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Group Camp B

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A Taste of Choss Wall 
Backbone Ridge 
Plan B Area 

Group Camp B Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 43.05028, -90.09503 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 35,846
Administrators: Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: JJ Schlick on Oct 26, 2006


65° | 46°

67° | 49°

73° | 58°

77° | 54°

70° | 52°
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No cars, No problem.


Bouldering at these areas first began in the mid 80's with visits from Dave Groth and others. Mike Mcarron spent time here. It is a small bouldering area filled with blocks and boulders of hard grey sandstone. The quality of the rock is very good for the park, though spots still remain iffy here and there. The bouldering consists mainly of just under and just over vertical lines, though there are a few steep ones out there. The problems are host to an array of holds. Pockets, crimpers, slopers, pinches- you name it. For the most part the climbing here flows well, and with some of the highballs it is more like climbing a route than a "problem". There are plenty of shorter problems, but the highballs dominate the pine woods with a broken down palace sort of atmosphere. It is a very nice hang as long as there isn't a troop of boy scouts screaming and running everywhere.

I divided the area into two sections. First the Plan B area and second the Backbone ridge area. These two are very close to each other, and share the main trail up the hill. Plan B will be to your left.

The problems lay on both south and north sides, so conditions will vary. Very nice in the fall, and not too bad in the summer. The Back wall gets great afternoon sun.

As always if anyone has more accurate/historic info/names why let me know.

There are also some possible TR problems on the far side of the bluff. Hike past the Plan B area and continue near the top or on the top. Eventually you will come across the out crops.

Getting There 

From the main office continue straight towards the group camp sites. Drive past the showers on your left and continue to the parking area at site B. On the weekends in the summer these sites are almost always filled. Be courtuous and ask to "hike through". Never yet encountered difficulty with that. Walk straight through the site and go either side of the boulder there. There are two steep trails that will put you at the same place on the ridge. On the weekdays it is almost always quiet and peaceful. 90% of the visitors to the park go to the lakes for swimming, boating, and fishing leaving this section relitively remote. Most of the landings are flat but not all. The older I get, the thicker I like my pads to be. Some of the highballs are kind of committer at the top. Some may prefer short topropes. Long chunks of webbing would be useful for that.

ED NOTE: I am leaving JJ's description above as-is for historical sake, but please note that as of 2009 the park rangers have asked us NOT TO HIKE THROUGH THE CAMPSITES if anyone is camping there. Please see thread or map below for alternate ways to get to the problems. Chris E.

Also I am splitting the Group B bouldering page into it's seperate areas due to the volume of problems. Hopefully this will make it easier to find what you are looking for and be better organized. The 3 areas are Plan B Area, Backbone Ridge West Side, and Backbone Ridge East Side. See below:

Rock Climbing Photo: Updated (2009) Group B topo with Plan B Area and t...
Updated (2009) Group B topo with Plan B Area and the Backbone Ridge split into east side and west side. Alternate approaches are the dotted lines.

Climbing Season

Weather station 5.9 miles from here

100 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',30],['2 Stars',50],['1 Star',15],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Group Camp B

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Group Camp B:
One Hand Clapping   V0 4     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
High Anxiety   V0+ 4+     Boulder   Plan B Area
Seperation Anxiety   V0+ 4+     Boulder   Plan B Area
Picasso Right   V1-2 5     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Ashmatica   V2 5+     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : East Side- Backbone Ridge
Scarete   V2 5+     Boulder, 25'   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Leaning Rock   V3 6A     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Mr. Longarm   V3 6A     Boulder, 20'   Backbone Ridge : East Side- Backbone Ridge
Picasso center   V3 6A     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Face Left of Wright's Arete   V3 6A     Boulder, 15'   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Press It Out   V3+ 6A+     Boulder, 10'   Plan B Area
Get the Hell Outta Dodge   V4 6B     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : East Side- Backbone Ridge
Hangman   V4+ 6B+     Boulder, 15'   Backbone Ridge : East Side- Backbone Ridge
Left out   V4-5 6B+     Boulder, 25'   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Nameless   V5- 6C     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Split Personality   V5 6C     Boulder   Plan B Area
Venom   V5 6C     Boulder   Plan B Area
Irrationality   V6 7A     Boulder   Plan B Area
Highly Executed   V7 7A+     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : East Side- Backbone Ridge
Sandstone Violence   V8 7B     Boulder   Backbone Ridge : West Side- Backbone Ridge
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Group Camp B

Featured Route For Group Camp B
Rock Climbing Photo: Reaching for the right hand crimp

Sandstone Violence V8 7B  Wisconsin : Governor Dodge State Park : ... : West Side- Backbone Ridge
In many ways THE line on the backbone. Start out in the middle of the block on a good sidepull. Work straight up past hard holds and an almost ghostlike crimp up high to the horizontal. Go up through a niche at the top. A very tall, proud line. #14 JJ's old topo. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Wisconsin

Photos of Group Camp B Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Updated (2009) Group B topo with Plan B Area and t...
BETA PHOTO: Updated (2009) Group B topo with Plan B Area and t...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aarron S. on High Anxiety V1
Aarron S. on High Anxiety V1
Rock Climbing Photo: JessM way high at the group site B boulders, obser...
JessM way high at the group site B boulders, obser...
Rock Climbing Photo: They closed the road to the Group Camp area and Qu...
They closed the road to the Group Camp area and Qu...
Rock Climbing Photo: Aaron Stetzer on Split Personality V5/6
Aaron Stetzer on Split Personality V5/6
Rock Climbing Photo: Rough topo.  Includes many of the better lines, bu...
Rough topo. Includes many of the better lines, bu...

Comments on Group Camp B Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Sep 8, 2016
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Aug 17, 2008
Hey Trav, what we found works well is to drive towards Group site A. Park on the road(doesn't seem like a problem) before the camp and hike straight up the hill. You get to the back of the Plan B ridge near Press it out. From there you can get to the boulders easily. Short approach for sure, and less awkward.
By Remo
From: Madison, WI
Mar 31, 2009
The gate for Hickory Ridge is open!
By Tradiban
Apr 12, 2009
If there are campers in Group Site B do NOT walk through the site!!!! Please either park at the paved parking lot with the multiple bathrooms and walk up the hill or park in the gravel parking lot and head down the road a bit and then up the hill. Park staff were VERY concerned about this!
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Apr 12, 2009
Nick-- thanks for posting this. I have been at least moderately concerned about this issue since last fall. One day this spring, I was one of 11 (ELEVEN!!!) cars parked to climb at Group B. All it will take is one camping family or group to complain about climbers there to get it looked at. Likewise, please don't yell expletives when you fall off your project. That will make any camping parent cringe and probably complain (yes I've been within earshot of that).

TO REITERATE: 2 options for parking for Backbone/Group B: Park at the bathroom and walk directly uphill. When you get to the cave walk along the ridge to the right. Alternatively, turn left when the road forks (towards site A) and park along the road on the right and walk directly uphill. You will come to Press It Out and then walk northwards to rest of the climbs.

FYI I was parked along the road for Barrel Ridge earlier this spring and when I was walking down from the ridge (sans pad), a ranger was inspecting my car. Asked me if he could help me at all. I said no, I was fine, and he replied that generally the only cars parked on the side of the road were people that were in trouble. I'm still not sure if that is cool or not.
By Tony Brengosz
Apr 12, 2009
That was running through my head as well when we were parked at Barrel Ridge, and I can see the rangers not wanting people parking on the grass like that. If this ever becomes an issue it may be possible to approach from the south by parking at the pull out for what I believe is the Gold Mine trail along the road to Twin Valley Campground, and hiking along that trail. It'd be a long approach, but its better than nothing.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Apr 12, 2009
Correct, on that trail (really a nice hike) you go by the top of Barrel Ridge which would be to your north (left if hiking east).
By sweatpants
From: Broomfield, CO
Apr 13, 2009
Last week when I was in the main building buying my new pass for this year I was speaking with a female ranger. I let her know that I was a climber and said thank you for letting use their beautiful park. She kinda just said that they don't necessarily condone climbing but do know that we are out there and would like us to continue to keep the areas clean and stuff like that.
By sweatpants
From: Broomfield, CO
Apr 15, 2009
Great Job Chris! Thanks for your hard work sir
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Jul 19, 2010
Found this sweet video on Vimeo, hope the author doesn't mind my linking it. Nice job Brent, great video!

By TravisMelin
From: Portland, OR, Roanoke, VA L
Jun 14, 2011
Cool video...Egg, you make SV look so much better though. I dont like to watch people struggle like this.
By Alexander Stathis
From: Chicago, IL
Sep 8, 2016
Is this approach beta still accurate? We parked at what we thought were the bathrooms just after the left hand turn to Campsite A (there were showers there also).

We followed what we thought was the marked trail at the back of the parking lot. It started between two disability parking signs, was rather overgrown, and ended about 20 feet in. We bushwacked through a lot of thorny bushes to the base of the cliff and found what we thought was the cave. We headed right from the cave around the base of the cliff bushwacking through a lot more thorny bushes and eventually arrived at the top of the cliff, kept hiking in what we thought was the same direction, and ended up at Press It Out. Needless to say, I wouldn't recommend anyone do this, it seriously sucked.

When we hiked out we tried to the find the trail from below Press It Out to the road. This was arguably more comfortable than our approach, but we did still have to hike through about 15-20ft of thorny bushes in a small valley near the road. Maybe we missed the nice trail?
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Sep 8, 2016
Those berry bushes grow fast - so the informal trails tend to get grown over in the summer. The best approach is to park where you did, then head directly up to High Anxiety. But this can be hard to pick out when there are still leaves on the trees.
By Chris treggE
From: Madison, WI
Sep 8, 2016
Yeah the approach from anywhere except through camp B sucks this time of year. If nobody is camped there, that's the easiest. I came up from the A side last weekend as there were folks camping at B and it was terrible.

The WCA is working on coming up with a better plan than the restroom approach while also avoiding camp B. Stay tuned. Come to the comp Sept 17th!

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