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The Highlands aka Highlander
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Not One Of Us 

YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a

Type:  Sport, 3 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.12a French: 7a+ Ewbanks: 25 UIAA: VIII+ ZA: 25 British: E5 6a [details]
FA: Richard Wright, 1995 FFA all 3 pitches, Alan Nelson, 1996
Page Views: 3,570
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Apr 23, 2001

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A Highlander enjoying the setting.

Upper Canyon access closed - 8p Mar. 22 - 5p Mar. 28 MORE INFO >>>


I'll give credit to Alan Nelson for red pointing pitch three first in 1996, but this baby is all mine. I'll hang tough on this point because every now and then the rest of our lives intrudes upon the serenity of our climbing gig. I put up this whole line one week in 1995 after having been denied academic promotion for highly dubious reasons. As a member of that politically incorrect breed of white angelo-male, I was simply "Not One Of Us". I put up this route for every man out there who has been shafted by the system, every man who has kept his nose to the grindstone, done the right thing, and still been screwed. Of this I am sure: I am not alone.

Not One Of Us begins on the right hand sector of the Highlander Crag, adjacent to the 5.9 route "Resume" (there is a theme here). A 50 ft 5.11 pitch is the entrance exam, and trickier than it looks. A very nice belay sets up the second pitch and the esthetic star of the route. Chase a small slab for several clips and get established on the arete. The climbing on the arete is just too cool for words. A big-ish heave to the right at the top of the arete will gain a jug, the lip, and a three bolt anchor. Amble up to the huge sprawling ledge and a belay bolt at the base of the third pitch, or belay from the three bolt anchor. The ledge is a better belay since you can sprawl out for some power-tanning. The third pitch has a tricky start to gain the prominent head wall above, and the best exposure on the Highlander Crag. When I first led this pitch in 1995 with Anna Brandenburg-Schroeder, we had a line of spectators watching from the road; this is definitely one of the coolest positions in Clear Creek. Three stars for all of the personal angst (!!!), the good climbing, great stone, and superb position. And kudos to Alan Nelson, The Prince of Thieves, for beating us all to the punch.


QD only. This three pitch route can be done with a 60 m rope comfortably. Although under 200 feet in total, it is hard to combine the pitches, and works best as three. There is a double bolt anchor at the top of pitches one and three and a three bolt anchor at the top of pitch two.

Photos of Not One Of Us Slideshow Add Photo
Nearing the crux of P2, 11d pitch.
Nearing the crux of P2, 11d pitch.
First pitch, touchy crux.
First pitch, touchy crux.
The low portion of this route.
The low portion of this route.

Comments on Not One Of Us Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Nov 8, 2013
By Nate Weitzel
Jan 1, 2001

Interesting route history, Richard. Great job an a fantastic line. I think this route is one of the best for the grade, with classic moves and awesome position.
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Aug 21, 2001

Sounds about par-for-the-course. As I recall, I had finished P1 and P2. Anna and I had gone through P3 a few days earlier with hangs to start and above, and I needed a ride to check the beta in comfort. As I also recall, Alan was not sweating bullets in the least, in fact it looked like a hike when he did it, a deceptive hike.
By Mike McKinnon
From: Golden, CO
Jun 13, 2004

Great route, Richard.! Probably the best 12a in the canyon. You are right, the second pitch is the sweetest - awesome arete work. I have a question - I usually launch up into the arete using the crimps on the face gaining the arete half-way up. Is this correct?
By Richard M. Wright
From: Lakewood, CO
Jun 14, 2004

MM - Sounds about right. My foggy memory may be a bit off here, but as I recall you run a couple of slab moves and just catch the arete when they run out (?).
By tobias
From: CO
Jun 27, 2004

Michael-- I did it today the same as it sounds you did-- traversing left to the arete while balanced on a right side pull fairly high up (after beginning with the face climbing you mention above the slab.) You end up with your chest pretty much on that 3rd (?) bolt, and your left foot on that one decent step right on the arete. I suppose you could attempt to haul straight up the arete from below, but that would require a bit more power.... As is, I enjoyed the moves and sequence coming in from the right. Cool (and airy) pitch! We had the same type curiosity onlookers pulled over off the road watching....
By david goldstein
Jul 1, 2004

Probably the best route I've done in CCC. Every pitch is quality. Wishful thinking: take away the ledges and you'd have a world class 150' pitch.
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 1, 2005

A decent route, I wasn't a big fan but then again I don't really know shit about shit. I would [recommend] that if you are going to put in the effort then you should carry a second 60m rope for an [awesome] 170' rappel all the way to the bottom. This saves tons of time plus you get the an [awesome] view of this section of the canyon, under the third pitch.
By aBove
From: Denver, CO
Sep 7, 2008

Really awesome! We linked the first two pitches via a LONG sling and it was fine, however tiring. Really really great!
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Nov 16, 2008

Best 12a in the canyon???? It's a real stunner, that's for sure. Combine the first 2 for the full effect. The "first" pitch is quite awkward I must say, but it has great stone. The arete is amazing, and the headwall was fan-freaking-tastic. Beautiful.
By Hank Caylor
From: Golden, CO
Nov 17, 2008

Wet Dream on the Wall of the '90s is the best 12a in the canyon...IMO.
By richard magill
Nov 17, 2008

Other possibilities:

Adventure Kayak Trundle (River Wall)
Peer Pressure (Highlander)
Balkan Dirt Diving (Sports Wall)
Power Trip (Anarchy)

Certainly "Wet Dream" and "Not One of Us" are right up there. I also like "Road Rash Roof" and "Idiot Savant", but that is just me.

I think I am starting to miss that place....
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 18, 2008

Hank, Richard, Monty, those routes are all good!
I also think Hipster is a great entry 12, check it out.
I am starting to miss that canyon, too.
By adampeters
From: Golden, Colorado
Nov 21, 2008

I agree, Wet Dream is mangnifacentasticly awesome! Worst 12a in the canyon, Lock Jaw at the Tetanus Crag.
By jhump
Apr 15, 2009
rating: 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a

At the crux roof lip, there is a grapefruit-sized block for the left foot- that is pretty loose. I could wiggle it easily with my fingers. The belayer stands immeditely below this block. It is not necessary to get your feet anywhere near the block. My feet don't get within 3 feet of it. No more hints or I would give it away. I will say that my sequence allowed my roof-averse girlfriend easy passage over the lip.
By slim
Nov 4, 2009

Surprised that this route gets so many stars. Weird climbing, belay stances that are about 3 feet below huge, relaxing ledges (WTF?), and several pretty weird bolt placements kind of detracted from it. In particular, the bolt before the anchors on the 2nd pitch is super contrived, particularly considering you are looking at breaking your ankles if you come off. My partner summed the route up by saying "it's dead to me'. I agree.
By ShaneK
Nov 8, 2013

We got on this route yesterday for the first time. It appears that a large piece has broken off on the middle pitch. I am not sure as to how long it has been gone. We were both pretty stumped to figure out how to go straight up the face and not bail out left around the arete. I felt that the middle pitch was significantly harder than the last pitch. Might be due to the missing flake. Overall, it was good climb, and if you move up one bolt from each of the rap anchors, the belay becomes very comfortable.

As previously mentioned, there are loose blocks on the last pitch just below the roof. We marked them pretty heavily with a chalk "X", but be careful not to step on them.
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