Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details

Description

I was looking at the rock areas for the Garden of the Gods recently, and I realized that there was little to no mention of the bouldering to be found at The Garden. I was recently down there, and I spent a little time looking at guidebooks and hiking around the park and seeing what was to be seen for bouldering.

The bouldering in The Garden is mostly long, sustained traverses. The holds are fairly similar to what you would find on a Garden route. They range from slopey pockets to positive pockets, from positive edges to sand-filled crimps. There are four main areas that I went to. I have no idea of any established route names and/or routes for that matter. So if you have any input go ahead and add it, please.

The Snake Pit area is a small collection of three or four boulders that apparently fell off of Kindergarten Rock sometime ago. The rock is fairly coarse sandstone, that is similar to Flagstaff. It may not be quite as solid. The rock here reminded me of coral or something.

Getting There

To get there, park in the South Garden parking lot (just follow the road around until you start heading north again). Out of the lot go north and follow a trail a quarter mile or so. The rocks will be on the left side of the trail. They are located just below New Era. Remember no parking along the road.

White Chalk is not allowed!

The Park staff want to remind the climbing community that white chalk (calcium carbonate) is prohibited in the park due to visual impact. While any chalk use is discourage, chalk substitute that does not discolor the rock may be used. Eco balls are sold at the Visitor Center.

When placing closure signange/notifications, our park rangers noted chalk stains on several routes in the closure area (Anaconda and Grapefruit Dance), as well as the Blowouts bouldering area (which were cleaned last year, meaning all the chalk here is new). We are again hoping that the community can come together and address this issue before it requires any action on our part. Access may come into play! We'd also like to thank the PPCA for their efforts to remove chalk stains in these areas last year and hope that local climbers might consider helping them remove chalk stains from the rock this season- check their website for more info on upcoming events- pikespeakclimbersalliance.o….

Here are some documented examples from the Garden of the Gods staff:

Chalk at the Snake Pits.

Chalk at the Snake Pits.

28 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Snake Pit Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V0-1 4+
 3
Run N Jump (South Face)
Boulder
V3- 6A
 15
Unknown (Compression Northeast)
Boulder
V3 6A
 16
East Face Crimps
Boulder
V3 6A
 11
South Face
Boulder
V3+ 6A+
 22
Unknown Dyno
Boulder
V3+ 6A+
 8
Swiss Cheese
Boulder
V4 6B
 8
Nose Lunge
Boulder
V4 6B
 14
Unknown V4
Boulder
V6 7A
 8
Traverse
Boulder
V7 7A+
 28
Unknown V7 aka Slapper
Boulder
V7+ 7A+
 13
East Overhang of Mongoose Block
Boulder
V8 7B
 7
Low Traverse into Slapper
Boulder
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Run N Jump (South Face) Arch Boulder (aka Gro…
 3
V0-1 4+ Boulder
Unknown (Compression Northe… Mongoose Block
 15
V3- 6A Boulder
East Face Crimps Boulder (aka Fang Bou…
 16
V3 6A Boulder
South Face Boulder (aka Fang Bou…
 11
V3 6A Boulder
Unknown Dyno Traverse Boulder (aka…
 22
V3+ 6A+ Boulder
Swiss Cheese Mongoose Block
 8
V3+ 6A+ Boulder
Nose Lunge Mongoose Block
 8
V4 6B Boulder
Unknown V4 Mongoose Block
 14
V4 6B Boulder
Traverse Traverse Boulder (aka…
 8
V6 7A Boulder
Unknown V7 aka Slapper Mongoose Block
 28
V7 7A+ Boulder
East Overhang of Mongoose B… Mongoose Block
 13
V7+ 7A+ Boulder
Low Traverse into Slapper Mongoose Block
 7
V8 7B Boulder
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The bottom picture is mongoose block. On the left are some flakes V0, Just right of that are some slopy jugs V0+ or sit start the same at V2. The center of the photo is a V2 on flakes. To the right is a V1 that angles up and left. The arete on the right has a popular dyno called the Nose Lunge V4. The top picture has some good problems with bad landings, bring a pad. The center of the photo goes up seams and edges V3. The arete on the left is a V2 and the right arete is a V1. If you are looking at the top picture, 20ft to the left is another bouldering rock with good landings and short problems. Sue's eliminate starts at the left and climbs up and right to a small dyno V3. Flake up climbs the prominate flake in the center of the rock V0-. and a sit start problem on the right climbs crimps V3. Jan 20, 2003
Just got back from the Garden and the bottom photo is the first real rock bouldering i've done. It was loads of fun right at my level. Next time I pass through I'll stop for the afternoon again. Aug 10, 2004
The Snake Pits are the best place to go bouldering in GOG to get away from the crowds. Late Spring is the best time as the valley doesn't get too humid and the sun doesn't shine directly on them at sunset. Most climbers congregate at the first boulder, which arguably has the best problems and rock. Grades range from V0 to I think V9. There is a wicked V5 that pulls on slopers to gain a pathetic gaston, finishing at the eye level jug. The rock can be sharp in the dark areas, but nothing a good session at Flagstaff won't fix. The boulder to the northwest of the first boulder has an excellent overhanging traverse (more body-tension specific than the Blowouts traverse). Overall a great place for beginners and V-Sprayers alike.

-D Mar 2, 2006
Patrick Manitou
Atlanta, GAAAAA
Patrick Manitou   Atlanta, GAAAAA
A bit of history- the Snake Pits hosted the first ever bouldering competition back in the early 1960s. Harvey Carter hosted it, judged it, competed in it, and apparently won (who would have thought?). Check out John Gill's website for more info. Oct 10, 2008
Bob Robinson
Lone Tree, Colorado
Bob Robinson   Lone Tree, Colorado
Dear administrators:

Would it be possible to reorganize the Snake Pit area by breaking it down into separate boulders? It might make problem-finding in the are a little easier knowing there are multiple boulders there, all with viable problems on them. Granted, Mongoose is the coolest, but the others can be fun too.

I'll be happy to take pictures of the other boulders if you need them. Dec 15, 2009
Zach Mullennix
Leadville, Colorado
Zach Mullennix   Leadville, Colorado
Was wondering if anyone could tell me the rating and name of the problem on the south face of the Fang Boulder? This problem starts with two beautiful pockets and a drop knee stance for the first moves to a sloper and a crimpy jug on the left. This problem has classic movement, and I will reccomend it to anyone visiting The Garden. :) Jun 20, 2013