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One of the mainstays of Independence Pass climbing, the Grotto Walls area offers the greatest variety of climbing on the Pass from the convenience of the Lower Grotto Wall to the more wild setting of the Third Grotto Wall. Climbing here is split pretty evenly between sport and trad. There is some great bouldering as well in the scree fields below the cliffs.
Drive up Independence Pass from Aspen about 9 miles. Come around a left hairpin turn and pull into the large pull-off on the left side of the road. Lower Grotto Wall is the large cliff just above the road. There will usually be a party on Twin Cracks and Cryogenics, and one to multiple cars with tourists pulled over watching the "crazy climbers".
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Grotto Walls Area:
Featured Route For Grotto Walls Area
Cryogenics 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a CO : Independence Pass : ... : Lower Grotto Wall
This is the obvious inset open book to obtuse corner on the left side of the Grotto Wall, highly visible from the parking lot (yes, you will draw a crowd of slack-jawed Bago warriors during the summer months) and highly classic. Scramble up on the ledge and get a load of this crack! Incut features on the quartzy right wall and sinker jams in the ever-steepening crack take you to a final, pumpy section of finger locks before you gain the ledge (10a). Belay here at bolts and chains, or if you ha...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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