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. “Interface” is just a few slabs to the left of that gully.
Route Stats: 5.8, 40′, 1 pitch
Climbing type: sport or top rope
Pro: 3 sport clips and 2 top bolts with 2 hangers
Gear: 4+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
This was our first route for the day. It was quick and easy. This was my first time belaying for a sport climber. It is quite a bit more challenging than belaying for top rope. You have to pay more attention to how much slack you give the climber and when to be taught in the event of a fall. It is a precarious balance to reach, but it is do able. The biggest key is communication between the belayer and climber about how much slack they want, when the climber is going for big moves, etc. Overall, it worked well with Andy and I.
After he set a top rope, I went at the slab. We both were quite quick at it. This is probably a comfortable difficult for me to sport, but it was too easy for a TR route. That being said, anytime I get to climb a rock and stretch my arms is a good time!
We first climbed the rocks in front of the wall. We both started to the right of the first clip, as it is just simpler than traversing over to start under it or to the left of it. Eventually, we both made it centrally and proceeded up from there. This TR would be a bit difficult to set without a lead climber; however, it could be done by setting a natural PAS at the top, lowering yourself into the crack to the right of the anchors, and then anchoring yourself to the TR anchors to set the quickdraws. Overall, it is probably more effort than it is worth to TR. I would only sport this route with how much easier it is and how challenging it would be to set a TR – but a TR is doable if this is your difficulty range and you do not sport climb!