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Lover's Leap

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It's a Bird! A Plane! T 
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Lover's Leap  


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Location: 39.616, -105.214 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Darrin Stein on Jan 9, 2002
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BETA PHOTO: Basically an overview of the standard routes that ...

Description 

This is a 450' monolith just a few miles up US 285 from the exit off C-470 SW of Denver. It seems like every town in America has a place named the same, but I wonder if it climbs as good. I only know of about 10 established routes ranging from 5.6 to 5.11. However, due to its mass, many variations abound to delight most any ability. The routes are mostly crack with some bolted sections.

Getting There 

Driving directions from Golden:

From the intersection of CO Hwy 93 and US 6, take US 6 East a few miles to CO-470 East (Colorado Springs). Go 6 mi. on CO-470 to the US 285 South exit. Go 4.3 miles on US 285 South to milepost 247, then continue to a spot where you can turn around. There are several spots for U-turns from the left lane, but the safest is to continue to a right-hand exit and take an overpass back onto US 285 North. Go back to a large pullout at milepost 247.

From the parking area, head east (upstream) about a hundred yards and take a steep path down to the creek. Find some boulders that allow you to cross the creek, and find a black rope you can use to get up the steep bank at the other side. Follow a trail through the woods (past a wooden teepee) to a talus field below the rock. Trees are marked with pink tape. Continue up and left to the base of the routes. For the Unknown 5.9, look for bolts heading up a blocky area on the face. The route, Lover's Leap, starts just to the right.

From Bob Brockwehl: Alternate Approach: I climbed at Lover's Leap on June 28 this year and the water level was low enough to use the approach described below. You can bring a short piece of rope to belay people across the creek if necessary (don't tie in for this, just hold on to a loop in the end of the rope).

From the parking area look directly across the creek to find a cleft in the trees on the opposite bank that marks a small tributary stream. Head for this spot (but do not go straight down hill as this will cause erosion). At this point there is a shallow pool that you can wade across. Go up the tributary for 10-20 yards and climb steeply up the left bank for about 20 feet (trail is faint here). This will bring you to an obvious trail leading downstream along the top of the steep creek bank. This trail will turn up hill and take you to the talus field below the crag.

Descent 

Eds. Over the years, there have been a variety of descents used here. Some have descended to the right (which works, but can be tedious) or to the left (which also works). There have been fixed anchors left and now upgraded.

Per esbb: The rap stations are as follows: at the tree on top is the start of the first rappel there are brand new anchors, Metolius 1/2 inch as of 6-19-08, rappel towards the cross and be on the lookout for the chains. This will be the 2nd rap station, follow the lay of the rock rap to the 3rd station also with chains then to the ground, you will be about 80 feet to the west of the base of the route. Remember ALWAYS KNOT THE END OF YOUR ROPE and yes it is a single rope rappel 60 meter rope required NO SINGLE 50 METER WILL WORK. Always take into consideration others around you and BE SAFE.

The rest of this description will be left to be updated to try to reflect the most recent changes.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.4 miles from here

10 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',2],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',3],['5.10',1],['5.11',1],['5.12',2],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Lover's Leap:
Lover's Leap   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches   
Unknown   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   
Ye Olde Hysterical   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 4 pitches   
Browse More Classics in Lover's Leap

Featured Route For Lover's Leap
Approximately the route as described

Something for Nothing 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a CO : Morrison/Evergreen : Lover's Leap
P1: Start as for Lover's Leap; there are really two possible corner systems to start Lover's Leap, choose the one on the right. Climb up to an obvious small rectangular roof (approximately 3 ft. x 2.5 ft.), this is visible in the lower photo in the Lover's Leap area description. Climb out the right side of the roof, following a seam up and to the right. Continue up past discontinuous seams and face climbing to the ledge with the midway bolts for Lover's Leap, you'll finish directly ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Lover's Leap Slideshow Add Photo
Lover's Leap on the right.  Green arrows show a rap route.
BETA PHOTO: Lover's Leap on the right. Green arrows show a ra...
....And into the snow....
....And into the snow....
BETA PHOTO
Bolts at bottom of cedar tree.
Bolts at bottom of cedar tree.
3 harder routes at Lover's Leap.
BETA PHOTO: 3 harder routes at Lover's Leap.
Bridge across stream complete with caisson on the other side.  The bridge is attached to the caisson with rebar drilled through.  Nice work, whoever did this!
BETA PHOTO: Bridge across stream complete with caisson on the ...
Lover's Leap, Morrison, CO - View from the ground
BETA PHOTO: Lover's Leap, Morrison, CO - View from the ground
This is what the route Lover's Leap looks like from the bottom. You want to head towards the two field goal looking rocks at the top.
BETA PHOTO: This is what the route Lover's Leap looks like fro...
New 1/2 Metolius bolts and hangers at bottom of cedar tree.  Serves as the last anchor on Lover's Leap route, and a short scramble toward the cross from the Original Route.
BETA PHOTO: New 1/2 Metolius bolts and hangers at bottom of ce...
Safe Rap Descent for Single 60M Rope.
BETA PHOTO: Safe Rap Descent for Single 60M Rope.
TJ raps from last station
TJ raps from last station
Ye Olde Hysterical .10b <br /> <br />This line is the natural dihedral on the East face following the climber's-left sun/shade in this pic. (No need to mark it up with photoshop, sweet!). <br /> <br />The kinda-arete looking thing goes at .12 <br /> <br />These are routes c-left of the Tunas area. <br />
BETA PHOTO: Ye Olde Hysterical .10b This line is the natural ...
Looking down from pulloff toward bridge crossing the stream.
BETA PHOTO: Looking down from pulloff toward bridge crossing t...
Three routes from 14 years ago.
BETA PHOTO: Three routes from 14 years ago.
Tributary after bridge, path continues up this way and becomes more obvious.  Look for cairns.
BETA PHOTO: Tributary after bridge, path continues up this way...

Comments on Lover's Leap Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Apr 18, 2012
By Anonymous Coward
Aug 7, 2003
Did it today, and I did not care for it. Lots of vegetation in cracks and on the slabs (moss, lichens, weeds, etc.) Made getting a solid footing or good handhold very difficult. When you consider the hike in is harder than that to the 1st Flatiron, and the rock isn't as good, you may be better off at the Flatirons, Eldo, or Clear Creek.

All this aside, it was much better than spending a day at work!

-- Jeff B. Denver
By Jer Collins
Sep 29, 2003
Does anyone have anymore info about LL? If there are 11 routes, does anyone know where I can find more info about them?

Thanks. Jer Collins
By TBD
Oct 4, 2003
I added some links to the midway bolts on the standard route. Starting from the Fixe rings at the top, two double rope rappels gets you to the bottom. Currently, this is the easiest descent, in my opinion.
By Buff Johnson
Jan 18, 2006
DO NOT TRY TO RAP THE FACE WITH A SINGLE 60M, you won't make it to an anchor position.

A single-rope rap route is in place through the side gully.

The approach; I expect climbers & JeffCo will be working on a better approach to the crag to mitigate the creekside erosion, I think most will agree with me in this respect. Monty offered a good tip: don't head straight up the hill from the creek. Once you get on the far side of the creek, walk about 50' to the west and you find an established trail skirting a small ravine/gully. This trail takes you to the base of the westernmost buttress, then a small traverse across talus that is not too bad to the base of the main crag. This traverse is easier than the straight-up approach and saves the creekside from erosion.
By djn
Oct 7, 2006
I was climbing up there yesterday as well (10/6/06) and followed another party down the single rope rappel descent, into the gully climbers' right from the top, and starting at the small tree with slings (maybe 30 feet up and right of the top of Lover's Leap (5.7)). There are 2 more bolted rap stations with chains below the tree, and the rope pulls clean.

That tree will fail eventually with repeated use. I'll put a 2 bolt rap station on the slab by the tree within the week. Hopefully, that will save the tree (and people!), keep descending parties away from ascending parties, and allow most parties to take only 1 rope. If anyone has objections, please let me know asap. It'll be safer than using that small tree or relying on tat webbing around the block to get to the chain anchors lower down.
By Buff Johnson
Oct 9, 2006
DJN -- No objections have been relayed to me. JeffCo would like the natural resource conserved. My comments posted & your thoughts should be of similar intent.
By Olaf Mitchell
From: Paia, Maui, Hi,
Mar 30, 2007
This place is, and has always been, a backyard adventurer theater. It's dificult to protect and harder, steeper, and way more committing than you think it should be, or want it to be.
If you take it for granted, underestimate it, or over estimate your abilities, it will eat your lunch!
By Buff Johnson
Mar 30, 2007
Yes, Olaf, that is what some of us are trying to avoid. (RE: bringing the routes down).

The trouble is that this is place is seeing more frequent use by way of the standard 5.7 route. In itself, that's a not bad thing because it's a fun protectable route that isn't really affected by how many people want to climb it. The trouble is climber traffic going down which has taken a manner away from the established side gully and onto the face and potentially over a leader. If no-one else is climbing, no big deal; but on a nice summer weekend day, you'll get 4-5 parties of 3-4 people each working the crag, if one party of 2 wants to work one of the more adventurous, difficult, & runout lines, there is the possibility of being rapped over. There is also the possibility of rapping over someone leading on the standard 5.7 if you take the retro-bolted cave anchor and go straight down from there.

I think our intent was to get a fixed anchor on top that would conserve a small tree and allow for single rope raps into the side gully and get descent parties off the face, in no way altering any of the face lines.

(Based from one of my comments I posted last summer, since edited out -- The party that my friend had to help evac off the face, still contend that the initial rappeller did drop at least 2 feet when attempting to rap from the tree onto the main face - I also checked the tree out last fall, it looked and felt solid to me, but I could see some minor separation in the roots from a pull to the main face. Bolts there are a good idea and will work to keep access into that side gully for rapping)

Any work on the fixed protection on the main face should be replacement bolting. I'd hate to see additional anchors get put in on that P2 .9 to .8R line, or over Tunas.
By Chad M
From: Castle Rock, CO
May 7, 2007
Tried to get to Lover's Leap on Saturday, May 5th, but couldn't cross the river. We hiked up and downstream, but no easy or safe way across. Does anyone have any suggestions for getting up there this time of year, or do I just wait for the water level to drop?
By Vass
Jul 15, 2007
Did you lose a piece of gear here yesterday? Tell me what and where and I'll work with you to get it back to you. email: nguzu@excite.com
P.S. the creek is easily passable now....
By conifernurse
Jun 18, 2008
We used the very top anchors today and were able to rappel with a 70m rope to the cave belay, and then to the alcove (just barely) then all the way down. We left 2 carabiners that we plan to go back and get and leave some o-rings in their place. So if anybody runs into them, please leave them. We shall return with more hardware to donate.
By esbb
Jun 20, 2008
For starters, no one should rap Lovers Leap route, many know the dangers to the climbers below, loose rock, wrong or misleading info. I believe the bolt stations on the route were set up for the safety of new climbers and the volume of traffic that is sometimes encountered. Lover's Leap will go 3 pitches 1st bolt belay, Cave bolt belay then to the top. The rap stations are to climbers right or towards the CROSS (west) these were set for safety reasons as stated above no one wants to be rappelled on to, hit by a pulled rope or crowned by loose rock while belaying, on lead or gearing up for a fun day of climbing. Please remember you might not be the only one on the route you can not see everything or everyone.
The rap stations are as follows: at the tree on top is the start of the first rappel there are brand new anchors, Metolius 1/2 inch as of 6-19-08, rappel towards the cross and be on the lookout for the chains. This will be the 2nd rap station, follow the lay of the rock rap to the 3rd station also with chains then to the ground, you will be about 80 feet to the west of the base of the route. Remember ALWAYS KNOT THE END OF YOUR ROPE and yes it is a single rope rappel 60 meter rope required NO SINGLE 50 METER WILL WORK. Always take into consideration others around you and BE SAFE.
By Buff Johnson
Jul 7, 2008
It seems we are all rehashing the same info; certainly the retro-bolted cave & goal-post anchors have caused & continue to cause some confusion.

Is there anything with the beta photos that I put up that is mis-leading to someone new to multi-pitch climbing that might have an anchor safety concern? (Other than the bolts next to the tree having a problem, but have since been replaced, correct? -- the bolts next to the small tree have indeed been replaced; for those that may be considering this route. I have updated the main beta photo 11-26-08.)

Also, one more tip, if you have troubles with the final headwall on the 5.7 standard line, you can aid it. If you do decide to bail from the cave (as you will find there is no walk-off from the cave) & don't want to burn gear on the way down, you need a tag-line, doubles, (or possibly a 70m - though, I haven't verified this one). If you do bail from the cave with a single 60m, you will end at the Alcove where you will need to burn gear (or try a downclimb 20' or so to the next bolts). From the Alcove, you can hit either lower bolt station. But if you miss them, you will end up at the Coffin Block; you can safely bail from here; webbing is advisable for the coffin. It is FAR MORE advisable just to aid/french free/keep trying to free the final headwall section and top out -- then you can walk off or rap the safer descent line.
By Bob Brockwehl
From: Golden, CO
Jul 26, 2009
Note that the approach described under "Getting There" is confusing right from the get-go as heading east will take you DOWNSTREAM. Alternate Approach: I climbed at Lover's Leap on June 28 this year and the water level was low enough to use the approach described below. You can bring a short piece of rope to belay people across the creek if necessary (don't tie in for this, just hold on to a loop in the end of the rope).

From the parking area look directly across the creek to find a cleft in the trees on the opposite bank that marks a small tributary stream. Head for this spot (but do not go straight down hill as this will cause erosion). At this point there is a shallow pool that you can wade across. Go up the tributary for 10-20 yards and climb steeply up the left bank for about 20 feet (trail is faint here). This will bring you to an obvious trail leading downstream along the top of the steep creek bank. This trail will turn up hill and take you to the talus field below the crag.
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Sep 6, 2009
What happened Mike? Serious? Sounds it.
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Sep 6, 2009
Not as serious as it sounds. There weren't any life threatening injuries apparent at the scene. I really can't go much further than that in regards to the injured climber's condition. Apparently the climber hit a ledge during a leader fall.
By andybb
Jan 7, 2010
Added a picture with route info on 3 three harder routes at Lover's leap, climbed a few years ago. See photo section for approximate route locations. All 3 routes require some gear to supplement the bolts.
By mattnorville
Sep 29, 2010
Is camping allowed anywhere near here?
By Mike Morin
From: On the Road
Sep 29, 2010
The nearest place I can think of would be Bear Creek Lake Park.
By Joel Steverson
From: Lakewood, CO
Oct 2, 2010
Climbed this 10-2-10, decided I should finally add to the comments as I've done this route a few times now and think I have some useful beta to offer.

Some help for those looking for the trailhead: First off, there are two parking lots; you want the one furthest downhill (it's also the larger one). From the parking lot, follow the inside edge downhill (i.e. towards Denver) to the end of the lot and there's a decent place to scramble down, it's somewhat rocky but the erosion is slowly changing that. At the bottom, you can skip across the creek, walk across a downed tree, or find your own path.

AVOID the obvious looking, steep trail to the left and instead follow the less obvious trail to the right-upstream (look for small carins to guide you). After a short distance the trail will turn left and head up a gully.

I've made several trips to this crag this is by far the best approach I've found. The direct, obvious route is steep, washed out, and not something you want to waste your energy on. Follow the trail up to the talus field and start pitch 1 next to a thin pine tree that basically grows right out of the rock.

The route is just slightly to climber's right of going straight up from the starting tree to the goalposts. Close to the end of pitch 1 there's a stretch with some loose rock. They'll probably come down this winter, but be careful when leading this so that you don't send your belayer scrambling. If you find yourself moving left at the top of pitch 1 to the bolts, you are GOING OFF ROUTE and will wind up on Unknown P2, a runout 5.9+. To stay on Lover's Leap, ignore these bolts and climb up about 12 feet higher to your right, and you'll find a nice comfy belay ledge with bolts. From there, it's a straight shot to the cave and the end of P2. As you get close to the cave, the rock gets a bit worse and the easy, obvious places for pro that you enjoyed up to this point go away. It's not quite runout, but if you're new to leading you may find it a bit sketchy. One cruxy move on the crack, and you'll be between the goalposts. The bolts are on the climber's left post, and you might want to put in a piece to protect your traverse (a BD #1 works well here). From the goalposts, scramble up a little further and look for the nice new bolts near a small tree. Thanks to whomever put those in! They were much needed and are holding up well.

It's 3 easy raps down from there. The last rap station is a bit tricky to find. From the 2nd station, head towards the top of the gulley and you should find the bolts. If you can't find them, there's also a set of bolts at the top of the gully.

Question for the other people who climb here.... Has anyone thought of bolting the face to climber's right of the Lover's Leap start? It looks like there could be some fun single pitch sport routes there.
By Rick Blair
From: Denver
Aug 25, 2011
Please see my above series of 3 photos to get started on the proper approach. Whomever did this knew what they were doing. These trail improvements are amazing. Much safer, I wonder how many ambulance calls there have been due to people ascending/descending the steep bank. No more beat up ropes for hand lines, no more erosion on the stream bank. If you need help for more trail work please PM me, I would love to help.
By MilkyTech
Apr 16, 2012
I can't figure out how to add lat long, but this area is:
39.615962,-105.214049
By Eric Thomson
Apr 18, 2012
Hello, I know this is a question that always gets asked and everyone has different preferences for gear, etc., but after having spent most of the past year traveling around, standard rack is absolutely meaningless to me. Any recommendations as to what standard rack means at Lover's Leap?