Elevation: 8,609 ft
GPS: 39.76, -105.683 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 102,652 total · 434/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Description

Hot in Denver? Tired of the scene? Looking for some alpine rock in a terrific setting? Bring the trad rack and bring the sport rack, there is a lot of stone here, and development has just been started. Recent climbing at Empire was kicked off by a man near and dear to my heart, Joe Desimone. The hardest training man in the rock business, Joe has been a huge friend and a dynamite climber for too long to remember. In poking around Cone Hill, where most of the stone can be found, I have stumbled upon old, rusty, fixed pins, so history must date back some distance before Joe's arrival in 1995. Ra is the huge distinct fin-like buttress 3.2 miles from the light in Empire and at 9000 ft elevation. Some development has taken place up the road from Ra as well (just have to wait...). The stone is big here, with close to 600 or more feet of rock in some places. The setting is alpine (ALPINE ... Get It??) so not everything you see will be super clean, there can be significant loose rock here. Don't even think about climbing this without some experience in alpine setting, and a helmet is nearly a requirement for those with any sense. That said, some really great granite lines are starting to emerge from the confusion of stone, and terrific potential exists for much more development. The climbing season at Empire can be much longer than may be imagined from from its alpine setting. We have often climbed through December, and have found gorgeous, sixty degree weather in mid November.

Getting There

Take I-70 West from Denver to the turn off for Empire. This is exit 232 which is the point where US 40 departs from I-70 and heads to Granby and Grand Lakes. From the light at the North edge of the town of Empire and at the Post Office, proceed North for 3.2 miles. Parking can be had on both sides of the road from here and for the next 0.5 miles. Look right, crane your necks, this is a lot of stone. Empire itself is at 8602 foot elevation and is a small town with gas, post office, eats (Jenny's), limited groceries, and a decent liquor store.

80 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Empire

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 11
The Rohan Face
Sport
Ra
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 39
Empire of the Air
Trad, Sport 4 pitches
Ra
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 24
Training Day
Sport 3 pitches
Ra
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 22
Miner's Delight
Sport 2 pitches
Ra
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 18
Smeagol's Way
Sport
Ra
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 3
Chutes and Ladders
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 24
Nearer To Thee
Sport 2 pitches
Ra
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
 26
Higher Calling
Sport 3 pitches
Ra
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 8
Eternal Sunshine
Sport 4 pitches
Ra
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 34
Windows On the World
Sport 4 pitches
Ra
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 5
Priceless
Sport, Alpine 4 pitches
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 4
Moving Zen
Sport
Ra
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 5
Waimea
Sport 3 pitches
Ra
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
 8
King of the Mountain
Trad, Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
 3
Walk On Water
Sport
Ra
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Rohan Face Ra
 11
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Empire of the Air Ra
 39
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad, Sport 4 pitches
Training Day Ra
 24
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 3 pitches
Miner's Delight Ra
 22
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
Smeagol's Way Ra
 18
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Chutes and Ladders Halidome > Chuting Gallery
 3
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Nearer To Thee Ra
 24
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport 2 pitches
Higher Calling Ra
 26
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport 3 pitches
Eternal Sunshine Ra
 8
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport 4 pitches
Windows On the World Ra
 34
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport 4 pitches
Priceless Halidome > Main Wall
 5
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport, Alpine 4 pitches
Moving Zen Ra
 4
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
Waimea Ra
 5
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport 3 pitches
King of the Mountain Halidome > Main Wall
 8
5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c Trad, Sport, Alpine 6 pitches
Walk On Water Ra
 3
5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c Sport
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