Guess The Climb – Puzzle with Prize


In this article, there are three featured climbs. Each were submitted by Boulder CMC members as their favorite climb, with the intent of piquing the interest of and providing inspiration to Compass readers. Thank you to Robert O’Rourke and Shawn Donnelly for your written and photographic contributions!

The names of the routes have been obscured on purpose. It is up to you to Guess the Climb!

The winner will receive a $10.00 gift certificate to Neptune’s Mountaineering and will be announced in the next Compass Issue. The winner will be selected at random from all the correct submissions.

To enter, email your guesses for each of the three climbs to the compass editor at, by June 17th. Please remember to include the climb number, the name of the climb, and your name. Must be a CMC member to enter.

To submit your favorite climb, write up a brief description (less than a page) to the compass editor and attach a couple pictures to help tell the tale. Your climb may be featured in the next issue!

To Guess the Climb, click:

Climb 1 (Submitted by Robert O’Rourke)

From a trail junction you turn up and then leave the trail, hopping over rocks to get to the snow.

South Facing Couloir
The couloir faces south and runs for more than one thousand vertical feet to the summit of a well-known 13er. In plentiful snow this can be a pretty relaxed climb that doesn’t need protection.

You will ascend this Couloir!
Looking up at the climb.

Robert & Friends Climbing
Robert and Friends Climbing the Couloir

May the force be with you, as you ascend ever increasing steepness towards the top of the snow couloir! You may see boarders and skiers coming down. Climbers usually descend the class three route through some rocks down to the trail. It is not far from Boulder but make sure the access road is open first!

Climb 2 (Submitted by Shawn Donnelly)
If you pick one Colorado Fourteener to climb, it would have to be _______. The peak is far enough away, that crowds are not a problem. And yet, the trailhead is accessible by two-wheel drive cars. The roundtrip climb is easily done in half a day by a modestly paced hiker. The climb starts as a basic hike on clear trail. Soon, some elevation gain will get your heart pumping. Next, you will catch a view of this mountain’s more famous neighbor.

Climb up the Mountain to the left!
Wow, the view is spectacular!

Finally, you catch your first glimpse of your prize for the day…the view may even take your mind to a country far-far away. You now head directly for the peak, asking yourself how you are going to gain access to that summit in the sky. When you pass 13,000 feet and the slope steepens, it’s time to put on your climbing helmet. As loose class 2 hiking gives way to solid class 3 climbing, your excitement will grow. Once within a few hundred feet of the summit the view opens up, but a puzzle presents itself. Find the secret passage, and a steep staircase to top will present itself!

Now, This is Fun!
Shawn Climbing Steep 3rd Class

For those who have experienced only the “walk-up” Colorado Mountains, this peak provides a great introduction to the harder peaks. It was the first climb where I encountered real exposure and it sure made the adrenaline start pumping. By the time I summitted, I was smiling from ear-to-ear! This is where I fell in love with mountain climbing!

Climb 3 (Submitted by Clare Reda)
When climber Wally Reed and then novice, 19 year old Chuck Pratt teamed up, a fantastic thing happened! In 1958, the two of them eyed this brilliant line and set out for the first ascent.

By the time I got to the route, it had been publicized in the book, “Fifty Classic Climbs of North America”. Climbers from all over the world que up at the base, waiting in anticipation of caressing it’s granite goodness. The day we arrived, my partner and I were 2nd in line. Whoop-whoop!

The first pitch took us past a polished, and wet, section of rock. My friend hand jammed the crux, but first he wiped off the rock with his shirt. Temporarily dried, he made it! When I got there, it seemed impossible-my hands were much too tiny and the rock was wet again. I decided to lieback it, which worked. But even on top rope, it nervy!

We skipped the first belay mentioned in the topo, opting to stretch out the pitch. Passing the awkward pod, allowed us to belay from a huge party ledge!

My turn to lead. I had been dreaming about this pitch for months. A sustained 5.7 finger crack with a short and sweet 5.8 bulge at the end. I used every single nut on my rack! The perfect granite crack was riddled with awesome placements. I delighted in the sound of the pieces sinking into the granite. The pitch was long, so I also used some Aliens and a few old Hugh Banners. After the fun bulge, I landed on another huge party ledge.

The next pitch passes a huge white flake and finishes at the Crescent Ledge. Once on the Crescent Ledge, the next three pitches steadily lessen in intensity.

Looking Down from Pitch 6
Looking Down from the 6th Pitch!

After our 6th pitch, we decided to simul-climb all the way to the top.

On the summit, there is a view which nobody would call ugly. Alpine wonderland surrounds you, with big granite domes and far away mountains popping majestically out of the forest.

Getting off the top is exciting, so usually folks leave their climbing shoes on. The sticky rubber helps to add friction to the granite slab. Once down, it’s a short hike back to the car, and then back to the tent in the meadow.

Climb #3 is on the dome behind me...some might say I'm standing on the Dome Across From it
Climb #3 is on the dome behind me…SO, I’m standing on the Dome Across From it and I’m feeling a bit Daffy!


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