Buffalo Creek Spire Climbing
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|Shared By:||Loweball on Jul 14, 2019|
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Buffalo Creek Spire is already mentioned in the "Obscure Buffalo Creek Rocks" subsection of South Platte's Buffalo Creek area listing. It’s almost an afterthought, however, and should not be. It‘s a spectacular spire with a short, almost flat approach, and for folks wishing to venture out on their first aid leads, it is a great little treasure. Surrounded on all sides with a ledge system, it allows for a sprawling, ideal place to spend a day belaying from Crazy Creek chairs and swapping out sharp ends amid great views of the Platte. There‘s even an old, OLD school 5.10 (with a 5.9 variation) to offer a deal for folks in exchange for a belay on one of the aid lines.
In that regard, the Spire has largely been treated as a place to train for aid climbing by clipping up the ancient bolt ladders that adorn three of the Spire's four faces, and while Jason Haas's, Ben Schneider's, and Craig Weinhold's excellent South Platte Climbing: The Northern Volume notes that "no routes have ever gone to the top via ... the steep, overhanging west face," this is no longer the case. Recently, the West Face produced a line that provides a lovely little iron outing as well.
Nothing to it except a bit of washboard road, thanks to the inventor of independent rear suspension. From Denver, take US Highway 285 south to Pine Valley Road/CR-126, and turn left. Take that for about 14 miles to the junction with FR-550, and turn right into the vast Buffalo Creek camping area. From that junction, it's about 4.6 miles to the junction of FR-550 and the now-closed South Buffalo Creek Road. Park in a pullout next to the "Road Closed" gate (obviously, don't block the gate), grab the lounge chairs, and walk a flat, leisurely 3/4 mile up the closed road to the Spire. It will be striking and obvious through the trees on the right. Scramble up the hill to the base, keeping to climber's left below the north face. A series of short, narrow terraces take you to a slot with a chockstone that can be surmounted with a single awkward move (a piece of gear gives peace of mind here) or a step-up from a friend. This deposits you below the east face, on the ledge system that skirts the entire formation.
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