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WM: Warsaw

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Black Snake Area 
Far Side, The 
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Weenie Buttress 
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Kickapoo Island Trail
A great trail with awesome views of Lake of the Ozarks and nature, with additional trails to add to your ride! Near Warsaw, Missouri
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WM: Warsaw Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 737'
Location: 38.25357, -93.42333 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 31,665
Administrators: Marcus Floyd, Dave Hug, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Erik Pohlman on Dec 18, 2006

77° | 57°

75° | 63°

77° | 56°

63° | 48°

68° | 50°

62° | 44°
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Looking at the bridge from the crags at Warsaw.


South-facing, decent quality limestone, lakeside bluffs. Sun all day, but usually windy. On good weekends, you may see 2 or 3 other parties.

Mostly vertical to slightly overhanging sport routes, though there are a few exceptions (trad, steep). Most require a 50 meter rope, but a 60 is necessary for the super sweet Tigerbill. Since access is from the top, toproping is also an option on most climbs.

Check out Missouri Limestone Select, by Sean Burns.

These are the areas, from west to east, or left to right as seen from the water:

The Far Side
The Washboard Area
Funhouse Gully
Black Snake Area
Walrus Ledge
Weenie Buttress

Getting There 

From Kansas City, take 71 south to South 7, going left at the top of the ramp. In Clinton, take a left near the Wal-Mart, to stay on 7. After going over a long bridge over the Lake Truman, take a left on SW 621. Take a left a the stop sign by the dam. Then take the first left and park off the road near the gate. Remember not to block the gate or your car will be towed.

From the gate, follow the gravel road going left on the trail on the left side just over the hill. Take the next trail on the right, usually marked by a cairn. Once on this trail, just follow it to the top of the cliffs. Once at the cliffs, you can rappel to the bottom or there are two gullies, one to the left/east and one farther down to the right/west, that you can descend.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.8 miles from here

43 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',4],['3 Stars',19],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',8],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in WM: Warsaw

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for WM: Warsaw:
Gary's Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Washboard Area
Z Crack   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Washboard Area
Gomerwood   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   Funhouse Alcove
Double Undercling   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Far Side
Spiders From Mars   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   The Washboard Area
Freefall Cafe   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   The Washboard Area
Digital Trauma   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Washboard Area
Disco Inferno   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Washboard Area
Blown Away   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   The Washboard Area
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in WM: Warsaw

Featured Route For WM: Warsaw
Rock Climbing Photo: Erik on Phantom Fugitives, just off of the startin...

Phantom Fugitives 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c  Missouri : WM: Warsaw : The Far Side
Probably my favorite route in Missouri!After clipping the first bolt, climb the mini roof dihedral up and left to a ledge. Then head up and a little right on face climbing. Some of this section is not very good quality rock, but it's ok. Aim for the base of the clean dihedral/roof about 50 feet up. There, pull left into the dihedral/roof. After getting up a little, head back right and up to the anchors on a ledge. See note in pro section about descent and cleaning. Most of the climb has g...[more]   Browse More Classics in Missouri

Comments on WM: Warsaw Add Comment
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Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated May 31, 2017
By chris deulen
From: Castle Rock
Apr 14, 2011
Is there potential for hard routes here?
By Erik Pohlman
From: Westminster, CO
Apr 14, 2011
I have always thought maybe between Z crack and Dubble Undercling may lie a 13 of some sort, but JerCollins would have the best perspective on this, I think.
By tcamillieri
From: Denver
Apr 21, 2011
No Deulen, there are no hard routes within 100 miles of you now.
By chris deulen
From: Castle Rock
May 10, 2011
I vow to find a 4 star 13 and a 4 star V10!!!
By moboy56
From: Nevada, Mo.
May 29, 2011
Just so everyone will know, the above listed climbing area is closed. (see Getting There) The area is now owned by a golf course and they don't allow climbing. We were there today May 29, 2011.
By Erik Pohlman
From: Westminster, CO
May 31, 2011
The Access Fund would be a great resource for information in this matter.

As I understand it, there is a certain right-of-way around all major waterways in MO that are under the jurisdiction of the Corps of Engineers, and they have always been accepting of climbing. Last I heard, they 'owned' the actual Warsaw crags.

The approach has always been owned by the golf course and they have always been accepting of us, especially those who didnt block the old gate and that were out of their parking lot by the time the gates closed at sunset.

My worry in this is that climbers have become too intrusive on the course now that the work has been done in the last few years. It would be great if we had some liasons or the Access Fund talk with the course and find a new way that we could discreetly access the crags. I remember a few years ago making a new trail for just this reason, but perhaps it has become too intrusive too. I suppose if the Corps still owns the right-of-way around the water, one could just hike from one end of the bridge in the meantime.

I will try to contact a few folks who might help.

By Jer Collins
Jun 1, 2011
Warsaw is not closed. It is going through a redirection of the trail. Stay tuned for more info, but this is really exciting stuff for this crag on the horizon! The corps is psyched to make it work!
By jesseg
Jun 15, 2011
I spoke to Mac Vorce today at warsaw parks and rec. He is currently cutting a new corridor/trail from the driving range to the top of the climbing area and will be installing signs stating that this trail leads to the climbing area and is also available for general hiking use. It will also read that the gates to the golf course still close at dusk, so no overnight parking is allowed. At some point in the future the golf course may develop another nine holes where the driving range and access trail are. If and when that happens climbers will be given a new access point. Warsaw is far from closed! The City of Warsaw, the director of Parks and Rec and the Manager of the golf course are all very excited to have visitors coming to that area do climb, bike, fish, hike, camp, and spend money at local businesses. I have spoken to them all over the phone and will be meeting with Mac in person in the near future to discuss the plans for a overhaul of anchors at Warsaw. This is very exciting to have not only the Corp of Engineers, but the city on board to keep Warsaw climbing at its' best.
By Marcus Floyd
From: columbia, mo
Dec 20, 2011
Those of us from the Columbia Area, visiting Truman Lake (more specificly the Warsaw Cliff near the golfing area) have parked on the side of the road and position completely outside of the golf area entrance gate. I personally have never had an issue come up about access over the past 20 years, only parking near the golf store ridge trail gate.

My advice is to not park in the golf area, period.

What a great winter climbing area. Access it by boat if all else fails.
By Lukus
From: St. Louis
Mar 11, 2013
Is there anyone up to work these this summer? I'll be home for a few months and want to work these and see if there are many more new routes to set. Also is it still open? I see that the golf course made Moboy56 leave.
By Neale Flynn
From: Sugar Creek, MO
Apr 24, 2013
It's still open. Last time I was there was about 2 months ago. Never have ran into a problem parking at the golf course.
By Lukus
From: St. Louis
Jul 22, 2013
Anyone up for feel like having a go at Warsaw soon? I'm only a hour drive from it and just don't have anyone local I know who'll go out and belay or climb with me.
By Fabrizzio Panimboza
Mar 28, 2016
Hello, Could anyone tell me the grades on the routes please? Also is there bouldering available?

Thank you
By Yosef Shuman
From: Washington, DC
Apr 24, 2016
The last comment on this page is 5 years old - so I thought I'd give some updates:

1. The above directions from the parking lot to the climbing area are confusing. Better directions are: Park in the golf parking lots. Walk to the south-west end of the parking area and you'll find the trail head.

Rock Climbing Photo: Path from the golf parking to climbing area
Path from the golf parking to climbing area

2. From the main path, there are two ways down to the water - both are marked with stone piles, and both are pretty chossy. I preferred the 2nd (West) approach, but most of my group preferred the 1st (East) path.

3. As beautiful as the Warsaw rocks are, this area is NOT for beginners: Many routes in the Washboard Area require a sketchy, bouldery top-out just to get to the BOTTOM (ie. the belay area) of a route. (I'm looking at you Gary...) and routes in many areas (especially Walrus Ledge) will require stick clipping to make the first few moves safe. Even the 5.9+ we eventually climbed (Droopy Corndog) scared off a solid V5 climber in our group.

4. Unlike some other climbing areas I've been to, Mountain Project's documentation of the Warsaw climbing left much to be desired. I highly recommend bringing along the Missouri Limestone Select guidebook.

Good luck.
By Ramblauren
Jun 21, 2016
My friend & I will be driving here from Tennessee tomorrow; would anyone want to climb? Anyone have beta on camping with pups near here? Thanks!
By Pat0
Oct 14, 2016
My wife and I recently went to this area (Washboard). Our first impression was of the added danger that you have to accept to climb here. It went beyond the "climbing is a dangerous sport" mantra. Much of the rock is loose and chossy. Helmets are required, especially for the belayer but also for the climber for lowering/rap. Knocking on the rock on some climbs gives a hollow sound - not a confidence booster. It just feels wrong when you're on a climb while a flake is bendy and you're thinking "don't pull too hard". Eventually this sketch rock will fall. On the few climbs we did we found several spinning bolts. The anchors need to be updated, and just adding rap rings isn't a good solution, as had been done on some climbs.

I don't want to upset the climbers that love this area. It very well may have some of the best climbs in Missouri - climbs that we did not evaluate. Also the intense sun on this area makes it great for winter climbing.

My goal in adding this info was to reiterate that this area is for advanced climbers willing to accept some poor quality limestone. On the climbs we did the "good rock" mentioned describing the area seems more like wishful thinking. Perhaps there is good rock on the longer, harder routes once you get 20" up, but too much of this area gave us second thoughts. We're also used to the bullet-hard granite and schist of New England that leaves no question of the rock quality, so perhaps our evaluation is a juxtaposition of what we're used to.
By Michael A Parker
From: Tulsa, OK
May 31, 2017
While this isn't normally going to be a concern, if the lake is up, the belay ledge for this area can be under water. I went over Memorial Day weekend and got ready to rappel in when I noticed the water was well above the belay ledge and the cliff went straight into water.

I checked the lake levels before we went but didn't have any way of knowing what level was acceptable. Now I have a better idea. I wouldn't head out here if the lake levels are above 715 ft. They were closer to 724 ft this past weekend and were down around 710 ft the first time I climbed here. You can check the current lake levels at the following site:

Anything above 715 ft and the belay ledge will be under water.

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