Artists Impression of the Slide-Rock Bolter

Slide-Rock Bolter (Mountain Whale)- Colorado

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The Slide-Rock Bolter is a legendary cryptid that is said to live in Rocky Mountain regions, more specifically the Mountains of Colorado. It is described as a massive whale-like creature that has a very unique way of hunting prey!

Cryptid Name:Slide-Rock Bolter/Mountain Whale (Macrostoma Saxiperrumptus)
Location:Mountains of Colorado
Slide-Rock Bolter Location Map
Category:Lumberjack Folklore Cryptid
Description:Legendary cryptid with a whale-like appearance.
Size:Described as a massive and whale-like cryptid.
Behavior/Characteristics:Lurks on mountain slopes of Colorado preying on travellers and animals. Can slide down mountainsides at great speeds.
Diet:Omnivorous; Allegedly preys on unsuspecting travelers and animals.
Habitat/Environment:Mountains, specifically rocky slopes and cliffs.
Evidence:No concrete evidence; considered a folklore legend.
Sightings and Encounters:A few eyewitness accounts and stories passed down since the 1900s.
Skepticism/Explanations:Folklore; Natural occurance such as a landslide.

Slide-Rock Bolter Description and Characteristics

Artists Impression of the Slide-Rock Bolter
Artists Impression Of The Slide-Rock Bolter

The Colorado Slide-Rock Bolter is described as an enormous creature that looks a bit like a whale. It has a long, hooked tale with a very large head and mouth with sharp teeth. It has small eyes and it is said to be gray or brown which allows it to blend in well with its mountain surroundings.

It is said that the Slide-Rock Bolter will secure itself to the side of a steep mountain slope where it remains hidden until it spots unsuspecting prey. It then releases itself, sliding down the mountainside at a great speed using its tail and body weight to propel itself forward. It then gulps down its prey which it easily overpowers before finding a new hiding spot.

History Of The Slide-Rock Bolter

Stories about the Slide-Rock Bolter were recorded from the late 1800s to the early 1900s with many lumberjacks swearing that they saw the Slide-Rock Bolter. And, although there is a lot of folklore around Colorado’s Slide-Rock Bolter, there isn’t much in the line of evidence or proof.

It was however recorded in a book called, “Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods”, by William Thomas Cox, a state forester, which was published in 1910. Although the excerpt about the Slide-Rock bolter isn’t very long, this is what it says:

In the mountains of Colorado, where in summer the woods are becoming infested with tourists, much uneasiness has been caused by the presence of the slide-rock bolter.

This frightful animal lives only in the steepest mountain country where the slopes are greater than 45 degrees.  It has an immense head, with small eyes, and a mouth somewhat on the order of a sculpin, running back beyond its ears.  The tail consists of a divided flipper, with enormous grab hooks, which it fastens over the crest of the mountain or ridge, often remaining there motionless for days at a time.  Watching the gulch for tourists or any other hapless creature that may enter it.  At the right moment, after sighting a tourist, it will lift its tail, thus loosening its hold on the mountain, and with its small eyes riveted on the poor unfortunate, and drooling thin skid grease from the corners of its mouth, which greatly accelerates its speed, the bolter comes down like a toboggan, scooping in its victim as it goes, its own impetus carrying it up the next slope, where it again slaps its tail over the ridge and waits. 

Whole parties of tourists are reported to have been gulped at one swoop by the slide-rock bolter, and guides are becoming cautious about taking parties far back into the hills.  The animal is a menace not only to tourists but to the woods as well. 

Many a draw through spruce-covered slopes have been laid low, the trees being knocked out by the roots or mowed off as by a scythe where the bolter has crashed down through the peaks above. 

A forest ranger, whose district includes the rough country between Ophir Peaks and the Lizzard Head, conceived the bold idea of decoying a slide-rock bolter to its own destruction.  A dummy tourist was rigged up with plaid Norfolk jacket, knee breeches, and a guidebook to Colorado.  It was then filled full of giant powder and fulminate caps and posted in a conspicuous place, where, sure enough, the next day it attracted the attention of a bolter which had been hanging for days on the slope of Lizzard Head.  The resulting explosion flattened half the buildings in Rico, which were never rebuilt, and the surrounding hills fattened flocks of buzzards the rest of the summer.

Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods – Page 21
Slide-Rock Bolter Illustration
Slide-Rock Bolter Illustration From Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

Is The Slide-Rock Bolter Real?

Unfortunately, there is no solid evidence that the Slide-Rock Bolter is a real animal or if it ever existed beyond tales and stories from lumberjacks who worked in the remote areas of the Colorado mountains. As far as I could find, there haven’t been any modern sightings or incidents but there are those who believe that the Slide-Rock Bolter is still hiding in the mountains carefully disguising itself so that it isn’t seen.

Possible Explanations or Theories

I believe that natural phenomena such as rockslides or rockfalls could possibly explain the stories and legends behind the Slide-Rock Bolter. With natural events like rockslides and rockfalls being relatively common in mountainous regions, witnesses of these events could have used stories of the creature to explain them.

Many people in bygone eras have also used folklore and legends as a way to warn others about the potential dangers of traveling in certain areas. At the same time, they add an element of intrigue and excitement to local storytelling and traditions. Of course, over time many stories are exaggerated and embellished to create bigger and better stories and more elaborate tales and it isn’t uncommon for people to use folklore and legends for natural phenomena that they can’t explain.

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Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods

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