The West Bank / Wild West / Secret Crag has been problematic for years due to access concerns. There have been negative encounters with gun-toting landowners who have alleged that the entire mountain is on private property. Typical approaches involve brief crossing of railroad property which appears to be prohibited.
Exact demarcation of property boundaries are not always clear. When in doubt, be discrete or polite.
Do not park your vehicle near the railroad tracks near Plainview. It is a well-known irritant to Plainview residents.
This information is a public crowdsourcing effort between the Access Fund,
and Mountain Project. You should confirm closures, restrictions, and/or related dates.
Possibly one of the all time classic routes of its grade, Perversion fires up the central tower in three pitches of glorious climbing on some of the best rock in the Front Range. Below the central tower is a large block - climb up left on talus around the block and then over to the right side for a cozy belay that looks up a system of left facing dihedrals all the way to the top.
P1. Start off on the right side of the block in a rough finger and hand crack. This is largely 5.7/5.8 until just before the next ledge where the line kicks up a bit of 5.9 on very good gear. Get to the ledge and move right 15 feet to the base of the dihedral. 75 feet, 5.9.
P2. At the ledge (with a tree), scramble right to a point below the shallow dihedral. Fire up the left dihedral with 2 fabulous cracks for 25 feet. Traverse to the right on large blocks about 10 feet to another dihedral with a good crack. Cruise up this crack and then continue over broken rock with good pro to a nice belay ledge. There are two large bolts about 10 feet right of the crack. 150 feet, 5.8.
P3. Continue up fabulous climbing in the corner with solid 5.8 move separated by many excellent rests. Head for the monstrous roof and swing out right on jug-o-rama holds with bomb-proof gear in the corner at 5.6. 120 feet, 5.8.
Descent: downclimb to the left to the large notch (skip the first, smaller notch). Make an 80 foot rap to slings, then a 60 foot rap to a large tree, then a final (third) rap 60 feet right to the base of the climb.
Yes, this route has been under the Peregrine falcon restriction ever since an ascent of this route by some friends of mine. As "Ilana" and "Britt" (not their real names, these are randomly chosen pseudonyms) climbed the route one summer, they were continually pestered by a frantic falcon. They called the open space managers (or is it JeffCo managers) and reported the incident. The next week the cliff was closed. The thing that upsets me is that I don't think they check yearly to see if the nesting pair is still there, and do they really need to close the entire crag?
Richard, I'm surprised you didn't mention that getting off the ground is tricky on this climb, I remember it being a 5.9 move for sure. It's a weird step through an overhang. A short move and you can place a bomber stopper here.
You can descend in three single-rope rappels to the same block where Perversion starts. From there it's an easy scramble (north) to the ground. The top rap anchor as of 10/20/01 is about 10 pounds of junk webbing, a rope that belongs in Neptune's museum, and one decent loop of spectra cord. The second anchor is not much better (it got a new sling yesterday, 10/20/01). Take some big *leaver* sling material, a knife and a garbage bag if you're going soon.
If you're doing this route (as everyone should) and you make it through the last corner feeling strong, there is an exciting roof-exit option called Vulcans Don't Lie. It's so short it isn't really worthy of an entry all its own; however, it is worth doing if one is courageous enough. I had the luxury of doing it on TR and found poor gear and big rattling flakes. Starting at the base of the roof at the end of pitch three it climbs up, out and left. There is/was a small fixed cam here (I'm sure it's retrievable for all you gear hounds). The new Eldo book rates this .10b, I found it to be a little easier than that, but once again, I wasn't looking at a nasty fall onto the slab. Definitely, a fun alternative for an adventurous second.
I would have to agree with Richard's description of the route. This was my first trip to Mickey Mouse Wall and it was good. The route follows a system of dihedrals then cuts across a roof to an awesome view of the plains. Do bring extra gear for the belay anchor at the top. Three rappels took us back to the bottom. Cams, stoppers, hexes.
Do not miss this route. It is one of the best climbs on the wall. The third pitch is absolutely beautiful! A long sling or two seems to help a lot on the second pitch if you decide to put a few pieces in.
Rap info: from the rap route, added two new slings and one biner to the top rap (the slings go around a rock and over the edge); added a new sling to the next rap, the one with 3 rings on it; added a sling and biner to the belay tree at the top of the first pitch of perversion. And cut off lots of old stuff. As of September 14, 2002.
By Ben Mottinger Founding Father Sep 29, 2002 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
The moves on P1 are stout and exciting, but no harder than a route like Green Spur. I thought the last pitch was more 5.8 than 5.7.
Dave-I agree. I found P1 to be one of the more 'thoughtful' .9s I've been on. Good (albeit small) gear for the first crux, right off the ground. Also, Chris mentioned "Vulcans Don't Lie" for an exciting finish to an amazing climb. Excellent choice! The variation is short, very steep, and (I found) protects well until the last 3 moves, which are as juggy as they get! Careful of a huge block in the middle of the roof that is extremely enticing, but extremely loose. Hauling off that could end badly. Trend slightly left to positive holds after pulling through the roof.
An exciting route, perhaps even more so there is a good chance you might have the entire area to yourself! Found pitch one to be definitely on the tricky side of 5.9. Probably 3 distinct "cruxes" the hardest being just getting started, and then trying to finish. Didn't find the route finding on pitch two to be all that obvious. After heading up the initial very steep crack and a bit more (and sustained at the grade) traversed right and set up an intermediate belay to help avoid rope drag. From there, it continues to be surprising sustained (maybe even a bit of 5.8?) at the grade. Everybody raves about pitch three and that is certainly justified. Best pitch of the climb, with the somewhat tricky crux coming at the end of the crack before heading right. As of today, rap stations were in good state. Simply scramble north to the obvious notch and big tree.
"Possibly one of the all time classic routes of its grade"--- this route has 1 move of 5.9 right off the ground, the rest is all 5.7 or less! Not that this is a bad route, but this quotation is a real stretch!
This route can be done in 2 pitches with a 60m. rope. Just be mindful of rope drag when linking p1 and part of p2 (place low, then high). There is a nice belay stance in the middle of p2 that will leave you with 2 feet of spare rope for the final pitch. Great line!
Hmm.. there is no way that there is only one 5.9 move and the rest 5.7. For example the end of the first pitch is quite tricky and certainly way harder than anything you find on the Bastille Crack. My partner that day can lead 5.10 and struggled there and even took a bit of a fall. It is also quite a sustained climb. Of course these are just my assessments. Just don't want some poor newer 5.7 climber coming along expecting a jaunt. Classic adventure climb though.
This is a highly recommended route. I can't think of another that is more committing as soon as you pick up your feet. I had a good RP and a 0 Metolius in but if you fall and the gear blows it's a heinous looking landing. The dispute on the rating on the rest of the pitch likely comes from the fact that it would be easy to avoid the second crux, which felt 9+ at least to me, by traversing to the right and then back left at the ledge. I suspect some climbers do that whether or not they intend to skip the higher crux.
By David Hodges From: Parker, Colorado Jan 18, 2010 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
I would highly recommend bringing webbing and rings or quicklinks for fixing up the rap anchors. There was one piece of webbing at every station that inspired some confidence. Also, cleaning up all the old webbing will be less of an eyesore as this is a very beautiful area. I will do it next time I'm out there, but this won't be till after raptor nesting for this year.
As a side note, wouldn't bolted anchors with colored hangers be less of an eye sore than the mass of webbing strung out thru those rap stations? Does ACE handle applications for Eldorado Mountain as well. Thanks for any info.
Thanks for the update, David. Mickey Mouse is owned and managed by Boulder Mountain Parks and is out of ACE's jurisdiction. Contact the Flatirons Climbing Council for information about replacing the anchors.
Great route. A buddy and I did this last week, and it was tons of fun. A hell of an approach, but it was worth it. Getting off the ground was tricky, and for my money, it was the most difficult part of the entire climb. You can protect it well, though: I got a solid micro nut right at the beginning, and a blue Alien in just a few feet above that. The rest of the route takes a ton of small stuff. Bring a bunch of TCUs and Aliens. And the last pitch ate up all my mid-sized cams.
Repeated this classic yesterday after (too) many years. First move is dicey above small gear and IMHO is PG13. Watch routing of rope over detached blocks on P2 traverse. Also, it would be easy to hang the rope or pull down rocks on the rap descent. In short, an excellent adventure.