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Routes in V-Mountain aka V Rock

Consolation Prize T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Definitely Certain (DC) S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Piece Of Cake (submitted as Almost Certain (AC)) T 5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
Rotten Crotch T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Uncertainty T 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Unknown 10+ T 5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Unknown 5.9 T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Elevation: 10,744 ft
GPS: 37.125, -106.791 Google Map · Climbing Map
Shared By: Jaaron Mankins on Aug 4, 2008
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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Description

This is a really cool, volcanic basalt conglomerate? It can be splitter or really shattered-choose your line wisely. This is remote and extremely zen-like with lots of evidence of climbing but no climbers. The ravens seem to like the top of the cliff. Many routes exist here up to 400 feet. Don't forget your hunter's orange during hunting season partner!

Per Jesse Morehouse: this is also known as V Rock, its name on the USGS maps. The mountain it's on is V Mountain (also on USGS). This is a beautiful place for sure and has the best concentration of stone in the county. I've heard that climbers have been visiting here since the '70s and routes go up to 5.12. Water is intermittent, and the approach can take from 1-2 hours. You can see it from US 84 in the big curve South of the Buckles Lake Rd. It is a real adventure destination.

Getting There

Head south out of Pagosa on Hwy 84. Turn left on Buckles Lake Road (FR663) and drive up to trailhead near V-Rock. Hike up trail to approximately 9800', leave trail on right, and traverse down and left to cliff. It is a one hour approach.

Per Jesse Morehouse:

1. Common in & out:
-Follow V Rock trail uphill for about 30 minutes until you reach 0340435 4111329.
-Break off the trail to your right and you will find yourself in a long narrow meadow. Follow the game trail to the back where it disappears into trees at 0340368 4111078.
-Follow the trail into trees and through another clearing of so to the end of a clearing at 0340399 4110645.

2. The "contour" approach - you arrive further up the talus but have to bushwhack a touch.
-From the end of #1 above, head left/East to 0340463 4110616.
-Contour with a slight drop in elevation to 034063 4110447.
-Follow the clear cut left towards the rock and work your way down and over to where the trees give way to the boulderfield.

The contour approach continues to get upgrades. Slowly but surely it's becoming more obvious with cairns and such.

3. The "meadow" approach, possibly less bushwhacking, ends in a nice camping meadow with what appears to be a year round small stream, but it is further down the boulderfield so more slogging to the climbs.
-From the end of #1 above, follow the game trail down through the end of the clearing. It looks like it's full of downed trees, don't panic. Instead, follow game trails towards 0340367 4110554, then 0340323 4110464, and finally the meadow at 0340338 4110267. There are good to faint game trails the whole way more or less.
-From the meadow, head East through a little draw with a small stream just before it to the boulderfield.

Per mat degraaf: for all the brothers and sisters that don't own or use a GPS, drive Buckles Lake Road to its terminus. Hike up the V Rock trail for approximately 30 minutes until the thigh-burning steeps plane off at a beautiful meadow. Perhaps 50 yards into the meadow, there is an obvious clearing on a small, grassy hill on your right. Leave the main trail, and walk up this knoll and straight into the long and narrow meadow behind it. Stay in this meadow until it ends then bear left (south-ish). Continue on this bearing until you see the talus.

The approach is pretty simple and straightforward. The worse thing you could do is go too far downhill which will spit you out at the very bottom of the steep talus field.

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Kevin, it takes a time or two to dial the approach, and then it's pretty easy. It can be one of those "magic" trails that only works well in one direction, usually outbound! Where the cairns run out, look for some tree blazes. As to that elevation, that was not done by me, but if you bring a GPS (lame, I know...), it should be a good bit easier.

The bolts you saw are now all in and the FA complete (on the last try of the year- super big props to Andrew McClure!). He says its awesome. Too hard for me but if you climb at that level, give it a go. There are a number of other aretes in there that look pretty awesome. Hopefully this inspires some more development. Definitely Certain (12b/c) climbs the AC/DC arete shortly after entering the boulderfield. Sep 14, 2014
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
FYI, I spotted several more anchors that are not described here: two on the left side (one up high between Acute Dihedral and Unknown, plus a newly bolted arete -- the arete forming the right side of Acute Diheral) and two anchors on the right side of V Rock. Looking forward to going back! Jul 25, 2014
Kevin Frederick
Lusaka, ZM
Kevin Frederick   Lusaka, ZM
Re: the approach, in our experience, do NOT turn off the trail at approximately 9800'... it is way too early. We did this and ended up way too low with lots of bushwhacking. On the way back, we found the cairns from the bottom right toe of V-rock but lost them after a while. We reunited with the V-rock trail at about 10,400'. It would be nice to update the description with some of the info from the comments above. Jul 25, 2014
To piggyback on Jesse's approach details, I thought I'd add a thought or two for all the brothers and sisters that don't own or use a GPS.
Drive Buckles Lake Road to its terminus. Hike up the V Rock trail for approx. 30 minutes until the thigh-burning steeps plane off at a beautiful meadow. Perhaps 50 yards into the meadow, there is an obvious clearing on a small grassy hill on your right. Leave the main trail and walk up this knoll and straight into the long and narrow meadow behind it. Stay in this meadow until it ends then bear left (south-ish). Continue on this bearing until you see the talus.
The approach is pretty simple and straightforward. The worse thing you could do is go too far downhill which will spit you out at the very bottom of the steep talus field.
Additionally, I felt the rock and routes were nothing short of spectacular. Perhaps the horror stories I'd heard about the approach and the rock quality were all a ruse to keep me away from this gem. Aug 14, 2012
BETA/POTENTIAL
I have heard second hand that some of the lines you will see were established as aid lines and the free routes range from 9ish to 12ish. YMMV, this is just what I was told. There are many lines with no anchors and there is definitely potential for more FAs both in the cracks (mainly trad) and on the aretes (mainly bolted). If you wander around, the number of top anchors seems sparse compared to the potential. Some stone seems poor or broken, but some is definitely awesome. The best stone in the county by a long shot, not that that says much. All I know is the place has me psyched to go back!

STANDARD RACK
A standard rack might consist of nuts and even some mid-sized hexes, a rack of cams from black Alien to #5 Camalot with doubles from yellow Alien to #3 Camalot, a few slings and a few double slings. Route length varies so if you want to be able to climb everything, bring double 60m ropes. If you dont have that option, knot your rope before rapping and bring some gear to leave behind just in case. Some routes might require more gear of a particular size as the cracks can be of uniform width. Aug 13, 2012
After a few hikes in here, I feel these GPS coords plot the best 2 approaches. Each takes just under an hour and involves very little bush whacking, mainly strolling through meadows.

1. Common in & out
-Follow V Rock trail uphill for about 30 minutes until you reach 0340435 4111329.
-Break off the trail to your right and you will find yourself in a long narrow meadow. Follow the game trail to the back where it disappears into trees at 0340368 4111078.
-Follow the trail into trees and through another clearing of so to the end of a clearing at 0340399 4110645.

2. The "contour" approach - you arrive further up the talus but have to bushwhack a touch
-From the end of #1 above...
-head left/East to 0340463 4110616.
-Contour with a slight drop in elevation to 034063 4110447.
-Follow the clear cut left towards the rock and work your way down and over to where the trees give way to the boulderfield.

EDIT - the contour approach continues to get upgrades. Slowly but surely it's becoming more obvious with cairns and such.

3. The "meadow" approach - possibly less bushwhacking, ends in a nice camping meadow with what appears to be a year round small stream, but it is further down the boulder field so more slogging to the climbs.
-From the end of #1 above...
-follow the game trail down through the end of the clearing. It looks like it's full of downed trees, don't panic. Instead, follow game trails towards 0340367 4110554, then 0340323 4110464, and finally the meadow at 0340338 4110267. There are good to faint game trails the whole way more or less.
-From the meadow, head East through a little draw with a small stream just before it to the boulderfield. Aug 13, 2012
Jaaron Mankins
Durango, CO
Jaaron Mankins   Durango, CO
I believe it is also a poplular site for suicide-burly! I'll stick with the climbing thanks. Sep 19, 2008
Also known as V Rock, its name on the USGS maps. The mountain it's on is V Mountain (also on USGS). A beautiful place for sure and the best concentration of stone in the county. I've heard that climbers have been visiting here since the '70s and routes go up to 5.12. Water is intermittent and the approach can take from 1-2 hrs. You can see it from US 84 in the big curve South of the Buckles Lake Rd. A real adventure destination.

It has been the scene of at least one death, so be careful! Aug 28, 2008

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