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Sandstone

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Banning State Park 
Eldon 
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Sandstone  


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Location: 46.12655, -92.87017 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Kris Gorny, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: ferrells on Jul 20, 2014
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Sandstone Ice Fest 2010. Photo Matt Kuehl

Description 

The town of Sandstone has a surprising amount of climbing spread between 3 areas: Robinson Park, Eldon, and Banning State Park.

Robinson Park has sport climbing, farmed ice climbing, dry tooling, and a handful of boulders. The movement from frowned-upon top-roping in the 80s to legitimate, town-sponsored climbing took many years, and was the work of many, but most notably Jeff Engel. This area now has some awesome sport climbing (the best stuff is 5.12, though there is good moderate climbing as well), and people every winter flock to the area for the best and probably the most accessible ice climbing in MN.

Across the river from Robinson lies Eldon. This land holds the best bouldering between Colorado and New England, though, admittedly, the boulders there are few. The sale of this land by Sandy and Eldon Johnson, and purchase by the MCA was manna from the heavens for Minnesota climbing. The Johnsons have been comfortable with a handful of people occasionally going to this area to boulder. The few climbers who knew about it (1995?-2014) were reticent to share it, for fear that it would be overburdened and abused by too many climbers, and access closed. That said, the Johnsons were always welcoming, and the sale of their land to climbers is a lasting legacy of their generosity to the climbing community.

North of Eldon lies Banning State Park. This area has been shrouded in even more mystery than the Johnson property. See the specific page, when it is up, for more detail. Again, Jeff Engel, and others, worked very hard to get this area open. As of July 20, 2014, there are still restrictions on where, and what type, of climbing can be done here. Make sure to get a permit when you arrive, and stick to the areas they allow climbing in.

All of these areas are recently opened, and many motivated people have worked for years to gently nudge them in this direction, with diplomacy, generosity, and hard work. The first goal with these areas, as with any area you visit as a climber, should be to act in a way that is conducive with maintaining access.

Please be good to this land, to the state parks and their staff that have granted us access, and to the kind people of Sandstone for welcoming us into their community.

Getting There 

Sandstone, MN is a small town just off of I 35, north of the Twin Cities about 1 hour 20 min, and south of Duluth about 1 hour. Please refer to the individual pages for directions to the individual areas.

Climbing Season



Weather station 6.6 miles from here

108 Total Routes

['4 Stars',7],['3 Stars',54],['2 Stars',41],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',0],['5.8',5],['5.9',5],['5.10',15],['5.11',6],['5.12',4],['5.13',2],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',8],['V2-3',23],['V4-5',9],['V6-7',9],['V8-9',8],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',3],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Sandstone:
Slab Center   V1 5     Boulder   Banning State Park : Teacher's Overlook
One Two ArÍte (Right)   V2- 5+     Boulder   Banning State Park : Teacher's Overlook
Scareface Sit   V2+ 5+ PG13     Boulder, 20'   Banning State Park : Teacher's Overlook
All for V4   V4 6B     Boulder, 15'   Eldon
Best Boulder in Minnesota   V5 6C     Boulder, 15'   Eldon
Nutrigrain (a.k.a. Please Hammer Don't Hurt Em')   V5 6C     Boulder, 8'   Eldon
The Alternator   V5 6C     Boulder, 10'   Eldon
The Nose Thing   V6 7A     Boulder, 8'   Eldon
Pocket Hercules   V8 7B     Boulder, 12'   Eldon
The Raven   V11-12 8A+     Boulder, 12'   Eldon
3) Morphine   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   rock climbs : Sax Wall
Wild Things   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   rock climbs : Sigma Wall
03) Ramp Of Death   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a R     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   rock climbs : Diagonals Wall
1) A Little Spicy!!!   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, TR, 45'   rock climbs : Sax Wall
Start New   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   rock climbs : Relationship Wall
Tool Boy   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c R     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   rock climbs : Sigma Wall
Adoption   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 30'   rock climbs : Relationship Wall
Sigma   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   rock climbs : Sigma Wall
Nexus   5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   rock climbs : Sigma Wall
Nakoma (formerly The Niche)   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   rock climbs : Sigma Wall
Browse More Classics in Sandstone

Featured Route For Sandstone
Lynn on the first move of Pocket Hercules (V8).

Pocket Hercules V8 7B  MN : Sandstone : Eldon
Burly classic. Start on fragile pinch/crimp jug, then make long moves to good holds. Mantle the top.REMEMBER: -If it has rained in the past 24 hours, do not climb at Eldon.-Wipe your shoes off before you climb.-Leave no trace. Erase tick marks. Pack out any trash, yours or others'....[more]   Browse More Classics in MN

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