Unaweep Canyon Climbing
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|Shared By:||Bryson Slothower on Nov 25, 2001|
|Admins:||Jesse Zacher, Bradley Mark Edwards, Nick Reecy, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
This area has excellent traditional crack climbing and great bouldering on the metamorphic granite/gniess canyon walls and large Burro sandstone blocks of Unaweep Canyon half an hour from Grand Junction. The routes ascend canyon walls via cracks of all sizes and difficulties for up to nine pitches. Lines are clean and sustained; thousands of interesting options exist.
The potential for new routes seems limitless and many of the the existing routes feel like first ascents due to low traffic and the large absence of fixed gear. Bouldering is even more vast and varied. Roadside blocks of solid Burro sandstone offer a lifetime of challenges on very interesting rock in a quiet setting. There are over 30 established cliffs in the canyon but many are on private property. Great care must be taken not to offend the residents and locals of Unaweep Canyon as much of the climbing access lies at their mercy.
The Sunday Wall and Hidden Valley Wall offer excellent routes and are located on Acess Fund property. The Mother Buttresses offer some of the best and longest climbs in the canyon and are also very deserving of a visit. Climbs can be selected for their exposure, so climbing in Unaweep is possible on almost any dry day.
This area is rich in climbing being close to The Black Canyon, Ouray, Colorado Monument, Redstone, etc.
There are a few bolted sport climbs in the area concentrated mostly on Sunday Wall, but for the most park, expect sustained crack climbing with the occasional run out. The cracks range from splitter hand cracks through steep faces to gaping offwidths, to desperate face moves so bring a good selection of traditional gear with a few extras depending on the climb. Long runners, RPs, and often times an offwidth piece are critical. Many routes have difficult route finding due to the numerous options. The rock can take a little getting used to. Many descents entail very involved walk-offs and down climbs. Don't expect much fixed gear, but some do have bolted rappel stations.
This is a beautiful and undisturbed part of Colorado and needs to be treated with the upmost respect. Do not leave trash, park on private property, chip anything, or be overly stupid. The Canyon is also an interesting geolocial formation because it has rivers flowing out of both sides. Unaweep means "canyon with two mouths" in Ute. Here one can feel the beauty of climbing.
Eds. Note, this large area has been reorganized since it covers 40 miles of terrain.
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