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Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

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Armed Forces 
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Better Than Better Than Love 
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Forget Me Not 
Guardian, The 
Like Hell It Is 
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Stairway to Heaven 
Wanderer, The 
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Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven 

Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,760'
Location: 39.979, -105.29 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 22,447
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Mark Oveson on Apr 18, 2005
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Heaven from the SW (I think).
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  • Description 

    This is the first major ridge ascending out of Skunk Canyon on the right (north) side. Quality of the rock is very good--perhaps slightly better than "average" Flatiron rock. Routes range from the classic 1000'+ slab and ridge climb called Stairway to Heaven (5.2-ish, but mostly 3rd/4th class) to the enjoyable Love (5.4) and Better Than Love (5.5) on the west side of the rock, to the massively overhanging Guardian (5.12).

    The rock gets few visitors, but the Colorado Mountain Club occasionally climbs Stairway to Heaven with groups of 10 climbers or more. Other than those times, it is a quiet and beautiful place to climb. Views of Satan's Slab [on Ridge Two] to the west, particularly from Better Than Love, are stunning.

    [Ridge One] is notable in that it is the only ridge in Skunk Canyon that DOES NOT close for raptor nesting.

    Getting There 

    From the NCAR trailhead, hike to the Mesa Trail, go north, and cross the Skunk Canyon creek. Continue steeply up a few switchbacks until you can see a faint trail heading into the canyon. You may have to climb over or around a log fence to reach the trail. If you reach the point where the Mesa Trail flattens out and heads east out of the canyon, you went too far (but not by much).

    18 Total Routes

    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven:
    Stairway to Heaven   5.3 3+ 10 III VD 3a     Trad, 6 pitches   
    Love   5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches   
    Armed Forces   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
    The Guardian   5.12d 7c 28 IX E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Browse More Classics in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

    Featured Route For Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
    Bruce Hildenbrand climbing to the summit of the Like Heaven pinnacle, belayed by Will Clopton. The new rappel anchor goes down the steep face directly below Will.

    Love 5.4 4a 12 IV VD 3c  CO : Flatirons : ... : Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Hea...
    This west face route starts 400 feet from the southern edge of the rock. It ascends a steep left facing dihedral to the summit of Like Heaven. The Like Heaven summit jets out of the face to the west. P1: Begin on a large block, reach over the void and pull over the overhang. This move is a little committing, a small nut placement at the lip might help this mental move. Head up a a few feet and tarverse right to a belay spot. (~40 feet).P2: Head up the wonderfully pocketed wall next to the wi...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

    Photos of Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven Slideshow Add Photo
    Looking back at the route from the summit pinnacle of Like Heaven (top of Love route).
    BETA PHOTO: Looking back at the route from the summit pinnacle...
    This rock is the last pitch (full length pitch).  The route runs right along the left hand side of the exposed ridge.
    BETA PHOTO: This rock is the last pitch (full length pitch). ...
    Typical climbing on Ridge One (Stairway To Heaven).
    Typical climbing on Ridge One (Stairway To Heaven)...
    The start of In God We Trust, 10 X.
    The start of In God We Trust, 10 X.
    Comments on Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Jeremy Hakes
    From: Golden, Colorado
    Oct 15, 2006

    A good, clean & fun climb. Decent pro. We watched a bear move around with some deer remains from the summit - evidently the "Bear Area" signs are accurate. We exited to the east of the ridge, hiked down and slightly east and found a decent climbers trail to hike out on.

    By George Bell
    From: Boulder, CO
    Sep 12, 2011

    We were visited by a mountain lion yesterday while packing up at the base of Stairway to Heaven. Although it is only a few hundred yards off the Mesa Trail, the base of this climb seems remote and seldom visited. I'm sure the healthy crop of poison ivy keeps people out. The poison ivy in Skunk Canyon is really bad right now!