REI Community
The Upper Great Face

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
A Few Moments of Pleasure T 
Big Steep, The T 
Brass Junkie T,S 
Golden Monkey, The T,S 
Hotness, The S 
Paul's Boutique T,S 
Wiffle Ball Bat S 
Unsorted Routes:

The Upper Great Face Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,447'
Location: 40.3041, -105.5216 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 5,001
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Jul 5, 2004
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best climbs for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [0 people like this page.]
UGF as seen from Castaway Crag.

Description 

This is the highest of the commonly climbed rocks of the Crags lying on the W slopes of Twin Sisters just S of Estes Park. It is easily visible from many points in EP. A walk around Lily Lake or a drive on Hwy 7 draws your eye. This W-facing crag is a wide swath of rock of varying quality divided by a protruding pillar of stone. The routes here range from 300 to nearly 600 feet in length. The routes are generally trad but there is a new bolted line. Routes here include: Over Thirty Club, Old & Forgotten, High Clutch, A Few Moments of Pleasure, Sky King, Tom's Travesty, The Big Steep, Kor-Northcutt, Erac's Crack, Right Buttress, Southwest Face, Middle Buttress, Indian Peaks Arete, Gone So Long, Funky Island Traverse, & Hindenberg.

Getting There 

There are 2 approaches to this crag. Neither was a trail. Expect an hour at least to approach. Get your bearings before heading into the trees. Both will require some reorientation once you clear the trees. The first starts from the Twin Sister's Trailhead off CO Hwy 7, past the Lily Lake Visitor Center, South of Estes Park, just across from Lily Lake. Hike along the trail for perhaps a half mile to the third switchback, then head up the hill. This is not very specific, but that is what it was. The other approach is signed as private property just past the Baldpate Inn, off CO Hwy 7, across from Lily Lake. There is a chained-off dirt road that indicates you can hike private property lines the road. At some point a short distance down the road, you can break off uphill from the dirt road, go up through the forest, and reorient when you clear the trees.

Per Kat A: The Upper Great Face is more easily approached now than several years ago, as there is a cairned trail to Wizard's Gate, which located on the right side of the Lower Great Face. From the Twin Sister's TH (across CO Hwy 7 from Lily Lake), veer off left at the 3rd switchback (count each turn on the main trail as a switchback - left, right, left then cut left off main trail). Once you're below Wizard's Gate, head climber's left, and drop below Castaway Crag. Then head uphill towards The Upper Great Face. Most routes are on the left side of the face. I estimate it is a 1.25 hour approach. Note on the way back to your car, you will veer downhill a bit skier's left - it's helpful to keep in mind if it's dark and/or you lose the cairned trail.

Climbing Season

For the The Crags area.

Weather station 5.5 miles from here

7 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',4],['2 Stars',2],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',0],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',4],['5.11',2],['5.12',0],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in The Upper Great Face

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for The Upper Great Face:
The Big Steep   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 3 pitches, 300'   
The Golden Monkey   5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R     Trad, Sport, 2 pitches, 300'   
Wiffle Ball Bat   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 2 pitches, 200'   
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in The Upper Great Face

Featured Route For The Upper Great Face
Rock Climbing Photo: Justin Dubois leading pitch 2, 7-2-03.

The Big Steep 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b  Colorado : Estes Park Valley : ... : The Upper Great Face
This is a three pitch line up the middle of the left side of Upper Great Face. It has good position and climbing, a mix of sport and trad, and the potential for big bonus points by doing both the 3rd pitch of this climb and the 2nd of Golden Monkey. Kimball calls this route "The Crown Jewel of the area."P1: Follow 10 or 11 bolts diagonaling right up non-slabby face climbing. The crux is at a roof/bulge midway where the bolts happily get closer together. Belay at bolts. 5.10, 10...[more]   Browse More Classics in Colorado

Photos of The Upper Great Face Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Upper Great Face.
The Upper Great Face.

Comments on The Upper Great Face Add Comment
Show which comments
By Kat A
From: Bart and Lisa Ville, CO
Jul 10, 2017
The Upper Great Face is more easily approached now than several years ago, as there is a cairned trail to Wizard's Gate, which located on the right side of the Lower Great Face. From the Twin Sister's TH (across CO Hwy 7 from Lily Lake), veer off left at the 3rd switchback (count each turn on the main trail as a switchback - L, R, L then cut L off main trail). Once you're below Wizard's Gate, head climber's left, and drop below Castaway Crag, then head uphill towards the Upper Great Face. Most routes are on the left side of the face. Est. 1.25 hour approach. Note on the way back to your car, you will veer downhill a bit skier's left - helpful to keep in mind if it's dark and/or you lose the cairned trail.

Aspect is NW (or WNW) - in early July, the sun didn't hit the wall until 1:30-2:00 pm.

Mountain Project

The Definitive Climbing Resource

MTB Project

Next Generation MTB Trail Maps

Powder Project

Backcountry Ski Maps & Secret Stashes
FREE Stickers · Gyms · RSS · School of Rock · Contact · About