East Walls/Bat Cave Rock Climbing
The gnarled tree in the bat cave.
This sector comprises the largely undeveloped right side of the Fortress, up around the corner from Metropolis and out of sight until you actually hike around and get in there (though you can catch glimpses of it from the main trail in Hadley Gulch). The walls here range from vertical to obscenely overhung, and the routes tend to be shorter, ranging from 50 to 80 feet. The rock seems to be a bit more forgiving, i.e. featured, than the stone in other areas of the Fortress, with nice white rock, blue and grey streaks, water-droppy slabs, and crack features running out giant swells. The surface has barely been scratched.
There are currently six completed lines here, ranging from 5.11c to 5.13a (ish), a couple of open projects, and one of the wildest, most gnarled ancient trees I've ever seen, in the Bat Cave itself. (It's so old that the limbs have been bleached completely white. Please don't drop *any* rocks on or near this tree if you bolt in the vicinity.)
It's a bit overgrown back here still, so you'll have to thrash a bit. Expect powerful and crimpy climbing.
From Metropolis, continue right (east) along the base of the crag for about two to three minutes, passing a couple of very tall arete/pillars along the way. Once you round the second pillar, you'll encounter the first set of routes, set into a recessed alcove. From left to right they are: 13a, 12a, 11c R, and 12a.
Bushwack past here to the Bat Cave, another minute or two along. This is the ultra-steep cave with a mouth-shaped hueco dead center, and is capped by a roof. There is a short, bouldery 5.12d left of the cave on an overhanging black wall, an open project to its right, and a 12d climbing up to and past the mouth hueco in the Bat Cave itself. This route, Caped Crusader, seems to be the only line of weakness through the cave. The potential routes to its right and left offer downsloping, diagonalling plaques, no visible jugs, and little hope of anything under 5.14+. Still, the stone in here is basically bullet. Have at it.
Past the cave the walls get shorter and there are a couple of unfinished projects. If you continue right past here a bit more, you'll find some nice-looking walls, a project in progress, then a scramble-up to the top of the crag.
Climbing Season For the Main Elk Creek area.
Weather station 13.6 miles from here
5 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Featured Route For East Walls/Bat Cave
Boy Wonder 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b Colorado
: Glenwood Springs
: ... : East Walls/Bat Cave
This is the first route you come to in the Bat Cave proper. It can be identified by a low, horizontal roof.Start with the 1st 2 bolts stick clipped.This satisfying route starts off with a slight boulder problem to get over the roof (V4ish). Clip the 3rd draw, & begin the business. The crux is about 9 moves on small, incut crimps, a sloper, & a big punch to a hueco. From the 5th bolt to the top is in the 5.12- range offering just enough resistance to potentially punt off.This is one of Dave Pegg'...[more] Browse More Classics in Colorado