Naked Edge

Page Type Page Type: Route
Additional Information Route Type: Trad Climbing
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: 5.11a/b R
Additional Information Rock Difficulty: 5.11 (YDS)
Additional Information Number of Pitches: 6
Sign the Climber's Log


THE Pitch! (Naked Edge 5.11b R) Eldorado Canyon, CO
Entering the Bombay Chimney

The Naked Edge is one of the most classic climbs in all of America. It is perhaps THE route to do in Colorado. This proud arete seems to soar into the sky from start to finish from certain view points. First done by Layton Kor and Bob Culp in 1962, one can only imagine putting this up at an aid grade of A4. Later, Jim Erickson and Duncan Ferguson, came into the scene and got the FFA at 5.11 R. When talking to Jim, he quoted the first pitch was the crux for them as they hammered angle pitons into the crack as they held on to the 5.11a moves. 

Getting There

The approach is trivial. Usually people climb Touch n' Go (5.8+, 2 pitches) until you get to the ramp at which case, a 5.8 overhang approach pitch must by used to get to the actual start of the route. One can actually use the 5.5 approach too but Touch n' Go is a great climb though a bit greasy. For bonus points, do one of the roof routes or Rosy Cruxifiction to approach the upper ramp.

Route Description

P1 (5.11a) Bring a healthy selection of nuts and small gear. This pitch is amazing. Hug your way up the arete in such a rad position. The 5.11a crux is in the middle but the 5.10d at the top is not easy! Good gear abounds. By the time you hit the anchor, you will be psyched on life! Lead this pitch!

P2 (5.10b R) Climb up the slab on the edge at 5.8. It's runout but not that hard. Once it turns vertical, turn the arete/edge onto the other side (wild!) and follow that up with a move of 5.10b a bit above gear (get's an R rating in some guidebooks) until you hit the arete again. The position is getting better!

P3 (5.8+ R) The easy pitch but still a little runout but totally doable. Follow the arete more or less until you hit a sweet belay ledge/pod in the sky.

P4 (5.11b R) This is the notorious bombay chimney. While this lead is exciting, it's been debated whether it's R or not. If the pin blows then it would be bad. Climb a mini dihedral with pretty good gear at 5.10c then clip the pin that has seen better days, back it up with a TCU that was a little quirly for me. Commit to the traverse left and up into the chimney. The crux is not by the pin. Potential for big falls but they should be safe. Clip a pin at the top of the bombay and traverse right at 5.10d to a killer belay position.

P5 (5.11b) This is the pitch I found to be the crux. Do a rising traverse with Eldo weirdness and a crux comes that's way exposed but has good gear right there. Pop around to the final overhanging crack at the top. It's strenous but maybe only 5.10+? After all the other climbing, it may feel harder.

P6 (5.6) Take the glory pitch of runout 5.6 to the summit!

Note: You can combine P2 and 3 pretty easily.

Descent: Use the standard east slabs descent

On Top
Naked Edge in the distance


Essential Gear

Nuts, maybe some RP's, doubles from small to #1 with singles up to #3. Basically, your standard Eldo rack.

External Links



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