Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Is devil lake worth a 3 hour drive??


Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote: Ok, i have to jump in here. There may be more climbing in Colo but it aint all that great. Not impressed with most Colorado climbing.

That is just, like, your opinion man...

All of DL isn't as good as just the Redgarden Wall. Just sayin'. I'm not a fan of Sioux/Baraboo quartzite. I'll climb on it, but I will be longing for granite...
Mobes Mobesely · · Granite island · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

I drove over a 1000 miles to climb there one week.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,435
Buck Rio wrote:

That is just, like, your opinion man...

All of DL isn't as good as just the Redgarden Wall. Just sayin'. I'm not a fan of Sioux/Baraboo quartzite. I'll climb on it, but I will be longing for granite...

Redgarden?!?! Thats the chossest choss of choss there is! Remember the Rewritten refrigerator?!

Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 6,037

An acquired taste, requiring a discerning palate ....

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Tradiban wrote:

Redgarden?!?! Thats the chossest choss of choss there is! Remember the Rewritten refrigerator?!

I do remember it...my first time climbing Rewritten it was there, the next time it was gone.  Redgarden is also 700 feet tall, one of the birthplaces of modern free climbing, with routes put up by Layton Kor, Pat Ament, Christian Griffith, Jim Erickson etc....Derek Hersey called it his office.

I know you are a homer when it comes to DL, but come on, there is no comparison. There is a hundred CLASSIC climbs in Eldo, from Calypso to C'est la Vie, to Bastille Crack to Ruper to The Yellow Spur to Super Slab.....insert your favorite here....to The Naked Edge.  

And you want choss, climb the Rotwand, that is choss.

There are no crags in the Midwest that are anything more than bumps with a few fun routes to pretend we're climbers. (I am excluding WV and KY in the Midwest) And the Needles of SD is more West then Midwest.

All I am saying is that DL is worth a stop, but NOT worth a road trip, it just isn't that good. I feel the same way about my home crag, The North Shore. Fun for a bit, but it's just practice for the real deal in the mountains.
jon jugenheimer · · Madison, WI · Joined Apr 2006 · Points: 2,248

Now you're basing on the North Shore (technically the West shore if you ask me...).  PHead is one of the greatest crags in all the lands!  Best in the Midwest IMHO and better than most places elsewhere.  

BTW, I travel a lot to climb in other places and always love coming home to 'da Lake (well, not in mid summer) to climb again. 

Andy Eiter · · Madison, WI · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 15
Buck Rio wrote:

All I am saying is that DL is worth a stop, but NOT worth a road trip, it just isn't that good. I feel the same way about my home crag, The North Shore. Fun for a bit, but it's just practice for the real deal in the mountains.

Maybe it's worth at least A road trip, but not a regular destination over closer, west-er, classic-er options.

Burton Lindquist · · Madison, WI · Joined Jan 2002 · Points: 3,305

"There are no crags in the Midwest that are anything more than bumps with a few fun routes to pretend we're climbers."

I will pretending the best I can this weekend for sure.  Ha!
Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
jon jugenheimer wrote: Now you're basing on the North Shore (technically the West shore if you ask me...).  PHead is one of the greatest crags in all the lands!  Best in the Midwest IMHO and better than most places elsewhere.  

BTW, I travel a lot to climb in other places and always love coming home to 'da Lake (well, not in mid summer) to climb again. 

I ain't bashin, I've already put in 6 days at PHead this year, and I finally did Sacred Biscuit clean at Shove Point(new shoes). Like I said, it is my home crag. I also do Section 13 and whatever they are calling the ELC now. Wolf Ridge. But after you are over the fact you are climbing a Sea cliff, it gets routine. 

I love the Valley, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and even AZ has some decent climbing, I did the Superstitions and Cochise Stronghold. South Dakota needles are magical and accessible. Never been to NM, but I guess the Sandia's are nice.

I live here because of family and job, not because the climbing is even remotely great. Someday I want to do the New/Red and the Gunks. Maybe do El Potrero Chico if I can find a partner...but I am 52 and ain't getting any younger.
Doug Hemken · · Madison, WI · Joined Oct 2004 · Points: 6,037

I'm looking at a subject about a "3 hour drive", and hearing people talk about how it's not worth the drive from Colorado?  Either y'all drive *really* fast, or math education ain't what it used to be!

I think if it's worth driving from the upper Midwest to climb at dinky little crags like Tennessee Wall or HCR, then it is certainly worth making a road trip in the other direction.  Except that reading and climbing Baraboo quartzite is very different than getting on the ubiquitous southern sandstone - you have some learning to do to get on a new type of rock, and many people aren't interested in figuring that out on a road trip.

Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150
Buck Rio wrote:

This is so wrong on so many levels.  Unless you are meeting some love of your life there, DL DOESN'T compare to anything in Colorado. I drive 14 hours to get to Estes so I don't have to climb at Devil's Lake....It just isn't that great.

Hey Buck, I started out climbing at devils lake and wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I would drive up from Indiana which usually ended up being around 5-6 hours depending on Chicago traffic which we always seemed to find. I love going to The Barn (restaurant) maybe a 1 mile out of the park after climbing and finding what is good on tap which theres always something fantastic because the owner Amber is a giant beer nerd. I think it's the entire experience of the rock type, the history, the views, the people, ...everything. It's a great place and I try to make it back once every few years or so. I took my fiancé with me this year and she fell in love with the place. She's been to vedauwoo, boulder canyon, eldo, lumpy..etc.. Don't get me wrong it took a few days for her to get familiar with the climbing and slick rock type but she had a great experience and is excited to go back sometime. While I was there I ran into a couple of Canadian climbers that routinely climb at the gunks and drove down from Montreal. Don't get me wrong... I'm not driving to this place every weekend ( I flew last time actually) but Devils lake is a destination. As far as people that say it's "crowded"....Its not that bad (or at least when I would regularly be up there nearly every weekend which was about 6 years ago or so). I know how quickly that stuff can change especially with the increase of popularity of climbing. Pretty much everywhere in Colorado is going to be crowded but especially Boulder,Co. I've been on what I consider a long approach (1.5 hrs or so) and when you get there you'll find a number of parties in line. There's a ton of people out here where as the little tiny town of baraboo....nothing but a breath of fresh air and clean rock. Don't take what you have available around you for granite (see what I did there?!?!?!?!?). Devils lake is an awesome spot and the single pitch classics there would compare to the classics out here.


You know what the say...grass is always greener....
Andy Eiter · · Madison, WI · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 15
Alan Coon wrote:

I love going to The Barn (restaurant) maybe a 1 mile out of the park after climbing and finding what is good on tap which theres always something fantastic because the owner Amber is a giant beer nerd. 

Over the past few years, my hype level for the Barn has dropped from 15/10 to like a 3/10. Been pretty disappointed the past three or four visits with the food or the service. But boyyy do they have a beer selection.

Buck Rio · · MN · Joined Jul 2015 · Points: 0
Alan Coon wrote:

Hey Buck, I started out climbing at devils lake and wouldn't trade the experience for anything. I would drive up from Indiana which usually ended up being around 5-6 hours depending on Chicago traffic which we always seemed to find. I love going to The Barn (restaurant) maybe a 1 mile out of the park after climbing and finding what is good on tap which theres always something fantastic because the owner Amber is a giant beer nerd. I think it's the entire experience of the rock type, the history, the views, the people, ...everything. It's a great place and I try to make it back once every few years or so. I took my fiancé with me this year and she fell in love with the place. She's been to vedauwoo, boulder canyon, eldo, lumpy..etc.. Don't get me wrong it took a few days for her to get familiar with the climbing and slick rock type but she had a great experience and is excited to go back sometime. While I was there I ran into a couple of Canadian climbers that routinely climb at the gunks and drove down from Montreal. Don't get me wrong... I'm not driving to this place every weekend ( I flew last time actually) but Devils lake is a destination. As far as people that say it's "crowded"....Its not that bad (or at least when I would regularly be up there nearly every weekend which was about 6 years ago or so). I know how quickly that stuff can change especially with the increase of popularity of climbing. Pretty much everywhere in Colorado is going to be crowded but especially Boulder,Co. I've been on what I consider a long approach (1.5 hrs or so) and when you get there you'll find a number of parties in line. There's a ton of people out here where as the little tiny town of baraboo....nothing but a breath of fresh air and clean rock. Don't take what you have available around you for granite (see what I did there?!?!?!?!?). Devils lake is an awesome spot and the single pitch classics there would compare to the classics out here.


You know what the say...grass is always greener....

I "grew up" climbing there, and I feel like I kind of wore the place out. Climbing with the dudes from the CMC was a great experience, fantastic bunch of guys/gals that showed me how to climb safely. Shared their campsite when the regular sites were all full.

So you know when you climb in a place a whole lot, you eventually get sick of it? That, and a couple of really bad experiences with crowds and theft drove me away. Actually worked out great, because then I got to experience places out west that I never would have otherwise. Getting stuck on a route overnight in Yosemite, having a mountain lion stick his head in our tent at City of Rocks, meeting Fred Beckey in LCC, watching Peter Croft solo by us on Intersection Rock in JTree...all great memories I would have missed had I stayed local. 

I may go back if I can find the time, but right now I would rather climb bigger stuff.
Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,435
Buck Rio wrote:

I ain't bashin, I've already put in 6 days at PHead this year, and I finally did Sacred Biscuit clean at Shove Point(new shoes). Like I said, it is my home crag. I also do Section 13 and whatever they are calling the ELC now. Wolf Ridge. But after you are over the fact you are climbing a Sea cliff, it gets routine. 

I love the Valley, Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Wyoming and even AZ has some decent climbing, I did the Superstitions and Cochise Stronghold. South Dakota needles are magical and accessible. Never been to NM, but I guess the Sandia's are nice.

I live here because of family and job, not because the climbing is even remotely great. Someday I want to do the New/Red and the Gunks. Maybe do El Potrero Chico if I can find a partner...but I am 52 and ain't getting any younger.

Whoa, whoa, whoa! P head is not that great. The only reason that it is a little good is because it's pretty tall and it's right on the water. Lots of dirty or loose-ish rock, just like eldo.

DL is solid clean rock with magical movement. If it were tall it would probably be the best climbing in the United States.

I can't believe what passes for classic out west,  it's unbelievable. I cannot understand why people think some of these routes out here are good. Just because they're tall doesn't make it classic. 
Alan Coon · · Longmont, CO · Joined Feb 2013 · Points: 150
Tradiban wrote:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! P head is not that great. The only reason that it is a little good is because it's pretty tall and it's right on the water. Lots of dirty or loose-ish rock, just like eldo.

DL is solid clean rock with magical movement. If it were tall it would probably be the best climbing in the United States.

I can't believe what passes for classic out west,  it's unbelievable. I cannot understand why people think some of these routes out here are good. Just because they're tall doesn't make it classic.

Damn dude.... I think I’m getting a crush on you! I mean... I’d buy you a beer if I saw you at a brewery. At the very least, I’m going to write your name in for political office in CO. 

Ted Pinson · · Chicago, IL · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 195

I feel like it’s time to repost Jay’s old article:
https://www.climbing.com/news/lake-effect/

Like Jon, I’ve done a fair amount of traveling (though likely not nearly as much) and will say that climbing at the Lake is definitely limited.  You’re not going to get perfect desert Sandstone splitters or RRG jug hauls or granite corners...or anything realistically longer than 2 pitches.  That said, you’re also not quite going to get what the Lake offers anywhere else, either, and being able to appreciate that is an important skill for remaining sane in the Midwest.  I’ve had the same talk with lots of Lake climbers who travel, and all of us end up coming back to it.  There’s just something about the Lake...I find the movement to be very unique and engaging, even in the lower grades.  Maybe it’s because you constantly feel like you’re soloing?  Haha.  I’ll say I’ve never climbed a better 5.6 than Brinton’s or Lost Face (though I still haven’t gotten to the Gunks) and would agree that, as a single pitch crag, Devil’s Lake IS a destination, and is definitely worth a 3 hour drive.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,283
Michael Mueller wrote: Thankfully I have the MN/WI guidebook which has devils in there. Would one pad and spotters suffice or should I bring more?

Yeah, it is worth doing, says the guy who used to live in IN, but moved to CO in 1995.
As for what else to bring?  Your swimsuit...  there are places like the Railroad Amp or birthday rocks. where you can walk right down and jump in for a few minutes to cool off, provided that they didn't outlaw that.

Tony B · · Around Boulder, CO · Joined Jan 2001 · Points: 23,283
Tradiban wrote:

Whoa, whoa, whoa! P head is not that great. The only reason that it is a little good is because it's pretty tall and it's right on the water. Lots of dirty or loose-ish rock, just like eldo.

DL is solid clean rock with magical movement. If it were tall it would probably be the best climbing in the United States.

Uh, I like P-head, frankly, sticky rock, solid features, good edges, interesting movement...
But yeah, a little like Eldo in some ways, and we all know how TERRIBLE Eldo is!?!?!

Steve Sangdahl · · eldo sprngs,co · Joined Mar 2002 · Points: 735

Not getting involved in a pissing match about what climbing area is  better. Appreciate what you got. If it feeds your rat it’s all good!
I spent some of the best care free climbing days of my youth  at The Lake. Loved it. But then I moved to Eldo, so what do I know.

Tradiban · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2004 · Points: 11,435
Steve Sangdahl wrote: Not getting involved in a pissing match about what climbing area is  better. Appreciate what you got. If it feeds your rat it’s all good!
I spent some of the best care free climbing days of my youth  at The Lake. Loved it. But then I moved to Eldo, so what do I know.

Bias!

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

Post a Reply to "Is devil lake worth a 3 hour drive??"
in the Midwest

Log In to Reply