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Piz Badille

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South-southwest Face (aka Santa Rita Wall) 
West-Northwest Face 

Piz Badille Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,500'
Location: 40.1393, -105.4843 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 9,844
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Michael Walker on Jun 11, 2002  with updates from JFM
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Late afternoon photo from the southwest.


The Piz Badille is a large formation, some 500' from base to summit, which rises from just above the South St. Vrain River on the Peak-To-Peak Highway. Like a majority of the St Vrain Canyon formations, access is pretty easy right off the road. Unlike the majority, however, the Piz is located off Route 72, a few miles south of the Ironclads, not Route 7.

Named for its resemblance to the Piz Badille in the Alps, the rock was first climbed, and named, by Ray Northcutt in 1954, probably by the Ridge Route. The rock saw a resurgence of interest in the nineties when a number of bolt-protected routes were added to the lower slabs. There is still potential on the upper slabs for long moderate routes as most of the bolt protected routes end on the slab after only one pitch with miles of stone above.

The rock on the Piz is dark gray granite that is very variable in consistency. Most routes follow nice slabs split by intermittent cracks and overlaps, except the Ridge Route which follows a prominent ridge on the north of the formation. The rock quality can be quite good on the slab, but loose areas abound.

To descend from the Summit, scramble down the talus slope along the north edge of the mossy North face of the Piz. The more recent bolt routes have rappel anchors. Per Bill Duncan: there is now a double rope rappel near The Ridge finish.

Getting There 

To get to the Piz from Lyons, take Route 7 up the St. Vrain Canyon to the intersection with Route 72. Take a left (south) and after a few miles, the Piz will dominate the left side of the highway across the St Vrain River.

Access to the base of the Piz is very easy, that is, if you don't mind crossing a no trespassing sign. Park slightly north of the Piz at a turnout with a small bridge crossing the St Vrain River. There is currently a chain and _No Trespassing_ sign on this bridge. Cross at your own risk and head upstream to the base of the Piz. If your karma can't bear the thought of trespassing on the bridge, you can park slightly south of the Piz on Route 72 and cross the river at a shallow area. Expect this crossing to be the crux of your day!

Climbing Season

For the St. Vrain Canyons area.

Weather station 4.9 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Piz Badille

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Piz Badille:
Right Side   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 4 pitches, 600'   West-Northwest Face
The Ridge   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches, 500'   West-Northwest Face
Red Hanger Dihedral, NW Face   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   South-southwest Face (aka S...
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Piz Badille

Featured Route For Piz Badille
Rock Climbing Photo: Todd Pett nearing the end of pitch 1 on the Piz Ba...

Right Side 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b  Colorado : Lyons : ... : West-Northwest Face
This route follows the right (south) edge of the main slab of the Piz Badille all the way to the top of the rock in four or five 50m pitches. It begins just left of the route "Sympathetic Mind Fuck", and one option is to start with that route and keep going (as Darin Lang mentioned).Start from the left side of a ledge about 50' above the base of the rock. This area is less than 100' from the south edge of the face and is most easily reached by scrambling up from the right.P1: Head...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of Piz Badille Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: In my defense, I was pretty hung over, wearing fli...
In my defense, I was pretty hung over, wearing fli...
Rock Climbing Photo: Even with the high runoff, we thought there was a ...
Even with the high runoff, we thought there was a ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Piz Badille from the north, 8AM.
BETA PHOTO: Piz Badille from the north, 8AM.

Comments on Piz Badille Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 9, 2017
By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jun 12, 2002
A couple points of clearification: the river in front of the Piz is the Middle St. Vrain, the South St. Vrain flows into this river downstream a couple miles...and George Lamb was also on the first ascent party, although it is unclear about the date and the actual route they chose.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 12, 2002
Other comments: This crag is not in the South St. Vrain guidebook! In fact the only guidebook I'm aware of that includes this rock is Gillett's RMNP "Crag Areas" guide. Most routes face NE and are in the shade until about 11AM. It is possible to descend the south side of this rock as well, and there are a number of new sport routes on the steep SW facing (climber's right) side. Hopefully someone will add info on these here. Finally, crossing the stream is probably not a big deal in the Fall.
By Michael Walker
From: Loveland, CO
Jun 13, 2002
Petter Hubbel's Lyon's Area Guidebook also contains a topo of the Piz.
By Bill Wright
Jun 13, 2002
This rock is also documented in a book by Freddy Snalam called "Get Out of Town." Maybe "Get Out of Town - Boulder"
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Jun 14, 2002
Oops, I guess this crag is in more guides than I thought! Also, I meant to say the routes face mostly NW (not NE).
By Anonymous Coward
Apr 16, 2003
I used to live in this area. The bridge at the parking area is private. The man who owns it(when I talked with him) said he preferred that people not use the bridge to access the Piz. Also, the rocks across the road are off limits!! He owns that too, and said very plainly that he wanted no one up there.
By Matt Johnson
May 8, 2003
anyone have any new beta on the rock?? heard a rumor of some bolted lines, is this true??
By Matt Juth
From: Evergreen
Jun 16, 2003
Has anyone climbed those upper routes on the Piz? From the ground, I can't tell if they are total piles or beautiful routes. I'm going to head up there this month, but it would be nice to know what I am getting into!
By Legs Magillicutty
From: Durango
Sep 7, 2004
There are bolted lines on the Piz. Not sure how many. I saw 2 for sure, a 5.9 and a 5.10. I've done the standard route up the Piz (5.6) from the bottom to top and it's lots of fun. Solid rock and easy slab climbing. You can walk off as well so single 60 m rope is all you need. Highly recommended. Beautiful views of the Indian Peaks from the summit.
By evd
Sep 21, 2009
I have climbed all the routes on the Piz. In fact, I have bolted many of them with my friends. We placed the new anchors on the nose route about 12 years ago. We also bolted, Too Many Puppies, Re-usable Love Bag, Sympathetic Mind Fu--, and all the routes around the right hand side. We called this wall the 'Santa Rita' Wall. There are at least 12 routes on this overhanging wall ranging from 10a---hard 12. If my memory serves correctly, we placed these bolts and anchors around 1995-2000. There are many sets of anchors on the west wall, most are easier to access by climbing the routes but you can hike around to the right to get to them if you absolutely had to.
By tbol
From: Front Range, CO.
Aug 3, 2011
Just finished up an old project with EVD close to the Pizba. This place is awesome because there is sense of solitude, potential, and albeit roadside, adventure. The route we finished had a name that would be appropriate for Bernard's book, 'Man's best friend.' Although I wanted to call it 'Guardians of the ass fortress.' Maybe that could be the new name for the old 11a finger crack?
By Bill Duncan
From: Jamestown, CO
Aug 19, 2013
There is now a rap station about 20' north of where one tops out climbing the Ridge. 1 200' rap to a tree, followed by 1 80' rappel gets you down. MUCH easier than the walkoff.
By Bill Duncan
From: Jamestown, CO
Aug 9, 2017
We were up there again recently, and someone had absconded with the slings and rap rings from the rap station. We replaced these again, but you might want to come prepared with some extra slings, in case they disappear again.

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