Avalon Rock Climbing
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Following a five month closure to protect nesting golden eagles, the Roosevelt National Forest has reopened Eagle Rock climbing area in Boulder Canyon.
“The Boulder Canyon eagles successfully raised one strong and healthy eaglet this year,” said wildlife biologist Aurelia DeNasha with the USDA Forest Service. “Two chicks hatched initially, but unfortunately only one survived to fledge, which isn’t uncommon in birds of prey.”
Post-fledging visits to the nest did not reveal the exact cause of death of the second chick, but cooperation by climbers with the closures are crucial to the eagles’ success each season.
“Golden eagle pairs are most susceptible to disturbance when choosing a nesting site. These closures allow the birds to pick the best site for survival without impact of other factors, such as human presence. Once chosen, the nest site stays closed until the eagles fledge in late July,” said DeNasha.
After the eagles’ site selection was made unused areas reopened in April.
The annual nesting closures include popular rock climbing spots at Eagle Rock, Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress and Security Risk in Boulder Canyon. These areas are located along Colorado Highway 119, approximately 1.5 miles east of Boulder Falls.
Effective through July 31, 2020, the closures protect a long-established golden eagle nesting territory. Happy Hour, Bihedral and Riviera remain open as long as visitors stay out of the closed areas.
The Boulder Ranger District partners with the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund to monitor nesting progress and to inform climbers about the importance of giving the eagles space to raise their young.
It is against federal and state law to disturb any nesting bird of prey. Only employees, volunteers, and wildlife professionals under an agreement with the Forest Service enter nesting areas for monitoring purposes. This is for the integrity of nest and the safety of the eagles, those conducting surveys, and the public. Visitors can help protect wildlife by respecting all closures and leaving immediately if you should accidentally enter one.
For the most current closure information, check signs in the areas, call the Boulder Ranger District office at 303-541-2500, or visit local climbing websites or fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/rec…
(click on Boulder Canyon for more info).
Starting 4/21/20, Blob Rock, East Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress and Security Risk are now open to activities. Eagle Rock remains closed to climbing and all activities until 7/31/2020. This was confirmed with Matt Henry, Recreation Program Manager, Forest Service.
From K. Armstrong, FS Public Affairs, firstname.lastname@example.org, 970-222-7607: starting 3/20/19, Blob Rock, East Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and Security Risk are now open to activities. Eagle Rock remains closed to climbing and other activities through 7/31/19.
The Boulder Ranger District partners with the Boulder Climbing Community and the Access Fund to monitor nesting progress and to inform climbers about the importance of giviSee - fs.usda.gov/recmain/arp/rec….
Eagle Rock, Blob Rock, Bitty Buttress, and Security Risk will close Feb. 1 until July 31 for raptor nesting. Depending on updated information, the closure time can be shortened or lengthened.
Each year, Boulder Canyon raptor nesting area closures are in effect starting February 1st through July 31st at Eagle Rock, Security Risk, Blob Rock, and Bitty Buttress. However, the area is monitored and closures are periodically lifted early (due to no active nest, nest site failure, or early fledging). This monitoring program is a partnership with the Forest Service Boulder Ranger District, Boulder Climbing Community, and Audubon Society. Check back periodically during times of closure for updates. More info at fs.usda.gov/recarea/arp/rec…
Avalon is home to many moderate (5.8 to 5.10) sport routes, and has become popular in recent years. It can get busy on summer weekends.
Most of the routes are fully bolted, but several require a few pieces of trad gear. Be sure to check the route description before you head up with just a rack of quickdraws. Bring a rack of nuts and cams to 2" if you're going to do any of the "mixed" routes; otherwise, 12 quickdraws are enough for the longest route. A few routes could use one or two longer runners to keep down rope drag. Bring a 60m rope; some of the routes require it to lower or rappel.
Richard Rossiter's website, Boulder Climbs, has descriptions of most Avalon routes, as does Mark Rolofson's new guidebook "Boulder Canyon Sport & Adventure Climber's Guide Volume II: The Upper Canyon". Rossiter's current Boulder Canyon guidebook lists very few of the Avalon routes.
The routes on Avalon lie on three tiers. The First Tier, closest to the creek, has a number of good routes: Mists of Avalon (10a), Iron Maiden (9+), Slayer (10b), and Marquis de Sade (10d) are popular.
The Second Tier is home to most of the routes on Avalon. It is a complex area, and is split into several sub-areas: Tarot Wall has Lust (10c), The Tower (10a), and Wheel of Fortune (10a). The Three Dihedrals area has the ever-popular Dominator (10b). The Clipboard Area has The Clipboard (11b) and Stigmata (10a). The Middle Wall has Strange Science (11c), Free Fall (12a), and Incline Club (8). The Wall of the Dead has the fun Dead Can Dance (9).
The Third Tier is the most remote and is visited by few climbers. Many routes up here have some moss and lichen, since the rock faces more to the north than down below, and the routes have seen little traffic. Come here to get away from the crowds. Visit the Wall of the Goddess for some trad crack-climbing practice. Climb on the remote Crack Land or Wall of the Dragon to experience "adventure sport climbing". Climb Ancient Light (10a) to Ancient Fright (10c) to Resurrection (9) to visit the true summit of Avalon, a magical place! The Art Of War (10c) is an excellent new sport route in Crack Land.
In 2006, Richard Rossiter and Pebby Johns aded a number of new crack climbs in Crack Land; bring your trad rack and have some fun!
* In a small paved pullout on the right side of the road, 8.2 miles up the canyon, just across from the crag. This is 0.1 miles past Practice Rock, just past a right-hand bend in the road. Cross the road and spot the talus field below Avalon.
Warning: As of 6/20/07, this area has been posted as a no-parking zone. Evidently people are being ticketed for parking here. It's possible to park a bit downstream, just before the start of the no-parking zone. The no-parking sign is NOT visible at the usual parking pullout.
* In a pullout on the left side of the road, 8.4 miles up the canyon, across from The Boulderado and Animal World. This is just past a concrete guard rail on the left. From here, walk 0.2 miles downstream, past Black Widow, Vampire Rock, and the Watermark, to the talus field below Avalon.
Crossing the creek:
* There is a tyrolean traverse (currently 2 ropes, one rope is frayed) below the talus field; use this if the water level is too high to wade.
* If the water level is low enough, you can wade downstream of the talus field.
* If the water level is really low, you can hop rocks to get across.
Specific access directions for each tier will be listed in those sections.
Classic Climbing Routes at Avalon
Days w Precip