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Bends (a.k.a. Decompression Sickness), The S 
Grippin' the Cutlass S 
High Tide S 
Parrot Bay S 
Power Structure S 
Serpant's Rising S 
Stomping the Cleaver T,S 
Unsorted Routes:

Crosswinds Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,000'
Page Views: 3,762
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jonathan Siegrist on Jul 16, 2010
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Crosswinds is below the Upper Great Face, and Nort...


Just a short hike North of Wizard's Gate and Castaway Crag lies a large free-standing pillar with a tall, bulging west face that features a variety of unique sport climbs. Crosswinds exhibits a number of new routes (along with some classics) that will stretch your rope and test your capacity for burl. Most of the routes have good rests (or full on bivy ledges), but in-turn provide stout boulder problems. At just above 10,000 feet, nestled in a sea of open talus, Crosswinds is mostly exposed to the elements and can feel quite alpine at times. Expect full, uninterrupted sunlight on a clear day after 1-2pm. The views are absolutely stunning.

Getting There 

Begin the approach as you would for Wizard's Gate. Just after entering the final talus below the Lower Great Face, break hard left and follow a cairn path around the lowest point of Castaway Crag and across some talus far below the Upper Great Face to find the free-standing Crosswinds. (Can't be missed.)

Adds about 5 minutes to the approach compared to Wizards, and it can be reached from Wizards by simply hugging the cliff and walking north until you pass below Castaway- then break straight across the talus (this takes around 5-10 minutes).

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.4 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Crosswinds

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Crosswinds:
Grippin' the Cutlass   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 75'   
The Bends (a.k.a. Decompression Sickness)   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Crosswinds

Featured Route For Crosswinds
Rock Climbing Photo: It's battle time, pirate...better grip that cutlas...

Grippin' the Cutlass 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : Crosswinds
Not the famed Oldsmobile, but any pirates weapon of choice. This bouldery route stands on a pillar of its own, to the left of the other established climbs. Scramble up to a nice belay ledge and begin your journey with some mild, face climbing and a moderately challenging, 3 foot roof. Cruise up some more nice, face climbing before clipping your first draw in the beautiful, steepening bulge. From here, a bouldery series of lock-offs between small grips takes you to the final bolt....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Crosswinds Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Topo of Crosswinds
BETA PHOTO: Topo of Crosswinds
Rock Climbing Photo: A view of Crosswinds from the base as a climber fi...
A view of Crosswinds from the base as a climber fi...
Rock Climbing Photo: More, more, more!! bolting continues....
More, more, more!! bolting continues....
Rock Climbing Photo: Crosswinds as seen from the approach.
Crosswinds as seen from the approach.
Rock Climbing Photo: The view is KILLER.
The view is KILLER.
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful day, bolting 'Grippin the Cutlass'.
Beautiful day, bolting 'Grippin the Cutlass'.

Comments on Crosswinds Add Comment
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By Nate A
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 20, 2010
Aren't there some existing Scott Kimball routes on the south end of this crag? Also seem to remember finding a fixed pin on the south face of the pinnacle like formation. Trying to remember what he was calling it several years ago?
By Nate A
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 20, 2010
Awwwww, it hit came to me, this crag has also been known as Crosswinds, according to Kimball....
By s.kimball
Jul 21, 2010
John and Bob, you may call the pinnacle sprouting from the north side of CROSSWINDS, the Lighthouse, but this rock is called CROSSWINDS, and has had established routes on it since the '70s.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Jul 23, 2010
Scott, Thanks for pointing out our mistake- I've made changes in accordance with the previous name. If you have a moment, it would be great to see the other established climbs on the feature written up on MP. Cheers!
By jason seaver
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 23, 2010
Jonathan, Thanks for acknowledging your mistake, but your "mistake" is troubling to me. Rest assured I am not trying to be a dick (although I have been known to achieve that status without even trying).
My friends and I have enjoyed many of the new routes you've added up at the Crags. We appreciate your hard work.
What troubles me is that you seem strangely uninformed for a first ascensionist. As pedestrian as it may seem, consulting a guidebook seems like the first step when considering installing a new route. Bernard Gillett's guidebook to the Estes Park Valley has been in print for at least 10 years. On page 213 of that book there is a photo of the Crags clearly showing, and labeling, the Crosswinds crag. On page 223 of that book there are descriptions of two routes on the crag. So, if you have a moment, it would be great if you bought a guidebook.
I know that people consider Estes Park a backwater area, which is great, but there are active climbers up here establishing new routes. Not all of them get reported, and not all of them are sport-bolted, but they exist nonetheless. My concern is that, if you're not even looking at the guidebook, I can only assume you're not doing any investigation at all. There are at least two lines on Crosswinds and its satellite tower that will be stellar, bold leads without bolts. From what I can glean from your photos, I don't think you've pointed the power drill at them yet (probably way too easy). And if you have, then we can only blame ourselves for being too slow to send. My sincere hope is that you consider these comments as you do your work up there, and everywhere. Leave some stuff for the folks that don't bring a drill when hunting for new terrain.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Jul 24, 2010
Jason- I've been climbing in the Estes Park area for quite a while, and rest assured, I do own a copy of Bernard's book, in-fact, I've even established a new route with the man himself! I admittedly did not consult the book before posting the information on the new routes I'd recently bolted on the Crosswinds. My dad and I, however, did consult Scott about his previously established route (the only published route on the feature- one of the routes you mentioned listed in the book is a down-climb), at which time he also informed us of the cable anchors he (or someone he knew) had used to equip the summit of a couple spires on this feature. There was some miscommunication because my Dad told him that we were tentatively calling this feature, 'The Lighthouse' and he (to my knowledge) accepted it as a nice name.

However, he was thinking of the free-standing pillar on the north side of the Crosswinds ONLY and we were thinking the entire feature. As soon as I was aware of this mistake on my part, I immediately changed all of the information I had written up on MP. I did not consult the book (again, mistakingly) because I figured that consulting one of the area pioneers (Scott) was enough. In the case of the Wizard's Gate area, we tried to get in touch with some locals about the previously established routes, and could only find information on a lone trad route, done by Bernard, that did not have an anchor, titled 'Dead End'. I wrote up this route, and also gave it an acceptable lowering point but did not add bolts to the climb. I also established an all trad lead (Book of Spells) at the Wizard's Gate, that would make a lovely sport climb, but given that I lead it on gear, I have no plans to bolt it. In the case of the Crosswinds, I have also seen a couple all gear leads that exist, in-fact I've already done one of them (which was horrible and terrifying- but even still I have no plans to bolt a crack, ever). You'll have all the time you need to clean up some trad routes at the Crosswinds, and I hope that when you do, you take a moment to write them up on Mountain Project, so that other people can enjoy them (and know they exist). Everything I've bolted on the Crosswinds would only be climbable as a free-solo if not for bolts, and I feel like my work there is done at this point.

Again, sorry about my mistake. I think at this point I've done everything I can to fix the mis-naming of this great crag. Hope to see you out there!

By jason seaver
From: Estes Park, CO
Jul 24, 2010
Fair enough. I appreciate your candid response, and the reassurance that your tactics are sound (not that I'm The Judge). I was clearly mistaken, as well, in my assumptions.
The Book Of Spells looks awesome, by the way; I can't wait to give it a whirl. Sympathy For The Devil was kick-ass as well. Have you been on Rain On The Mountain yet? I toproped it at some point, and found it to be amazing and hard (too hard for me).

Hope to see you out there, too.
I'll be the lanky, bald guy flailing wildly on the warmups.
By Jonathan Siegrist
From: his truck
Jul 25, 2010
Cheers, Jason. Yes, Book of Spells is awesome - it would be rad to see it have a repeat! I lowered onto Rain on the Mountain back before that wall had bolts - looked super super cool, I was actually hoping to bolt the terribly thin face to the left at some point...too hot for me now though. That's a very nice looking wall for sure. I doubt you'll be flailing on warm ups, but thanks for the funny image. See you around!

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