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The Outback

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The Outback Rock Climbing 

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Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jay Eggleston on Jul 14, 2015

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63° | 42°

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This is a rock to go to if you like moderate slab climbing. The rock faces west and is located to the northwest of the main Thunder Ridge climbing areas. It is included in the Thunder Ridge section of the Jason Haas guidebook. It is not likely that you will see other climbers here. You should really like slab climbing if you go here.

Getting There 

The approach to this rock is long and somewhat complicated. Follow the main Thunder Ridge approach until the trail to Thunder Ridge breaks off to the right from the old road. Haas calls this road a two-track road. From here, follow the two-track along a powerline strung on wooden poles until you see a steel powerline structure. You can see The Outback to the northeast from here. At the last wooden powerline pole before the metal powerline structure, turn left and go down a hill. There is a cairn on a stump located here. At the bottom of the hill, there is a cairn, you follow a faint two-track which heads to the right. There are many dead, fallen trees to cross on the way. A creek runs toward The Outback along the path (which goes downward at first). We thought at the bottom of the descent it was easiest to traverse high on the west hillside before crossing the creek in front of the rock. After you cross the creek, head up to the rock. There is no trail.

It took us 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the rock. You might be able to reach the rock in an hour if you go the best way. It is not easy to find the best way to go.

Climbing Season

For the Thunder Ridge area.

Weather station 2.9 miles from here

5 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in The Outback

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Outback:
Phoenix   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 150'   
The Green Mile   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 2 pitches, 220'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Outback

Featured Route For The Outback
Rock Climbing Photo: On the lower half of the route.

Half and Half 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a  Colorado : South Platte : ... : The Outback
This is a fun route and seemed to be the hardest of the three 5.9 routes on the rock. The crux is about a third of the way up on thin slab moves. Most of the holds are small on this rock, but the crux holds almost did not seem to exist. It seemed like just smooth rock. A 70m rope just barely gets you down, it seemed like the route was 120' long....[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Outback Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: A close up view of part of the rock showing how sl...
BETA PHOTO: A close up view of part of the rock showing how sl...
Rock Climbing Photo: The rock from near the metal power structure.
BETA PHOTO: The rock from near the metal power structure.
Rock Climbing Photo: The rock.
BETA PHOTO: The rock.

Comments on The Outback Add Comment
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By Kevin P
From: Loveland
Jul 22, 2015
Should be called "Worst Day of My Life Crag". Just kidding. The approach is one of the worst I have done in a while. I would say the approach is more difficult than Asshole Rock or Twisted Sisters. I didn't think we messed the approach too bad. There are lots of fallen trees, rocks, streams, bushes, etc. that you have to navigate. Slow miles for sure. Anyway, the rock is quality (although the routes are somewhat similar). All the routes are bolted safely. An adventure for sure, and there definitely will not be any crowds out here.
By Jay Eggleston
From: Denver
Jul 24, 2015
I have to agree that the approach is incredibly difficult for a crag where you mainly clip bolts. The main Thunder Ridge is way easier to get to.
By Josh
From: Golden, CO
Jun 1, 2016
The approach took us 1 hr 20 minutes as well, but well worth it for such excellent rock and fun climbing (if you like slabs, which I do). A few more details that might help for the approach: the "trail" down from the top of the hill at the power lines follows a faint seam in the hillside, almost perpendicular to the direction you have been walking up to that point. At the bottom of this hill, where you pick up the old two-track in the gully / streambed, I would generally stay as much on the far (west) side of the streambed as possible. The old road actually goes on that side, but it is easy to lose on the way there, and much easier to see from on top of the rock. At the end of the hill, the gully you are in will merge with the one from the other side of the hill, and the stream will get much larger. Keep staying on the far side from the rock - don't cross the stream until you are almost past the rock. Right at the stream confluence, the gully pinches down a bit, and there are some small rock bluffs on the far side. We found a bit of a sidewalk through this part by climbing on top of the lowest layer of rock bluffs. After that, the old road becomes clearer for a while, and the walking is even easier. Really lovely rock when you get there -- it is possible to climb all the routes on this rock if you have a chunk of hours (we spent a leisurely 6), and they are all worthwhile.

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