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Areas in The Reserve

Amazing Pillar 0 / 0 / 0 / 16 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 16
Reserve, The 0 / 0 / 0 / 38 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 38
Elevation: 1,291 ft
GPS: 43.406, -89.731 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 21,252 total · 170/month
Shared By: Remo on Jun 16, 2008
Admins: Burton Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE
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The Reserve is nicely concentrated bouldering area up on the South Bluff. All the problems here are top quality, with grades ranging from V0-V9. Stand-out problems exist on the Lake Boulder, a free standing chunk of stone with problems all the way around it, one notably is the Starfish problem V6. Many of the hard classics were established by Paul Jones and Eric Z., aswell as many others who have frequented the area.

Along the way there is a short cliff band on the southern side of the rim. This is the Amazing Pillar area. A few good problems here, including maybe the best V6 in the park- The Amazing Pillar.

Getting There

South Bluff: Park in lot with new bathrooms along the South Shore Rd near the south entrance to the park. From south-west corner of lot walk straight into the woods looking for concrete slabs. Trail goes straight up hill from here. Stay on trail til you reach rocks along the north rim of bluff. Look down and you should see the Lake boulder. 20-30min hike.
If you hike south from trail when it plateaus you can reach the Amazing Pillar area.
Last time I was up there, the trail was obvious. Good luck, and have fun.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Reserve

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EB   Winona
Possibly the last major unclimbed problem in the park is the center crack line on the east face of the Lake boulder. Eric Z. and I logged many hours on it but neither unlocked the cryptic problem. If it has been sent please let me know. Should check in at V6-7 but suoper subtle. Jun 17, 2008
Broomfield, CO
sweatpants   Broomfield, CO
It's nice to see pictures and stuff however I'd love to see a list of problems and a list of how to get there, what's what, ect... As it stands right now this is all just a big tease. Jul 14, 2008
Sweaty, you gotta earn this one, it's not hard to find, you just gotta find it. There are so many ways to get there and no good trail, I don't think anyone could tell you how to exactly get there. Happy hunting! Jul 15, 2008
Broomfield, CO
sweatpants   Broomfield, CO
hey nick! kindly enough several people have sent me directions. still wouldnt really have any idea what probs are what but im sure i can get a tour at some point. My whole question is if it is on access sensitive land and is kept hush. why would someone put the area on here and/or pictures. if its meant to be kept "down low" then why isnt it just kept that way. also it should be noted that this is in no way meant to be a crack on whoever put the reserve on M.P. I'm just saying, either it's top secret sensative or its not. Just my thoughts.
word up,
Sweaty Jul 15, 2008
Actually, there is an in between and the reserve is it. I think, hence, "The Reserve". I also think this is exactly why Remo posted it this way. MP isn't on the front page of the NY Times and I world consider this posting still "down low" because there are no directions on it. It's great you got directions! I couldn't remember my why up there if I tried! Post more pics of the problems! Someone's got to do the dirty work.
Now, I wouldn't have just dished it out to you. I would have let you hike your sweaty ass around that damn hill until you found it. It's a good workout. Jul 16, 2008
Hey Devils Lake climbers,

A humble request...I was curious if I could just get a few more clues as to the location of the reserve(I'm from out of town and don't know the area at all). I completely understand the "keep it local" philosophy, but I will only be in town for a few day and would love to check this area out - it looks amazing.

Also, I live in Boulder, Co. and anytime folks are coming out this way I'd love to show off some of our "local spots" so let me know know!


Mike Jul 29, 2008
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  

Go to the car park on S. Lake road (the road the runs along the south shore of Devils Lake). The car park is at the south west corner of the lake. From roughly the south west corner of the car park walk into the woods behind to the south -the lake is to the north at this point. There is a faint trail back in here that makes it's way up slope through some mild sized rocks (TV sized or smaller). Take this faint trail to the top of the slope and shortly after the slope levels off you will find the trail splits to the right. Take this split to the right and follow it for 10 minutes or so --maybe longer. Eventually you will see rocks rearing up on your left side--- you need to poke around a bit at this point to find the boulders of "The Reserve" but if you have gotten this far it will become evident... It has been a year or two since I have personally been up there myself and even I am a bit vague here I know but half the fun is the hunt-- agreed? Jul 29, 2008
Burt, thanks for the beta.

And yes, agreed. Jul 29, 2008
Burton Lindquist
Madison, WI
Burton Lindquist   Madison, WI  
Enjoy Mike. Its a cool place. Lots of hard and technical bouldering in there. There are more hard problems I think then there are easier problems. It is not a very big area so finding the individual problems once you are in there is no problem. Jul 29, 2008
When looking for the concrete slabs, be sure to find the correct ones. There are slabs to the right(west) of the big downed tree, and slabs to the left(east). We went right, and hiked around for several hours before we happened across a trail that took us right out to the slabs on the left. Sep 1, 2008
Paul Campbell
Waukesha, WI
Paul Campbell   Waukesha, WI
Is there anyway we can get some problems listed in this area? Now that we have good directions to the reserve we need to know what is what :)

Also anyone have pics of The Amazing Pillar or at least a problem description? Sep 19, 2008
Madison, WI
Remo   Madison, WI
I started adding problems to the area. I'm not the guru of the reserve and I don't know all the info. If anyone can, please fill in with FA's, names etc. The place needs more traffic, and its just too good to let it sit up there and have no one climb it. Have fun everyone and please feel free to contribute. Oct 8, 2008
John W. Knoernschild   Wisconsin
Nice job on all the reserve info Remo! I don't know shit about the climbs there, but I'd be happy to help re-establish the area with you guys. Oct 9, 2008
Terry Kieck
Terry Kieck   Baraboo
Thanks for all the additions at the Reserve Remo and EB! If i can recall any names or problems I'll let you know. The mind is the first thing to go...... Oct 10, 2008
Trail was fairly obvious off the boat parking lot. We hiked from Burma on the way there. Do that if you're "Midwest Hardcore". I had forgotten most of the routes at the Reserve, but soon got reacquainted. Good shit all around. An 80 degree day provided VERY glassy slopers. Jul 12, 2009
Rhoads, I like to think of myself as "Midwest Softcore". Does that still count for something? Jul 13, 2009
"Midwest Softcore" would be using the trail. Yes, I guess it is something. I not sure what though. Jul 13, 2009
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
Except for the first 300-400 yards from the boat landing parking lot, there is now a worn user trail out to the Reserve. In late autumn and early winter, it may be obscured by fallen oak leaves, but look for the depression where many feet have packed the earth. The trail occasionally disappears for 15-20 yards at a time where the ground is rocky or dead trees have fallen across, but reappears soon.

Beyond the Reserve, the line of least effort is up on the plateau where the walking is easy and the forest is surprisingly open. Then use GPS to find rocks like Boomtown or the South Towers. Nov 26, 2012
Aviv Spillinger
Royal Oak, MI
Aviv Spillinger   Royal Oak, MI
Let’s get one thing strait- the fun is never in the approach, but always in the climbing. I do appreciate the humor though.

As of today, the trail leading to the reserve definitely exists. The hardest part of the approach is finding the beginning of the trail from the parking lot. To find the trail, keep right when first entering the parking lot- the trail begins at the 5th parking spot on the right (facing southwest) as a narrow, hardly distinguishable, trampled down strip of tall grass. The trail becomes much more evident in a few feet. Using the directions posted elsewhere on this thread and the with cairns marking the entire way to the Reserve, you can’t get lost. Good luck! Aug 5, 2018
Doug Hemken
Madison, WI
Doug Hemken   Madison, WI  
The user trail is well-enough defined that I went ahead and added it to the MP maps feature. Keep in mind that climbers are not the only people who use this area - there are also adventurous hikers, and hunters in the gun-deer and spring turkey seasons. Aug 5, 2018

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