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Moving to St. Louis soon - Seeking partners and information
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Jun 11, 2013

I'm moving from San Francisco area to St. Louis to start med school this early August and am looking for climbing partners. I am going to sign up to the So Ill gym immediately and plan to go as regularly as I always have been. In the gym I boulder and lead, focusing more or less equally on both.

I like to trad climb a lot but am not too sure about areas within Missouri and Illinois - any information is super appreciated. I'm also looking to boulder outdoors as the weather permits. I am pretty game for anything, have a few stories to tell, and really am hoping to smooth the transition from California to Midwest climbing as much as possible.

Thanks for reading!
From East Bay, CA
Joined Feb 5, 2013
10 points
Jun 12, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: another day in the park
I grew up climbing in Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas. I would say if you like to trad climb you should go to Sam's Throne in Arkansas. Southern Illinois has some really quality sport climbing which would be closer than Arkansas from STL. Both states have excellent bouldering, Arkansas has more route/problem potential than Illinois IMO.

Missouri has decent climbing if your willing to look for it (Elephant Rocks is good bouldering)...but if your in med school, your time would be better served going between IL and AR. I'm sure there is a good community of people at the SoIll gym to find some partners.
Andy Nelson
From Fort Collins, Colorado
Joined Feb 6, 2013
362 points
Jun 12, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Lucander off the GT Ledge on p. 2 of Keep on Strut...
Great city with rich history, awesome sports (Cardinals, Blues), and enough smart people to keep the neighborhoods vibrant. As for climbing, a Civic Hybrid. lucander
From Stone Ridge, NY
Joined Apr 1, 2009
340 points
Jun 13, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: FAIL
Its humid as all hell but There are 3 gyms, two downtown area, and one on the west side.. all have a mix of different types of climbers and ppl. Many of us went to Sams or HCR and Jackson Falls usually once or twice a group will head to devils lake in WI and a couple of trips to the Red where i currently reside. You should have no problem finding outdoor partners at upper limits locations. I left town before the new So ill open'd. if you venture to the red. shoot me a line! KENtucky
From Louisville, Ky
Joined Jan 17, 2009
58 points
Jun 13, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: "Ragin Cajun" 5.12c Jackson Falls, So Il...
Welcome, you'll find three great gyms and some really stoked people of all ages. You'll want to hit the Holy Boulders for bouldering plus there are other nice areas, the gyms will have plenty of info. Jackson Falls in So.Il. is around 2.5,3 hours, plenty of folks making the trip from St.Louis on a regular basis, again the gyms would be your ideal starting point. Jackson is 95% sport, Cedars, Ferne Clyffe again in So.Il have some nice trad, check out Giant City State park for some fun bouldering, trad and eat at the lodge. Lots of St.Louis also frequent Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in AR. Hope this helps. jhn payne
Joined Oct 27, 2009
54 points
Jun 13, 2013
Wow Thanks so much guys! I AM excited to be some 1700 miles closer to Red River Gorge - that is one place I never thought I would have the chance to climb. I will be far from my granite comfort zone. Spandex
From East Bay, CA
Joined Feb 5, 2013
10 points
Jun 28, 2013
In Missouri, for a granite fix, the Silver Mines, Millstream Gardens, and Amidon are the places. It is a mix of bouldering, highballs, and short trad routes. Elephant Rocks is classic, but abrasive. See the book "Granite Climbs of Missouri" by Jim Thurmond.

Nearer to STL, there are 80ft sport routes at Bourbon on the Meramec River. There are also 40 -50 ft sport routes at Onondaga.

For multi pitch trad, go to Fountain Bluff in Illinois. There are a bunch of 2 -3 pitch trad, mixed, and sport routes. It is the biggest thing around. There are also some good trad lines at the Promised Land, which is across the railroad tracks from Jackson Falls in Illinois. See Eric Ulner's guidebook "Vertical Heartland".

See you on the rock!
Joined Jun 28, 2013
0 points
Jun 29, 2013
Theres a few of us med students who climb outside regularly. We mostly climb at Upper Limits Downtown because we are poor and it is half the price of so ill. pm me if you have questions Axel Foley
Joined Mar 7, 2013
0 points
Jun 29, 2013
Rock Climbing Photo: Hot n Juicy
It's def a change of scenery, but be ready for some super fun climbing in Southern Illinois... says the guy who lives less than an hour from Joshua Tree. Sad to report that Draper's isn't available for your gear fix, but you'll have a blast clipping bolts and exploring all that the Heartland has to offer.

Great people all over the place - including the legendary John Payne, who happened to answer your post. Go check out Shawnee Trails and have a pizza and beer at Quattro's (are they still open?). There's just something about that area...
From Palm Desert, CA
Joined Oct 27, 2008
99 points
Jul 2, 2013

Thanks for the heads-up about the guide and the additional climbing areas.

I'm just doing a little research before buying the guide or heading out to the locations in question.

I called Onondaga's general information line, and they said climbing is not allowed in the state park itself. Is the climbing actually on some nearby property?

A call to Silver Mines got the green light for climbing.

A call to the MO Dept of Conservation (to ask about Millstream Gardens and Amidon Memorial) put me in touch with an employee who wasn't sure, but who gave me the contact info of somebody who should know. Unfortunately, that person's phone number basically just has a message saying they're unavailable and not accepting calls or messages.

Do you happen to know if climbing is officially allowed at Millstream Gardens or Amidon?
Joined Apr 28, 2013
73 points

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