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One Day In Denver, What Should I Climb
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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Nov 24, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

Jon Zucco wrote:
Seems like the Bastille would be cold as my ex right now.

Ha! Agreed, I've done the Bastille on 50+ degree days, and it was quite chilly in the shade there. On the plus side, it might be one of the only times you'll get on the route with less than 5 other parties.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Nov 26, 2013
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

Today was warmer, but not enough to melt off all of the snow off of the lower angle E faces (e.g. the Third). Tomorrow's high is 56F. The steeper and sunnier Eldo S and W faces melt off fairly quickly. I would recommend Ruper if you're looking for a multi-pitch classic but want something easier than Yellow Spur. I've climbed Ruper on a sunny day in late Dec (mid-30s) and was fine. You can also bail from the Upper Ramp with a 60m (Vertigo raps) if you don't have time to do the upper pitches.

Bastille Crack is N facing, btw. It was not impacted by flood damage other than having a lot a big truck drive close to the belay during road/utility repairs.


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By JCM
From Seattle, WA
Nov 26, 2013

I hope you find a nice, sunny mid-length multipitch route to get out on in Eldo or the Flatirons; this would be the best way to experience one day of climbing in the area. However, if it turns out to be a bit too cold/windy, or you get a later start than planned, don't despair; there are some good sunny cragging options to turn to. Rincon Wall (in Eldo) is probably the best go-to option for winter trad climbing.

Also, if all else fails, North Table Mountain offers some adequate climbing that is easy to get to and is guaranteed to be warm and dry. Absolutely no snow up there, and it gets sun all day. It is far from being the best climbing around, but is something to fall back on if nothing else seems to work out. Perhaps check out the Quarry Wall, which has some fun and hard crack climbs that should keep you entertained.


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By Abram Herman
From Golden, CO
Nov 26, 2013
Viking helmet cover, yep.

fossana wrote:
I would recommend Ruper if you're looking for a multi-pitch classic but want something easier than Yellow Spur.


I agree with Ruper being very fun and much easier than Yellow Spur, but do you think the slab approach to the start will be dry?


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By Michael E.
From Fort Collins, CO
Nov 26, 2013

Lot's of so-so beta posted here in my opinion. Check out Turkey Rocks or Cynical Pinnacle in the South Platte(Center Route, or Wunches Dihedral - both mega classic multi-pitch climbs) if you'd like to do some incredible crack climbing. They face south and are really pleasant this time of the year.


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By BJB
From Austin, TX
Nov 26, 2013

Thanks a lot for the update on the snow on the third. I'll look at Ruper and the stuff that Michael posted.


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By flynn
Nov 26, 2013

I'm kinda surprised that nobody has mentioned the First Flatiron. Route finding can be a pickle, but that's true of any of the Flatirons. Its descent is only one rappel, and you can bail early (like once you get to the North Arete, if the weather is tanking or your partner has had enough). Great climbing.

+1 on Michael's suggestions in the SPlatte and Turkey Rocks. If you like, Turkey Perch is all one-pitch stuff. Turkey and Cynical are a two-hour drive from Denver, though, plus a hike (45 minutes to an hour for Cynical).

Have fun, whatever you decide to do.


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By Pink Thunder
From Colorado Springs
Nov 26, 2013

Dude, go do the third flatiron. Easy enough, even if there is snow all over it.


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By MikeS
From Boulder, CO
Nov 26, 2013

Go to Eldo and climb the Yellow Spur. If you're a 12a trad climber with some multipitch experience, you'll figure it out and it will be great. If you're hesitant, do Ruper or Rewritten. They are also awesome and get sun. Do not climb Bastille Crack. You will freeze. Eldo is a unique place to climb and should not be missed.


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By fossana
From Bishop, CA
Nov 27, 2013
downclimb off the First Flatiron <br />photo by TooTallTim

Abram Herman wrote:
I agree with Ruper being very fun and much easier than Yellow Spur, but do you think the slab approach to the start will be dry?


It's east facing, so no more wet than the Third and it's a whole lot shorter. You can also approach the start of Ruper from the west side by scrambling up the ramps (low 5th). If you continue on trail you'll pass right under this alternate start.


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By wendy weiss
Nov 28, 2013

Brandon, please tell us what you did and how it turned out. Hope you and your wife had a good climb and a good time.


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By BJB
From Austin, TX
Nov 30, 2013

Hey guys, thanks for all of the advice.

We ended up doing the Standard route on the Third flatiron. I thought we could knock out the third flat iron pretty quickly and then head over to Eldo and squeeze in either Rewritten or the Bastille Crack. This was probably a little ambitious as my wife hasn't been out climbing in several months (we used to live in Salt Lake where we climbed a fair bit, but since moving to Austin, we have been pretty busy with school and work, so climbing frequency has seriously diminished).

She had never lead trad and really wanted to learn on the Third Flatiron, but we weren't sure if we would be able to with the snow. We figured we would look at it as we drove towards Eldo, and then go and do Rewritten if there was too much snow on the Third Flatiron.

From the Flatirons parking lot it did not look like there was all that much snow up there, so we headed up. We left the parking lot at about 10:30. There wasn't too much snow on the approach until the last 100 ft or so, but when we got to the start of the climb, it was raining ice down that first gully as the warm temperatures started to melt the snow at the top. This made the first two pitches a little scary, but we got through them and started simul climbing until we got to the eyebolt right before the gash.We belayed from there and followed the arete on the left of the last pitch to the summit, rapped off by 2:30.

The descent was what killed us as the scree field was completely covered in snow, so we didn't make it back to the car until about 4:45pm, at which point the sun was down and my Eldo hopes were pretty much done.

But all in all it was a great day. My wife was really happy to have gotten to lead trad (even though there was really no pro beyond those eyebolts), we were able to simul climb for the first time (maybe not the wisest choice with the falling ice, but it worked out ok), and the climbing was spectacular and fun. I'm a bit sad we couldn't make it over to Eldo, but that'll give us a reason to come back.

Thanks again for all the help!


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By saguaro sandy
Nov 30, 2013
Picacho

Next time do North Table. The basalt crag is the ultimate winter destination in Denver. And the approach is not so bad! All Of It Can Be Top Roped too.


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By saguaro sandy
Nov 30, 2013
Picacho

North Table in winter. Note the snow below by Coors.
North Table in winter. Note the snow below by Coors.


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By saguaro sandy
Nov 30, 2013
Picacho

Climbing at North Table with some friends.  Winter.
Climbing at North Table with some friends. Winter.


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