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Routes in Grand Ledge

Alice's Corner TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Ballerina V2- 5+ PG13
Beginner's Climb TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Black Buttress TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Brachiator TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Building Blocks TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Century Club TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Cold Turkey TR 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Comedy Of Terrors V7- 7A+
Conscientious Objection TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Contrived TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cowabunga TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Despondecy Direct TR 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Despondency Indirect TR 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Disintigration TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Doug's Roof TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Enigma V6 7A
Extension TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Finesse TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Franks Climb TR 5.13b 8a 29 IX+ 30 E7 6c PG13
Gotham City (Bat Hang) V2 5+
Heart and Soul TR 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
Hollywood TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Impasse TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Inappropriate Behavior TR 5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Intergalactic Quaalude Trip TR 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Intimidator TR 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Karen's Direct TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Karen's Overhang TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Let Me Go Wild TR 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Living on the Ledge V4 6B
Ludwig's Dude TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
MLF TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mental Blocks TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Mossy Gully TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Myalgia TR 5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
No Soap TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
No-hands Slab, The V0 4
Nose, The TR 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
One For the Road AKA One Last Time TR 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Peek-a-boo TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Pigeon Shit TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Poison Ivy Jam TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Potato Chips TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Pretzel, The TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Ragged Edge TR 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b
Rated X TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Rocket Man TR 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Root Route TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Schism TR 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Steppin' Out TR 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Technical Difficulties TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Three Mules TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Tooth, The V1- 5-
Trick, The V2- 5+
Ultimate Bushwack TR 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Under the Rainbow V2 5+ R
Unknown H V0 4
V1 Exit stage left V1 5 R
Walk on By TR 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Weedies V7 7A+
Unsorted Routes:
Elevation: 45 ft
GPS: 42.758, -84.753 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 43,997 total, 337/month
Shared By: Chris Zuelch on Mar 21, 2007
Admins: jon jugenheimer, Paul Peppin
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Sunny sandstone top roping in the lower peninsula of Michigan right off of the Grand River. The cliff is only 40 to 45 feet tall at best, but offers very bouldery, challenging climbs. Classic climbs included:

Chips : 5.7
Doug's Roof : 5.10
Rocket Man : 5:10
Pigeon Shit : 5.9???

The cliff faces south and receives sun most of the day. It exists in a City Park, but currently the city is pro climbing. It is the only known cliff in lower Michigan that you can climb at.

Getting There

Find Grand Ledge, Michigan (use Map Quest or Google). Then head through downtown along Bridge St. Once you cross the bridge, hang a left on the first street. You will drive though a subdivision street until you dead end at Lilly Park. The approach to the cliff is obvious- simply hike down towards the river via trails that take you down to where the cliff breaks down on both sides.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Grand Ledge

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Can any Michiganders tell me if this place is worth the drive from Fremont? I'll be there for the summer and it looks like this is my most realistic prospect for any kind of climbing. I'd appreciate any other recommendations as well!! May 31, 2017
Seth Hogan
Frisco, Co
Seth Hogan   Frisco, Co
Kinda cool stop off if you want to break up a drive cross country. Interesting ethics in this spot though. It is sandstone, but pretty solid, this place has a some routes that would really eat up gear, in good rock too. But, the ethic seems to be no gear whatsoever with the idea that it preserves the rock. I was going to place a piece just for a directional, while still on top rope, and even got hassled for that, so we just took big TR swings (Real potential for swinging into other parties.) The use of carpets to pad the rock from your anchor with no moving parts but letting the rope repeatedly cut into the rock due to lowering seems like a strange idea to me.

I noticed a lot of people here climbing the day after it rained pretty hard talking about the ethics there to preserve the rock, that's great. However, sandstone requires a solid 48 hours after rain to dry out. You want dry sandstone because it is far less susceptible to breaking. The two most important things locals could do in this area, to preserve it, would be to #1. Not climb on the rock within 48 hours of rain and #2. Rappel down, instead of lower, in order to avoid creating rope scars in the rock.

Nice spot to break up the drive, and almost all of the routes here could be done with a pad or two as the top outs are very easy with trees to work with if need be and the cruxes were (in my limited experience) all down low. May 20, 2017
detroit, michigan
tobashiya   detroit, michigan
This area isn't much. It is a bunch of gym climbers with their boomboxes and false inflated egos. I wouldn't trust any of their ropes or gear or knowledge. Unfortunately, this is the only option around here =\ Nov 18, 2016
I'll be in town for the holiday and heard it was still abnormally warm up that way. Anyone climbing in the next week... how about this Sunday 11/20/16? I won't have ropes but would love to climb with some of you beautiful people!

-Alex Nov 15, 2016
Tania Rita
West Bloomfield, MI
Tania Rita   West Bloomfield, MI
Does anyone know of anywhere you can camp nearby the ledges? Planning on doing some early climbing and wanted to come in the night before. Jul 13, 2016
I see a ton of really bad reviews of Grand Ledge, but it really is special. After reading the reviews, I put off going until last weekend. That was a huge mistake. Since I live in Michigan, the only rocks there are are at Grand Ledge. The climbers are genial, the extra anchers and ropes are plentiful,and there are some sick classic routes. I adored Doug's Roof (worth going just for that one route), and Rocketman was just sweet. Deffinitely go if you are in the area, it is beautiful, covered in sun, and while the rock quality isn't Yosemite-granite, it is much less chossy than most reviews make it out to be. I 100% recommend it! Feb 22, 2016
Parker Wrozek
Denver, CO
Parker Wrozek   Denver, CO
It is mostly trees with a few bolts hee and there. Just be sure to follow the rules posted up earlier.

Typically 2 30' runs of webbing or cord will make you a good anchor. Aug 13, 2015
Didn't see this info anywhere, but how do top rope anchors work at GL? Trees, bolts, ?? Aug 2, 2015
I'll be in town visiting family this weekend and would like to make it out to climb at Grand Ledge one day, since I'm only an hour away and have never been. Anyone up for some climbing April 2nd or 3rd? Apr 30, 2015
Boots Ylectric
Chicago IL
Boots Ylectric   Chicago IL
I'm really jealous of the town of Grand Ledge having such a cool little crag in it's backyard. World class? No. But if it was all you had, it would be absolutely amazing. My closest climbing is 3 hours away, so to see this crag sitting literally in Grand Ledge's backyard made me pine for my own neighborhood crag. There are some fun pumpy climbs and the backdrop is really nice. The locals all seemed cool, and willing to share climbs and be neighborly. I wish we could have stayed longer, but we were rained off. Hopefully I'll get to come back some time. Jul 28, 2013
Rich zz
Rich zz   california
hey guys. i might be relocating to saginaw. checking out what's around. are there any trad places in central MI? Nov 26, 2012
Colonel Mustard
Sacramento, CA
Colonel Mustard   Sacramento, CA
As a visiting climber, I find it funny to see some criticize Grand Ledge for what it clearly isn't. It's a picturesque, Huck Finn locale with some short overhanging climbs you can cop a wicked forearm pump on. Doug's Roof would easily be a world class climb anywhere... well, if it were 70 feet longer and bolted, but still, if I find myself in Michigan in the summertime again, I'll definitely include some more sessions here on the sandbagged sandstone. So, to you Central Michiganders whose lot in life leaves you stranded in the largely flat lands trapped between the options of cornfields, an epic climbing commute, and the toprope haven that is the Grand Ledge, I salute you. Jul 8, 2011
Woodchuck: Depends on your goals. It is a great place for the start of the season, it is REAL rock, great sandstone, not crowded, right on the river(great for kayaking too), camping close by, met some very nice climbers, and more.

Some of you folks are just a bit too ELITE and should not knock this sweet climbing area unless you HAVE come out to see it. The climbs are challenging though not tall- Kinda sounds like a local climbing gym that YOU and I frequent. I challenge you to try "Doug's roof" sometime!

It is nice for a day or 2 of climbing. I was pumped after 2 days, early season. Jun 1, 2011
After reading the location info and earlier comments from several years back, I do remember why I've never made the drive out to see this place. Agree it is NOT a destination climbing location. Too short of routes is one reason. May 31, 2011
To All Chicago Area Climbers:

I am looking for partners to go to GL and other locations(Jackson Falls, DL, The Red, etc) with.

I have an Airplane and can fly us there. There is an airport right in GL they will take us to the climb for a day trip. It is just a little over an hour flight to GL. Please send me a PM if you want more details and the cost of sharing the flight expenses. Hope to meet a few of you soon. I can fit up to 4 climbers with me in the Cherokee 6(with room for gear). :) May 31, 2011

Great early season climbing May 31, 2011
Update on the above directions: Note the park is called "Oak Park", not Lily Park

Directions from I96 East Bound: Going east from
Grand Rapids take the Grand Ledge exit Wright Rd
(Route 100). Take this south for about 4 miles,
merge turn right onto N Bridge St. Take a right on
W. Front Street just before the bridge(at the Lickity Split). Go all the way until it dead ends at Oak Park

Great place. First time was this past Mem. Day weekend. Met nice folks who are very open to rope sharing. Sweet climbs and only had time to do about 1/10th of them! Will look to come back soon.

Jason- Like your guidebook ALOT! May 31, 2011
Fixed Pin Publishing just revamped the old guide originally done by me and now offers a comprehensive, color guide with photo overlays for free to people to download off of their website

Hope you guys enjoy it and let us know what you think of it.

Aug 9, 2010
Casey Erin
San Diego, CA
Casey Erin   San Diego, CA
Here are a few guide books I was able to find online.……

Hope this helps! Mar 14, 2010
kalamazoo, mi
jay.kalamazoo   kalamazoo, mi
Grand ledge is really a special place. It is a good spot to see the impact climbers can have- both positive and negative.

many michigan climbers have stopped going to the ledges because of the negative impact- but there are a few short quality routes there.

- please please pad your anchors to reduce erosion and impact on the sandstone. Sep 13, 2009
World class, absolutely not, I would never go out of my way, but if you are near by it really is worth checking out. There is a lot of shit but a few gems mostly of mid-tougher grades. There should be at least one knowledgeable good climber around at any one time who would be happy to give a tour of the best stuff be sure to ask about The Trick (v2), Enigma (v6), Despondency (5.11), Resistance (5.13), Inappropriate Behavior (5.12-), and Raged Edge (5.12). It's easy to be negative about Grand Ledge, but put your ego aside and have a bit of fun. Jun 3, 2008
Mike Mu.
Mike Mu.   hagerstown
i 2nd the sketchy setups. i went there once with my then girlfriend and was amazed at what people would entrust their bones to. sketchy! no lead climbing? is that because of rock quality or just some BS put up by the locals? Jul 31, 2007
edit:the old website is down but the guide has been updated and redone and can be downloaded for free at Fixed Pin Publishing's website Apr 20, 2007
James Beissel
Boulder, CO
James Beissel   Boulder, CO
Grand Ledge isn't much, I sure wouldn't call it a destination, but it is virtually the only climbing available to Michigan climbers. Because of this, it is crucial that local rules are respected in order to prevent excessive erosion and to maintain good relations with the city.

No lead climbing
No rappelling
Use carpet to pad the edge under your ropes
Do not top out
Tread lightly when setting up TRs and around vegetation on routes

There are a limited number of routes at the Ledges and sharing ropes is the norm. It's a good idea to peek around at the top before you hike down and make sure you are comfortable with getting on someone else's setup. If you see something dangerous, tell the owner of the rope. There are lots of beginners here and I have seen some incredibly bad setups, but a little friendly advice has almost always been well received. Apr 19, 2007
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  

Awesome job on that uncharacteristically pissed off rant! I've heard rumors that agree with your statements above.

James Apr 18, 2007
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
What G.L. is all about? Soft rock, regulations, short routes and crowds.
I was told all about it in the early 90's once by someone who enthusiastically encouraged me to try it out. In the end, I went with my girlfriend and both of us decided that the guy who so encouraged us to go there with his praise-laiden descriptions should actually check the place out for himself some time... Apr 18, 2007
James Schroeder
Sauk County, WI
James Schroeder   Sauk County, WI  
It would be great if anyone with beta could start posting route descriptions. I'd be very interested to see what this place is all about. Apr 18, 2007

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