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Why do people like climbing sandstone?


Original Post
Nickc Diaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I must start off with a disclaimer that I've only climbed sandstone twice and my 3rd time will be this weekend.

One time I climbed the stone was pretty good. The 2nd, there was grit on every hold. What I read about this weekends trip is that sandstone is very fragile and that there is a higher risk for holds breaking off.

I have a friend who said the sandstone she's climbed in the SE was bomber.

Is sandstone vastly different between areas? Why do folks like climbing this stuff?

Limestone and granite have been sticky and stable in my experience and perfectly good choices.

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

Lol. You must be near some really good limestone, as most of the stuff I've been on has been slick and polished as hell. And it sounds like you've been on some really poor quality sandstone, as it is IMO the most ideal rock for climbing (maybe granite). There definitely is a huge range, from weak and friable desert sandstone (Fisher Towers) to bullet-hard Nutall sandstone in the southeast (New River Gorge). Sandstone can be ridiculously overhanging and juggy (Red River Gorge), or it can be massive vertical/slab towers and mountains (Eldo, Red Rock). Although the rock is usually softer than granite, it also almost always has some of the best friction possible.

TravisK · · Phoenix, AZ · Joined Oct 2010 · Points: 375

What Ted said, plus I find it's a little easier on the skin than say granite.

jmmlol · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Nov 2016 · Points: 0

Depends on where you are. All rock can be good or bad, but limestone will always look like a 5 year old's paper mache art project.

walmongr · · Gilbert AZ · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 85

Because some of the biggest cliffs in america are sandstone and we are climbers and who doesn't like to climb the biggest thing they can find!!! I am sure if the biggest cliffs were made of shit we would all stink...

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Nickc Diaz wrote:I must start off with a disclaimer that I've only climbed sandstone twice and my 3rd time will be this weekend. One time I climbed the stone was pretty good. The 2nd, there was grit on every hold. What I read about this weekends trip is that sandstone is very fragile and that there is a higher risk for holds breaking off. I have a friend who said the sandstone she's climbed in the SE was bomber. Is sandstone vastly different between areas? Why do folks like climbing this stuff? Limestone and granite have been sticky and stable in my experience and perfectly good choices.
There's lots of reasons but there's one that really stand out.

ALL THE REALLY FUCKING AMAZING CRACKS AND FEATURES! LIKE HOLY SHIT THIS STUFF WAS MODELED AFTER GODS FUCKING PLAY PLACE OF HEAVENLY FUCKING CLIMBING FUCKING FEATURES WOW!

In all seriousness though. Go to Horse pens 40, go to Indian Creek and then go to the Red River Gorge and put the books down and get on some fucking stone man. When you have done those three things you can send me a check and an apology letter for even questioning the legitimacy of sandstone. better yet, just send it to me now save yourself some time from having to do it later and just get on some sandstone.
Nickc Diaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

I'm near a lot of quality rock, I live in Colorado.

"and put the books down and get on some fucking stone man." Gotta love the assumptions and egos on here. Just because I haven't climbed much sand stone does not mean that I don't climb a lot.

I was wondering if Eldo was sandstone, I've climbed there a few times. A lot of fun, but damn chossy on some routes.

Y'all are making me stoked for this weekend. I figured there was something I was missing due to my lack of experience on this type of stone, thanks for the clarification every one.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Nickc Diaz wrote:I'm near a lot of quality rock, I live in Colorado. "and put the books down and get on some fucking stone man." Gotta love the assumptions and egos on here. Just because I haven't climbed much sand stone does not mean that I don't climb a lot. I was wondering if Eldo was sandstone, I've climbed there a few times. A lot of fun, but damn chossy on some routes. Y'all are making me stoked for this weekend. I figured there was something I was missing due to my lack of experience on this type of stone, thanks for the clarification every one.
Its a joke. Loosen up a bit.
BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Sandstone out west tends to be softer and more friable than sourtheastern sandstone. Stone felt fragile and friable on many well-tread Red Rocks and Eldo classics (my small sample size). Western granite and limestone have tended to feel much more solid in comparison.

New routes at the Red River Gorge are sandy and friable, but clean up really nicely. Sandstone at the New is some of the toughest and most bulletproof rock I've ever climbed on. Sometimes it's so dense and frictionless, you can see reflections in it. Bouldering at HP40 is on similarly hard stone, just with lots of friction.

I hear the sandstone in TN and AK is amazing as well.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
BrianWS wrote:Sandstone out west tends to be softer and more friable than sourtheastern sandstone. Stone felt fragile and friable on many well-tread Red Rocks and Eldo classics (my small sample size). Western granite and limestone have tended to feel much more solid in comparison. New routes at the Red River Gorge are sandy and friable, but clean up really nicely. Sandstone at the New is some of the toughest and most bulletproof rock I've ever climbed on. Sometimes it's so dense and frictionless, you can see reflections in it. Bouldering at HP40 is on similarly hard stone, just with lots of friction. I hear the sandstone in TN and AK is amazing as well.
Stone Fort!
Sandbagger Vance · · Cincinnati, Ohio · Joined May 2016 · Points: 0
Nickc Diaz wrote:Is sandstone vastly different between areas? Why do folks like climbing this stuff? Limestone and granite have been sticky and stable in my experience and perfectly good choices.
In a land before time the Appalachians were a young and dynamic mountain range. Pushed up from the atlantic plates while the ocean covered what is now kentucky. Much of the western range of the Appalachians were swamps and beaches. Today their remains are known as the Cumberland Plateau. The mountains eroded and their streams fanned out into deltas of sand that eventually covered the flora and fauna of eastern kentucky. The sand compressed into sandstone of varying content of iron. Eventually the cumperland plateau was uplifted in some areas and eroded away by the streams we know today. Red River Gorge is located in what we understand as the pottsville escarpment. The iron gives the Red it's blood red hue while in other areas like HP-40 it turns the rock black like a scar. Sandstone with less iron is softer and more featured while sandstone with more iron usually harder, more worn and slopey.
tim · · Boulder, CO · Joined Aug 2006 · Points: 50

Colorado doesn't have great sandstone...having said that it doesn't really have great granite or limestone either.

BrianWS · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2010 · Points: 790

Pictures are worth a thousand words, etc etc.


Here you can see the clean and hyper dense white sandstone at the New/Meadow


Steep walls with amazing features and good stone make the Red an international destination.


Ditto for the New.

Nickc Diaz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

Nice photos BrianWS. Thank you for all the replies every one.

Warrior · · Rock City, GA · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 310

Nice pics..."Proper"

iirc, Lynn Hill dubbed the NRG the best rock in the USA, sans weather, or something of that sort...I'd agree.

So there's that...

I'll take a check and an apology letter too. Please send to General Delivery, Rock City GA 30750, USA.

seerockcity.com/

I'm near a lot of quality rock, I live in Colorado.

Do you mean Utah?

/troll

jmmlol, lol

Patrick Michel · · Groveland, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 25
Patrick Michel · · Groveland, CA · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 25
Stone Fort

More SE Sandstone
SethG · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2009 · Points: 252

If you can visit Eldo or the Flatirons and not know why people like climbing sandstone, then I'm not sure anyone here can help you.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Warrior wrote:I'm near a lot of quality rock, I live in Colorado. Do you mean Utah?
LOLOL
grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

You little trigger troll. How dare you question sandstone on MP in this manner.

Tylerpratt · · Litchfield, Connecticut · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 35
Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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