Bear's Lair Rock Climbing
This area is all sport climbing, and one route that is a project that you can only top rope. It is mainly all 5.11s. Most of the routes are not very tall, so a 50m rope would be great for this area.
This area is described in Gillett's RMNP Estes Valley guidebook as the 3 east-most crags of the Monastery. The Den, the north-most of these crags is the first rock you encounter with bolts. The other 2 of these, Basilica & Belfry, lie downhill & south (left) as you approach.
Take the approach trail till you come to the turn off that heads left. And if you keep taking this trail you will end up at the Outer Gates, the southern faces of the south-most crags.
Weather station 8.1 miles from here
7 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',3],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For Bear's Lair
In A Rut 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a CO
: Estes Park Valley
: ... : Bear's Lair
This route ascends an arete on sharp conglomerate. Make use of the dihedral to your right, or stay left of the arete for a harder ascent. The guidebook lists this route as 5.9-, but I respectfully submit that this route is at least 5.9+, as there are some committing moves with fewer options than most 5.9s I've climbed. As with most Monastery routes, there is a significant runout between the last bolt and the anchors, which are shared with the 5.11 route to the left. A short and dirty climb, ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
By Nate Oakes
May 30, 2006
As I understand it, Bear's Lair consists of 3 crags, and the lowermost (Basilica and Belfry) can be pretty tough to find. From the approach trail to The Monastery, head left about 20 yards before entering the Vestibule. About 10 yards down this dirt path, look to your left to find 3 bolted routes. The middle (In A Rut) and left route (Grin and Bear It) are in the latest RMNP guidebook, the rightmost route is not. Continuing down the trail, you'll pass a couple of rock formations on your right -- the second formation has two bolted routes (including Out of the Wind) that are included in Bear's Lair. Bush-whack to crest the hill on your left, then head downhill and slightly to the left for about 150 yards. Basilica and Belfry basically lie at the same elevation as the uppermost prow of the last ridge you hike over to get to The Monastery, and it's near the steep descent into the valley on your left as you hike downhill. Basilica lies on a prominent rock formation that includes a spire just to the right. Wafer is about 50 yards uphill - see the latest RMNP guidebook for a decent sketch. It took me and Chris about 30 minutes to find this last crag with the guidebook - good luck!