Beginning Feb. 1st each year, a seasonal wildlife closure will be in effect on Redgarden Wall in Eldorado Canyon State Park to protect nesting and roosting sites of the canyon’s falcons. The closure is in effect through July 31st unless lifted early due to early fledging or inactivity.
The closure includes the following climbing routes: The Naked Edge (last 3 pitches only), The Diving Board, Centaur, Redguard (last 3 pitches only), Red Ant, Semi-Wild, Anthill Direct (last 3 pitches only), and The Sidetrack.
This is a great 1-pitch climb, often used as a start to the Naked Edge or Anthill Direct, and even more often done on its own. The climb begins just down below the prominent, chalked-up "roof routes", right where the roof begins. If taking the trail that passes C'est La Vie and Genesis, you'll discover the start after rounding a corner and coming out of some trees.
Begin by hand traversing under a small roof and go around it on the left (first crux, #2 Friend). You can also thread a runner or large wired nut through a hole to protect this crux. Turn the roof, and continue up thin opposing flakes to a ledge/groove. You can set up an optional belay here from good gear. This is a good idea if you expect your second may have trouble at the crux roof.
Follow the groove up left to a thin, obtuse dihedral and climb than with perfect fingerlocks to a bolted belay. The second crux comes at a bulge near the top of the dihedral. You can protect this with a small cam in a pod in the corner.
A double-rope rappel from the top anchor.
A single-rope rappel from the top anchor down to the anchor below the dihedral (top of Scratch and Sniff), and a second single-rope rappel from there. The stance at the Scratch and Sniff anchor is a little awkward and a bit to the left of the top anchor.
Traverse over to the top of the second pitch of Redguard, and do two single-rope rappels from bolts/chains down Redguard.
Variations: all three dihedrals just to the right of the start are climbable at similar grades with less-than-ideal pro; a great variation, called Bolting for Glory, is to climb the first half of the route to the groove, and then continue straight up past 4 bolts on 5.10a face climbing. Traverse left at the top to reach the belay.
Small Stoppers and TCUs, up to a #2.5 Friend (1 or 2 RPs to sew it up), 2 #2.5 Friends may be useful.
What an amazing route! You don need two ropes IF you happen to have a 70m rope. I was able to get down just at the ends of the rope with a 70m alone. You sure are right though about stoppers... bring doubles in small and medium sizes and leave most of your cams in your pack.
Touched & Went - I had to come to terms with this pitch: I tried T&G as one of my very first trad leads on an icy cold morning, fell from the roof with no pro and broke several bones. Nowadays, it is one of my favorite pitches, a perfect warmup for the hundreds of world-class routes that wait up the hill. But every time I reach for those fingerlocks in the upper dihedral, I shudder to think what would have happened to Mr. 5.9 gym climber if hed made it up that far on that morning. I think those wobbly, blown-out nut placements near the top could be rather disconcerting to a budding 5.8 (or 5.9, whatever) leader.
I agree with Ben....led this yesterday and it felt like solid 5.9 to me. GREAT pitch with killer finger crack.....pumpy....funny how the Boulder climbs south calls this 5.9 but the new Eldo guide calls it 8+....#s don mean shit and regardless, this is a classic and wonderful pitch....Don miss it!
By George Bell From: Boulder, CO Jan 1, 2001 rating: 5.9-5c17VI16HVS 4c
I do not understand why Rossiter downrated it either. I actually thought Bolting for Glory was almost easier than the top of Touch Go, because the cruxes on Bolting are over quickly.
This is a 5.8+ for those of you that are taller than 5 foot 7, but for those of us short women, it is a 5.11! That move is way hard to get if you are short, you just can't reach it! This climb definitely made me think there should be separate ratings for people shorter than 5 foot 7. : )
An incredible pitch - maybe my favorite so far in Eldo. I totally agree with the note above, though - there's definitely a height issue for us short people! It's a totally different set of moves if you can't reach that nice little crack from the decent feet right after the traverse. My tall friends just don't understand... Watch a really short person climb it sometime if you don't know what I'm talking about.
The rest of the climb, though, is absolutely terrific! I keep wanting to climb it in spite of the agony that the one height-requiring move puts me in.
And, to be fair, being short might be an advantage for other parts of the climb... I found the rest of the climb easier than my taller friend did.
The route goes fine with a 50 m rope (I first climbed it with a 45 m rope_no problem). I enjoy doing it as 2 pitches_better communication, no rope drag. The first belay stance is at the bolts just below the beginning of the upper dihedral. When rappelling with a single rope from the top, use these lower bolts as the second stance. Also, just before passing the roof at the start, there is a hole in the rock that can be easily slung for secure protection.
Lynn Hill is 5'2" no pity for short people from me. Keep in mind that some (very few) routes are easier for short than for taller people like myself. Learn to do the route your own way. use technique and strength to work around what taller people just reach to. Quit whining
The 1st couple of times I did this route I had problems with stoppers pulling out on me just above the ledge in the upper dihedral (I always do it as one pitch). I would get sketched out because I was near the crux and my stoppers were popping out because of the way the rope was bending. Now I put a long sling on the bolt anchor where you would stop if doing this as two pitches and have not had any problems because the bolt takes all of the upward pull instead of my gear. It seemes inobvious becaue the bolts are below the ramp you walk across, maybe I'm just a slow learner....
Do you guys really think this is 5.9----I led the Green Spur the other day and thought it was quite a bit harder than Touch and Go.
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Aug 8, 2002 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
If you have one rope, an easier rappel descent can be made by traversing over to the main wall by Anthill Direct and downclimbing a bit to the bolt anchor atop the second pitch of Redguard Route. Two rappels will put you at the start of Redguard. This is much easier than doing two rappels down Touch 'n Go, since the second rappel lies well left of the first and is somewhat awkward to get to. I like to gear up at a little shaded area below and right of the start, avoiding the mess and muck oozing from the spring by the base of the climb. I protect the first crux (cranking left around the roof) by threading a Rabbit Runner through a hole.
Another alternate way to rappel this route with one rope, is to climb up and left to the rappel anchors mid-way up to the start of the Naked Edge. This is sort of hard to describe, but it is up and left for sixty feet or so and is on top of a big boulder. From here, you rappel down to the anchors at the top of the first pitch of T2 and then to the ground. An additional advantage is that you can now toprope the dangerous, difficult, and very cool start to T2. I think you need a 60-meter rope to do this.
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 11, 2002
Did this as a Sept. 11th tribute climb. [Definitely] feel its a classic and a sand bagged 8+. Agree with those who feel its more 9ish. Felt it to be a harder lead than The Unsaid which is 9. The flake above the first crux is wonderful finger crack climbing.
I felt the 2nd crux, high on the dihedral requires a small cam like an alien, which I didn't have, but I did find a stopper placement in a small crack out near the edge on the opposite left face at that point. It wasn't super solid, but it worked. Next time I'll bring doubles of #3-6 stoppers and either a yellow or green alien (or both) for that upper dihedral. Do this climb...it rocks!
In Rossiter's newest Eldo book, he describes two variations to the start of T&G. Both start to the right of the standard route. The first, takes a L-arcing flake on the right, which takes good gear (8) and another one in the R-facing dihedral on the left side. Rossiter says that the second variation is 9s, but I found it to be reasonably-well protected with some small stoppers and cams and only about 5.7+ or so.
Maybe I'm missing something, but the topo in the book shows exactly what I had to climb to free a stuck rope at the top of those variations. I don't think either variation could be considered any harder than 5.8. Anyone else find the book's rating an error?
I feel that the left-arching start is height and power dependant. The first 2 times I did the route it was with partners no taller than 5'4" (and female) and their problem was reach. I also found that as a fairly strong guy that I was able to brute my way over a few more technical moves.If you don't have the power to skip some bad holds, or can't reach past them, the rating will feel like 5.8 or 5.9 for the first pitch.-Tony Bubb
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 21, 2002
I agree with Tony that reach and power is essential in pulling the 1st crux since there's no obvious feet placements at that corner...thats how I did it too. However, I watched a guy pull it with a sequence where he stuck the right foot way up high in the hand crack and pushed off on that to get through it. Flexibility & technique can overcome wingspan limitations there.
I really liked this climb. I thought the traverse at the bottom would have to be poweful and favor albatross-like people as well. But after closer inspection i was able to put my right foot high up near the hand traverse and push off that (like Ernie described above). This helped me a lot.
I can't wait to lead this one too....
By George Bell From: Boulder, CO Sep 18, 2003 rating: 5.9-5c17VI16HVS 4c
Ugh! I led this today and the climb seems only to get harder with age (mine, that is). I have never had much trouble with the lower half, but the upper crux is difficult for me.
The high crux on this route can be intimidating. I led this several weeks ago myself (last time was a few years ago) to start Anthill Direct. I forgot that you can't get any decent pro in right at the crux and I just blew off some devious but possible placements and just blasted up to "the stance." Then I stood there and fidgeted and fidgeted, and chalked and rechalked, and sweated, and lamented my haste, and eyed my last piece way down below, and cursed my cowardice, and considered how Layton Kor, or Royal Robbins would laugh at my fear of a simple unprotected 5.8+ move. Finally I just got mad at myself and pulled through it. Okay, great! Now I'm at the wider crack above, all tingly with adrenaline and fighting the boogie man in my head that was incessantly whispering "you're going to pass out and fall a bazillion feet, why did you climb up here in the first place you fool," while frantically trying to weave in a stopper, when I hear a buzzing, and wasps begin to emerge from the crack and swirl around my face. I quickly clipped the stopper and then moved up to the belay, cringing, with my eyes closed, and teeth clinched, expecting the sting any minute that never came. All that pain, all that hideous suffering and high drama - and my partner gets to the belay and just says, "that was nice."
By Ernie Port From: Boulder, Colorado Sep 19, 2003
A blue alien fits perfectly in the eye level pocket at the upper crux. I do a layback using that little pocket and then stem wide to a small face out right to get enough height to reach a good right hand hold... and then yard on up grunting the whole way that this is only 5.8 !
Other than off-widths of the same grade, Touch and Go is the hardest 8 around. I recently discovered a trick to make the initial roof reasonable: Right foot high on a good hold and partial knee bar into the small right facing corner. A tight red/#1 Camalot provides good pro for the crux moves at the very top. A (narrower) Alien of the same size would be better still.
By Mike McKinnon From: Golden, CO Oct 27, 2003 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
I climbed this yesterday. There is a great hole to thread at the traverse that makes those moves well protected. No need to place pro in the [horizontal] crack just thread the hole. It was reachy but you are reaching for a bomber jug so it is not so bad. I thought the whole climb was great and the rating right on b/c no way was this harder than the Green Spur.
For the traverse left at the beginning of the climb, Michael and a couple of others above have mentioned threading a hole for a bomber piece of protection. One further tip: Use a medium to large wired stopper to thread the hole rather than a sling. A larger stopper is too big to go through the hole, so just stick the wire through and then clip it with a draw. This is quick and easy to do with one hand.
Any time I'm feeling weak and worried about my next hardest Eldo onsite, I like to read the comments on Touch and Go. Maybe because of the comments here I was so psyched when I lead this that I found extra strength, or expected it to be harder than it was. On the other hand, after finishing I did see a climber struggling a lot at the initial roof. Of course he was tackling it straight on at the first big hold above it, instead of traversing father left.Although it is a bit powerful, if you climb 5.10 sport or spend any time whatsoever in a gym you should have no problem with the roof - assuming good technique, it is less pumpy than it looks. I also found the upper crux reachy, but not particularly hard (I'm 6ft) and well protected (with double ropes I had one piece near my ankles and one in the opposite wall close by). 8, 8+ 9-, whatever, this is a great climb and if you lead 5.8 and have decent technique I don't see why this should present any serious difficulty. Don't be put off by 'the hardest 5.8' because if it were 5.9 it would be one of the easiest 5.9's in Eldo.
Having said all that, the start of the second half looks seriously intimidating from the bottom. It's not until I got on it that I discovered many good stem rests and decent pro.
IMO harder climbs:Ruper P2 and P6P2 of Over and OutWind Ridge P39's such as Green Spur, Yellow Spur, Emerald city, P2 Over the Hill, West Buttress (Bastille)
This route should fall from favor; its really getting a bit polished as the access to the road will do for you. This is probably why people are balking at the 8+; some of the feet lower down aren't very usable; kind of like stepping on a pool ball in a pair of sox. The top part is really interesting; that's just something a little baffling about that dihedral.
1st P NEW VARIATION: From the stem stance before the first crux (where the thread, big stopper, 2.5 friend placement is), pull up and over the roof to a recently excavated hold. Head straight up. About as hard as the regular way.
We did a bunch of routes this morning, and I found that Blind Faith (10a variation) felt more secure, and maybe even easier than this '5.8+'. On the other hand, I like hand sized cracks. Maybe I was just out of it... I will say this - not a good first crack lead, in my opinion. Interesting gear, small fingery pockets, etc.
After reading all the comments on cb.com; I walked up to this climb last night thinking an epic battle of good versus evil was about to unfold as I flaked the rope and made ready the gear. My mind was primed for battle, but as I began to follow the first pitch I thought Hmmm the real crux must be on the second pitch because the 1st roof isn't that bad (one reachy move to a bomber fingerlock and [it's] over). Once at the top of P1 Larry and I swapped leads. I thought this is it, [there's] gonna be wasps, no gear and 5.9 pumpy moves. But, the difficulty never came and the stopper placements are good all the way up and you can place a bomber cam by your feet at the second crux. I tried to place a decent alien in the eye level pocket, blue was undercammed and green was a bit too big to be of use. But, in retrospect, I won't even bother next time, you can place a bomber stopper right after the crux, so [there's] maybe 10 feet you can't place pro, no big deal in my opinion and no harder than any other 5.8 in the canyon. No way is this harder than [The Unsaid] or [Blind Faith!] With all that said, very interesting climb with lots of cool moves, highly recommended!
I've lead this several times and again last month was on it and the blue alien placement in the pocket at the upper crux is bomber IMO. First time I jumped on this several years ago I was a bit sketched on that upper crux and didn't have the blue alien. The move off that perch is closer to (9) than to (8) IMHO.Agree that the lower crux is not terribly difficult, especially for taller folks, but last month I watched a shorter guy fall off before the corner while following this pitch, while we waited, although he got right back on, and had no problems with the rest of the route. The rock down low on the traverse is a bit polished but the crack above is beautiful. I find the start of T & G very nice and the moves a bit higher in the crack/flake thingy superb. IMO the best way to climb this route is to throw a long runner on the upper corner (touch) and then send it to the top (go)...
By Ron Olsen From: Boulder, CO Sep 10, 2005 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Having climbed Touch 'n Go many times with many different partners, here's my take:
- the roof at the start is 5.8 for tall climbers, 5.9 for shorter climbers. At 6'1", I can reach bomber holds at full extension before I launch into the moves around the roof. I've seen many shorter climbers struggle here, including those who are solid on other Eldorado 5.9s.
- you can get great pro in the pod in the upper corner before doing the crux. Ernie gets a blue Alien; I get a green Alien (wiggled in deep at the top of the pod). The cams are tight but not overcammed. The pro before this is a yellow Alien just below foot level.
This is one of the finest climbs at this grade in Eldorado, along with the first pitch of Werk Supp. Both merit three stars.
This climb eats small nuts really well... a little too well! I "donated" 3 of them.
By Sam Benedict From: Denver, CO Nov 5, 2006 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Lead it on the way up to the Naked Edge. Thought it to be quite dope. If you told me the second thin dihedral pitch was 10a I would believe you. That said, I certainly would not dispute the 8+ grade, sandbagging is what makes the world go round, and it is part of what makes climbing fun. I was stoked to have some RPs on my rack they seemed to make the difference between being safe or not.
Can see why it is classic. Real nice positioning. I found the first crux "strenuous" for 5.8 (which is what Rossiter calls it in the guidebook), but then I probably missed a sequence as the next guy to lead it after we were done floated it (looked like the same height as me) with only one piece of pro for the first 25 ft or so. Must be something called technique.
Awesome route! Polished a bit, but that's Eldo for ya. Definitely not for a budding 5.8 leader. Watch out for many wasps/bees/painful stingy things on the ground while belaying, and all the wet mud when tossing your ropes for rappel. I agree that it is awkward to get to the second rappel station, the rap anchors at the top of Redguard that Ron Olsen alludes to is a better option.
This is a sweet climb. It is pretty pumpy, but doable. Since the beta has already been given away, I'll give it away again. Get your foot high in the crack on your right when pulling the roof and that changes the whole story. At the second crux I put a 0.5 Camalot in the solution finger pocket and didn't want to take it out because it fit so well. I ended up doing a double dead point with insecure feet. Fun stuff. Next time I'm going to simply not place gear there as I have no Aliens. Overall, I would still call it 8+. This doesn't really compare to the Yellow Spur or the Unsaid.
The upper crux would be 9+/10a any place outside of Eldo, let's be real here. It's a fun climb and I enjoyed it, no doubt, but calling this a 5.8 is just plain wrong. For people going up to do the Edge, no problem, they're strong 11- climbers at the least, so a sandbagged 8 isn't too big a deal. But if you're just getting into 9s or breaking into 10a climbs, this thing will put a serious WTF expression on your face toot sweet. A fun route nonetheless.
Lead this route clean OS yesterday. Didn't have the guidebook and had no idea what route I was on until today. It was one of the best moderate routes I have done in Eldo. Compares with the upper part of P1 on Werksupp, but a grade or so harder. Take a blue and yellow Alien. The yellow fit perfectly in the upper part of the final crux pocket and made me braver. Our 70m rope made it just to the deck. Also, very wet at the base of the climb and lots of wasps.
By Drew McLean From: Colorado Nov 12, 2009 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Led this today for my first time climbing the route. I felt its was consistent 5.8 with a little "Touch and Go" here and there. The crux at the top was no harder than the crux at the bottom for me. Of course I am 6'5" and could reach the final jugs from a stance at the top of the dihedral. Classic!!!!
We left a double length BD runner with 2 Mammut wire gates clipped to the bolt anchor for Scratch N Sniff which is just down and left from the beginning of the final dihedral. If you climb Touch and Go or Scratch N Sniff and grab them feel free to send me a PM. Otherwise the booty is yours!
This is one of the finest and most continuous routes in the canyon. Correctly graded at 5.9-, it is somewhat hard to protect the opening moves off the ground, especially for a shorter climber. A shorter climber being defined as less than 6 feet!
By Tommey-James From: Boulder,Colorado Jul 18, 2011 rating: 5.8+5b16VI-15HVS 4c
Did this route yesterday to approach The Edge, wow it is so good. Really enjoyed it. I think it is better doing it in one long pitch rather than two short pitches.
Super fun route. Like most routes in Eldo, the pro is there and good but somewhat tricky. I got three solid placements at the start, look for a constriction to sling before pulling the bulge, it's bomber. At the start of the upper section, you can reach high and place a bomber small stopper (no. 6).
By Michael Butts From: Boulder, Co Jul 14, 2012 rating: 5.95c17VI17HVS 5a PG13
I climbed Touch and go this morning and finished on Anthill Direct. I did T & G in one pitch. Pretty fun route with a thought provoking crux. The top felt like a one move crux with good gear. You can place a small alien or bd cam at the crux. I am 5.9 and I can see how taller climbers would have no problem with this move. Anthill direct is a short but sweet climb. I had loads of fun on both of these routes. I would say these routes are must do for confident 5.9 climbers.
I was lacking dynamic strength and/or reach length/height on that initial traverse move - even with that right foot up high as some have talked about. Super pumped trying to figure it out. Ended up shoving gear in for reach and pulling through, when I came back to it the touch and go variation over the overhang looked like an easier route through for me.
Thought it was smooth sailing up that fingercrack once past that first traverse though - didn't find the crux that crux-like.
I've done the first pitch into Bolting about thirty times, and only twice ever did the second pitch, although it's also pretty fun. Pitch one into Bolting just seems like the obvious and most natural line to me.