Northwest Slabs Rock Climbing
The NW Slabs. Just visible behind a branch of the...
The Northwest Slab of Greyrock offers climbing similar to that on the South and Southeast faces, but with a much more adventurous feel, since you won't be visible to hikers on the Summit Trail. A bit more of a trek than the aforementioned areas, the Northwest Slab is definitely worth a visit to climbers of any level, whose Greyrock experience won't be complete without a trip up the stellar Sky Crack
. This area catches awesome afternoon sunlight, and on a cool spring evening, chasing the sun from the The South Slabs
to the Northwest Slabs would make for a full, enjoyable, and scenic day. Watching the sunset from Cow Pie Ledge is an excellent reminder of why one bothers gearing up and making the hike all the way out to Greyrock to bust out some pitches.
Begin approaching the Northwest Face of Greyrock as for the The South Slabs
, but continue past, heading for a rocky ridge that defines the skyline north of the South Slabs. Several "passes" will be evident along this ridge - aim for the arch along the ridge, and follow a rocky passage through the middle of the ridge at a cairn. More cairns mark the way north, and a final, larger cairn is in place on a boulder near the base of Sky Crack.
Descent from most routes is via a double-rope rappel from the largest bush/tree on Cow Pie Ledge. If you're looking to top out, the summit of Greyrock can be attained one of two ways - climb the Yellow Dihedral (5.9) off the left side of Cow Pie Ledge, or head right and climb/scramble up easy slabs (<5.5) until the angle eases enough to de-rope.
Per Rodney Ley 1
: it is possible to rappel from the juniper on Cow Pie Ledge with a 70m rope to a reasonable (low 5th class) downclimb to the base, but be warned, it is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h with a 70m, if you have a 60m rope better to do two short raps in the gully between Arête Route and Sky Crack, or just suck it up and down climb to the SW and scramble back to the base.
Weather station 6.9 miles from here
11 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',2],['2 Stars',4],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Northwest Slabs
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Northwest Slabs
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Northwest Slabs:
Sky Crack 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad, 1 pitch, 230'
Featured Route For Northwest Slabs
Cows in Space 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
: Fort Collins
: ... : Northwest Slabs
One of the best pitches at Greyrock.First off, the Northwest Slab topo in the new NC3 guide shows this route to be about 75 feet right (and on a completely different slab) of where it actually is. Cows in Space is more in line with the routes labled #40 and #41. This route was recently retrobolted and there are now six bolts. I know Skip Harper and doubt the coward who retro-bolted his route asked for permission before doubling the bolt count. Bad ethics, bad karma. The big slab belo...[more] Browse More Classics in Colorado
BETA PHOTO: A cool arch feature in Greyrock's West Ridge. Aim...
BETA PHOTO: The Northwest Face.
By Rodney Ley 1
From: Fort Collins, Colorado
Jun 16, 2016
Descent info: it is possible to rappel from the juniper on Cow Pie Ledge with a 70m rope to a reasonable (low 5th class) downclimb to the base, but be warned, it is a s-t-r-e-t-c-h with a 70m, if you have a 60m rope better to do two short raps in the gully between Arête Route and Sky Crack, or just suck it up and down climb to the SW and scramble back to the base.