Login with Facebook
 ADVANCED
Duncan's Ridge

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Apples S 
Bird Shit Avenue T,TR 
Broken Crack T,TR 
Cave Route T,TR 
Cheeseburger in Paradise S,TR 
Conglomerate Face TR 
Corner Climb T,TR 
Crackmard T 
Dihedral Route T,TR 
Face Route T,TR 
Liberty's Last Stand TR 
Lichen Roof TR 
Northern Unnamed T,TR 
Nose, The T 
Oranges S,TR 
Out of the Black S 
Purdy Dirty TR 
Roof Route T,TR 
South Corner T,TR 
South OW T 
Unnamed Corner T,TR 
Unnamed Overhang TR 
Unnamed Top Rope Section T,TR 
Wide Side, The T,TR 
Wishbone Crack T,TR 

Duncan's Ridge  


Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Location: 40.53352, -105.14488 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 42,740
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ryan-Nelson on Nov 30, 1999
Forecast:
You & This Area
Best routes for YOU in this area
Your opinion of this PAGE:    [1 person likes this page.]
BETA PHOTO: Overview of "central" section of Duncan'...

Description 

This is a very sunny wall with a short approach and a beautiful view. Duncan's Ridge has the closest rope climbing to the Fort Collins. The majority of the routes can easily be top-roped, and the area is a great place for beginners and highball boulderers alike. The area has a good variety of sport and trad climbs in the range of 5.4 to 5.11.

Getting There 

Map:
binged.it/17mXOcq

Once at the parking lot (same lot for Piano Keys Bouldering Area), hike west up the hogback for 5 minutes and your at the ridge. You can descend via the obvious 4th class gully to the north of the main climbing area.

History 

Climbing here goes back at least to the 1960s. The name was given in honor of Duncan Ferguson (an extremely modest, non-self-promoting, and one of the most graceful climbers) who came here and probably climbed every line here during training sessions taking advantage of the area's proximity and accessibility as this area was his escape from the crowds at Flagstaff and Rotary. As was Duncan's practices, he rarely gave much effort to publicizing his ascents other than to his close associates. Some, like Steve Bass, would go up for hours at a time, up/down climbing every move, until he could send in preparation for other mentally challenging routes. Other notables who frequented the area include: John Gill, Mike Storeim, Dan Hare, Scott Woodruff, Brad Gilbert, Jeff Stringham, Jamie Logan, Sam Shannon, Alan Nelson, Tom Kelly, Steve Mamman, John Long, Scott Blunk, Mark Wilford, Lizz Grenard, Malcolm Daly, Ken Decker, Ken Duncan, Steve Bass, Jim Brink, and Craig Luebben. Thus, Duncan's was originally a highball area for most climbers. It was a training ground to get used to longer runouts while on lead for those who liked headgame routes. It became a mostly toprope area as more of the masses found the rock to their liking.

The tradition and style of the first ascents was ropeless or using clean gear. Unfortunately, some if not most of the history has been passed down by mouth incompletely, which has led to the younger climbers not recognizing (or perhaps respecting) the history and traditions here. Over the years, some of the "respect the ethics of the first ascensionist" has not been passed on fully to the "next generation." Further, the sheer numbers of climbers have pushed some of the "older generation" to climb more elsewhere.

Over the decades, bolts have appeared, mostly at the top of the cliff, but they have often been "chopped" as the traditions were to leave nothing behind. Duncan Ferguson would spend afternoons soloing up and down the ridge probably doing most every route done there today. Duncan's legacy may help explain why some feel that retro-bolting the ridge is a travesty.

Also, the area has been used by non-climbers, sometimes to the detriment of the area's resources. Even the earlier climbers found bottles, cans and the occasional rock trundle flying down from the top.

More recently, the area has come under the closer inspection and regulation of the Larimer County landmanagers. The Northern Colorado Climbers Coalition has come about after the turn of the century and has tried to be an advocate for climbers in the area. The NCCC has worked out an agreement with Larimer County in 2015 that has sanctioned fixed anchors, perhaps unknowing of the history and traditions of the area, in an effort to reduce erosion at the tops of the cliffs and injury to trees used as anchors. Additionally, the NCCC, or at least one of its members, has begun to add some bolts to previously climbed lines which has led to some controversy (as is common with retrobolting routes anywhere).

Eds. The original text was deleted by the poster. Given the circumstances, this section was edited in to reflect the history. Some of the history can be found alluded to here.

Climbing Season



Weather station 3.5 miles from here

25 Total Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',6],['2 Stars',16],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]
['<=5.6',3],['5.7',6],['5.8',5],['5.9',9],['5.10',1],['5.11',0],['5.12',1],['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]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Duncan's Ridge:
Wishbone Crack   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 50'   
Apples   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 45'   
Unnamed Corner   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
South Corner   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Crackmard   5.7+ 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, 1 pitch, 45'   
Purdy Dirty   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     TR, 1 pitch   
Oranges   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 45'   
Unnamed Overhang   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     TR, 1 pitch, 40'   
Dihedral Route   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, TR, 1 pitch   
South OW   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 40'   
Roof Route   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, TR, 1 pitch   
Out of the Black   5.12+ 7c 28 IX 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Browse More Classics in Duncan's Ridge

Featured Route For Duncan's Ridge
Broken Crack?

Broken Crack 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b  CO : Fort Collins : ... : Duncan's Ridge
This route ascends an obvious crack about 25 feet north of the Roof Route. This is a good route for the grade and would make a good beginning trad lead. A few nuts and some medium cams do the trick....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Duncan's Ridge Slideshow Add Photo
A long view of Duncan's Ridge shows an attractive ...
BETA PHOTO: A long view of Duncan's Ridge shows an attractive ...
Upper Wall topo.
BETA PHOTO: Upper Wall topo.
Nose Wall topo.
BETA PHOTO: Nose Wall topo.
Southern routes.
BETA PHOTO: Southern routes.
Duncan's Ridge... with Horsetooth in the backgroun...
Duncan's Ridge... with Horsetooth in the backgroun...
Toprope somewhere on middle Duncan's Ridge.
Toprope somewhere on middle Duncan's Ridge.
Just south of the descent gulley
BETA PHOTO: Just south of the descent gulley
Trad climbing the route south of overhang with the...
Trad climbing the route south of overhang with the...

Comments on Duncan's Ridge Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 3, 2015
By Davis Dailey
Jul 11, 2015
CONDITION REPORT 
Top rope rig found yesterday evening July 10th. Describe the gear and it's yours:)
By Anonymous Coward
Jan 4, 2002
There aren't any anchors (bolt) anywhere anymore! Make sure you can set up your own gear or remote sling belay.
By Shane Zentner
From: Colorado
Apr 1, 2002
I tried to get to Duncan's Ridge this morning, but the road was closed for dam construction. I'm not sure if one can park and walk in from the road closure sign. Either way, the access to the Horsetooth Res. bouldering areas has been altered for the moment...Shane
By Anonymous Coward
Jun 11, 2002
I talked to some of the construction guys, and they just 'offiicially' opened a path from the piano rock car park just north of the south damn. Gain the path just west of the construction gate, but to get there you'll have to go past the hughes stadium access road.

m.trinidad
By Anonymous Coward
Oct 5, 2003
The road is now open!
By Gary Schmidt
From: Boulder, CO
Aug 30, 2004
If you are hoping to use trees for anchors, they are a very long ways back. Your best option is to probably to bring a static climbing rope if you own one. If not you will have to do some creative anchor building with pro.
By Shala
Aug 12, 2008
Just an FYI for everyone. I was up at the bolts climbing with some friends and my dog got bit by a rattlesnake. We did not hear or see the snake. Keep your dog on a leash if you are up there.
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
Nov 6, 2009
Up there yesterday. Someone has been busy. New bolts across the top, so new the drill dust was still there. Two new sets, and a replacement/refurbish of the existing set. It was nice to get more climbing in and move from bolted anchor to bolted anchor without having to fiddle with gear. I understand the debate between pro and fixed gear, but I personally do not have an opinion on bolts in this particular area. Perhaps with the addition of bolts the area will see more traffic, and some people don't like that. These bolts are no more unsightly than the chalk visible at Piano and the Rotary. With the history here, however, they are at risk of being chopped.
By jeff walz
From: CO
Nov 6, 2009
What'd they bolt? The roof and surrounding climbs already bear scars from former anchors.
The (previous) lack of bolts speaks for itself, especially considering how long people have climbed here. Most climbs can be toproped with a rudimentary rack.
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
Nov 7, 2009
Jeff,

They did not bolt the roof, but a set to climber's right, and another set to the left, in addition to the bolts that were already there. I am surprised the roof was not bolted, since that also seems to be the more timely anchor to build. I agree, the more traffic an area sees, the more likely we are to have people that will abuse it. Two recent fire rings were also evident. An area like this, while not destination, should have its tradition and ethics be respected. I am not one to chop, but I also will not stop others if they feel the need. But chopping just leads to more scars, and more bolts.
By David Pneuman
From: Western, CO
Jan 17, 2010
As of yesterday, all the new bolts are missing hangers and nuts. Not sure if they are removed because the placements were unsafe or just booty for children....
By Tanner Mitchell
From: Fort Collins CO
Mar 28, 2010
A question for the Admins...I was climbing some of the more obscure routes at Duncan's today, and I wondered if it's possible to make route entries for them, with hopes that other users will add info, as I know no definite names/ratings for them. I'm surprised that the routes I was on weren't entered already, as I found them to be great fun. Anyway, if you could let me know the procedure for something like this, I'd be most greatful.
By jbarnum
From: Denver, CO
Apr 11, 2010
Better come to a consensus on these bolts and future bolts. Recently up there, and the hangers are gone, with the bolts still present. Soon, with these antics, the bolt threads will be damaged, leaving an unusable bolt, or a spinning hanger. Also not having a hanger leaves the rock surrounding the bolt more prone to erosion in this softer rock. Why not form a group to decide where bolts are appropriate, and where not. Where can anchors safely be made, and where a bolt could be justified. An accident with a novice with only draw unwanted attention. This is no where near Eldo, but people will climb here long after you and I are gone.
By John R. Williams
From: Fort Collins, CO
Jul 28, 2010
Question: would anybody happen to know the name and or rating of the route(s) under the 2 bolts about 20 feet right (south) of the roof route?

Thanks
By Ammon
Aug 26, 2011
Went to DR about 3 weeks ago and my partner found a GriGri lying on top of the cliff, at the end of the approach trail. Give Mark a call at 970 371 9371 with description of the sticker that's on it and he'll get it back to you.
By Michael Kauzmann
From: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 13, 2014
Hey all, I was climbing with friends on Friday afternoon and was an idiot. I pulled my rope at the end of the day, meaning to grab my anchor on the way out but forgot. If anyone has this hefty anchor of two non-lockers, two lockers, and a grey nylon double and wants to be a kind soul, I would love an email: mjkauzmann@gmail.com. Free compliments and a beer will be in store!
By NicholasHoogendyk
From: Fort Collins
Jun 16, 2015
We were up there this Saturday, and there are a few new bolted routes. Specifically, The Roof Route is bolted up to chains and Liberty's Last Stand is bolted. I'm not sure what the other routes are.
By Spencer Dries
From: CO, AK, IL
Jun 18, 2015
NicholasHoogendyk and everyone:

For great history and the issue of bolting at Duncan's, read this thread!
By Daryl Mocarsky
15 hours ago
Forgot 2 BD draws with Super Mario Bros. tape on the "Apples" chains today 8/3/15. Please email if found. yem0805@aol.com. Thanks.
Beyond the Guidebook:
The Definitive Climbing Resource
Inspiration & Motivation
to Fuel Your Run
Next Generation Mountain
Bike Trail Maps
Backcountry, Sidecountry
& Secret Stashes
Better Data. Better Tools.
Better Hikes!