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1.2 New Sandstone Area

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Donkey On My Mind T 
High Traverse T 
Kingsbury Cruise T 
Kingsbury Non-Alcoholic Arete T 
Laser Beam T 
Shaking Hands With The Chimp T 
Wet Paper Bag T 

1.2 New Sandstone Area Rock Climbing 

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Location: 43.4135, -89.7164 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 5,033
Administrators: Burt Lindquist, Doug Hemken, James Schroeder, Chris treggE, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Steve Sangdahl on Mar 21, 2005


77° | 51°

66° | 46°

70° | 47°

62° | 41°

63° | 45°
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
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Underneath the roof on Kingsbury Cruise- 1984

Please note that the New Sandstone area is currently closed to climbing.


This is a great crag set in the trees with steep overhanging routes. Some routes even stay dry in the rain. There is also some great bouldering.

Getting There 

Old access: From the Old Sandstone area, drive East .4 mile, park, and walk West along the road to a faint trail leading up and West to crag.

It is also possible to park at the Old Sandstone/Roznos Meadow parking, hike up to the Old Sandstone, then hike East to the New Sandstone.

Climbing Season

Weather station 3.7 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in 1.2 New Sandstone Area

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for 1.2 New Sandstone Area:
Kingsbury Cruise   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Donkey On My Mind   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in 1.2 New Sandstone Area

Featured Route For 1.2 New Sandstone Area
Rock Climbing Photo: Steve S. leading Kingsbury Cruise.

Kingsbury Cruise 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c  Wisconsin : Devil's Lake : ... : 1.2 New Sandstone Area
KB Cruise is a DL classic for the grade and climbs the right facing dihedral on the right side of the wall. Work up incipient jams which seem to get further apart the higher you climb, then move straight out the roof on jugs!...[more]   Browse More Classics in Wisconsin

Photos of 1.2 New Sandstone Area Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: This boulder is found slightly west of the New San...
BETA PHOTO: This boulder is found slightly west of the New San...
Rock Climbing Photo: New Sandstone in winter
New Sandstone in winter
Rock Climbing Photo: A look at Kingsbury Cruise 11a is the right facing...
BETA PHOTO: A look at Kingsbury Cruise 11a is the right facing...
Rock Climbing Photo: Beautiful geometry. A view looking west of the New...
BETA PHOTO: Beautiful geometry. A view looking west of the New...

Comments on 1.2 New Sandstone Area Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 11, 2013
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 6, 2006
The New Sandstone area is one of the best micro crags in the park. The stone here is partially metamorphised sandstone which has embedded quartzite pebbles, though not technically quartz conglomerate. It is some of the best sandstone in the country though weak spots are found on several routes.. The routes here are steep and well defined, though short. But what they lack in height is made up for by high quality powerful moves. Though the lines are technical, there is very little pussyfooting involved. It is a beautiful craglet with flat sandy accommodations and a southern aspect.

It is still closed to climbing. That in itself is a long story with many characters. The CMC, DLFA, and the DNR all just couldn't get along. Add one amateur biologist to that mix and we all know the result. A real bummer considering some of the routes here are as good as it gets at the Lake. Sight to EZ's solo of Donkey, and the Fuck Aid battle... It was a good day back in the early eighties when this place was reintroduced to the climbers who were establishing what was to become the golden era routes at Devils Lake.
By Eddie Avallone
From: Lewisburg, WV
Nov 20, 2006
I got on a line here between donkey and ..chimp. No send, but it was really, really technical and very hard. Anyone know anything about it?
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Nov 20, 2006
To my knowledge and the old-timers that line hasn't been done. It is infact the infamous "Fuck Aid" line that stirred tensions between the CMC and DLFA so many years ago... I have spent some time on it and all I can say is yes, technical is putting mildly, and yes, very hard. Only one move I couldn't do towards the top just below the last shitty finger jam. One of the last great problems at the lake. Not to mention the gear is not too bad at all...
By Alex A
Jun 3, 2009
A little history why the the area was closed, #1 there was graffiti Fuck Aid put by a aid route, in a place were it never rains, #2 carpet pieces, and old car mats were left under the overhang for bouldering, it was great place to boulder on a rainy day, #3 there was a couple of pieces of fixed trad gear left in the route #4 there was a top rope set up left at the top of the a route, this what the amateur biologist found, I think it was all the factors, it was not just the aid climbing, the sticking points, graffiti, litter(carpet) fixed trad gear,
By richard bechler
Jun 9, 2009
If I were to summarize Mr. Alex A's petty fibs I'd need only one word: inhumane. To get right down to it, we have a choice. Either we let ourselves be led like lambs to the slaughter by Alex and his hatchet men or we evaluate the tactics Alex has used against me. While I don't expect you to have much trouble making up your mind you should nevertheless consider that I am thoroughly shocked and angered by Alex's hidebound improprieties. Such shameful conduct should never be repeated. I happen to believe that I enjoy the great diversity of humankind, in our food, our dress, our music, our literature, and our forms of spiritual expression. What I don't enjoy are Alex's spiteful, self-serving morals, which test another formula for silencing serious opposition.

Just because I understand Alex's calumnies doesn't mean I agree with them. Under these conditions, the downward spiral of society and the concomitant growing threat of barbarism are the natural results of Alex's brutal taradiddles. Of that I am certain because by refusing to act, by refusing to bring Alex to justice, we are giving Alex the power to wage a clandestine guerilla war against many basic human rights. When you get right down to it, any rational argument must acknowledge this. His diabolic values, naturally, do not. Given the tenor of our times, if Alex continues to lead us, lemminglike, over the precipice of self-destruction, I will surely be obliged to do something about him. And you know me: I never neglect my obligations. I have just enough stomach left to address one last instance of Mr. Alex A's vindictive imbecility: He sincerely believes that he can keep us everlastingly ill at ease and get away with it.
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Jun 9, 2009

The trash at the "New" didn't help (and Dave Timberlake very quickly cleaned that up for everyone), but I think what got us in Almerli's crosshairs was that he found a dead rattler hung from a limb on the trail going up to the "Old" (no way to know if that was even due to a climber or not). And for the DNR's part, I think they were just caught by surprise at how extensive the user trails are at both the "Old" and the "New."

Ultimately, the only real contribution the DLFA and the CMC made to the various closures up here was telling all the rest of us about the area. They also had little to do with the "Old" being reopened.

I miss the rattlers we used to see here and up at the East Bluff.
By jaysquared
From: Madison, WI
Jun 9, 2011
For what it's worth, NR 45.04 (1) (e) reads: "The department may, by posted notice, restrict climbing activities on any lands subject to this chapter. Notice of climbing restrictions shall be posted at the administrative office of the property and at the site where the climbing restrictions apply". To me, that means that if there is nothing posted at the office and the crag, it's open to climbing.

Also, most of the East Bluff is a State Natural Area, but NR 45.13 (1) (e) exempts it from the prohibition of rock climbing in State Natural Areas: " No person may engage in rock climbing except at the Dalles of the St. Croix state natural area in Interstate state park and the East Bluff state natural area at Devil's Lake state park, or other areas where the management plan allows rock climbing and in which climbing is allowed by posted notice."

However, the Sandstone areas are located outside of this protected zone. Therefore, my understanding is that NR 1.33, Policy on Rock Climbing applies, which states "Rock climbing is a traditional recreational activity that may occur on non−designated
use areas on department lands, and is consistent with the department’s mission to provide recreational opportunities to the public. Rock climbing should be considered in master planning for department properties which contain areas where rock climbing may occur".

Unless this part of the park is a designated use area, I think it's open to climbing.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Jun 10, 2011
Does anyone think the rangers that enforced the closure back in the day are even around still? I doubt any of the current rangers even know where New Sandstone is lol.
By Tradiban
Jun 10, 2011
Mr. Lohre has the whole story on this one. I will ask him to comment.
By Dick McKernzy
From: Madison, WI
Jun 10, 2011
Great news. This place is super sick! Love Shaking Hands!
By Dylan Colon
From: Eugene, OR
Aug 4, 2011
Bump on a further explanation of the status of this place Rhoads / Mr. Lohre.
By Tradiban
Aug 5, 2011
The status is "closed".

The story is that is was closed because a snake loving ranger found a rattler nailed to a tree and blamed climbers for it because he knew they had been climbing there. However, there was no direct evidence a climber had done it. Subsequently this same ranger was one day helping a snake cross the park road and it bit him.

I think it goes to show you how fragile access can be.
By Paul Campbell
From: Waukesha, WI
Aug 8, 2011
Yeah I heard the same story from Magic Ed but that was like 20+ years ago? Do any of the current rangers even know that story or enforce the closure? I have been to the park office many times and have hiked up to New Sandstone, there are no closure signs of any kind.

Someone just needs to go ask the park office. And if they go "what's the new sandstone area" we just shake our heads say never-mind; and go fricken climb it!
By Tradiban
Sep 1, 2011
There's an arching seam right of Lazer Beam and left of Donkey Dihedral. You old schoolers ever climb this?
By Steve Sangdahl
From: eldo sprngs,co
Sep 1, 2011
Nick, I know the seam of which you are refering to. About a year after we sent Lazor Beam we tried it once and gave up.About this time we became brave enough and stupid enough to start soloing Lazor Beam and left this one nut case CMC aid climber to "work his magic" on the seam(cmc,ers are reknowed fer their aid climbing skills,mainly cause they can,t free climb past 5.9,although I doubt they can get up an EL Cap trade route)It must have been a comical sight to see as we would solo the "Beam" and he would be thrashing about in aiders. Sometimes we would throw empty swill cans at him. Ah, those were the days.peace and f-nes. steve s
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Sep 2, 2011
WRT the New Sandstone being closed ...

He was/is an amateur naturalist, apparently working with some folks from the Milwaukee Zoo? He got the ear of the Park Naturalist (a well-respected DNR employee, since retired) when he found a rattler draped over a tree limb along the trail up to the Old Sandstone. There was never any way to know if a climber had anything to do with that, or not. There was also a bit of climbers' trash (rugs, webbing, etc) up around the rocks, and the access trail to the very top of the Old Sandstone was in poor shape and unsightly. The Park Naturalist was worried that climbers were going to completely trash/trample/erode the areas along the sandstone outcropping, and that became the core issue.

There were also concerns that it was harder to rescue people out there, but those were quickly dropped. (The ability of Baraboo Ambulance to do rescues is 1000% better now than it was then.)

We lost access to both the Old and the New Sandstone areas, but eventually renegotiated access to the Old, took a bunch of baseline photos (probably lost in the flood at the Park office), and kept track of how many people used the area for 2-3 years. (In my opinion, the access trail to the top of the cliff looks much better these days, the top of the bluff is about the same, and there is increased compaction below the bluff out to the East of American Beauty Crack. It would be interesting to redo the user study, to see how much traffic has changed in the last 15 years - I still have all the original data.)

We went a long way toward renegotiating the New Sandstone access, but were eventually blocked by a regional DNR manager who basically didn't want to think too much about it (She has long since moved to another position, BTW).

The Park doesn't particularly monitor the New Sandstone right now - they have enough other stuff to worry about with a shrinking budget and staff. But all it would take is one determined individual to raise a stink if you are caught climbing up there ... all it took the first time was an individual who cultivated the right connections.

On the flip side, one or a few determined individuals might be able to find sympathetic ears to get this area reopened, especially with all the anti-regulation political views floating around these days.

A few sections of the access trail from the road up to the Old Sandstone could stand to be relocated/ improved, too, in my opinion. (To the right, away from rattlesnake dens!)
By Burt Lindquist
From: Madison, WI
Sep 2, 2011
Rattlesnake dens?..... Yikes! I didn't know that. I heard there are snakes in the area and have had a friend tell me he has come up against a few in a couple of very isolated instances.... I am not afraid of snakes by any means but will have a different mind set the next time I do the hike up to Old SS area... just was up there on Wednesday of this week with my doggy (on leash -- yes) and will from now on be even more careful.. I noticed the trail has a new fork around the fallen tree spot..... are you talking about the spot where the trail kind of lacks in enough rocks in the steep spot and is getting a bit eroded?....
By Dylan Colon
From: Eugene, OR
Sep 4, 2011
I'd be game for trying to find out who we need to talk to in order to officially open this place. I think a small group of very respectful and well-informed climbers could make a pretty good case that there really isn't any good reason for this place to stay closed, especially in light of the fact that it is such a small area relative to the main use areas for climbing and there are only a few hard routes.

In the long run, after an initial rush if it was opened, I'd expect that this area wouldn't get much more traffic than a similar-sized area in the East of the Quarry region, which is to say, not much.
By Tradiban
Sep 5, 2011
Unfortunately the DNR folks aren't really interested in talking to climbers. Too busy dealing with drunks I think ;)
By Ray Bierbaum
May 2, 2013
I've been told by someone who used to work for the park that there is a new supervisor at the lake and that they would probably be willing to talk to climbers about reopening new sandstone perhaps its time to bring it up.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 11, 2013
If there are no other reasons than old personal grudges and cronyism involved in the original closure, then maybe it's time to get the official OPEN sign hung on this crag again. While the routes are good, they are hard and few. I can't see the place ever really getting over used.
By Doug Hemken
From: Madison, WI
Aug 11, 2013
We are actively pursuing this. Last saw the Supt on Thursday.
By JJ Schlick
From: Flagstaff, AZ
Aug 11, 2013
Awesome Doug. way to get after it!

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