GPS: 38.267, -105.188 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 18,615 total · 90/month
Shared By: John Sherman on Jun 20, 2003 with improvements by Adam Block
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: Titanic reopens! South Hardscrabble Creek remains closed. Details

Description

Newlin Creek is in the Wet Mountains south of Canon City. There are over a dozen granite/gneiss buttresses in the canyon of which less than half have routes on them to my knowledge. Two or three years ago I saw no evidence of climbing in the canyon. I did a couple easy trad lines then and some bouldering. The canyon seemed to have immense potential for trad lines due to the abundant crack systems. About a year ago, John Gill told me he saw some bolts in the canyon. I went back in June 2003 and saw many bolted lines on the buttresses lower in the canyon. Most of the bolt lines closely follow moderate-looking crack systems. A few harder-looking cracks have been bolted and a few moderate to harder faces, too.

About a mile up the Forest Service trail is an unbolted buttress I call The Big House. (After crossing the wooden foot bridge 1/2 mile up the trail, proceed over 4 creek crossings, 3 of the main creek and one of a tributary coming in from the south. 100 feet past the 4th crossing on the North side of Newlin Creek is The Big House.) There are two obvious crack lines on this wall. On 6/11/03 Hank Jones and myself climbed the steeper left-hand crack (Conviction, 5.12). We both led it that day completely on clean gear, each placing the gear free on the lead. To reach the top of the buttress is ~120 feet, but the business is the sinker fingerlocks and beefy hand jams of the first 60 feet up to the obvious roof. This section is wicked strenuous, overhanging 20 feet, but on superbly solid rock with good pro if you can hang in long enough to place it. I don't hesitate to say this is one of the finest trad lines of its grade along the Front Range. I've reported it here in the hopes it will remain unbolted so that others can enjoy the challenge as we did.

- John Sherman

Getting There

From Florence, CO drive south on CO State Hwy 67. After passing the Federal Penitentiary on the left, continue two miles then turn right on FS RD 15 (a sign says Newlin Creek Trailhead). Drive west up FS RD 15 6.5 miles to the parking at the trailhead.

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