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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).
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).
11 Total Routes
Browse More Classics in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
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'
Featured Route For Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
Better than Love 5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a CO : Flatirons : ... : Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Hea...
This route begins in the same place as "Love". See the description for that route to locate the start. Crank the entrance move to get onto the rock. After you reach a large ledge about 15' up, instead of moving up and right into the large dihedral (Love), move up and left.The exact line of this route was not clear to us. If you move far enough left you run into a clean arete, and we climbed this to the ridge. I believe you can also climb the face right of this aret...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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