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Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness

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Chimney Rock 
Coxcomb Peak 
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Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness Rock Climbing 


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 14,309'
Location: 38.1501, -107.7567 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 6,210
Administrators: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Monty, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Richard M. Wright on Oct 15, 2009
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Courthouse Mtn. and connecting ridge from the summ...

Description 

The Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness is the centerpiece of San Juan mountaineering and presently comprises an area in excess of 102,000 acres in the Uncompahgre National Forest. Technical climbing can be found throughout, although many of the high peaks can be ascended as hikes alone. The San Juan mountaineers have established technical routes on many of the peaks with many of these ascents being roped winter ascents with or without ski descents. A who's who of interesting peaks includes Uncompahgre Peak (14,309 feet), Wetterhorn Peak (14015), Matterhorn Peak (13,700), and various lesser peaks including Turret, Coxcomb, Precipice, Dunsinane, Courthouse Mountain, and Chimney Peak. The Cimmeron Range itself is included in the area and can be host to a near infinite amount of high end technical climbing. In many of the areas we have visited in recent years the potential for very difficult bouldering on welded tuffa, schist, and conglomerate rock is likewise almost endless. Although frequently disparaged, rock quality throughout the wilderness is enormously variable, but frequently excellent. While some of the welded tufa is truly bullet proof, some of the softer conglomerate is probably not of much interest for pure rock climbing, although possibly fine in winter. In addition, crags found in the surrounding National Forest and BLM land will be subject to different regulation vis-a-vis in situ protection than crags in the wilderness proper. Don't be surprised, however, to find old rusty pitons tucked away on crags within the present wilderness boundary.

Getting There 

The Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness is accessed from Ouray, Ridgeway, Lake City, and Gunnison in south/west Colorado. Detailed access will be provided for the specific mountain or crag destination as this area evolves.

Climbing Season

For the San Juans area.

Weather station 0.4 miles from here

2 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',1],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',1],['5.7',1],['5.8',0],['5.9',0],['5.10',0],['5.11',0],['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 Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness:
Southwest Chimney   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, Alpine, 2 pitches, 80'   Coxcomb Peak
South Chimney   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R     Trad, Alpine, 4 pitches   Chimney Rock
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness

Featured Route For Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness
Rock Climbing Photo: Southwest Chimney, Coxcomb Peak, CO.

Southwest Chimney 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CO : Alpine Rock : ... : Coxcomb Peak
An ascent of Coxcomb from the south involves two separate technical sections plus some ridge-running. To start, find a deeply inset chimney system on the southwest face and start up a 12' cracked block that leads to a 4th class gully. This steepens to an ~80' section of 5.2 chimney. Emerge on the ridge and head east.A prominent 30' notch is guarded by a 5.6 wide crack to downclimb. 4th class terrain past the notch leads to the summit. Some people rappel into the notch during the ascent and l...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Uncompahgre/Big Blue Wilderness Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain massif.
The Chimney Rock and Courthouse Mountain massif.
Rock Climbing Photo: Greg Gorrell descending Uncompahgre during a succe...
Greg Gorrell descending Uncompahgre during a succe...
Rock Climbing Photo: Wetterhorn in winter, March 2013.
Wetterhorn in winter, March 2013.
Rock Climbing Photo: Red Cliff on the left, 13,642, and Coxcomb on the ...
Red Cliff on the left, 13,642, and Coxcomb on the ...
Rock Climbing Photo: Precipice Peak, 13,144, is also well armed with ad...
Precipice Peak, 13,144, is also well armed with ad...
Rock Climbing Photo: Self portrait after failed attempt on Fall (1976) ...
Self portrait after failed attempt on Fall (1976) ...
Rock Climbing Photo: On top of Wetterhorn, the big Unc in the backgroun...
On top of Wetterhorn, the big Unc in the backgroun...

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