Classic South Platte accommodations!

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Eddie enjoying WAY to much Coors with Brett Bristol and friends! Just another climber party.



Alternative South Platte climbing style!

The book that started it all in the South Platte. Thanks Peter Hubbel!

The Adventure Begins About 1980!

    I'm not sure exactly when I started, but like any boy in the mountains, if there's a rock, it must be climbed. Some time in the late 70's I climbed on the hogback in Deer Creek canyon. After that, my friend Steve Solon took me to Morrison Mountain behind Red Rocks and showed me some bouldering. After that Steve helped me buy my 1st rope from a mail order company called REI.

   I took my 1st official rock climbing class while attending Metro State College in Denver about 1980. The class outdoor session took place at Maxwell Falls in the Brook Forest. After that, I struggled to get better and found an add for climbing instruction on a bulletin board at Holubar Mountaineering. The teacher was Peter Hubbel. Peter was probably the biggest single person that solidified my love for climbing He was an outstanding teacher and opened my eyes to my potential. He took me to North Turkey Creek and showed me that I could lead climb 5.7. He also provided me with his climbing guide to the South Platte "The Brown Book of Lies". This became my bible for many years of fun climbing in the South Platte. Peter also introduced me to my long time climbing partners, Brett Bristol, John Durr, Marion Durr, Noel Childs and many more. While I was never a great climber, these partners pushed me to limits I never thought I could achieve.

Cheers,
Eddie and Sheena

"Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves."

--- John Muir---



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South Platte

    The "South Platte" encompasses a rather large and vague area. The area is generally considered to be the front range/foothills area extending south from highway 285 to highway 24 and west to the region known as south park. Most of our climbing has focused on the north part of the region between the towns of Pine Junction and Deckers. Eddie has also climbed a little in the south at Turkey Rocks and Sheep Nose areas. As with many areas in Colorado, more and more land has been purchased by new private owners in this area and closed to climbers.

    Malay Archipelago - Classic South Platt slab climbing near the junction of the two forks of the South Platte.   The Malay Archipelago area. Atlantis slabs can be seen in the lower left and the Java dome in the background.   Bill Duncan leading Soliloquy (5.8+**) on Atlantis slabs. Shelly Sartor is belaying.   Sheena snagging a little pro on the roof of Soliloquy (5.8+**). This crack is very height sensitive!
  Eddie placing the last bolt on a new route with Bill Duncan. We called it Two Dykes for Dinner since it followed two diagonal dykes running up the rock and we finished after sunset. It has 4 bolts and no natural pro. Matt Kohlhaas on Damn the Waterboard (5.8R). This is one of Eddie's best 1st ascents and was also Eddie's 1st bolt (placed on lead). This 1st ascent was shared with Marion Durr. With only 1 bolt, this route gets a bit run out and a little spooky.      
    Pine Area - Bucksnort Slabs - This is probably the most popular crag on in the North end of the South Platte region. It's also the ONLY crag still open in the Pine area.   Dick Stone roping up for a day of climbing at the Bucksnort Slabs.   The Classic Dihedral 5.7. Awesome!   The 1st pitch of what I knew as 5.8 Crack. Later the name was corrected to Bushes of Beelzebub.
  Pine Area - Squat Rocks - CLOSED - In my opinion this was the best crag in the North end of the South Platte region. So many routes from 5.8 - 5.12, crack and face climbing. It was all here. Closed by a greedy out of state land owner.   The clan getting ready for a day of climbing at Squat Rocks. In the foreground is Karen Bott, the owner of the Bryn Mawr restaurant in Pine. She took great care of the entire group! Also to the right is Shelly Sartor.  Matt Kohlhaas on the crux move of the Elusive Wapiti (5.9+***)  Matt Kohlhaas finishing up the Elusive Wapiti
  Matt Kohlhaas on Kirk's Corner (5.9+***)        
    Pine Area - Sphinx Rocks - CLOSED - Another classic area closed by a greedy out of state land owner.  Eddie leading Crossing the River Styx (5.10a R). The bottom section was fun, but the last 10' was a rotten unprotected section. Brett and I placed a new bolt in the last section to try and protect it.    
    Pine Area - Little Etive Slabs - CLOSED - Not sure if this was closed by the paint pellet range next door or the land owner.  Shelly Sartor following up one of the many routes on the slab. Most of the routes could wander and merge at the climbers' desire. They generally ranged 5.5 - 5.7 in this area of the slab.   Jim at Etive Slabs enjoying some après climbing elixir and doing a little boldering.  
    Top of the World - CLOSED? -The access is across private property, but I have been told that you can cross it. However, the access road is closed which adds another 3 miles to the approach hike.   In an awesome area called Weasels Ranch, Marion Durr cranks it out on Weasels Rip My Flesh (5.10c***). This crack left scars on Eddies hand.   Sheena finishing up on Weasels in Lust (5.8). Another fun crack in the Weasels Ranch area of the Boulder Pile in the Top of the World.   One of Eddie's 1st accents called "A Momentary Laps of Reason" on the Sharks Tooth. The photo shows a #4 Friend in the bulging lip of the off-width roof.
The cheering section at the Cracked Wall. Left to Right, Matt Kohlhaas, ?, Shelly Sartor, Carrie Phister. Matt Kohlhaas setting up a belay on "How the West was Won" (5.8**) at the cracked wall. The climber above and left is on the 2nd pitch of "Leave it Blank" (5.9-*).   A small crag to the SE of the Boulder Pile. Eddie and Brett Bristol explored the area and put up several 1 pitch routes. Not a classic area for the long approach. Brett named this the Blank Wall.   Eddie leading Smashing (5.10a) on the Blank Wall   Not sure who is leading this 1st ascent. Possibly Eddie based on the clothing.
  Brett Bristol at the base of Cinnamon (5.6) starting the 1st ascent.   Brett finishing Cinnamon (5.6)      
    Cathedral Spires/Dome area -   The angle iron slabs named literally for the angle iron sticking out of the slab. Located at the parking area for Cathedral Spires/Dome rock, this rock served as lots of fun boldering with the new style sticky shoes in the 80's. Lots of fun short 5.10s   More of the angle iron slabs. These slabs are found further to the right of the parking area for Cathedral Spires/Dome rock.   Mark Brown soloing Trifle Dicey 5.9R. He wisely backed off from this point just below the crux. He didn't even own sticky rubber climbing shoes.
  Sunshine Wall (L) and Cathedral Spire (R).  Turkey Foot crack (5.9-10c***) on the sunshine wall. This is also the background image of this page.

 Eddie leading Muddy Past (5.9**) on the Sunshine Wall

 The Bishop   The Bishop (L) and the Dome (R).
  Big Rock and Candy Mountain -   Helens Dome area. Eddie only climbed here once with Mark Brown. Climbed Face Value (5.9)    
         

 

Denver Front Range

 

   Deer Creek and the Hog Back - NO CLIMBING ALLOWED - At least that is what was posted last time I was up this way. This is the cut in the hogback when driving up Deer Creek Rd. There is a trail head, but I haven't checked it out closely since the 80's.     You can see Deer Creek Rd. just below the south end of the cliffs. This was my favorite crack. I always soloed it since I didn't own a rope in those days.
   Eagle Cliffs - CLOSED - Over looking Aspen Park on the Highway 285 corridor, this is one of the places that Eddie started learning about climbing with ropes. Even though this is Denver Mountain Parks land, it is surrounded by private property.   The Foot - This has to be one of the most unique rock features Eddie has ever stumbled across!    
    North Turkey Creek - CLOSED - This is now private property, which is a shame considering this was probably the best learning crag near Denver on the Highway 285 corridor.   Some of the fun beginner routes worked up this corner area.   The rock in the foreground had some great bouldering/top-roping. 5.10 - 5.12   The green slab. There were several variations on this slab. The main route wanders up the center.
  Eddie following the Green Slab route (5.6). Eddie had lead, soloed and followed this fun route.   Eddie finishing the 1st pitch. Not sure who was belaying this day, but Eddie used this route to teach a lot of people.      
    Maxwell Falls - This is a nice small crag with easy access. There are 4 fun routes that range from 5.6 - 5.9. The closest access is off of Blue Mtn. Rd. (CR78) between Conifer and Evergreen. This is the upper start to the Maxwell Falls trail. It's about a 1/2 mile hike to the cliffs on easy trail. I have provided some route info based on my experience. It is by no means gospel, but I couldn't find any other info.   The cliffs from the Maxwell Falls overlook. The main climbing area is just out of view behind the tree.   The routes at the main climbing area (according to Eddie). A - 5.4, a little bouldering mantel at the start is the real fun. B - 5.2 access to the top. C - Hardest route on this wall. The roof is a 5.9. D - A fun 5.8 route. E - The central crack. Fun. F - A fun 5.6 face route that starts with a lay-back up a crack to access the face.   The right side of the crag. There is a nice 5.6R face climb below the roof. A top rope can make for an exciting
  The left side of the crag. A little further to the left is the 5.2 slab used to learn rappelling and easy access to the top. There is a nice 5.9TR that goes through the middle of the roof.   The central part showing the main 5.6 crack. Just to the left is a nice 5.8.      
  Lovers Leap/The Shield - Sitting on the south side of H285 just 3 miles west of the Soda Lakes road junction, this is an impressive 450' cliff that doesn't get a lot of attention even though everyone driving down H285 looks straight at it's mass.   Lovers' Leap route (5.7***) - Climbed with Deaun Schovajsa (1987)    
    Near Conifer - PRIVATE - A short distance from the town of Conifer and just up the road from Maxwell Falls, Eddie was invited to join friends at this private sport climbing area.   A couple of the group having a good time on top ropes.   Stefan and his friend after topping out on their routes   Sherri going for the lip. Bad rope position!
         

 

West Slope

 

  Independence Monument - Just west of Grand Junction, Colorado. Eddie climbed Independence Monument in October 1987 with John and Marion Durr. In the November 1991 Eddie and Sheena made a partial climb but turned back due to a slow party in ahead. The goal for the October 1987 climb. (10/87) John and Marion Durr looking up at Independence Chimney route (5.8, A1). Eddie leading the 2nd pitch of Ottos route.
  Marion leading the crux off-width bulge of the 3rd pitch.   Eddie following the 5th pitch.   Marion belaying at the top of the 5th pitch.   John Durr leading the 6th and final pitch. He's at the crux with sloping sand stone holds and poor protection. A fall is not recommended at this point.   Marion Durr following through the roof of the 6th pitch. John is at the edge belaying.
  Marion and John on the summit with another party that had summited just before us.   Eddie (standing on a rock), Marion Durr and John Durr on the summit of Independence Monument (10/87).   Rappelling down to John and Marion.   John rappelling down the last bit.   John and Marion heading back to camp with the Kissing Couple tower behind.
 Independence Monument from the camp site. (11/91)   Sheena following the 1st pitch of Otto's route on Independence Monument. (11/91)  Eddie at the top of the 1st pitch of Otto's route. (11/91)

Eddie leading the 2nd pitch of Otto's route on Independence Monument. (11/91)

 Sheena back at the car after a long hike and a short climb. The hike turned out to be more difficult than the climb. (11/91)