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Routes in Skinner Mountain

1937 route T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Beached Whale (Unknown 2) S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Central Corner T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Dave Bell Memorial S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Eastern Front T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Lookatdat S 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Skin the Cat (Unknown 1) S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Vegomatic T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Wally World T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a

Description

Skinner Mountain is home to several crack climbs of varying quality in the 5.5-5.10 range, as well as a number of moderate and reasonably bolted slabs. All climbs are generally 2 or 3 pitches, with an easy walkoff descent generally to the northeast and back around to the base. A great place to take beginners for multipitch experience. Wally World, a fun 5.5 which follows cracks, buckets, and slabs for three pitches is one of the better easy trad leads in the area.

Getting There

Take US 285 to Pine Junction, a wide spot in the road at the intersection of US 285 and CO 126, and go south on C O126. The small hamlet of Buffalo Creek is about 9 miles south of US 285/CO 126 junction, or 1 mile south of Pine on CO 126; Skinner Mountain is 5.9 miles south of Buffalo Creek on CO 126. Drive until you see the Kelsey Campground sign and park on the road unless you want to pay the day use fee. Skinner can be seen from the road, so follow your nose generally west on an indistinct trail marked with the occasional cairn. If the correct path is found, you will be deposited about 50 feet above the climb Wally World. The approach takes about 15 minutes from the road.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Skinner Mountain

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Lookatdat
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Central Corner
Trad
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Skin the Cat (Unknown 1)
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Lookatdat 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport
Central Corner 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Skin the Cat (Unknown 1) 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Skinner Mountain »

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Photos

No trail marker yet. There is a minimally worn trail that heads straight upward toward the crag from the hydrant. No cairns at this point. The trail will cross the little used mountain biking spur trail a couple times, then it will T-intersect with the popular Little Scraggy trail. Take a left, walk about 25 feet, and you will see the faint trail again on your right. At this point, the trail will get steeper, and there are cairns to follow. I am fairly in shape, and it took me 30 minutes to get up to the crag. The sport routes are on an obvious slab facing mostly East. The Wally World is a little higher up, about 50 yards looker's right an up from Lookatdat. Oct 18, 2016
Greg J
Colorado
Greg J   Colorado
Was there last weekend, beautiful area and the weather was perfect. Note, the big pile of boulders past the hydrant aren't there anymore. For a bit more visibility, there is a little red flag like one used to mark sprinklers, and we added some logs along the edge of the path so it's more clear. Speaking with the camp host, he said the forest service promised to mark the trailhead clearly by the end of the season. Will be nice if that happens. Aug 26, 2013
slim    
Definitely more of a late fall-early winter (or warm winter day) area. You will fry and die this time of year. Aug 24, 2009
Mike Morin
North Conway, NH
Mike Morin   North Conway, NH
All the bolted routes face ESE. Make sure you get on the 4th route to the left. It's a hoot and goes at about 5.9 with a funky mantle. Aug 22, 2009
Can anyone tell me the aspect of the 5.7 and 10a bolted routes? Trying to plan going out there but don't want to get baked. Thanks! Aug 22, 2009
Fred Keith
Portsmouth & North Conway, NH
Fred Keith   Portsmouth & North Conway, NH
Yeah - thanks for the cairns.

On a "business" trip back to the Front Range, I scammed a very nice Friday with an old CO-Bro (you, Z) and we had a GREAT day on Wally World.

It was in between the brutal monsoon days you guys have been experiencing.

Frosties at the 'snort apres for sure.

I miss CO.... Jun 30, 2009
Thanks so much Scott,
It takes a giving and adventurous soul to finish up these sweet lines for us all to enjoy. You sir are the man!! Call me some time!!

Luke Childers Jun 13, 2009
In 2005 added 2 bolts to incomplete black face to the right of Attitude Adjustment, .12b, also 2 bolts added to route to the right of black face to create direct finish over bulge adding .11b and .10b sections. May 29, 2009
Christopher Jones
Denver, Colorado
Christopher Jones   Denver, Colorado
I go bouldering up there a few times a year. There are some good crack problems in the area. Jul 18, 2008
Jason Kaplan
Glenwood ,Co
Jason Kaplan   Glenwood ,Co
Anyone know about the bouldering just uphill from Kelsey camp ground? I was bored one day and was looking for some aid bouldering practice, hiked up back there instead of up towards Skinner as I was alone and have heard about a cat living up there. Found a few boulders with some cracks, got up top of my first aid problem just to find a freaking bolt! Pretty weak IMO as I only had 2 pads and I felt pretty good. 3-4 would be ideal but still.

So does anyone go bouldering back there? Also what about the formation to the lookers right of Skinner, is there anything on that? Jul 18, 2008
Christopher Jones
Denver, Colorado
Christopher Jones   Denver, Colorado
They look good, thank you for putting them up. Mar 30, 2008
Mike Morin
North Conway, NH
Mike Morin   North Conway, NH
Chains have been added to the right most anchors, plans are to replace the sketchy webbing/cordelette on the other two anchors in the coming weeks. Hope this doesn't offend anyone. Mar 30, 2008
Jeff Bryan
Cortez, co
Jeff Bryan   Cortez, co
I climb here often. I think a total of 6 bolted routes are now on this face. The hardest route is on the far left. I have no idea what it is rated maybe 10 a. It might even be harder. Be aware that a 60 meter rope will not reach the bottom. It will get you to a ledge which is an easy down climb. I would love to know what these routes are rated to the left. Oct 4, 2007
Laurie Lambe
Cottonwood Heights, UT
Laurie Lambe   Cottonwood Heights, UT
This is a fun crag! Central Corner is Definitely worth the hike. Look for a white post with the number 410 on it. Cross a dry wash. Aim straight for the crag. There is a trail with cairns that is approx. in between a tall pile of boulders on the left and a long low triangular boulder on the right. Sep 5, 2006
"...head generally towards the rock, but look around for a pile of large boulders. If you walk directly towards these boulders and pass them on your left, you should see the first cairn which sits very low to the ground about 50 feet away in the direction of the rock..."

Good advice - I thought the most up-slope boulder reminded me of Barney the dinosaur, so look for the Barney Rock and cut up the slope. Also, look for a "keyhole" during somewhat of a later traverse between a couple of boulders, this gets you in the proper ravine trail without as much bouldery/loose soil a hike. Jun 29, 2006
Climbed here on this past Sunday (4/30/06) and had a great day. We helped increase the visibility of some of the cairns on the climbers trail to help limit new trails from being formed.

A slight update to the approach, in hopes that it helps you find the proper trail: When you pass the gate to the campground and walk past the hydrant, head generally towards the rock, but look around for a pile of large boulders. If you walk directly towards these boulders and pass them on your left, you should see the first cairn which sits very low to the ground about 50 feet away in the direction of the rock. Finding the trail after this is pretty easy, and there are plenty of nice small cairns to guide you.

In between the easy cracks on the face, Hubbel lists 3 bolted slab routes. There are at least 4 new routes in addition to those 3 on this face and I am curious as to what they are. Anyone have any ideas?

-Mack May 1, 2006

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