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One of the mainstays of Independence Pass climbing, the Grotto Walls area offers the greatest variety of climbing on the Pass from the convenience of the Lower Grotto Wall to the more wild setting of the Third Grotto Wall. Climbing here is split pretty evenly between sport and trad. There is some great bouldering as well in the scree fields below the cliffs.
Drive up Independence Pass from Aspen about 9 miles. Come around a left hairpin turn and pull into the large pull-off on the left side of the road. Lower Grotto Wall is the large cliff just above the road. There will usually be a party on Twin Cracks and Cryogenics, and one to multiple cars with tourists pulled over watching the "crazy climbers".
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Grotto Walls Area:
Featured Route For Grotto Walls Area
Plaque Right 5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a CO : Independence Pass : ... : Second Grotto Wall
Persevere past the intimidating start to easier very fun and exposed climbing to the top. This route climbs the right edge of the Plaque at the right side of Second Grotto Wall. The crux start through the A-shaped overhang is protected by 2 pins well backed up with cams. Strenuous move on hand jams and big holds swing you out left onto the face. Follow the arÍte, sometimes right on the arÍte and sometimes just left, to the top past 3 more pins. There are a couple of mildly runout sections, but t...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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