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Thunder Muscle 

Thunder Muscle 

YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ British: E8 7a

Type:  Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.14a French: 8b+ Ewbanks: 32 UIAA: X+ British: E8 7a [details]
FA: Matt Samet, Ted Lanzano, Brett Nelson, and Tony Yao
New Route: Yes
Page Views: 1,814
Submitted By: Ted Lanzano on Jun 5, 2013
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The top 3/4 or so of the route, before we put in t...
Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>


Thunder Muscle is a new climb between Primate and Choose Life that ascends the spectacular tufa formations to the top of Seal Rock’s south face. The climb was first scoped by Chip Ruckgaber who worked with Colin Lantz and Chris Beh to put in anchors right before the ban (see more info from Chris Beh below). We moved those anchors to the left about 10’ to minimize rope drag. The climbing is very continuous, bouldery, and overall super fun on some of the best rock in the Flatirons.

The start is the same as for Choose Life, clipping the first three bolts of the right-leaning overhang. The route then goes straight up into a series of powerful sequences on steep terrain to a heart shaped feature where you can get a quick shake. After “the heart”, continue through more tricky and increasingly pumpy climbing on pinches, sidepulls and pebbles up to an awkward shelf. A final 12c section guards the chains.

The climb is named after the energy drink “Thunder Muscle” featured on the Increasingly Poor Decisions of Todd Margaret.

As always, thanks so much to OSMP and the Flatirons Climbing Council for this new route and all the other new ones now in the Flatirons.

Please be mindful of the special and delicate setting and stay on the trails!


There are 13 bolts and a two bolt anchor. Long runners helpful at bolts 3 and 4.

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By Pinklebear
Jun 5, 2013
rating: 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ E8 7a

Before trying the route, be sure to power up with some "Thunder Muscle":

By Chris Beh
Jun 5, 2013

The credit for discovering this line belongs to Chip Ruckgaber. He cornered Colin Lantz and me one fine, fall day in '89 spraying about the "tufa" he discovered. We were stoked when we saw the South Face of Seal Rock up close, it having such obvious potential. Chip and Colin climbed up to put the anchor in while I spotted the line from on top of The Pup. We thought we were going to have an awesome crag for winter climbing. The Flatirons ended up being closed to bolting just days later. Good to see you guys taking care of unfinished business!

By Curt MacNeill
From: Boulder, CO
Mar 16, 2014

What a great route! So polar opposite of its neighbor, Choose Life, it's hard to compare. Very bouldery moves with the crux coming quickly after the knee bar rest at bolt 3. Once you're through the crux, the route stays with you all the way to the top, with a great spot to shake out halfway up on the toilet bowl feature. Lots of body tensiony moves on this one with some bad holds. Other than the "heart"-shaped feature at mid-height, I don't think there is a single jug on this beast. Great route. Super sustained. Power endurance at its finest....