Another view of Georgetown Buttress, Presently onl...
Georgetown. I've waited a long time to post this area largely because most of the crags are approached across private land. I had gone up a couple of years ago scouting and managed to get in one long route called "Dirty Pool" (5.12a, 170 ft, 18 clips) named after the biased drubbing that Mayor Koleen Brooks received when she was evicted from office. Subsequently, a sign appeared near the approach trail declaring the land private and for sale. So, I blew it all off for a while. In February 2004, I ventured back by first asking one of the land owners if I could cross their property. They gave a warm heads up with the caveats that (1) I was not hunting and (2) would respect their privacy and (3) their land. So, it would appear that one can climb here. Just treat the private property for what it is and ask permission first.
The Main crag, "The Georgetown Buttress" lies well up the West/North facing hill and is immediately obvious after crossing under the highway. The complex is composed of half a dozen granite crags, some upwards of 160 feet in height. The granite is nearly perfect. The East faces remain shady and are composed of bullet proof edges that are just a kick to climb on. The main west facing crag has several outrageous overhangs, faces, fins, and slabs. Development has just started on this main crag. A great deal of rock exists up toward and along the Guanella pass road. I humped into one of these crags, a mile or so up the road, last year only to find a nest slings high on one of the crags. So others have poked around here as well. Numerous crags also exist on the South side of the highway, but the best lie ominously above the road and any approach has to be immaculate. Nonetheless, some of these crags are brilliant, bullet-proof, and offer great potential for terrific climbing. Georgetown has been hardly tapped as climbing area, but if you are willing to make the hikes and are willing to deal with the process of securing permision, then terrific potential exists for some excellent sport climbs.
Drive West on I-70 to Georgetown. Get off at the exit before the hill. Cross under the highway. The main crags are straight ahead and up the hill - 20 minutes. The hike up is a bit of a bear, two thirds of which has no trail.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Georgetown:
SDS on the lower inside right of the cave...just below where "Over the Rainbow" ends. Because of how heavily soot filled the cave is from fires, the line is extremely obvious. Chalk mixes nicely with the soot, it is not messy or slick.Moving up the wall from your SDS...take the amazingly aesthetic roof line to the lip of the cave....there are lots of holds and great compression climbing to the lip.Bomber holds on the lip await you and give you the chance to drop your feet and re-pos...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Does anyone climb on the slab that is N. of I-70 just E. of the turnoff for Berthoud Pass (if you are headed W.)? I did some climbs there in 73-74 when I was living in Georgetown, it might be on private property. It's pretty short and has kind a cave/chimney on the top right side.
Open project?? I went up to a small granite crag half a mile South of Georgetown on a recon mission. The crag sits just below the second switchback immediately South of town on the way to Guanella Pass. The crag can be approached from below or from above. My rappel from the top uncovered a couple of bolts, an anchor, and a fixed stopper. Clearly someone was looking at the same crag. The gear in situ appears to have been in for quite some time. In running the obvious line of weakness up the main wall, it was obvious that this line was freeable without being outrageously difficult. At least three, possibly four, LOWs exist that would recommend the crag for development. Is the anchored project still active, or is it open? Does the unknown developer have any designs on the other potential routes?
Hi Tigre. I wasn't sure if this was the same crag or not. After rapping in, it seemed likely. It also seems appropriate to determine if there is any intent on finishing the work. This last weekend I came prepared to knock the whole thing off in one short afternoon, but pinching a project is really low level, bottom-feeder stuff, so I did not do anything. There are other lines to be done on the same crag, but the main LOW follows the crack/seam system and would be stellar. If no one jumps in to claim it, I can finish the bolting and launch the other lines. I'll hang fire for the time being. However, from your comments, I would date the in situ gear at a year or so with no forward progress. Does that sound about right?
I'd be jazzed to take over the process of completing the line but not if I would be excoriated as a bottom-feeding, route-stealing slug. While I may indeed be the former, I have never had to resort to the later.