Lower Grotto Wall Rock Climbing
BETA PHOTO: Image by Aspen Climbing Guides.
The Grotto Wall, with its historic and appealing Cryogenic Corner and John Sherman's highballing masterpiece The Ineditable, is the centerpiece of the Pass. The climbing here ranges from pure sport (Space Sluts in the Slammer) to Mixed (Exotic Headache) and classics are represented at just about every grade from 5.7 to 5.13+. The wall faces due south and can be quite hot on bright summer days, but does hold shade through mid-day on its left side.
The Upper Grotto Wall, a 15 minute slog up steep talus above the Lower Grotto has some great routes as well. This is a good place to get familiar with the pass and is useful for orienting oneself and finding the other crags. Routes range from 1-3 pitches in length.
I'm not sure about the exact mileage, but the Grotto Wall is roughly nine miles from the end of Aspen proper (measure from the City Market). It is the obvious white and black towering wall on the left as you drive up the Pass from Aspen and has a nice parking lot/pull-out on the north (left) side of the road in which to park. This pull-out is tucked into an ess curve and attracts lots of tourists, so be prepared for an audience during busy weekends in the summer.
Weather station 5.1 miles from here
28 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',6],['3 Stars',9],['2 Stars',11],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Lower Grotto Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Lower Grotto Wall
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Lower Grotto Wall:
Twin Cracks 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Trad, 1 pitch, 200'
Cryogenics 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad, 2 pitches
Featured Route For Lower Grotto Wall
Before There Were Nine 5.13c 8a+ 30 X- 31 E7 7a Colorado
: Independence Pass
: ... : Lower Grotto Wall
Rated .13b and referred to as #15 in Perkin's book, this route is among the best hard climbs on the Pass, deserving of a proper name, a realistic grade, and more atention. Originally bolted by Kurt Smith, and extensively projected by Dave Pegg and Phillip Benningfield, this route resisted all attempts untill Tommy sent in his typical crushing style. Very technical, slightly overhanging climbing on small crimps and sidepulls. Granite climbing of this style doesn't get much better....[more] Browse More Classics in Colorado
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Right: Yellow - Exotic Headac...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Center Purple - The Engagemen...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall - Upper Right: Red - Stage Frig...
Second Grotto Wall. The Plaque is the smooth face ...
BETA PHOTO: Left side of Lower Grotto Wall. Cryogenics is left...
BETA PHOTO: Lower Grotto Wall. Second Grotto Wall can be seen ...
Grotto Wall. Photo by Blitzo.
By Frances Fierst
Jul 18, 2003
The parking area is located between mile markers 50 and 51.
By Burns Burns
Jun 10, 2006
In the Grotto area (Independence Pass), I am looking for trad routes. Looking for easy routes (5.8 or 5.9). Could anyone help?
By Robert Chappe
Jun 27, 2016
Is this area dog friendly? Or is it too close to the road?