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Dead Horse Crag

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Cage Monkeys T,S 
Days Between, The T,S 
Homage T,S 
One Hold Shy S 
Quartzite Jungle T,S 
Surrender to the Air T,S 
Touron Death March T,S 
Woober's Day Out T,S 

Dead Horse Crag Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Schneiter on Dec 6, 2007


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The Dead Horse Crag in Glenwood Canyon.


The Dead Horse Crag is a newly developed area in Glenwood Canyon, featuring "Gunks-esque" climbing on hard, compact, horizontally banded quartzite. The climbs are almost exclusively mixed climbs, with a mix of bolts, gear, and an occasional fixed pin. While this crag is only 40 to 50 feet tall, the climbs all pack a punch, as the cliff is steeply overhanging and stays dry in the heaviest of downpours. It's an excellent summer area as you can find ample shade in the morning but it also receives great sun in the second part of the day, making climbing on select winter days a possibility.

All of the climbs here are excellent, in my opinion, and they offer a healthy break from the typical forms of climbing offered on the Western Slope. There are currently eight climbs and one hard project that hasn't been bolted but has anchors. In addition, the setting is nearly unbeatable, as the crag is nestled in a quiet, beautiful recess of Glenwood Canyon.

Bring a single rope, a set of cams to #5 Camalot, a few stoppers and some draws.

Getting There 

Park at the Hanging Lake rest area in Glenwood Canyon (exit 125). Hike upcanyon on the paved bike path to the Hanging Lake trail on your left. Go 1/4 mile up the Hanging Lake trail and then take a right on the Dead Horse trail, which immediately crosses the creek. Hike for a few minutes up the Dead Horse trail until you see a small cairn at a grassy break in the trees. This will take you to the base of the right side of the cliff. As you hike up the Dead Horse trail, the cliff will be obvious on your right.

Routes (L->R): 

A. Cage Monkey, 9, gear + bolts.
B. Touron Death March, 10-, gear + bolts.
C. Homage, 9, gear + bolts.
D. The Days Between, 10, gear + bolts.
E. Quartzite Jungle, 11, bolts + pin + gear.
F. Surrender to the Air, 11-, bolts + pin + gear.
G. Woober's Day Out, 11-, gear + bolts.

Climbing Season

For the Glenwood Canyon area.

Weather station 0.8 miles from here

8 Total Climbing Routes

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

Featured Route For Dead Horse Crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Paying Homage.

Homage 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Colorado : Glenwood Springs : ... : Dead Horse Crag
This was the first route established on the wall and was named for the first ascent, a ground-up lead with no bolts. When we first came to this cliff, we asked if we should hike around and drop a rope down to toprope it first. To pay "homage to Kor and the boys," we thought it fitting to go ground-up, as Kor did numerous times on climbs in this area. We added a couple of bolts later to make it safer.At the start, clip a bolt and make a big pull through the roof to mantle onto the shelf above. Pl...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Jul 9, 2011
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Dec 7, 2007
I've entered the Dead Horse area just in time for winter. It's a fun little area and hopefully it will get some traffic on mild winter days. It will be included in the upcoming second edition of the Western Sloper guidebook and you can get a listing of all routes from here. Enjoy.
By Lyn
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 10, 2009
Fun area, climbs are short but interesting. The gear is less than solid- likely due to newness of crag, all the rain this season and nature of the rock- as the saying goes- the real safety is in not falling. I definitely didn't want to fall on my gear at this crag! NOTE for dog owners: dogs are not allowed on the Hanging Lake trail- so they can't join you at this crag.
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Aug 14, 2009
Hey Lyn, just wondering what you felt about the gear wasn't solid. This is some of the hardest rock you'll find anywhere, so a good cam in those horizontals should be bomber. Glad you had fun.
By coop Best
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Oct 6, 2009
What is the approximate approach time from the car?
By BJ Sbarra
From: Carbondale, CO
Oct 6, 2009
Maybe 15-20 minutes from the car, most of which is a casual stroll along a flat bike path.
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Apr 12, 2010
The Hanging Lake trail is going to be closed from May 1 to approximately Aug. 1 and Sep. 15-20 for work, thus preventing access to this crag.
By coop Best
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Aug 29, 2010
Fun little area, thanks for the development.
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jul 7, 2011
Anyone ever climb the line across the valley that looks like a nice, multi-pitch dihedral (if there is such a thing in that Sawatch quartzite sandstone).
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 8, 2011
That line is called Death Wish. I understand that it is "adventurish" to say the least. Here's some beta from the American Alpine Journal:

1977 American Alpine Journal

p. 196
“Mike Kennedy, Molly Higgins, and I wondered if a classic rock climb could be done on the not so sound limestone walls of Glenwood Canyon. We made the climb, Death Wish, on April 10. The route is located up the Hanging Lake Trail on the left, identified by a large vertical and overhanging corner. The first two pitches are of F8 and the last crack pitch calls for all kinds of techniques. NCCS III, F10.”

Larry V. Bruce, Elk Mountain Climbing Club
By Jason Kaplan
From: Glenwood ,Co
Jul 9, 2011
Thanks Mike, I figured you knew something about it. Any idea what F8 and F10 equate to in the YDS?
By Michael Schneiter
From: Glenwood Springs, CO
Jul 9, 2011
I think it's 5.8 and 5.10, but I could be wrong. I've talked to Michael about Death Wish, and it sounds like it was another good adventure, but it may have some redeeming qualities.

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