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On Ballet 

YDS: 5.9 French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 17 British: HVS 5a

   
Type:  Trad, 3 pitches
Consensus:  YDS: 5.9- French: 5c Ewbanks: 17 UIAA: VI ZA: 16 British: HVS 4c [details]
FA: Richard and Joyce Rossiter, 1983.
Page Views: 3,797
Submitted By: Ben Mottinger on Jan 1, 2001

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (29)
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BETA PHOTO: On Ballet, showing two ways to climb the first pit...

Seasonal Raptor Closure MORE INFO >>>

Description 

Nice three pitch route with surprising climbing. On the left side of Blob rock--start twenty feet or so down the hill from a large detached flake (on the ground) and climb an easy ramp up to a small ledge.

P1. Start the roped climbing here--a thin crack that angles to the right. Then head back to the left around the corner and up the the steep dihedral. This takes good gear and is solid 8+ stemming--belay on a small edge up a ramp after the dihedral.

P2: traverse right to a R-facing dihedral and move up the thin crack (9) that also has some bomber holds. After the crack ends, traverse left slightly, place a #2 Friend or similar at your feet on a narrow ledge, then make some runout moves up the dike system. A small TCU can be placed about 1/2 way through this slab section in a shallow pocket. Now angle up and left toward the large chimney. Climb up the chimney a short way and locate two bolts. This pitch will create a lot of rope drag if you're not careful.

P3: Take the right-hand face/crack out of the chimney for a short way until a large ledge. Now you can 4th class across the top of the chimney to the left, angle left up a ramp with several dead trees, then 4th class back down ramps, always traversing West. When you see the chains for some sport routes, keep 4th classing above them and walkoff.

Protection 

Standard rack--small TCU for slab traverse on P2.


Photos of On Ballet Slideshow Add Photo
Approaching the first belay.
Approaching the first belay.
3rd pitch.
3rd pitch.
Bruce Hildenbrand starting up the third pitch.
Bruce Hildenbrand starting up the third pitch.
On Ballet as viewed from the approach trail. Scramble up to a small ledge to start the climb.  At the top, traverse right to the rappel descent, or scramble left to the walk-off.
BETA PHOTO: On Ballet as viewed from the approach trail. Scram...
Starting the second pitch.
Starting the second pitch.
Third pitch.
Third pitch.
The exposed but easy start to the second pitch.
The exposed but easy start to the second pitch.
On Ballet viewed from the start of the route. <br /> <br />Approach: Scramble up a ramp to a small ledge and set up an anchor.   <br /> <br />Pitch 1: Climb a thin crack in a corner, step left and climb a slab, then climb a steep corner with a hand crack and move left to a good belay ledge. <br /> <br />Pitch 2: Traverse right and climb a right-facing corner to a slab.  Angle left up the slab to a chimney/gully and continue to a 2-bolt anchor.
BETA PHOTO: On Ballet viewed from the start of the route.

App...
First pitch.
First pitch.
On Ballet viewed from the approach trail. <br /> <br />Approach: scramble up a ramp to a small ledge and set up an anchor. <br /> <br />Pitch 1: climb a thin crack in a corner, then work left and climb a slab.  Climb a steep corner with a hand crack and move left to a good belay ledge. <br /> <br />Pitch 2: traverse right and climb a right-facing corner to a slab.  Angle left up the slab to a chimney/gully, and  continue up to a 2-bolt anchor. <br /> <br />Pitch 3: Move right and climb a flake with a wide crack, then up a slab to a big ledge. <br /> <br />Rappel descent (easier): traverse right on the ledge to a 2-bolt rappel anchor with slings, then do two rappels to the gully by Bolt Cola. <br /> <br />Walk-off descent (longer): traverse left across chimney, then continue left on ledges until it's possible to down-climb to easier terrain.
On Ballet viewed from the approach trail.

Approac...
Essential protection.
Essential protection.
Bruce Hildenbrand belaying at the top of the first pitch.
Bruce Hildenbrand belaying at the top of the first...
Nearing the top of the first pitch.
Nearing the top of the first pitch.
The steep crux corner on the first pitch: fun stemming and jamming with an airy step left at the top.
BETA PHOTO: The steep crux corner on the first pitch: fun stem...
Dave Holliday and Chris Grosshans finishing up pitch 1 on a beautiful Colorado autumn morning.
BETA PHOTO: Dave Holliday and Chris Grosshans finishing up pit...

Comments on On Ballet Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 30, 2011
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 5, 2002

Don't fall on pitch 2 above that ledge into that dike system. It's 8+ here but a wee bit committing. May be easier for taller chimps.
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 24, 2002

Good route for those beginning to trad-lead. Crux can be well protected with a small cam (.5) and/or small nut. Great views from up top...5 parties on Cob and Blob was entirely empty.
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 5, 2002

P1 from the ground to the ledge felt like the crux to me. While the start to P2 was difficult to protect there is no way this is 5.9..airy but not 5.9. Two ropes *might* get one down to the top of Bolt Cola if you want to skip the last pitch or finish the climb, walk NE around the ledge to the rap anchor that puts you down near the start of Bolt Cola, 1x50m rope is plenty for this (2 raps)...The anchor is down and over the edge but there is a single bolt on the wall next to the ledge to offer some protection while threading the rope...slings are a little crispy (as of 8/3/02) and need to be replaced.
By Ron Olsen
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 27, 2004
rating: 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

An excellent climb with an inobvious line; almost as good as Bitty Buttress. Take some time to study the route before you set off.

The first pitch has good pro at start and finish, but has an easy run-out slab in the middle. The steep upper corner has some great stemming and an airy step left at the finish; solid 5.8 to 5.8+.

Traverse straight right to start the second pitch, and use small cams to protect the airy moves into the right-facing corner. Lots of good holds keep this at 5.8, not 5.9. The slab above is a little scary; you have to make several thin face moves with pro below your feet. I got a #1 Camalot for pro before launching onto the slab. You can then get two finger-size cams for pro as you move left to the chimney.

The third pitch is short and leaves you on a big ledge; thread a block for a belay anchor.

The rappel descent described in a previous comment is the easiest way off. Traverse right several hundred feet, passing an exposed section, to the first rappel. Look for a bolt just above the ledge and two bolts with slings and rings just below the ledge. The slings were replaced on 10/26/04 by Bruce Hildenbrand.

Rappel to a good ledge with another bolt anchor, and do a second rappel that drops you in the gully on the right side of the rock.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 27, 2004

An alternative to the 3rd pitch is to climb "Erickson's Crack" up the vertical wall to the left. This is rated 10c in Rossiter's guide and felt to me at least that hard. This climb is not in the current database (I'd add it myself but I can't remember much more than this).
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Oct 27, 2004

Must be getting old...but the pictures don't stir memories. Nonetheless, if you don't like "walking off," you can rap from a good anchor L of the chimney at the start of the walkoff ledge to the 2 bolt anchor of P2 and then to the ground with 2 ropes.
By Michael Amato
Nov 16, 2004

We climbed this as a party of three yesterday. We all concurred that the first pitch had the most difficult climbng on the route, maybe because the "crux" on pitch 2 is just so damn fun-!? Steep climbing, but clean moves on good holds made it seem no harder than 5.8 to me. We walked right at the top as described above by Ron Olsen and did one double rope rap with two 60 meter ropes and easily made it all the way to the ground.
By sam flournoy
From: estes park, co
Apr 4, 2005

For posterity . . .a pretty good route and longish for Boulder Canyon to boot. There were some bolts out left (part of another route, i suppose) for a slightly steeper start. As stated above, small to medium cams are nice at the crux, runner them long and watch out for some loose rock getting out of the overhang. There were a couple holds that probably shouldn't have had any chalk on em. That's it.
By Bruce Hildenbrand
Oct 25, 2005

Ron Olsen, Dale Haas and I replaced the slings on the rappel off the right side of the walk-off ledge with quick links and links of chain.

Hardware for this work was provided by the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org). They appreciate your support.
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Mar 24, 2007

I found a pair of soiled panties tucked under a rock at the end of the second pitch about four years ago. Other than that, a very good line. The second pitch is exciting, sans panties.
By Leo Paik
Administrator
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 25, 2007

Me panties...now if I could only remember where I left my black Alien. Kiddin' about the panties.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Nov 2, 2008

I had fun climbing this yesterday in a single pitch with a 70m. I ran it out quite a bit to conserve gear and minimize rope drag. With a 60m I think the second would need to scramble up a ways on the very easy rock at the bottom.
By Mark Roth
From: Boulder
May 8, 2010

After the 3rd pitch, you can hop across the chimney to the left and get to the anchor above Erickson's Crack. 3 raps with a single rope and you are back @ your pack....
By Elmer M.
Aug 31, 2010

Did it on Sunday. Probably shouldn't say this, but it was a pleasure to climb this on a weekend in the Canyon while just across the road Cobb Rock was busier than a one-armed paper hanger.

It is true, don't fall on P2, but a few thoughts I haven't seen posted here about that part of the climb:

1. There *is* small, flaring crack (like 2-3" wide) on the traverse over to the dike system that will take a good amount of air time off any fall in the dike system. Someone mentioned one at foot level, now, I *am* short, but this was clearly at chest/neck level for most people. It ate a green C3 and an Alien really easily, and while I was getting fancy with route finding (e.g. finding a way around the dike system), I took a lead fall on them and they held. It's a good placement if you just give it some attention.

2. The move into the dike system appears to be really scary/sketchy (at least to me and my partner). It's nothing we agreed we would have ever thought twice about and we've done moves like that so many times in the past without even thinking about it. But, there isn't very good recovery from losing your smear while you unweight the other foot to make the move (read: really, none) because the hands aren't wonderful here, and it is on the runout portion of the lead without good air below you to fall into (read: there isn't great air to fall into, not bad, but not a fall you want to take for fun, esp if you have previous falls to remind you of what happens when you fall in similar circumstances :). Anyway, the move into the dike system is nice, and once I did it I felt like a schmuck for being scared of it.

Anyway, hope my small yet wordy beta helps.
By George Bracksieck
May 30, 2011

I climbed this route in 1981 with Mike Endicott. I led the second (crux) pitch.