The Primo Wall is one of three formations at the top of Clear Creeek Canyon including the Crystal Tower and the Nomad's Cave, and has a collection of the best and most difficult lines in Clear Creek. The Primo Wall, unlike it neighbor the Nomad's Cave, uses entirely natural holds (no drilled pockets) and boasts climbs ranging from 5.10 to 5.13d/5.14a. All of the routes on this overhung formation are excellent and and on solid stone. In general the routes are well bolted, although a couple of routes have some slight runouts. This crag is north facing and in the shade, so it makes a fantastic summer crag when the temperature is too hot for many other areas. Of course that means winter climbing here is quite brutal. There are plenty of routes in the 5.12 range to chose from, and a number of hard testpieces for those working on 5.13. Two routes here clock in at 5.13d/14a in case you are feeling extra strong that day.
Primo Wall is near the top of Clear Creek. Park in a large pullout at 11.3 miles on the north side. This is just past tunnel 6. Often there is a tyrolean traverse in place from this pullout or downstream 100 feet, and if in place this makes the approach easy. Just cross the stream and find the trail to the cliff. If there is no tyrolean, then you should drive another 0.5 miles up the canyon to where the creek crosses under the road. Park in a pullout here (south side) and find the rough trail that heads back downstream on the north side. This trail is good most of the way, but one will encounter some exposed scrambling above cliffs and the creek. Take caution. This trail leads you past the Nomad's Cave on the way to the Primo Wall. One note: There has been a few instances of vandalism to cars at this pullout, so make sure to lock up, remove valuables, and keep your eye out for any strange activity.
This route tackles the prominent overhung arete in the center of the cliff. It has sustained climbing on relatively positive holds to a final tricky arete. Unfortunately the holds were drilled, then filled in, and a broken hold was re-attached. This awaits a glue-free ascent. Superb, steep climbing....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
This comment is in response to Richard Wright's comment on Skimbleshanks in the Catslab. I thought it might be appropriate to place this nature of a comment on the area pages. I confer with RW. Be careful when climbing at the Catslab, Dog House, Primo Wall, and especially the Armory. Some people seem to enjoy shooting their guns in this area. Last summer two of my friend's tires were shot out with a 22 pistol while parked across from the Primo Wall. This 'attack' was unprovoked and was reported to the police. Be careful, and perhaps us climbers should consider getting law enforcement to actually do something about this situation.
A few years back climbers were actually shot at while at the Nomad cave. Route 6 can be a fairly creepy road what with casinos, Kermit's, and I-70 one way and Denver and Golden the other. Imagine how different it would be without all the traffic.
This refers to the Tyrolean that was up to access the Primo Wall (it's gone now.) Whoever put it up, thanks, but next time can you try to protect the trees that make it possible? Please use some padding or other material between the bark and rope. Otherwise it's more responsible to make the longer approach on foot.
A couple of weekends ago we saw a whole family out for target practice across from the Primo Wall. Dad was wailing on a bullseye with a handgun while the kids watched. Then they packed up and got back in the minivan. Just a little Sunday fun.
This route is the work of Steve Damboise, and is less contrived than it appears, which may not be saying a lot. The hardest method consistently avoids Sucking's holds and the start and end are totally independent. It seems 5.13b or c depending on the rules you play by. The name is "Squeeze Play."
Peter could you list the routes between Mirthmobile and Eternal Recurrance for me. How could there be a route between Sucking and Public Solitude when it says Public Solitude is to the left of Sucking? I have been to the cliff many times and the way I see it is: Mirthmobile, P.Solitude,Sucking,Shine,Unknown,Unknown,Primevil,Eternal Recurrance.What is the deal? Thanks
Here's the list left to rightHale-Bopp 5.10+/11-, Mirthmobile 10-, Killer Pillar, 10, Public Solitude 13, Squeeze Play 13/13+, Sucking 12+, Grim Aura (LInk-up) 13+, Shine 13+, Primeval 13+, Eternal Recurrence 13+, City Slicker 12-, Suburban Cowgirls 11+, Flying Cowboys 12+, Breakfast Club 12-, Groan Up 11+, River Run 13, Movin Out 12
The Tyrolean is downstream from the Nomad cave pretty much straight across from moving out and hangman. It sags pretty badly and should be avoided in the rain. BTW, My borther (Dan Miller), my roomate ( Rossin Richardson ) and myself (Craig Miller) were actually the ones who were shot at in the Primo cave. This episode went on for about 45 minutes back in 91 or 92 and ended with 7 Colorado State Patrol cars arresting the wacko perpatrator. At the time he had a mini 14 semi-automatic assault rifle with collapsible butt, scope ( he claimed he didn't see us), and 50 round banana clips, a loaded pistol in his pants, and a monster hunting knife. He took his first volley while I had just gotten off Predator and my brother and I felt the air move next to our heads ( we were 3-5 feet apart ). He then proceeded to shoot at us anytime we became visible for the next 45 minutes, including at Rossin while he being the only one with shoes bolted and barely made it around the cave exit towards the bridge before flagging down a car and calling for help.It looked like a movie but was a whole lot scarier watching the dirt and branches fly behind Rossin.In the end the guy got off with wreckless endangerment as there was no proof that he saw us, although from his vantage point near the now tyrolean it was pretty clear, and the fact that clear creek is a "free fire zone". The route now called Pro-Choice was originally called Bad Day Mining in psycho boy's honor......
Looks like the tyrolean traverse is down, I can't tell if it was cut or just washed out. Anyways I would be willing to provide rope, biners and whatever else is necessary to put it back up, but I need some help. Looking for anyone that would be willing to help and has the know how.Thanks
My recommendation is don't reinstall the Tyrolean. It isn't necessary and is in a place that makes it prone to being messed with. The trail is about 15 minutes and makes a good warm-up for the climbs. Plus the hike/scramble keeps the crowds down a little.
Mark, I'll help set that tyrolean if you want. But, for the record, I don't have a problem with just pulling up my skivvies and wading across. The water only comes up to mid-thigh anyway (depending on your height; i'm 5'10").email me at runclimbplay@hotmail if you want.
How can a tyrolean that installed high enogh to actually be usable to cross the stream be a hazard to kayakers? Are they standing on their kayaks & doing gymnastics? Steel cables seem to be the only answer to this problem. They're less visible & harder to cut with a knife. If it is kayakers, maybe we should do some more adventure kayak trundling from river wall.
I'm not sure what the answer is or will be. Climbers have attracted the attention of BLM and there is growing concern. My recommendation is to keep a low profile. Climb, be safe, have fun. If you get hurt, make it look like a hiking accident!)
I had an opportunity to ask some local kayakers if they had any concerns about the tyros. Thay all indicated that they hardly even noticed, let alone cared about, the ropes strung over the river. More likely may be the fly fishermen whose lines get caught. I've noticed that tyros over rough water tend to remain in place much longer than those over quiet water, consistent with the argument. This suggests that when planning the tyro either place it very high (as in the case of the new Mission Wall tyro) or aim for water that is not conducive to fishing. By the way, the steel cable that Bernard G. placed in the SSV was also chopped - so even a cable is not fail-safe, much better certainly, but not fail-safe.
As if anyone cares, but I recently replaced the Tyrol to get to Primo Wall. This morning while crossing it I found myself untangling a fishing line and lure from the rope. I think I should have put more thought into where I placed the tyrol. However, it is the first one I have ever put up, and it seemed like a good place for it. When you see fishermen doing there funky casts under the tyrol, just vibe them until they leave. Or let them know ahead of time about the overhead danger. Should none of these tactics work, and a line gets stuck in the tyrol, kindly zip out there and untangle it for them. The fishermen will still probly be pissed, but at least they might think twice about cutting the rope. Thank you.
I'm looking for sun/shade beta on the Primo Wall and Crystal Tower. The description above says north facing, but these formations pretty clearly look SE facing in the guidebook. Also there are many comments on this page discussing climbing there in March, where a shady N-facing crag would be less than ideal. So, which is it? When are these crags in the shade and what direction do they face? Thanx...
The Primo Wall faces east. Maybe a little south. But mostly east. Summer is primo for the Primo Wall, though it does get a little sun starting in February. The large ridge on the east side of the road keeps the sun away during the colder months. Find a warm day with no wind, and it's not too bad in the winter/spring. The trees also keep the sun out a bit. Good for summer, bad for winter.
I'm not quite sure, but it could have something to do with the county. My friend and I have put up 2 tyrols at the New River Wall, which is in JeffCo. The last one, he left with a note with his email in a zip-lock bag. JeffCo contacted him and said that: A. It's an eyesore (I personally disagree with this subjective argument) and B. It's a danger (i.e. someone who doesn't know what they're doing could come along, "play" on it and end up drowning or "getting hurt.") Personally, I don't mind the look of a tyrolean. They're actually pretty hard to see unless you know what you're looking for. As far as danger goes, people don't need help getting hurt. They seem to do a fine job just by themselves, regardless of whether it happens on a rope crossing a river or skipping rocks. Though the Primo Wall resides in Clear Creek County, I doubt they have different standards or are climber-friendly. Thus, the ignorance and inability to logically reason that reigns among those in authority prevails again. Although, it could just have been some random fisherman, though I find it odd that the rope was cut on the north side (climbing side) of the river...
Sweetness, tryol is safe again. Replaced the yellow rope with a 11.6 static line. Your ass doesn't skim the water anymore. The red one could probably be replaced soon, but that's way beyond my budget. I would definitely help someone replace it though.
So what's the secret to clipping into and out of a tyrolean traverse when there's nothing to stand on except the foot loops? I ended up not even using the foot loops because I just swing around wildly in them.
There is another ledge to the right of Suburban Cowgirl. I cannot find these/this (might be only one) routes in any guid book.
This route starts out on small crimps then throws to a ledge that is perhaps 3 feet long and angles up and left (very obvious). Get established and go up to terrible sidepulls in a seam or go out left to another slopey ledge.
From there, it is a mantle to the anchors. The anchors look new and the bolts are pretty far apart from another. Seemed like a very hard move to the lip. It is only 3ish bolts, I think.
What route is this? Any ideas?
P.S.- the ticks ARE bad here. Both my partner and I found ticks on us.
The upper rope sheath on the tyrolean has frayed and needs to be replaced. The lower rope is still intact, so the tyrolean is still functional, but it has become much more difficult to pull across because of the tattered sheath. I have plenty of cord to donate but not really the time to replace it right now. Any takers?
Let's all give a shout out to the efforts of Jay and Kevin for fixing the Tyrol..!! That kinda work is difficulty and not exactly the funnest thing to do, but they really did a nice job and should be noted for there efforts!!!! So thxs, guys!! I appreciate your efforts and your time!!!!
It's sad that I have to even post this, but someone has been stealing draws off the lower portion of alot of routes as of Fall 2012. By the looks of it, it's some dumbass gumbie using a stick clip, since it's only the first bolt or two of the routes. Seriously, who wants old, junky quickdraws? Is there like an eBay business of selling old fixed draws that I don't know about? All I got to say is watch out, 'cause if I catch anyone doing this, they're gonna get a serious ass whooping. And oh yeah, I'm gonna replace all the draws stolen with bomber steel perma-draws, and I'm gonna use locktight. I'd like to see people get these babies off. C'mon, people.....
Curt, I have noticed this as well. I would not oppose any attempt to perma-draw some of these routes. I donated draws to Squeeze Play about two years ago after I was done with it, and most of them were gone last month, as well as one I left before the crux on Public Solitude. If I have the funds, I would be more than willing to pitch in for permanent draws in the next few months. Until then, I would recommend that everybody take off at least the first draw or two from their projects. Might not do much, but it is something.
It's been going on since the spring and at least one person's been caught by Jay Samuelson already. Although I'm not generally an advocate of permadraws all over crags, this is getting ridiculous. If you leave any draws on the first 2 bolts on any of these routes, expect them to be pilfered in a week. I've accidentally forgotten to pull mine off the lower part of Shine when I've been in a hurry and a week later...Gone!
If there's a consensus in the community to permadraw the classics here, I'll pony up some cash and gear to help out.
Permadraws on a closely bolted 35-foot cliff seems over the top. This is not the Motherlode or Wicked Cave here. The cliff is not even very steep. FWIW I never left draws overnight on any of the projects I did here. It takes a few minutes to put them in bolt-to-bolt and only a little longer to clean.
Tzilla's comment is right on target and underscores what any seasoned climber knows: top rope through your own gear and not through in situ rap anchors, and rap from an in situ station rather than lowering from the station. Both practices increase wear on the in situ gear, generate sharp edges, and increase the likelihood of cutting a rope - just as lowering from a permadraw. Increased traffic on a route like Sucking My Will only emphasizes the rationale for using one's own gear. Like Peter said, it's not that hard to get the gear up, and you guarantee its integrity.
Excellent points of course. Those risks should be obvious even for the not-so-seasoned and I certainly agree. The unfortunate reality at Primo is that, for the 3 years since I moved back to Denver, draws have been a fairly permanent fixture on Sucking, Public Solitude, Ahine, Primeval, even Flying Cowboys. The New River Wall suffers simlarly. I don't know when the paradigm shifted, but this wasn't the case when I first started climbing here a decade ago. Sucking now has Climbtech steel permadraws because of the continual traffic it receives though it's unclear how that decision ultimately came about. Nor do I know whose draws have been donated on many of these routes, but I certainly have taken extra time to inspect their integrity as anyone should. Having climbed many years at a number of crags where permadraws are accepted such as Jailhouse, Rifle, Motherlode, etc., I understand the importance of the local community taking responsibility for the safety of any fixed gear and replacing any suspicious equipment. There are a handful of regular CCC climbers who make an effort as informal stewards replacing anchors and bolts, removing unsafe draws, etc.
If the argument against fixed draws is motivated by a concern for the safety of other climbers, then the counter argument for steel permadraws on a high traffic crag with hard routes like Primo is not unreasonable and is arguably superior to the current excess tat. This discussion is ongoing among CCC regulars and has also been driven by both the unfortunate status quo of leaving draws on many routes and the frustration of the ongoing battle against draw thieves in the canyon.
Personally I agree, hang your own draws and clean each time and you should be reassured. I've done that more often than not and will continue to do so. But I'll also admit that, with a full-time profession and 2 small kids, an extra 30 minutes not utilized repeatedly hanging and cleaning draws on the crux clips of a route like Shine is actually very precious to me. So I realize that I'm not completely innocent in these developments, but life is complicated isn't it?
Rob, first thanks for taking the initiative to help out with some items in CCC, your efforts makes the area better for all of us. It appears that you are trying to address a condition arising from abandoned or intentionally donated fixed draws. It seems that there are three options for dealing with sub-par draws left on routes, they can be removed, left as is, or upgraded. For the last two options, these draws then become something that the climbing community needs to continually maintain.
It seems to me that fondling the crabs on the fixies to make sure they havenít become knives takes more energy than just hanging your own draws on the way up. There are places that fixed draws do make sense, like the Motherlode, but the Motherlode is a wee bit steeper than Primo. Also, the Red has an active and extensive stewardship community that is actively addressing the fixed gear issues.
Finally, there is the visual impact associated with fixed draws. Primo is actually on private land, and it may be in our best interest to keep our presence as low key as possible.
I added a static line to the tyrol yesterday which seemed to help a bit. It needs to be tensioned down a bit more as I didn't have my ascender with me, but it definitely helped. Could probably cut down one of the old lines as well.
Made our first visit to Primo Wall and had a great day of climbing. The area with the climbs is spectacular with an awesome surrounding. The hike back towards the climbing area though is pretty sketchy at a couple parts. There are a couple ropes tied in to help up/down at the steeper parts. I suggest the tyrolean!! (Thanks to those who put that in and keep it in good repair.)