Best crag for 5.11 and under sport climbing


Original Post
Austin Russell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 10

Weekend trip from missouri, any good places for 5.11 and under climbing?

Adam Block · · Colorado Springs, CO · Joined Dec 2012 · Points: 48

I assume you'll want camping nearby so what comes to mind in the southern Front Range is:

Devils Head is beautiful and has great granite moderates but is a bit hard to navigate if you haven't been there 

Shelf Rd is stacked with classics in that range but you'll have to chase shade which is easy in the sand gulch and gallery areas

Daniel Rickert · · Dallas, TX · Joined Jan 2012 · Points: 160

Horseshoe Canyon Ranch in Arkansas is a great place for the 5.11 and under sport leader.

Austin Russell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 10

I climb every weekend at horseshoe so just wanting to change things up a little, thank you for the suggestions

Jon Banks · · Denver, CO · Joined Nov 2013 · Points: 145

I second Shelf and Devil's Head. Shelf if it's cold. Devil's Head if it's hot, assuming you come before Rampart Range Road closes.

aikibujin · · Castle Rock, CO · Joined Oct 2014 · Points: 290

If you're mostly looking for 5.10s and 5.11s, my vote will be on Tan Corridor in Staunton State Park. The granite is fairly atypical of the slabby stuff in the area. Majority of the 5.10s there are thought provoking and fun, and the couple 5.11s I did are excellent for the grade and pretty sustained. The only deterrent is the fairly long approach (for sport climbing), the plus is that it will not be as crowded as some other areas around Denver.

For something a little closer to Denver, check out Canal Zone and High Wire. Both places have some fun routes from 5.8s and up. Canal Zone tops out at 5.11s, while High Wire has a couple 5.12s. Officer Friendly is a 5.11b that's just around the corner from High Wire, if you're in that area, definitely give it a try.

I've spent a lot of time at Devil's Head this summer, its higher elevation makes it a great summer destination. The granite ranges in quality from hard clean overhanging face to flaky kitty litter choss, so the quality of the routes there also varies. Although I haven't climbed there yet, the Headstone seems to have some good routes in the grades you're looking for (just be aware that some of the easier lines are trad routes).

Finally, if you're thinking ahead for the winter months, Shelf Road is definitely the place to climb. Cactus Cliff will be as packed as a gym on the weekends, so I personally like the Gallery better. There are a lot of quality routes in your grade between Menses Prow and the Mural Wall in the Gallery, and the two areas are on opposite side of a gulley, which allow you to chase the sun/shade depends on your preference.

Scott · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2015 · Points: 0

+1 for shelf road

Tyler Metheney · · St Louis · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0

Jackson Falls Illinois has a huge variety. The scenery is beautiful as well. Stiff climbing in comparison with HCR but well worth the trip with good camping as well.

Cheers

Austin Russell · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 10

Are the anchors at shelf road usually equipped with chains or rap rings? And is lowering alright?

Jim Turner · · Lakewood, CO · Joined Jun 2012 · Points: 290
Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 190

FFS he posted this in the CO page...stop recommending crags in AK or IL!

Derek Lawrence · · Bailey · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 470
Austin Russell wrote:

Are the anchors at shelf road usually equipped with chains or rap rings? And is lowering alright?

Yes, the majority of the routes have chains, quicklinks, or quicklink/ring combos and are good to lower from.  There are some routes with coldshut anchors or single ring fixe anchors which can be lowered from but are probably best cleaned on rappel if possible (both for rope twisting and wear issues). 

Same applies to Devils Head.  For Devils Head I would recommend you get the Rakkup guide as there are more routes on there than the printed book and you have the GPS track of the trails to help you navigate.  

Tyler Metheney · · St Louis · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 0
Ted Pinson wrote:

FFS he posted this in the CO page...stop recommending crags in AK or IL!

Sorry Ted I hadn't noticed..don't get your knickers in a twist.

Sean Cunningham · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2017 · Points: 0

It's 3 hours from Golden but I'd go to Lime Creek.  Awesome limestone and there's a ton of routes 5.11 and under.  

Brendan Armesy · · Fort Collins CO · Joined Sep 2016 · Points: 85

take the weekend and head to wild iris. its heaven for the 5.9-5.10 climber and lots of camping

Dave Bohn aka "Old Fart" · · Unknown Hometown · Joined May 2002 · Points: 265
Brendan Armesy wrote:

take the weekend and head to wild iris. its heaven for the 5.9-5.10 climber and lots of camping

Major cold front blowing through up north this weekend. Better stick to Shelf, there's ~ 700-800 routes 5.11 or less

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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