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Lower Grotto Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Before There Were Nine S 
Coldfusion T 
Crime Victim S 
Cryogenics T 
Engagement, The S 
Espresso Love S 
Girly Man S 
Grotto Wall Traverse T 
Headless Crankin' Chicken S 
Headless Franken Chicken S 
Insurrection S 
Knuckle Head, The S 
Mad Arab T 
One for the Road S 
Pea Brain S 
Scene of the Crime S 
Space Sluts in the Slammer S 
Stage Fright S 
Stand By Your Van T,S 
Stranger Than Fiction T,S 
Tarzan S 
Tommy's 13b S 
Twin Cracks T 
Under Pressure S 
Under Pressure - Extension S 
Victims of Fashion T,S 
Wire and Fire T,S 
YQ T,TR 

Lower Grotto Wall Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 39.11983, -106.70002 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 16,124
Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Jan 7, 2002  with updates from Pete F.
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BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Upper Right: Red - Stage Frig...

Description 

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.

Getting There 

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.

Climbing Season



Weather station 5.1 miles from here

28 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',0],['5.8',3],['5.9',1],['5.10',5],['5.11',2],['5.12',12],['5.13',4],['>=5.14',1],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Grotto Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Grotto Wall:
Twin Cracks   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 200'   
Grotto Wall Traverse   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 3 pitches   
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'   
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   
Before There Were Nine   5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Grotto Wall

Featured Route For Lower Grotto Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Cryptic series of granite slimpers.

Before There Were Nine 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a  CO : Independence Pass : ... : Lower Grotto Wall
Rated .13b and referred to as #15 in Perkin's book, this route is among the best hard climbs on the Pass, deserving of a proper name, a realistic grade, and more atention. Originally bolted by Kurt Smith, and extensively projected by Dave Pegg and Phillip Benningfield, this route resisted all attempts untill Tommy sent in his typical crushing style. Very technical, slightly overhanging climbing on small crimps and sidepulls. Granite climbing of this style doesn't get much better....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Lower Grotto Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Grotto Wall - Center  Purple - The Engagemen...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Center Purple - The Engagemen...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Grotto Wall - Right:  Yellow - Exotic Headac...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Right: Yellow - Exotic Headac...
Rock Climbing Photo: Lower Grotto Wall. Second Grotto Wall can be seen ...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall. Second Grotto Wall can be seen ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Grotto Wall. Photo by Blitzo.
Grotto Wall. Photo by Blitzo.
Rock Climbing Photo: Left side of Lower Grotto Wall. Cryogenics is left...
BETA PHOTO: Left side of Lower Grotto Wall. Cryogenics is left...
Rock Climbing Photo: Second Grotto Wall. The Plaque is the smooth face ...
Second Grotto Wall. The Plaque is the smooth face ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Grotto Wall.
Grotto Wall.
Rock Climbing Photo: Image by Aspen Climbing Guides.
BETA PHOTO: Image by Aspen Climbing Guides.

Comments on Lower Grotto Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By Frances Fierst
Administrator
From: Juba, South Sudan
Jul 18, 2003
The parking area is located between mile markers 50 and 51.
By Burns
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?
By Robert Chappe
3 days ago
Is this area dog friendly? Or is it too close to the road?

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