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Tiger Cliff
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Left Side, The 
Main Wall 
Stripes Wall 

Tiger Cliff Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 12,000'
Location: 39.30179, -106.48467 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 3,590
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Christopher Barlow on Sep 23, 2014
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A typical summer day at the Tiger Cliff.


This beautiful black-and-gold-streaked cliff sits over the upper end of the Timberline Lake drainage. The rock is among the best granite in Colorado, rivaling that of the Bugaboos and Sierra. While the approach is on the long side (1.5 hours) for a single-pitch crag, the excellent routes at Tiger Cliff make it well worth the effort to get there. The rock is quite clean, and the developers have put significant effort to maintain the wilderness element of the area while also making is accessible to future visitors. Most routes have quality rappel anchors (often two bolts). There are currently two fully equipped sport climbs; the rest of the routes require traditional protection.

Tiger Cliff is east and south-facing, offering a longer season that other areas in a similar alpine setting. Some of the aesthetic black streaks and cracks seep in early season and after particularly heavy rains. The season for Tiger Cliff runs from sometime in June to November (due to snow above the cliff or on the approach or Turquoise Lake Rd. seasonal closure).

The cliff is broken up into three sectors. The Main Wall is on the right and has the longest routes (right at 30m, ranging from 5.8 to 5.12). In the middle is the very pumpy Stripes Wall with lines from 5.11+ to 5.13-. Finally, on the left is the creatively named Left Side with the easiest routes at Tiger Cliff (5.7-5.10+).

Getting There 

Once arriving at Timberline Lake, follow social trails west along the south side. At the western terminus, continue hiking west and uphill following the main drainage. There is not a clear trail at this point, but one eventually arrives at a large, flat meadow just at treeline. Tiger Cliff is clearly visible across the meadow.

Climbing Season

For the Leadville area.

Weather station 7.2 miles from here

14 Total Climbing Routes

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

Classic Climbing Routes in Tiger Cliff

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Tiger Cliff:
Blue Bells   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 70'   The Left Side
Currant ArĂȘte    5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Sport, Alpine, 1 pitch, 60'   The Left Side
Paintbrush   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 70'   The Left Side
The Gold Card Indirect   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 90'   Main Wall
Burning Bright   5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a     Trad, Alpine, 1 pitch, 60'   Stripes Wall
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Tiger Cliff

Featured Route For Tiger Cliff
Rock Climbing Photo: David Fay on the first ascent.

The Gold Card 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a PG13  CO : Leadville : ... : Main Wall
The Gold Card Direct starts at the same place as The Gold Card Indirect and takes the striking line up the center of the main wall for a full 30 meter pitch. Climb through golden, bulletproof granite using a mix of crack and face technique. At mid-height, place a few bomber pieces, and then step up into the dihedral. Work out what parts of the crack to use for gear and what parts to use for your fingers. Consider fishing in a nut above your head before committing to the hard cli...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Comments on Tiger Cliff Add Comment
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By Dougald MacDonald
Jul 5, 2015
It's 3.8 miles to the Tiger Cliff from the trailhead. Took us Front Rangers 1.75 hours in and about 1.5 hours out. We had to wade a significant creek in early July...probably easy to cross without wading later in the season. Gorgeous area. The climbs were a little gritty in early season but still very fun.

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