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Routes in Lower Grotto Wall

Before There Were Nine S 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
Coldfusion T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Crime Victim S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Cryogenics T 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Engagement, The S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Espresso Love S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Girly Man S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Grotto Wall Traverse T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Headless Crankin' Chicken S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Headless Franken Chicken S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Insurrection S 5.14c 8c+ 34 XI- 35 E9 7b
Knuckle Head, The S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Mad Arab T 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
One for the Road S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Pea Brain S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b R
Scene of the Crime S 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Space Sluts in the Slammer S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Stage Fright S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Stand By Your Van T,S 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Star Spangled Dangle S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Stranger Than Fiction T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Tarzan S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Tommy's 13b S 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c
Twin Cracks T 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Under Pressure S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Under Pressure - Extension S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Victims of Fashion T,S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Wire and Fire T,S 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
YQ T,TR 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b R
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Elevation: 9,663 ft
GPS: 39.12, -106.7 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 33,606 total · 164/month
Shared By: Pinklebear on Jan 7, 2002 with updates from Pete F.
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Description

The Grotto Wall, with its historic and appealing Cryogenic Corner and John Sherman's highballing masterpiece The Ineditable, is the centerpiece of the Pass. The climbing here ranges from pure sport (Space Sluts in the Slammer) to Mixed (Exotic Headache) and classics are represented at just about every grade from 5.7 to 5.13+. The wall faces due south and can be quite hot on bright summer days, but does hold shade through mid-day on its left side.

The Upper Grotto Wall, a 15 minute slog up steep talus above the Lower Grotto has some great routes as well. This is a good place to get familiar with the pass and is useful for orienting oneself and finding the other crags. Routes range from 1-3 pitches in length.

Getting There

I'm not sure about the exact mileage, but the Grotto Wall is roughly nine miles from the end of Aspen proper (measure from the City Market). It is the obvious white and black towering wall on the left as you drive up the Pass from Aspen and has a nice parking lot/pull-out on the north (left) side of the road in which to park. This pull-out is tucked into an ess curve and attracts lots of tourists, so be prepared for an audience during busy weekends in the summer.

29 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Lower Grotto Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 27
Grotto Wall Traverse
Trad 3 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 116
Twin Cracks
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 113
Cryogenics
Trad 2 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 13
Stand By Your Van
Trad, Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 62
One for the Road
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 27
Under Pressure
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 3
Star Spangled Dangle
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 11
The Engagement
Sport
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
 10
Space Sluts in the Slammer
Sport
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
 13
Victims of Fashion
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 8
Scene of the Crime
Sport
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a
 4
Before There Were Nine
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Grotto Wall Traverse
 27
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 3 pitches
Twin Cracks
 116
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad
Cryogenics
 113
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 2 pitches
Stand By Your Van
 13
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
One for the Road
 62
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Under Pressure
 27
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Star Spangled Dangle
 3
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
The Engagement
 11
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Space Sluts in the Slammer
 10
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Victims of Fashion
 13
5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Scene of the Crime
 8
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
Before There Were Nine
 4
5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Lower Grotto Wall »

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J F M A M J J A S O N D
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The parking area is located between mile markers 50 and 51. Jul 18, 2003
In the Grotto area (Independence Pass), I am looking for trad routes. Looking for easy routes (5.8 or 5.9). Could anyone help? Jun 10, 2006
Is this area dog friendly? Or is it too close to the road? Jun 27, 2016
Is this crag easily accessed after pass closure? Nov 17, 2017
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
No. It's a long way up the road from the winter closure gate. Nov 18, 2017
We biked up there once from the closure gate. Was a bit of grind but nice coming back downhill. Nov 19, 2017

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