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Colorado Sport Climbing/Backpacking Trip in August
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Feb 10, 2014
I'm new here, and I just wanted to say hi. I'm a 4 year rock climber, and have made six trips to the Red, but outside that I haven't done a lot of outdoor climbing (if only Moab didn't snow this past fall). I climb up to the 5.11 range right now, and love technical routes with slightly overhanging to vertical rock faces.

In August, I'm planning a trip for at least a group of 4 to Colorado, but right now I'm at the brainstorming stage. My only agenda is that we cover some good sport climbs over a couple days, and also get in a separate 4+ day backpacking trip.

Most of our climbs will be in the 5.8 to 5.10 range, since most going on the trip are relatively new climbers, but I wouldn't mind getting a few 5.11's in - maybe even my first 5.12 under my belt. We'd prefer more serene locations, and have no problem hiking long distances. Also, dog friendly/camp friendly spots would be a plus.

What are some possible crags that would be worth checking out that would fit the mold for this?

Also, for the second part of the trip, I'd like to get in 4-6 day, 50-100 mile backcountry trip that would hit up a couple worthwhile peaks along the way (needs to be dog friendly). Any ideas here as well?

Thanks ahead for any comments.
Joined Feb 10, 2014
0 points
Feb 10, 2014
Moderate and hard sport climbing and dog friendly camping on Independence Pass near Aspen.

The most classic 30 mile loop in Colorado, the 4 Pass Loop is accessed from Aspen.

Rifle is a bit more than an hour away... hard sport and camping

As for a longer backpacking trip... Breckenridge to Twin Lakes on the CT/CDT is pretty glorious. Also Creede to Molas Pass on the CT, but that's a fair bit south of Aspen, worth the drive for sure. Both of those trips are right around 100 miles.
S Denny
From Aspen, CO
Joined Sep 25, 2008
15 points
Feb 10, 2014
It's hard to beat Independence Pass in August
Lots of great hiking around too (see S Denny above).

This is also a good place to consider. Lots of backpacking options and the climbing is really good too.

But hey, it Colorado. You can go just about anywhere (in the western half of the state) and have great climbing and backpacking that's dog friendly.
J. Broussard
From CordryCorner
Joined Feb 21, 2011
30 points
Feb 10, 2014
You guys were reading my mind....Monitor/Independence area is really good.

You could also nip over to Frisco and do a long, sport 5.9 Royal Flush
john strand
From southern colo
Joined May 22, 2008
1,575 points
Feb 10, 2014
South Platte and Shelf Road would be my $0.02

Backpacking is going to be cool anywhere, but most of the mountains in CO are pretty boring with the exception of the Crestones, Maroon Bells, and Grenadier/Needles Range. Respectively those are near Alamosa, Aspen, and Silverton
Chris Schmidt
From Grand Junction
Joined Nov 29, 2012
0 points
Feb 10, 2014
I would look at the South Platte. There is some of the best "back country" sport climbing in the Country let alone the state in this area. They run the entire spectrum of grades, are almost all on National Forest land which means super dog friendly. Not to mention the South Platte encompasses the lost creek wilderness area which is a giant road less area with unlimited backpacking options. The peaks may not be 14ers but some are pretty imposing and it is a very rugged terrain. There are several loop trails that take 4-5 days and don't require special pickup arrangements or the hassle of dropping off a second vehicle. ChefMattThaner
From Lakewood, co
Joined May 15, 2013
138 points
Feb 10, 2014
One climb that stood out to me is Playin' Hooky in Clear Creek Canyon. I've never done anything more than a two-pitch myself, and I know two of my friends could make it up the whole way, while the other could at least do the first pitch or two.

Independence Pass looks like a good location too. Any 5.8 or 5.9 climbs in that area that would stand out as particularly fun climbs for a newbie to toprope after I lead it? I'm hoping everyone in the group will be able to climb 5.10's pretty solidly by then, but I'd like to know there's some decent easy stuff I can fall back on if they can't.

Shelf Road looks cool too, but it appears a bit more out of the way than some of the others.

Also, that CT hike from Breckenridge to Twin Lakes looks too good to pass up, and the days of climbing beforehand would be a good chance for us to acclimate to the altitude as well. How are the bugs and weather in August typically?
Joined Feb 10, 2014
0 points
Feb 10, 2014
I've never had a problem with bugs in Colorado. Depending on how tolerant you are of them, I wouldn't even bring a can of bug spray.

The weather in August is the bigger concern, especially if you're going to be up around Independence Pass and backpacking anywhere near treeline. The height of the thunderstorm season is in July into early August so just be super vigilant about the weather. Getting caught up high in a thunderstorm is terrifying. So long as you keep an eye on the weather you'll be fine though.

Try to acclimate at least a few days before trying to do 50-100 miles in 4-6 days. You won't die of HACE if you don't, but it won't be as fun as if you're acclimated.
From Leadville, CO
Joined Mar 13, 2012
66 points
Feb 10, 2014
If you go to Breckenridge, you should do "Royal Flush", to my knowledge it's the longest sport climb in Colorado (7 pitches) The Blueprint Part Dank
From FEMA Region VIII
Joined Jun 21, 2013
40 points

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