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Routes in Crosswinds

Bends (a.k.a. Decompression Sickness), The S 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b
Grippin' the Cutlass S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
High Tide S 5.12b/c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Parrot Bay S 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
Power Structure S 5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
Serpant's Rising S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Stomping the Cleaver T,S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c PG13
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Just a short hike North of Wizard's Gate and Castaway Crag lies a large free-standing pillar with a tall, bulging west face that features a variety of unique sport climbs. Crosswinds exhibits a number of new routes (along with some classics) that will stretch your rope and test your capacity for burl. Most of the routes have good rests (or full on bivy ledges), but in-turn provide stout boulder problems. At just above 10,000 feet, nestled in a sea of open talus, Crosswinds is mostly exposed to the elements and can feel quite alpine at times. Expect full, uninterrupted sunlight on a clear day after 1-2pm. The views are absolutely stunning.

Getting There

Begin the approach as you would for Wizard's Gate. Just after entering the final talus below the Lower Great Face, break hard left and follow a cairn path around the lowest point of Castaway Crag and across some talus far below the Upper Great Face to find the free-standing Crosswinds. (Can't be missed.)

Adds about 5 minutes to the approach compared to Wizards, and it can be reached from Wizards by simply hugging the cliff and walking north until you pass below Castaway- then break straight across the talus (this takes around 5-10 minutes).

7 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Crosswinds

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
More Classic Climbs in Crosswinds »

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Nate A
Estes Park, CO
Nate A   Estes Park, CO
Aren't there some existing Scott Kimball routes on the south end of this crag? Also seem to remember finding a fixed pin on the south face of the pinnacle like formation. Trying to remember what he was calling it several years ago? Jul 20, 2010
Nate A
Estes Park, CO
Nate A   Estes Park, CO
Awwwww, it hit came to me, this crag has also been known as Crosswinds, according to Kimball.... Jul 20, 2010
John and Bob, you may call the pinnacle sprouting from the north side of CROSSWINDS, the Lighthouse, but this rock is called CROSSWINDS, and has had established routes on it since the '70s. Jul 21, 2010
Jonathan Siegrist
his truck
Jonathan Siegrist   his truck
Scott, Thanks for pointing out our mistake- I've made changes in accordance with the previous name. If you have a moment, it would be great to see the other established climbs on the feature written up on MP. Cheers! Jul 23, 2010
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
Jonathan, Thanks for acknowledging your mistake, but your "mistake" is troubling to me. Rest assured I am not trying to be a dick (although I have been known to achieve that status without even trying).
My friends and I have enjoyed many of the new routes you've added up at the Crags. We appreciate your hard work.
What troubles me is that you seem strangely uninformed for a first ascensionist. As pedestrian as it may seem, consulting a guidebook seems like the first step when considering installing a new route. Bernard Gillett's guidebook to the Estes Park Valley has been in print for at least 10 years. On page 213 of that book there is a photo of the Crags clearly showing, and labeling, the Crosswinds crag. On page 223 of that book there are descriptions of two routes on the crag. So, if you have a moment, it would be great if you bought a guidebook.
I know that people consider Estes Park a backwater area, which is great, but there are active climbers up here establishing new routes. Not all of them get reported, and not all of them are sport-bolted, but they exist nonetheless. My concern is that, if you're not even looking at the guidebook, I can only assume you're not doing any investigation at all. There are at least two lines on Crosswinds and its satellite tower that will be stellar, bold leads without bolts. From what I can glean from your photos, I don't think you've pointed the power drill at them yet (probably way too easy). And if you have, then we can only blame ourselves for being too slow to send. My sincere hope is that you consider these comments as you do your work up there, and everywhere. Leave some stuff for the folks that don't bring a drill when hunting for new terrain. Jul 23, 2010
Jonathan Siegrist
his truck
Jonathan Siegrist   his truck
Jason- I've been climbing in the Estes Park area for quite a while, and rest assured, I do own a copy of Bernard's book, in-fact, I've even established a new route with the man himself! I admittedly did not consult the book before posting the information on the new routes I'd recently bolted on the Crosswinds. My dad and I, however, did consult Scott about his previously established route (the only published route on the feature- one of the routes you mentioned listed in the book is a down-climb), at which time he also informed us of the cable anchors he (or someone he knew) had used to equip the summit of a couple spires on this feature. There was some miscommunication because my Dad told him that we were tentatively calling this feature, 'The Lighthouse' and he (to my knowledge) accepted it as a nice name.

However, he was thinking of the free-standing pillar on the north side of the Crosswinds ONLY and we were thinking the entire feature. As soon as I was aware of this mistake on my part, I immediately changed all of the information I had written up on MP. I did not consult the book (again, mistakingly) because I figured that consulting one of the area pioneers (Scott) was enough. In the case of the Wizard's Gate area, we tried to get in touch with some locals about the previously established routes, and could only find information on a lone trad route, done by Bernard, that did not have an anchor, titled 'Dead End'. I wrote up this route, and also gave it an acceptable lowering point but did not add bolts to the climb. I also established an all trad lead (Book of Spells) at the Wizard's Gate, that would make a lovely sport climb, but given that I lead it on gear, I have no plans to bolt it. In the case of the Crosswinds, I have also seen a couple all gear leads that exist, in-fact I've already done one of them (which was horrible and terrifying- but even still I have no plans to bolt a crack, ever). You'll have all the time you need to clean up some trad routes at the Crosswinds, and I hope that when you do, you take a moment to write them up on Mountain Project, so that other people can enjoy them (and know they exist). Everything I've bolted on the Crosswinds would only be climbable as a free-solo if not for bolts, and I feel like my work there is done at this point.

Again, sorry about my mistake. I think at this point I've done everything I can to fix the mis-naming of this great crag. Hope to see you out there!

Cheers Jul 24, 2010
jason seaver
Estes Park, CO
jason seaver   Estes Park, CO
Fair enough. I appreciate your candid response, and the reassurance that your tactics are sound (not that I'm The Judge). I was clearly mistaken, as well, in my assumptions.
The Book Of Spells looks awesome, by the way; I can't wait to give it a whirl. Sympathy For The Devil was kick-ass as well. Have you been on Rain On The Mountain yet? I toproped it at some point, and found it to be amazing and hard (too hard for me).

Hope to see you out there, too.
I'll be the lanky, bald guy flailing wildly on the warmups.
Jason Jul 24, 2010
Jonathan Siegrist
his truck
Jonathan Siegrist   his truck
Cheers, Jason. Yes, Book of Spells is awesome - it would be rad to see it have a repeat! I lowered onto Rain on the Mountain back before that wall had bolts - looked super super cool, I was actually hoping to bolt the terribly thin face to the left at some point...too hot for me now though. That's a very nice looking wall for sure. I doubt you'll be flailing on warm ups, but thanks for the funny image. See you around! Jul 25, 2010

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