Bold First Lead Ascent in Eldorado

8/24/12 - Denver local Joseph Crotty recently claimed the first lead ascent of Martyr's Arena (5.12a R), in Eldorado Canyon State Park, outside Boulder.

This single-pitch, traditional route on the Upper Peanuts Wall was previously climbed on toprope by Richard and Joyce Rossitter in 1987, known as Northwest Face TR. But due to the poor protection and committing nature of the climbing, this 85-foot line waited 25 years for a sharp-end ascent. On Mountain Project, Crotty describes the protection of the route as having "some micro nuts if you're into illusions."

Steve Levin, the current Eldo guidebook author, described Crotty's ascent as being part of a modern trend of completing toprope ascents on lead. This "headpointing" technique, where climbers rehearse the moves on toprope before going for the lead, began around 1999, and is considered an accepted method of first lead ascents. "The definition of what trad lead means has changed, and while headpointing allows for harder grades, repeating lines like Martyr's Arena in the ground-up onsight style should be the challenge," Levin says. "Props to Joe!"

Date of ascent: August 20, 2012

Sources: Mountain Project, Steve Levin

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I'm so jealous! My dad and I used to go rock cilmbing together- I miss it. I have a belay pass and everything! One day when we have money I will make Ryan learn how to belay so we can climb together. It's so awesome that you and Tara share so many common interests. :0)

Roy - 10/25/2012 3:29:54