This is a steep and wonderful crack littered with big jugs. This is also the site of the conception of ClimbingBoulder. To get there, continue up the West Ridge trail past Long John Wall for a couple hundred yards. You'll also pass the [prominent] R-facing dihedrals of Chianti and Break on Through. As the slope of the hill shallows out, look for a short cliff right next to the trail with several cracks. You've gone too far if the trail has departed the cliff bottom.
The route starts up the steep crack on the right side of the wall (5.9). After about 20 feet you can move left and up to a tree. Or you can go straight up through the crux (5.10a). Walk off to the left.
Small and medium nuts. Up to a #2 Camalot. 30 feet long. Can also take easy scramble from the left to set a top rope.
Not sure what they were thinking when they rated this 10a ? I [don't] think anyway you do this, unless you [do it one-armed], it can even touch a 10 rating. The rating seems very out of place for [Eldorado], as most of the 10s I have been on have been pretty hard, but not in this case, if you are a 5.8 leader looking to get into 5.9's with good gear, hop on this one. Have fun.
it is supposed to be 10- if you go straight up at the end, not sneaking either left nor right, which is 9+. It is only one slightly tricky move if you go straight up and it is easier than Green Spur, Cest La Vie, Werk Supp, and Touch and Go. My first 5.9 trad lead.
Funny comments. Personally I totally agree, the climb seems technically easy. However, not all climbers are alike. One fine day in the mid '80s, while hiking up West Ridge alone, intent on soloing this very route, I heard some strange shreiking noises up ahead. I stumbled across an unpleasant scene. One Mary Riddel, after cruising up the crux of Break On Through for her first 5.10 lead (see Break On Through for interesting comments on its rating), was expecting to be able to hike Positively Fourth Street. Alas, she ran out of gas near the top and was taking repeated and dramatic lobs (with loud screams and curses) much to the embarrasment of her quaking belayer. Her mood (somewhere between frustrated and murderous) was not helped by my showing up and (shameful to admit) soloing it while she watched. If the rating feels soft, it is because this pitch is juggy and has no rests. Gym/sport-climb trained climbers just eat up this stuff, whereas (in the old days) 5.9+ Eldo-trained leaders used to thin edging, cracks, stemming and training in Juanitas might not have the finger strength to finish. I guess as climbing evolves, ratings should change to reflect this.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Mar 7, 2002
Any climb that can be done in sloppy Tevas by slobs like me can't be 5.10. 5.9 power-endurance, is that an oxymoron? A boy climb. Way easier than Break On Through; betta gear, too.
Just like the gym: big holds, slightly overhaning (in parts), and pretty pumpy. Great gear. I agree with Crusher, not too many rests (least I couldn't find 'em). I fell seconding it, so it'll be a while before I lead it...
By Jeremy From: Boulder, CO Jul 6, 2004 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
Great route with really good gear. Felt much like a sport route to me. I stayed to the right and used a little of the arete and a sloper toward the top. It didn't feel harder than 9 to me.
Led this one yesterday. This route is a gym rats' dream. The climb is entirely overhanging and has no rests to get you off your hands. After doing a couple of other climbs, I tried to fire up this one as fast as possble before burning out. But, alas I had to hang on my gear a few times till my forearms could recover. Outstanding route with excellent pro!
Although I always seem to get credit for leading the first ascent of this climb, it was actually my long-time climbing partner, Jim Walsh, who led an excellent, ground-up first ascent here, via the Direct Finish. I merely belayed him and followed the pitch. A very fun climb, which is way, way too short. I still have my original writeup of the route that I gave to Pat for High Over Boulder. In accordance with the standards of the day, we graded the route 5.8- if you went left at the top, or 5.9- if you did the direct finish!!!
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 25, 2005 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
IMO its the easiest 10a on west ridge. Especially if in the last 5' you reach out right to the corner and lay back with the left hand to reach the jug...suppose if you completely commit to the crack with both hands it would be 10a, but this route has so many hold options. I instinctively reached out to the right corner and sent it with little difficulty. Fun route nonetheless.Ernie
It seems to me Jim already voted in at 5.8- "old school". I think of it kind of like a easy gym climb - if you don't run out of power you'll find it easy. But if you over-grip and try to place pro every few feet you may run out of gas and fall off. So with all the gym training these days it probably makes it feel easier. However, I believe it has logged a few serious accidents over the years due to leaders pumping out while gunning for the top.
Led this route yesterday. I suspect it is not 5.9+ at all, better grade is probably 5.9- and really the direct finish is no harder than the rest of the route. It felt MUCH easier than the first pitch of Werk Supp, for example. Anyway, good climb.
By Paul Hunnicutt From: Boulder, CO Feb 9, 2008 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a
This is kind of like a face climb that happens to have a crack in the middle of it. Yes, it felt very gym like climbing. Relatively straightforward movement. Good gear and maybe the crux is that last move, but felt pretty Eldo 5.9ish. Maybe a bit harder if you get pumped, because the rests are not so straightforward. Easy to then TR the other climbs to the left and run some quick laps.
By grant.rudd From: boulder, CO Apr 15, 2009 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I would say 5.8+ tops. I climbed this with a stitched up finger, and couldn't really use the crack which made the crux harder, but all the holds were massive. I would feel confident leading this guy, even though I am a mediocre 5.7 trad leader.
Thought this line was awsome! Did this after a warm up on sister morphine and thought it would be an easy walk up due to the stellar feet and hands but soon realized I was wrong! Got to the top pumped up as a bike tire and barely topped out! Super fun route super pumpy!
By NickinCO From: colorado Feb 27, 2012 rating: 5.9+5c17VI17E1 5a
Underestimated this route, got to the crux with my last piece about 10' below me. Luckily it wasn't too terribly difficult. Sport climbers will probably find this route pretty easy. Place gear quickly and climb fast.