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The Grotto Wall, with its historic and appealing Cryogenic Corner and John Sherman's highballing masterpiece The Ineditable, is the centerpiece of the Pass. The climbing here ranges from pure sport (Space Sluts in the Slammer) to Mixed (Exotic Headache) and classics are represented at just about every grade from 5.7 to 5.13+. The wall faces due south and can be quite hot on bright summer days, but does hold shade through mid-day on its left side.
I'm not sure about the exact mileage, but the Grotto Wall is roughly nine miles from the end of Aspen proper (measure from the City Market). It is the obvious white and black towering wall on the left as you drive up the Pass from Aspen and has a nice parking lot/pull-out on the north (left) side of the road in which to park. This pull-out is tucked into an ess curve and attracts lots of tourists, so be prepared for an audience during busy weekends in the summer.
26 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Lower Grotto Wall
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Lower Grotto Wall:
Grotto Wall Traverse 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 3 pitches
Twin Cracks 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 200'
Cryogenics 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, 2 pitches
Stand By Your Van 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Under Pressure 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch
One for the Road 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
Wire and Fire 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Headless Franken Chicken 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport, 1 pitch, 80'
The Engagement 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, 1 pitch, 90'
Space Sluts in the Slammer 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, 1 pitch
Victims of Fashion 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad, Sport, 3 pitches, 160'
Scene of the Crime 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport, 1 pitch
Featured Route For Lower Grotto Wall
Cryogenics 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a CO : Independence Pass : ... : Lower Grotto Wall
This is the obvious inset open book to obtuse corner on the left side of the Grotto Wall, highly visible from the parking lot (yes, you will draw a crowd of slack-jawed Bago warriors during the summer months) and highly classic. Scramble up on the ledge and get a load of this crack! Incut features on the quartzy right wall and sinker jams in the ever-steepening crack take you to a final, pumpy section of finger locks before you gain the ledge (10a). Belay here at bolts and chains, or if you ha...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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