|The West Ridge
Okay, here we go. Big section of rock here. This bit of reorg will take longer. Beware of falling participles, hanging adjectives, hazardous grammar...for you perfectionists...don't read any further until it is safe....
The West Ridge is an amazing, diagonalling cliff band, far wider than tall, with an enormous variety of climbing on SW-facing Fountain Formation sandstone. There are face climbs, dihedrals, slabs, overhangs, thin cracks, wide cracks, lots of moderate routes, but, sorry, no long routes. It lies just W of its larger sister, the Redgarden Wall, and rises out from the S. Boulder Creek to the gully just before Rincon. Interestingly, this ridge seems to have escaped the climbers' attention until 1963. Perhaps, it is 2400 feet wide by up to 350 feet tall with at least 180 routes. These routes range in length from 20 foot highballs to the 5-pitch Long John Wall and from 4th class to 5.12d at least; however lower than 5.7 & higher than 5.11 is are lightly represented here. So, higher end climbers need to look elsewhere for established testpieces unless you want to free one of the few remaining aid lines. Likely, it has the greatest potential for unclimbed routes remaining in Eldorado but many of the unclimbed areas area unclimbed for a reason.
Although there are no long routes here, this is a particularly great place to climb since climbing is well-spread out, there are all sorts of difficulties in climbing routes close together, and it's simply beautiful here. You can dial in your temperature setting by aspect of the face, shade, & altitude. For the moderate traditional climber seeking ease of access & variety, there may no place better in the close-in Denver Metro area.
For the purposes of organization for ease of use, the West Ridge is divided into 6 areas by well-known, spaced-out, arbitrary climbs (Xanadu, Pony Express, Long John Wall, Verschneidung) with the distinct Potato Chip (cover shot for the classic Boulder Climbs South) which remains from the previous organizational scheme.
While there may be no top-ten in Eldorado Canyon SP here, there are many fine lines to savor. Washington Irving, 5.6; Verscheidung, 5.7; Knight's Move, 5.7; the strenuous Mesca-Line, 5.7; Chianti, 5.8+; Long John Wall, 5.8+; The Unsaid, 5.9; Purple Haze, 5.9; Allosaur, 5.9 s; Morning Thunder, 5.9+; the delightful Positively Fourth Street, 5.9+; Chockstone, 5.10a; Handcracker Direct, 5.10a; the fine Xanadu, 5.10a; Break on Through, 5.10a; Laughing at the Moon, 5.10b; Hand Crack, 5.10b; Variation to Mail Ridge, 5.10; Sooberb, 5.10c; the exquisite Prince of Darkness, 5.11a; Practice Climb 101 to Sidewall, 5.11a s; Wing Shot, 5.11b; Parallels, 5.11b s; the fun Terminal Velocity, 5.11b/c s; the fine Pony Express, 5.11c; Iron Horse, 5.11c s; Jericho, 5.11c; amazing Bit by Bit, 5.11c/d; Wild Turkey, 5.11c/d s; Foxtrot, 5.11d s; the airy French Fry, 5.12b; the intimidating The Reckoning, 5.12d; among others.
Descent can be done by rappel or scrambling down the E side of the ridge when there it is snow-free.
So, while we're working on this, anyone care to sound in on if they've already done my long-term vision of a girdle traverse? I'm guessing this could be the second longest climb in the area. Mic? Did Derek do this? Crusher? Chris? Hamish? Tony? Bob? Malcolm? Duncan? Charlie?
Girdle on Redgarden is probably bigger.
Approach is dependent upon the depth of the creek, the section of wall you wish to climb, the parking available, and your desires for the day. You can approach the top of the ridge by parking at the W end of the park, hiking up the Eldorado Canyon Trail, take the turn off for the Rincon access, then boulder hop the talus, and cross to the Rincon. Then angle down a short way to the top of the ridge. You can approach the lower part of the ridge by parking at the Milton Boulder, wade the stream or boulder hop (Aug-ish to May-ish) to the base of the ridge and ascend. Finally, you can approach the lower part of the ridge by parking at the E end of the park, cross the bridge, hike on the trail paralleling the creek, and traverse the slippery 3rd class ramp around to the base of the West Ridge. Note, this last traverse is intimidating for small kids and particularly green partners.
233 Total Routes
['4 Stars',11],['3 Stars',54],['2 Stars',88],['1 Star',68],['Bomb',12]
Browse More Classics in The West Ridge
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The West Ridge:
Featured Route For The West Ridge
Foxtrot 5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a
: Eldorado Canyon SP
: ... : West Ridge - part D - Xanad...
Another not so hidden gem on the West Ridge. It looks like a crack, but does not climb like a crack. First off, the pro is good over the roof, but pumpy to place. Once through the sketchy corner and over the roof, you end up doing these pinch moves, layaways, I dyno'ed to get through the crux and into the flare. Short but sweet...Eldo crack climbing at its best. [The gear is adequate but very pumpy to place (and hard to see at the crux) with a long fall potential at the crux move]Once on the upp...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
News and Events For The West Ridge
Latest Regional Forum Messages
|By Ernie Port|
From: Boulder, Colorado
Jun 3, 2003
Due to the raging high water, access to West ridge is a bit more complicated but can still be made from the east. However, the 4th class polished boulder next to the stream, that most folks skirt around or over, is not an option. We climbed straight up 3rd class terrain from there and rapped from a dead tree to the trail below on the other side.If your returning the same way, there's a slot that goes at (6) for 20' in the corner by the standard walk around next to the river.
|By clint dillard|
From: Louisville, Co
Apr 14, 2004
ROCK FALL WARNING!!! There has been some major rock fall at the north buttress of West Ridge, right of Chockstone and left of Xanadu. There are still some rocks coming down. I could not tell if any routes were damaged but there is dust all over the face.