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Finback Crags

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Emperor Wall, The 
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Finback Crags Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,000'
Location: 39.19943, -106.19054 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,665
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Justin Talbot on Jul 2, 2014
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BETA PHOTO: Topo map for driving and overview of crags.


Situated at 12,000’ on the north side of Finback Knob in the Mosquito Range, these cliffs offer a good escape from the mid-summer heat of Leadville. The cliffs on Finback are up to 250’ high and have a great alpine crag feel, perched above a stream and waterfall in the valley below. The routes here have been established over the last few summers, and care has been taken to make high quality anchors and judicious bolt placements. While few of the routes feel like sport climbs, most can be reasonably protected; at least a little loose rock exists on all climbs.

Getting There 

-A Subaru Outback or other high clearance vehicle is recommended.

-Follow County Road 2 (California Gulch Rd, paved) until you reach CR 6 (right at “Route of the Silver Kings” sign, the dirt road over Long and Derry).

-Take CR 6 over Long and Derry, and 1/2 a mile past the large State Division of Wildlife signs, take the left road at the junction with a small house-shaped sign on a tree (left arrow on sign).

-Follow this narrow road until you reach a T-Junction and an old metal boiler in the bottom of Empire Gulch.

-Take a left up a rough road and park on the side of the road after driving about ½ a mile (at the end of a large clearing). The total drive time from Leadville is 30 minutes.

-Hike up the road and a discontinuous trail for 2 miles (50 minutes), and then hike straight up to the cliffs staying out of the loose boulderfields as much as possible.

Climbing Season

For the Leadville area.

Weather station 5.9 miles from here

9 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]

Featured Route For Finback Crags
Rock Climbing Photo: Cleaning and checking out the moves on Pay Dirt.

Pay Dirt 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b  Colorado : Leadville : ... : The Fortress
P1. .12, 90’. Super fun! Layback and face climb seams to a ledge. Have a good rest, then cast off onto the face and enjoy progressively more tricky face climbing until you reach the left-angling crack for the last 30’ of the pitch.P2. .11, 40’. Climb up the groove for about ten feet, then traverse right at a bolt, and follow the crack on the face to the next belay.Alternate P2. .8, 40’. The obvious groove and crack system provides an easier but less enjoyable variation to the previous option...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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By Dougald MacDonald
Jul 5, 2015
Definitely a good place to wear a helmet, while belaying as well as climbing, and beware of seemingly solid blocks and horns that might break without warning. (We pulled off two large blocks on the Pyramid.) That said, this is a very cool area with challenging climbs in a gorgeous valley. Thanks to everyone involved with developing this unique alpine cragging.

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