GPS: 39.961, -105.289 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
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Shared By: Guy H. on Nov 29, 1999
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


The Shanahan Crags are located to the south of "The Slab". There are a couple "classic" easy Flatiron routes found on the main rock. There are also some more demanding trad routes on the south face, also. The descent involves doing a short downclimb to the gully north of the southern summit. A short rap from a tree will put you on the ground. A scramble down the south side will get you back to your packs.


Leonine, 10+, 2p, 180', gear.
Great Expectations, 9-, 2p, 180', gear.
Prune Face, 7, 1p, 120', gear.
Better Offer, 9+, 1p, 120', gear.
Beau!, 7+, 1p, 120', gear.
Identity Theft 7+, 1p, 130', gear.

South Face, 4, 2p, gear.
Vague Jug Line, 7+, 1p, 120', gear.
When It's Right, 8 R, 1p, 90', gear.
Southeast Ridge, 0, 3p, gear.
Southeast Ridge, North Crag, 5, 4p, 400', gear.

Getting There

This rock is best approached from the southern Shanahan Trail, which meets up with the Mesa trail.

16 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Shanahan Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c
Southeast Ridge
Trad 3 pitches
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c
East Face - Northern Shanahan Slab
Trad 3 pitches
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
South Face
Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Southeast Ridge
5.0 2- 4 I 6 MM 1c Trad 3 pitches
East Face - Northern Shanah…
5.2 3 8 II 8 D 2c Trad 3 pitches
South Face
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad 2 pitches
5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
More Classic Climbs in Shanahan Crag »

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With several new routes, the south face of Shanahan is now an excellent destination for moderate climbing. There are six routes from 5.4 to 5.9+ (not including the 11a Leonine), and several of these climbs merit three stars. The new routes all have adequate protection, but it can be tricky to arrange. RPs are a must and double ropes can be useful. Many leaders will be more comfortable a grade or two below their limitis. Mar 8, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
For those new to the crag, you will likely first encounter rock (lower part of the crag)well downhill from the established routes. Keep moving uphill and it will match the picture from Rossiter's guide. We met some folks trying to match some grungy crack with the photo perhaps 150 m downhill from the South Face route. The area may be lined up E-W wise as further W than the notch W of the Sphinx. Mar 13, 2003
Jake Wyatt
Longmont, CO
Jake Wyatt   Longmont, CO
I was one of the goofballs that Leo mentions, and I admit that I was suckered into starting up the grungy crack that's lower downslope from the posted routes. (What can I say, I was overly anxious to get on real rock after having spent a bit too much time at BRC....) The grungy crack did have a couple of fun moves, but it's nowhere near as pretty as the other routes just a little further up. Mar 31, 2003
James Garnett
Bellingham, WA
James Garnett   Bellingham, WA
I've never rappelled off the summit of this rock, but always downclimbed through the notch. That way sucks, though, because you have to scramble back through loose talus. My preferred method of descending now is to do a double-rope rappel from the rap station at the top of Prune Face (slings around a block, backed up with a fixed nut). This is a lot nicer and quicker, and with the rock as close to the trails as it is, it's not too much of a PITA to carry the extra rope. Sep 22, 2003
Gotta disagree with the approach beta here, unless you enjoy Flatiron bushwacking. The best approach is via the Terrain Boulders. From the upper-most Terrain boulders (Love Boat), head south through the woods to the base of Shanahan crag. Jul 28, 2004
James Garnett
Bellingham, WA
James Garnett   Bellingham, WA
What's wrong with the approach beta, AC? It's spot-on. This is a crag that is dear to our (shanahan-lovers') hearts, apparently, because the cairns that occasionally appear are quickly knocked down. Nevertheless, the beta is simple: from the gully between the south & north shanhan crag trails, walk west until you're at the crag: if it's not _totally_ obvious that you've arrived, then you haven't. Jan 26, 2005