Use onX Backcountry to explore the terrain in 3D, view recent satellite imagery, and more. Now available in onX Backcountry Mobile apps! For more information see this post.
Elevation: 8,000 ft
GPS: 38.03072, -107.67112
Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 106,838 total · 519/month
Shared By: Jason Nelson on May 22, 2007 · Updates
Admins: Edward Medina, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description Suggest change

The Pool Wall has Ouray's highest quantity of routes (over 70) and the shortest approach. The rock is a type of sandstone, something like that of Eldorado Canyon but blonde in color. That said, don't go expecting Eldorado Canyon like climbing. In some areas, the bands of sandstone are separated by bands of shale (choss).

The climbing is generally technical in nature on small edges with the occasional pocket. A rack of sport draws and a 60m rope will get you up most of the climbs, but there are a few trad climbs and a few mixed bolt/trad ones.

Routes range from 5.5 to 5.13+ and it's difficult to tell which is which without the guidebook (available at Ouray Mtn Sports). Well, you probably won't mistake the 5.13+ for a 5.5, but you know what I mean. I would say the best routes are in the 5.11 and 5.12 range, but there should be enough to entertain anyone for at least an afternoon, if not longer.

The Pool Wall gets shade in the morning and sun around noon.

Getting There Suggest change

Just North of Ouray across from the Hot Springs Pool, park at the Pool (not the miniature golf center), and walk up the drainage across the street to the left of the miniature golf center. There will be a gate and a NO TRESPASSING sign. Currently the landowner is allowing us to climb, and the No Trespassing sign is for hikers on the Horsethief Trail. The land from the approach gully to the Two Kids Mine is all on private property.

Walking straight up the gully into the canyon will take you to The Alcove. The Alcove has the highest selection of easy routes and a couple hard ones.

Take the trail going right out of the drainage to get to the rest of the climbs. Please stay on the trails, as the terrain is steep and loose. Trails access every part of this cliff, so there's no reason to go wandering around. Many of the trails cut back left from the main trail to the climbing areas.

Please do not try to hike around to the top of the climbs to set up top ropes. It's not pleasant (or safe) and you have a high likelihood of knocking rocks down.

Per Kayla Allen: a little easier way to find the access point is to park on the street lot for the springs, pass the apartments (the Skyrocket), and hike up the Ouray Perimeter Trail. At the registration box, you should see the No Trespassing sign to your left!

1st attempt at Organization

Suggest change
Alcove area:
A. New Arete aka Entrance Exam, 6, 1p, bolts.
B. Butter Face, 11, 1p, TR.
C. Rain of Terror, 9+, 1p, 60', bolts.
D. Groove in the Heart, 10, 1p, 35', bolts.
E. Groove Tube, 9, 1p, 90', bolts.
F. Past Tense, 9, 1p, 40', bolts.
G. Test Drive, 8-, 1p, 90', bolts.
H. First Time Out, 6, 1p, 25', bolts.
I. Burger, 8, 1p.
J. Keep On Keepin' On, 8, 1p, 25', bolts.
K. Unknown, 8, 1p.
L. California Stars aka Center Pocket, 10-, 1p, 25', bolts.
M. No Se, 10, 1p, 30', bolts.
N. Romper Room, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
O. Mullet Days, 11, 1p.
P. The Viper Room, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
Q. Ze Boom Boom Room, 11, 1p, 70', bolts.
R. Tropical Depression , 11+, 1p, 75', bolts.
S. Dirty, Rotten Scoundrel, 11- or 11, 1p, bolts.
T. Silent but Deadly, 13, 1p, 60', bolts.
U. Unknown, 11, 1p.
V. Via Ferrata, 11, 1p.

Bay Of Pigs:
A. Two Buck Chuck, 11, 1p.
B1. Cable Crack Left, gear.
B2. Cable Crack Right, gear.
C. Open Project, 13+?, 1p.
D. Choss Factor, 11-, 1p.
E. Bitch Slap, 11, 1p.
F. Empire of Dirt, 10+, 1p.
G. Squeeze Job, 10+, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. 8, 9, 10, 10-, 1p, 80', bolts.
H12. Marital Diss, 11, 1p, bolts.
I. Downward Spiral, 11+, 1p.

J1? Bay of Pigs, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
J2? The Castro, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
K1J1? Gay Bay, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
K2. Gay Rodeo, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
L. Breaking the Waves, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
M. Putting From The Rough, 12, 1p.
N1. Look Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Left, 11-, 1p, 70', bolts.
N2. Ginsu Arete Original, 11-, 1p, bolts.
O. Be Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Right, 11+, 1p, 70', bolts.

Upper Wall - above Bay Of Pigs:

Above the Garibotti Traverse
A. Love Tap, 12-.
B. Wanna Ride On My Disco Stick?, 12.
C. Project.

D. Romnesia, 10, 1p, 65', bolts.
E. Jay's Upper Route, 11-, bolts.
F. Taliban Tea Party, 8+, 1p, 70', bolts & gear.
G. Fact Check, 10, 1p, 55', bolts.
H. Crack, 8-9, 1p, gear.
I. 5.8 Route, 8+, 1p, gear.
J. Bel-Loch Diner, 12-, 2p, 100', bolts & gear.
K1. Pub Rats, 10, 1p, 75', bolts & gear.
K2. Welcome to Ouray, 11+.
L. Fine Line, 12.
M. Under The Wire, 11, gear.
N. 5.10a, 11-, gear.
O. Too Close For Comfort, 12-.
P. Finland, 11+, bolts.
Q. The Back Nine, 9, gear.
R. Drop Zone, 11-, bolts.
S. Gingaplut, 10-, bolts.

Wading Pool:
A. The Front Nine, 9, 1p, 70', gear.
B. Desolation Row, 11, gear & bolts.
C. Chief's Face, 11, bolts & gear.
D. Guillotine, 9, gear.
E. The Cig Arete, 11.
F. Annie's Arete, 11.
G. Annie's Corner, 11.
H. Victimless Crime, 10.
I. Para Mi Mujer, 9.
J. Slabhappy, 10.
K. Talent Pool, 11+/12-.
L. Get On The Mike, 12.
M. Bottom Feeder, 10+.
N. Fear Of Farting, 13, bolts.

Two Kids Mine:

The Deep End:
A1. Chip Shot, 11-, 1p, 80', bolts.
A2. Cheap Shot, 10, bolts.
B. Par For The Course, 11+, bolts.
C. The Deep End, 11, 1p, 90', bolts.
D. My Left Foot, 11-.
E. Improbability Drive, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
F. Keith's Route, 11+, 2p.
G. Metal Heart, 12-.
H. Bathing With Jesus, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
I. Mission Accomplished, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.
J. Block Party, 12-, 1p, 70', bolts.
K. Swims With Fishes, 12-.
L. High Dive, 12-.
M. The Short One, 12-, 1p, 50', bolts.
O. Pool Party, 11, gear.
P. Svengali, 11+, 1p, 120', bolts.
Q. Hollow Victory, 11+.
R. Physical Therapy, 11.
S. Single Minded, 12-.
T. Separation Anxiety, 12-, bolts.
U. Dirty Sanchez, 11-.
V. Unknown, 10+.
W. The Slab Route, 6.

The Backyard:
A. Know Your Enemy, 11+.
B. Know Yourself, 11+.
C. Project, 12.
D. The Reach Around, 11-.
E. Black Planet, 11+, 1p.
F. The Dark Continent, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. Land Of Sunshine, project.
H. Den Of Thieves, 11+.

I. The Visor, 12-.
J. Crystal Blue Persuasion, 10, gear.

The Visor:

Fixed Hardware

Suggest change
Please do not remove fixed hardware from the anchors - the fixed biners and mussey hooks are there for your convenience and SAFETY!

72 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: The Pool Wall Change
Type:  to 
Sort by:   then:

Classic Climbing Routes at The Pool Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Groove Tube
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Past Tense
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
The Front Nine
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Rain of Terror
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
California Stars
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
8, 9, 10
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c
Annie's Arete
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Butter Face
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
The Deep End
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Ze Boom Boom Room
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Talent Pool
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Bay of Pigs
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
Dark Continent
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Soul Rebel
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Groove Tube Alcove
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Past Tense Alcove
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
The Front Nine Wading Pool
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad
Rain of Terror Alcove
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Sport
California Stars Alcove
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
8, 9, 10 Bay of Pigs
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Annie's Arete Wading Pool
5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c Sport
Butter Face Alcove
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
The Deep End Deep End
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
Ze Boom Boom Room Alcove
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Svengali Deep End
5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a Sport
Talent Pool Wading Pool
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Bay of Pigs Bay of Pigs
5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a Sport
Dark Continent Backyard
5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b Sport
Soul Rebel Deep End
5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Pool Wall »

Weather Averages

Days w Precip
Prime Climbing Season