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Black Gold 

YDS: 5.7+ French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b

   
Type:  Sport, 5 pitches, 400'
Consensus:  YDS: 5.7 French: 5a Ewbanks: 15 UIAA: V+ ZA: 13 British: MVS 4b [details]
FA: 
Page Views: 2,856
Submitted By: JP Griffith on Jun 6, 2014  with updates from Alan Prehmus and 3 more

You & This Route  |  Other Opinions (16)
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BETA PHOTO: Black Gold, 400 feet, nothing harder than 5.7. The...

Upper Canyon access closed - 8p Mar. 22 - 5p Mar. 28 MORE INFO >>>

Description 

This is a short and easy pitch to the left of Playin' Hooky. This route traverses left from the start of Playin' Hooky to the first bolt, then go straight up through a mini-roof that is surprisingly easy.

Per Alan Prehmus: start on the 4 foot ledge overhanging the creek, 30 feet below and upstream of the start of Solid Gold/Playin' Hooky. It's the second route left of Solid Gold.

The first pitch climbs up and left, then follows some small left-facing corners. The roof can be finessed by using the left wall of the corner. Belay above the roof on 2 bolts.

The second pitch passes a second black overhang to climber's left. Move back right above the overhang. Continue up the bolt line. Staying left of the bolts is easier. For more challenge, climb to the right of the bolts until the last two bolts under the final bulge. Avoid the two huge boulders on the right here as they may not be attached. Pull through the bulge to the belay.

The third pitch has a friction move below the second bolt but is mostly easier. Belay on the grassy 2 x 6 foot ledge on another pair of bolts. Access to the upper pitches including Playin' Hooky is easy from here, but not bolted.

Per Alan Prehmus:
This 400’ route is ~35’ left of Solid Gold/Playin' Hooky for the first 4 pitches, then crosses over and is ~20’ to the right of the last pitch of Playin’ Hooky. It’s a well protected sport route with good belay ledges.

Start on the 4 foot ledge overhanging the creek, 30 feet below and upstream of the start of Solid Gold/Playin' Hooky. It's the second route left of Solid Gold.

The first pitch climbs up and left, then follows some small left-facing corners. The roof can be finessed (5.7) by using the left wall of the corner. Belay above the roof on 2 bolts.

The second pitch passes a second black overhang to climber's left. Move back right above the overhang. Continue up the bolt line. Staying left of the bolts is easier. For more challenge, climb to the right of the bolts until the last two bolts under the final bulge. Avoid the two huge boulders on the right here as they may not be attached. Pull through the bulge (5.7) to the belay.

The third pitch has a (5.7) friction move below the second bolt but is mostly easier. Belay on the grassy 2 x 6 foot ledge on another pair of bolts.

The fourth pitch is also easier. From the belay bolts, move left then up past 4 bolts to the big grassy ledge. Walk the ledge to the double bolts under the right side of the overhang. Pitches 3 & 4 can be combined.

The fifth pitch passes the right margin of the overhang, then steps left (5.7) onto & above it. Enjoy the exposure as you clip the bolts straight up to the skyline. This pitch is 35 meters long. Belay from the triple bolts 12 feet back from the edge. Rappel from these bolts is _not_ recommended."

Descent: Rappel the route an quicklinks at all stations.

Location 

It is the second route left of Solid Gold/Playin' Hooky.

Protection 

P1: 8ish bolts and 2 anchors.
P2: bolts?
P3: bolts?

Per Alan Prehmus: there are bolts all the way. Most pitches offer trad gear placement opportunities for those who want to practice placing gear while protected by bolts.


Photos of Black Gold Slideshow Add Photo
The first pitch start.
BETA PHOTO: The first pitch start.
Rick leading the third pitch.
Rick leading the third pitch.
Pulling over the mini-roof.
Pulling over the mini-roof.
Kevin Yin at the start, seen from the first belay....
BETA PHOTO: Kevin Yin at the start, seen from the first belay....
Rick on the second pitch.
Rick on the second pitch.
2nd pitch.
BETA PHOTO: 2nd pitch.
Looking up at the start of the last pitch from the...
BETA PHOTO: Looking up at the start of the last pitch from the...

Comments on Black Gold Add Comment
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By Alan Prehmus
From: littleton, co
Aug 23, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

8/23/14 - added a bolt at low ledge that overhangs the creek so that the route can be started there safely. It also removes the need to traverse to reach the route: Just scramble down the short gully from Playin' Hooky.
By Alan Prehmus
From: littleton, co
Aug 26, 2014
rating: 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b

This route is second left of the first pitch of Solid Gold. The (currently undocumented?) route immediately left goes through the right side of the black roof. This one goes through the left side of the black roof at the right-facing corner.
By Dave Clark 5.10
From: Golden, CO
Oct 5, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

Good and rare multipitch sport route for beginning leaders. Quite a bit easier than Playin' Hooky and well protected. Can easily link pitches 1 & 2 (14 bolts plus top anchors) and pitches 3 & 4 (maybe 10 or 12 bolts). Top triple anchor is set way back (~15 ft) from top edge of route, so can't rap and pull rope from them. (Rap Playin' Hooky.)
By Parker Wrozek
Nov 2, 2014
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

OK route but overall pretty uninspiring. The second pitch is pretty fun, and the 5th pitch has one neat move. I gave it a 5.6 rating, but it might really be a 5.5. Helmets are a good idea as there are a lot of loose rocks still on this route. You need to move to Playin' Hooky for the rap as well. It isn't too scary walking over there, but be careful still.
By aikibujin
From: Castle Rock, CO
Apr 12, 2015
rating: 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c

Most of this route is average, but climbing around the overhang on the last pitch is really fun, a Gunk-like experience in CCC. If a climber has no problem leading 5.9 and just want to do one route at this area, I'd recommend climbing the first two pitches of Playin' Hooky (actually the first two pitches of Solid Gold, 5.9+) or Furlough Day (5.9), then link up to the last pitch of Black Gold (5.7) for a fun way to the top.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jun 4, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is a fun climb! The last pitch has 12 bolts, so bring enough draws. You would, of course, have enough if combining pitches, but I used all I had. I had extra but was not combining pitches. The last pitch is a little longer than 35m. I would say about 40m. It's nice that Alan installed a new first bolt, but it would be more useful if a little higher. It will keep you out of the water, though.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jun 4, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

This is my second comment, because I realized that this route is not described correctly in the newest guidebook written by Kevin Capps. In his book, he calls the route "The Waiting Room" and only shows the first pitch. The other 4 pitches are not shown. They may not have existed when he did the book, but he should have researched the name of the first pitch or called it "unknown". It is good that Mountain Project exists.
By Kevin Capps
From: Golden, CO
Jun 4, 2015

Yes, Alan had not yet finished the route before the book came out. We had actually talked before he bolted it about the name and whether or not to bolt it. The first pitch has been around for years, nameless, until Alan decided to finish this route off and bring it all the way to the top of the wall. Nice work, Alan!
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jun 13, 2015
rating: 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b

The best way to do this climb is to combine the 1st and 2nd pitches and the 3rd and 4th pitches. This speeds the day up a lot.
By First Track Jack
From: Evergreen, Colorado
Jul 24, 2015

Excellent route and great ride for some pitches up CCC. The upper pitch is bolted well, you just don't see them from below. Thank you Alan Prehmus for your hard work. Agree the combo of 1/2 and 3/4 is the way to go. We rapped down R1 of PH and then from ledge to P2 belay of Black Gold. From P2 to ground with 70 m meter will not reach the bolted pod, and rope retrieval would be tough without a slip into the creek. We went to P1 and rapped back to pod. Watch rope pull thru top crack.

For climbers who need cigarette brakes on the upper ledge, please take your butts with you next time, WTF?

Also thanks to Kevin Capps for all his work on the CCC book, it is a valuable resource for us all....
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