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Engineer Pass

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Darkline T 
Light Line T 
Texas Wheelchair Massacre T 

Engineer Pass Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 10,000'
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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jason Nelson on May 22, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: Texas Wheelchair Massacre.


This is an area probably best known for its ice/mixed climbing opportunities in the vicinity of Kennedy's Gulch, Gravity's Rainbow, Abraxas, and Blue Condition. Apparently, the rock can be inviting for the adventurous even when the ice is long gone. The rock certainly has looseness rivaling many an alpine area, so beware.

Apparently, at least 2 rock climbs, Texas Wheelchair Massacre and Lightline, have been done.

Getting There 

Engineer Pass area is located along US 550 south of Ouray by 10-20 minutes depending upon traffic and weather. It lies north of Silverton. The road goes east from US 550 over Engineer Pass to Lake City. In the colder months, the road is closed.

Climbing Season

For the San Juans area.

Weather station 10.5 miles from here

3 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Engineer Pass

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Engineer Pass:
Light Line   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 3 pitches, 1200'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Engineer Pass

Featured Route For Engineer Pass
Rock Climbing Photo: Ruby Wall above Engineer Pass turn off on US 550.

Darkline 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  Colorado : Alpine Rock : ... : Engineer Pass
The Darkline is essentially a variation to the Lightline, which is the prominent arête on the Eastern (right) edge of the Ruby Wall. The Darkline follows a prominent chimney system which splits the wall just right of the Lightline arête and is currently (June ’08) the hardest route on the wall.Climb up the first part of the Lightline for about 3-400 feet until you encounter the first steep section of climbing. Look right for the big, steep chimney and belay near the base of this. Make sure to...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Comments on Engineer Pass Add Comment
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By Jason Nelson
From: SLC, UT
Jun 18, 2007
Be careful climbing in this area. Dislodged rocks could potentially end up in the road or parking area. I haven't heard of any making it yet, but I've heard of ones that have come close.
By chosspector
From: San Juans, CO
Oct 19, 2008
A few years ago some climbs were put up in the gorge below the 4x4 road. Go past the first pair of switchbacks on the Engineer Pass road to a campground/pullout to the right. Hike slightly to the right along the edge and find a rap anchor. Rap in and a there are a few quality single pitch lines that climb back out to the rim.
By Steve DiMarino
From: Los Alamos, NM
Aug 3, 2009
We did some route in between the two listed in the guide book, but we thought for the first few pitches that we were on Texas Wheelchair Massacre. It was 1200 feet of loose rock. It seems that Jason is correct in saying that there is a possibility for these rocks to hit people parked at the base of Engineer Pass. This wall would be great if it had a good cleaning, but the bottom is a popular spot for Jeepers, so be very careful of starting a rockfall. We ran into some huge boulders ready to go at any moment and hundreds of bowling ball sized boulders. Treat this wall as a first ascent and plan a few hours to get back down. I'm not sure what the established routes are like. This just a heads up to the rock quality elsewhere on this wall.

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