Keith chalking up on Mighty Dog, getting ready to ...
This is the best and hardest line on the Dog House formation. The route pulls through the big overhang just left of Big Dog, and cranks through the roof on small crimps to a good jug. Some interesting moves up the overhung beginning gain a beautiful rest, followed by the crux sequence on small holds.
The rating that I listed on this route was after talking with the climber from Golden who told me that he got the First Free Ascent of the route, with Rolofson's permission. He rated it 12c. There definitely is a great no-hands rest if you find the appropriate kneebar right before you pull the crux moves. The crux is tough, but not any more difficult than any of the moves on Sucking My Will to Live at the Primo Wall. Sucking is my benchmark for 12c in the canyon as it is a tough 12c. Mighty Dog is not really comparable to the Anarchy wall routes because of the very overhung nature of the route. But, believe me, there are some trick foot beta and kneebars on Mighty Dog that give you excellent rests on this route, paring down the crux to the two bolt section before the lip.
Holy uninspiring climbs, Batman! Got all psyched up to do this overhanging route, and poof, a cush drilled pocket right off the ground. No matter, keep going for the roof, ok, get ready to grip out under the roof on non-positive holds--it "is" 12c, after all--and woof! my hand disappeared into an enormous overstuffed barcalounger-comfortable hold, then another, and another! What a let-down. came down, and went to the gym to feel what a good manufactured route feels like.
AC: I think you are referring to the line next to mighty dog, called fiddler on the roof. Completely manufractured holds through the roof, quite disappointing if you were not expecting it. MIghty Dog however is natural as far as I know and a worthy line that actually holds the grade of 12c. Try it.
Has anyone climbed the sloper sequence that traverses under the roof? It climbs much more solid rock and doesn't depend on the climber having pencil-thin fingers. This variation doesn't require skipping any clips, but does decrease the difficulty of the roof slightly in my opinion. Thoughts?
By Monty From: Golden, CO Feb 29, 2008 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
I replaced that ratty old sling at the crux with a newer draw. The shorter draw does not affect rope drag and is much easier to clip in the wind. If someone would rather put a sling up there, I will gladly take my draw back.
By adampeters From: Golden, Colorado Mar 2, 2008 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
Probably needs a chain for that draw. In between a normal bone and that long sling size. Weren't there chains up there before?
By Darren Mabe From: Flagstaff, AZ Mar 2, 2008 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
The new draw works for me, but I clipped it when I was past it. The long sling before let you clip before committing to the flake crimps. Either way is fine. The rest of the bolts have chain draws as of yesterday.
By j gatchalian From: denver, co Apr 24, 2008 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
The first crimp in the crux (after the glued jug) isn't so bad to clip off of as long as you work your feet correctly.
The knee bar that I used was before clipping the bolt before the roof. After traversing out on the rails, firing to the crimp and pulling up you can sink your right knee in to lock off and make an easy rest and clip before pulling up to the roof.
The first free ascent of this route was by Jimmy Menendez in Fall 1999. After having climbed in Clear Creek since 1991, I have a very hard time calling this route only 5.12c. I have done Sucking My Will To Live, Anarchitect, Great Escape, Ken T'ank, Maestro, Head Like A Hole (to mention a few 5.12c & 5.12d climbs). All these routes were easier than Mighty Dog. I have also watched other climbers on this route. Some of them 5.13 climbers. The ratings I have heard vary from 5.12d to 5.13a/b. If you are tall and skinny with pencil fingers, it will be easier to get your fingertips in the flake in the ceiling than if you have fat fingers. Still, Great Escape on the Wall Of Justice is a much easier route. Perhaps Mighty Dog doesn't cater to my strengths, but I have learned I am not the only one.
By Hank Caylor Administrator From: Golden, CO Feb 21, 2011
Hank, fucking hilarious. Mark, this might be a bit late, but I would oppose your proposal of anything near the .13 grade to Mighty Dog. I felt that this was soft for the grade of 12c and would propose that it is on the softer side. Have you tried any 13s at Primo? Flying Cowboys is 12c/d, and I felt it was much harder than this as well. Then again, I'm a tall guy with the body of a 12 yr old girl, (pencil fingers) which might have made Mighty Dog easier....
By Keith H. North From: Englewood, CO Jul 7, 2011 rating: 5.12c7b+27IX-E6 6b
Mr. Nick, I am 100% with you.
Using Mighty Dog as comparison, WHAT??? the softest 12c in the canyon.... Mighty Dog is not 13a, compare it to Sonic Youth, now post broken hold widely accepted 13a, or Anarchitect (spelling unsure) stiff 12d, or Pizza Dick, 12c all three routes harder than Mighty Dog.
Either way, ratings are so subjective they are just a starting point, and it's not as if any of us 12/13 climbers are getting sponsored.
By gordwah From: colorado Feb 18, 2012 rating: 5.12d7c28IXE6 6b
I am 12 yrs old and around 5'1", have done around twenty or so 5.12s outside, and have been working on a 5.13a proj. Mighty Dog is equally cruxy and pumpy. Mighty Dog is pumpy enough where I would give it a 12d/13a grade, because even though the moves are technically not that hard, it provides enough pump because of the extreme overhang to make the moves feel 5.12d/13a. However, if I was 2 or three inches taller, I would have crushed this route.