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Two Jews Blues 

YDS: 5.10a French: 6a Ewbanks: 18 UIAA: VI+ ZA: 18 British: E1 5a

   
Type:  Sport, 3 pitches, 400', Grade II
Consensus:  YDS: 5.10c French: 6b Ewbanks: 20 UIAA: VII ZA: 20 British: E2 5b [details]
FA: Unknown
Page Views: 6,455
Submitted By: Jeff Buhl on May 16, 2003

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (37)
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The rappel.

Description 

This route is towards the climbers left of the rock formation and to the right of the climbs "5.10+" and "Let Me Cry". I stumbled on to this climb a couple years ago and still can not get it out of my mind. Look for a never ending line of shiny bolts that lead up to and through a headwall feature about halfway up.

The climb consists of three pitches of very well-protected, slab climbing on beautiful granite. No route finding required.

P1: Step up and clip the first bolts and make a delicate move to gain the slab (5.10a). Continue up for a full 165 feet+ of 5.8-5.9 to a two bolt anchor. (I have only done this climb with a 200' rope, and it seems like it would be a rope stretcher for a 165' rope). 18 bolts.

P2: Continue up past a couple bolts to the imposing headwall and deciper the move over it. Continue following the bolts up more beautiful slab to gain the anchors (two bolts on a small ledge) (150' at 5.9-). 13 bolts.

P3: Step out to the right (arete)and climb up slightly more exposed slab. The final [four] bolts climb a pretty blank slab (5.10); however, there is a crack two feet to the right that eases the passage at 5.9 (I am unsure if this is the intent of the 1st ascensionist, but it is the line of weakness - the bolts are very easy to clip from the crack) (75' at 5.9). 10 bolts.

Descent: Rappel the route (double ropes).

Protection 

The gear for this route is 18 quick draws (a few longer ones) and some shoulder length slings with biners for the anchors. The bolts are all 3/8" expansion bolts with double bolt anchors.


Photos of Two Jews Blues Slideshow Add Photo
Not that route finding is any kind of challenge on this route, but here's a topo anyway!
BETA PHOTO: Not that route finding is any kind of challenge on...
Here's the start, you can see the 2 - 3 feet of snow at the bottom.  Maybe it helps with the initial crux.
Here's the start, you can see the 2 - 3 feet of sn...
Pitch 3.
Pitch 3.
A fun route.
A fun route.
Nice backlight on P3 with a midday ascent.
Nice backlight on P3 with a midday ascent.
Stef leading P1 of this fine route.
Stef leading P1 of this fine route.
2nd half of P2 (above the overhangs).
2nd half of P2 (above the overhangs).
Aaron leadin' on.... The crux is a spicy move through the obvious horizontal crease at the bottom of the pic.
Aaron leadin' on.... The crux is a spicy move thro...
Looking up to the first belay from halfway up the first pitch.
Looking up to the first belay from halfway up the ...
More slab fun.
More slab fun.
Starting up P3, with perhaps the Castle in the background.
Starting up P3, with perhaps the Castle in the bac...
About 1/3 way up the first pitch. After the first few moves past the overlap at the bottom of the photo, there are few positive holds. The climbing eases up in a few places, in particular where Craggy Tur diagonals across this route from left to right.
About 1/3 way up the first pitch. After the first ...
Third pitch below the crux section.
Third pitch below the crux section.
Looking down the "slabtacular" first pitch.
Looking down the "slabtacular" first pitch.
Slab master in action.
Slab master in action.
Top of pitch 1.
Top of pitch 1.
Cruising P3. <br />Good Job, Cindy!
Cruising P3.
Good Job, Cindy!
Make a long reach over the ceiling using an undercling. The next ceiling is harder than it at first appears, and is climbed just left of the bush on the right of the photo. Above this, angle left and then up on an easy, knobby face to a short 9 headwall at the top of the pitch.
Make a long reach over the ceiling using an underc...
Looking up the first pitch of Two Jews Blues.
Looking up the first pitch of Two Jews Blues.
Brian on the upper part of P2, where the bolts get spaced out a bit.
Brian on the upper part of P2, where the bolts get...
Looking down at the first belay.
Looking down at the first belay.

Comments on Two Jews Blues Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 17, 2014
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Jul 27, 2003

The first two pitches are long. This line is well protected...I'm used to platte slab climbing on runout 1/4" bolts with the tin can hangers.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
May 6, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Called "Two Jews Blues".

Excellent and brilliant route. topped out at sunset last night. perfect time of day to run up it. 50m will work with about 6 feet to spare. Well protected, not like the scary and intimidating old school SPlatte routes.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 1, 2004

Belays and rappelling:

There is no stance at the top of the first pitch--you are belaying on the same smooth slab you are climbing. So it's not very comfortable. Down and right about 20' is a good small ledge for one person with a decent 1/4" bolt. You could belay there, backing up the 1/4" bolt with a loop of rope through the main anchors, and belaying the second through the main anchors. We had three people, so the third person hung out on this ledge down and right.

The topo I have suggests leading the third pitch and then lowering back down to the second belay. This is a little faster than belaying on top and saves one rappel.,

All anchors are two good bolts, but with slings rather than with chains, so you might want to bring some extra webbing in case the slings are ratty.

For the rappel of the second pitch it may be possible to rappel down and right from the first pitch belay to a 2-bolt anchor at a good ledge. This would avoid the sling transfer. This anchor is for the 11a just right of Two Jews Blues.

It may be easier and faster to just walk off.
By Ivan Rezucha
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 1, 2004

Three very different pitches. The first pitch, after the first few moves through the overlap, is almost pure friction. The second pitch starts with some more friction, then through two overhangs, up some easier knobby rock, with the bolts more widely spaced, to a short, steeper headwall to a big ledge. The third pitch climbs on very friable flakes, low angle at first to a ledge, then steeper up a short headwall to the anchors. I climbed the last pitch to the left of the bolts, not using the crack on the right. One move was pretty hard.
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Nov 8, 2004
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Excellent route. It felt a little harder than 10a to me. Although the move over the starting bulge was the technical crux, I felt that the last 20 feet was the most difficult part. I stayed on the slab, and it felt like solid 5.10.

Darren and Pete put chains on the P1 anchors while we were there. Thanks Pete!
By Rob
Mar 6, 2005

I climbed it yesterday, and a 165' works fine. 2nd & 3rd pitches are even shorter. (Of course you'll need a 2nd rope if you're gonna rap.) Somebody ought to go pull that long jutting bolt without the hanger on the 3rd pitch. It's worthless, potentially dangerous and ugly.
By John McNamee
Administrator
From: Littleton, CO
Apr 22, 2005

Fun 3 pitch slab route with lots of climbing variety. Some of the rock is a little friable otherwise it would be a three star climb.
By Anonymous Coward
May 31, 2005

The nut on the 4th bolt of pitch 1 is loose. I could tighten it with my fingers. If you plan on climbing this bring a wrench to tighten it.
By Stefanie Van Wychen
From: Golden, CO
Sep 5, 2006

Awesome, awesome, awesome!! That's the best description for this lovely little slabby number. I thought the opening move was a fair 10a, and not all that burly, really just a delicate layback/undercling high step. About halfway up the first pitch you definitely get to some 5.9/5.10 thinness, watch out for some of the dime edges, they will crumble under your feet. I was testing everything before stepping up. Definite calf-pumper of a pitch, I felt it in my legs the next day. The second pitch is even better, cool climbing over two roofs, the first of which I thought was harder - harder for someone who's short anyway - fun easy climbing above that to the headwall - which took me at least 7 times going up and down to figure it out - and while pulling it I screamed out and my belayer took in rope thinking I was falling and just about ripped me off the wall, it was fun!!

  • IMPORTANT NOTE: We removed the ratty slings from the top of the second pitch bolts and put the quick link on the left bolt with two new rap rings. The bolt on the right already had a quick link with two chain links, so now no more nasty slings.
By TBD
Apr 23, 2007

A very fun outing, an excellent route. I found the openning moves getting established on the slab to be fairly straight forward. I thought the crux of the route was the next several moves between the 2nd and 4th bolts of the first pitch, felt solid 10. Funny how that goes.
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Jun 29, 2007
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Stay on the slab on the third pitch for some fun thin 9+/10 moves. My favorite Platte slab climb.
By rob bauer
From: Golden, CO
Jul 6, 2007

I'd agree w Chad, that section has had almost all the micro-flakes pulled off. Definitely seemed a letter or two harder than it was several years ago to me, about 10c now. You could work left around the section.
By Johnny D
From: Fort Collins, CO
Aug 19, 2007
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Agreeing with the above posts. Many of the micro flakes have been quite exfoliated and seems a few letter grades harder than 10a...likely 10c. Fantastic route top to bottom. Stop reading this and go DO THIS ROUTE!
By jack roberts
Sep 20, 2007

I did this route yesterday and it felt no harder than 5.10a/b. The climbing is mainly sustained 5.9 with one, maybe two cruxes but there are a couple of different ways to climb around those depending on the usual variables........flexibility, finger strength, height etc. Nevertheless, fine classic Platte slab climbing!!
By Croy T
From: Longmont, Co
Apr 5, 2008

It was bolted on lead, on sight and ground up...no hangs and no aid. Feel free to not clip every bolt. 5.10c feels about right as a few key flakes have exfoliated or have been pulled off - or maybe I'm just feeling my age. It was named in honor of "Two Jews Blues", a classic blues album on Buddha label, produced in 1968, which featured Barry Goldberg on Hammond organ and Mike Bloomfield on guitar.
By Darren Mabe
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Apr 14, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I too pile in that it has gotten harder due to exfoliated flakes near bolt 2 to 4 on P1 and also higher up, compared to when I did it 4 years ago. More came off yesterday. 10c crux, 10- midway. however, some key smears have worn to give better friction. Or maybe O just haven't been slab climbing in a while.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Apr 20, 2008

Don't do it by yourself in big wind! I got scared shitless this morning!
By Christopher Jones
From: Denver, Colorado
Jun 1, 2008
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I think it is at least 10c, I've climbed the first pitch 3 times before today and it never felt harder than 10a. I could tell that there was less to hold on to between the 2nd and 3rd bolts. Still a fun route. Stay left of the bolts on the third pitch for more 5.10 climbing.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Apr 29, 2009
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I agree with the 10c rating. The first pitch was more difficult than the 10b slab pitch on "Topographical Oceans".
By Stewart M. Green
May 11, 2009

No way. This route is minimal 5.10. After the cruxy starting moves over the overlap, pitch one is just a stack of sustained friction moves.
By Monomaniac
Administrator
From: Morrison, CO
Jun 7, 2009

- To expand on Ivan's comments about the 1st pitch belay situation, it seems that it would be possible, with a 70m rope, to climb from the ground to the alcove between the two roofs on the "second pitch" and belay in the alcove. There is one bolt here, but you could easily supplement the bolt with bomber finger-sized cams (up to #0.5 Camalot?). This isn't a sit-down ledge, but it would be a good stance to rest those aching feet. From here, you could probably make it to the summit in one more pitch (w/ a 70m), though you would miss out on the posh ledge atop the standard p. 2.

- The 2nd roof is desparate if you have a short wingspan. I imagine the 1st roof would be desparate too if you had an even shorter wingspan.

- If you can handle p. 1, staying left of the bolts on p. 3 will be no problem.
By ssp
Jul 3, 2010

Just spied this formation yesterday and will hit it at some point with the young guns I work with. They're always up for some South Platte adventure in out of the way places. This would be a good one.

One question -without bringing that old debate-

"there is a crack two feet to the right that eases the passage at 5.9 (I am unsure if this is the intent of the 1st ascensionist but it is the line of weakness - the bolts are very easy to clip from the crack) (75' at 5.9)."

Why were the bolts put in if the crack is right there?

Again this not opening a can of worms just a question.

BTW, how 'bout that Humphrey Dome, Huh !!!!

Thanks
By Greg D
From: Here
Sep 21, 2010
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

Excellent and sustained route. The cruxes are harder than the last pitch of Topo Oceans. Loads of 9+ and 10- slab with 10++ cruxes, especially if you stay left of the final bolts on the last pitch. The crack near the top is very unlikely intended by the FAs.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
May 16, 2012
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

Glad to see this is called 10b in the new Hass South Platte guidebook.
By Chris Mack
May 27, 2012
rating: 5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b

This thing is outstanding, but I think it is much harder than 10a (and this isn't my first rodeo on slab). The direct start to the first pitch is very delicate and tough, and the rest of the pitch will have your feet screaming for mercy. There are nearly no real stances on this pitch like on many other slab routes, so you never get that rest your feet are hoping for. The second pitch roof is committing but well-protected. The third pitch's airy start is a little freaky when the wind is howling, and the finish up the prow is also hard for the grade if you stay on the bolt line. Great route though!
By pfwein
Nov 4, 2013

Warning--climbing beta in post.
So I climbed pretty straight up between bolts 2-4 on P1; my partners went a little left there (where the face is somewhat less steep) and speculate that may be a little easier. I hesitate to add a rating as maybe it feels hard because of no warm up, and slabs can feel hard when you haven't done many recently. But, put me in the "no way is this easier than solid 5.10 camp." Beyond my subjective impression, I've been up there a few times and seen glum-looking leaders hanging on the 2nd or 3rd bolt for prolonged periods, and we got a bail biner off the 3rd bolt the most recent time.
P2 and P3 (including final slab) are very good, but seem at least a couple letters easier than P1 to me. I suppose everyone who likes slab at something like the 5.10 grade in the area should get on it and can draw their own conclusions as difficulty, if they care.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Apr 9, 2014
rating: 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b

I did this for the second time recently. It was 5 years between attempts, and I have not gotten any better at slab climbing. It still feels hard! I forgot how thin the slab moves are on this. It is easier after the crux, but every pitch has some thin moves on it.
By Rob Meringolo
From: Denver, CO
Sep 17, 2014

Do yourself a favor and slide ya buns up this, it's proof that holds are over rated. Very well-protected.