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The Ghetto: 3rd. Flatiron, Green Mountain
Originally discovered by locals Paul Glover and John Dunn in 1990 - although Paul reported to FRB that he found some Indian artifacts sequestered away in a crevice. This is perhaps Boulder's finest overhanging bouldering area and is considered by many to have the highest rock quality of any sandstone bouldering area in the Front Range. The half hour walk uphill keeps most of the bozos away and provides a good cardio workout for you body nazi types. Couple that with a few hours sampling the short power problems, power-endurance linkups and 90-foot traverses the area has to offer and you will be ultrablown!

The rock is a very hard fountain sandstone, meaning it has a very tight grain to it. The holds range from crimpers to pebbles to finger pockets to slopers to whole hand huecos and strangely solid jug horns, and the walls overhang a consistent 30 to 40 degrees. The view from the Ghetto toward the elegant National Center for Atmospheric Research building designed by I.M. Pei and the Denver skyline can't be beat. Neither can the various colors of the rock, ranging from dark tan to black to brilliant green in spots, where the lichens and running water have combined to create startling stripes of color on the walls.

Please remember the Ghetto is closed Feb. 1 through July 31 each year to protect raptors nesting in the area. It sometimes opens early. For more information contact Boulder Mountain Parks at 303-441-3408. Please respect all seasonal and raptor closures.

Pros: Best rock in the Flatirons! Overhanging pumpy problems that rival some of Hueco's best, and endless linkup possibilities for long traverses.

Cons: Steep approach involving 5th class scrambling (can't bring your dog up the last bit), seasonal closures, spooky landings at times.

How to Get There
Park at Chautauqua Park at the west end of Baseline just before the road heads up Flagstaff Mountain. Walk the maintenance road headed up and south through the park to the Bluebell Shelter, then follow the signs for the Royal Arch Trail. After crossing a small streambed the trail steepens and climbs along the left side of the gully below the Third Flatiron and its satellite pinnacles. Pass Queen Anne's head (obvious low pinnacle on the right) and look for a large overhanging block up and left on the hill above the trail. About 30 yards past here the trail flattens out and you can see a climber's trail cutting right into a big gully that has recently slid. Work your way up this gully for 5 - 10 minutes, passing a bolted sport route on the right and come to a notch in the ridge (the notch is about 150 feet above this sport route). The Ghetto is just north of and above this notch. You can either climb the big pine tree to get up in there or scramble up the easy face (5.4) just left of the arete that forms one side of the notch.

Anacostia Wall
This is the lowest of the walls in the ghetto and also has the best landing. The climbing here is characterized by long tugs on huecos and two and three finger pockets, and the lip of the wall is littered with crimpers and slopes, making it good for eliminate climbing.

  1. Anacostia V3. Traverse the wall from right to left, staying low through the middle and finishing up past the underclings and jelly roll jug over the lip on the wall's left side.
  2. Dope Fiend V6. An eliminate, true, but a very characteristic and entertaining one. Start sitting down on the wall's left side with your right hand on the lip of a good hueco, tug up and left for a slopey three finger pocket, then reach up and right to an obvious point. From the point dyno up and right to the diagonal dish just below the jelly roll jug, then fire past the rug to the crimpy rail and follow crimpers to the top. Classic!

Hunting Humans/Underdog Cave
This wall is characterized by its very steep climbing on small but positive (read painful) crimps and wafer thin ears that magically never come off in your hand. Must-do problems include Underdog, Black Cross, Tabula Rasa, Dr. Slutpants, Hunting Humans and Trolling for Skank. Many variations and eliminates exist as well.

    Matt Samet on Hunting Humans V8
    Matt Samet on Hunting Humans V8
  1. Black Cross V1. Up the black streak and sometimes mossy scoops on the wall's left end above the pillar left of Anacostia. Highball.
  2. Tabula Rasa V9. Just left of Black Cross is this obvious tan belly of seemingly blank rock that is blessed with just enough tweaks and pockets to be possible. Start low on jugs and slap your way up the belly, finishing on the obvious jug flake and moving up and right to the lip of the wall. Powerful.
  3. Hunting Humans V8. Ultra-classic! Start low on the jugs as for Tabula Rasa but move up and left ten feet across a system of slopers and huecos until you come to a resting jug. From here grind straight out the bulge via long reaches to bad holds, then finish left along the ears for another ten feet until you can lock off and snag the lip.
    Variation V6. Start as for Hunting Humans but go straight up the pocket/flake feature at five feet on the traverse, reel along the jug lip until you can get over the ears, then finish out on Hunting Humans. This avoids the crux.
  4. Trolling for Skank V10/11. As Colorado's premier power-endurance boulder problem, Trolling would be 14a if it were a route. Do Hunting Humans to the Ears but after grabbing the second set of ears move left and sidepull the crack that forms the left side of the Underdog Cave. Cross over into a bad sidepull, lurch to a small hueco and shake out, then move left across the cave to finish out on the tiny grips of Dr. Slutpants.
  5. Crack V2. The obvious flake/crack starting from the rounded boulder wedged in the slot.
  6. Underdog V5. Mega-classic! Start low in the cave on jugs, gaston high with the left and crank for the improbably solid cobble, then finish on huecos and jugs over the lip.
  7. Dr. Slutpants V7/8. Start as for Underdog but reach for the smiley-face crimp left of the pebble from the gaston. From here work out the left side of the cave on tiny crimps until you can grab an obvious tooth/pocket under the lip jug, snatch a pebble on at the lip with your left hand, and roll up and over to finish up crimps on the headwall. A must-do for the hardperson!

Upper Cave
This is the Ghetto's showcase wall, and the best place in the Front Range to train endurance outside of pumping laps in a rock gym. The 90-foot lip traverse is one of the funest jug hauls around and provides a great warm-up, and the endless linkup possibilities the wall offers will keep you entertained year after year if you're creative enough. Listed below are the obvious (non eliminate, non linkup) lines on the wall.

NOTE: The rising slot landing below this wall, while offering the chance to climb 90 plus feet of overhang without a rope, has claimed more than one victim. It is best to step off this wall before falling, as you may potentially slide all the way down the slab forming the bottom of the slot if you come off out of control. The landings here take a little getting used to but with some practice and a good spot you can get away with just about anything.

Violent Opposition Sector

Matt Samet on Violent Opposition V4/5
Matt Samet on Violent Opposition V4/5

1. Lip Traverse 5.11+ Start low and right at the shoe up area above the Slutpants cave and work up and left ten feet until you hit the jug system that runs along the lip. From here work due left across the top of Skin-Poppin Slut and onto the lip holds at the top of the After Hours wall, then romp on the obvious horns, big slopes and huecos that take you all the way to the top of the wall. Super classic!
2. Violent Opposition V4/5. Start sitting down as far right as you can go at the bottom of the upper cave, then work left past tiny crimps to a match hold in the face. Throw left to the obvious tooth hold then reel back right to finish up on jugs. Many variations can be done on this wall, and it has the best landing of any of the problems in the upper cave.
3. The Ass Tooth V9. Heave up off flat underclings just right of the start to Skin-Poppin Slut and work right into a slopey hueco, then right again to a set of sidepulls and up into the finishing tooth on Violent Opposition. Tricky, technical, powerful.

After Hours Sector

  1. Skin-Poppin Slut V4. A landmark problem both for this wall and for the Ghetto. This line follows the obvious crack and pods from a low start on jugs and can be linked into any of the finishes on the After Hours part of the wall.
    Variation V11. Start on Skin-Poppin Slut, hit the slopey crimp rail with glue behind it, then work right into the scoop and up the face on terrible crimpers.
  2. Low Start V5/6. These are the standard intro moves for any of the harder problems on the After Hours Wall. Scramble back into the slot 20 feet past Skin-Poppin Slut and locate a crimp and a pebble set straight below a huge bathtub shaped hueco. Muckle on, grab a sidepull and leap for the hueco.
  3. Spina Bifida V5 or V6 with the Low Start. From the first set of jug huecos on the wall work right on a system of slopers and crimps until you can throw back left to a high sloper and finish out right on a mailbox slot over the lip.
  4. Ghetto Boys V9, scary. Do the Low Start into Spina Bifida but at the end of the traverse reach straight up with your left hand to an awkward pinch, drop knee on a little crystal (the foot jugs out right of this are off) and throw over the lip to the mailbox. Committing!
  5. Ghetto Homos V3. From the first set of huecos on the wall crank past a finger lock to the next horizontal break. From here work due right on slopey but highly textured scoops until you can set up for the mailbox hold out right over the lip. A good warm-up and a good introduction to climbing on this part of the wall
  6. After Hours V7, scary. The true After Hours roughly follows the line described below but I've forgotten the eliminate moves at the finish. In any case, pop the low start, reel straight out the cave to the second break, then gaston high and left, surf for a right pinch and slap again right to a slopey hueco to get to the finishing jugs. This problem is basically the straightest line out the center of the cave from bottom to top.

Outer Space Sector

  1. Hueco Simulator V4. From about mid-height on the lip traverse drop down two or three feet into the slot and follow a system of flat huecos due left until you can move up along a faint rib that takes you back to the lip. Total length: 20 feet.
  2. S & M V4. From the top of Hueco Simulator follow a system of crimps and pebbles along the lip of the wall staying just below the huge jugs normally used on the lip traverse, finishing out on a cross-over move to a dyno at the very top of the slot.
    Variation V6. Link Hueco Simulator into S & M without stopping to shake out on the lip traverse jugs where the two problems meet.
  3. Guanophobia V5/6. In the very bottom of the slot, twenty odd feet past the Low Start, find a series of underclings trending left toward a big hole. Though the moves are athletic, the proximity of the slab behind you and the lack of light in this part of the cave make for a less than aesthetic climbing experience.
  4. Outer Space V5 or V9, when combined with Guanophobia. Crawl down into the slot and start either at the big hole where Guanophobia finishes or at a triangle-shaped glued flake above it. Dyno up and right to a honking big jug then work past slopers and underclings as you battle for lip. This problem tops out either on the finishing moves of Hueco Simulator or further right on jugs.
  5. Inner Space V5. Start as for Outer Space but stay as far left as possible through the cave until you eventually have to squeeze under a hanging arete to get back around and into the light. Yeesh!

    NOTE: Both Outer Space and Inner Space can be lengthened by finishing
    out on S & M.

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