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Areas in Giant City State Park

A. Shelter 1 Bluff 11 / 33 / 2 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 47
B. Devils Standtable Area 7 / 0 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
C: Park Bouldering 0 / 0 / 0 / 35 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 35
Elevation: 717 ft
GPS: 37.598, -89.188 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 44,691 total · 421/month
Shared By: Drew McWilson on Nov 27, 2009
Admins: Dave Hug
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Southern Illinois boasts several climbing areas, but none have more history then Giant City State Park. For Illinois, this is the birthplace for hard, progressive climbing.

Within the park there are two main areas, Shelter 1 Bluff and the Devil's Standtable Area. The Makanda Bluff, "aka Shelter 1" is primarily a sport and traditional climbing area with the majority of routes ranging 5.8 - 5.11. This area is great for short training sessions in preparation for other big areas. One route that deserve mentioning is City Limits. At the time it was established, it was one of the hardest routes in the country, and the world. Another climb worth mentioning is the Return to Forever boulder traverse that runs along the base of the bluff line. Beginning from Jills and running to the Camel's Hump, this challenging boulder problem will have you searching for rests while fighting to not get pumped. For those looking for more of a challenge, there is a low variation, and a super long variation that begins at the Chimney in the woods and stretches to the Camel's Hump.

Royal Robbins climbing George's sometime after his Yosemite adventures

The Devils Standtable area is primarily a bouldering area but does contain a few top rope and traditional lines. Fun intermediate boulder problems worth mentioning are The Standard, Buzz Arete, and the Center Line. Great advanced boulder problems that visitors are recommended to attempt are Devil on a Leash, Jah Arete, and Higher Education. All in all the area is great for quick bouldering sessions and due to its proximity to Carbondale its hard to beat.

A visiting climber attempting Leashless Angel

For the sake of organizing areas on Mountain Project, another bouldering area nearby that is not exactly within the confines of Giant City, but is close enough, is The Orchards. This small, yet secluded area offers several challenging problems and contains one very hard project that supposedly is yet to be sent. The recommended problem here is Duraflame, and is a fun/challenging test of anyones roof climbing abilities.

As a last note, a huge thanks should be given to Giant City's early pioneers for their vision and dedication to Illinois first climbing destination. Thank you: Craig Barnes, Jim Foster, Cris Franks, Joe Dittamore, Joe Heally, Adam Grosowsky, Gene Charleton, Greg Bailey, Alan Carrier, and many others for all of your work.

Getting There

From Carbondale take Highway 13 East. Turn right (near the intersection of McDonalds and Walmart) and head South on Giant City Rd. Continue for about 15 minutes and the road leads directly to the park. From the entrance follow the signs to the appropriate destination.


Vertical Heartland 3rd Edition

Vertical Heartland is the best guide to roped climbing in G.C.S.P. Covering both Shelter 1 and the Devils Standtable areas, this guide is a must for navigating the crag.

Sandstone Warrior

Sandstone Warrior briefly touches on the bouldering in the park. The climbs displayed in the book are absolute G.C. classics.

94 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Giant City State Park

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
V3-4 6A+
V6 7A
V7+ 7A+
Devil on a Leash
V9 7C
Leashless Angel
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
The Gully
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Camel's Hump
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Makanda Layback
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Tempura Tour "Classic"
Trad 6 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
1,2,3 (aka The Rasp)
Trad, TR
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13
Poison Ivy Center
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Shake And Bake Direct
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
Open Book Direct
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
The Idiot
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13
Dim View
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Standard C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
V3-4 6A+ Boulder
Duraflame C: Park Bouldering > C. The Orchards
V6 7A Boulder
Devil on a Leash C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
V7+ 7A+ Boulder
Leashless Angel C: Park Bouldering > A: Devils Stand… > A: Gill Roof
V9 7C Boulder
The Gully A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a Sport
Camel's Hump A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Sport
Makanda Layback A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Sport
Tempura Tour "Classic" A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad 6 pitches
1,2,3 (aka The Rasp) B. Devils Stand… > B: Gill Roof Area
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, TR
Poison Ivy Center A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b PG13 Trad
Shake And Bake Direct A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Sport
Open Book Direct A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Sport
Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
The Idiot A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Dim View A. Shelter 1 Bluff
5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13 Sport
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We took a side trip from jackson falls to Giant city shelter one climbing area. There are some fine lines there. Why has no-one posted these? Are you locals keeping them secret? Come-on share them with us!!! Oct 15, 2012

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