of the Day
Clear Creek Canyon
This is a collection of bouldering areas in Clear Creek Canyon,
west of Golden, Colorado. Although each area contains only a few good problems,
each is located close to the road, so you can easily get in a full day of
bouldering. Some of the problems are still a little dirty, and some of the
landings are slopey or rocky, so watch out! Don't try to cross the river
unless it is frozen or the water is very low! By the way, some of these
problems looked like they had been done before, so sorry if I got any of
the names wrong. All of the ratings, however, are completely accurate. The
landings of the New River Boulder and the Wave Boulder can be under water
when the river is high.
FYI, there's a
phone number called WaterTalk that gives stream levels. The phone number
is 303-831-7135, then enter 1 and hit the pound key (#). Then enter 22
and hit the # key. This will give you current cfs.
To get there, take Highway 6
west out of Golden. The frequent mile markers (MM) provide an easy way
to locate most areas.
Park on the left
(south) side of the canyon at the pulloff with MM 270.00 or the one just
down (east) from it. Cross the road and hike up past the Tamale Boulder,
aiming for a point on the cliff band just left of the large roof. (Most
of the many steep trails go to the same place.) Scramble up and over the
cliff band. The Glaven will be on your right. Hike past it, and the Cave
entrance will be on your left. Past here, hike up to the Scoop Boulder.
Pass this and hike around the left (west) side of the Smooth Face Boulder,
and the Warm-Up Boulder will be on your right. Above and right (east)
of this is the Long Wall.
Abyss Cave Boulders
|Abyss Cave Entrance
into the cave, walk a few steps, then squeeze down a passage on your left.
This leads to the main room. The Arete and The Prow will be on your left.
The Arete V1 ** Climb the obvious arete from a sit start. Top out to your
right onto The Prow boulder. A traverse variation V2 comes in from the left.
The Prow (proj.) From a sit start, climb the very steep prow of the chockstone
right of The Arete, avoiding any holds not on the chockstone.
There are two other alternate exits from Abyss cave, one of which has a nice bouldering opportunity. It's west of the main enterance and has a sweet view overlooking the road below. This is called Windy Point. If you enter the cave from here it is a more technical area of the cave with multiple ways back to the main entrance. Have fun exploring
the cave. (update courtesy of J-Sin)
The first boulder on the hill worth climbing. It hosts a couple
of moderate (V1-V3) sit starts and a nice traverse on it's east
face. The Tamale really doesn't have anything exceptional.
The Glaven (** V5) Climb the short, steep roof starting on the phallic
jug. Beware of the phallus: it feels solid, but looks and sounds
suspicious. The Glaven rock only has one problem on it so far.
There are many good V0- and
V0 problems in this area. A good moderate boulder is located in the gully
at about the same level as where the trail scrambles over the cliffline.
There are also a few easy problems to the right of where the trail scrambles
over, as well as at the other cave entrance, located northwest of the main
first rock past the cave entrance is the Scoop Boulder. A nice V1
** traverses right along the arete to a high topout.
- V4/5 * The
tricky face above a bad landing.
- Agent Orange
V6 ** Middle of south face.
- V3 ** Face
just left of right arete. Slightly contrived.
- V0 *** Right
arete on south face. Very nice.
Directly above the Smooth Face Boulder.
5. V1 ** Go left then up from the starting holds.
6. V2 * Go straight up south face. Slopey topout.
7. V2 * Up the high arete at the bottom of the wall. The loose
flake and slopey topout add excitement. Tricky downclimb on right.
8. V? * Traverse from right to left, start at perfect hand
crack. Watch out for slopey landings and fragile holds.
miles from Tunnel 1
Park on the left (south) side of the canyon next to Mile Marker 269.50.
Cross the river to the obvious boulder. Unless the river is frozen over
or is low enough to wade, this boulder will be extremely difficult to
reach. The landing may be wet during high runoff. Stay out of the river
if the water is too high!
V4 *** Climb the right arete
of the east face, starting at the good jug. Fun, dynamic moves.
New River Wall Cave
Park on the right (north)
4.6 miles from Tunnel 1, just before a guardrail. From here, you can either
cross the river if it is frozen or low or cross the Tyrolean traverse about
a hundred yards west of the parking. If both of these fail, walk up the
right side of the road and cross the bridge. Find a climber's trail going
back to the cliff. This trail will contour above a few cliffs. Look for
a fork going right. If you miss this, you will wind up descending a loose,
steep scree field. After going right, follow the trail past a cliff to the
boulder, which is just below the steep sport climbs on the River Wall.
None of the problems top out, and some are still a little dirty.
- Spinage V6
*** Start on big, rounded jug at left end of the roof. Traverse
to right side of cave.
- Than's Problem
V8 Start on undercling and sidepull at lip of roof a few feet
right of the start of Spinage. Slap up to slopers then finish
- Wet Carrot
V3 ** Start low on corner in middle of cave. Go out the roof for
a few moves, then drop from jugs.
V2 Start on right side of corner and go up jugs a few moves. Good
- Chilly V4
* Climb thin crimps on right end of cave, traverse left and down
to the end of Spinage.
Directions: Head West
on Hwy 6, into Clear Creek Canyon, until just before Tunnel 2. Park at pullouts
(near Sonic Youth, same as parking for New River Wall & Wall of Justice)
and walk over the bridge that's before Tunnel 2. Head down a sandy slope,
back towards the Sonic Youth sport climb, following the creek. The Tunnel
2 boulder is on the north side, a few hundred yards down the creek. (Will
be visible from road as you approach).
All Tunnel 2 Beta courtesy of Joshua Cook.
2 Block, photo: Wade David
- Flashed Flood
V7: Climbs the right arÍte. Start right hand low on a flat crimp
and left hand on left side of arete on a sloping edge. Move up
the arÍte using crimps, heel hooks and pinches and exit either
direct or moving left into a good rail system.
- Aqua Huck
V5: Start left hand on obvious jug in the middle of the face,
and right hand on an incut crimp. Make a big move right to a sloping
pinch, and move left through crimps to the good top out. Grade
is probably height dependent.
- High Waters
V6/7: Start on same jug as Aqua Huck, but move left through a
sharp, right gaston, and a left sloping edge. Body tension and
contact strength required for this one.
Miles from Entrance of Tunnel 3
From the entrance of
Tunnel 3, go 0.7 miles up the canyon, and park on the left (south) side
of the road just before a "No Passing Zone" sign. Cross the road and hike
up the canyon for a hundred yards, then carefully hike up the steep hill
above the road directly below the boulder.
- Blood, Sweat
and Tears V1 ** SE arete to sloping topout.
- The Incontinental
Divide V2 ** Up middle of slabby east face.
- Flash or
Die V4 ** Start on right arete of east face. Up and right past
thin, black Flex-o-Flake to another arete, and up and left to
V5 *** Left side of North face. Start on opposing gastons, pull
up to slopers on lip, top out with cool pinch/wrap. The fall is
- Truth V6
*** On right side of North face. Start on obvious two hand crimp
down low. Punch up to lip, grovel over.
Mile Marker 263.00
The Jerky Boulders
Park just after MM 263.00 on the left (south) side of the road.
The Jerky Boulder invades the parking area, and the other Boulders are to
the east along the river.
- Jugular V2 ** Start on lower huge shelf, pull up and left.
- The Curt-Ass Pull V2 Straight up from lower shelf.
- Pops V6 ** Start low on slopey rail, then up through a undercling
to large sloper system. Traverse straight left then slightly down
and finish out Jugular.
4. Shizzle Route V2 * Start under where another boulder
leans against the spire. Traverse left under the boulder, then pop
up through the jumble of blocks. Continue way up to the top of the
spire. Watch out for dirty holds up high!
There a few good V0's located east of the HUD Spire
|Ryan S. on
the Vanilla Ice Boulder, MM 263.00
Across the river with
"Dr. Dred" graffiti. It is only possible to climb on it during winter, when
the landing (and the approach) ices over. Downclimb to right of the graffiti.
5. Word To Yo Mother V6 ** Sds on right hand undercling with
left hand on large, slick sloper. Go out the overhang. Classic.
6. Ice, Ice Baby V5 ** Sds 8 feet left of #5. Traverse the nice flakes,
and finish out #5.
Miles past the Entrance of Tunnel 6
The Wave Wall
Drive up the canyon, taking a left at the stop light (continuing on Highway
6). Go past Tunnels 5 and 6, and cross the bridge .6 miles past the entrance
of Tunnel 6. Park a little past the bridge on the left. Cross the road,
hike back to the bridge, and find a trail on your left. Follow the trail
as it contours east along the hillside for a few minutes until you are
above the boulder. The Roof Block is located above the Wave Wall.
NOTE: When the river is frozen, you can cross directly to the boulder
by parking on the right 0.5 miles past the entrance to Tunnel 6. The landing
may be underwater during high runoff.
Sayers on #3, Wave Boulder
Sayers on #3, Wave Boulder
The Roof Block Above the Wave Wall there is a roofy boulder
with a few problems (V1 - V4) coming out of it.
- V1 * Sit start on left end of wall. Many harder variations exist.
- V2 *** Start on the good jug rail and dyno up and left to jugs.
- V1 ** Start right of obvious arete, traverse left on jugs around
the arete, then follow the jugs to the top. It's possible to add
a few good moves by starting farther right
- V1 ** Same start as #3, but go straight up from the jugs on
- V2 *** Start on juggy pocket just right of the right overhang.
Go straight up crimpers and pockets. Terrific.
- The Beer Lorry V-Hard Direct start to #3. Left hand on small
undercling, right on arÍte. Pull off the ground, lunge up and
- Captain Insano V-Cool Sds on slopey crimps at right end of horizontal
crack in right scoop, do a 7-foot blind dyno up and right to start
of #5. Easier with underclings, but not as cool.