Elevation: 5,500 ft
GPS: 39.931, -105.288 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 285,375 total · 1,736/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Mar 20, 2006
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Access Issue: Seasonal Closures Details

Description

Okay, here we go. Big section of rock here. This bit of reorg will take longer. Beware of falling participles, hanging adjectives, hazardous grammar...for you perfectionists...don't read any further until it is safe....

The West Ridge is an amazing, diagonalling cliff band, far wider than tall, with an enormous variety of climbing on SW-facing Fountain Formation sandstone. There are face climbs, dihedrals, slabs, overhangs, thin cracks, wide cracks, lots of moderate routes, but, sorry, no long routes. It lies just W of its larger sister, the Redgarden Wall, and rises out from the S. Boulder Creek to the gully just before Rincon. Interestingly, this ridge seems to have escaped the climbers' attention until 1963. Perhaps, it is 2400 feet wide by up to 350 feet tall with at least 180 routes. These routes range in length from 20 foot highballs to the 5-pitch Long John Wall and from 4th class to 5.12d at least; however lower than 5.7 & higher than 5.11 is are lightly represented here. So, higher end climbers need to look elsewhere for established testpieces unless you want to free one of the few remaining aid lines. Likely, it has the greatest potential for unclimbed routes remaining in Eldorado but many of the unclimbed areas area unclimbed for a reason.

Although there are no long routes here, this is a particularly great place to climb since climbing is well-spread out, there are all sorts of difficulties in climbing routes close together, and it's simply beautiful here. You can dial in your temperature setting by aspect of the face, shade, & altitude. For the moderate traditional climber seeking ease of access & variety, there may no place better in the close-in Denver Metro area.

For the purposes of organization for ease of use, the West Ridge is divided into 6 areas by well-known, spaced-out, arbitrary climbs (Xanadu, Pony Express, Long John Wall, Verschneidung) with the distinct Potato Chip (cover shot for the classic Boulder Climbs South) which remains from the previous organizational scheme.

While there may be no top-ten in Eldorado Canyon SP here, there are many fine lines to savor. Washington Irving, 5.6; Verscheidung, 5.7; Knight's Move, 5.7; the strenuous Mesca-Line, 5.7; Chianti, 5.8+; Long John Wall, 5.8+; The Unsaid, 5.9; Purple Haze, 5.9; Allosaur, 5.9 s; Morning Thunder, 5.9+; the delightful Positively Fourth Street, 5.9+; Chockstone, 5.10a; Handcracker Direct, 5.10a; the fine Xanadu, 5.10a; Break on Through, 5.10a; Laughing at the Moon, 5.10b; Hand Crack, 5.10b; Variation to Mail Ridge, 5.10; Sooberb, 5.10c; the exquisite Prince of Darkness, 5.11a; Practice Climb 101 to Sidewall, 5.11a s; Wing Shot, 5.11b; Parallels, 5.11b s; the fun Terminal Velocity, 5.11b/c s; the fine Pony Express, 5.11c; Iron Horse, 5.11c s; Jericho, 5.11c; amazing Bit by Bit, 5.11c/d; Wild Turkey, 5.11c/d s; Foxtrot, 5.11d s; the airy French Fry, 5.12b; the intimidating The Reckoning, 5.12d; among others.

Descent can be done by rappel or scrambling down the E side of the ridge when there it is snow-free.

So, while we're working on this, anyone care to sound in on if they've already done my long-term vision of a girdle traverse? I'm guessing this could be the second longest climb in the area. Mic? Did Derek do this? Crusher? Chris? Hamish? Tony? Bob? Malcolm? Duncan? Charlie?

Girdle on Redgarden is probably bigger.

Getting There

Approach is dependent upon the depth of the creek, the section of wall you wish to climb, the parking available, and your desires for the day. You can approach the top of the ridge by parking at the W end of the park, hiking up the Eldorado Canyon Trail, take the turn off for the Rincon access, then boulder hop the talus, and cross to the Rincon. Then angle down a short way to the top of the ridge. You can approach the lower part of the ridge by parking at the Milton Boulder, wade the stream or boulder hop (Aug-ish to May-ish) to the base of the ridge and ascend. Finally, you can approach the lower part of the ridge by parking at the E end of the park, cross the bridge, hike on the trail paralleling the creek, and traverse the slippery 3rd class ramp around to the base of the West Ridge. Note, this last traverse is intimidating for small kids and particularly green partners.

253 Total Climbs

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Location: The West Ridge Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at The West Ridge

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 330
Verschneidung Dihedral
Trad 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 525
Long John Wall
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 230
Chianti
Trad 2 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R
 142
Allosaur
Trad 3 pitches
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 73
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Express…
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 272
Xanadu
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 478
Handcracker Direct
Trad 5 pitches
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 400
Hand Crack (aka White Lightning)
Trad
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 265
Chockstone
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 185
Break on Through
Trad 2 pitches
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 104
Prince of Darkness
Trad
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 96
Parallels
Trad
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 157
Terminal Velocity
Trad
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 170
Pony Express
Trad 2 pitches
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13
 68
Foxtrot
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Verschneidung Dihedral W Ridge - part A - Ve…
 330
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad 2 pitches
Long John Wall W Ridge - part B - Lo…
 525
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 4 pitches
Chianti W Ridge - part B - Lo…
 230
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Allosaur W Ridge - part A - Ve…
 142
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a R Trad 3 pitches
Horse d'Oeuvre (aka Pony Ex… W Ridge - part C - Po…
 73
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad
Xanadu W Ridge - part D - Xa…
 272
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Handcracker Direct W Ridge - part C - Po…
 478
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 5 pitches
Hand Crack (aka White Light… W Ridge - part D - Xa…
 400
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Chockstone W Ridge - part E - to…
 265
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
Break on Through W Ridge - part B - Lo…
 185
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Prince of Darkness W Ridge - part E - to…
 104
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Parallels W Ridge - part D - Xa…
 96
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Terminal Velocity W Ridge - part D - Xa…
 157
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad
Pony Express W Ridge - part C - Po…
 170
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Trad 2 pitches
Foxtrot W Ridge - part D - Xa…
 68
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a PG13 Trad
More Classic Climbs in The West Ridge »

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