The Pine area is a bit easier to describe. Take US 285 to Pine Junction and then head south about 8 miles on CO126. Note that the Etive slabs, just North of Pine, are on private property and as far as I know are still closed. In any event, when you get to Pine, turn East on Elk Creek Road. Approx 1/2 mile will deposit you on the approach to Sphinx Rock, clearly visible on the South side of the river. Another 1/2 mile or so will be a parking area (2 cars), which leads to the approach to Squat Rock (cross the river to find a good trail with a 5-10 minute approach to the rock). Keep following the road to reach Bucksnort Slab, which will be obvious on the North side of the road. Finally, and most importantly, stay on the road for another mile or so to reach the Bucksnort Saloon, where good beer is served, but they don't accept Visa (or any other credit card). Parking is extremely limited on Elk Creek road, so you may have to do a bit more hiking. Also, it is important not to raise the ire of the property owners along the road. Please don't block the road, hike near a home, or ignore any signs in the area.
Please Note that both Sphinx and Squat Rock are currently closed.
Note, the Bucksnort is typically closed on Wednesdays (just so you won't get disappointed).
This is one of my favorite 5.7s in Colorado. It's long (160 feet), takes good pro, and clean rock the entire way. The route is very easily found right where the trail from the road first meets the rock at a large flat opening. It's the obvious dihedral that continues all the way to the top. There is a second pitch.The first fifty feet is only an easy warmup, then the real fun begins at a small ledge. Follow the perfect crack up past some great hand jams and into a lieback finish at the top....[more]Browse More Classics in CO
If any ones climbs Lickety Split 5.7R at Sphinx Rock, be sure to bring two stoppers for the Anchors, because some one has taken the hangers on Lickety Split, and a new Route left of the cave route is also missing the hangers.
Do be very wary of Peter Hubbel's book regarding the Pine Area. As AC said, it can be largely inaccurate. i.e. On one map the Bucksnort Slab is on one side of the road, and on another map it's on the other. I've spent many frustrating hours trying to find areas that he has in his book. I felt much more at ease after I realized that he was probably drunk when he wrote it. It made much more sense then!
Ding Daff And Doodle Domes are open for climbing. Probably about a 30 min. hike back to the rocks. Hubbel's guide book says that some routes are runout (R). But there is only one bolt for the 165 foot friction pitch on Raindance 5.6 R. So maybe it should be Have fun, it is an awesome climb.
Not to waste space but I wanted to share an experience in the hopes that many people have had similar ones to the area. It was the summer of '97 or '98. Never having been to the area before a friend [and I] went to try and aid Sphinx Crack. Some people were on it, so we went to find Bucksnort Slabs. Decent sport climbing, but I remember a lot of old 1/4 inch bolts. After a day of climbing, on a whim, we decide to take the scenic way out. Not far we see what looks to be a run down biker bar, aka Bucksnort Saloon. Good beer, friendly people, and a surprising tasty green chili cheese burger. I've never made it back to the area, but it sure treated us well, and I hope it's still treating many climbers the same.
What was settled for a while is now changed and this situation is not looking too good from the standpoint of climbers' access. From what I gather, the property owners met and want to have some sort of impromptu association that they all agree to report a trespass based on reports from the homeowner next to Elephant Rock (Sphinx). The Sheriff's deputy will act upon this as all property owners in question have agreed & postings have been made.
Also, the Elk Creek Station is no more. But the new Zoka's is worth a try.
When it comes to wannabe hillbillies and bolt-choppers, there may be sad irony. The historic rocks above Pine might have had less of both problems if the proposed Twin Forks Dam had been built. The lake's shore would likley have had recreational access rights while also drowning out the local route-vandal habitat.
I think it's time that each and everyone of us voice our concern to The Access Fund and try to open Sphinx Rock again! I have a lot of good memories from climbing down there for over 10 years. About 2 years ago my wife and I bought a cabin in the local area and were sadded to find this whole area closed by the "new homeowner". He has blocked off most of the car pullouts with dead trees and "trash"...(an old iron boiler)...has put up signs for 500 yards up and down the road. What makes me wonder is why he thinks he owns that whole rock and everything beyond it that you don't see from the road. I have stood on the top and looked back many times to see many more rocks a lot like the Sphinx Rock back there, and now it's all closed? I think not...we need to contact The Access Fund with info about this issue and Free Sphinx Rock !!! Send photos of the area, the home owners address on Elk Creek Road and all info, so they can contact this homeowner.
I also think this is the same guy who chopped the bolts and anchors off of this whole rock in the past 2-3 years. It's sad to see this area go down the tubes this way with the selfish attitude of one (1) area homeowner...who most likely doesn't even care or know anything about our sport of climbing. I say we all send a loud message so this homeowner can hear it..."FREE SPHINX ROCK"....