Location: Brown Cloud Crag, south side of North Table Mountain – Golden, CO
Parking: Parking Lot, Colorado 58 (39.766105, -105.214137)
Hike: About 10 minutes from parking lot to crag, less than 1 mile
Route: Brown Cloud has 50+ lines, so it can be hard to find a specific route. There is a class 3/4 gully that can be climbed to set a top rope anywhere. “Deck Chairs on the Titanic” is several slabs to the left of that gully.
Route Stats: 5.10a, 50′, 1 pitch
Climbing type: sport or top rope
Pro: 6 sport clips and 2 bolted anchors
Gear: 7+1 quickdraws for sporting and 2 quickdraws for TR setting. PAS for cleaning the route after the climb. Helmet for any sport climb.
Basic Gear: harness, ATC, locker, chalk bag with chalk, 9-10mm single rope
I took the gully to the top to set the TR anchor. No problem, easy to do, but a bit exposed. I used my runners to secure myself. Then instead of going back down the gully, I decided to try self-belay down the rock. It wouldn’t have been a problem, but one end of the rope didn’t tough the ground (my friends at the bottom weren’t doing their job, *nudge, nudge*). Anyway, it wasn’t a problem since I had my runners still anchoring me. I just took off my ATC, got the rope down the rock, then proceeded. Being my first self-belay, I was a bit nervous, but it was as easy as it looks! Once I got going, I had no worries that anything bad was going to happen.
This was our final climb of the day and it was probably the toughest climb I have done so far. It was basically a crack climb followed by crimpers that got crimp-ier and crimp-ier! By the top, there was barely anything to hold onto!
The crack tires out your arms, as there are few foot holds. Then you get to the ledge and get a small break before the crimpers come to town. I personally LOVE crimpers (and I am quite good at them, if I may say). It was certainly challenging to do a whole crimper line, as I am used to just bouldering crimpers. That being said, it was a lot of fun to do with a TR. My friends took a couple breaks going up, which helps rest the forearms. I managed to find a couple nicer holds to take breaks on without putting my weight on the rope.
It is long. It is challenging. It will work your forearms. It will force you to be creative with your feeting. It was everything I want in a climb. I see why this is a famous route. I plan to return and do this soon!