Tonnere Tower 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, email@example.com, 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…
Visited by climbers many years ago, the crag has long been neglected, and gets only a brief mention in Richard Rossiter's Boulder Canyon guidebook. The only documented route is an old line on the northwest ridge which is seldom climbed today.
In May-July 2007, several new sport routes were established on the east face. With six 2-pitch sport routes in the 5.10 and 5.11 range, and a 3-pitch 5.10 sport route, Tonnere Tower has become a favorite spot in Boulder Canyon for multi-pitch sport climbing. The east face of Tonnere (Sport Land) is a great place to climb on hot summer afternoons and evenings, going into the shade by 2pm.
In July-October 2007, many new mixed routes were established on the north face; one four-pitch route (Los Pinos) climbs from the creek to the summit. The north-face routes are in the shade for most of the day.
The best climbing months are May through October. By November, most of the routes are in the shade all day, and are enjoyable only if the weather is unseasonably warm.
All of the new routes have 2-bolt anchors, and can be climbed and rappelled with a single 60m rope. Most routes have double-ring anchors which provide multiple clip-in points. Several routes have lowering hooks at the anchors for convenient lowering without having to untie to thread the rope. Routes that go to the summit use tree anchors for the top pitches.
With many good multi-pitch sport, trad, and mixed routes (35 routes and 56 pitches of climbing) and very easy access, Tonnere Tower is now a crag often visited by climbers, instead of the forgotten crag that it once was.
Tonnere Tower has several different climbing areas; Eds. the beta photo has been deleted by its submitter. From left to right:
Sport Land, on the east face, features multi-pitch sport climbs. There are also two pure trad routes in this area. Featured routes: Sidekick, Stayin' Alive, Toe The Line, Tag Team, and Total Eclipse. Eds. the beta photo has been deleted by its submitter.
Treasure Wall, on the left side of the north face, has single- and multi-pitch sport climbs, a trad climb, and several multi-pitch mixed routes. Featured routes: Buried Treasure, The Twilight Kid, and Fields of Gold. Eds. the beta photos have been deleted by their submitter.
The Garden, in the center of the north face, has several single- and multi-pitch mixed routes and one sport route. Featured routes: Before The Deluge, Crackdown, Showtime, and The B Boys. Eds. the beta photo has been deleted by its submitter.
Creekside, on the north face down by the creek, has single- and multi-pitch mixed routes. Featured routes: Local Hero and Spirit on the Water. Eds. the beta photo has been deleted by its submitter.
Northwest Face, on the right side of the north face, has one old multi-pitch trad route, Northwest Ridge.
A tyrolean traverse can be used to cross the creek when the water is too high to hop rocks or wade. It is located about 60 yards upstream from the Boulder Falls parking area, opposite the trailhead to Boulder Falls. The far end of the tyrolean is right by the path heading up to Sport Land, Treasure Wall, and The Garden.
If the water level is low enough, you can wade across the creek just downstream from the tyrolean. If you want to hop rocks, there are several spots a bit upstream from the tyrolean to check out.
Wading or hopping rocks can be done from late July until mid-May. The tyrolean is the best way across the creek from mid-May until late July.
See the individual sub-areas for detailed approach information.
Classic Climbing Routes at Tonnere Tower
Days w Precip