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Two days in Boulder to climb - Ideas?
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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
May 22, 2006
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Hi,

My wife and I will be in Boulder for Memorial Day weekend and would like to get two good days of climbing in, and I'm open to some route/area suggestions.

Here are the constraints. Yes, I know... high maintenance.... but once you have a baby in tow on a vacation, it is all about optimizing (any parents out there will understand)

  • We only have 10-5 each day since that is when we have babysitting coverage. So epic approaches are out of the question.
  • Looks like we'll want the shade as it is going to be HOT this weekend
  • Up to 10c trad / 11a sport, but happy to climb anything 5.8 and up as long as it is quality.
  • Not looking to get sandbagged, particularly in Eldo where I've never climbed and I understand it takes some getting used to.
  • One day in Eldo and one day of cragging (Boulder Canyon?) would be ideal.
  • We will be a group of three for the cragging - so simple "crag" logistics are preferred (Indian Creek is my definition of simple crag logistics... for example)
  • For Eldo, we'd prefer not to stand in line for 3 hours to climb (I know, good luck on Memorial Day weekend!)

Thanks for the recommendations!
Andy

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By Eric Peers
May 22, 2006
Seems like you've already got an idea of where to go...

Eldo has lots of multipitch routes - cragging is a little bit harder. If you want a minimum of approach time, however, the Bastille Crack is a good start. There are plenty of variations there that you can toy with. If it's crowded, you can always hop across the bridge to the wind tower and hit Raggae, Calypso, or Wind Tower. You might also look at Rewritten on Redgarden, or for cragging, we were just up on West Ridge: Chianti (8+), Washington Irving (6), The Unsaid (9), Crusing for Burgers (10c). Of course, arriving at 10am on memorial day means you'll be fighting for a spot on any of these climbs.

If you want a nice shady spot for sport climbing in Boulder Canyon, check out anything on the south side of the canyon (faces North). Sherwood Forest and Avalon would both be good choices. Sport Park is also an option (almost at 8000 feet) but gets afternoon sun.

If you want less heat, you might consider heading up to Estes Park. Lumpy Ridge (would require an earlier start to get a parking spot) or perhaps Lily Lake would be good choices.

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By M.Morley
Administrator
From Sacramento, CA
May 22, 2006
8-21-09
Andy -- you might try Upper or Lower Peanuts at Eldo to beat the Memorial Day crowds and heat.

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By Avery N
From Boulder, CO
May 22, 2006
Canadian Rockies Ice 2008.
Andy -- this list is worth checking out, as far as local classic climbs at all grades, despite the fact it won't tell you about crowds or aspect.

neptunemountaineering.com/acti...

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
May 23, 2006
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
What about crossing the creek to get to shaded side of the canyon? I suspect the water is high right now. What do most people do in Spring?

Thanks
Andy

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By Scott Edlin
From boulder, co
May 23, 2006
me
most of the popular spots have tyroleans set up. for some classic (and shady) moderate trad in the canyon, head to cob rock (sure to be crowded).

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By John McNamee
Administrator
From Littleton, CO
May 23, 2006
Artist Tears P3
Andy,

Eldo will probably be a zoo! I would stay clear of that area unless you can do early starts. Even getting a car park could be tricky. I tend to start up on the Red at about 6am and other places about 7am.

In Boulder Canyon, Cobb Rock is north facing so if it's warm, that can be a good place to climb. A rope is rigged up to get you across the river. Take a petzl mini traxion or a clamp to easy the trip back the other way. East Crack is classic. With your time constraints BC is probably the best bang for the buck. Ask Ron O. for recommendations...

Have a good one.

Cheers,

john

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
May 24, 2006
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
It's gonna be hot in Boulder on Friday and Saturday; cooler Sunday and Monday.

In Eldorado, look for north-facing climbs for all-day shade, and west-facing climbs for morning shade.

The north face of the Bastille has a super-short approach and shady climbs. The Bastille Crack (7+) is the moderate classic but likely will be very crowded. The first pitch of Werk Supp (8+) is a classic and you can get down via rappels from bolts. You can do the second pitch (9+) and continue with the last pitch of March of Dimes (10c) if you're feeling burly.

On the west side of the Bastille there's Breakfast in Bed (8+), the first pitch of Out to Lunge (9), and West Arete (8+). All these routes have great morning shade.

Hair City (9), West Buttress (9+), and Blind Faith (10a) are other Bastille west-face classics but might be too testy if you haven't climbed much in Eldo.

Over on Redgarden Wall, there's Flakes and Whistle Stop (8+), the first pitch of C'est La Vie (testy 9; beware), and Touch 'n Go (8+). These routes could be in the sun and may be too hot, but all have relatively short approaches.

On the Wind Tower, there's Calypso (6), Wind Ridge (7), Tigger (6), and Reggae (8). Likely to be crowded and may not be in the shade. The first pitch of Tagger (9) is great but it's a dicey lead. All these routes have very short approaches.

On Peanuts Wall (shady, north facing), there's Star Wars (8) and Heavy Weather (9). Nice climbs but the descents are a little tricky and there's some loose rock; may not be the best choice for a first-time visit.

The West Ridge, West Face of Rincon, and West Face of Redgarden Wall all have morning shade and great climbs, but the approaches are a lot longer.

In Boulder Canyon, there's great bolt-clipping at the 5.9 to 5.11 level at Avalon. Lots of well-bolted moderate 10s. The rock faces mostly west and gets great morning shade. Be prepared to do a Tyrolean traverse to get across the creek. Bring a light rack and there are a number of bolts-plus-gear routes you can do as well. These won't be crowded! Great beta photos on MP.com to help you find your way around, if I do say so myself :-)

If it's really hot, check out the Watermark, just right of Avalon. Near the creek; cool and shady in the morning. Moderate bolt clipping from 5.7 to 5.10; 6 routes in all. Use the Avalon tyrolean to get across the creek.

Vampire Rock is just upstream from Avalon and usually has a Tyrolean set up to get across the creek. A number of fun 5.10 and 5.11 bolted routes here, and probably will be less crowded than Avalon.

Just right of Vampire Rock is Black Widow Slab with the classic Kate Moss (10c), Gyromancy (11a), and Consilience (11b). These are great sport routes! A cool spring flows down near these routes. Use the Vampire approach and head to the right when you get to the rock. Bring a 70m rope or two ropes; Kate Moss and Consilience are 130' long.

For shady trad climbing in Boulder Canyon, Cob Rock is great, but it will be crowded. North Face Center (7), Empor (7+ to 8+), and North Face Left (8) are all classics. Another Tyrolean to get across the creek.

If you want a tour guide, let me know; I'd be happy to show you the crags.

Have a great visit and hope to see you at the Southern Sun!

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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
May 24, 2006
Andy,

I have only climbed a bit around Boulder, but I really liked Dream Canyon. Good quality granite, shade, and a cooling river. The locals can give you more beta, I don't remember much. The routes we did were all a mix of bolts and natural pro, with some really good cracks. I think they were all around 5.9.

Cheers,
Bobby

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By Ron Olsen
From Boulder, CO
May 24, 2006
In the cow pasture below the Tre Cime de Lavaredo,...
Upper Dream Canyon is a great place to climb in hot weather with its north- and west-facing rocks, but it's a bit tricky to find your way around on your first visit. Best to go there with someone who knows the area.

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By Leo Paik
Administrator
From Westminster, Colorado
May 24, 2006
Good suggestions above. However, if I had 2 days, I'd pass on Vampire & Black Widow. Also, Upper Dream is beautiful, esp for a sport day, but you'll burn an hour each way (drive & walk) getting & returning from the climbs, and I'd agree you'd definitely want someone who knows the approach. For climbing mileage on your sport day, you may consider Clear Creek's (35min drive) Wall of the 90s (W facing) in the AM then Little Eiger both 5 min from the road. For mileage & shade in Eldo, Bastille and/or both Peanuts crags are good. If you do Hair City (great 1st pitch) going right on P2 onto West Face is nicer/less funky. Also, descents off Werks Supp/March of Dimes (well-worth it) is trickier than off Star Wars or Heavy Weather. Redgarden's left side is in the shade in the am but the approaches will burn 20-30 min extra. Lumpy (though well-worth it) is too far given your time constraints, you'd burn minimum 1.5 hours to/from the climbing.

Kids affect what you can or can't climb but they are amazing!

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By kBobby
From Spokane, WA
May 24, 2006
...my mistake, I remember the approach being about 15 or 20 min. I *was* with someone who knew the area, though. I should mention that there are also harder sport climbs there as well. They looked pretty sweet.

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By Kevin Stricker
From Evergreen, CO
May 25, 2006
If you are going to Eldo I would recommend something on the west side of the Bastille ( Hair City, west buttress, west face, or NW corner) those are not as crowded and have great approaches. They are also in the shade until the afternoon. ALso Kings X is shaded and lot's of fun ( not scary like it's reputation and good pro on all the hard parts). I think it goes in the shade around 2?. You might want to try and check out the Peanuts wall or the Rincon/Cadillac crag areas, but these have actual approaches.

If you head to Boulder canyon I would go up to Castlerock. It has the best crack climbing in BC and you can usually find shade. STart on the left and work over to Country Club crack in the afternoon ( not to be missed).

You might actually get lucky with the crowds in both places, as most climbers on the Front Range have "gotta get away for the 3 day weekend disease". Best bet is just go there with an open mind and don't get too caught up with doing any one climb( because of course 3 other parties will be waiting for that one).

Also getting out and climbing the 1st Flatiron in the afternoon is a great climbing adventure. There is also some shaded morning cragging up behind the 3rd Flatiron but you should make sure it is open before going up there. The Maiden also has some fun routes.

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By Andy Laakmann
Site Landlord
From Bend, OR
May 25, 2006
Racked and loaded... name that splitter behind me?...
Thanks for the great feedback everyone... greatly appreciated!
Andy

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