Vamos Las Chicas
Route Name: Vamos Las Chicas
Rock Formation: The Maiden
Number of bolts to be placed: 25 lead bolts, 3 sets of 2 bolt anchors
Route Difficulty: 5.13
The proposed new route follows the natural features of this impressive, overhanging face in three pitches. We think there will be 6 bolts on the first pitch, plus two bolts for the anchor. We think we will place about 10 bolts on the second pitch, plus two anchor bolts, and the third pitch will require about 9 bolts, plus two anchor bolts. We will do our best to place natural protection whenever possible rather than placing a bolt in order to respect the ethics and aesthetics of this beautiful place.
The name, “Vamos Las Chicas” means, “Let’s go girls” in Spanish, which fits in with the Spanish theme of the neighboring route, “Hasta La Hueco”.
A description of existing routes on the same face of the rock formation, including the number of routes, route names, route grade, type, and approximate distance between routes (a photocopy or diagram of the existing route(s) is also required):
On the south face of the Maiden, the routes trending from left (uphill) to right (downhill) are: 1. Gates of Galas (5.10d R/X trad); 2. A few yards east and downhill is Gates of Delirium (5.11c sport); 3. Maiden Voyage (5.12b sport), starts above the Crows Nest; 4. The subject route Vamos Las Chicas, 5. 13? Sport; 5. Kor-Dalke, starts just a bit right of Vamos Las Chicas, trad Aid (A3) or free at 5.12 R; 6. Hasta La Hueco, 3 pitches, 5.13b sport; 7. South Face, 5.9R trad, 3 pitches; 8. Belladonna, 5.11a X trad; 9. Southern Seas, 5.11b trad towrope; 10. Heart of the Sunrise, 2 pitches, 5.11a sport; 11. South Crack, 5.11b/c trad.
A description of the approach (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails leading to the climb and condition of the trail, and state whether there is a durable surface, such as rock.
The approach starts from the South Mesa Trailhead. Follow the Mesa Trail north to the Shadow Canyon connector, which is directly under the Maiden. At the water trough, turn left (uphill) and follow the Shadow Canyon connector SW for a hundred yards. Turn right from the main trail at a thin path that leads to a quarry. Walk through the quarry to the north and follow an old quarry road. After maybe 200 yards, the road ends and follow the steep climbers trail uphill to the west (marked by cairns) to the base of the east ridge. From there, follow the path uphill along the south face, about 50 feet farther up the hill from the base of Hasta La Hueco.
Where you leave the trail for the quarry:
If different from the approach, a description of the descent, (include approximate distance from the designated trail system, existing “social” or undesignated trails, a description of the trail condition and whether there is a durable surface, such as rock. Include photographs of the descent.):
Descent from the climb is to rappel 3 times back to the staging area or do the classic West Overhang rappel. Then hike out the same trail as the approach.
Looking down on the Staging area:
A description of the area at the base of the climb (include existing levels of soil compaction, existence of a durable surface such as rock, and existing soil erosion. Include photographs of the area at the base of the climb.):
The base of the route is next to a large tree with boulders and compact soil on the ground.
Has all reconnaissance work that can be reasonably done, short of placing any hardware, been done?
The majority reconnaissance work has been done on the first two pitches, but the last pitch will require a bit more work to figure out the exact line.
Has the route been top roped? Is there loose rock? Is it extremely overhanging?
We have top roped the sections of the climb that we were able to, but without having the ability to place bolts on such an overhanging face, it’s difficult to be able to climb the entire route! However, we could distinguish a line of holds and general weakness in the middle of this overhanging face that will allow a very fun and beautiful line up this wall.
Any additional notes:
A beautiful, aesthetic line in the Flatirons. I vote yes! Question for the FA party: is there a way for the 3rd pitch to climb steeper terrain more directly to the summit, rather than trending left alongside the Kor-Dalke? Regardless of that, I think that the line should be bolted safely. It will see a lot more attention and traffic than the Kor-Dalke, which has not been repeated since the FA as a free route. Generally speaking, the highest quality stone in the Flatirons do NOT have natural protection and don’t follow the horizontal bands.
It seems like it will be key to keep this a mix of bolts and gear—gear especially where it crosses the Kor-Dalke, so as not to change the character of the Kor-Dalke. I know the one bolt on the 14c arete ended up on terrain on the Kor-Dalke, and was of some concern to the party who freed the Kor-Dalke.
I believe that Vamos Chicas would be more correct, drop the Las.
The party who free climbed the Kor-Dalke are very concerned about your plans to install a sport climb which crosses KD in three different places. I don’t understand how you can possibly achieve your goal without affecting KD.
KD is a traditional climb, it follows a natural line of weakness through the South Face. The addition of bolts on or near this climb would diminish the adventure considerably.
Please to withdraw your application immediately.
Japhy says ” It will see a lot more attention and traffic than the Kor-Dalke, which has not been repeated since the FA as a free route.” Soo you think it’s okay to add bolts to an existing route? Give me a break. Please DO NOT add bolts to the Kor-Dalke.
I want to give some history on the FFA of this route due to some recent bolts being added to P1 and P3 without the FA’s permission, but obviously approved by the Flatirons Council. David Light approached me about this aid route, lost to time, while we both worked at Neptune’s in 2009. We ventured up there on a warm spring day and went ground up, truly into the unknown, hoping to find a pin or bolt along the way. David did an excellent job negotiating the strata on pitch 2 getting us to the Crow’s Nest. We didn’t find anything until the 4th pitch, at the end of a long fingery traverse, where I encountered some old hardware. Figuring out the crux by toproping off a high piece, I pulled onto a small ledge but could not find a place for gear. I traversed up and left on the strata only to realize I didn’t have enough gear and started downclimbing only to see the rope piling up on a ledge…. David was out of ear shot. I got back to the stance, situated, and communicated with David. At the time, I had no choice but to go straight up, hence the 5.9 variation of unprotected pebble pinching. Belaying David from the East face he cleaned out a crack for a belay at my stance for p4. Hot and tired we decided to come back the following week or so for the FFA. That day was much different, overcast and cool, our friend Erik Johnson along for pictures, and a solid idea of where the route goes. We swapped leads again, no falls or takes, and David led us up the 5th pitch following the left-angling strata to the summit. I am not one to post a “we did it first” sort of thing, but I am bummed there is a proposal for a new modern sport climb to cut through the left side of this route. The KD was done first, and I don’t care if “ no one wants a new sport route that involves a silly amount of danger or relies on very poor pro where the new line crosses the KD” as stated by a local climber…. It would be great to see this route repeated, who knows maybe it’s only 5.11, but I’m disheartened by the fact that bolts have been added to pitches “assuming” we did not climb them (I think they were approved and added for convenience for the more popular routes).
Go for it! I’ll never climb this but it’s awesome to see people still put the effort, time and money to put down some great lines.
It is not, nor has it ever been, okay to put in a new route at the expense of a previously established climb. There is a lot of rock out there. Find another place to go new-routing. If you have to, leave your “FA” as a top-rope only route so that it does not impact the previously established climb. That this is even being proposed shows a massive amount of entitlement.
If the new bolts can’t be clipped from the Kor Dalke this route should be approved.
I agree with Chris and Kevin. If matters, there’s recent precedence in Eldo for a new route crossing an existing one – Chris Cross (FA 2017 or 2018) intersects The Color of Pomegranates (1986), a line that’s probably only been repeated once.
I have something else that I would like to share with you. I think that you’re gonna get a kick out of it.
“A climb is a work of art. To bring a climb down to one’s level by placing bolts shows a lamentable lack of respect for, and degrades the accomplishments of, it’s creator’s. As for the route done in elegant fashion, let it remain as a pinnacle of achievement to which we may aspire. Better we raise our skill than lower the climb.”
– Royal Robbins 1962
I vote NO because it would retrobolt an existing trad route, the Kor/Dalke. And the first-free asenscionists are AGAINST adding bolts to their route.
This quote applies to easy trad and aid climbing done before sport climbing or really any hard climbing was ever done. Ethics change over time, this isn’t some remote mountain that someone is trying to turn into a sport climb and it only criss crosses an existing line.
No hard climbing prior to 1962? Whew…sure, standards have changed and tech has improved, but that’s a comment displaying a staggering degree of arrogance and ignorance.
Hard technical rock climbing is a different sport than it was 60 years ago. None of these routes would even have been attempted to be free climbed at that time. Not sure how ethics from back then should really apply. Robins would have pounded pins on both of these.
A lot of posturing and bringing up old quotes from the 60s in this thread.
One can still climb a route with bolts beside it on gear. Especially if the bolts are out of reach. Seems silly to lock up an entire face of rock because one party has climbed it in a zig zagging pattern.
To the FA party, you got to climb it with your vision, now it is time for others to enjoy the rock.
The proposed route crowds, crisscrosses and alters an historic and natural line. This disrespects history on an iconic Boulder area formation. There appears to be an independent possibility to the right of the proposed route, left of Hasta La Hueco, a better possibility for approval in my opinion
If others were able to enjoy the rock without permanently altering it with the addition of bolts, I could support that.
You’re right we climbed it with our vision but doesn’t mean bolts should be added because it hasn’t been repeated. It’s not hard or scary by Boulder standards. All we’re hoping for at this point is well thought out bolting that still keeps the KD an adventurous route for those that seek it. Surprised no one here or mtn project has jumped on the opportunity to nab the second ascent or maybe it’s been done by someone that uses their time not arguing on the internet.
Looks great and proud. No reason to let this panel go unclimbed by future generations. I don’t mind a little plugging widgets or some sick “runout 5.9 pebble pinching”.
All input from non locals who can’t crank either route in their wildest dreams should be ignored.
I vote “no”. As much as I generally dislike the “we did the route first” attitude, I think this route will cause too much conflict and disagreements and may affect further new routing and bolting in the future. If the route can be done mixed, as Matt suggests higher in the thread, I think that could be a great compromise and possibly make it more interesting.
I vote no. Not only is it bad practice to retrobolt a trad line (even if its hard and scary and nobody climbs it), but the FA party is against adding bolts to their line (see Greg Miller’s comment).
I vote “no” if it means adding bolts over parts of the existing trad line.
I would like to address what I see as a common response; ” It’s ok to add the bolts as long as they can’t be clipped from the Kor-Dalke”.
The Kor-Dalke is a traditional climb, this is very different from the popular sport climb that is now so prevalent. With no bolts (and no chalk) to guide you on your path, different parties could easily use a different set of holds, and indeed have a different experience. Part of the challenge is to find the path of least resistance, at the same time seeking out possible gear placements to safeguard both leader and second. Perhaps the best way to decide where to add the permanent protection bolts would be for Las Chicas to climb the Kor-Dalke first, before installing the proposed route.
David, that is a fantastic idea.
Just want to say that I’m in support of this – looks like an awesome new route! Would suggest more bolts, rather than fewer.
“NO” on the development of Vamos Las Chicas as submitted. In my opinion, the applicants failure to perform their due diligence prior to submitting the application should have led to the entire application being rejected before public review and public comment.
The applicants did not even mention how the proposed new route would affect the existing Kor-Dalke even though it crosses three times in a drastically different gear style. The applicants should have climbed or toproped or aided the adjacent lines and explained how they would minimize impacting the existing routes. On the proposed route, the applicants did not toprope or even figure out where and if the the final crux pitch can be climbed. I know toproping and developing steep routes is difficult, but it is not impossible. The Kor-Dalke follows the path of least resistance up the formation and is a climb that will be repeated.
My vote is “No” for the proposed idea to bolt in this new route. The past few years has been so heavy on the bolting of routes across the country and it simply diminishes the essential pleasures and practices of traditional climbing. Additionally, the persons who put up the FA proved that this isn’t an impossible climb, so they should keep their legacy by allowing others to gain the same experience without the cushion of bolts. Although Kor-Dalke and Vamos Chicas don’t intersect very often, it still just goes in bad taste to write over a great route. If you want to climb it, rack up and go. It would be a shame to see bolting going too far and situations like these will make this kind of action far more popular. It’s not any climbers goal to reduce access to great routes, but this should encourage climbers to strive for a pure traditional climbing experience.
To whom it may concern —
I have a keen interest in the FHRC’s public meeting on Wednesday, June 1, 6.30pm at the BRC. However, I’m out of town and will be unable to attend. I would nevertheless like to summarize my concerns regarding the proposed Vamos las Chicas route. I hope that this can be informative to those in attendance.
Although I do have a personal interest in preserving the Kor-Dalke route, I believe that there is more at stake than just an old trad route that nobody wants to climb. It is unacceptable to add bolts to a pre-existing climb without the permission of the first-ascent party. I understand that most of today’s climbers are clammering for more sport climbs, and probably don’t have time for this sort of nonsense. However to break with this code of ethics would set a poor precedent and create some unrest in our climbing community.
Many of our parks and preserved natural areas allow human-powered recreation, while insisting upon a leave-no-trace ethic. Traditional climbers are able to enjoy such places; bolted climbs are not permitted. Permission to install sport climbs in the Boulder Mountain Parks is a privilege, and with this privilege comes a responsibility: due care and respect must be afforded to our natural environment, and also to other user groups, which include trad climbers.
A brief note regarding the Kor-Dalke: the top three pitches are an old aid climb named High South (5.7 A2+) by Layton Kor and Larry Dalke in 1966. This climb is mentioned in Pat Ament’s High over Boulder guidebook, and some old hardware can still be found on pitch 4. The second-pitch ramp was suggested by Andrew Donson. Greg Miller and I made the first ascent of the lower two pitches on our way to free-climb High South, in 2009. We climbed ground-up, on-sight, and with no prior inspection, thinking it to be 11d. Harrison Dekker’s Northwest Overhang route is also 11d, so we conspired to rate Kor-Dalke as 5.12, and claimed it to be the hardest free climb on the Maiden. The route has yet to be repeated.
It’s interesting to look at a timeline of climbing development on the Maiden. It took eighty years to pioneer one dozen trad routes up there. Now that bolts are leading the charge, we already have six new sport climbs. I’m thinking that todays climbers could probably fit in a bunch more, we could climb all the unclimbable faces, and bolt all of the last great problems — people are submitting their applications for the privilege. I’m concerned that the program is short-sighted, and we should be preserving some areas for future development by future generations. If we pick all the plums now, where will your children put their bolts?
Thanks for listening.
— David Light
Sounds like no bolts will be placed where it would interfere in any way with the trad line, or could be clipped on the trad line. No other climbs near it. Well established area with good trails in place. Resilient staging area. All good!
I like the idea of this route however I am voting “No” because of the application is very vague and there isn’t much info on the trad line other than the FAs clearly don’t approve of the application.
The application says a lot of “we’ll try to do out best..” and “we think” there will be “about” ….I just don’t think this level of detail cuts it for an complete application, especially given the criss-crossing nature of the existing trad line. Asked point blank in application if the recon work has been done, the answer is no as the number of bolts, exact line, or the difficulty (are the visible hold going to break? Does it even go?) haven’t been figured out.
So we can have great climbing debate about the whole thing, or possibly come to conclusion that makes everyone happy, but do so will take some more work by the applicants and the FHRC. Looking at the Naked Edge in Eldo, there are bolt lines on either sides of the three crux pitches that don’t have a negative impact on that route and it can probably be done here.
Perhaps applying for a bolt or two in the overhanging face that will help figure out the exact line, if it actually goes, and offer a better idea of where to place other bolts? (The bolts could be removed if it doesn’t work out.)
Perhaps getting more information on the existing trad line would help? It’s possible that if the applicants climbed the existing trad route it would help determine the bolt placements on the proposed route. It may be entirely possible to keep the bolts far away from the existing line, but maybe it isn’t….this isn’t clear in the application. Some applicants mark the bolt placements on a topo or on the photo in the application – this would be very helpful.
Perhaps folks on the FHRC and the FAs of the trad line could help the applicants with this recon and offer a more informed opinion as to how the bolt placements would affect existing trad line? What I gather from online debate the FAs and the applicants are the only folks who have actually been up there and nobody knows where the exact bolt placements will be.
i vote yes for this route- as i read the proposal there will be NO bolts reachable from the KD route. i’ve looked at this daunting face for years but never ventured on to it because of the lack of pro and would love to see some routes on it. (plural) although there is a tradition of ‘requesting’ permission from the FA team, IMHO they don’t own the rock. good routes should be the purview of the community.
Huh, I’m responding to Beth and (Topher’s) comment about the bolts not being reachable from KD. Where does it say that in the proposal?
I’m also seeing other comments like “I vote NO because it would retro-bolt an existing trad route, the Kor/Dalke”. Where in the proposal does it say that this new route is retro-bolting the KD?
Unless I’m missing something, there is no mention of the relationship between the proposed bolt placements and the KD in the proposal at all. This is an obvious oversight by the applicants and the FHRC that is resulting in unnecessary controversy. Why not pull this proposal and resubmit something more detailed that addresses the concern over the bolt placements on the KD? I think most of the NOs would become Yes if this were more clear.
I am voting yes for this route. Great piece
Of rock and if
You can’t clip the bolts from the existing read line then it should not interfere with the existing line.
Hope this isn’t a double post. The captcha was weird. I think this looks great. In favor!
YES- As long as no bolts are placed within clipping distance from the existing route, I’d love to see this go up. Looks like an amazing and proud line. For comparison, there are bolted/mixed routes in Eldo that cross, are adjacent to, or eventually join an already existing gear line. If no bolts are added to Kor-Dalke, then that route is not being changed in any way and there is no reason why this shouldn’t go up.
Looks mega. Sounds like we are all unclear on whether or not there will be bolts added to the existing Kor-Dalke. I would suggest that either the applicants or someone from the board go and climb Kor-Dalke to get a better idea of what is going to happen. I’m actually kind of psyched to go climb Kor-Dalke myself. Anyone want to belay me?
I vote in favor of this route.
For the record OSMP has capped the maximum number of routes on the Maiden to eight. Since 2008 only five routes have been installed and this is an application for one of the remaining three routes possible.
Additionally, since 2003 less than 70 routes have been approved by the FHRC program through OSMP. This is a far cry from the “rampant” sport climbing development in the Flatirons that some posting here and on Mountain Project would have you believe. This is a rate of less than four routes per year.
In general the public review process and the diligence involved with developing routes through this program results in high quality routes. New route developers should be commended for all the effort, cost and the occasional grief that they experience participating in this program that benefits the local climbing community.
If approved I have confidence that the applicants will be able to select the best line and placement of bolts. For those that don’t fully understand the process of installing new multi-pitch overhanging routes, it is next to impossible to fully scope the details without anchors being installed first (from the top down). The use of temporary anchors is not allowed and this results in less than a complete application in many instances.
What happens if the applicants are unable to free the third pitch? What happens if they want to change their proposed line to one they can free? What happens to bolts installed for top anchors and for lead protection if those are in the wrong places? Do those become “temporary?”
I’ve toproped overhanging faces and, yes, it’s a hassle when you come off and have a hard time getting back on. You may have to descend and start over. Would that be the end of the world? I don’t think that a sufficient amount of investigation has been done for approval to be granted. This prominent face deserves better.
I have full confidence that the first person to free climb the Nose can lead this free as well…
It really does not matter to me if you’re the best climber in the world, or the worst, I will still have a problem with you retrobolting an established trad route.
I have great admiration for Lynn Hill and her accomplishments. She has been an inspiration and role model for me and for all climbers. However, that doesn’t give her (or anyone) license to bolt routes that are so controversial.
“Deserves better” means no bolts.
I would like to see a cap on the number of routes that get bolted by members of the FHRC. No offense intended, all in all I think you guys do quality work, but maybe it’s time we start seeing other people.
I vote an enthusiastic yes.
The proposed route is a spectacular line in a beautiful position.
There is no evidence it will significantly impact the existing routes.
FAs should be honored, but you can’t ‘reserve’ an entire face by taking a wandering line back and forth across it.
I have friends who have the ability to climb both lines, and most importantly, if this application is approved, they will be able to climb both.
Further, the idea that the Flatirons are being over run with sport routes is laughable.
As Rui points out above, the number of approved routes is low.
Personally I’d be in favor of more routes going in.
I support approval of the application. The existing route and proposal are esoteric and will not be climbed or much viewed by the general public. Heavily developed climbing areas are few in number and the controversy is noted here and on Mountain Project. As a result I have to have faith that the route developers will do their best to get it in without impinging on the existent climb.
This proposed route wouldn’t be esoteric. The position is the most obvious on the whole south-facing sunlit face. Most climbers doing easier routes on the Maiden hike under this face before climbing and after rappelling. Saying that non-climbers don’t hike that trail and to nearby vantage points is false. The bolts would be more obvious than those on Hasta la Hueco. And if those sprout fixed draws, those would be more obvious.
Looks like a cool line, but I’m not sure it’s ready for public vote. There must be a way to TR the line and mark the bolt locations to ensure it doesn’t affect the trad line. Believe it or not, but there are climbers who still seek out run out trad routes and aid routes that have been freed. It’s important to preserve that experience for current and future climbers interested in those types of routes. I’m gonna vote no at this point but would reconsider once we know ‘the line of weakness’ actually goes free and the bolts won’t interfere with the Kor Dalke. A board member or applicant should climb the Kor Dalke with Matt.
I am voting yes in favor of the new route. This looks like a quality line as I am sure the other freed trad line is as well. I am sure the future generation will appreciate both.
Let’s not rush this application as it feels half baked. Can some sort of compromise be reached to get some more data to solidify what we know –
which feels limited? I am all in for having the anchors and some exploratory bolts installed to ascertain if the proposed line can be
climbed without adding bolts to the KD. I really want to give the new line and team a thumbs up but the historical back drop is not warm and
fuzzy. That the KD has already been retro-bolted by both Hasta La Hueco and Made in Time is a fact if you can be bothered to do some sleuthing.
voting no. this application is too vague in regards to how the new route would impact the existing route. also not in favor of speculative bolting permits as the actual line has yet to be determined or climbed and there is no process to consider public input after the fact.
The FHRC had the public meeting to discuss new route applications. Thank you to all who attended and those that took the time to comment online. We decided to postpone approval of the Vamos Las Chicas application. The applicant will resubmit an updated application in the future showing much better detail and actual bolt locations.
It looks like the proposed new route will only cross the Kor-Dalke at 2 places (the pitch 1 belay cave, and the start of the pitch 4 traverse). These crossings will use natural protection and no bolts will interfere with the Kor-Dalke.
The FHRC never intended to allow “retro-bolts” and we apologize for the confusion created by the vagueness of the application.