The Good Book is anything but good (non-sustained choss heap to be sure). However, when it comes to early season (south facing) climbs or even multi pitch trad climbing near the town of Telluride, beggars can’t be choosers. The Good Book is located to the right of a sport area named Pandora. It is listed in the local Telluride guide book as a four to six pitch trad climb and has six fixed belay/rappel stations. We chose to solo the first two pitches and squeeze the last four pitches into two with a 70m rope. The conglomerate/volcanic rock is loose and all holds somewhat precarious when out of the corner proper. There was also a huge eagle’s nest at the upper pitches, just meters from the route. In June, 2010, it was not in use. Chris Logan and Kevin Dunkak put the Good Book in during the late 80’s and gave it a run out rating. I don’t know if I would call it run out as much as it is just dangerously loose. I also did not feel any 5.9 moves en route. The view of Bridal and Ingram Falls where you top out onto a shoulder of Ajax Peak are worthwhile however. Probably also worthy of a Chamber of Commerce poster shot of Telluride looking back over town.
As previously stated, I would either advise soloing this route or doing it as two roped up pitches to avoid as much potential rock fall as possible onto a belayer. We soloed past the first fixed station and on to the second one on fairly easy 5th class ground in our approach shoes. We combined the next two pitches easily with a 70m rope. The first 100’ or so was kind of staying with the corner/chimney. The second 100’ moved away from the corner to the right via loose ground following one fixed piece but ends back into the recesses of the corner. We combined the final two pitches as well. The first 100’ starts up in the corner, but then bends out of it to the right. We did not see the fixed piece via the topo on that pitch nor was it needed. When horizontal with the eagle’s nest, traverse a small fixed belay ledge to the right and continue up what they state as off width on the topo in the guidebook, but really is just more easy, but loose, corner climbing to the top of a shoulder with great views.
From Telluride, drive east towards Bridal Veil Falls. Use a public pull out on the left before the old mine building(s). Hike up the hill to intersect an old road. Turn right and follow this road as it switchbacks back left through an avalanche debris fence, turn right again and continue up the old cut road until you can cross the drainage on the right. Keep going on the old road until it tops out where the drainage is coming from. Turn back right and follow a single track trail along the base of the wall until you come to the base of a deep tall corner (Good Book).
Route Description550’+/-, 6 Pitches, 5.9R
1st/2nd Pitches- 60m- 5th/ We soloed up this loose section with approach shoes (well it is all loose). Definitely on the low end of 5th if not most of it 4th class. There is a decent place to suit up at the start of the third pitch.
3rd/4th Pitches- 60m- 5.9R/ We combined these pitches with a 70m rope. I can’t tell which section the FAer’s thought was run out or 5.9, so will label both these last sections as such to avoid liability. I personally did not see a 5.9 move or much run out. Loose as hell, but I always thought there was gear as best I can recall. They call this first section a chimney on the topo, but there is not much chimney action. Some stemming maybe and then look for a bolt up and right on a chossy face, that I guess is a bit run out. If I did it again, I would stay in the corner versus following this bolt. Chunks of rock were coming off in my hand. Worried extensively about my belayer on this combination, perhaps it is best not to combine them for rock fall hazard. Finish back left into the recesses of the shaded corner.
5th/6th Pitches- 50m- 5.9R/ We combined these pitches with a 70m rope. The best climbing of the route is probably the first half of this section. Head straight up, but don’t get sucked into following the corner too far left (eagles nest above). Instead, look for a break up and right to a ledge with a fixed belay. Traverse right to another corner. Your rope will cause some rock fall, but the belayer will be far left of any at this point. Take the corner to the top. The topo claims off width, but mostly just a stem corner.
DescentWith a 70m rope, we hit every station on the way down, six in all, and just rapped the route. Watch the rock fall when you pull your ropes. To quote the guidebook: “The rock on this route is questionable. Loose rock will come down when you pull your ropes from the rappels. A helmet is recommended.”
External LinksAnother 5.9 trad climb, but on much better rock up at Ophir Wall
Best Telluride bar by far; Last Dollar Salon, since ‘78
Best Telluride coffee by far; Steaming Bean, Fair Trade
Incredible selection of weed at fair prices, Dr. on staff if you need it…I climb with my cute doc when in CO. (upstairs, downtown, north side of Colorado Ave), 4 or 5 legal dispensaries in town.