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Routes in Deer Creek Crag

Heart Shaped Box Boulder V2-3 5+
Highwayman, The S 5.13d 8b 31 X 32 E8 7a
Horseshoes and Handgrenades TR 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Jugular V3 6A
Metallica Monday V8 7B
Paper Planes V7 7A+ PG13
Pimp Chimp's Crimp, The V4 6B
Random V6 V6 7A
Road Less Traveled, The S 5.13a/b 8a 29 IX+ 29 E7 6c
Unknown aka The Pump and The Pendulum S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Variety Show TR 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Westside Connection, The S 5.14a 8b+ 32 X+ 32 E8 7a
Unsorted Routes:

Description

This is a burly little roadside crag just up from Deer Creek Canyon (Jeffco Open Space, sw of Denver). There are three sets of chain anchors allowing you to toprope all climbs and variations, but the far right climb is bolted as well, and other climbs could be lead traditionally. Rock quality is sketchy in places, however, especially on the left side. The walk up to the anchors is to the left. The crag is 35/40 feet tall at the most. The rock is gneiss, I think, not unlike what you'll find in Clear Creek.

The climbing is rigorous and challenging--11s and 12s. There's some bouldering to be had as well. This is basically a local after-work crag, not necessarily worth the drive if you're closer to Clear Creek or Boulder, but certainly fun if you're in the area or want to sample something new.

All three main climbs are good and worth a go, and there is definitely room for improvised variations.

L->R:

Heart Shaped Box Boulder, V2-3, 10'.
Jugular, V3.
Random V6, V6, 15'.

A1. Variety Show, 11, 1p, TR.
A2. Horseshoes and Handgrenades, 11+, 1p, TR.
B. The Road Less Traveled, 13-, 1p, 50', bolts.
C. Paper Planes, V7 PG-13, 20'.
D. Unknown aka The Pump and The Pendulum, 12, 1p, 30', bolts.
E1. The Westside Connection, 14-, 1p, 25', bolts.
E2. The Highwayman, 13+, 1p, 30', bolts.
Private Property? Details

Getting There

From west Denver: Take C-470 south past the Morrison and 285 exits to the Ken Caryl exit. Take a right at the light and drive through the hogback (you'll see signs for Ken Caryl Valley). Stay left through the next light (the road is now called South Valley Rd.) and head through the third light as well. Drive on till you come to a T (there are some nice sandstone formations on your left, but climbing is off-limits), take a left here, then a right at the second T. You're now on the Deer Creek Canyon road heading into the mountains.

or, from Highlands Ranch and places to the south: Take C-470 west/north to the Wadsworth exit. Turn left/south as if going to Chatfield Reservoir, then first right after going under C-40. This road becomes Deer Creek Canyon Rd: take three miles west...

Once on Deer Creek Canyon Rd., pass the brown signs for Deer Creek Canyon (the open space park); stay on the main (windy) road for another two miles. The overhanging crag is right there on the road side on your right with a pullout in front of it. If you get to a strange little place called Phillipsburg you've just passed it.

12 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Deer Creek Crag

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Legs Magillicutty   Durango
Totally rad CLOSED crag. Jun 10, 2013
Hey, guys and gals. Just made it out here for a quicky. The property owner (driveway just west of the crag) stopped by and told us it was his land and didn't want us there. He wasn't exactly very happy to see us. We were very cordial, cleaned up, and got out.

Just a heads up. Totally rad spot, btw. Apr 28, 2013
Allen Hill
FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Allen Hill   FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
I drove down the canyon tonight and am in total agreement. They are a total eyesore and could cause issues. Pull them off.

A little history. We used the little cliff to practice steep aid climbing. Thus the quarter inch bolts that use to grace the cliff a little more than half way up... just high enough to avoid the coffin zone.

I think it's cool that it's a little sport crag now, but get rid of the slings in your own interest. Jun 20, 2010
Legs Magillicutty   Durango
I completely agree with Matt here. Jun 15, 2010
mlloyd
denver
mlloyd   denver
If everyone agrees, I think the fixed draws on a wall so close to the road is an eye sore and brings unleaded attention to the wall. If anyone goes to climb here, please bring down any fixed draws. I appreciate the idea and normally love having fixed gear for convenience; however, in this case it feels a little lazy due to the size of the wall.

Matt Lloyd Jun 3, 2010
Jessica Vose
Durango, CO
Jessica Vose   Durango, CO
My parents are property owners in the area, and no one in the area minds climbers. Just keep the area clean and be respectful :) Feb 15, 2010
A fun little wall next to the road. I was surprised and pleased with the difficulty and quality of the few lines that have been established here. This is a place that will find winter attention form me this year. Actually very quite for being so close to the road!!!! Great place to get a quick dose of stout climbing. Oct 22, 2009
Does the route with the fixed draws have a name? And has anyone climbed the route that goes up and right off of Highway Man?

Jables I would suggest epoxying the quick links shut if you don't want them stolen. It's one of the few things I've seen work. Just make sure if you use chains to paint them. Jul 29, 2008
mlloyd
denver
mlloyd   denver
An update on this wall. As posted above the route has since been climbed. It turned out pretty cool, check it out. "The Highwayman", 5.13d. Apr 29, 2008
mlloyd
denver
mlloyd   denver
I have bolted a open project on the right side of the wall, it climbs diagonally to the left trending toward the exsisting 12. The route is actually pretty sweet and very, very, very hard. When I bolted it, I was thinking easy 5.13, but I'm thinking now after doing the moves that it's much harder maybe 14a?

As a side note, I spoke with some local home owners and they don't have a problem with us climbing there, just be cool, clean up after yourself and keep it low key. Also, someone stole my draws of the warm up so..... Don't leave your draws on any climbs here. I guess it was a dumb move in the first place to leave my draws there. Mar 26, 2008
Two things: This crag is most probably on private land so access might be an issue.

And: Phillipsburg is no more. It has been torn down. Aug 26, 2007
rucdog
littleton, CO
rucdog   littleton, CO
I just climbed it a week ago for the first time, and everything is still good. I had to use a couple cams part way up cuzz I was diein, but all in all I loved it. Apr 7, 2007
Bryan Gartland
Helena, MT
Bryan Gartland   Helena, MT
There is some colorful but little known history in Deer Creek Canyon. Alfred Packer spent his final years mining and ranching in the area.

Please be mindful of the 100-year old petroglyphs on the bottom right side of the crag. This place is known as Camp Rock in historical records and was a popular resting place for travelers on the Deer Creek wagon road.

On a completely different note, an ice climb or two occasionally form downstream of Phillipsburg. I've never caught them in shape but my Dad got in a couple good days around 1980. Nov 11, 2006
Hey is that place legal are not? I climbed there about two years ago not bad for ten minutes more than morrison. Very posh area. Jun 8, 2004

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