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The Checkerboard Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Checkerboard Wall T 
King Me T 
Maiden Voyage aka The Red Dihedral, The T 
Monkey and the Engineer T 
Ouiji Board T 

The Checkerboard Wall Rock Climbing 

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Location: 38.58334, -107.70572 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 20,493
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Charles Vernon on Jan 1, 2001

69° | 43°

73° | 45°

73° | 45°

65° | 40°

63° | 36°

61° | 32°
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Checkerboard Wall as seen from Major Tom.

2016 Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>


The Checkerboard wall is a small (for the Black!), oval-shaped cliff just upstream from the North Chasm View Wall and the Cruise Gully. It is about 500 feet high, and thin, somewhat faint intersecting bands of pegmatite are the reason for the name. The main wall faces south, is very smooth, and has a noticeable lack of crack systems; the Checkerboard Wall route climbs the only feature passing for such, angling up and right across the face. The narrow west face is less-attractive looking but has more cracks, including the continuous Maiden Voyage system just left of the SW corner of the wall; this was (duh) the wall's first route.

Getting There 

Approach by descending the Cruise Gully. Halfway between the campground and ranger station on the rim, find a path into the woods which is now marked with a sign indicating the Cruise Gully. Follow the steep gully down past 2 sets of rappels (currently sporting a fixed line at the first) to where it opens out into bushy talus. Checkerboard Wall lies just east, situated midway between the canyon rim and bottom.

From the summit block, one can rappel 80' from slings to the west, or down-climb the last pitch of Maiden Voyage in the same area. A forested ledge leads north across the top of steep gully to some forested gullies which offer access to the rim; the west-most gully is best, and a ramp and ridge to the west of it (4th class) are another alternative.


A. Monkey and the Engineer, 10-
, gear.

B. The Maiden Voyage aka The Red Dihedral, 9
, gear.
C. Ouiji Board, 12
, gear.

D. Checkerboard Wall, 10
, gear.
King Me, 10
, gear.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.2 miles from here

6 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in The Checkerboard Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Checkerboard Wall:
The Maiden Voyage aka The Red Dihedral   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 5 pitches   
Checkerboard Wall   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 750'   
King Me   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 325'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Checkerboard Wall

Featured Route For The Checkerboard Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Crux pitch, photo taken by Mark Flis.

Checkerboard Wall 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  Colorado : Gunnison : ... : The Checkerboard Wall
This route is awesome! Perfect stone, great position, spicy, thoughtful climbing, and, most of all, a ridiculously improbable looking line make for an incredible, albeit shorter, afternoon in the Black. Start: Head down the Cruise Gully. Shortly after the second rappel, the gully opens up briefly and an obvious climber's trail splits off left. Follow this for a short while (minor bushwhacking and scrambling) until it turns sharply left up to the wall and to the base of a long 20-30' wide rig...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Checkerboard Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Josh Vonloh, Top of MV.
Josh Vonloh, Top of MV.
Rock Climbing Photo: The great upper pitches of Checkerboard Wall cross...
The great upper pitches of Checkerboard Wall cross...
Rock Climbing Photo: Checkerboard Wall in the winter.
Checkerboard Wall in the winter.

Comments on The Checkerboard Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By stevecurtis
From: Petaluma California
Jun 15, 2007
Be prepared to run it out on 5.9 here. Challenging and excellent climbing. Watch for a lack of lichen to find the easiest line. Requires small cams and RPs.
By denise 911
From: fort collins, co
Jun 8, 2008
As of June 2008 there were static ropes on both the rappels of Cruise Gully. I can't speak for the condition of the ropes or how long they have been there (we used our own). Poison Ivy at bottom of the first rap.
Also the trail sign isn't visible from the road, however it is a fairly well worn trail (and don't let talk of the rap stations mislead you - still a fair amount of scrambling/downclimbing before you get to them)
By Jeremy Werlin
Jun 10, 2011
The fixed ropes (11mm static) are maintained by local climbers and are presently in good shape.

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