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CO Summer Must-Do's


Original Post
Savvy Buik · · Chicago, IL · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 95

Hi!

I just landed an internship in Golden (although living in Denver) for the summer, but my knowledge is minimal of the expansive list of places to climb in Colorado. This is where I ask for your help. I will only be in Golden for ten weeks. If you had to name specific areas/boulders/routes etc. that were MUST DO's before I went home to Chicago, what would you pick?

To make your life easier, I will give you some insight to what my abilities are. I regularly climb v4 outside and generally work on and redpoint v5. I've sent up to 10a trad climbing and 12a sport climbing. I am slowly learning to aid climb.

I've climbed at Turkey Rocks and LOVED it. I definitely plan on going back there. Besides that, I've bouldered in Morrison for a day and then climbed at North Table Mountain for another day. That's pretty much all of my CO climbing so far.

I would love to hear your thoughts. I am very excited to have the opportunity to live out that way for a summer. 

Sav

Patrick Bodnar · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2015 · Points: 110

In terms of bouldering, I would suggest checking out RMNP, Lincoln Lake, and Newlin Creek. 

RMNP is super beautiful and littered with iconic lines. I would suggest The Kind V5 (at Emerald Lake) and Potato Chip Layback V3 (at Lower Chaos Canyon). 

Lincoln Lake is at Mt Evans and is probably the coolest setting for bouldering (imo) in the entire state, and it has a really fun hike. Can't think of many specific suggestions except for maybe Shot Tower V5. Just go out and climb everything that looks cool. 

Newlin Creek is right out of Florence. It's going to be warm in the summer, but it is shaded and has some of the best rock with less crowds than other areas. Atari V3 and Pineapple Express V5 are ultra cool. You could also easily pair Newlin with other southern stuff like Shelf or even Turkey for a fun trip. 

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Here is a good reference list for Colorado. The most ticked climbs on MP with a number of stars given factor included:

https://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/Classics.php?id=105708956

Here is that list for ALL areas on MP. Anything on this list is mega classic:

https://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/Classics

Savvy Buik · · Chicago, IL · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 95
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Here is a good reference list for Colorado. The most ticked climbs on MP with a number of stars given factor included:

https://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/Classics.php?id=105708956

Here is that list for ALL areas on MP. Anything on this list is mega classic:

https://www.mountainproject.com/scripts/Classics

Thanks! Although I kinda wanted personal opinions. I could go through MP all day, but it would be great to hear from some locals -- especially since my time in CO is so short. 

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 294
Savvy Buik wrote:

Besides that, I've bouldered in Morrison for a day and then climbed at North Table Mountain for another day. That's pretty much all of my CO climbing so far.

Well if that’s all that you’ve done, pretty much anything else you climb in CO will be better! It depends on how far you’re willing to drive from Golden, but I would say go bouldering in RMNP, do some trad at Lumpy Ridge, maybe a couple alpine routes in RMNP. Devil’s Head south of Denver is worth a day trip for good climbing and the view (climbing with Pikes Peak in the background).

If you’re willing to drive a little further, I’d check out Independence Pass. Lots of good climbing around Ouray too but that’s even further away. If you want to climb (instead of hike) a 14er but don’t want to tackle the Diamond, Ellingwood Ledges on Crestone Needle is supposed to be pretty good.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Okay. Describe what kind of climbing you are you looking to do, or you most enjoy. Because the reality is that you are going to need people to climb with - and that will dictate more of where you go climbing. 

But some of my recommendations for you If you are based in Golden/Denver you will mostly be doing a lot of stuff on the front range. 

You have to go to Shelf road for at least a weekend.

You should go to the voo for a weekend.

Try to get to Moab.  

Eldo. BoCan. North Table. Crowded, but for good reasons. 

You have to climb at least one flat iron. (Solo the first and/or third) 

Hike at least one 14er. I recommend Long's so you can see the Diamond and be tempted by its glory

Climb in clear creek on the regular. My favorite crag is high wire. 

Savvy Buik · · Chicago, IL · Joined Nov 2014 · Points: 95
grog m aka Greg McKee wrote:

Okay. Describe what kind of climbing you are you looking to do, or you most enjoy. Because the reality is that you are going to need people to climb with - and that will dictate more of where you go climbing. 

I definitely love technical climbing. Stemmy, slabby, edgy, pockety, vert -- all of the above. I don't mind steep sport climbing! I've learned to love it since the Red River Gorge is basically my home crag. I like a broad spectrum of styles, but I definitely love technical climbing above all. 

I went to Moab earlier this year and actually started trad climbing at Vedauwoo. Definitely going to try and make it back up to WY a few times since it's not the worst drive. I also forgot to mention that I soloed the first flatiron. 

I hope to meet some people to climb with sooner rather than later. Do you reccommend any solo bouldering spots just in case? I do have a lot of friends out that way, but I would love to have a back up just in case. 

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

Go ahead and get The Kind out of the way. It's not that great, but everyone will ask if you've done it.

Dan Cooksey · · Seattle, WA · Joined Jan 2014 · Points: 365
jmmlol wrote:

Go ahead and get The Kind out of the way. It's not that great, but everyone will ask if you've done it.

Blasphemy! 

the schmuck · · Albuquerque, NM · Joined Feb 2012 · Points: 110

So I haven't lived in CO in ages, but have spent a bit of time there. Some of the recommended places described, such as Shelf, will be way too hot in the summer, but this is what I would suggest:

- get on the diamond

- do some classics in Eldo

- go to Rifle for steep limestone 

- go cragging at Devil's Head

- do after-work sport in Clear Creek

- something in the SPlatte

percious · · Bear Creek, CO · Joined Nov 2006 · Points: 1,185

Colorado is an amazing place to be in the summer and Golden is pretty much the perfect base.  There are numerous unique places to climb within 1 hour of Denver, and SO much more if you want to drive 

I agree with the following:

Climb a flatiron.

Get lost in Eldo.

Pull down hard on Devil's Head chicken heads.

Schedule a pre-dawn start for The Park or Lumpy.

Some of my own recommendations:

Find an adventure.

Then find Rifle after you have done all that.

Pick your climbs based on the weather/timing.  Go up in altitude (DH) if it's hot, seek the sun on short days by climbing North Table late into the evenings.  

Pick your climbs based on your partners.  Find experienced people to climb with.  I've learned more about climbing fun from silver haired folks than anyone. Avoid the crags inundated by newbs (East Colfax, Canal Zone, Wind Ridge, etc.)

Don't forget to sample some of Denver's Breweries, a perfect after-climb treat.

cheers.

-chris

PS. pm me if you don't mind having kids around when you are climbing, our family is happy to have folks along.  I have a sister who experienced similar life challenges as you have, it would be interesting to hear your perspective.

grog m aka Greg McKee · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Aug 2012 · Points: 70

Some really cool bouldering in BoCan, Estes, and RMNP.

Also Horsetooth Lake in Fort Collins, specifically Rotary Park, has some very classic boulders that are great fun to play on. In fact this was the first place that chalk and dyno-ing were used in climbing by a man named John Gill. 

As for meeting people the gym is a good place. Be open to people talking to you. There are a plethora of gyms in the Dtown, Golden, B-town area. 

There is a very high probability that your coworkers will climb. 

Matt Inoue · · CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 90

Bouldering: Emerald Lake in RMNP (Rocky Mountain National Park)

Crack climbng: Indian Creek, maybe Vedauwoo?

Sport Climbing: Rifle Road or the Monastery

Alpine Climbing (i.e. multipitch, on gear): Petit Grepon, Hallett Peak

Peak bagging: Longs Peak (via cables or Keyhole Ridge)

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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