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Main Elk Creek

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Fortress of Solitude 
Main Elk Crag 
Pup Tent of Solitude 
Windy Point 

Main Elk Creek Rock Climbing 


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Location: 39.67763, -107.56932 View Map  Incorrect?
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Administrators: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Alvaro Arnal on Oct 29, 2014
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Cool, cruxy side-pulls, Rex Luthor (5.11).

Description 

Located outside of the town of New Castle, Main Elk Creek is home to some good, limestone, sport climbing crags. These are quickly gaining in popularity during the winter months due to their southern exposure and breadth of climbing grades and styles, which range from slabby 5.7 to super steep 5.15a!

Development is still on-going at many of these locations, and the rock is still cleaning up a bit, so climb with caution and wear a helmet. Consider stick-clipping the first bolts of routes, which often start through a chossy band of rock before giving way to much better stone above.

Main Elk Creek is the access point for the following crags; click on the sub-sections for more information and routes list:
- Burro Wall
- Main Elk Crag
- Pup Tent of Solitude
- Fortress of Solitude
- Windy Point.

Getting There 

From New Castle, travel west on County Road 245, which can be found at the west end of main street by following the sign for "National Forest Service Access." Go past the turnoff to East Elk to the Main Elk Road turnoff, County Road 243, which is also the National Forest Service Access for the Clinetop Road. Go about 6 miles on County Road 243. The pavement ends at a sharp right hand turn and the road crosses Main Elk Creek on a bridge. Shortly thereafter is a large pullout on the left with a large brown sign for the Clinetop bighorn sheep and a large informational bulletin board. This is the trailhead for the Hadley Gulch Trail, which accesses many of these crags.

Climbing Season



Weather station 13.6 miles from here

81 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',9],['3 Stars',34],['2 Stars',31],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',5],['5.9',6],['5.10',18],['5.11',22],['5.12',23],['5.13',6],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Main Elk Creek

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Main Elk Creek:
Deputy Dawg   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, 1 pitch, 25'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Sith Lord   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Ewok Stew   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pup Tent of Solitude
First Blood    5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 35'   Pup Tent of Solitude
The Nickelpup   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Subpar   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Giblet Gravy   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Main Elk Crag
Magical Handhold   5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Girls With Guns   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Subprime   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Velociraptor   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Elk Crag
Hanu   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Puppy Love   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Triceratops   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Main Elk Crag
Gigantor   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   Main Elk Crag
Shapeshifter   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Pup Tent of Solitude
Metropolis   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 150'   Fortress of Solitude : Metropolis Sector
Glamorama   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   Fortress of Solitude : West Wall: Pummeling Sector...
Black Ball Retriever   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Main Elk Crag
Best in Show   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   Main Elk Crag
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Main Elk Creek

Featured Route For Main Elk Creek
Rock Climbing Photo: Moritz about a third of the way up Velociraptor.

Velociraptor 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c  Colorado : Glenwood Springs : ... : Main Elk Crag
Start on small horizontal ledges to the first bolt. Then follow a discontinuous crack system up changing corners. The technical crux is at a right-facing corner near the 4th bolt. About halfway up, continue by pulling over a bulge into a left-facing dihedral, and step out left on slab under another mini-bulge. The final slab is protected by 3 bolts to a corner with a layback crack and stemming to the anchor. The route is continuous and LONG but has 2-3 decent resting spots along the way. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

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