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Gem Lake Wall

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L to R R to L Alpha
Cleft, The T 
Exemplary Behavior T 
Left of Cleft T 
Nameless Dihedral 
Squeezeasy T 
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Gem Lake Wall  

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,800'
Location: 40.40987, -105.50329 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,136
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Leo Paik on Aug 17, 2012
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On the hike back, Twin Owls gets some nice lightin...

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This is an obvious, short, wide swath of granite that lies above and east of Gem Lake. It may have other names. The rock is shorter on its northern end and rises to near 300 feet on its southern end. Climbers have infrequently ventured onto these faces. There is room for exploration.

The taller face can be divided by 3 main chimneys into 4 main faces.

There are scramble offs of the northern middle and northern face going to the north and hooking up with the trail. There is a scramble off for the southern-most face going to the south and into a brushy gully between this rock and the shorter rock just to the south.

I just heard from Greg Sievers that he put in a 5.9+ route there back a while. Also, I heard that Scott Kimball spent a bit of time there.


A. Squeezeasy, 9- PG-13, 3p, 330', gear.
B. Left of Cleft, 9+, 1p, 100', gear.
C. The Cleft, 9-, 2p, 170', gear.
D. Exemplary Behavior, 9, 2p, 240', gear.

Getting There 

From the Lumpy Ridge trailhead, hike out the eastern trail towards Gem Lake. At ~0.5 miles, you T with the Black Canyon trail. Head east (right) and follow the trail another 1.3 miles to this crag with a net gain of ~1100'. You will see this rock from the trailhead / parking lot. You will get better views from Paul Bunyon's Boot. You can also see this rock from Pulpit Rock and McGraw Ranch. Also, you can see the parking lot from the summit.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.0 miles from here

5 Total Routes

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

Featured Route For Gem Lake Wall
GB leading Left of the Cleft on Sept. 2, 2010. Photo by Ross Swanson.

Left of Cleft 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a  CO : Lumpy Ridge : Gem Lake Wall
Climb along right-leaning, small, fragile flake and place a cam. Move up, then traverse right to a short, right-leaning crack. Climb the crack to its end, near the Cleft. Move left and up, into the longer, right-leaning crack (on which I am visible in the photo). This crack is thin at first, then steepens awkwardly right (crux, wide hands) before it nears the Cleft. I continued up into the Cleft, to the same belay position that I had used in the cleft (by f...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Gem Lake Wall Slideshow Add Photo
This is a crag just to the west that looked better from the trail than it did up close.  Gem Lake Wall was better. <br /> <br /><em>Edit: I'm told by Scott K. that this may be Cosmic Commode Crag with 4 routes.</em>
This is a crag just to the west that looked better...
The taller bit of Gem Lake Wall.
The taller bit of Gem Lake Wall.
This is the shorter side above Gem Lake itself.
This is the shorter side above Gem Lake itself.
Unknown crag just to the south.  The rock is reminiscent of Jurassic Park at Lily Lake.
Unknown crag just to the south. The rock is remin...
On Sept 2, 2010, Ross Swanson and I climbed the big cleft to the right of me. I found an old pin with sling at where I belayed Ross up the next pitch (crux, 5.9-). After scrambling around to the east and back to the our base, I led the pitch pictured here: intermittent right-leaning flakes and cracks to the left of the cleft and ending at the same belay by the old pin (5.9+, Aliens through #3 Camalot). We rapped. When I have time, I'll think of a name and place it in the route list.
On Sept 2, 2010, Ross Swanson and I climbed the bi...

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By George Bracksieck
Dec 15, 2012
Cool to see this. I've looked at these routes for decades. Couple years ago, I found someone to visit with me. Ross Swanson and I did a couple routes, of which I posted a photo on this page.