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THE ELYSIUM AKA IVY LEAGUE
This "new" area was apparently found in the 1990s by Don Wood, who largely passed on developing its granite blocks due to the presence of poison ivy and sumac throughout the sloping valley. In early Spring of 2003, this South St. Vrain area was rediscovered by Justin Jaeger and Chip Phillips. After executing a highly sequential wet-rock hop across the torrential spring flow, JJ found a sprawling field of seemingly untouched granite basking in the warming sun on USFS land (without the endemic ivy and sumac grown in for the season), inspiring the name Elysium. Several times over the next few weeks, JJ and CP went back with brooms, brushes and pads. The following information is provided for those who may desire a day away from the masses. A typical problem at the Elysium is a face or bulging face problem up small crimps, culminating with an interesting and/or scary topout on sloping terrain. The topouts are oftentimes the crux, so be prepared for hard exit moves on small holds and the possibility of awkward falls. Fortunately most of the landings are very good. As the area is still quite fresh, bringing a couple durable brushes is advisable, as the rock is still exfoliating and a bit fragile due to the lack of traffic and the lichen can be quite hearty. Expect to feel some crumbling, although - once the top layer is clear - the core of the boulders seems quite solid. We suspect the area will only improve in the future as boulderers venture up to and explore the Elysium. Don Wood's tentative name for the area, "Ivy League," can be quite fitting from late spring into fall. That said, keep your eyes on the ground during your approach and take precautions (long pants, no wrestling with dogs or each other in the foliage, etc.). As the trails and landings become naturally worn (though we would all like to think this can be avoided), avoiding the "leaves of three" and the sumac bushes should become easier.

Getting There:
 Drive 7.0 ± 0.2 miles (depending on your odometer) up CO Highway 7 from its intersection with Highway 36 in Lyons. The parking lot is a quick dodge off to the left side of the road just before the road takes a sweeping right turn. The parking lot is large enough for a couple dozen cars and easily distinguishable due to the "DAY USE ONLY" sign. A wide valley is discernible to the east/southeast and some boulders can be spotted through the trees about 150 yards away if you are looking for them.

Crossing the River:
Perhaps the first thing worth mentioning about the area is the difficulty one can encounter in crossing the river. 1) During winter conditions along the South St. Vrain, it may be easy to cross the river due to the presence of thick ice. This is certainly the easiest time to cross. 2) During low flow conditions one can easily wade across the river to the south from a point 10 yards from where you can park you car. Start at a small sandy area halfway between the two left-hand bends in the river. We've gone across here when the water is knee to crotch level and it's pretty casual. The riverbed's rocks are slick and the water is cold, but it's possible to maintain your balance here with 2 dogs on leashes while carrying a large pad. You may want to take your pants or shorts off, as they will in all likelihood be soaked. Once on the other side, head downstream about 50 yards, then up a faint trail 100 yards to the first boulders. Another approach for the more adventurous during low flow conditions is to perform a rock jump. When one looks toward the boulders from the parking lot, the launching block is down and to the left. One must scramble onto this relatively steep slab, set up on obvious slick foot holds and launch down to the gentler slab directly across a chute of water. Together, these boulders both angle towards the river, creating a narrow, yet quickly flowing section. Once you pull yourself together on the other side, skirt left around the suspicious-looking plants on the riverbank, then head up and right away from the river to join the faint trail to the boulders. Be forewarned that the jump back, while carrying a crash pad, is the crux. One must run down the gentle, yet often wet, slab and jump to the higher boulder across, grabbing the sharp juggy lip. A good soaking and potentially dangerous situation awaits those who don't catch the lip … loosen your shoulder straps so as to avoid drowning. 3) During high flow conditions, the rock you jump to may be quite wet and slick with algae. Under these conditions, we were able to use an old rope affixed to a chunk of talus on the road side and a cluster of trees on the river side to create a sketchy tyrolian traverse to cross at this same launching spot. Send one person across, thread the rope around the trees, throw the rope back and tie both ends off very tightly on the side you started on. Done properly, it is very easy to get all the pads across both ways and for everyone to avoid the treacherous jump back. Be aware that if someone pulls your rope while you are bouldering, getting back will have officially become an epic potentially worthy of publication in a humorous Climbing, Rock & Ice or, more likely, frontrangebouldering.com article. Use common sense and prepare for the worst if you use such a system.

The Approach:
The theme of freshness applies here as well, as the area has seen very little human traffic, the majority of which was probably to access some of the obscure crags and top-roping found in the area. No clear or faint social trails around the boulders were evident. An effort to place cairns has been undertaken and faint social trails now are present, though the end product is not all that obvious. Many of the best problems have short approaches, as they are fairly close to the river. Three problems in particular have long approaches that are worth it (Elysium Arete AKA Kenney Corner, Brooding Cumulus and Dexitrim). Climbers should try to follow any discernable paths in the effort to consolidate our collective impact (and to avoid poison ivy and sumac, thorns, loose gravel, and intense bushwhacking).
The Problems:
JUPITER BOULDER
1. Fat City V8 * Ascend the high rounded prow on the first boulder sitting in the wash on the right as you approach the boulders. Props to Will L.
2. Silly Warm-Up V2 sds. On the north face is a short problem with a bunch of good holds. Start from the sit, reach left to goodness and pull over.
RAGLAN ROCK
3. Project V? (R/X) Hang off the northwest arête all the way to the top and pull over. For those with NO FEAR.
4. Project V? (R/X) Pull low bulge any way you want, then negotiate the far right side of the slab 20 feet to the top. It's a long way down if you blow it.
5. Shorebreak Direct V6/7 sds * From sds at base of the NW arête, move left, pull the bulge & steer a little left to top.
6. Shorebreak V2/3* Start in middle of the north face, below an obvious bulge. Pull the bulge onto the slab and steer left a little to the top.
7. Like Glass V1* Left of the trees, but right of the crack is a steep northeast-facing slab. Zig-zag up perfectly spaced holds to the top, finishing with Shorebreak.
8. Flip-Flop Slab VB. On left side of the crack is a low-angle slab that is perfect for warming up in flip-flops or sandals.
Elysium

THE SWELL
9. Reef Rash V2 sds* From sds, do a thrutching move to start, then pull up and over, possibly using a mantel.
10. Big Wednesday Traverse V7 sds * From sds with Reef Rash, traverse right into Big Wednesday and go to the top.
11. Project V? sds. From a sds on obvious holds with Big Wednesday, move slightly left and top out above an obvious prow, avoiding all the good holds higher up on Big Wednesday. Contrived, but appears to be quite a challenge.
12. Big Wednesday V4/5 sds * Begin from a sds on good holds under the overhang and climb up and slightly right past good holds to the top.
13. Bailing Out V2 sds. On the far left side of the overhang is a short 2 or 3 move problem where the object is to pull around the corner onto the slab. Harder than it looks.
14. Miserlou V7 sds* From Bailing Out's sds, continue zoom right to topout with Fear of the Closeout.
15. Charlie Don't Surf V8/9 sds * From Bailing Out's sds, continue right all the way across the overhang to top out with Lip Trick. Extreme heel-hooking.
16. Fear of the Closeout V6 * Reach or jump to thin crimps on the lip in the center of the overhang, then heel-hook and mantel like you mean it if you want to top it out.
17. Charger V8 sds * From a sds on the far right with Lip Trick, heel hook left all the way into Fear of the Closeout and pull over.
18. Lip Trick V5 sds * From a sds on the far right move up and left a few feet, then do a balancy mantel to top out.
PJ BOULDER
19. State of Love and Trust V8 (R/X) * Ascend thin hard-to-see crimps up the north face for 15-plus feet to a wide almost horizontal crack. Follow the crack left to the top. Or, continue straight up the face to the top 30+ ft. up if you dare (undone).
20. Grievance V4/5 * Twenty feet left of State of Love and Trust or just right of Red Mosquito, this problem climbs straight up good but thin edges. Pass a flake at 15 feet just before the top.
21. Red Mosquito V7 * Just right of Nothingman, decent hands and piss-poor feet to pull on and move up and into better holds just before the top.
22. Nothingman V4 * Ascend the northeast corner to thin finishing moves.
23. Last Exit V4 sds Pull up into the slot from a somewhat awkward sds with a meddling boulder behind you. Also the downclimb or downjump (easier).
24. Rearview Mirror V7/8 * Ascend the obvious dihedral up and over the bulging thin topout. A low or sit-start seems possible.
25. Breakerfall V7/8 (R/X) * This 35-footer will scare all but the brave away. Jump or lean in from the adjacent block to get started and do a hard move or 2 to establish in a crack. Climb small hard-to-see holds up the face, pass a horizontal crack at 25 feet and go 10 more feet to the top. Will LeMaire gets credit for this insanity. Yowsah!
Chip on Big Wednesday
Chip on Big Wednesday

Nothing Man
Chip on Nothing Man
DISINTEGRATING BOULDER
25. Crumble Cake V1/2 15 yards north of the PJ Boulder, under a tree, is a bulging problem on a blunt aręte.
26. Skid Mark V5 Ten feet left of Crumble Cake, Pull a short bulge onto a thin slabby face. A couple moves and you are done.
LEBOWSKI BOULDER
27. Out of Your Element V1 sds On short boulder 10 yards south of the Lebowski Boulder is a short problem that can be done from a sds.
28. The Dude Abides V4/5 * Ascend thin blunt southeast aręte to even thinner finishing holds.
29. Over the Line V5 Start in the thin seam on the south face, lunge left to the ledge and mount the ledge, cursing this crappy thing all the way.
30. Mark It Zero V0 Ascend the west face to the top via very good holds. The ledge in the middle takes away from the fun.
31. No Frame of Reference V3 Start low & do a couple hard moves on the northwest corner, arrive on the ledge and go to the top.

JJ on Charger
JJ on Charger
HUXLEY BOULDER
32. Doors of Perception V4 * Start on edges a few feet left of a tree. Pull a bulge 12 feet up, then dance up thin crimps between the branches to the top. Serious and sketchy up there.
33. Island V3/4 * Left of Doors of Perception, start in a thin seam and surmount a bulge on your way to the top.
FISTS OF FURY AREA
34. Fists of Fury / Project V? Climb out the southwest overhang via an obvious right-arching crack above talus. The landing is bad, so bring crashpads, spotters and big balls.
35. Crispy Critters V2/3 The right-hand crack. The rock is sharp and so is the lichen. If it ever cleans up, it should be a decent line.
36. Mean Green V1/5 The left-hand crack surrounded by lichen. For V1, use the ledges and aręte out left or don't (V5).
STASH ROCK
37. Tapping the Source V5/6 * Ascend the southwest face of this pillar of rock past some underclings. A long reach to a fragile looking flake at 15 feet is the crux.
Reef Rash
Chip sends Reef Rash

A-FRAME
38. A-Frame V2 * Start low and ascend the thin triangular northwest face to the top.
EXFOLIATION ROCK
39. Exfoliation V0 Start near a seam and go up a slabby face to the top.
ORGAN GRINDER
40. Project V? Climb the short west-facing bulge from a sds on the right.
APOCALYPSE BOULDER
41. Napalm in the Morning V3 From atop the meddling boulder below the face, ascend edges to the top.
42. Napalm Direct V7 * Start underneath the overhanging southwest aręte on a right hand crimp and left hand pebble. Do a long move to a painful edge and ascend the face to the top.
TPS BOULDER
43. Tetris V? Ascend the west face where a 500 pound flake used to reside.
44. Project V? Ascend the low-angle southwest aręte to the top. The flake 6 feet up may blow off at any minute. Tread lightly.
45. Flair V5/6 * Climb the southeast corner via slopers and edges.
THE ELYSIUM BOULDER
46. Superfly Traverse V2 Hand traverse the lip left to right all the way around the boulder and pull over.
47. Elysium Arete / Kenney Corner??? V6/7 sds * Ascend the prominent slightly overhung aręte to the top and over. A sds may be possible.
BROODING CUMULUS WALL
48. Proj. V? Ascend the wall left of the dihedral.
49. Stormy Monday V4/5 * Ascend southwest-facing dihedral. Be ready for a long reach to a dicey topout.
WANDERLUST
50. Wanderlust / Project V? sds From sds, climb right out a very thin seam and pull the bulge. Potentially very hard.
51. Wayward Vagrant V5 sds Climb the north side of the boulder from a sds using a large flexing flake. Finish on slopers above the flake.
DEXITRIM BOULDER
52. Dexitrim V3/4 (R/X) * Climb right side of the south face a few feet right of the tree. Pull yourself on the wall via the thinnest of crimps, then climb up to a slopey topout.
53. Pull the Trigger V2 (R/X) Pull onto the southwest corner, reach high for the top and find a way to pull or mantel over.
JJ sends Elysium Arete
JJ sends Elysium Arete


Chip on Lip Trick
Chip on Lip Trick

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