This is usually not crowded. The rock here is better and more stable than the rock at The Palace, although I'm not sure what type. There are at least 4 or 5 two pitch sport routes here, and I believe there are a few single pitch routes around the corner of the main wall.
Head up CO Highway 14 (aka Poudre Canyon) west of Ft. Collins. A short while after you pass the Mishawaka Amphitheatre, you will go through a tunnel. There are pull-offs right after the tunnel on the right and left side. The great thing about this place is you don't have to cross the river!! After parking, walk north along the west side of the road and you'll come across some purple ropes which will help you to climb up the rocks. Follow the trail (not a great trail, marked by stacked rocks) up to the big wall that lies before you, and have fun!
This route is the second bolted route from the right on the Crystal Wall. The first bolted route on the right is Fantastic Voyage which I believe Craig Luebben put up. Tour de Poudre is well-bolted, goes about 100 feet for the first pitch, and has two rap anchors at the top. The first pitch goes around 5.10a/b. The second pitch is a bit shorter and more difficult. The second pitch is also well-bolted, has rap anchors, and goes around 5.12b/c. I am not absolutely sure of these ratings, although I...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
There are 3 distinct walls here. The main wall faces northwest and has Tour de Poudre and all that - This wall is about 150 feet tall or so. There is a 60 foot tall steep wall on the right side of the crag that faces west with routes as well. There is also a little 40 foot tall alcove with routes that faces south, just past the steep wall.
Main wall: 1. Just right of Tour de Poudre is a 80 ft route with 11 bolts, probably 10+ or something like that - pretty nice.
Steep wall (from left to right): 1. Mixed bolts and trad gear, looks hard (12ish?) 2. Steep route with 5 bolts, looks very hard (13ish?) 3. Steep featured route with 8 bolts, shares start with the route above. Really nice route with great movement, although there is some choss. If it cleans up it could be a 3 or 4 star line - probably 12c or so. 4. Steep route with 5 bolts, also pretty decent. Probably 12c or so.
Alcove: three routes that don't look as hard, but I didn't do any of them. I am guessing 5.10 or 5.11 - short routes, about 40 feet.
Richard I believe that the route to the right of Tour de Poudre (the one that starts off with two cold shuts) is a Craig Luebben route called Fantastic Voyage and I believe it goes 5.10a/b. I have only done the first pitch and I didn't remember what the second pitch looked like, so I did not enter it on the site. I heard it goes 5.11 something but I'm not sure. The first pitch is pretty fun. I am not 100% about the ratings I entered on the routes I posted, because everyone I've talked to who had climbed the routes all said varying things. I'm fairly certain I'm close, but anyone who knows for sure should let everyone know.
Someone is putting in, or already put up, a route in between Fantastic Voyage and Tour de Poudre? The river must be real high and hard to make it over to the Palace.
I cannot take credit for posting this area on Mountain Project, CharlieO gets those honors. When I saw that someone had posted the area, I went through my photos to see if I had any of the Crystal Wall and I posted them and shared what I knew about the area.
I have only been to the Palace once and will most likely not return. Talk about trying to make a race horse out of a jackass. I have been told that there are some really good routes. However, finding them in the seas of bolts is entirely a different adventure. They should re-rate the routes every year because they change every time you climb them and more holds are broken off.
Thanks for your info, maybe I'll see you out sometime.
There are now close to 20 routes ranging from 5.9 to 5.frickin' hard (5.14, I believe) up here, mostly sport with a few old mixed lines. Last week, most of the routes on the main wall had their ratings chalked at their base for some reason. I think most of the second pitches go at 5.11 or better for any of the routes that have one.
The 3 routes in the alcove which are up and on an east facing wall go from left to right at around 5.10b, 5.10c, and 5.10d, and up higher and south on a west-facing wall at the base of a few trees is a 5.9.
The older routes are in Peter Hubbel's out of print guidebook 'Front Range Crags' and all the routes should be in Craig Luebben's new guidebook when available.
The trail is now well marked with cairns and the rock is granite. As with any route new or old, loose rock can be present, so climb accordingly i.e. wear a helmet!
Anyone know what the route immediately left of tour de pousdre is? Had "11" chalked at the base. A party told us the first pitch was 5.9 and the second pitch was 5.11. Pitch definitely felt 11 to me and there wasn't a second pitch. Just curious if anyone knew. Thanks. P.S. thanks to whoever is chalking the ratings, let's climb sometime.
Sorry to have posted routes without names, hopefully the information will clear some things up. Twice the other day I found myself on routes far above my last bolt, which sort of sucked, wishing I had a cam. Also, some of this info should keep people from having to write on the rock as a guide to the routes.
Also worth noting, the purple rope that used to hang down at the start of the approach is gone.
Someone needs to redo this whole area, with beta photos and maybe a map of the current routes. There are so many new it's pretty confusing. A lot of the right wall routes are like 9ish until the top, where the moves are hard ten to make the anchors. Bravo on the new anchors. They are very nice.
The Crystal Wall can definitely be a bit confusing. Several of the routes listed on this site aren't correct, or are in the wrong places. There are still a few routes in progress, like the second pitch of Silver Girl and Down With The Pharm, but most of the routes are settled now. There is a new, free, downloadable guidebook that covers the Crystal Wall and other areas in depth, including topos, accurate descriptions and other beta. Check it out at the link below:
Casey Rosenbach and I put up a route off to the right of "Fantastic" back in the early '90s. Not sure of exact location in relation to all the new routes. At the time, I think the entire wall had only about 3 other routes. Anyways..."Better than Watching Television" .11+, bolts and a #3 Camalot up in a pod. I have not been back since about 1993. Cameron contacted me a few years back when he put out the new guide, and I hope the name stayed. We also did some of the original bolting at the Palace with Ron Ambrose, Rob Poutre, and friends including the mine shaft and the Pillar up on the Hill. Luebben snaked us (ha, ha) on the .11+ (Coronas and Lime we called it, not sure what it became) without knowing we that we bolted it and were projecting the route. We were young and had no idea what Red Tagging was (still unknown to some) and to red tag our "projects". We just ran up and down the canyon having epics at or on Greyrock, "the Iliad", "Someday Never Comes", "East of Eden". I would love to check out the "Echelon". Glad to see the canyon getting the love it deserves. I hope not too many routes were damaged in the fire last summer.