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The Catslab

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Grizabella S 
Gumby Cat S 
Gus S 
Jellicle Cats S 
MacCavity S 
Mr. Mistoffeles S 
Mungajerry S 
Old Deuteronomy S 
Rum Tum Tugger S 
Rumple Teaser S 
Skimbleshanks S 
Unknown T 
Unsorted Routes:

The Catslab 


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Location: 39.7428, -105.4043 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Michael Komarnitsky on Jan 1, 2001
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BETA PHOTO: 1. Skimbleshanks, 8-.
2. [[Old Deuter...
  • Open according to a Jeff CO ranger MORE INFO >>>
  • Temporary closures near Fiscal Cliff: May-July 2014 MORE INFO >>>

  • Getting There 

    The Catslab is about 11 miles up the canyon. Take a left at the intersection for Blackhawk and going to Idaho Springs (go towards Idaho Springs). Go through the first tunnel, over the river, then immediately park, if possible, on the south side of the road. Walk back across the bridge, and then proceed about 1/4 mile south along a solid if slightly airy trail, to the slabby, south-facing face.


    L->R: 

    AB. Unknown, 6 or 8 PG-13, 1p, 70 or 140', gear & bolts or TR.
    B. Skimbleshanks, 8-, 1p, 130', bolts.
    C. Old Deuteronomy, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
    D. Mungajerry, 9, 1p, 100', bolts.
    E. Rumple Teaser, 10-, 1p, 100', bolts.
    F. Mr. Mistoffeles, 9, 1p, 110', bolts.
    G. Gumby Cat, 4, 1p, 60', bolts.
    G+. Jellicle Cats, 9, 1p, 140', bolts.
    H. MacCavity, 9, 1p, 120', bolts.
    I. Grizabella, 7, 1p, 95', bolts.

    J. Gus, 10, 1p, 90', bolts.

    Above

    Rum Tum Tugger, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.


    12 Total Routes


    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',8],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',2],['5.7',1],['5.8',1],['5.9',1],['5.10',6],['5.11',1],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Catslab:
    Skimbleshanks   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 130'   
    Mr. Mistoffeles   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   
    Mungajerry   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
    MacCavity   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 125'   
    Jellicle Cats   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 140'   
    Old Deuteronomy   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
    Rumple Teaser   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
    Gus   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
    Rum Tum Tugger   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
    Browse More Classics in The Catslab

    Featured Route For The Catslab
    4/16/04.

    Grizabella 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  CO : Golden : ... : The Catslab
    (95 feet) 9 bolts to a 2-bolt anchor. Begin at the far right of the Catslab below a large dirt-covered ledge. Have fun frictioning and hauling up this well-protected route with just a couple of points of 7. Scramble from the last bolt to a large belay ledge that is covered with loose pebbles. To descend, one can rappel with a single, standard rope angling right onto a brushy ledge. Down-climb easy terrain for 10 feet. Remember to tie stopper knots to prevent rapping off the ends....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

    Local Information for The Catslab
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    News
    Jul 9 Access Fund is hiring in Boulder 0
    Jun 11 New Women's Speed Record on the Nose   5
    Jun 7 A Tribute to Jeff Lowe   4
    May 15 MP Mobile App: Partnered with Black Diamond and now Free   4
    May 12 New Feature: Improve This Page   3
    May 1 New Yosemite Bigwall Printed Guide Book Now Available 0

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    Photos of The Catslab Slideshow Add Photo
    Hardware removed during the June 2013 anchor replacement.
    Hardware removed during the June 2013 anchor repla...
    Climbing on the Catslab.
    Climbing on the Catslab.
    Comments on The Catslab Add Comment
    Show which comments
    Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jun 29, 2014
    By Anonymous Coward
    Jan 1, 2001

    Mike Y. - When I showed up there this afternoon, a sign said "no tresspassing, No Rock Climbing..." 04/02/01.

    By Jeremy Gilbert
    Jan 1, 2001

    As of 4/5/01, there was No Trespassing and No Rock climbing - This means YOU! Hopes for some moderate climbing in Clear Creek shattered.

    By Quinn Stevens
    From: Denver, CO
    Jul 27, 2001

    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 carefull 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 carefull, and perhaps us climbers should consider getting law enforcement to actually do something about this situation.

    By Anonymous Coward
    Oct 13, 2001

    I tried to go climbing here a couple of months ago, and was greeted by signs saying that climbers (that means YOU) are not allowed there anymore. Was I in the right spot? What's the deal? Thanks.

    By Nathan
    Oct 31, 2001

    That's the right spot and yes, people do shoot at your car. It seems climbers are unwanted here. The sign has since been removed and is open to climbing, but I'm not so sure you even want to risk climbing there. BE CAREFUL.

    By TBD
    May 14, 2002

    Very fun climbs, worth the visit. I have been there twice and did not experience any problems. ...but I did hear someone target shooting, a little unnerving.

    By Edward Jenner
    May 16, 2002

    Remember, this is private property. Although no-one sould be shooting close to the road, there are certainly safe places to shoot on this land. I often hear shooting, but have never experienced problems at this crag.

    By Brad Brandewie
    May 28, 2002

    Every route I climbed in this area was over graded by a full number. I climbed everything but #1 and #3.

    By richard magill
    Oct 21, 2002

    I took a beginner here on an October Sunday, and at one point there were 24 people and 2 dogs at the crag! The stone is very good, but I would not recommend going here on a weekend due to the popularity of the place - it is a zoo.

    Nice place for beginners - in spite of the crowding, all parties seemed to be having lots of fun - good job by Richard Wright and ABS!

    By Bruce Hildenbrand
    Jun 27, 2003

    In mid-June Rob Copolillo, Dale Haas and I added 5/16" quick links and 3/8" chain links to the anchors on Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, Jellicle Cats, Gumby Cat and MacCavity.The existing 3/8" cold shut anchors were showing signs of wear most likely due to the unfavorable practice of lowering and belaying directly through the anchors.

    This work is part of the American Safe Climbing Organization's (ASCA - www.safeclimbing.org) Clean Anchor Campaign. They would appreciate your support!

    By Stich
    From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
    Jun 14, 2004

    It's official CAT SLAB IS CLOSED at the request of the landowner. They are building a house on the property. Pass the word along.

    By Tevis Blom
    Aug 29, 2004

    We climbed here [Aug. 22], saw one other party. We didn't see any signage that the climbing was closed, just a no trespassing sign on the other side of the river. Fun slabs with lots of bolts.

    By Mike Epke
    From: Denver, CO
    Oct 21, 2004

    Great place for sport leading and trying to push leading limits as all routes are very well bolted for protection.

    By Nathan Torres
    From: Golden, CO
    Apr 24, 2006

    Climbed at Cat's Slab yesterday (Sunday, April 23, 2006) and saw no signs of any type that would indicate the area being closed.

    By teleclimbermtnbikechic
    May 14, 2006

    We tried to climb at Cat Slab on Saturday, May 13. We were greeted by the land owner's son that CAT SLAB IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED!! It is on private property, the land owner is disgusted by the trash and the dog poop that is left by climbers and they do not want to be liable for accidents that happen at this crag. There are NO TRESPASSING signs posted. Not sure there is much we can do at this point?!?

    By Keith Roussil
    From: Louisville, CO
    May 24, 2006

    I was there yesterday and there were no trespassing signs and a "NO CLIMBING" sign blocking the approach trail. I posted on rc.com to see if anyone knows what is going on. Link here:

    www.rockclimbing.com/topic/113407

    Apparently there was a hiker accident there last week. Don't know if that is related.

    By Derek Lawrence
    From: Bailey
    May 24, 2006

    The hiker incident was nowhere near Cat Slab. It was about 1 mile west of tunnel 1.
    I would say this is just the landowner finally putting their foot down....

    By Darren Mabe
    From: Flagstaff, AZ
    May 24, 2006

    Talked with the son of the landowner a few days ago, while he was putting up the no trespassing sign. Catslab is indeed closed. Apparently there was a climbing accident at Catslab sometime ago. The victim sued the landowner. The hiker accident near tunnel 1 has nothing to do with it. Neither does the dog poop or trash.

    Therefore, he was fed up with liability issues. Done and done.
    It was always a privilege for the many climbers to be there day in and day out.

    Another example of one person's stupidity (greed?) ruining it for everybody else. Hope he/she (or parents of!?) is proud of themselves and their lawsuit. Now, how the hell is the landowner responsible for some climber hurting themselves? Heaven forbid they take responsibility for their own actions.

    I wouldn't be surprised if all the bolts get removed to make it a permanent closure.

    I will still include Catslab in the new book for completeness/historical sake, but I will be very clear on this new closure status. I am sure there is probably more to the story.

    Pretty unfortunate. Lets just hope JeffCo OS doesn't follow suit....

    By Tony B
    From: Around Boulder, CO
    May 25, 2006

    Please don't assume that the 'person' sued the landowner. That is actually not so likely. What is likely is that the person's insurance company sued that landowner. As I understand it, since they pay the bills, they are the 'injured party' and have a 'legal right' to pursue recovery. They have lawyers and accountants sitting around on payroll, so they use them to do things like this. Keep that in mind when ever you get hurt. I have been injured a few times, mostly minor. At the hospital you fill out all those darn forms, and then on top of it, your insurance still won't pay until they have a lot of details like: Was it in a auto accident? Was it at work? (Rough translation of all of these: "Can we make someone else pay?")

    I wonder if our insurance companies would find it odd that the only place we seem to hurt ourselves is in our own houses? You know, twist your ankle on your porch step, dislocate a finger doing yardwork, etc...

    Perhaps we should be asking the Access Fund for some intervention?

    By Darren Mabe
    From: Flagstaff, AZ
    May 25, 2006

    Good point, Tony. I am rather naive on the subject of lawsuits, insurance, legal stuff, etc... but the principle of the matter is still annoying.

    Besides, I really don't climb there that much, except for the research I did for the book, but I see a lot of climbers frequent that area due to its "convenient" bolting, and moderate grades.

    I just want to get the real story and be clear of the truth for documentation sake.

    By jds
    Jun 18, 2006

    Met up with climbing partners today at the parking area for Cat Slabs.
    Unfortunately, big sign blocking the approach path says no climbing and no trespassing. Bummer this was such a nice place to climb.

    Isn't there anything to be done?

    By Chris M.
    Jun 27, 2006

    This was a note I received in reply to my request for more info from the regional Access Fund rep:

    It is indeed our understanding that Cat Slab, a privately owned crag, is currently closed to public access. The CMC and the Access Fund are jointly working to see what might be able to be done regarding this unfortunate closure. Sometime in the next next month or two we hope to have a better idea what the long term picture for restoring public access will look like. In the mean time we encourage climbers to respect the wishes of the landowner by obeying the No Trespassing signs that are currently posted.

    Please don't hesitate to contact me should have further questions.

    best regards,
    Rick Thompson
    Front Range Regional Coordinator
    The Access Fund

    By kirkadirka
    From: Boulder
    Aug 27, 2006

    The thing that makes me sick about this situation is the fact that we all pay the expensive premiums for health care and when something does actually happen, insurance companies still don't want to foot the bill. This would be a totally different situation if someone were actually responsible for the injury. But you can't blame the landowner for owning land that contains rock that has been around before man walked the earth. This is clearly an accident. Insurance companies are degrading the quality of life for others.

    I may be preaching to the choir, but we should all realize the implications of this type of litigation. Many of the climbing areas in the Front Range are on private property. I don't want to see this happen again. Hopefully the access fund can find a way to re-open this area.

    By Smolakian
    From: Golden, CO
    Mar 6, 2007

    I saw someone climbing at Catslab as I drove by on Sunday. It looks like the yellow tape and the no climbing sign have disappeared. There is, however, a new chain link fence up on the west side of the creek.

    By lowebacker
    From: Denver, CO
    Apr 29, 2007

    As of 4/29/07 climbing is still off limits at the Slabs. Drove by today and the No climbing/keep out signs were posted.

    By Chris I
    From: Fresno, CA
    Nov 4, 2007

    I climbed at the Cat Slab today and didn't see any NO TRESPASSING signs on the access trail, BUT about midday a couple of guys on the opposite side of the river showed up, pointed pistols at us and started firing in our direction. I'm sure this was a move to intimidate us and get us to leave, and it certainly was unnerving. Nobody was hurt, including my vehicle, but this place is clearly a little sketchy in the access rights department and the hillbillies with guns department. Otherwise fun climbing, slabby and overgraded but fun. But maybe not worth getting shot at for.

    By JK1
    From: Lakewood, CO
    May 2, 2008

    I was wondering the status of the slab. I saw some climbers on it last weekend but am unsure of what the staus is.

    By Dean Cool
    From: Boulder, CO
    May 23, 2008

    I climbed there today and there were no "No Trespassing" signs or hillbillies with guns.

    By Nathaniel Osenga
    Jul 22, 2008

    My climbing group figures this slab is open, though the path on the opposite side of the creek is closed. Catslab side has a For Sale sign on the wire fence, but there is no indication that you cannot climb at the slab. Anybody want to buy it though?

    That said, a great place to take beginner climbers. Four routes under 5.10 makes for a nice day for the inexperienced. Make sure you do take someone who can lead belay though cause there is no approach to the top. Check your rope lengths as well, not all the climbs can be lowered back to the bottom. There's also a 5.4 that's great to teach leading classes. Bring lots of water though as it's mainly in the sun all day.

    By RMT
    Aug 25, 2008

    Catslab is on private property and is definitely closed. You are trespassing if you climb there, regardless of signage. Landowners do change their minds, but generally don't if they're pissed.

    By Tim Kline
    From: Littleton, co
    Oct 20, 2008

    I went to CatSlab on Saturday and it appears to be open. If we are trespassing, nobody cares... there were a lot of climbers there, probably 5 groups of 2 or more. We seen no signs regarding no trespassing. I guess I would recommend using extreme caution at Cat Slab if you're willing to take the risk of getting busted for trespassing, however small the risk appears to be.

    By Joe Dunlap
    Jan 18, 2009

    MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A 70 METER ROPE ON GRIZABELLA. I brought a 60m and the route is 107ft. Ended up taking about a 20 footer to the deck on the way down. Broken bones and lost conciousness are no fun!!!!!

    By RMT
    Apr 28, 2009

    Everyone. Catslab is officially closed! It doesn't matter whether there is a sign or not. It is private property. There is an effort underway to get it re-opened so don't screw it up by getting the landowner pissed off at climbers. Patience.

    By D@n
    From: Boulder, CO
    Mar 4, 2010

    It's open. Hasn't been officially announced until parking is sorted out. See Access Fund article:
    www.accessfund.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=tmL5KhNWL>>>

    By Derek Lawrence
    From: Bailey
    Mar 4, 2010

    It's not officially open yet. Read here (Pete Helseth's comment)
    www.mountainproject.com/v/colorado/106667823
    Until Clear Creek County Open Space gives the OK, it would probably be best to not climb here.

    By Top Rope Hero
    From: Was Estes Park, now homeless
    Apr 5, 2010

    For what it's worth:

    Officially open or not, there were about seventeen billion people climbing there last Sunday, 4/4/10....

    By Tony T.
    From: Denver, CO
    Jul 10, 2010

    Can anyone tell me with certainty whether it's officially open or not?

    By Buff Johnson
    Jul 10, 2010

    17 billion, holy cow; that's....

    Wow, that's a lot of routes.

    By Ivan Rezucha
    From: Fort Collins, CO
    Mar 14, 2011

    I attempted to lead trad and self-belayed the corner to the roof between Skimbleshanks and Old Deuteronomy. There was no gear to the base of the corner (big cams might work). Good gear can be arranged at the base of the corner out right and a few feet higher in the corner. Another few feet higher I got a small RP sideways on the left wall. My feet were a few feet above this when I bailed, with hands a couple of feet below the ceiling on the right wall. The climbing was easy, maybe 5.8?, palming and stemming, but I didn't want to go further with no clear gear in sight. Downclimbing the stemming was exciting. There was no belayer to take in slack as I downclimbed. I was able to bail from the base of the corner by rappelling use my partners' rope on Deuteronomy. Lacking that, I would have clipped a bolt on Deuteronomy and used that to get down safely.

    This could be TR'd from Skimbleshanks, and most likely has been, since it's such an obvious line.

    By Keith H. North
    From: Englewood, CO
    Mar 26, 2011

    Hey, is Catslab officially open yet?

    By needstolearn
    Mar 27, 2011

    Still not open yet, but word is it will be soon. Look at this page a little closer. Damn, y'all.

    By Keith H. North
    From: Englewood, CO
    Apr 6, 2011

    Needstolearn,

    I have been checking this page, Catslab has been set to open "soon" for well over a year now, that post at the top has been up for a very long time....

    By Derek Lawrence
    From: Bailey
    Apr 6, 2011

    The Oxbow Parcel on which Cat Slab sits is still in the planning stages from what I can tell. I found this link to a public meeting announcement for the site plan.
    www.co.clear-creek.co.us/General/OS_Public_Mtg_Invitation_Fl>>>
    There are still two meetings to go if anybody is interested....

    By Steve Grigel
    Apr 29, 2011

    Derek, et all,

    I have been representing the climbing community over the past year at the Clear Creek County Open Space reviews regarding the master plan for the area. This plan includes the long term vision of the green belt trail that will come all the way up the canyon linking Golden to Loveland Pass. Therefore, there are many user groups interested in the area, climbers, bikers, hikers, fishermen, rafters, etc. Climbers are a simple user group, we seek access and basic parking. Also, we are currently the largest user of that area of the canyon. The stakeholders and especially the Clear Creek County Open Space members have been very supportive to ensure climbers are incorporated in this master plan. We are in the final stages of the master plan concept and expect to present this to Clear Creek this summer for financial budgeting. After this point, we will have more information as to when it may officially open.

    Clear Creek County Open Space Committee continues to be very supportive of climbers and their access, this is excellent and very much appreciated. Please remember to support the businesses in Idaho Springs (Clear Creek County) after climbing (can anyone say Tommy Knockers?). At the same time, please remember it is a privilege we have access to much of our climbing and respect the land, each other, and other users and we will continue build this access.

    Thanks,

    Steve

    By Brandon Ware
    From: Littleton, CO
    Jun 9, 2011

    I climbed here today, my buddy and I went up the 5.6 "Grizabella" but then decided to do what seemed to be the second pitch above it that goes out on the roof and up. Does anyone know what this route may be called or rated? I found it to be pretty solid, still some loose rock but fun route.

    By Bill Olszewski
    From: Colorado Springs, CO
    Sep 8, 2011

    As far as I can tell, Catslab is open. There were no signs or gates, and we climbed there today. Great crag, awesome routes!

    Brandon, the route above Grizabella is Ram Tum Tugger, 5.11c.

    By Ken McVicker
    Mar 15, 2012

    Glad it was purchased and re-opened. They put up a guard rail where we used to park, so you have to park a few yards further down the road now. Routes are in good shape and ice and water free.

    By Bruce Hildenbrand
    Nov 17, 2012

    In early October, Dale Haas and I replaced the worn anchor hardware (chain, chain links or quicklinks) with new hardware on Skimbleshanks, Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, and Grizabella. Thanks to the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org) for the hardware. They appreciate your support.

    By Bruce Hildenbrand
    Jun 7, 2013

    Dale Haas and I finally got around to replacing the anchors on top of Skimbleshanks, Old Deuteronomy, Mungajerry, Rumple Teaser, Mr. Mistoffeles, Gumby Cat, Jellicle Cats, and Grizabella with 1/2" stainless steel(SS) Powers 5-piece bolts and SS Petzl hangers. We added 3/8" SS quick links and SS rappel rings to all the anchors. We also added 3/8" SS quick links and SS rappel rings to the anchor on MacCavity which was recently replaced.

    This work was sponsored by the American Safe Climbing Association (www.safeclimbing.org). They appreciate your support.

    By Charlie F.
    Jul 20, 2013

    As of 7/19/13, all bolts and anchor rings/chains have been recently replaced.

    By TBrumme
    From: denver, co
    Jun 29, 2014

    Just a heads up, there will be a group of 10 at Catslab on Monday, June 30th from 11am until 5pm.

    Thanks for replacing the bolts and anchors, guys!