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The New River Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ali Natural  S 
Aqua Huck 
Beta Test S 
Bitch Strength 
Crucifixtion  S 
Dark Waters 
Dark Waters Stand 
Dark Waters Traverse 
Deep Sea Angler 
Dragonslayer S 
Enjoy Your Youth  S 
Execution  S 
Flash Flood 
Fluid Mechanic 
Formula 50 
Formula 500 
Fountain of Youth S 
Good Vibrations  S 
Green Herbs'n Sam 
High Waters 
Kinky Reggae S 
Kinky Reggae Direct Start  S 
Know Your Enemies  S 
Know Your Inclinations  S 
La Mega Positive  S 
Love Your Enemies  T,S 
Love Your Inclinations  T,S 
Master Beta S 
Merlin S 
Mobbin' Around 
No More Crucifixions  S 
No More Enemies  S 
No More Inclinations  S 
Positive Vibrations  S 
Public Crucifixion  S 
Public Enemy T,S 
Public Enemy Direct Start S 
Public Execution  S 
Public Inclinations  T,S 
Public Inclinations Direct Start  S 
Public Youth S 
Red Makes Me Angry! 
Sonic Vibrations  S 
Sonic Youth S 
Swamp Traverse 
Sweet Inclinations  S 
Sweet Inspirations S 
Than's Problem? 
Under Your Clings 
Unknown at New River S 
Unsorted Routes:
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The New River Wall  

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Location: 39.7373, -105.3177 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Nate Weitzel on Jun 4, 2002
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Upper Canyon access closed - 8p Mar. 22 - 5p Mar. 28 MORE INFO >>>


This wall contains the classic Clear Creek testpiece, Sonic Youth. The rock here is solid, overhung and powerful. The belay for Sonic Youth is basically in the river, depending on the time of the year and the water level, which makes some of the logistics of getting down from the route difficult. But the climb is worth it. Late May through July are usually the months to avoid here as the belay beach is underwater. Unfortunately, the rock is in the shade and quite cold from November to late March, so pick your climbing season well.

Getting There 

Park in the large paved pullout before Tunnel Two, (same as for Highwire Crag). Most of the year, the river is raging, so don't plan on crossing the creek. Instead, hike up the road toward the tunnel and cross the bridge (right side). Turn right and locate a small trail that leads back toward the cliff (north, downstream). Stay on this trail until you are beyond some treacherous cliffbands, and pay close attention for a faint right fork in the trail. The main trail will continue up the hill to Highlander Crag. Take this faint, right trending trail down toward the river and pass under a rock known as the Merlin Formation. There is one bolted route here called Merlin (5.11d). Pass this route and continue down the river along the river bed. If you miss this faint trail, you will end up taking a very steep, sketchy and loose descent with a cliff beneath you, so be careful. If you find yourself doing this hard descent, you are probably off the trail and should go back to find the right one. Keep walking downstream, sometimes hopping on rocks until you reach the belay beach for Sonic Youth. This approach only takes 5-10 minutes.


This latest update is a bit unclear due to the lack of location descriptions in the writeups.

Unknown Craglet

A. Unknown at New River, 9+, 1p, 60', bolts.

Merlin Formation

B. Merlin, 11+, 1p, 40', bolts.
C. Dragonslayer, 13-, 1p, 40', bolts.

New River Wall

D. Warm Up, 10, 1p, TR
E. Beta Test, 11, 1p, bolts.
above E. Master Beta, 12-, 1p, bolts, extension.
F. 13, 1p, bolts.
GH. Fountain of Youth, 13+, 1p, bolts.
H. Sonic Youth, 13-, 1p, bolts.
HHI1HI2I4. La Mega Positive , 14-, 1p, 65', bolts.
HI1H. Sonic Vibrations ], 14, 1p, 70', bolts.
HI1HI2. Positive Vibrations , 14, 1p, 70', bolts.
HI1HHI2HI1HI2. Good Vibrations , 14, 1p, 70', bolts.
HI1HI2I2. ??, 14, 1p, 60', bolts.
HI2. Sweet Inspirations, 13, 1p, 70', bolts.
I1H. Ali Natural , 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
I1. Know Your Enemies , 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
I1I2. Know Your Inclinations , 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
I2H. Kinky Reggae, 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
I3H. Kinky Reggae Direct Start , 14-, 1p, 65', bolts.
I4H. Public Youth, 14-, 1p, 65', bolts.
I4. Public Enemy, 12+, 1p, 40', bolts.
continue above I. No More Enemies , 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
continue above I->HI2. No More Inclinations , 14-, 1p, 60', bolts.
I4JI1. Public Execution , 14-, 1p, bolts or gear.
I2HHI2JI1. No More Crucifixions , 14-, 1p, 65', bolts.
JI1. Execution , 13, 1p, 65', bolts or gear.
JI2H? Enjoy Your Youth , 13+, 1p, 70', bolts.
JI2? Love Your Enemies , 12, 1p, 60', bolts.
JI2I2JI1. Crucifixtion , 13+, 1p, 65', bolts or gear.
JI2I2. Love Your Inclinations , 12, 1p, 65', bolts.
K. ?

??, 13, 1p, bolts - location?

Climbing Season

Weather station 4.0 miles from here

53 Total Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',38],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The New River Wall:
Aqua Huck   V5 6C     Boulder, 10'   
Flash Flood   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 10'   
High Waters   V5-6 6C+     Boulder, 10'   
Under Your Clings   V6-7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   
Green Herbs'n Sam   V7 7A+     Boulder, 15'   
Than's Problem?   V8 7B     Boulder, 20'   
Dark Waters Stand   V9 7C     Boulder, 15'   
Fluid Mechanic   V9 7C     Boulder, 15'   
Swamp Traverse   V9 7C     Boulder, 25'   
Dark Waters Traverse   V10 7C+     Boulder, 25'   
Formula 50   V11 8A     Boulder, 20'   
Beta Test   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Merlin   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Master Beta   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   
Love Your Enemies    5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Dragonslayer   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Sonic Youth   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch   
Public Enemy   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Enjoy Your Youth    5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Sweet Inspirations   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Browse More Classics in The New River Wall

Featured Route For The New River Wall
Quinn Stevens going for the redpoint attempt.

Sonic Youth 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c  CO : Golden : ... : The New River Wall
This is one of Clear Creek's best climbs. The route ascends the steep ceiling and finishes with an awesome, overhung dihedral. The route used to be rated 12d, so maybe the correct rating is 12d/13a. Either way this route will challenge you. The initial moves are powerful, but solid, while the final crux requires endurance and good body tension. There are some classic moves on the route that will leave you smiling. A couple moderate rests can be found to help with the redpoint effort. It is h...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The New River Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Crankin the Sonic Youth on The New River Wall.
Crankin the Sonic Youth on The New River Wall.
Gettin the beta on Merlin?, west of  New River Wal...
Gettin the beta on Merlin?, west of New River Wal...
Jason Baker working "Formula 50 (V10/11)"...
Jason Baker working "Formula 50 (V10/11)"...

Comments on The New River Wall Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Oct 14, 2014
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 21, 2001
It appears that "Public Enemy" is equipped up to the roof.

Does anybody know anything about this??????
By Chris Cavallaro
May 31, 2005
Does anyone know what the new route is immediately to the left of Sonic youth? It follows the arete. Anyone??
By chris deulen
From: Merriam, Kansas
Jun 1, 2006
Okay, first of all, the beta photo on this page is wrong. None of the x's respresent where the bolts actually are. The anchor bolts for Sonic are about 5 feet lower than shown, and are preceeded by 10, not nine bolts (excluding the one placed to restrict rope drag). The 2nd climb from the right shares the first four bolts with S.Y. Beta Test (and Master Beta) has one less bolt than shown, and starts 10 feet to the right of where the x's show. The x's on climb 4 (Public Enemy) have less bolts than shown (starting off with 2 anchor bolts for a belay), and start 5 feet to the left (refer to Rolofson's CCC guidebook for the story). There are also several bolts between SY and Public Enemy that are apparently open projects obviously either impossible and/or needing more bolts. My buddy Chris and I set up yet another tyrolian (sp?). I don't know who keeps cutting them down (the rope doesn't come near the water if tightened right, so there's no reason for kayakers to take them down?), but it sucks, and I hope it doesn't happen to this one. Sonic Youth is epic. Climb it in the rain.

I heard the climb to the left was 5.14 something.
By Steve Woods
Sep 21, 2006
The climb to the left of SY was finally sent yesterday by Daniel Woods, and he called it "Fountain of Youth". He thought it might be 5.13c/d but not 5.14.
By KDog
Jul 20, 2011
Does anyone know if the plethora of multi-colored slings hanging all over this wall are fixed? Or will they come down once projects are sent? I've been cringing every time I drive by that wall lately as they are clearly visible from the road (and from space, perhaps?) Eeeek! Just curious....
By Mark MacClary
Aug 31, 2011
Brian the fixed draws are completely fine. We all know that Clear Creek is a pristine piece of nature where one can experience the magnificence of BBBBBBBBBBRRRRRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAAAPPPPPPPPPPPP. Sorry that semi's air brakes followed by the line of 97 cars just completely ruined my train of thought.

Anyways, thank you so much for the amount of time, money, and effort that you have invested in these routes! I can't even express how excited I am to get on them, keep up the good work, man!
By Ben Collett
Aug 31, 2011
I disagree with Mark. Clear Creek may be a quasi-urban shit hole, but I think as climbers we should not do anything that appears to be littering, like leaving bright 3 ft long slings hanging up all over the place. The New River Wall is very visible, and the mess left there is really going to bother those people who already dislike climbers. At a minimum, use less bright webbing on the long draws.
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Aug 31, 2011
Clear Creek Canyon is a Jefferson County Open Space Park. While the presence of Highway 6 certainly detracts from the canyon atmosphere, one should not mistake this for meaning the canyon is lacking in opportunities for a natural experience. Bighorn sheep, elk, mule deer, bald eagles, golden eagles, canyon wrens, rattlesnakes, and many other species call the canyon home. The canyon walls are considered important places for supporting cliff based flora and fauna, as well as providing for a positive visual experience for visitors to the park. This might mean driving through at 40+ MPH, fishing, rafting, or climbing. Leaving fixed gear hanging from routes in the canyon is definitely not viewed in a positive light. This area in particular was noted by myself, which led to me posting a short request in the forums. Brian responded to me promptly and we've been having a dialogue regarding this wall. I would encourage all climbers to consider their impact when recreating in the canyon. Taking a flippant attitude will not in anyway further climber access in Open Space Parks.

Mike Morin
Park Ranger
By Monty
From: Golden, CO
Aug 31, 2011
As always, thanks for your input, Mike.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 31, 2011
I have had more than plenty of wild, wild, wilderness adventures in that canyon Ben calls a quasi-urban-shit-hole.

I once witnessed two rams battling head to head over a herd of sheep not even 20 yards from me. So awesome.
By Tzilla Rapdrilla
Aug 31, 2011
I appreciate Mike weighing in on this issue as he has the most impact on the overall situation. While it may seem incongruent for a person standing on a busy highway next to a big, ugly guardrail to complain about a few pieces of fixed climbing gear, that is exactly what they will do. In some cases, perception can be more important than reality, and it should be important to the climbing community how the non-climbing public perceives us. Camoflauged bolt hangers are virtually invisible from 100 or more feet away and are thus of negligible visual impact. Long, dangling, and brightly colored slings and draws hanging all over a cliff are extremely visible and attract unwanted negative attention. People climbed for a long time on New River, Primo, and other walls in CCC without any fixed draws.
By slim
Aug 31, 2011
Perception will govern over reality about 9 times out of 10, unfortunately. I agree with the above posters about trying to clean the draws up some. I think you would be 90% of the way there just by changing the runners out to more neutral colors.
By richard magill
Aug 31, 2011
Makes me think of Cave Rock in Nevada. I had the good fortune of climbing there before it was permanently closed, and it was an awesome crag.

It may have seemed unbelievable to climbers that people could be offended by bolts and fixed draws when the government had already DRILLED A TUNNEL THROUGH THE CLIFF AND INSTALLED A HIGHWAY, but that was the case. Climbers naturally felt that there was nothing more that could be done to ugly up the cliff after the highway department did that to it.

However, it was the bolts and slings that made people upset. And although the government didn't and won't move the highway, they did close the cliff to climbing and remove all the bolts.

Moral of the story: it is always best to be low impact. You don't have any idea who you might be upsetting.
By Mark MacClary
Aug 31, 2011
I just don't understand how someone could complain about fixed gear as they are standing in what amounts to a parking lot littered with cigarette butts and various other trash items. Bordered on one side by a huge guard rail and the other being an unending string of deafening semis that use engine braking for the entire length of the canyon.
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Aug 31, 2011

I understand your perception completely. However, in the end what is trying to be accomplished is limiting the impact beyond what is already there. Just because an area is abused doesn't mean we simply turn our back on it. I would also ask you to consider the fact that the climbing community is allowed to take part in activities that in any other venue would never be permitted in a park. Un-managed trails leading to cliffs, affixing bolts to rocks after taking a power drill to them, impacting cliff bases to the point that vegetation has been beaten away. All these things would bring out the closure signs and possibly summons' for "unlawful improvements" if it wasn't happening under the auspices of climbing. Just please consider this before feeling like I or anyone else in Open Space is coming down hard on climbers. Also, what Slim stated was a good part of what I imparted to Brian in our conversation. Reduce the impact by lowering the visibility, and let's go from there. I think this can be worked out, but it'll be done in face to face, and verbal dialogue, not here in the forums.
By KDog
Sep 1, 2011
Perception will govern over reality about 9 times out of 10, unfortunately. I agree with the above posters about trying to clean the draws up some. I think you would be 90% of the way there just by changing the runners out to more neutral colors.


As a local, I really appreciate the dialogue and efforts by Mike and Brian. Clear Creek is our backyard, and we should try and make it as pretty as we possibly can ;) Thanks again.
By Luke Childers
Oct 22, 2011
I for one feel much better now that the fixed draws look at least some better!! I've done plenty off bolting in CCC, and I know that everyone has an opinion when it comes to newly installed routes but the fixed draws that were there did look.... let's just say... noticeable.... so with that I'm glad the fixed draws were toned back to a minimum impact so the maximum effort put towards the routes can now be the focus!!! Thxs for the sick, hard, new lines and for lessening the visual impact of this area!!!!
By Mr. Nick
Aug 3, 2012
Does anyone know by chance about two bolts missing from "Fountain of Youth?" It looks to me as if two bolts (between the first draw after cutting out left from the "Sonic Youth" start) and the next are gone. There is a 15 ft. (or bigger) space between them and two bare screws. I am not sure if this is intentional or not, but in the picture of Daniel Woods on it he is clipped into two draws where there are now the two screws. It may have been in this state for some time but I am just now noticing it.
-Thanks for any info
By Mr. Nick
Oct 2, 2012
Oh well. I can head up Fountain with a hanger and wrench to make it more friendly to climb next time I am there. I have had draws stolen from Anarchy (on two occasions) and Primo about a month ago. Sadly, stolen draws in CCC is becoming a reality that one can only just shrug about.

Brian: I have very much enjoyed Public Enemy, Love Your Enemies and got on KYE twice. All will be Clear Creek classics soon enough, so thanks for the work.
By adampeters
From: Golden, Colorado
Mar 16, 2013
What's the very far right problem that moves from good jugs at the start to some smaller holds and then goes back to larger holds before topping out on the slab?
By James D
Oct 14, 2014
Does someone have an updated photo of the routes?
The only photo (which is a good photo) is from 2001 and is difficult to understand just from the route descriptions how the routes go.
Photos on the routes with how each route goes would be nice.
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