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Play Pen

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Child's Play S 
Old Man's Myth T 
Pirate's Booty S 
Recess S 
Toy Box S 

Play Pen 

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Elevation: 7,000'
Location: 39.74194, -105.41271 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,531
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Drew Spaulding on Nov 12, 2013
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BETA PHOTO: 5 new routes at the Play Pen.
Temporary closures near Fiscal Cliff: May-July 2014 MORE INFO >>>


The "Play Pen" now hosts 5 new pitches on quality rock. These pitches start out less than desirable with the broken ledges at the base of the wall. Once on the wall, the features and moves provide a lot of pumpy fun and are cleaning up nicely.(some lichen and moss still needs attention) The routes' heights are 65'-80' tall with some steep and challenging 5.10 but there are some small ledges with no-hands rests mixed in there too... The routes are steeper than they look!

The name PLAY PEN comes from a variety of the characteristics at this crag... all referring to the very easy approach; short, moderate climbs; a stellar place to bring toddler's to play while climbing and an obvious place where beer drinkers and hellraisers (skeet shooters) used to break bottles and shoot guns. My friends think I should name it the "Redneck Crag" due to lots of old broken glass and bullet shells on the ground.... I know, it doesn't sound ideal for a kids "Play Pen", but we can clean this shit up (I have been...). This has literally got to be the easiest approach of any crag in Clear Creek Canyon. Park on the east side of Tunnel 6 and walk downhill on the old jeep road 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. My 2 1/2 year old road his Strider bike right to the PLAY PEN. We brought some of his Tonka toys and some snacks, and he had a blast.

The jeep road is a good 40' away from the base of the wall (good play area) and is close to the river's edge. At low water (175cfs), my boy was down in the huge eddy playing in the shallow river's edge, with adult supervision, of course. We had 3 climbers and one adult would watch the toddler while the other 2 climbed. The first route we did I named "Child's Play" (5.10a/b), because my boy was there to see it go down. So, long story short, the name PLAY PEN just fell into place....

Here is a quick list of the routes from left to right:

4 anchors wall.

1. Toy Box, 5.10b/c, 1p, 60', bolts.
2. Old Man's Myth, 5.9, 1p, 65', gear.
3. Recess, 5.10c/d, 1p, 80', bolts & gear.
4. Child's Play, 5.10a/b, 1p, 80', bolts.
5. Pirate's Booty, 5.10c/d, 1p, 80', bolts.

Eds. some campers will set up ~50' right of this cliff.

Getting There 

Driving up river from the CO Hwy 119/US 6 intersection, park on the right just before Tunnel 6. Walk downhill on the old railroad bed 150 yards (upsteam), and you are at the PLAY PEN. If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek (look at location on the map).

Climbing Season

5 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',0],['2 Stars',5],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Play Pen:
Child's Play   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Pirate's Booty   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Toy Box   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Recess   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Classics in Play Pen

Featured Route For Play Pen
Near the top.

Old Man's Myth 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Golden : ... : Play Pen
After some cleaning and excavating of the crack, I led this line with all natural gear in September '13. We had found and old piton that came out quite easily. It seems obvious some "Old Man" had been up there training for the bigger walls of Eldo, The Black, and beyond.... They may have climbed up to the right where the crack system splits into a Y (looks like fun free climbing too). There is a large "boot-shaped flake" to the left of the crack that is hollow and gonging when tested. It seems t...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Play Pen
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Photos of Play Pen Slideshow Add Photo
The northeast-facing "Play Pen".
The northeast-facing "Play Pen".
Erin Miller pulling the 1st roof (crux) of Child's Play.
Erin Miller pulling the 1st roof (crux) of Child's...
Comments on Play Pen Add Comment
Show which comments
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Nov 12, 2013

Nice, Drew, thanks for posting! Just curious, what aspect does the crag face?

By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Nov 12, 2013

Do you have any of the route names or FA info?

By Drew Spaulding
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 13, 2013

Monty, the PLAY PEN faces E to NE. In the summer, there is sun on the wall until noon. I'm not sure about these winter months.... I assume very little sun (early morning?). KC, some friends, and I established these routes in August/September '13. I will be posting the route info with more photos soon....

By Derek Lawrence
From: Bailey
Nov 13, 2013

Nice! When I did the Phase I for CCC on this property, I saw rock but didn't see the potential. Good job! If the parking on the east side is full, you could also park as for Primo and walk downstream along the old railroad bed next to the creek.

By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Nov 15, 2013

I checked out these routes today. Nice job, the three bolted lines on the left are pretty fun moderates. I thought they were all about 10a with one or two of them getting close to 10b. The rightmost route is pretty dirty but not bad, and the trad line is very protectable and kind of cool. Child's Play was my favorite.

By Drew Spaulding
From: Boulder, CO
Nov 15, 2013

Right on, Kevin, thanks! Glad you got up there to check it out. The wall is what it is.... They all mostly have short-lived cruxes... and the routes are a bit steppy, but there is a lot of fun climbing on the wall with some cool features. I spent a lot of time trundling loose blocks and plates and getting things safe. Pirate's Booty on the right was the last pitch I worked on up there... had to trundle some huge flakes which exposed a bunch of loose dirt that covered everything below. I was wondering if the weather cleaned it up a bit? Sounds like a good brushing and scrubbing needs to still happen. The trad line (Old Man's Myth) is fun and protects well! It had a cool old piton on it that came out fairly easily. There is another oldschool nailup that starts at the bottom of Toy Box and then trends up and left... it would be cool to know the history of who climbed these pitches back in the '60s or '70s.... Things are cleaning up nicely and I think the PLAY PEN will become a fun moderate wall.

By Kevin Presley
From: Loveland
Jan 21, 2014

We climbed here today and caught about 30 minutes of sun. Not a good winter crag, but we like suffering apparently. The routes are fun, and the grades felt accurate.