Elevation: 7,885 ft
GPS: 37.695, -106.348 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 367,618 total · 2,105/month
Shared By: John McNamee on Feb 26, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Introduction

Spanning almost 8,000 square miles, the San Luis Valley is the world's largest alpine valley. The average altitude is 7,500 feet, so it can be very warm in the summer and very cold at night in the winter. With the Sangre de Cristo Mountains to the east and the Rio Grande to the west.

The San Luis Valley sits atop the Rio Grande Rift, a split in the crust of the Earth where the sides are pulling away from each other. If the Valley floor were excavated, bedrock would be down about 30,000 feet, making the bottom of the Valley close to 4 miles below sea level. Over millenia, the mountains surrounding the Valley have eroded away, filling in the hole with rock, sand and earth. Quite a few streams flow into the Valley, only to sink into the ground before they go very far.

Getting There

This is part of the reorg of the Colorado site.

From the Denver Metro area, you can go US 285 West all the way into the valley. You can also take I-70 to CO 91 through Breckinridge to US 24 South to US 285.

From Grand Junction, you can take US 50 East to US 285 near Poncha Springs, then go south on US 285.

From Durango, you can take US 160 East to US 285 North.

Resources

Camping is availabe at Penintente Canyon; however, it now costs a bit and has standard BLM regulations. Water is provided down the road from the climbing / camping area (another recent development - follow the signs), and the nearest 'goods' can be found at the 'La Garita Cash Store'.

There are a variety of small, charming B&B type accomodations throughout the valley, in Poncha Springs, La Garita, Del Norte. There are a smattering of motels/hotels in the area as well.

Alamosa is the largest town in the valley for supplies, etc.

286 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at San Luis Valley

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 205
How The West Was Won
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 208
Captain America
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 82
Bucket Slave
Trad, Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 98
Jewel Of The Mild
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 86
Yah-Ta-Hei
Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 72
Children Of A Lesser Grade
Sport
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 90
Concupiscent Curds
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 243
Tanks for the Hueco
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 75
Breakdown Dead Ahead
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 159
Whipping Post
Sport
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 278
Not My Cross To Bear
Sport
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 75
Shear Strength
Sport
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 138
Los Hermanos de la Weenie Way
Sport
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
 65
Forbidden Fruit
Sport
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
 74
Bullet the Blue Sky
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
How The West Was Won Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 205
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Captain America Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 208
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Bucket Slave Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 82
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport
Jewel Of The Mild Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 98
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Yah-Ta-Hei Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 86
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Children Of A Lesser Grade Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 72
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Concupiscent Curds Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 90
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Tanks for the Hueco Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 243
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Breakdown Dead Ahead Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 75
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Whipping Post Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 159
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Not My Cross To Bear Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 278
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Shear Strength Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 75
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Los Hermanos de la Weenie Way Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 138
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Forbidden Fruit Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Entrance…
 65
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Bullet the Blue Sky Penitente Canyon > Penitente - Inner Canyon
 74
5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
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