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Visiting Denver Next Week - few Qs


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gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

Coming into town for work Wednesday - Friday, and then my girlfriend is meeting me there Friday, leaving on Monday. 

I'm hoping to get to a gym one or two of the evenings that I'm around for work, and was curious if people had recommendations for where's best. I don't think I'll have a partner for those nights, so I don't mind just bouldering or running laps on autobelay. 

For the weekend, we were looking to get outside for some easy trad or toproping. How much of a circus is it going to be for the holiday weekend? My girlfriend has only climbed outdoors twice before, so any recommendations on good beginner areas would be much appreciated. I was looking at Eldorado Canyon, but am not too familiar with the area. I'm mostly a Gunks climber, and have never been to CO before. 

Thanks for any input!

BoulderCharles · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Sep 2011 · Points: 80

Eldo is great but it gets busy, is nearly all trad, and can get really hot if temps are above 80. If you hit good temps then I would recommend something like Swanson's Arete as a first experience in Eldo.

Patrick Pharo · · Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2003 · Points: 30

Re gym options: If you're staying downtown, Movement or the Denver Bouldering Club are your nearby best bets.  Both get busy after work.  Movement gives you the option of routes, the DBC is less expensive for a day pass, and is less of a scene.  

If you're staying somewhere else in the city, there are different gym options.  Northern suburbs are closer to Rock N Jam'n, and they have a south location as well.  EarthTreks is in Golden. 

Just map it.  There should be one close by.  

Weekends are busy at local crags, and there are definitely more sport routes than gear climbs.  Check out Clear Creek and Golden Cliffs on MP.  Those are both within 30 mins of Denver. The Flatirons offer multipitch slab climbing (in addition to sport crags on steeper faces).  Eldo has the highest concentration of gear climbs, but you should expect crowds on more moderate grades.     

Good luck, be safe.

Abram Herman · · Grand Junction, CO · Joined May 2009 · Points: 20
BoulderCharles wrote:

Third flatiron in Boulder with a very early start to be the crowds (like starting to hike at dawn). It's classic and a really fun day for nearly any level of climber. Eldo is great but it gets busy, is nearly all trad, and can get really hot if temps are above 80. If you hit good temps then I would recommend something like Swanson's Arete as a first experience in Eldo.

Third flatiron is closed for raptor nesting until July 31st. First flatiron is open, and still a worthwhile outing.

gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

Thanks all. I'm staying downtown, so I'll lean towards DBC or Movement (if I can find a partner).

 Would it be unreasonable to try to hit up Eldo and the First Flatiron in the same day?

303scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 180

If you are in Downtown Denver then for gyms Movement is probably your best choice, however no autobelays to be had there.  If you want to climb in a beautiful location on easy trad, then I would consider Eldo.  In Eldo the West Ridge holds a lot of single pitch trad, while Redgarden and the Bastille have multipitch.   Depending on the weather it could be busy or unclimbable (e.g. it just snowed quite a bit up there).  Eldo is about 45 minutes from downtown Denver.  Easy sport can be found at Catslab in Clear Creek Canyon or at North Table Mountain (both 30-40 minutes from Denver).  NTM will be very hot if there is any sun and would not be my first recommendation. I think the Third Flatiron is currently CLOSED for raptors.  The First is open.  Depending on your girlfriend's desire for exposure and your desire to climb slightly runout slab it could be a good choice.   As Charles mentioned, however, it is likely to be a zoo.   Finally, Boulder Canyon is chock full of sport and trad lines, and about 45mins-1 hour from downtown.  Avalon, happy hour, Riviera and Bihedral (Check for raptor closures on these) all have climbing on the easier side of things (some sport, some trad).  

303scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 180

jesus I type slow

303scott · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Mar 2008 · Points: 180

also, just saw cat slab may be closed Friday

gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20
303scott wrote:

jesus I type slow

No sweat -- this is great info and I appreciate it.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

 The first flat iron is a great climb. But keep this in mind since your girlfriend has only climbed twice.    It is about 1200 feet of climbing although pretty easy for most people. When people solo it it takes only 30 or 40 minutes. But when people pitch it out especially if it's their first time, it can take several hours. Is that something that she would be up for for her third climb ever?   Also, it ends with a free hanging rappel.

 Cat slab is not closed. There is a rescue training Friday morning,  so best to avoid it then. 

https://www.mountainproject.com/forum/topic/112919880/cat-slab-526-rescue-training

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145

I'm often surprised by the lack of crowds on holiday weekends. It can go either way, but I think a lot of front range climbers either head out to other places or stay away expecting crowds on holidays. You asked about flatirons and Eldo in the same day - probably not too realistic unless you are super fast. 

Parker Wrozek · · Denver, CO · Joined Mar 2012 · Points: 83

Don't climb at north table. 

For the gym I would go to DBC or drive out to Earthtreks.

You can hit up Eldo or the flatirons but I would probably do boulder canyon/clear creek canyon for single pitch. Go up to Lumpy Ridge for some easy multipitch trad in a beautiful setting (maybe burried in snow now, it was clear two weeks ago, could be clear next weekend).

gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20
ErikaNW wrote:

I'm often surprised by the lack of crowds on holiday weekends. It can go either way, but I think a lot of front range climbers either head out to other places or stay away expecting crowds on holidays. You asked about flatirons and Eldo in the same day - probably not too realistic unless you are super fast. 

I'll take that as  don't do it, then. Since my girlfriend has limited outdoor experience, I think we'll be taking our time. 

I was mostly leaning towards Eldo/Flatirons because the Gunks are my home area, so I rarely climb sport. Don't even have ten proper quickdraws (although plenty of alpine draws). 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549

The North Ridge of the 1st Flatiron is less crowded, shorter and as good as the east face routes. On the 1st, you will have to deal with some up and down on the ridge, no matter which route you choose, plus a rap off the backside.

You might want to look at some of the less visited flatirons.

The 2nd is routinely soloed, but would be a fun easy roped route if that's the sort of thing your girlfriend might like. You will almost certainly be the only folks pitching it out, so no belay clusters, you can do the actual topout and have a great view and experience with little stress.

For something a little spicier, look at the east face of Seal Rock or the Slab. Seal would require rappels, you can get off the Slab by scrambling, but it's not that easy to find.

You can be pretty sure you will have them to yourself.

For one pitch sport cragging you should also consider Other Critters (sun), and Canal Zone (shade) in CCC. CZ is always crowded though- but good routes.

ErikaNW · · Golden, CO · Joined Sep 2010 · Points: 145
Mark E Dixon wrote:

The North Ridge of the 1st Flatiron is less crowded, shorter and as good as the east face routes. On the 1st, you will have to deal with some up and down on the ridge, no matter which route you choose, plus a rap off the backside.

You might want to look at some of the less visited flatirons.

The 2nd is routinely soloed, but would be a fun easy roped route if that's the sort of thing your girlfriend might like. You will almost certainly be the only folks pitching it out, so no belay clusters, you can do the actual topout and have a great view and experience with little stress.

For something a little spicier, look at the east face of Seal Rock or the Slab. Seal would require rappels, you can get off the Slab by scrambling, but it's not that easy to find.

You can be pretty sure you will have them to yourself.

For one pitch sport cragging you should also consider Other Critters (sun), and Canal Zone (shade) in CCC. CZ is always crowded though- but good routes.

Seal Rock is a really fun climb, but be aware it has an exciting rappel that might be really scary for a new climber, depending on their exposure tolerance. It's 200 feet (bring 2 ropes), much of it free, and the chains are over an edge. 

Lots of great options in Eldo too - Cadillac Crag is usually less crowded (longer approach) and has some really fun single pitch routes. Easy to hit routes on Cadillac, Rincon, and West Ridge in a day. 

Mark E Dixon · · Sprezzatura, Someday · Joined Nov 2007 · Points: 549
ErikaNW wrote:

Seal Rock is a really fun climb, but be aware it has an exciting rappel that might be really scary for a new climber, depending on their exposure tolerance. It's 200 feet (bring 2 ropes), much of it free, and the chains are over an edge. 

Lots of great options in Eldo too - Cadillac Crag is usually less crowded (longer approach) and has some really fun single pitch routes. Easy to hit routes on Cadillac, Rincon, and West Ridge in a day. 

It is an exciting rap off Seal. 

That's a great suggestion for Eldo, and would get you away from most crowds. 

Pretty up there too. 

cjohns716 · · Boulder, CO · Joined Nov 2015 · Points: 0

Great suggestions here already for outdoor.

In terms of climbing indoors, there's a Meetup group that goes to Movement on Wednesdays. RSVP here

Movement also does a "class" where anyone can come in, and they'll partner people up. Looks like 5:30 on Thursday and Friday. Look for The Rope Up. If all else fails, message me and I might be able to come.

gabe.fs · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Jun 2016 · Points: 20

Thanks for all the info. I think I'm leaning towards Eldo still, but might look at pitching out the 2nd flatiron. I realize its probably a rare sight, but it also might be an easy intro for my gf into multi-pitch with an easy walk-off (is that right?). For pitching the 2nd, I'm assuming it's all gear anchors, correct? The MP page seems to really only treat the route as a free solo.

And similar thanks on the indoor info for the preceding days. I'll likely check out the 'class' cjohns mentioned at Movement. Cheers.

Greg D · · Here · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 871

Yep.  All gear on the 2nd.  There is a weird spot half way up where you need to jump or do a short down climb.  At the top there is a short down climb to the south and west that takes you to a trail.  At that point you might as well continue up the trail another 5 or 10 minutes to an awesome view point under the top of the first flat iron.  

Jon Frisby · · Brooklyn, NY · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 100
gabe.fs wrote:

I'll take that as  don't do it, then. Since my girlfriend has limited outdoor experience, I think we'll be taking our time. 

I was mostly leaning towards Eldo/Flatirons because the Gunks are my home area, so I rarely climb sport. Don't even have ten proper quickdraws (although plenty of alpine draws). 

Fellow Gunky - you will really enjoy a day in Eldo. With a brand new climber, assuming she knows how to clean gear, doing some easy classics there is a pretty fun day

Blakevan · · Dallas, TX · Joined Sep 2015 · Points: 55

Can you provide more details?  We climbed there in March and while not great for CO it was decent for a dude from Texas.  :)  Never mind I see the OP is from the Gunks and that explains it.

Parker Wrozek wrote:

Don't climb at north table. 


Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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