By adam brink From: Boulder, CO Aug 11, 2008 rating: 5.127b+27VIII+E6 6b PG13
Good job on sending this rig! Did you really think the 1st pitch traverse was 12a? I've climbed a lot of slab routes and that is one of the most technical bits of climbing I have ever tried. It is at least 12a/b:)
Brink, I think this is the first time I've heard you say a Bo-can route is harder than the grade given... Are you ok? :) PS - I have to give you back Jess' pack, sorry for the delay.
By adam brink From: Boulder, CO Aug 12, 2008 rating: 5.127b+27VIII+E6 6b PG13
I think I might be getting weak and old, that's all. To do the slab and crack as one pitch with no falls took me about 5 days of work (and that's on toprope!). It's one challenging pitch. I think it is at least as hard as The Evictor. Maybe someone who has led it recently could correct me.
I guess I can't comment on the original start since I haven't tried it. I've always used the newer direct start. I thought I finally was going to send this thing last Sunday but was denied again at the top. I was pulling that awkward exit move when I fell, ripping the gear just below my feet. When I finally hit the end of the rope I was back down at the bolt near the start!
Adam, I've not been back on the route since you & I were there. I shameless took the grade from Rossiter's book; how am I to judge what the grade of the original traverse is if I haven't been able to do it? Still, I don't think doing the traverse would add any pump to the rest of the route. In that respect, I'd think Evictor is much harder.
This is the only climb (original traverse) I've been on where I think I'd have a better chance of making the move if I strap some weights on my ankle (to shift my weight balance).
As for BoCan grade, Rossiter called both Arms Bazaar and The Spoils @ 12a and I'd think the latter is easily 1 letter grade (if not 2) harder than the former and would be a bit sandbagged for 12a.
By adam brink From: Boulder, CO Aug 14, 2008 rating: 5.127b+27VIII+E6 6b PG13
Maybe it's just another case of routes feeling different to different people. I sent both Arms and Spoils in a couple days of work while Never A Dull Moment is still spanking me. Never A Dull Moment (slab linked into crack as one pitch) feels miles harder than any 12a or b trad I have done anywhere in the Front Range.
Grade discussion aside (as it is a rather silly dicussion in the first place), this is one stellar chunk of granite with beautiful movement, excellent rock and continiously difficult movement. Further proof that Alec Sharp had a master eye for finding routes.
By Hank Caylor Administrator From: Golden, CO Feb 12, 2009
A little late to the discussion, but I agree with Adam. And I'm good at slabs! I could not figure out the 1st pitch (I only tried it once) for the life of me. I really couldn't compare it to much else, just climbing on nothing with no clear sequence........I got spanked. And the whole time that bitchin' looking crack above my head was mocking me. Hangs head.
By ChanVan Jul 24, 2011 rating: 5.12b7b26VIII+E5 6b
BIG THANKS to whoever recently added the 2-bolt anchor on top of this rig. Grade, stars for direct start. Hard 12b crux at 2nd bolt, then finicky but good small & medium gear with another 12- crux about 3/4 up. Not as heads up as I expected although I definitely figured the gear out on TR first. A notch or two harder and just as awesome as its 4-star neighbors to the right.
I didn't place the new anchor, but I was in on the discussion deciding to add it. The reason for the new anchor was to avoid the rope running across, and leveraging when top-roping, the big detached block which sits on the slab between the lip and the bolted anchor on Athlete's Feat. It seemed like a matter of time and freeze/thaw cycles before someone pulled it down with lethal results.
Thanks, Topher. The decision to add these anchors was not taken lightly. The reasons Topher gives are real, and I discussed the placement plenty before deciding where to place them. When you reach the no hands stance for the anchors, the climb is over. To get to the Athlete's Feat chains is 20ft of 5.4.
Just ran across the comments on this one and had to pipe in as it brought back memories. The slab pitch is some tedious footwork and balance, helped by fingernails on micro-edges to just stay in balance. However,I always thought the crack was harder than the slab. Although the slab could be harder now due to degradation of the micro fingernail holds. It took me multiple attempts, with Maurice Reed, Jeff Achey, and others over several different days to finally get the crack on this clean in the early '80s. Protection was tricky, and the finish was always the big stopper for me and seemed to be the real crux overall. A hard Castle Rock classic testpiece for sure!