What was your first climb in Eldorado Canyon?


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Trad climber
Apr 8, 2012 - 10:52am PT
West Butress of the Bastille. Pretty good climb as I remember.

Gym climber
the secret topout on the Chockstone Chimney
Apr 9, 2012 - 02:08pm PT
Snider and I climbed the Bastille Crack, came down and went up the West Face, and then ran up the Yellow Spur. That was it, we were hooked!
Magic Ed

Trad climber
Nuevo Leon, Mexico
Jul 11, 2013 - 01:38am PT
Late Fall, 1967. Jim Erickson learned that I had climbed a couple of the lesser Mexican volcanoes so he invited me to go climbing.

He takes me to the West Buttress of the Bastille and tells me that's what we're going to climb. I thought he was joshing me--I'd never even seen a photo of someone climbing vertical, blank-looking rock. When I realized he was serious I panicked and talked him into going across the creek to the Wind Tower. At least that looked like it leaned back a bit and had some steps and ledges to it. He reluctantly agreed and we went and climbed one of the easy routes (The Bomb, I believe) to the top. We had no harnesses or belay devices, tying in with a bowline around the waist.

Now that I saw that he knew what he was doing I agreed to try the West Buttress. I struggled but got up it and have been hooked ever since.

Todd Eastman

Bellingham, WA
Jul 11, 2013 - 01:44am PT
Late Fall 1977 - Tagger with Jerry Hoover on a road trip from the Adirondacks.

Trad climber
Douglas, WY
Topic Author's Reply - Jul 11, 2013 - 11:34am PT
I still recall many "epics" in Eldorado during the early 1960's when we had the Canyon "all to ourselves." About the only person there other than a few solitary climbing duos, was Bill Fowler in his old black pickup truck out to collect some spare change for admission. It started out at 50 cents, but got up to $2.00 later on.

Social climber
kennewick, wa
Jul 11, 2013 - 12:06pm PT
XM-Outersapce in 88 with Ruckman. He gave me the second pitch, said I would like it.
Josh Higgins

Trad climber
San Diego
Jul 11, 2013 - 12:15pm PT
Just last spring I climbed in CO for the first time. My first, and only, route in Eldo so far was Jules Verne. What a fun intro to the rock! It was solid adventure, just the way I wanted it! I haven't thought I was off route that many times in quite a while. I'm spoiled by CA granite splitters I guess!


Social climber
Jul 11, 2013 - 12:51pm PT
Fall of 1983, I was real fit from a season of Tuolumne Meadows and Yosemite.

Inspired by the book Climb! plus one or two recent magazine articles about soloing and entranced by the steep juggy, colorful faces I think my first routes were a few free solos--Touch and Go to Anthill Direct and the very first route may have been a solo of the West Buttress of Bastille. No one else around.

T2 to Anthill Direct, ropeless, soon became a favorite.

After the insecure Tuolumne face climbs the Dakota sandstone felt safe and solid and comfortable. Dragging a rope along seemed almost unnecessary.

A lifetime ago....I'll bet I can barely pull myself off the ground on T2, now.

Trad climber
Jul 11, 2013 - 03:04pm PT
For the life of me I cannot remember my first route in Eldo. However, I do remember my first time in Eldo. Growing up in Boulder with athletic parents is a blessing. My parents were marathon runners and would take me hiking when I was younger. My mom took me to eldo once when I was about 4 or 5 and we hiked rattlesnake. I saw climbers on the west crack of the whale's tail and I just remember the feeling of inspiration (even though it is only 5.2 it looked so rad!).

Then experiencing eldo as a teenager and learning to climb there. One of the first climbs we did was blind faith but before we did that one I think I did a few climbs on the wind tower and then on the bastille. After BF we did yellow spur in the summer when I was 17, wow was that a mistake! Such a great canyon I appreciate it so much everyday. I love that canyon so much it hurts sometimes!

Don Paul

Big Wall climber
Colombia, South America
Jul 11, 2013 - 03:40pm PT
My first, and only, route in Eldo so far was Jules Verne.

Nice. I caught a huge fall on that. We had no idea of the route's reputation, just picked it out of the guidebook, lol. I think my first route there was soloing the Bastille Crack.

Trad climber
Jul 11, 2013 - 03:43pm PT
chianti on a cool misty day in an empty canyon...perhaps '92?

thanks dave, wherever you are :-)
looking sketchy there...

Social climber
Latitute 33
Jul 11, 2013 - 04:00pm PT
XM to Outer Space -- probably with Wilford (or maybe Ken Duncan). Also did Yellow Spur and some other routes I can't remember that trip (1978?).
Alan Rubin

Jul 11, 2013 - 04:15pm PT
I'm pretty sure it was the Bastille Crack with Kevin Bein and Bob Harding in June, '70, though it is possible that we top-roped Supremacy Slab the evening before right after we arrived in Eldorado. Back then you could actually camp in the canyon and did so---and I don't recall that we molested any of the locals.

Trad climber
Menlo Park, CA
Jul 11, 2013 - 04:40pm PT
Bastille crack Spring break of 92'? We drove out from UNH. Started too late, 3 in party. Finished in the dark, couldn't find the trail back down and so scrambled down through spring snow. Made it back to rental car and discovered that we had dropped the keys somewhere along the way. Loved it!

Ice climber
Pomfert VT
Jul 11, 2013 - 05:58pm PT
Yellow Spur April 1986 with Charlie Gray. Must have been a tricky move at the start of P1 protected by a red tricam because i remember that. me on top. photo by Charlie Gray.
Top of yellow Spur 10a variation april 86 photo by Charlie Gray
Top of yellow Spur 10a variation april 86 photo by Charlie Gray
Credit: tradmanclimbs

Jul 11, 2013 - 08:07pm PT
My first route in Eldo was my first time on a rope. Whale's Tail. (I've told this one here at least a few times before)
Did the 2 5.easies, pulling a hold off the 2nd one and making it harder. (Verified)From 5.2 or 3 to a *solid* 5.4. snicker

Next up, the easiest route by Calypso, then Calypso itself. Nice day out for the first day climbing roped up.
I went on to climb Calypso about 20 times, eventually soloing it. (Not that day)

I say "climbing roped up" because I grew up by the Santee boulders and climbed all over them as a kid.

How I got from Santee to Eldo is a whole nuther story

two miles from Eldorado
Jul 11, 2013 - 11:27pm PT
I climbed The Hot Spur on the Redgard with Hajny-baba in the '70s. Hard to believe it was the beginning that has seen no ending. Many miles have followed.

Trad climber
Poughkeepsie, NY
Jul 12, 2013 - 01:18am PT
Ruper, around 1964 or so. The crack was an epic slippery struggle. When we got down, we heard that someone had gotten their knee stuck several days (and maybe a thunderstorm or two) before and the RMRG had to pour motor oil down the crack to extricate the jammed limb.

Been back a few times since, including an entire month, but now not for thirty years or so. I loved the place. The rock with its weird sloping strata, the fluorescent lichens, the river roaring in the bottom, the poison ivy...well, not so much that part. I thought poison ivy was an Eastern plant. Who knew they had it in Colorado?

One year Bragg and I drove out to Eldorado non-stop from New York, day and night. We rolled into Eldorado, stumbled out of the van, and did T2. The combination of something like 24 hours sitting in the van driving, followed by the severely overhanging initial moves and then the rest of the route, caused my back to lock up like a vice, and I spent the next day or two more or less continually in a bathtub full of hot water feeling extremely sorry for myself.

Gold Canyon, AZ
Jul 12, 2013 - 02:28am PT
The Northcutt Variation in the mid 80's, unwittingly believing it was the usual Bastille Crack start and thinking it was awfully hard for 5.7 after getting to the first belay.


Sport climber
The Big Wide Open Face
Jul 12, 2013 - 02:21pm PT
There was some fun bouldering and two hand dynamo (rare back then) stuff over by the Cinch Crack. Bachar was like a wizard looking around for stuff to do. Wish I would have gotten on Wisdom but we went to Horsetooth insead. Then onto the bouldering at Split Rocks. Great times.

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