Classic South Platte accommodations!

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Eddie enjoying WAY to much Coors with Brett Bristol and friends! Just another climber party.

Alternative South Platte climbing style!

The book that started it all in the South Platte. Thanks Peter Hubbel!

The Adventure Begins About 1980!

    I'm not sure exactly when I started, but like any boy in the mountains, if there's a rock, it must be climbed. Some time in the late 70's I climbed on the hogback in Deer Creek canyon. After that, my friend Steve Solon took me to Morrison Mountain behind Red Rocks and showed me some bouldering. After that Steve helped me buy my 1st rope from a mail order company called REI.

   I took my 1st official rock climbing class while attending Metro State College in Denver about 1980. The class outdoor session took place at Maxwell Falls in the Brook Forest. After that, I struggled to get better and found an add for climbing instruction on a bulletin board at Holubar Mountaineering. The teacher was Peter Hubbel. Peter was probably the biggest single person that solidified my love for climbing He was an outstanding teacher and opened my eyes to my potential. He took me to North Turkey Creek and showed me that I could lead climb 5.7. He also provided me with his climbing guide to the South Platte "The Brown Book of Lies". This became my bible for many years of fun climbing in the South Platte. Peter also introduced me to my long time climbing partners, Brett Bristol, John Durr, Marion Durr, Noel Childs and many more. While I was never a great climber, these partners pushed me to limits I never thought I could achieve.

Eddie and Sheena

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

--- John Muir---

The best source for mountaineering, rock climbing and exploration documentation!

South Platte

    The "South Platte" encompasses a rather large and vague area. The area is generally considered to be the front range/foothills area extending south from highway 285 to highway 24 and west to the region known as south park. Most of our climbing has focused on the north part of the region between the towns of Pine Junction and Deckers. Eddie has also climbed a little in the south at Turkey Rocks and Sheep Nose areas. As with many areas in Colorado, more and more land has been purchased by new private owners in this area and closed to climbers.

    Malay Archipelago - Classic South Platt slab climbing near the junction of the two forks of the South Platte.  The Malay Archipelago area. Atlantis slabs can be seen in the lower left and the Java dome in the background.  Drew Izzo and Sheena at the base of Atlantis Slabs getting ready to climb Soliloquy (5.8+**).   Matt Kohlhaas on Damn the Waterboard (5.8R). This is one of Eddie's best 1st ascents and was also Eddie's 1st bolt (placed on lead). This 1st ascent was shared with Marion Durr. With only 1 bolt, this route gets a bit run out and a little spooky.
  Eddie placing the last bolt on a new route with Bill Duncan. We called it Two Dykes for Dinner (5.9*) since it followed two diagonal dykes running up the rock and we finished after sunset. It has 4 bolts and no natural pro. (?) leading Two Dykes for Dinner (5.9*)   Bill Duncan leading Soliloquy, AKA Hot Lava (5.8+**) on Atlantis slabs. Shelly Sartor is belaying   Sheena snagging a little pro on the roof of Soliloquy (5.8+**). This crack is very height sensitive!   Eddie top roping Transformer (5.10a). Eddie would go back later to replace the chopped bolt and finish leading the route with Michelle Scott belaying
  Drew Izzo take a turn at leasing No Bore A Bora (5.10c*). He's at the crux where the protection is thin and a long fall is not a good idea. Eddie at the top at a rest ledge of No Bore A Bora (5.10c*) after finishing the lead.   Photo to be added. John Durr leading The Seventh Wave (5.11b**). Another one of our group is to the left on No Bore A Bora (5.10c*)

  Photo to be added. Jean Mathias hanging out at the top of Mary Ann (5.6X) and Ginger (5.6X) after some casual soloing.

  Eddie removing a bad bolt from the bottom of Fluff Boys (5.9+**). Even though the bolt was loose, it was very difficult to pry out.
    Pine Area - Bucksnort Slabs - This is probably the most popular crag on in the North end of the South Platte region. It's also the ONLY crag still open in the Pine area.   Dick Stone roping up for a day of climbing at the Bucksnort Slabs.   The Classic Dihedral 5.7. Awesome!   The 1st pitch of what I knew as 5.8 Crack. Later the name was corrected to Bushes of Beelzebub.
  Pine Area - Squat Rocks - CLOSED - In my opinion this was the best crag in the North end of the South Platte region. So many routes from 5.8 - 5.12, crack and face climbing. It was all here. Closed by a greedy out of state land owner.   The clan getting ready for a day of climbing at Squat Rocks. In the foreground is Karen Bott, the owner of the Bryn Mawr restaurant in Pine. She took great care of the entire group! Also to the right is Shelly Sartor.  Matt Kohlhaas on the crux move of the Elusive Wapiti (5.9+***)  Matt Kohlhaas finishing up the Elusive Wapiti
  Matt Kohlhaas on Kirk's Corner (5.9+***)        
    Pine Area - Sphinx Rocks AKA Elephant Rock - CLOSED - Another classic area closed by a greedy out of state land owner. Last time I drove by the land owner even got the local dick to put up No Parking signs. Just another greedy asshole.  Sphinx Rock, AKA Elephant Rock as seen from the road.   A closer look where Sphinx Crack can be seen. This was the 1st 5.13 in the South Platte.   Eddie leading the 1st pitch of Lickety Split (5.7***) with Gary Dikeman belaying.
  Eddie top roping The Crunch (5.9+**). Always a fun 30' apres climb fists to lieback to off-width crack.   Eddie leading Crossing the River Styx (5.10a R). The bottom section was fun, but the last 10' was a rotten unprotected section. Brett and I placed a new bolt in the last section to try and protect it.   Dave Bell soloing Laundry Shoot? (5.9R) and trailing a tag line to belay Eddie up.   Dave Bell soloing Uh-Oh? (5.6R) and trailing a tag line to belay Eddie up.   The upper portion of Locksmith (5.9+) that Eddie led.
    Pine Area - Little Etive Slabs - CLOSED - Not sure if this was closed by the paint pellet range next door or the land owner.  Shelly Sartor following up one of the many routes on the slab. Most of the routes could wander and merge at the climbers' desire. They generally ranged 5.5 - 5.7 in this area of the slab.   .  
    Pine Area - Ding Domes- CLOSED - Not sure if this was closed by the paint pellet range next door or the land owner.  Jim at the Ding Domes enjoying some après climbing elixir and doing a little boldering.   .  
    Top of the World - CLOSED? -The access is across private property, but I have been told that you can cross it. However, the access road is closed which adds another 3 miles to the approach hike.   This is a view the area showing where the various crags are.  Another view of the Cracked Wall and the Boulder Pile. The Aerie can be seen on the right.  A view of the Boulder Pile and Ragnarok peaking out on the right.
  Top of the World - Cracked Wall - CLOSED? -The cracked wall was always a great place to start the day. One of the first areas you walk by after parking near the quartz quarry, it has several fun cracks for all levels.   A good view of the Cracked Wall.   Matt Kohlhaas setting up a belay on "How the West was Won" (5.8**) at the cracked wall. The climber above and left is on the 2nd pitch of "Leave it Blank" (5.9-*).   Eddie leading Rodeo (5.10b****)with Brett Bristol belaying.   The cheering section at the Cracked Wall. Left to Right, Matt Kohlhaas, ?, Shelly Sartor, Carrie Phister.
  Top of the World - Weasel Ranch - CLOSED? -This area is one of Eddie's favorites with several cracks for all levels. It also received great sunlight all year long and was well protected from any wind. . In an awesome area called Weasels Ranch, Marion Durr cranks it out on Weasels Rip My Flesh (5.10c***). This crack left scars on Eddies hand.     Sheena finishing up on Weasels in Lust (5.8). Another fun crack in the Weasels Ranch area of the Boulder Pile in the Top of the World.  
  Top of the World - Sharks Tooth - CLOSED? -This is a very prominent rock formation just south of the boulder pile. Not a well developed area and probably has more potential. The Sharks Tooth!   One of Eddie's 1st accents called "A Momentary Laps of Reason" on the Sharks Tooth.  The photo shows a #4 Friend in the bulging lip of the off-width roof.   Matt Kohlhaas hanging out at the Sharks Tooth working on new routes.
  Eddie working on an unnamed route that he started with Matt Kohlhaas but never finished. Eddie working on the unnamed route.   Eddie left a nut in the roof and lowered to come back later. When he returned, the nut had been removed.  As far as Eddie knows, someone else finished the route.  
   Top of the World - Blank Wall - CLOSED? - Not a classic area for the long approach. Brett named this the Blank Wall. Probably a couple more potential routes, but nothing classic.   A small crag to the SE of the Boulder Pile. Eddie and Brett Bristol explored the area and put up a 1 pitch route.   Showing the 1 route on the blank wall. There's probably more potential, but not a great crag.   Eddie leading Smashing (5.10a) on the Blank Wall. The reason for the name is because a rock was knocked loose that hit Michele Scott's foot and broke it.   Brett Bristol leading the route. This image was captured from "South Platte Climbing" by Fixed Pin Publishing. I'm not quite sure how it wound up in Brett's photo collection since, Michele Scott was taking the photos with Eddie's camera.
   Top of the World - Remora Rock - CLOSED? - Another small crag in the area. Again, nothing classic.   Showing the routes on the Remora Rock. There's probably a few more routes, but again, not a great crag.   Brett Bristol at the base of Cinnamon (5.6) starting the 1st ascent.   Brett finishing Cinnamon (5.6)   Eddie hanging out following the route.
   Top of the World - Ragnarok - This is a fun area. The area was always a little bit of an access challenge, but much more difficult now with the road closed. I do not believe it is closed to climbing.  This face of Ragnarok had the most classic routes including one of my favorite, Fun Climb 101 (5.8 ****).   On this side of the area Eddie put up a few multi pitch routes. There are notes on 3 routes, but lines on a photo of 4 routes. It's been 30 years and memory is foggy. Lots of cracks on this side.

  The routes:
A - G Line(?) (5.8), 3 pitches. FA Eddie Hackstaff and Brett Bristol 1988. I'm not sure why we would call it this name, but that's what my notes say.
B - Half Moon Rising, (5.6), 3 pitches, FA Eddie Hackstaff, Matt Kohlhaas, Jean Mathias, 7/4/88. We named it this because we finished in the dark and Jean had ripped half the butt out of her pants. We could see the fireworks from the front range.
C - Beeline (5.7) FA Eddie Hackstaff solo. I could have gone further, but there was a bee hive in the crack and I decided it was best to retreat and leave it alone.

    Cathedral Spires/Dome area - This is probably one of the greatest areas in the Northern part of the South Platte.  Sunshine Wall (L) and Cathedral Spire (R).  The Bishop   The Bishop (L) and the Dome (R).
    Cathedral Spires - Angle Iron Slabs - Located at the parking area for Cathedral Spires/Dome rock, these rocks served as lots of fun boldering with the new style sticky shoes in the 80's. Lots of fun short 5.10s.  The angle iron slabs named literally for the angle iron sticking out of the slab.

 More of the angle iron slabs. These slabs are found further to the right of the parking area for Cathedral Spires/Dome rock. 

Mark Brown soloing Trifle Dicey 5.9R. He wisely backed off from this point just below the crux. He didn't even own sticky rubber climbing shoes.   
    Cathedral Spires - Sunshine Wall xxx  Turkey Foot crack (5.9-10c***) on the Sunshine wall. This is also the background image of this page.

 Eddie leading Muddy Past (5.9**) on the Sunshine Wall

  Sheep Rock (upper), Acid Rock (middle), and Helens Dome (lower) - I'm not sure of the current status of this climbing area.   Helens Dome area. Eddie only climbed here once with Mark Brown. Climbed Face Value (5.9)    


Denver Front Range


   Deer Creek and the Hog Back - NO CLIMBING ALLOWED - At least that is what was posted last time I was up this way. This is the cut in the hogback when driving up Deer Creek Rd. There is a trail head, but I haven't checked it out closely since the 80's.     You can see Deer Creek Rd. just below the south end of the cliffs. This was my favorite crack. I always soloed it since I didn't own a rope in those days.
   Eagle Cliffs - CLOSED - Over looking Aspen Park on the Highway 285 corridor, this is one of the places that Eddie started learning about climbing with ropes. Even though this is Denver Mountain Parks land, it is surrounded by private property.   The Foot - This has to be one of the most unique rock features Eddie has ever stumbled across!    
    North Turkey Creek - CLOSED - This is now private property, which is a shame considering this was probably the best learning crag near Denver on the Highway 285 corridor.   Some of the fun beginner routes worked up this corner area.   The rock in the foreground had some great bouldering/top-roping. 5.10 - 5.12   The green slab. There were several variations on this slab. The main route wanders up the center.
  Eddie following the Green Slab route (5.6). Eddie had lead, soloed and followed this fun route.   Eddie finishing the 1st pitch. Not sure who was belaying this day, but Eddie used this route to teach a lot of people.      
    Maxwell Falls - This is a nice small crag with easy access. There are 4 fun routes that range from 5.6 - 5.9. The closest access is off of Blue Mtn. Rd. (CR78) between Conifer and Evergreen. This is the upper start to the Maxwell Falls trail. It's about a 1/2 mile hike to the cliffs on easy trail. I have provided some route info based on my experience. It is by no means gospel, but I couldn't find any other info.   The cliffs from the Maxwell Falls overlook. The main climbing area is just out of view behind the tree.

  The routes at the main climbing area (according to Eddie).

A - 5.4, a little bouldering mantel at the start is the real fun.
B - 5.2, access to the top. Can also be used for descent
C - 5.9, Hardest route on this wall. Eddie called this "Hamburger Helper" because of the hand jam under the roof.
D - 5.8, A fun route.
E - 5.6, The central crack. Fun.
F - 5.6, A fun face route that starts with a lay-back up a crack to access the face. A fall on a top-rope can have a bad swing.

  The right side of the crag. There is a nice 5.6R face climb below the roof. A top rope can make for an exciting pendulum.
  The left side of the crag. A little further to the left is the 5.2 slab used to learn rappelling and easy access to the top. There is a nice 5.9TR that goes through the middle of the roof.   The central part showing the main 5.6 crack. Just to the left is a nice 5.8.      
  Lovers Leap/The Shield - Sitting on the south side of H285 just 3 miles west of the Soda Lakes road junction, this is an impressive 450' cliff that doesn't get a lot of attention even though everyone driving down H285 looks straight at it's mass.   Lovers' Leap route (5.7***) - Climbed with Deaun Schovajsa (1987)    
    Near Conifer - PRIVATE - A short distance from the town of Conifer and just up the road from Maxwell Falls, Eddie was invited to join friends at this private sport climbing area.   A couple of the group having a good time on top ropes.   Stefan and his friend after topping out on their routes   Sherri going for the lip. Bad rope position!
   North Table Mesa - Nestled on the NE edge of Golden is North Table Mesa. It's a well developed sport climbing area with great access from the Golden Cliffs Trailhead.   Trailhead Map.    


West Slope


  Independence Monument - Just west of Grand Junction, Colorado. Eddie climbed Independence Monument in October 1987 with John and Marion Durr. In the November 1991 Eddie and Sheena made a partial climb but turned back due to a slow party in ahead. The goal for the October 1987 climb. (10/87) John and Marion Durr looking up at Independence Chimney route (5.8, A1). Eddie leading the 2nd pitch of Otto's route.
  Marion leading the crux off-width bulge of the 3rd pitch.   Eddie following the 5th pitch.   Marion belaying at the top of the 5th pitch.   John Durr leading the 6th and final pitch. He's at the crux with sloping sand stone holds and poor protection. A fall is not recommended at this point.   Marion Durr following through the roof of the 6th pitch. John is at the edge belaying.
  Marion and John on the summit with another party that had summited just before us.   Eddie (standing on a rock), Marion Durr and John Durr on the summit of Independence Monument (10/87).   Rappelling down to John and Marion.   John rappelling down the last bit.   John and Marion heading back to camp with the Kissing Couple tower behind.
 Independence Monument from the camp site. (11/91)   Sheena following the 1st pitch of Otto's route on Independence Monument. (11/91)  Eddie at the top of the 1st pitch of Otto's route. (11/91)

Eddie leading the 2nd pitch of Otto's route on Independence Monument. (11/91)

 Sheena back at the car after a long hike and a short climb. The hike turned out to be more difficult than the climb. (11/91)