The Origins of Splitter Choss

The running joke here in Western Colorado is that we have all the really good, bad rock. As my friend Greg puts it:

“Splitter choss is like a fine wine, or rather more like a PBR – an acquired taste to be savored. Typically, a fine pitch of SC is the most memorable of the route or the day. The term originated in the Black Canyon, a bastion, or should I say THE Holy Land of SC, on the route Mid Summer’s Night Dream with the Sex Comedy finish. I was leading the last pitch of MSND to the base of the Sex Comedy finish and my partner, Scott Leonard, said to ‘stop below the pitch that reminds you of the famed Outer Limits,’ a route I’ve done, on the Cookie Cliff in Yosemite. I’m looking everywhere and nothing reminded of that fine line, but upon closer inspection there actually was a splitter, think more along the lines of Cryogenics, through marginal stone. In the end, Scott fired the splitter on very questionable rock and it proved to be the pitch we talked about all the way home. Eventually, splitter choss became part of the Carbondale climbing vernacular, and has now evolved into this fantastic website.”

What started as a resource for local climbing beta has continued to grow into a site covering all aspects of the climbing lifestyle. There’s quite a bit of content on here, so feel free to spend some time and get lost among all the fun stories, tips and beta. And most of all, have fun out there!

BJ Sbarra
Carbondale, CO

Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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