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Routes in Cliff Lake

All Guts, No Glory T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Butter Face T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Chilly Dogs S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Critter Conundrum T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Glory S,TR 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
Gobslutch T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lake Effect T,S 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Mosquito Mayhem T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
No Woman, No Cry S 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Squanto S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Vulgaria S,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Vulgarian, The T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Elevation: 10,200 ft
GPS: 40.688, -110.969 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 13,241 total · 103/month
Shared By: Ryan Brough on Jun 10, 2007
Admins: Andrew Gram, Perin Blanchard, grk10vq
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The cliff belonging to the appropriately named, Cliff Lake, is a south-facing quartzite cliff band approximately 90 feet tall at its highest point, and about 100 yards wide. The talus slope below prevents trees from growing, so there is not much of a wind break. It is sunny, but that warms the rock for morning climbing. Cliff Lake isn't a particularly busy lake, even on Free Fishing day. There aren't many good campsites in the area, and the campsites that do exist aren't close to the climbing. The fishing is decent, and worms seemed like the best way to ensure a tasty dinner. It looked like there was a trail on the east side of the cliff that would provide top-rope access. The routes here are mostly sport, but there are a few traditional oferings. They range in difficulty from 5.5-5.10c. The rock was surprisingly clean and solid. Brian Cabe seemed to be the most active FA in this area, and there appears to be potential for more route development on the western flank of the cliff.
Located in a National Forest Fee Area Details

Getting There

Drive on the Mirror Lake Scenic Byway (Highway 150) and turn onto the Trial Lake/Crystal Lake Trailhead turnoff. The signage here is fantastic. You will drive past the Trial Lake Dam, and switch back towards the Washington Lake Campground. The road turns to dirt just before the parking lot at the Crystal Lake Trailhead. There are pit toilets here and parking for approximately 60 vehicles. There are several trails that start from this point. Choose the Smith Morehouse Trail (AKA Lake Country). Follow this trail for several hundred yards (heading west) to the first trail that branches off to the right (north). There is a rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake" here. This trail passes on the west side of Lily Lakes and heads up a steep ridge just before Cliff Lake. The cliff is on the west side of the lake, just above the outlet stream. Expect a 20-30 minute approach.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Cliff Lake

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Sport, TR
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
The Vulgarian
Trad, TR
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Lake Effect
Trad, Sport
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
No Woman, No Cry
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Chilly Dogs
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Vulgaria 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport, TR
The Vulgarian 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Lake Effect 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Trad, Sport
No Woman, No Cry 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Chilly Dogs 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
More Classic Climbs in Cliff Lake »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
I left my Grigri at this wall on July 23, 2016. If found, please contact me here. I would love to have it back and would be so grateful upon its return. This is an orange Grigri 2 with an orange Petzl locking carabiner. Aug 4, 2016
We climbed at Cliff Lake this weekend (6/26/16) and encountered some changes in the approach beta. While chatting with a climber who frequents the spot, we figured out the change is likely new this spring.

The original approach trail is no longer in use and has been blocked off with logs. Instead at the point of the original fork there is a rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake TH" and points you to continue down the "Lake Country Trail." After a couple of minutes you will come to another rusty sign that says "Cliff Lake." Here you will take a right and walk until you reach Cliff Lake where you will take a left and walk along the lake until you reach the small scree field that leads up to the crag.

It's a really nice approach and, from what I have heard, it is much improved over the old trail. Jun 26, 2016

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