This area encompasses a geographic location with a variety of vertical type experiences. You probably have heard most about the Vail ice and you can find that under the CO ice/mixed section. In this section, you will find various rock cragging on sandstone, limestone, gneiss, schist, and even some granite. While this generally has little for a destination type of experience, there is still some interesting crags to find vertical pleasure.
Some of the climbing here is protected in information accessibility and locals may cringe to see non-Eagle county folks playing here. Nonetheless, we have to share amiably and symbiose.
Some of the better known areas include Lime Park's limestone, Wolcott's sandstone & Gilman's gneiss, but there is more for the exploring types.
Due to the increased elevation, most of the cragging in this area is limited to April to October times.
As a well-known ski area, this general location is easy to find. I-70 accesses this area from either east or west (100 miles West of Denver). From the south, you can access this area via CO Hwy 9 (past Copper Mountain) or US 24 (through Minturn). From the north, you can access this area via CO Hwy 9 (Silverthorne) or CO Hwy 131 (Wolcott). The ice cragging is mostly visible from I-70. Parking is challenging, since all street parking in Vail is subject to ticketing. Gilman, illegal to access, is reached via US 24 south from Minturn.
I've got the old Rock & Ice that lists routes for Homestake. I'll pull it out. If I recall it's from the mid-90s(?) and it's the kind of thing you don't see anymore. Great crag. I did a bunch of my early climbing there.
Um, why is Leadville lumped in with Eagle/Vail? Leadville is about as close to Eagle as Boulder is to Estes Park, but they don't get the same listing.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Jul 5, 2012
Rob, good question. Part of the issue for now is that there wasn't a Leadville entry, and there weren't already a bunch of nearby crags. So, if someone writes up a good entry for Leadville, we can move Leadville crags there. This whole shebang of climbing...com and mountainproject.com is an organic kind of thing. It evolves as folks put the time in to make it better. So, if you get inspired, write a good entry for Leadville, and then we can move it there. Right now, for me, time is a bit tight. Otherwise, it's on my to do list. Thanks!
Thanks, Leo. Listing stuff by valley might be the most sensible approach of all, as towns are kinda spread out and the climbing is mostly in between them. But then what do ya do with places like Independence Pass...?