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Witches' Canyon

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Witches' Canyon 


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Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Darrin Stein on Oct 25, 2005
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William sending Witches' Tit 2nd or 3rd try. Amazi...

Description 

Just Southwest of Penitente Canyon lies Witches' Canyon, named for a rock outcropping that looks like a giant eye. The cliffs tend to be short, but excellent routes abound. A few routes sit near the mouth of the canyon, but most are located just beyond the end of the road.


Getting There 

Credit to Bob D'Antonio's guide to the San Luis Valley, 1994.

At the Penitente turnoff, zero you odometer and head South on the main road. At 0.6+ miles look for a road heading due West with a sign marked Witches' Canyon. Like the other areas down there...hard to miss now-a-days.

Per Mike Cherneski: they gated off the old road.


Climbing Season


26 Total Routes


['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',12],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',3],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',0],['5.8',1],['5.9',2],['5.10',10],['5.11',6],['5.12',3],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',1],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Witches' Canyon:
Unknown Huecoed 5.6   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Canyon Road Cliffs
The Golden Egg   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   Main Canyon
Dashboard Variation   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Canyon Road Cliffs
Drugs Are Nice   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Main Canyon
Razor Hueco Arete - aka Razor Blades and Whipping Cream   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch   Main Canyon
Evil Barbecue   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Canyon Road Cliffs
Squidbelly Phlegmfoot   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Canyon Road Cliffs
Drug Test   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Main Canyon
Witches Eye aka Witching Hour?   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Main Canyon
Gunks Pump   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Canyon
Lunge for Jesus   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Canyon
Witches' Tit   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 30'   Main Canyon
Browse More Classics in Witches' Canyon

Featured Route For Witches' Canyon
William sending Witches' Tit 2nd or 3rd try. Amazing route.

Witches' Tit 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b  CO : San Luis Valley : ... : Main Canyon
The route furthest right when facing the wall. Start in a small, right-facing corner up to the bulging wall. Do a cool, powerful move off pockets to a jug. Clip, shake, then undercling, crimp, and highstep past one more bolt to a lone lowering hook. It is slightly more difficult than its neighbor "Weave Your Spell" but much more straightforward IMHO. Quality....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on Witches' Canyon Add Comment
Show which comments
By Anonymous Coward
May 7, 2003

You won't like this area...you have to walk a little to get to some routes. Less traffic so your fingers will get torn up. West facing so really hot in the sun. Stay in Penitente! I'll be in Witches.

By Kevin Currigan
From: Lakewood
Oct 31, 2003

It may have been due to extenuating circumstances but I doubt it; we got spanked over here. It's worth the trip over though just to see it and check out some really serious routes. Be on your game or beware...

By Joel Shanight
Mar 13, 2004

Another good Durango weekend getaway, FLC climbing club likes this place, cause it is fun!

By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
May 25, 2008

I like Witches even if most of the routes are shorter. It is quiet and while there are fewer routes, there are a lot of fun ones in the 5.9-5.10 range. Beware if you see Brian Mullins as the FAer. He seems to have a knack for putting bolts in poor places on good lines. Almost everyone I've climbed with over here agrees. This is too bad since he seems to have gotten on a lot of good lines before Bob D and others who know how to put up a route got here.

Also, there are a number of routes that are not in the guide. These are generally of VERY poor quality or ridiculously easy. Also, don't be surprised to find missing hardware- visually recon the route before climbing.

By Mike Cherneski
From: Colorado
May 17, 2013

I thought I should mention that a while back they gated off the old road. The old road was cut back a lot and now most of the "roadside" routes are now technically "trail side".