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Observatory Rock

Select Route:
99% Pure T 
Double Vision T 
Flop, The T 
Glass Bead Game, The T,S 
Jonah T 
Mineral Secretion T 
Original Route T 
Panic in the Gray Womb T 
Punch Line T 
Skin Mechanic T,S 
Stargazing T 
Telescoping Sum T 
Will Chevy Slab S 

Observatory Rock Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Dec 31, 1969
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BETA PHOTO: Observatory Rock from the road.


Observatory Rock is composed of typical, and excellent, SSV granite. The crag faces South and Southeast providing cool climbing in the afternoon. It presently hosts fewer than a dozen described routes, and some combination of guides is probably useful for orientation. I have found the Falcon Guide by Peter Hubbel to contain more route descriptions than other sources; however, much of this is misleading. For example, routes listed as 130 feet long have turned out to be more like 65 feet long (truly). Routes span the gamut in terms of difficulty with 5.7 and 5.8 trad or 5.12d sport, although there are not many at any grade. The crag is well worth a day's visit.

Getting There 

5.1 miles up the South Saint Vrain Canyon, via CO Highway 7, is a large pull-out on the right side of the road. This can be used for parking for Observatory Rock and the Narrows. Observatory Rock is directly above the parking and has a 5 minute approach.

Climbing Season

Weather station 8.9 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',3],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Observatory Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Observatory Rock:
Original Route   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   
Stargazing   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Skin Mechanic   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   
Flop, The   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Observatory Rock

Featured Route For Observatory Rock
Rock Climbing Photo: Hanging out on The Glass Bead Game.  Super fun rou...

The Glass Bead Game 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c  CO : Lyons : ... : Observatory Rock
Start with the route skin mechanic, and break right above the second bolt. Diagonal out the bulgy corner past four more bolts with the crux once you get on the "arete". Once past Skin mechanic this is a three star route....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Observatory Rock
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By Anonymous Coward
Aug 2, 2004
Sport route right of "Original Route"?

There is a bolted line to the right of Original route. Perhaps 5 painted bolts with a tree at top behind a bolder for the anchor. Anyone known anything about this route? From the ground it looked like a 5.6 scramble. On the route it felt like a 5.11 frictionfest.
By Bernard Gillett
Aug 2, 2004
AC wants to know about the bolt line right of Orignal Route: it's called "Will Chevy Slab?", and we rated it 5.10d. 6 bolts, though you need small stoppers to get to the first bolt, and TCUs between bolts 1 and 2. Ends at tree of Original Route (75' rap). The name is a silly word play working off of Wilford Roof, the lefthand of three roof cracks through the big roof on the right (the other two roof cracks are also routes now, though the middle one has not been redpointed to my knowledge - it's quite difficult). Lots of new routes on that crag in the last couple years, mostly cracks with an odd bolt or two, and most of them high quality (the rock there is great). Still working on that SSV guide -- keeps getting bigger all the time, so it'll be a while before it's done.


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