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The Freight Train
the Freight Train boulder
The FreightTrain boulder

  Patrick Wild and Adam Massey
spotted this mini-cliff in the fall of '99.

Just about every obvious line has been completed. Chances are, if the south side of your roof in Boulder has melted free of snow, the FreightTrain will be dry and boulderable. There are some large blocks topping out a few of the problems. Be Aware!


Getting There:
Crescent Meadows trailhead
FreightTrain approach
Approach 1: Highway 72 -10.6 miles
 The easiest access is Highway 72 up Coal
Creek Canyon.
From the intersection of Highways 93 and 72,
south of Boulder, go up Highway 72 (Coal Creek Canyon) 8.2 miles. Turn right onto Gross Dam Rd. (County Rd.77) go 2.4 miles on the dirt road, cross over the Railroad tracks and park at Crescent Meadows trailhead on the right.

 Hike south along the fence, avoiding the marsh and the ditch,eventually running in to a old road. Go east on the old road for 5 minutes.


Jason spotting Mary B. on Choo, Choo V-3
Chew, Chew V-3

Approach 2: Flagstaff Road -12 miles
 Drive up Flagstaff Road 8 miles. Turn left on to Gross Dam Road(To:State Highway 72 sign). Go 2.5 miles, turn left at the absurdly small "To Denver" sign ( A big brown garage is nearby). Continue on 1.5 miles to the Crescent Meadows trailhead on the left.

 Hike south along the fence, avoiding the marsh and the ditch,eventually running in to a old road. Go east on the old road for 5 minutes.

  Approach 3: Hike / Mountain Bike
You can also approach via the Walker Ranch trail, Eldorado Canyon trail
and a few others. You can mountain bike on parts of these trails. Consult
pertinent trail guides for the specifics on mountain biking in this area.


The Climbing
FreightTrain topoA dozen + vertical lines from V-0 to
V-7 on good granite.
The problems are for the most part steep, powerful and devious. Some blocks are loose!

Jay on Chubby Bunny V-7
Chubby Bunny V-7

  1. Frog Lips (V-2): Sit start down in left facing
    dihedral and up through bulging, flared rails.
  2. Traverse (V-?): A long quite pumpy traverse
    of any variation can start here.
  3. Poke'mon (V-2): * Sit start, pull onto the
    undercling then up and left to the pocket.
  4. The Prancing Cow (V-3): *** Start in
    undercling go up and right to sloper & up.
  5. ( V-5)*** Start grabbing the large undercling pull up to the sidepull in the fissure and punch out right to small crimps and slopers. Top out just left of the overlap.
    This is a good stand start problem as well.
  6. Chubby Bunny (V-7): ** Start low on shelf. Head up and left to good pinch & up.
  7. Chew, Chew (V-3): *** Just right of the Crystal Dyke, start on the cool pinch/crimp with your left hand and hideously sharp crimp for your right hand, then, make a large move with your right hand up to the slopey hold just below the large break. Use the good holds on the blocks in the break to reach up to a good pocket with your left hand. Stay to the right and pull over the small bulge onto the slab. Or, from the same starting holds, pull up to the slopey edge below the break by yanking on a rather small right hand sidepull crimp; Either variation can be topped out staying just left of the crystal dike, offrouting the good pocket on the slab.
  8. Tall and Scary AKA the Mini-Cliff Standard (V-3) ** Long reaches from good holds to better holds up the tallest section of rock. Top out through the v-notch or move left over the Crystal-Dyke.
  9. Tall Face (V-3) ** Start behind the tree and move up and left to the jug rail. From the jugs crimp your way through the face to the slopey break, then surmount the capstone. This is the tallest problem on the wall. Loose in places. / Variation: Start same as # 9 but shuffle right along the rail then up on the juggy corners of large, scary blocks!
    Chip on BuddaBelly V-3
    BuddaBelly V-3

  10. The Classic Warmup (V-1):*** Start right of the tree on large sidepulls. Up through hard to see jugs. An excellent problem which may be a bit tall for beginning boulderers.
  11. (V-3): Sloper start and up crack.
  12. Hobo Mantle (V-4):*** Start on the large jug rail and pull up and left into crimpers, then to a jug on the lip of the overhang. Bust a mantle from the jug and up easier terrain. / Variation: Jay's Thing V-3 ** Start on the same jugs as for #12 but move out right to crimps. Then mantle the lip of the overhang above the boulders which create a terraced
    landing for the upper 2/3's of the mini-cliff.
  13. Undone to date. Loose,bad landing!
  14. (V-1): Slot (V-3): Loose.
  15. Project.
  16. BuddaBelly (V-3): *** This belly shaped bulge has an attractive hold right in the middle of it, kinda like a bellybutton. The neat thing is, the further left you reach into the Buddha's Bellybutton, the better it gets; So, start in the underclings, establish your feet then reach up and left into the Buddha's Bellybutton. Matching your hands in the Bellybutton can be made easier with a knee-bar. The next fissure in the face provides a good hold for the right hand and a better hold for the left hand. Throw your right foot into the Buddha's Bellybutton and reach up into the next break in the face. There is a Shady Chock-Stone here I do not recommend grabbing, rather, use the slopey break underneath the Shady Chock-Stone to traverse right until you are able to grab the Suspiciously Hollow Chicken-Head. This large and disconcerting hold then provides easy passage to the Quivering Cap-Stone, one of the world's largest granite chicken-heads. The Shady Chock-Stone and the Suspiciously Hollow Chicken-Head may not be around forever, however, I have inspected the Quivering Cap-Stone, and, although it vibrates horribly when pounded upon, it seems to be a feature of the wall itself, not detached at all... maybe. \ Variation: go from the Bellybutton up and left through the various breaks, via crossthroughs on good holds, topping out on the left side of the Quivering Cap-Stone.
  17. Pat Phillip's Butt or Jay's Way (V-4): *** From the Buddha's Bellybutton dyno up and right to the large hold in the break, then grab the small crimper above the break and fire for the good sidepull chicken-head just left of #18. Or start like Jay and avoid the fun beginning dyno by way of a long undercling reach. Or, grab the crimper and go again with the left hand to the large, Suspicious Hollow Chicken-Head on top of Buddha Belly, to avoid the second toss.
  18. Get In My Belly(V-2): ** Climb obvious crack on the far right end of the mini-cliff via bomber finger locks and solid chicken heads.
  19. The Muckler (V-2): ** Start same as #18 then go right over small overlap
    and muckel your way on to the slab.

The view from The FreightTrain
Looking east towards Eldorado Canyon

Pros: Perfect stone, sunny exposure, many problems, good landings. Short hike, Mountain bikable approach? Hiking / biking trails nearby.

Cons: Only one rock. A bit of a drive getting there, dirt roads and washboards. Close to the railroad tracks. Some dangerous loose blocks!


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