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Grotto Walls Area

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Lower Grotto Wall 
Mecca Wall and Killer Pillar 
Second Grotto Wall 
Third Grotto Wall 
World of Hurt Bouldering 

Grotto Walls Area  

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Location: 39.1198, -106.69987 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Alvaro Arnal on May 21, 2012


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Kurt Smith on Scene of the Crime (5.12c/d), Indepe...


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.

Getting There 

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".

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

46 Total Routes

['4 Stars',10],['3 Stars',11],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',4],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Grotto Walls Area:
Center   V2 5+     Boulder, 14'   World of Hurt Bouldering : South Face Rock
Felix   V6 7A     Boulder, 15'   World of Hurt Bouldering : Felix Boulder
Grotto Wall Traverse   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches   Lower Grotto Wall
Twin Cracks   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   Lower Grotto Wall
Inner Worlds   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   Third Grotto Wall
Plaque Right   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Second Grotto Wall
Mad Arab   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Lower Grotto Wall
Cryogenics   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 2 pitches   Lower Grotto Wall
Stand By Your Van   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Lower Grotto Wall
Under Pressure   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch   Lower Grotto Wall
One for the Road   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Lower Grotto Wall
Wire and Fire   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Lower Grotto Wall
Headless Franken Chicken   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Lower Grotto Wall
Space Sluts in the Slammer   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Lower Grotto Wall
The Engagement   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Lower Grotto Wall
Victims of Fashion   5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 160'   Lower Grotto Wall
Scene of the Crime   5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch   Lower Grotto Wall
Before There Were Nine   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Lower Grotto Wall
Browse More Classics in Grotto Walls Area

Featured Route For Grotto Walls Area
Plaque Right climbs through the A-shaped overhang ...

Plaque Right 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 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 arête, sometimes right on the arête 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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