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Routes in South Rim Routes

Alimony T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Astro Dog T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Black Cloud T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
Black In Action T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Black Shadow Arete T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Black Snake T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Blackjack T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Burl Girl T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a R
Crystal Vision T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c X
Dark Star T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Dragging On T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Dragon Rider T 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
El Padre T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Event Horizon T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Flakes, The T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b X
Flapjack T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
Ground Control to Major Tom T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Last Payment T 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Night is Dark and Full of Terrors, The T 5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b R
North Shore T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Open Minded T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
Pent Up T 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b PG13
Quota, The T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Tague Yer Time T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
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Elevation: 7,786 ft
GPS: 38.581, -107.715 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 51,337 total · 240/month
Shared By: Charles Vernon on Dec 31, 2000
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Getting weather forecast...
Access Issue: Seasonal Raptor Closures Details

Description

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[This side of the impressive Black Canyon of the Gunnison is known for its foreboding, long routes with chillier temperatures. Since the canyon is quite steep and quite narrow, these routes have a much darker ambience than some of the neighboring walls across the water. In fact, these factors may have slowed the exploration of these walls during the early years of climbing here. The one advantage to climbing on this side is that access is somewhat easier.

All routes here should be considered adventure climbing with challenging rock, rock quality, route finding, runouts, etc.. Assistance, in the event of the unexpected, is difficult to non-existent. Be prepared.

As with most climbing in the area, poison ivy and ticks are hazards during the non-climbing times of your visits here. Some folks have been even known to wear disposable Tivek suits to avoid these diminuitive demons.

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Getting There

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The Black Canyon of Gunninson is located approximately 250 miles SW of Denver.

South Rim: 15 miles east of Montrose, via U.S. Hwy 50 and CO Hwy 347

[From Steve Levin: For routes on the main SCVW a viable access is via the "Astro Slog" raps (see the topo under the Astro Dog route description). The start is upriver a few feet from the overlook, at a boulder. Two ropes are required. This has cleaned up a bit, the anchors are good, and most are easy to locate. Try to trend more climbers-right at the bottom, lest you stray into the super-munge to the left. Plan on 2-3 hours. A second option is to descend the Cruise Gully and cross the river via the tyrolean located below NCVW, then have someone meet you on the South Rim with a car. This strategy works best if you arrange for attractive members of the opposite sex to pick you up, and if they have a picnic lunch and a nice, chilled white wine. Other options exist.]

[From Charles Vernon: The latter part of this descent, from the saddle behind the pinnacle, is obvious and looks reasonable (except perhaps for the 5.7 slabs above the river) from the North Rim. However, I'm inclined to assume that the upper gully does not exist as described (I've seen it from the South side, and been down the gully just west to the Alimony Wall, but it is hard to tell how far the first gully goes before cliffing out), since I've never heard of it anywhere else and it sounds too good to be true! Oddly, the only other method for reaching SCVW mentioned in Rock Climbing Colorado is via the Chillumstone Gully, which would require river crossings. In the new guidebook, neither of these methods are mentioned, while three others are described(rappelling, tyrolean, and SOFB raps).]
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24 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at South Rim Routes

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b X
 14
Flakes, The
Trad 14 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 7
Black Shadow Arete
Trad 8 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c X
 17
Crystal Vision
Trad 12 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 8
Dark Star
Trad 13 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 10
Last Payment
Trad 4 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 7
Black Snake
Trad 8 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 4
El Padre
Trad 12 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 60
Astro Dog
Trad 14 pitches
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13
 3
Flapjack
Trad 6 pitches
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
The Quota
Trad 6 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 23
Tague Yer Time
Trad 15 pitches
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
 6
Event Horizon
Trad 14 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Flakes, The
 14
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b X Trad 14 pitches
Black Shadow Arete
 7
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 8 pitches
Crystal Vision
 17
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c X Trad 12 pitches
Dark Star
 8
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 13 pitches
Last Payment
 10
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 4 pitches
Black Snake
 7
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 8 pitches
El Padre
 4
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Trad 12 pitches
Astro Dog
 60
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad 14 pitches
Flapjack
 3
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a PG13 Trad 6 pitches
The Quota
 3
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Trad 6 pitches
Tague Yer Time
 23
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad 15 pitches
Event Horizon
 6
5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b Trad 14 pitches
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Charles Vernon
Tucson, AZ
Charles Vernon   Tucson, AZ
This is a quote from Rock Climbing Colorado, on how to approach the SCV Wall: "...drop down the first gully past the Painted Wall Overlook. About 200' of 3rd class rock are near the gully's bottom. Below this rock work up and right to a saddle behind a large pinnacle. Drop down a gully from the saddle to the river and the wall base."

The latter part of this descent, from the saddle behind the pinnacle, is obvious and looks reasonable (except perhaps for the 5.7 slabs above the river) from the North Rim. However, I'm inclined to assume that the upper gully does not exist as described (I've seen it from the South side, and been down the gully just west to the Alimony Wall, but it is hard to tell how far the first gully goes before cliffing out), since I've never heard of it anywhere else and it sounds too good to be true! Oddly, the only other method for reaching SCVW mentioned in Rock Climbing Colorado is via the Chillumstone Gully, which would require river crossings. In the new guidebook, neither of these methods are mentioned, while three others are described(rappelling, tyrolean, and SOFB raps). Sep 9, 2002
What is the poison ivy beta on the south rim climbs? I've heard it's not as bad as the north rim, but I find it hard to believe. May 28, 2003
aaron voreis
Edina, MN
aaron voreis   Edina, MN
The poison ivy on the south rim is minimal and easy to avoid. The pricker bushes, however, are much more prickly than the ones on the north rim. Aug 20, 2005
Does anyone know if there is still a fixed line in the Chillumstone gully?

thx much Jun 26, 2009
Sean
Oak Park, CA
Sean   Oak Park, CA
As of 11 Jul 2009, the mentioned fixed rap line for the 150' Chillumstone rappel put there by NPS is no longer there, removed by a climbing ranger, according to the ranger we spoke to at the Visitor's Center. The rap sling and rings are still there for use. We just used own 70 m rope. Jul 15, 2009
Bryan Gilmore
FLG, AZ
Bryan Gilmore   FLG, AZ
FWIW, the fixed rope will only get you halfway down the Chillumstone rap (it got chopped by a rock), but a single 70m rope is perfect. I talked to the ranger after our climb, and he questioned us about the fixed line and wondered what we thought of a NPS fixed static line on that rap. My partner and I both said it would be a bad idea and he mentioned that Brent from the N. Rim also suggested against it. So, plan on using your own rope on the descent. Oct 12, 2009
Does anyone have any beta on Black Hole? Good rock, worth doing? Wondering what big gear to bring(is extra wide gear needed for belays, etc.). Also wanted to know if the first pitch is always wet? Jul 4, 2010
Re: The Black Hole:
Don't remember any specific wide belay sizes apart from the first belay. There's an ancient fixed hex, which we backed up with the smallest Bigbro. After that I think we had a doubles from Camalot #5 down for the rest of the OW. The crux roof is #3 and #4 Camalot size, I think. After that, it's back to standard rack. The first pitch was wet in May but may be would be dry late summer or fall.

I would totally recommend this route - it's a pretty monumental feature. The OW stuff at the beginning is a bit scaly, but in places and after that the rock is bomber. Ask Pennings or Wharton for an unbiased quality rating. Jul 8, 2010
Drew Thayer
Denver, CO
Drew Thayer   Denver, CO
Is the Tyrolean up now (fall 2013), and does anyone have a good description of how to reach it from the Cruise Gully descent? We will be reaching it in the dark. Oct 13, 2013
Chillumstone has a fixed rope in decent condition as of 6/10/16. Jun 12, 2016
Peter Beal
Boulder Colorado
Peter Beal   Boulder Colorado
Check the NPS site for updates on the substantial closures on the South Rim owing to huge potential rockfall

nps.gov/blca/planyourvisit/… 1 day ago · Temporary Report

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