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Routes in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

Ariel T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Armed Forces S 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Arms Reduction T 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b R
Army T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Better Than Better Than Love T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Better than Love T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Casual Slabs T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c PG13
Forget Me Not T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Guardian, The S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Gunky T 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
In God We Trust T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b X
Inscrutable T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Like Hell It Is T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Love T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Party Of One T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a PG13
Pepé Le sPew S 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Seeker, The T 5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Stairway to Heaven T 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Wanderer, The T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
What, What? TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Who, Who? T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Elevation: 6,760 ft
GPS: 39.979, -105.29 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 13,215 total, 86/month
Shared By: Mark Oveson on Apr 18, 2005
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

Description

This is the first major ridge ascending out of Skunk Canyon on the right (north) side. Quality of the rock is very good--perhaps slightly better than "average" Flatiron rock. Routes range from the classic 1000'+ slab and ridge climb called Stairway to Heaven (5.2-ish, but mostly 3rd/4th class) to the enjoyable Love (5.4) and Better Than Love (5.5) on the west side of the rock, to the massively overhanging Guardian (5.12).

The rock gets few visitors, but the Colorado Mountain Club occasionally climbs Stairway to Heaven with groups of 10 climbers or more. Other than those times, it is a quiet and beautiful place to climb. Views of Satan's Slab [on Ridge Two] to the west, particularly from Better Than Love, are stunning.

[Ridge One] is notable in that it is the only ridge in Skunk Canyon that DOES NOT close for raptor nesting.
Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: Details
Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details

Getting There

From the NCAR trailhead, hike to the Mesa Trail, go north, and cross the Skunk Canyon creek. Continue steeply up a few switchbacks until you can see a faint trail heading into the canyon. You may have to climb over or around a log fence to reach the trail. If you reach the point where the Mesa Trail flattens out and heads east out of the canyon, you went too far (but not by much).

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Classic Climbing Routes at Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a
Stairway to Heaven
Trad 6 pitches
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Love
Trad 3 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Armed Forces
Sport
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
The Guardian
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Stairway to Heaven 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a Trad 6 pitches
Love 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 3 pitches
Armed Forces 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
The Guardian 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
An application for bolting a new route on Ridge 1 of Skunk Canyon has been received by the FCC for the August 1 cycle. This is a 5.10 route located on the west side near In God We Trust. Details of the proposed route can be found here on the FCC site: flatironsclimbing.org/current-...

Please feel free to post any comments you have on the application. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on Friday, September 1, 2017 at 6:30 pm, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there. Aug 2, 2017
An application for bolting a new route on Ridge 1 has been received by the FCC for the May 1 cycle. Details of the proposed route can be found here on the FCC site: flatironsclimbing.org/current-....

Please feel free to post any comments you have on the application. The public meeting will be held at the Spot on June 2, 2016 at 6:30, and everyone is welcome to join and vote there. May 15, 2016
Mark E Dixon
Sprezzatura, Someday
Mark E Dixon   Sprezzatura, Someday
The Mesa Trail has been rerouted a bit. After crossing the stream, you will have two quick short switchbacks, then a longer leg to a sharp right turning switchback. There's a big tree and several nice sitting rocks on a flat platform. Go past this spot and into Skunk Canyon. On the way to Ridge 1, it seems better to follow the trail on the south side of the creek until you are nearly below the ridge. Sep 20, 2015
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
We were visited by a mountain lion yesterday while packing up at the base of Stairway to Heaven. Although it is only a few hundred yards off the Mesa Trail, the base of this climb seems remote and seldom visited. I'm sure the healthy crop of poison ivy keeps people out. The poison ivy in Skunk Canyon is really bad right now! Sep 12, 2011
Jeremy Hakes
Golden, Colorado
Jeremy Hakes   Golden, Colorado
A good, clean & fun climb. Decent pro. We watched a bear move around with some deer remains from the summit - evidently the "Bear Area" signs are accurate. We exited to the east of the ridge, hiked down and slightly east and found a decent climbers trail to hike out on. Oct 15, 2006

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