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The Pool Wall

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Alcove, The 
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The Pool Wall Rock Climbing 

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Elevation: 8,000'
Location: 38.03072, -107.67112 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 30,516
Administrators: Edward Medina, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Jason Nelson on May 22, 2007  with updates from doligo


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BETA PHOTO: The Pool Wall with the areas and trails listed.


The Pool Wall has Ouray's highest quantity of routes (over 70) and the shortest approach. The rock is a type of sandstone, something like that of Eldorado Canyon but blonde in color. That said, don't go expecting Eldorado Canyon like climbing. In some areas, the bands of sandstone are separated by bands of shale (choss).

The climbing is generally technical in nature on small edges with the occasional pocket. A rack of sport draws and a 60m rope will get you up most of the climbs, but there are a few trad climbs and a few mixed bolt/trad ones.

Routes range from 5.5 to 5.13+ and it's difficult to tell which is which without the guidebook (available at Ouray Mtn Sports). Well, you probably won't mistake the 5.13+ for a 5.5, but you know what I mean. I would say the best routes are in the 5.11 and 5.12 range, but there should be enough to entertain anyone for at least an afternoon, if not longer.

The Pool Wall gets shade in the morning and sun around noon.

Getting There 

Just North of Ouray across from the Hot Springs Pool, park at the Pool (not the miniature golf center), and walk up the drainage across the street to the left of the miniature golf center. There will be a gate and a NO TRESPASSING sign. Currently the landowner is allowing us to climb, and the No Trespassing sign is for hikers on the Horsethief Trail. The land from the approach gully to the Two Kids Mine is all on private property.

Walking straight up the gully into the canyon will take you to The Alcove. The Alcove has the highest selection of easy routes and a couple hard ones.

Take the trail going right out of the drainage to get to the rest of the climbs. Please stay on the trails, as the terrain is steep and loose. Trails access every part of this cliff, so there's no reason to go wandering around. Many of the trails cut back left from the main trail to the climbing areas.

Please do not try to hike around to the top of the climbs to set up top ropes. It's not pleasant (or safe) and you have a high likelihood of knocking rocks down.

Per Kayla Allen: a little easier way to find the access point is to park on the street lot for the springs, pass the apartments (the Skyrocket), and hike up the Ouray Perimeter Trail. At the registration box, you should see the No Trespassing sign to your left!

1st attempt at Organization 

Alcove area:
A. New Arete aka Entrance Exam, 6, 1p, bolts.
B. Butter Face, 11, 1p, TR.
C. Rain of Terror, 9+, 1p, 60', bolts.
D. Groove in the Heart, 10, 1p, 35', bolts.
E. Groove Tube, 9, 1p, 90', bolts.
F. Past Tense, 9, 1p, 40', bolts.
G. Test Drive, 8-, 1p, 90', bolts.
H. First Time Out, 6, 1p, 25', bolts.
I. Burger, 8, 1p.
J. Keep On Keepin' On, 8, 1p, 25', bolts.
K. Unknown, 8, 1p.
L. California Stars aka Center Pocket, 10-, 1p, 25', bolts.
M. No Se, 10, 1p, 30', bolts.
N. Romper Room, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
O. Mullet Days, 11, 1p.
P. The Viper Room, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
Q. Ze Boom Boom Room, 11, 1p, 70', bolts.
R. Tropical Depression , 11+, 1p, 75', bolts.
S. Dirty, Rotten Scoundrel, 11- or 11, 1p, bolts.
T. Silent but Deadly, 13, 1p, 60', bolts.
U. Unknown, 11, 1p.
V. Via Ferrata, 11, 1p.

Bay Of Pigs:
A. Two Buck Chuck, 11, 1p.
B1. Cable Crack Left, gear.
B2. Cable Crack Right, gear.
C. Open Project, 13+?, 1p.
D. Choss Factor, 11-, 1p.
E. Bitch Slap, 11, 1p.
F. Empire of Dirt, 10+, 1p.
G. Squeeze Job, 10+, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. 8, 9, 10, 10-, 1p, 80', bolts.
H12. Marital Diss, 11, 1p, bolts.
I. Downward Spiral, 11+, 1p.

J1? Bay of Pigs, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
J2? The Castro, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
K1J1? Gay Bay, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
K2. Gay Rodeo, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
L. Breaking the Waves, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
M. Putting From The Rough, 12, 1p.
N1. Look Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Left, 11-, 1p, 70', bolts.
N2. Ginsu Arete Original, 11-, 1p, bolts.
O. Be Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Right, 11+, 1p, 70', bolts.

Upper Wall - above Bay Of Pigs:

Above the Garibotti Traverse
A. Love Tap, 12-.
B. Wanna Ride On My Disco Stick?, 12.
C. Project.

D. Romnesia, 10, 1p, 65', bolts.
E. Jay's Upper Route, 11-, bolts.
F. Taliban Tea Party, 8+, 1p, 70', bolts & gear.
G. Fact Check, 10, 1p, 55', bolts.
H. Crack, 8-9, 1p, gear.
I. 5.8 Route, 8+, 1p, gear.
J. Bel-Loch Diner, 12-, 2p, 100', bolts & gear.
K1. Pub Rats, 10, 1p, 75', bolts & gear.
K2. Welcome to Ouray, 11+.
L. Fine Line, 12.
M. Under The Wire, 11, gear.
N. 5.10a, 11-, gear.
O. Too Close For Comfort, 12-.
P. Finland, 11+, bolts.
Q. The Back Nine, 9, gear.
R. Drop Zone, 11-, bolts.
S. Gingaplut, 10-, bolts.

Wading Pool:
A. The Front Nine, 9, 1p, 70', gear.
B. Desolation Row, 11, gear & bolts.
C. Chief's Face, 11, bolts & gear.
D. Guillotine, 9, gear.
E. The Cig Arete, 11.
F. Annie's Arete, 11.
G. Annie's Corner, 11.
H. Victimless Crime, 10.
I. Para Mi Mujer, 9.
J. Slabhappy, 10.
K. Talent Pool, 11+/12-.
L. Get On The Mike, 12.
M. Bottom Feeder, 10+.
N. Fear Of Farting, 13, bolts.

Two Kids Mine:

The Deep End:
A1. Chip Shot, 11-, 1p, 80', bolts.
A2. Cheap Shot, 10, bolts.
B. Par For The Course, 11+, bolts.
C. The Deep End, 11, 1p, 90', bolts.
D. My Left Foot, 11-.
E. Improbability Drive, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
F. Keith's Route, 11+, 2p.
G. Metal Heart, 12-.
H. Bathing With Jesus, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
I. Mission Accomplished, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.
J. Block Party, 12-, 1p, 70', bolts.
K. Swims With Fishes, 12-.
L. High Dive, 12-.
M. The Short One, 12-, 1p, 50', bolts.
O. Pool Party, 11, gear.
P. Svengali, 11+, 1p, 120', bolts.
Q. Hollow Victory, 11+.
R. Physical Therapy, 11.
S. Single Minded, 12-.
T. Separation Anxiety, 12-, bolts.
U. Dirty Sanchez, 11-.
V. Unknown, 10+.
W. The Slab Route, 6.

The Backyard:
A. Know Your Enemy, 11+.
B. Know Yourself, 11+.
C. Project, 12.
D. The Reach Around, 11-.
E. Black Planet, 11+, 1p.
F. The Dark Continent, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. Land Of Sunshine, project.
H. Den Of Thieves, 11+.

I. The Visor, 12-.
J. Crystal Blue Persuasion, 10, gear.

The Visor:

Fixed Hardware 

Please do not remove fixed hardware from the anchors - the fixed biners and mussey hooks are there for your convenience and SAFETY!

Climbing Season

Weather station 0.3 miles from here

59 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',27],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',6],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Pool Wall

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Pool Wall:
Groove Tube   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Alcove
Past Tense   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Alcove
Thunder Thighs   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 25'   The Alcove
The Front Nine   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   The Wading Pool
Rain of Terror   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Alcove
8, 9, 10   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bay of Pigs
Chip Shot / Cheap Shot   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Deep End
Victimless Crime   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Wading Pool
Annie's Arete   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 75'   The Wading Pool
Dirty, Rotten Scoundrel   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Alcove
Lunch Bucket A.K.A. Romper Room   5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   The Alcove
The Deep End   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   The Deep End
Butter Face   5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 66'   The Alcove
Ze Boom Boom Room   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   The Alcove
Svengali   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   The Deep End
Bay of Pigs   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bay of Pigs
Gay Rodeo   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   Bay of Pigs
Dark Continent   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   The Backyard
Soul Rebel   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Deep End
Bell Curve A.K.A. Silent But Deadly   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Alcove
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Pool Wall

Featured Route For The Pool Wall
Rock Climbing Photo: Looking down from the chains, speed record for thi...

Ze Boom Boom Room 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a  Colorado : Ouray vicinity (rock) : ... : The Alcove
Pretty much the best 5.11 at the Pool Wall. Steep, balancey, juggy and a no hands rest just before clipping the anchors, right at the steepest part of the wall. Don't be put off by all the glue!...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Pool Wall Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: Full Pool Wall Panoramic photo taken from the Pool...
BETA PHOTO: Full Pool Wall Panoramic photo taken from the Pool...
Rock Climbing Photo: The Pool Wall viewed from the Ouray Hot Springs po...
BETA PHOTO: The Pool Wall viewed from the Ouray Hot Springs po...

Comments on The Pool Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nolan Robertson
Jun 20, 2013
Above the Alcove there is some really steep rock, I have seen at least 1 route up there that looks really cool and was interested in beta on that route.
By Jason Nelson 1
From: Ouray, CO
Mar 7, 2014
The steep ones above the Alcove are in the 5.12 range and are in the guidebook.
By Kayla Allen
From: Colorado Springs
Aug 8, 2014
A little easier way to find the access point is to park on the street lot for the springs, pass the apartments (the Skyrocket), and hike up the Ouray Perimeter Trail. At the registration box, you should see the No Trespassing sign to your left!
By AJ Cohen
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jun 7, 2017
So, there's a parking lot for the Ouray Perimeter Trail, which is the easiest way to access the trail. After about a minute or two of hiking, the 'No Trespassing' Sign is down to the left leading to a little gully.

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