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Lucky Strikes 

YDS: 5.12b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6b

   
Type:  Sport, 1 pitch
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a/b French: 7b Ewbanks: 26 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 26 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Vaino Kodas, Bob D'Antonio, Moe Hershoff, 2001
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 2,094
Submitted By: bpsloper on Feb 2, 2002

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (34)
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BETA PHOTO: Plotinus Wall, left side.

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  • Description 

    Just right of The Bobsled is Lucky Strikes, an overhanging technical route with several crux moves and great gear. Clip the first bolt off a ledge and make several hard cranks up a bulging wall. Follow a lines of bolts up a steep wall gaining a ledge and good rest. Make one more hard move off the ledge to the anchor.

    Protection 

    9 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor.


    Photos of Lucky Strikes Slideshow Add Photo
    The Bobsled and Lucky Strikes.
    BETA PHOTO: The Bobsled and Lucky Strikes.
    Art of Dreaming and nearby routes.
    BETA PHOTO: Art of Dreaming and nearby routes.

    Comments on Lucky Strikes Add Comment
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    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Feb 17, 2013
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Apr 29, 2002

    This is another excellent pitch, varied and technical. However it needs a thorough going over, especially at the start, to tame some of the crumbly rock.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Apr 30, 2002

    Hi Bob, Great work from you and your partners on these routes. I'm only jealous that I didn't get to equip that arete first. It looks really good. Next visit...
    By Dan Levison
    From: Boulder, CO
    Aug 6, 2002

    My favorite 5.12 on the Plotinus Wall. The crux is definitely clipping the second bolt after the powerful start. I was able to find a decent rest in the upper alcove below the ledge, and down low between the second and third bolt. I thought the route was generally pretty clean compared to the other routes on the wall. Thumbs Up overall!
    By Richard M. Wright
    From: Lakewood, CO
    Feb 16, 2003

    Two comments: First, Lucky Strikes gets my vote as the best line on the wall. It has interesting moves that utilize some very nice turns, ascends largely excellent rock, and has good continuity with a developing pump. Second, we found the nut on the first clip to be completely loose (2/16/03), in fact I took it off by hand. Knowing how much Bob and Vaino have done, I reckon that this is not a case of poor craftmanship. Here is how this nut loosened up. The crux climbing on Lucky Strikes comes between bolts one and two and as a result bolt one receives a lot of hangs and therefore a lot of torque. Since a wedge bolt has the nut on the outside, unlike a Rawl, rotational torque on the hanger will tend to unwind the nut if the rotation is clockwise. In this case one is moving right for a jug and any pull on the hanger will be clockwise, as a result unwanted torque on the hanger will unwind the nut. Its hard to beat if clips one and two receive all of the dogging. Stick clipping bolt two can help, and may be advised for the near future. Cementing the nut can help, as can a lock-washer. My personal preference is to use a Rawl, where, although some loosening may still arise, it won't dissemble the whole unit. This not a Tom Ridge panic button just a cautionary note for a sweet line. By the way, it may be a good recommendation to drop in some Rawl bolts on the new line going in to the left of Lucky Strikes, although the crux on this route will be higher on the wall - just something to think about.
    By David A. Turner
    Jul 2, 2003
    rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Just Wondering: Does a prior-knowledge, no-falls, first go, draws pre-hung, rope clipped through the second draw, ascent count as "getting" this route? If it counts, where in the continuum of style does it fall? Does said style have a name, like red-point, pink-point, brown-point, beta flash, as some possible choices? Great route; 12a.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Jul 2, 2003

    I would say that all the aforementioned advantages would certainly make the route easier than 12b if that's what you're asking. If it qualifies as "getting" the route, that is a question of a deeper, more philosophical nature. What does getting a route mean to you?
    By David A. Turner
    Jul 8, 2003
    rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Peter: Which one of the foregoing advantages that I listed (e.g. beta, prehung draws, etc.) do you think turned the route from a 12b into a 12a? Would that be true for every route or only this one? In other words, does beta, or some other combination of advantages, always drop a route's grade? Are there exceptions, and if so, what are they? Just looking for opinions.
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Jul 10, 2003

    I've done this route at least half a dozen times, mostly with no-preclipping. By now it feels like mid 5.11, except for clipping the second bolt which is still pretty tenuous. Given the amount of space devoted to grading comments, I shouldn't add any more but I would like to say this. If you find a route easy you may be a better climber than you thought. I'm ready to downgrade everything in Boulder Canyon and Clear Creek along with everyone else but it seems kind of pointless. Some routes feel easier, some feel harder, all of them are challenging in different ways. Getting all wrapped up in a number masks that truth.
    By Pamela Emanoil
    Jul 11, 2003

    Peter Beal wrote: If you find a route easy you may be a better climber than you thought.

    If only it could be true! Just the other day, a notorious sandbagger friend said that he wouldn't describe himself as such (sandbagger, that is); he just puts people to the task because he thinks "they're more capable than their ability." Hmmm ... think about it. Yes, this was a drunken comment. Have you been drinking from the same bottle, Peter? Just kidding. However, I see similar logic, though different results. Climbing a route my friend recommends could get you into trouble, but at least you're kept honest. If you climb a soft route and send, no harm done? Well, I value my integrity, so I guess I feel a little cheap.

    I do agree with Peter that grades aren't the end all be all, but they sure make for fun conversation/debate.

    For the record, I haven't climbed this particular route and probably can't (darned ability gets me again!). I have climbed others at this cliff, however, and did agree with many (even those who put them up, apparently) that the grades need to come down a letter or two. Regardless, I had a blast on all the routes I climbed here. Fun moves and great position that's far enough from road traffic.
    By David A. Turner
    Jul 14, 2003
    rating: 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Peter: To go back to an earlier question you asked, I believe "getting" a route of this nature, as opposed to an aid route or an ice route for example, means no weighting of equipment on the way up. If that is the definition, then the route could be gotten in any manner of styles of ascent. Climbers have names for most of those styles, many of which I listed previously with the possible exception of "top rope". I think that with respect to the grade of a climb, that should be an objective number, unaffected by the style of the ascent. Without doubt, most if not all climbs feel easier with rehearsal. However, the holds remain the same whether the route is onsighted or not. I believe that this is why the style of the ascent is just as important as the grade number attached to it. A true onsight of Lucky Strikes would be a much more impressive achievement than mine, even though both ascentionists could claim they had gotten this route at 12a (or whatever the grade is).What's your opinion?
    By Peter Beal
    From: Boulder Colorado
    Jul 15, 2003

    To go back to an earlier question you asked, I believe "getting" a route of this nature, as opposed to an aid route or an ice route for example, means no weighting of equipment on the way up. If that is the definition, then the route could be gotten in any manner of styles of ascent. Climbers have names for most of those styles, many of which I listed previously with the possible exception of "top rope". I think that, with respect to the grade of a climb, that should be an objective number, unaffected by the style of the ascent. Without doubt, most if not all climbs feel easier with rehearsal. However, the holds remain the same whether the route is onsighted or not. I believe that this is why the style of the ascent is just as important as the grade number attached to it. A true onsight of Lucky Strikes would be a much more impressive achievement than mine, even though both ascentionists could claim they had gotten this route at 12a (or whatever the grade is). What's your opinion?

    I agree that the purpose of doing a free climb is not weighting the equipment and that any number of styles can be used to realize the achievement. The question is whether a number really reflects the achievement or indeed really holds any value at all except as a rough guide to the potential physical and mental demands of the route.

    Your phrase "the holds remain the same" reflects the truth most of the time but how often have people said "a hold broke so it's harder" when no hold broke at all. The thing is that people change day to day, even hour to hour and their ability changes with it. That, combined with the sheer complexity of routes, means there is no such thing as an objective 12b grade. It's like saying a cloud looks like a dog. When I look at it, it may be a parrot. Is it the same cloud? What can we agree upon about it?

    The same point applies to style. Yes, a graceful, naked solo onsight would be very impressive, more so than a typical hangfest culminating in a sketchy, draws in place, shakefest. But style ultimately remains a personal choice and as long as you're not altering the rock or affecting others with your choices, go for it. Paradoxically, this can result in conunundrums such as whether soloing routes (theoretically good style) with other parties on them is maybe not such good style. In the end however climbers who seek to standardize, codify, or regularize the experience are chasing an illusion. Yes, doing a "12b" onsight is more impressive to someone who is impressed by that sort of thing but I am impressed more by people who think and ask questions about the assumptions we all make about even such a trivial pursuit as climbing. So, thanks for making me think about this some more.
    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    Jul 16, 2003
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    Full disclosure: I fell off at the crux on my first try, then hung at the top (easier, but pumped). Lucky Strikes is a really cool route. Good moves, tricky in spots, several cruxes, although none as hard as the bottom. Hard to on-sight because of the strenuous nature at the bottom and the caution used going up and checking the holds and figuring out the moves. Once you know the moves, they feel better/easier. I got thrashed trying to move with caution through the bottom.

    Really nice line. Too bad it is not super-straight. Close to a 3* line though.

    There are 12b's I can't even dog my way up... but then again, this route is really hard to get on-sight. It felt easier after finding the holds, but the difficulty is in reading the route, not just doing the moves, so give or take a little, the grade is probably about right.
    By Stephan Greenway
    Sep 14, 2003

    I agree that this is certainly one of the best climbs on the crag! What a find! Clipping the second bolt is certainly the crux. Great movement...nice and pumpy!
    By Anonymous Coward
    Dec 8, 2003

    (beta question following...don't look if you're an on-sight type)

    Is the large crescent crimp up and right of the first bolt "on"? Going there, then back left to the second bolt, was really not that bad. All the holds are pretty incut. Of course, you don't think it's good, just looking at it, but I saw someone use it, so I tried it, and like-alot.

    Oh, and the top is a little strange. The easy corner is so inviting! It's hard to avoid.

    I say 11d, because it certainly wasn't harder than "James Brown's Wild Ride", which for some reason always sticks out as a benchmark 11d.
    By D. Rivers
    Jan 29, 2004

    A good friend of mine, who regular on-sights to soild 5.12 and redpoints to 5.13, has a phrase for hard redpoints. In his mind it's all about "whittling the route down to 5.10." Redpoints are always substantially different from onsights, whether it goes after one or one hundred tries.
    By Stephan Greenway
    Jan 30, 2004

    Hey D. Rivers that is a great way to put it! I agree. Your friend is right on. I have never been a strong onsight climber but I've always been able to "whittle" a route down until I can do it. I'm sure most of us have had the same experience: we work a route and when it finally goes think "man that felt like 5.11 (5.10 whatever)" I think I've read a lot of people downgrading routes after they have them so wired the can do laps on them. Its always been my opinion that the grade of a route is a subjective measure of a route's difficulty, onsight, on lead. Your friend says "whittle it down to 5.10. I've always said "beat it into submission" same idea. But beating it down doesn't change the grade does it??
    By Anonymous Coward
    Mar 21, 2004

    Obviously this is 5.12b, It's my onsight grade, and this was a perfect test. Nice route.
    By Jim Redo
    Nov 16, 2004

    No hands knee bar at the roof up high. Full recovery.
    By Thom Engelbach
    Dec 19, 2004
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    Sometimes it's hard to determine whether a hold is "on" or not. Try this simple rule, which works well in Boulder Canyon: When you are touching the hold, can you touch a bolt with your elbow or your knee? If so, the hold is "on" and you can proceed to use it with a clear conscience.
    By Anonymous Coward
    Sep 20, 2005

    Good job Young Doug. Pay no attention to the spineless down-grading. The route is 12b even when compared to Rifle routes at the same grade & even with the kneebar rest which is probably more taxing than making the 4 more moves to the slab.
    By Steve Annecone
    From: boulder
    May 28, 2006

    Excellent moves and really fun and sustained... Don't blow the second clip though or it would be quite possible to hit the ledge below.
    By Thom Engelbach
    Nov 20, 2006
    rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

    I clipped the second bolt and downclimbed to the ground, then went back up, stuck (struck?) the next move and finished the route. I thought I had flashed the route until another climber complimented me on my "nice try." Is downclimbing considered poor style these days?
    By claramie
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 25, 2007

    What a great climb! Crimpy and balancy and technical but not too hard. Just when you hit the sloping ledge and think it's over you step back left over the void for another fun move. Top notch!!!
    By Andy Hansen
    From: Longmont, Colorado
    Feb 17, 2013
    rating: 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b

    I thought this route was pretty damn good from bottom to top... save for the last contrived 15 feet where it's easier to go right at the ledge into an easy corner system and then step back left using jugs to clip the last bolt and up climb to the anchor. I also thought the lower section was pretty difficult, but honestly clipping the 2nd bolt was not hard. The moves \after the 2nd bolt are hard! I think lock-off strength and precision footwork are a quality skill set to possess when climbing this route. Pretty spot on for the grade I thought.