Elevation: 8,682 ft
GPS: 39.189, -105.331 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 76,355 total · 462/month
Shared By: Darren Mabe on Feb 28, 2007
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description

Deep in the inner platte lies Sheeprock. A sleeping giant. At around 500 feet high, and more than a dozen multipitch routes, this wall offers somewhat of a unique adventure experience. I would be surprised to find a rock climber who was NOT inspired by the ominous and imposing north face. Guidebooks have always been vague about the old routes here, and certainly no mention of the new ones.

In 2002 the biggest forest fire in all of Colorado history swept hard through this area. Flames crept up as far as 200 feet up the flanks of Sheeprock. While a terrible tragedy, leaving an ugly and dead hillside, I have found the beauty in the natural regrowth of the ecosystems in its aftermath. I was never fortunate to experience the area before the burn. In just almost 5 years, it is pretty awesome to see nature running its course. Sure the trees are gone and the hillside is grossly eroded, but this adds to the experience and reminds us of nature's power. It also makes you feel like you are way the hell up there. Ironically, the fire actually cleaned up much of the lower faces, burning away moss, lichen, and exfoliating some of its weaker skin.

The north face is often referred to as the Land that Time Forgot. The routes, along with their names, suggest almost a mystical feel. The friction on this granite is unmatched. You may find yourself sticking to stuff you wouldnt normally think you could. Therefore it turns out that most are fully bolted face and slab routes, largely established in ground-up-on-lead style. While many of them top out on the saddle, a few adventure to the summit. Some very old and very obscure aid routes exist as well as some newer trad climbs. The saddle is simply an awesome place and picnic paradise. From here, you can top out on the summit via one of the routes on Velcro Wall, the low angled slabs on the south face.

If you want a warm-up to the weekend, or don’t have much time, check out the Smoking Section. This was a definite hot spot of the fire, hence the name. Almost a dozen short one pitch outings are here, as well as a few hard slab and crack testpieces.

In the spring and fall months, the northern exposure can chill you to the bone. Along with gale force winds at times, prepare accordingly. However, in the heat of summer, at high noon shade is a luxury and almost non-existent. The routes are longer than you might think so bring some water. Speaking of water… when it rains here, it pours! The summit is no place you want to be in a lightning storm, either.

Gear: Bring a shit-ton of draws as the pitches are typically long and mostly well protected. Bring a second rope for rappels. Even though there are only a few established trad routes, they alone are worth the weight of the rack.

Descent: You can rap almost every route except for the traversing ones, however the recommended cleanest rappel off the saddle is down Jacob's Ladder (3 X double rope raps). The quickest way off the Summit is to rap Cloak of the Wolf.

Some recommended routes: SolArian (5.10+), Cloak of the Wolf (5.12), Knossos (5.10), Riders in the Sky (5.10), Oklahoma Princess (5.7), and Marlboro Man (5.11).

How ya get there

Follow driving directions for Molly Gulch / Goose Creek.

Cross Goose Creek, head for the rolling hills. You will connect with a horse trail, (from here, its about 5 minutes to the Smoking Section) that makes a rising traverse to east (see approach photo). Once you are almost to the ridge, cut straight up the hill until you encounter a big expanse of slabs (see photo). From here, you can keep following the ridge to the base* of T19 and the Cloak, or traverse the hillside back to the west to the two-tiered base* of Knossos. *If you are really adventurous, there is room to bivy at either of these bases (see LTTF topo photo for location of these bases).

DO NOT try to cut straight up the hill. Even though the above trail descriptions seems arduous, the hillside below Sheeprock is heavily eroded, and large boulders can and do come down if you disturb them. Also, I have seen dead burned tree trunks knocked down in the wind. there is bad juju on this slope.

42 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Sheeprock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
 30
Acid Crack
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 12
Bolted Route
Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 7
Oklahoma Princess
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 13
Sweet Cigarillo
Sport 2 pitches
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
 22
Knossos
Sport 5 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 5
Nazca Line
Sport 5 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13
 17
Tour de Platte
Trad 6 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 9
Anasazi Arete (Pete Hubbel Memor…
Sport 2 pitches
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
 15
Riders in the Sky
Sport 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 20
Solarian
Trad 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 4
Black Lung
Sport
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
 7
I Love a Cigar
Trad 5 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 12
Ankar Gate
Sport 3 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 3
Sea of Sorrow
Sport
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b
 4
Cloak of the Wolf
Sport 4 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Acid Crack Velcro Wall
 30
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Trad
Bolted Route Velcro Wall
 12
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Sport 2 pitches
Oklahoma Princess Land that Time Forgot
 7
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Sweet Cigarillo Smoking Sections > Upper Smoking Section
 13
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport 2 pitches
Knossos Land that Time Forgot
 22
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport 5 pitches
Nazca Line Land that Time Forgot
 5
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport 5 pitches
Tour de Platte Velcro Wall
 17
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad 6 pitches
Anasazi Arete (Pete Hubbel… Land that Time Forgot
 9
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Sport 2 pitches
Riders in the Sky Land that Time Forgot
 15
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Sport 4 pitches
Solarian Land that Time Forgot
 20
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad 4 pitches
Black Lung Smoking Sections > Lower Smoking Section
 4
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
I Love a Cigar Land that Time Forgot
 7
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Trad 5 pitches
Ankar Gate Land that Time Forgot
 12
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 3 pitches
Sea of Sorrow Land that Time Forgot
 3
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Cloak of the Wolf Land that Time Forgot
 4
5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b Sport 4 pitches
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