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Areas in Taylor Canyon

Coffin Crack Crag 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
First Buttress 39 / 3 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 41
Frenchman Buttress, The 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
Gunnison Mountain Park Picnic Area 0 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 3
North Bank 2 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
PCP Pinnacle 1 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Rosy Lane 4 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
Second Buttress 9 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 11
Taylor Canyon Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 68 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 68
Tilt Wall, The 0 / 6 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 6
Elevation: 8,555 ft
GPS: 38.727, -106.769 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 83,284 total · 474/month
Shared By: Kirk Woerner on Sep 17, 2003 with updates
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Taylor Canyon (known by the locals as Harmels, for the ranch near the First Buttress) is a favorite in and around Crested Butte. The climbing is mostly traditional. Routes are usually under three pitches, but there are a lot of them of that length as well as single pitch. The rock is high quality granite in most places. There is a Kayak/Raft/Climbing guide shop also right next to the the First Buttress. A number of the climbs are runout and the grades are known to be pretty stiff (some might say sand-bagged). Consider that Otto's Route on Independance Monument is a "5.8" and it has chopped steps, while Left Hand Crack is a "5.8+" and I defy anyone to get such an awkward move on the first try.

Getting There

From Gunnison, go north on highway 135 for about 10 miles. At the small town of Almont, turn right and head up toward Taylor resevoir. After another ten miles or so, you will come to Harmels Ranch. Immediatly after this will be a climbing/kyaking guiding outfit. The First Buttress is obvious (very). Park on your left just after the Kayak outfit. Note, you will cross the Taylor river once, if you pass Harmels ranch and then cross the river again, you have gone too far...

151 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Taylor Canyon

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Tony's Tango
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
The Jackal
Trad 2 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Left Hand Crack
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Chucky Cheese
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Air Conditioner
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mirror Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Taylor Made
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Journey through Gwondonaland
Trad 2 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
Sport 3 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Oh Mama Mama
Trad 3 pitches
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Whiskey Crack
Trad 2 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Question of Balance
Trad, TR
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Back for Seconds
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Rogue Repeater
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Double Time at Sue's Place
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Tony's Tango First Buttress > Baby Face / Middle Wall
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
The Jackal First Buttress > Parking Lot Wall
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Left Hand Crack First Buttress > Left Hand
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Chucky Cheese Second Buttress
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Air Conditioner First Buttress > Left Hand
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Mirror Crack Rosy Lane
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad 2 pitches
Taylor Made First Buttress > Baby Face / Middle Wall
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Journey through Gwondonaland Second Buttress
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Gunnison Mtn Park Picn…
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport 3 pitches
Oh Mama Mama First Buttress > Parking Lot Wall
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
Whiskey Crack First Buttress > Parking Lot Wall
5.10c/d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad 2 pitches
Question of Balance First Buttress > Left Hand
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad, TR
Back for Seconds Second Buttress
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad
Rogue Repeater N Bank > N Bank Left
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Double Time at Sue's Place First Buttress > Big Roof
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Taylor Canyon »

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I climbed and guided in Taylor Canyon a great deal from 1975 to 1977 with Prescott College. My friends and I made many, many first ascents over this period of time. Please drop me a line if you have any interest in knowing details. May 9, 2017
Found a pair of shoes in between Tony's Tango and Left Hand Crack yesterday. PM me to verify they're yours! Jun 27, 2013
Scott Krankkala
Flagstaff, AZ
Scott Krankkala   Flagstaff, AZ
Found a dog leash attached to a cam on the first buttress today, no owner in sight. Private message to identify and get it back. Apr 19, 2012
Jamie Estep
Crested Butte, CO
Jamie Estep   Crested Butte, CO
Don't want to fuel the fire too much here, but what got bolted? I personally think the re-bolting of the left hand anchors was completely horrendous about 10 year ago, not in that they needed to be replaced, but the location was for the Tony's toproping tours and not anyone who'd actually climb it. Did some line actually get bolted? Nov 20, 2011
Drilling new bolts in a VERY established cliff with a long tradition of bold climbing is Extremely disrespectful to the rock and the first ascentionist. Nov 20, 2011
A trip report:…. Jul 29, 2011
The anchors are great (minus guanos dias)! They should be painted, but respect the present and the fact that people circuit these routes now. There is no lack of respect up in Taylor for history or the future! Apr 16, 2011
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
I'm with Allen, this area has a great tradition of minimal rock defacement. Respect the area and the history.

Allen, what all did you "get on" your last trip there? Inquiring minds want to know :-) Aug 19, 2010
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I was taken aback by the drilled anchors just above the lip of the roof on my last visit. Not really sure why one would bother with the effort to drill them. Plus they are really big, shinny, but mostly ugly. We never needed them, why do you? Aug 19, 2010
Does anyone know the status of the land for sale that abuts the 1st buttress? Is it still available? Jul 31, 2010
mike bromberg
mike bromberg   Revelstoke
We are talking about the anchors at the top of Cig-Arete... the bolted arete climb. Jun 14, 2010
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Just pull the anchors all together. There's no need for them. Anchors on the Sundeck? On Dunn's? Convenience store climbing is all I can say. Jun 13, 2010
mike bromberg
mike bromberg   Revelstoke
Thanks for the input, guys. I'm not looking for a debate, but am interested in what you think would be practical for upgrading a potentially dangerous fixed anchor. I completely appreciate not adding any additional anchors up in that zone, but I think 3/8" un-welded, un-equalized and loose cold shuts is the opposite of "proud".

Just wondering what you would like to see in terms of hardware up there? Yes, they will be painted. Jun 13, 2010
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Here, here, Rees! Use the walk-off to do something productive, like "take the edge off" :-) Or, if you don't partake, hone your downclimbing skills on something like Solo. Jun 12, 2010
The anchors on Cig Arete don't seem too bad, but if conditions get worse new bolts would be appropriate. Please do not put any new rappel anchors on routes such as Dunn's, they are not needed. There is a tree to belay on top, and you can walk to Cig Arete and the traffic with both those climbs doesn't warant new hardware. Lately there have been many bolted anchors going up that are highly unnecessary. Natural anchors have been made in these spots for decades, and I see no reason to add bolts to them. Let's try to keep the first buttress a proud climbing area and not dumb it down. If you can't build natural anchors or are too lazy to walk off, go to Hartman's. And if you do put in bolts, try to at least paint the hanger. Jun 12, 2010
mike bromberg
mike bromberg   Revelstoke
Nice to see so many folks out climbing in Taylor lately!

Anyways, the 3-bolt non-welded cold shut anchor at the top of Cig-Arete is in a pretty bad state....

Do folks here have any suggestions for what they would like to see as a replacement? Fixe ring bolts? Chains? Keep as is? Add an anchor for Dunn's Dihedral to keep off the Cig anchor? Jun 10, 2010
Ha ha ha, good one, MossMan.

I haven't seen them myself, but any bolts on the Sun Deck are a lame shame!

Maybe I will take my crow bar next time I am there. May 4, 2010
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Maybe without their gps they're afraid of getting lost on the descent (I know, I botched guideline #1). May 4, 2010
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Lazy and paranoid climbers putting in anchors where there has been no need for fixed anchors for 30 odd years. Why now dudes? Walk down like everyone else has for years. May 4, 2010
I would ask, are these anchors necessary? Nov 28, 2009
mike bromberg
mike bromberg   Revelstoke
Many new anchors appearing in the Taylor these days. Tourist Attraction, Sunshine Dihedral and one Between Awkward and Wide and Left Hand Mantel all have the same Faders hardware.... Anyone know where those three came from?

P.S. - not looking for a debate- just curious. Nov 23, 2009
Passing this on for Luke and the others that are actually doing all the work on the first buttress situation. Slightly edited for brevity.


The Property and the USFS Easement

Nicole Sul of Gunnison was kind enough to do some research about the piece of property, and the easement that the Forest Service granted in 1988.

The property is 12 some acres (I could be a bit off on this forgive me if I am), and as we understood it, nearly graces the first buttress on its northeastern end. The lot is for sale for $400,000 plus, and it is owned by a family named Anderson, who live in Texas. The father who owned the property has recently passed away.

The lot is for sale, but has not been purchased yet.

Most everyone agreed that this is of concern to climbers, especially after Nicole Sul revealed the information regarding the easement that was granted by the Forest Service to the property owners. This easement is necessary for the completion of the property, and stretches from the pitches that approach the sundeck ledge to the flat piece of the property where the house would most likely be built. Basically this means, if a house would be built, a driveway would be paved directly under the climbs (Tourist Attraction, Hurtin for Certain, Awkward and Wide, Left Hand Mantel etc.).

The Sign

Another major thing we discussed was the real estate agencies sign (on the property), and the fact that it is been removed repeatedly and how this is really putting us climbers in a bad position with the property owners and Crested Butte Realty. CB Realty is upset with this and in fact the agent Jesse has to come out and put the sign back up. They are talking about putting NO TRESPASSING signs up, and pressing charges to those who remove the sign. We put the sign back in and agreed to spread the word that taking the sign out is hurting our relationship with the property owners and CB Realty, a relationship that is essential to help in this process of halting the development in our beloved Taylor Canyon.

Please if you know those who are removing the sign, encourage them to join our group so that we can all work together in the most positive manner to preserve the climbing at the First Buttress.

The Gunnison Valley Climber's Coalition

We all agreed that starting an organization to help us SAVE THE FIRST BUTTRESS would be a good idea. Initially we proposed that the group be called the Taylor Canyon Climber's Coalition, but then we realized this would be too limiting. We are now calling the group The Gunnison Valley Climber's Coalition. This will ensure that if there is a future issue in the climbing community we will already have a group formed and some organization.

What To Do

We all come to the conclusion that we are in a good position right now for this mission to SAVE THE FIRST BUTTRESS

  • The property has not been purchased yet by a developer
  • We have time to save our relationship with Crested Butte Realty
  • We can spread the word to keep the sign in place and prevent further damage of this relationship with Crested Butte Realty
  • We have a motivated group of positive people and a tremendous amount of support and resources
  • This is the only major access issue that the climbing community faces today in the Gunny Valley

Action Items include:

  • making a sign to go next to the realtors sign to encourage climbers to leave that sign in place
  • start a petition
  • talking to a lawyer (Nicole is taking care of this)
  • communicating with various agencies that may be able to help us out
  • communicating with Crested Butte Realty (Nicole is also taking care of this.
  • writing a mission statement

Spread the Word

Please spread the word about what is going on, and let us know who may give some major money to SAVE THE FIRST BUTTRESS, or who has some creative ideas of how we can make everyone happy (Crested Butte Realty, the property owners, climbers, boaters, etc.)

Thanks for your interest, and forgive me if I overlooked any details regarding this meeting and the Gunnison Valley Climber's Coalition TO SAVE THE FIRST BUTTRESS.

Luke Mehall, Gunnison Valley Climbers Coalition [] Aug 24, 2008
Welcome back Chris. Apr 7, 2008
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Hey Chris, while you're at it, maybe you could submit Whiskey, no one else has (hint, hint Phil) and I am too far removed and too out of touch with the new equipment to post up a safe entry. Apr 2, 2008
These words and photos bring back such good memories!!!! First ascents-first leads-great friends-really makes me want to drive out and tie in on Whiskey Crack or Oh Mama Mama!!! Apr 2, 2008
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Phil, Thanks for the info. I didn't remember about introducing you to Jim. He and I first met through Jon Ake when we did the Ellingwood Arete on Crestone Needle on the 4th of July 1976 (the Bicentennial). Jon sprained his ankle on the approach and so Jim and I swapped leads on that very cool climb....the bond of the rope, it can last for a long time! Oct 4, 2007
Scott call Sharp End directly and ask. Their number is on the website. I snagged the last copy Neptune's had and showed it to Boulder Mountaineering so they would order some asap.
Scott do you remember that you are who introduced Jim Nigro and I all those years ago? What a long strange trip it's been.... Oct 4, 2007
Santa Monica, Ca.
YDPL8S   Santa Monica, Ca.
Phil, is there any way to order this guidebook? I went on Sharp End website and it's not listed in their guidebook section yet. Oct 4, 2007
Guide book is in Guide Book is good!
I was amazed how many routes there are now.
You Gunny-Bunners and Butte-taters have been busy!
Leo, great job on a huge project!
philo Oct 3, 2007
Did the guidebook ever come out? I just checked Sharp End's site and couldn't find it (late summer 2007). Aug 11, 2007
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I think it is one of the best local crags in the state. Certainly worth a visit if you're around or even near Gunnison or Crested Butte. If it's a worth a thing I had a great time climbing here in 1980/81 as a very young decadent climbing youth. Mar 17, 2007
Just heard from Leo. Sharp End should have it on the shelves by the end of this year or early 2007. Jul 12, 2006
Lee Jenkins
Tucson, Arizona
Lee Jenkins   Tucson, Arizona
Any more news on the guidebook? If available where can it be found? I live in Buena Vista.

-Lee Jun 27, 2006
Taylor Canyon offers 4 star rock quality and many great routes. Left Hand is one of the hardest and best 5.8's anywhere, and it has humbled even 5.12 crack climbers. Flaring, overhung offwidth cracks are usually not a 5.8 quality. There are a ton of trad climbs and several sport routes further up the road past the second buttress. Most routes range from 5.7 - 5.12. A great place to spend a few days climbing. Apr 17, 2005
F.Y.I. Sharp End Publishing will soon be releasing a Guide book to the Taylor Canyon / Crested Butte area.The guide is authored by long time Gunny/Butte local Leo Malloy. Leo is a good man and his guide should prove to be fairly comprehensive and well thought out. Look for it if you are at all interested in this wonderfull cragging area. Feb 20, 2004

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