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Devil's Lake Less Popular Area


Original Post
Alex Zucca · · University Heights · Joined Oct 2013 · Points: 285

I'm taking a group of 10-15 to the Lake in a few weeks. I'm a pretty frequent climber at the East Rampart and Cleo's Ampitheater, so I know how annoying large groups can be. I don't want to be "that group". Any suggestions on areas where we wouldn't be in the way of a lot of people? I'm looking for an area with easier climbs because for some it will be their first time outside.

Brian James · · Appleton, WI · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 100

Pretty good places to take groups and are less popular areas are stettner rocks mountainproject.com/v/stett… and misery rocks mountainproject.com/v/miser…. Both are short hikes up the west bluff to easily identifiable climber trails with nice areas for a large group to hang out.

Brian Carver · · Boulder, Co · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 30

+1 for Misery

jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,139

Turkey vulture lookout & Red nose wall.

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,582

Alex, sounds like you should explore some more yourself, too!

Places like Misery, Railroad, Horse can be quiet, or they can be totally full if another group your size decides that's the day. So you have to be flexible and know enough areas to be able to move on if you get scooped. Plus, exploring is fun.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Major Mass can be fun IF you can find it (it's a bit of a bushwhack). Stettner's and Misery are great options for beginners but, for that reason, can occasionally get mobed by Boy Scouts or the CMC.

EB · · Winona · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 943

September wall has a nice base and also check out Vulture lookout. In addition, I take groups to reclining tower on the west bluff also...

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110

I think Horse Ramparts is out of the way enough for sure, but a real stumble hike up over the boulderfield for a big group of beginners. Seldom gets very busy early on in the morning.. Hope your group plans for a 7:30 AM start or earlier.

Varun R · · Anaheim, California · Joined Aug 2014 · Points: 10

+1 Misery rocks: Plenty of easy and hard routes. Close to other areas such as the Bone which have some high-quality routes but don't see much traffic.

+1 Railroad amphitheater: Not as many routes. All the good quality routes are harder (5.9+). Catenary crack is probably the hardest 5.9 at the lake, definitely a ego killer. The movement is awesome but definitely not a great route to introduce new climbers to the lake.

+1 Horse Rampart: Great quality routes (5.8+) but they tend to lean towards being hard for their grade.

-1 Major mass: I would not recommend this place to bring a group people new to the lake unless you've scoped it out before. You'll end up wasting most of your day just finding the route. Access to the top of the cliff for dropping TR is not easy either.

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

Eh, I mentioned it because it is most likely to be completely abandoned and does have some pretty quality stuff...if you can find it.

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,582

The lower level of Major Mass is great for beginners ... but you have to know the area really well to set things up for them. Probably not for Alex at this point in time.

Kyle Harding · · East Troy, WI · Joined May 2014 · Points: 305

+1 Horse Rampart

Depending on the fitness of the group, the approach up the talus can really add to the experience. If not the talus, go under the fence a little ways further and come up past Birthday.

In my personal opinion, the access to the top is good and setting anchors has always seemed fine.

There are a lot of mediocre climbs and a few really good ones that make it worth the trip.

I suggest making it out there before doing it wit a group and try and get out early the day of.

Kyle

Dylan B · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 50

I was going to suggest either November Wall or Cibola Wall, but I think John's recommendlations are better.

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,582
Dylan B wrote:I was going to suggest either November Wall ....
Dylan, you old sandbagger! Where in the world is "November Wall"?
jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,139

Just east of October wall Doug, duh!

Woodchuck ATC · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 3,110
Doug Hemken wrote: Dylan, you old sandbagger! Where in the world is "November Wall"?
LOL,,,I did find Cibola Wall from the direction given in that edition of the guidebook, and a couple others out in the woods down Steinke basin area. But November Wall??and an assortment of others somewhere below, aside, behind, underneath ?? the quarry area hidden in talus slope and trees on east boulderfields..well I gave up trying to find them over a decade ago, no matter how interesting they sounded. I've stumbled into unknown walls dropping down from the 'Gyno wall area off the woods trail, but they never matched up to what I was led to believe they were, thus another unnamed chunk of rock with no name routes done thinking I was at American Beauty wall area...Too many lost hikes in the thick woods of summer. I needed to search in late fall when the leaves were off the trees.
Seth Jones · · New Lenox, IL · Joined Feb 2015 · Points: 25

+1 for Stettner if you can get there before everyone else.

+1 for Misery but again, you are going to have to beat others to it. I wasn't personally impressed with the climbing here but it's got a great flat hangout area for large groups.

-1 for Cibola wall. Haven't been in a couple years but I remember looking at it as more of a bouldering spot at around 20'

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 5,582
Woodchuck ATC wrote: I needed to search in late fall when the leaves were off the trees.
The best advice in this whole thread! Get out there!
Dylan B. · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 938

You guys don't know where November Wall is? Shame.

As for Cibola, it's the perfect crag to start out on your journey to becoming the next Alex Honnold. All of my daring free solo climbs were done there. I've soloed every line on that crag that goes at 5.7 or below. Next stop, Salathe!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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