New Route on Big Rock Candy Mountain


7/26/13 - A 5.9 climb isn't usually newsworthy, but when the 5.9 is a new route up one of Colorado's biggest and most mysterious granite domes, it's not an everyday event. Big Rock Candy Mountain is a 1,300-foot formation deep in the South Platte River drainage, on which the most famous route is Fields of Dreams Growing Wild (5.11+ R, Gallagher-Williams, 1979). But as Haas discovered while researching the second volume of his new South Platte guidebooks, the dome is crisscrossed with old routes and vestiges of undocumented attempts.

"We had spied the line about a month earlier when replacing the bolts on Rotten Teeth," Haas said. "It ended up not climbing totally how we planned from the ground, but we got lucky with route finding and rolling the dice when crack systems split. We were hoping to take it up a big slab in the middle of the wall, but found a previously undocumented route going up it already and didn't want to bolt something so close to an existing line." In the end, the two climbed 10 new pitches to create Nicaraguan Nut Butter (11 pitches, 5.9), with only two protection bolts.

Haas documented the new line in the quickie video below, a fun look at an adventurous day of new-routing. "The route is not nearly as vegetated as the video suggests," he was careful to point out. "We just forgot to pull the camera out most of the time, or the good climbing was hard enough that you wanted an attentive belay."

Date of ascent: July 2013

Source: Jason Haas