Description

Across from the road from the standard Morrison bouldering area is a hill side of beautiful boulders that draws the eye as you repeat the same old standard Morrison problems. This area gained some recent attention from the video, Who Got the Props? The ultra-classic, Breashear's Crack II, draws plenty of attention. Shady lines for summer bouldering abound in this newly (?) explored area. Perhaps you can find a Holloway or Gill problem here.... First ascent lines await your eyes and touch.

Prompted from a suggestion from jmapping, we are reorganizing this into these subareas:

Arrowhead Arete Area
The Caves
The Cube Area
Rockstaircase Area
Rupture Area
The Schoolyard Area
Squirming Coil Area
Warm-up Traverse Area (Behind the Cube)

Obviously, some of these problems are yet to be sorted, and some may be missorted. Any help with the reorganization is appreciated.

Getting There

Go to Morrison, look south of the road. This hill side is covered with various shady boulders.

Rattlesnakes

Onery rattlesnakes have been known to frequent this area. Beware!

96 Total Climbs

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Location: The Dark Side Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The Dark Side

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V1 5
 56
Gypsy Devil
Boulder
V1 5
 115
In the Beginning
Boulder
V1 5
 31
Tofurkey
Boulder
V1+ 5
 88
Deal Jams
Boulder
V1+ 5
 68
Part of A Warmup Traverse
Boulder
V1-2 5
 58
Bearded Lady (aka Hand Crack)
Boulder
V3 6A
 149
Breashear's Crack II
Boulder
V3 6A
 61
Done Deal Dyno
Boulder
V3+ 6A+
 25
MoSo Roof
Boulder
V4 6B
 64
High Gravity aka Slots
Boulder
V5 6C
 85
Squirming Coil
Boulder
V5 6C
 80
Double Arete
Boulder
V6- 7A
 54
Dasani
Boulder
V6 7A R
 35
Rupture
Boulder
V10 7C+
 10
Arrowhead Arete (SDS)
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Gypsy Devil Warm-up Traverse Area
 56
V1 5 Boulder
In the Beginning Cube Area
 115
V1 5 Boulder
Tofurkey Tofurkey Area
 31
V1 5 Boulder
Deal Jams Cube Area
 88
V1+ 5 Boulder
Part of A Warmup Traverse Warm-up Traverse Area
 68
V1+ 5 Boulder
Bearded Lady (aka Hand Crack) Squirming Coil Area
 58
V1-2 5 Boulder
Breashear's Crack II Cube Area
 149
V3 6A Boulder
Done Deal Dyno Cube Area
 61
V3 6A Boulder
MoSo Roof MoSo Area
 25
V3+ 6A+ Boulder
High Gravity aka Slots Warm-up Traverse Area
 64
V4 6B Boulder
Squirming Coil Squirming Coil Area
 85
V5 6C Boulder
Double Arete Squirming Coil Area
 80
V5 6C Boulder
Dasani Dasani Area
 54
V6- 7A Boulder
Rupture Caves > Rupture Cave
 35
V6 7A R Boulder
Arrowhead Arete (SDS) Arrowhead Arete Area
 10
V10 7C+ Boulder
More Classic Climbs in The Dark Side »

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Chris Dawson
Denver, CO
Chris Dawson   Denver, CO
It should be said that this is predominantly a summer destination. In the winter months it is cold, shady and wet, as the sun doesn't touch most of the hillside all day long. Feb 21, 2002
chris deulen
Castle Rock
chris deulen   Castle Rock
The winter months do bring some great temps for sending. The best way to get here when heading West on Morrison Road is to take your first left after C-470 and park on the right after crossing the bridge in the dirt pullout. Walk to the end of the lot (South) and cross a concrete bridge over the canal. Take the steep trail straight up the dirt. When a fork in the trail comes, go left (up) rather than right (straight and flat). This good trail dips down, then continues up, around trees, and along rock. When you come to the first boulders (which may have notable chalk on them) squeeze between a rock and a tree with your pad. this will lead to, yet another, steep dirt path that will bring you to a nice "cave area." Up another steep hill, and to the right will lead you to the main area, with the Cube. May 24, 2006
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
If anyone knows the names of any of the recent problems I've put up here on the site (since I don't), please let me know and I'll change them. Thanks. Oct 13, 2007
Jay Samuelson
Denver CO
Jay Samuelson   Denver CO
Just wanted to thank whoever put in the time, money and effort into making the staircase on the approach trail for this area, it's greatly appreciated Jul 17, 2008
cstorms
North Bend, OR
cstorms   North Bend, OR
I agree, the staircase makes the hike up about twice as easy. Nice work. Aug 5, 2008
Mike Morin
Glen, NH
Mike Morin   Glen, NH
Thank the Jefferson County Open Space Trail Crew. Aug 5, 2008
Chris Chaney
Stanton, Kentucky
Chris Chaney   Stanton, Kentucky
The name of the hogback is Mount Glennon and this area is mostly within Jefferson County Open Space. Oct 4, 2008
I have just added some very classic MoSo climbs to the database. The names I have chosen are names that myself and other locals of the area have used for the past 8+ years and have started to become the de facto names of the problems. I realize that we are most likely not the first ascentionists of many of the lines (if not all) and therefore do not have the right to replace names of ones that may or may not exist. I merely hope to give recognition to really good problems and provide a means of reference so that finding problems is easier. MoSo is a great Front Range area and I hope people can visit without having to decipher beta like "Go past Unknown V3, up to Unknown V8, and then start right of Unknown V6". It is for that reason I have added with our given names. I will happily change any info if you are 100% sure you did the F.A. and you reach out to me.


Good Climbing. Feb 19, 2009
half-pad-mini-jug
crauschville
half-pad-mini-jug   crauschville
I have also added some routes recently and if anyone knows any info on these, I would be more than happy to make corrections. I agree that it would be nice to have names to reference climbs rather than 'arete 1' etc... Also, I'm bad at grading things, so some consensus would be nice too. This is an awesome area, way better than across the road, you can actually top things out. Mar 21, 2009
There are plenty of lines still to be done here, go big or go home, seriously folks, proud ascents await!

Cheers and happy findings. May 16, 2009
John McNamee
Littleton, CO
John McNamee   Littleton, CO  
Nice darkside vid.

deadpointmag.com/videos/wat… Aug 2, 2010
Sean Wolf
Denver, CO
Sean Wolf   Denver, CO
Anyone have information about the cave problem at the very top of the hogback with the glue'd hold on it? Aug 30, 2010
Does anyone know what the V1-V2 climbs are that are located in the cave to the right of Dasani? In that area on the left of the cave there are two V1-V2 type climbs, the left one that you can top out, almost onto a flat sheet with some ledges on it. Steep dropoff downhill. The other climb starts on the right side of the left wall and goes straight up w/ no topout. On the right side of the cave is a super awkward, probably V5/V7, overhanging problem that stems a crack?
Couldn't find them on here and thought they would be a good addition for beginning climbers or decent warmups. There's plenty of chalk on the holds, but landings are definitely 2-4 pads and a spotter. Sep 28, 2010
There are a handful of lines that I have seen/climbed on the Dark Side that are not listed here. It would be great to get some of these named/graded and listed. There are two that I may not have been the first to climb, but they sure did take some cleaning. Has anyone climbed or know anyone whose climb the right pockety face of Moso Roof (V3-V4)? Also, the far right face of High Gravity? Right next to the arete on the right side, has small crimpy ledges all the way up (V4-V5)?

And a problem directly right of warm-up traverse (seemed to already have some chalk on it). It has a sit start to a couple of two-fingered pockets and then up to the ledge (V2?)?

Thanks!
Anson Jun 19, 2012
Jon Sauls
Denver, Colorado
Jon Sauls   Denver, Colorado
Can anyone tell me what problem this is and its rating? I have scoured the internet looking for it with no luck. It is the 1st problem in this video: youtu.be/Gvy0cz-NOhA. Jul 5, 2012
Does anybody know the problem that starts in a bit of a mini-cave with no feet, follows a crack system out a roof to the prow of an overhanging arete, and then tops out around the prow? It's just downhill from squirming coil and maybe behind Dasani? In the Colorado Bouldering Front Range book, their map has its area titled as "The Tunnel" and the problem is incorrectly called Dasani.

Just opposite this mini-cave is a more vertical block with some fun problems as well with weird, slab topouts.

It felt in the V4-V8 range, but I couldn't do the first move of the sit start back in the cave and can't say for sure. Beautiful movements though.

I think I'm referring to the same area as Kelham Stephenson. Jul 24, 2013
Matt W.
Edmond, OK
Matt W.   Edmond, OK
What are conditions like in this area right now and during the first part of February? Too wet and snowy to climb? Jan 29, 2015
doug rouse
Denver, CO.
doug rouse   Denver, CO.
Huge shout out to those who came up on Sunday to clean graffiti at the Dark Side in Morrison. I spoke briefly with Chris S. who advised it was all part of a mentoring program for younger climbers. Your efforts are appreciated, and we are all very thankful for the time all of you put in! Oct 5, 2015
Hello, did anyone find a pair of Red Chili Spirit VCR last Saturday, 12/16? Dec 22, 2017
Ran into a real bastard of a rattlesnake right at the top of the second set of stairs yesterday, it was hanging out just off the trail. Had to walk back over to the boulders and scramble down a faint trail to the canal and back around to the main trail to get down.

Keep your eyes peeled! It was hanging out there for a while. Oct 3, 2018