Guanella Pass

Posted on 19. Oct, 2011 by in News

Last spring, before Dave Graham left Boulder, he and I had driven to a number of places looking for new boulders. Several days we went to Guanella Pass. Guanella is a beautiful and quiet area just west of Mt. Evans. A number of Denver climbers have bouldered there for years, and the area holds several classic problems on polished Gneiss, including Dark Horse V9, Mind Matters V12, and Bessie V10. We stopped at a number of places, sometimes roadside and sometimes we ended up on long and extremely steep hikes. The second time we went we found an incredible project, but the approach was so severe that none of us (we were accompanied by Jimmy Webb and Daniel Woods) felt much desire to return. Later Dave started talking about it again, but that effort was cut short when he discovered another new project in the woods. He put a number of days into it, doing all the moves. This fall I went out to check it out and try it a bit. I was surprised at the quality of the rock and the line. The problem climbs an obtuse prow and incredibly technical moves, and yesterday Dave did the first ascent from a stand start. There is no name yet “I need to think of a good one” and no grade either, but it must be at least V14, and a classic one at that. Well done! Once again, Dave’s drive to put up new problems is to be commended.

14 Responses to “Guanella Pass”

  1. sammy d.

    19. Oct, 2011


  2. Alex

    19. Oct, 2011

    Where is Betsy at?

  3. Bryan

    19. Oct, 2011

    I was up there earlier this summer and there looked to be plenty of rock. Excited to get back up there and check it all out.

  4. B3

    19. Oct, 2011

    Betsy is at the main cluster, where Mind Matters is. I don’t know the milage from Georgetown, but maybe next time I am up there I can get some directions. Does anyone else have better directions to get to the main area?

  5. B3

    19. Oct, 2011

    @Sammy D I have a poor photo from my Iphone, maybe I’ll post it later.

  6. big poppa chosscrush

    19. Oct, 2011

    is betsy the name of that crazy funky arete with the slopers of death?

  7. B3

    19. Oct, 2011

    Yes, it has a huge move to a pocket.

  8. Lee

    19. Oct, 2011

    Bessie that is…

  9. big poppa chosscrush

    19. Oct, 2011

    word. jwebb’s got it listed as “bessie.” i recall that fryburgler had laid claim to the FA or an early ascent long ago. others on the old FRB board claimed it had been done as well. does anyone know if the FAist has been determined? who named it bessie/betsy?

    i always forget it exists. might be nice in these temps we’re getting and the weekend’s crisp/dry forecast. beats my august battles with it in 05.

  10. B3

    20. Oct, 2011

    duly noted, thanks for the update boys. I don’t think Fryberger had climbed it.

  11. Andrew

    20. Oct, 2011

    Jamie I don’t know what you are talking about… Guanella has no potential… No denver climbers have been quietly developing anywhere around there at all…

    Always nice to hear others finding good times outside Georgetown.

    Thanks for the excellent blog.

    Ps – Mike Hickey on the FA of dark horse thought it was v6. =)

  12. […] first mentioned on B3Bouldering, Dave Graham has opened a new problem at Guanella Pass west of Denver, CO that could be as hard as […]

  13. C

    22. Jul, 2012

    Does anyone know who got the FA for Dark Horse? I also thaought Dark Horse was V10 has it been down graded?

  14. Amber

    30. Jan, 2013

    Dark Horse – FA Mike Hickey (he and friend Jade graded v6)

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