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The Grendel

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Academic Freedom S 
Beowulf S 
Beyond the Pale T 
Daneland S 
Exit Stage Right S 
Freedom Fighter S 
Hrunting T 
Leitner Route S 
Monster Mash, The S 
Mother Grendel S 
Pebble In The Sky S 
Pierced Lip Lock S 
Strong Arm Tactics S 

The Grendel Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,000'
Location: 39.87665, -105.41914 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 12,233
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Kirk Miller on May 8, 2011

48° | 35°

42° | 31°

42° | 30°

49° | 35°

53° | 36°

54° | 38°
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Green = Beowulf, 11-. Red = Daneland, 10. Blue = ...

State Park; Fee Required. MORE INFO >>>


The Grendel looms over the surrounding area from high on the ridge, behind and above Squaw Spire. This crag has highly featured, weathered alpine granite and has yielded several quality sport climbs. From below, it looks bigger than it turns out to be, yet a 70 meter rope is recommended as several of the routes go the distance.


West Face.

A. Beyond the Pale, 8+, 1p, 125', gear.

Southwest Face

B. Beowulf, 11-, 1p, 80', bolts.
C. Daneland, 10, 1p, 110', bolts.
D. Pebble In The Sky, 11+, 1p, 60', bolts.
E. Freedom Fighter, 11+ - 12-, 1p, 60', bolts.
F. Pierced Lip Lock, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. Academic Freedom, 12, 1p, 70', bolts.

Southeast Face

H. Hrunting, 10+, 1p, 60', bolts.
I. Exit Stage Right, 8, 1p, 70', bolts.
J. Mother Grendel, 9+, 1p, 100', bolts.
K. Leitner Route, 10+, 1p, 45', bolts.
L. Strong Arm Tactics, 11, 1p, 90', bolts.
M. The Monster Mash, 9+, 1p, 70', bolts.

Getting There 

Park in the Aspen Meadows campground, and walk back out the entry road. Cross Gap Road and enter the woods directly across from and in line with the campground entry road. Once you encounter the powerline road in the woods, look for cairns marking an old road heading into the forest. Follow old roads, keeping an eye out for cairns, until you find your way up the hill to the saddle area surrounding The Squaw. Follow cairns up the hillside below The Grendel to the crag. The approach takes about 45 minutes.

Per Rich Kelly: the approach is 0.7 miles, 800' gain.


Eds. Please note that after discussion with GGCSP, the Grendel appears to be within Golden Gate Canyon State Park and thus is subject to its regulations. Hence, any new fixed hardware requires Park approval. However, further investigation of park boundaries could impact this. Thank you.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.3 miles from here

13 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Grendel

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Grendel:
Mother Grendel   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 100'   
Daneland   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 110'   
Pierced Lip Lock   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Strong Arm Tactics   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Grendel

Featured Route For The Grendel
Rock Climbing Photo: Pierced Lip Lock.

Pierced Lip Lock 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Colorado : Golden : ... : The Grendel
This route stands out for me as the best at the cliff: fun, sustained climbing, requiring a variety of techniques on great rock in a beautiful setting. Easy climbing leads past the first bolt into a steep dihedral capped by roofs. Tread lightly at the pierced lip, and try not to break it or we'll have to rename the route "Busted Lip"....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Grendel Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The new trail head sign for the Grendel, courtesy ...
BETA PHOTO: The new trail head sign for the Grendel, courtesy ...
Rock Climbing Photo: The right side of the southwest face.  The furthes...
The right side of the southwest face. The furthes...
Rock Climbing Photo: The left side of the southwest face.  The V slot o...
The left side of the southwest face. The V slot o...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Grendel, July 21, 2011.
The Grendel, July 21, 2011.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Grendel, July 21, 2011.
The Grendel, July 21, 2011.
Rock Climbing Photo: The Grendel.
BETA PHOTO: The Grendel.

Comments on The Grendel Add Comment
Show which comments
By Mark Rolofson
Jul 19, 2011
For complete, detailed information to the approach and all the routes on this crag, see the final pages of my guidebook "Golden Rock Climbs". The Grendel was a well kept secret for many years. It has a brilliant 100 foot 5.9, a few good 5.11s, and two 5.12s.
By Andrew S.
From: Bouldurr
Jul 27, 2011
You simply cannot go wrong with the climbing here. If the approach doesn't get you psyched, the climbs will. Looking forward to getting up there again real soon.
By ErikaNW
From: Golden, CO
Jun 2, 2012
From the description 'keep an eye out for cairns', I thought the trail might be hard to find - quite the opposite. There are creative and artistically placed cairns that made the hike extra enjoyable! Thank you to the cairn builder....
By Kevin Gillest
From: Arvada, CO
Jun 25, 2012
Whomever has done the trail work here, awesome job! Been to a lot of remote ares that do not even compare. We made the approach in 30 minutes, first time, and with a 6 year old.
By Kirk Miller
From: Golden, CO
Jun 25, 2012
Thanks Kevin,
Glad to see the trail is being used. When we developed the crag, one concern was to establish a consistent route to curtail wandering in the woods and the social trails that result.
By Dave Holliday
Jun 22, 2014
Does anyone know the name of the route just to the left of Pierced Lip Lock? Its anchor is about twenty feet below and just to the left of the anchor for PLL. The route starts with some steep, burly pulling on large holds, eases off a bit, and then has some thin, balancy moves. I thought the rating was about mid-11.

We had a good time up there yesterday. Thanks to the developers for the nice trail and fun routes.
By Kirk Miller
From: Golden, CO
Jun 24, 2014
The route left of Pierced Lip Lock is Freedom Fighter, 11d. FA Mark Rolofson, Kirk Miller.
By J. Fell
Aug 17, 2014
Was at Grendel on 8/16 and found a pair of La Sportiva climbing shoes. If they're yours, hit me up with a description and I'll get them back to you.
By Michael Head
Mar 16, 2015
How busy is this crag? We're looking for a good crag to train our dogs to be more comfortable with us climbing, opposed to them crying the whole time. Naturally we don't want to bother others with our whiny dogs.
By Rich Kelly
From: Boulder
Jun 25, 2016
Approach took us 30 minutes and according to my gps watch, it is 0.7 miles, 800' gain and the base sits at 10,000'.

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