have placed those two bolts. They can also be used as a belay for a route called Brother's Gotta Hug (5.10a R-, start with Ranklands, open book with tiny tree, then thin cracks alongside LAJ to its second belay, then traverse left 40 feet to slot, up slot, and finish with zig-zag flakes on west facing summit block). There's also a fourth bolt in this area of the cliff, about half way up the normal line of Ranklands, on a rib (hard to spot from the ground).

Ken: A Long December (5.11a **) is a route I did with my friends Ken and Chris. Begin at the next crack left of Ranklands (about half way between Ranklands andCaesar's Crack). Look for nice, thin crack through bulge about 60 feet off the deck. Climb through that (crux), move left to thin crack piercing overhang, layback over roof (go-for-it 5.10c, but good gear), then up to double bolts and chains at 95'. Second pitch follows 6 bolts on slab up and left (5.9) and joins with last part of Caesar's Crack -- finish in short LFD to double bolts with chains. Last pitch (not as good as the first two) goes up crack directly above belay to top of wall; belay at big tree. Rap 70 feet from slings in tree, then 2x95' from bolt stations. Double rack of cams, wires (extra med.) for first two pitches; add cams to #4 Fr. for last pitch. I think Matt posted a photo of two Estes fellows climbing the route (look under Telegraph Road?).

Once you get over the initial crusty roof crack (5.10b, tape up) of Caesar's, that's also a worthy line at December Wall. Cleans up real nice about 20 feet above the ground. After pulling overhang at 70 feet, angle left to ledge with block for first belay (otherwise you'll hit bolted belay on A Long Dec). Second pitch goes up double thin cracks (5.10a) on left margin of slab (the bolted slab of A Long December), and then up enjoyable double cracks to belay on A Long December. Rap twice from there.

By the way, I'm still trying to figure out who did what on the left side of December Wall -- tried to email Joe Huggins twice from this site, but it hasn't garnered a response. Joe? Or Jim Morrison, Marc Hirt, Dave Hague? Care to help out with a few historical details on the climbs you did in the early 1980s? Email me via this site, or look me up in the Longmont phone book. Thanks.

By another estes drunk
Jun 18, 2005
rating: 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c

That was the best route I've done this year. Usually I hate the Saint Vrain, but his was worth it.The second pitch was amazing!!!!

By Jeff G.
From: Fort Collins
Dec 17, 2005
rating: 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c

The second pitch is excellent, on par with Lizard Warrior at Combat Rock. Seemed sport bolted to me. Very safe with no run-outs, although you may want a medium stopper to protect some easier terrain.

By nolteboy
Dec 27, 2005

I only climbed the first 2 pitches. Pitch 2 (especially the upper half of it) is fantastic, well protected face climbing on absolutely bullet rock. The 2 bolts on the slab at the bottom of the first pitch seem a little contrived - even though less aesthetic and much easier, the flakes on the left look like the natural start to me.

By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
May 3, 2008

Lots of fun. Pitch 1 seemed sufficiently protected, I could clip all the bolts from ok stances and I'm 5'4". My 6' partner lead pitch 2, and man, that is a beauty! Seemed a bit runout closer to the top, though. Ken H. mentioned the difficulty making the first crux off the ledge if you're short - I agree, I couldn't follow my partner's line. However, if you step left a bit, there is a way around that, though it was very balancey with only a tiny crimp for the left hand (actually, the left fingernails).