BETA PHOTO: Image by Aspen Climbing Guides.
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.
The Upper Grotto Wall, a 15 minute slog up steep talus above the Lower Grotto has some great routes as well. This is a good place to get familiar with the pass and is useful for orienting oneself and finding the other crags. Routes range from 1-3 pitches in length.
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.
Weather station 5.1 miles from here
27 Total Routes
['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',10],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
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:
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
Wire and Fire 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'
Featured Route For Lower Grotto Wall
Victims of Fashion 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b CO
: Independence Pass
: ... : Lower Grotto Wall
Pitch 1--Traverse (protected by a 1.5 cam) right to the first bolt. Continue up the shallow dihedral passing a second bolt. Place a gold Camalot and a red Alien then run it out to a fixed pin located at the top of the dihedral. Lean out left and clip the bolt and climb over the bulge (crux) to chain anchors under the roof (5.11a).Pitch 2--Pull the roof just right of the chain anchor (5.12b/c) and continue 25' to chains (bolts).Rap from there with one rope (85') or keep climbing a 3rd pitch throu...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for Lower Grotto Wall
Latest Regional Forum Messages
Second Grotto Wall. The Plaque is the smooth face ...
Grotto Wall. Photo by Blitzo.
BETA PHOTO: Left side of Lower Grotto Wall. Cryogenics is left...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall. Second Grotto Wall can be seen ...
By Frances Fierst
From: Munchweiler, Germany
Jul 18, 2003
The parking area is located between mile markers 50 and 51.
Jun 10, 2006
In the Grotto area (Independence Pass), I am looking for trad routes. Looking for easy routes (5.8 or 5.9). Could anyone help?