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The Ghetto

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The Ghetto Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Pinklebear on Sep 13, 2002

56° | 40°

51° | 43°

51° | 41°

60° | 45°

68° | 48°

67° | 43°
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  • Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: MORE INFO >>>
  • Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>
  • Seasonal Raptor Closures MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    The Ghetto is far and away the best overhanging bouldering area in Colorado -- and perhaps the best overhanging bouldering outside of Hueco Tanks. Blessed with an iron hard veneer similar to the stonker stone on the Third's east face, this slot/cave affair offers problems ranging from 8-move, powerful V9s to 90+ foot link-ups, where you're never more than a foot or two off the ground.

    Though some climbers find the landing intimidating, people *have* taken the whip here and walked away to talk about it. Your best bet, when pumped, is to simply step down to the slab.

    The Ghetto has three basic sectors:1. The Anacostia Wall -- this is the short, heavily-huecoed wall down low (furthest south) with a dirt landing and lots of chalk.

    2. The Underdog Cave -- this is the lower slot of the Ghetto, just below the flat staging area above the felled tree. The landings here vary from dirt platforms to tight slots.

    3. The Upper Ghetto -- this is the meat of the area, with the longest problems, biggest link-ups, and biggest exposure. Most boulderers will groove on the up problems near the cave's right side, while the more spelunking-oriented will get off on Inner Space, Guanophobia, etc., which climb out into the light from the deep, dark bowels of the slot. The 5.11 lip traverse of the upper wall is not to be missed.

    Getting There 

    The Ghetto sits on the southwest side of the Third Flatiron, high on a bench that's visible from the small pass on the Royal Arch trail.

    Approach via the Royal Arch Trail. As you climb steeply out of the riverbed, you'll notice a large, roof/block on your left after about 5-10 minutes. 150 feet further is a seasonal closure sign tacked to a tree. Drop into or contour around the gully here (a climber's trail is visible), then head up and north into the long gully leading north to the Upper Bench (this is listed as an alternate descent route for the 3rd in many guidebooks).

    About halfway up the gully you'll pass a small crag on the right (the south face has two bolts, the west face has "Holier than Thou; a 5.11 route past 4-5 bolts up the overhanging, huecoed face).

    Scramble up past this, then 100 feet later come to a notch between this crag and a short, wavy wall. Don't climb the south-face of the notch -- spooky 5.7. Instead, stay in the gully, go 10 feet farther (if you get to the big tree you've gone too far -- unless you want to climb the tree to get into the Ghetto) and climb the west-facing wall via good rails to a ledge. Up over another step, then scramble north on a ramp and Voila! -- you're looking right at the Anacostia Wall.

    The Ghetto is closed each spring from February 1 - July 31 for nesting raptors. Please respect this, and keep this unique environment clean.

    Climbing Season

    For the North area.

    Weather station 2.5 miles from here

    12 Total Climbing Routes

    ['4 Stars',5],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

    Classic Climbing Routes in The Ghetto

    Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Ghetto:
    Lip Traverse   V2 5+     Boulder, 100'   
    Skin Poppin' Slut   V4 6B     Boulder, 10'   
    Underdog   V5 6C     Boulder, 20'   
    Spina Bifida   V5 6C     Boulder, 20'   
    Dr. Slutpants   V7 7A+     Boulder, 20'   
    Tabula Rasa   V9 7C     Boulder, 10'   
    Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Ghetto

    Featured Route For The Ghetto
    Rock Climbing Photo: Wayne Crill does underdog.

    Underdog V5 6C  Colorado : Flatirons : ... : The Ghetto
    Underdog is a wonderful, albeit sharp problem that climbs directly out the cave (the Underdog Cave) below the staging area. This cave can also be located by the huge dead tree, which blew down in a windstorm in 1998 and now lies across the lip of the cave (walk the tree for a good sketchy time!)Climb down into the bottom of the cave on the left side. Start with your hands on sinker, incut layaway flakes and move into a crimp/gaston for your left hand, off which you power to the dangling pebble (...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

    Photos of The Ghetto Slideshow Add Photo
    Rock Climbing Photo: KC, 1994.
    KC, 1994.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Early '90s.
    Early '90s.

    Comments on The Ghetto Add Comment
    Show which comments
    By Brian Milhaupt
    From: Golden, CO
    Sep 9, 2003
    The climber's trail that leaves the Royal Arches trail is packed with poison ivy. Watch your step and wear long pants!
    By Jake Dickerson
    From: Lander, WY
    Oct 8, 2015
    It took me a while to find it the first time, so I'll try and help with more detailed approach description.

    Make sure you turn off the Royal Arch trail BEFORE it starts switchbacking. There is a small, semi-steep, dirt trail that leads to the gully. After turning off the Royal Arch trail, follow the gully that has been washed out by the big flood. Keep your eye out for a trail with cairns off to the right that follows the side of the Flatiron.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Beginning of the trail from the gully up the left ...
    Beginning of the trail from the gully up the left side of the Flatiron to the Ghetto.

    Then keep an eye out for the notch a little ways up. If the trail gets steep, you have to scramble you have gone to far. Directly to the left is an easy featured face that you climb up.
    Rock Climbing Photo: Face you climb to get to the Ghetto.
    Face you climb to get to the Ghetto.

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