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Second Grotto Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Back Scratcher Start T 
Lower Plaque Nose T 
Necronomicom Direct T 
on ramp, The T 
Plaque Right T 
Zebra, The S 

Second Grotto Wall Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Jul 16, 2003
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Olaf Mitchell seconding Mind Parasite 5.11 Photo B...


The Second Grotto Wall is the obvious bulk just uphill from Lower Grotto Wall and is characterized by a huge plaque on the upper left side of the crag. Take the faint trail and bushwhack to LGW. Then hump left around and up to SGW. The right side of the crag holds half a dozen long, high quality sport routes. Most take double ropes to rap to the ground as they are 140 to 150 ft long. Major attraction on the right ascend the blackish rock and include the classics The Zebra and Might as Well Jump. There is not a lot of warm-up sport-wise, but some moderate trad exists on the left side of the crag. Overall, this is a terrific crag with good sun, a nice setting, and enough hump (20 minutes) to keep the crowds down.

Getting There 

Use Matt's directions for the Lower Grotto Wall if you are coming from Aspen. If you are coming in from Denver/Boulder, it is probably much more direct to take US 285 to Johnson's Corner and then take Colo 24 North to Twin Lakes and the fork on to Colo 82. Travel West on CO 82 to the top of the pass, and set the odometer to zero from the West end of the tourist parking lot. This is also the parking for the Instant Karma cliff. Exactly 9.6 miles West of the Independence Pass parking, and on the left side of the road, is the parking for Grotto walls and adjacent cliffs. The cliff are largely on the North side of the road and just a heart-beat outside of the Hunter-Fryingpan Wilderness - with all of its restrictions.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.1 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Second Grotto Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Second Grotto Wall:
Plaque Right   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Second Grotto Wall

Featured Route For Second Grotto Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Hermann Gollner on Zebra (5.12a), Upper Grotto Wal...

The Zebra 5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a  CO : Independence Pass : ... : Second Grotto Wall
150 feet of glory, The Zebra follows a prominent line up the center of the second Grotto over angular holds at first, followed by a beautiful headwall up high.Begin on a slab with twin cracks to a high first bolt about 25 feet up. This section can be protected with a few cams if you feel inclined. After the first bolt, make a funky mantle, trending right to gain the base of the first headwall and the beginning of the route. Clip the second bolt from a good sidepull, then follow a line of perma-d...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

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By Josh Janes
Jul 14, 2010
Thinking I was getting on Alison in Bucketland, I got on some route near the right end of this cliff that might not be in the IP2 book... It begins just left of the little cave, takes a very steep line up a dihedral, and is protected by older ring bolts, a few modern bolts, and a few pins. The upper half has chain draws and one of the lower bolts, near the crux, has a long piece of ancient tat to facilitate clipping....

Anyone know what this route is? Quite chossy.

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