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Gunnison

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89 Wall, The 
Black Canyon of the Gunnison 
Blue Mesa Inlet 
Buildering 
Cement Creek 
Gate View Canyon 
God's Crag 
Hartman Rocks 
Hwy 92 Cliff Band 
Lost Canyon 
Point, Powderhorn, Colorado (AKA Indian Creek), The 
Real Lost Canyon 
Spring Creek 
Taylor Canyon 
Western State Campus 
Willow Creek 
Rest Day:
Nearby Mountain Bike Rides

Josho's
A rip roaring, fast and flowy descent. Near Gunnison, CO
Columbine
One of the preferred uphill routes to access the upper mountain. Near Crested Butte, CO
Upper Upper Loop
A steep technical uphill and a fast steep descent. Near Crested Butte, CO
Prospector
A cross country trail near the Goldlink/Prospect area. Near Crested Butte, CO
Avery
A rocky and sometimes steep descent. Near Crested Butte, CO
Meander
A cross country trail that meanders down the backside of the mountain. Near Crested Butte, CO
From MP's sister site: MTB Project

Gunnison  


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Location: 38.5448, -106.928 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 1,714,265
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: John McNamee on Mar 2, 2006
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Early cast of Gunnison characters that put up some...

Description 

Gunnison is a city of about 5000 people and is located at the bottom of several valleys. Due to its location, cold air in all the valleys settles into Gunnison at night, making it one of the coldest places in Colorado if not the States.

In this area is a great variety of climbing opportunities ranging from short cragging to some of the longest rock routes in the state. In fact, the only grade VI routes in Colorado are located here.

West of the town of Gunnison is the The Black Canyon of Guninson or "The Black" as it is affectionately referred to, and is Colorado's big wall climbing destination. Land here is a combination of private, state, BLM, and federal land. Take this into consideration if you go exploring, since some locals do not take kindly to uninvited crossing of their property. Tires have been known to be slashed, cars ticketed, and climbers escorted off private land.

"The Black" is as deep as 2700 ft at its greatest depth. There are no other canyon in the country that has the same depth relative to its width as The Black and and hence it is located in the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park. The visitor guide has helpful information if you are visiting it for the first time.

Getting There 

Gunnison is located on US 50 in the SW part of the state. From the east, you can drive from US 285 to US 50 over Monarch Pass (11,000ft) and drop down into the town of Gunnison. Directions from there depend upon the exact area. The Black Canyon of the Gunnison lies W of Gunnison along US 50 for the South Rim and off CO Hwy 92 for the North Rim. From the Denver Metro area it is 4 plus hours to Gunnison. From the West, you can access US 50 from Montrose via US 50 from the N and US 550 (the Million Dollar Hwy) from the S. From Montrose, it is an hour plus to Gunnison.

Map of the area

Climbing Season



Weather station 0.8 miles from here

520 Total Routes

['4 Stars',94],['3 Stars',222],['2 Stars',144],['1 Star',46],['Bomb',2]
['<=5.6',8],['5.7',11],['5.8',22],['5.9',47],['5.10',94],['5.11',72],['5.12',60],['5.13',11],['>=5.14',3],['',0],['<=V1',24],['V2-3',72],['V4-5',51],['V6-7',23],['V8-9',13],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',9],['>=V14',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Gunnison:
Left Hand Crack   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch   First Buttress : Left Hand
Northwest Rib   5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c     Trad, 4 pitches, 700'   Curecanti National Recreati... : Curecanti Needle
The Maiden Voyage aka The Red Dihedral   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 5 pitches   North Rim Routes : The Checkerboard Wall
Escape Artist   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 7 pitches   North Rim Routes : SOB Gully (skier's left sid...
Russian Arete   5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a     Trad, 6 pitches   North Rim Routes : Aretes
Sasafrass   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 170'   First Buttress : The Upper Wall
Journey Home   5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a     Trad, Grade IV   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
Checkerboard Wall   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 5 pitches, 750'   North Rim Routes : The Checkerboard Wall
Comic Relief   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 8 pitches, 950'   North Rim Routes : SOB Gully (skier's left sid...
The Hallucinogen Wall   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A3+ R     Trad, Aid, 16 pitches   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
The Cruise   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 12 pitches, 1700'   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
A Modern Day Interpretation of Mig's Arete/Swallow Arete   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b     Trad, 7 pitches, 800'   North Rim Routes : SOB Gully (skier's left sid...
Flakes, The   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b X     Trad, 14 pitches, 2000'   Black Canyon of the Gunniso... : South Rim Routes
The Scenic Cruise   5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b     Trad, 13 pitches   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
A Midsummer's Night Dream   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 6 pitches   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
Atlantis   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c PG13     Trad, 16 pitches, 1600'   North Rim Routes : Prisoner of Your Hairdo Gul...
Stoned Oven   5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a     Trad, 13 pitches, 1800'   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
Astro Dog   5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a     Trad, 14 pitches, 2000'   Black Canyon of the Gunniso... : South Rim Routes
Tague Yer Time   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 15 pitches, 1500'   Black Canyon of the Gunniso... : South Rim Routes
The Free Nose   5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b     Trad, 14 pitches   North Rim Routes : North Chasm View Wall
Browse More Classics in Gunnison

Featured Route For Gunnison
On a Walk About is the 2nd climb from the right in this photo.

10 On a Walk About 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b  CO : Gunnison : The Point, Powderhorn, Colo...
This climb starts up the finger crack the moves left to the face and eventually up to a technical slab at the top....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Gunnison Slideshow Add Photo
These guys were hard core!         John Pearson, Jim Newberry and Scotty Gilbert. Back in the day. Photo from the Jim Newberry collection.
These guys were hard core! John Pearson, J...
The Tune Up crew. <br />Photo courtesy of Dave Meyer,  <br />Rock & Roll Sports Gunnison.
The Tune Up crew.
Photo courtesy of Dave Meyer,
R...
Scotty Gilbert, Tom Pulaski and Jimmy Newberry. Courtesy of the Jim Newberry collection.
Scotty Gilbert, Tom Pulaski and Jimmy Newberry. Co...
Another view of the face on Gothic.
Another view of the face on Gothic.
Early Gunnison Crazies (same day as pyramid above) who would climb anything.
Early Gunnison Crazies (same day as pyramid above)...
More unclimbed rock in the West Elks.
More unclimbed rock in the West Elks.
Doug Scott under Middle Cathedral. A man who really networked climbers from this era. He knew everyone from the California guys to the hillbilly's (me) in Colorado Springs to the ice climbers in North Conway. Everyone stopped by Doug's blue house for one reason or another.
Doug Scott under Middle Cathedral. A man who reall...
John Pearson showing the 70s version of multi-tasking....simultaneously doing 16 oz. curls and limbo!
John Pearson showing the 70s version of multi-task...
Unclimbed (most likely!) rock in Mill Creek Canyon.
Unclimbed (most likely!) rock in Mill Creek Canyon...
Skyland in the Fall.
Skyland in the Fall.
Gilby and the Newbs. Photo courtesy of the Jim Newberry collection.
Gilby and the Newbs. Photo courtesy of the Jim New...
A synopsis from the secretary of the WSC Climbing Club, James Newberry, on the 1975 season.
A synopsis from the secretary of the WSC Climbing ...
We still 'get wild' in Gunnison in 2009, especially on Halloween.
We still 'get wild' in Gunnison in 2009, especiall...
Talk about a motley crew. Gunnisons best and brightest. <br />(l to r) John Pearson, Tom Pulaski, ?, Jimmy Newberry, Jack Paneck, Scotty Gilbert and Les Choy. Photo courtesy of the Jim Newberry collection.
Talk about a motley crew. Gunnisons best and brigh...
Brittney Jeck on the left side of the Tiger Wall.
Brittney Jeck on the left side of the Tiger Wall.
The guide and the rack.
The guide and the rack.
Conley, Newberry and Gilbert Early hard cores who impacted Gunnison climbing. Photo courtesy of the Jim Newberry Collection.
Conley, Newberry and Gilbert Early hard cores who ...
The Western State College Mountain Rescue Team.  <br /> <br />They are the most qualified search and rescue team at a college in the United States.
The Western State College Mountain Rescue Team.

...
flower at the rim
flower at the rim
The Western State Climbing Team, created in 2009.  <br /> <br />For an article on the climbing team go to:  <br /> <br /><a href='http://www.western.edu/news/article.php?id=311' target='_blank' rel='nofollow' >western.edu/news/article.php?i...</a>
The Western State Climbing Team, created in 2009. ...
More members of the Peaceful Warriors, showing some love for Rock n' Roll Sports, our beloved gear shop in Gunny.
More members of the Peaceful Warriors, showing som...
Some members of Gunnison's youth climbing team, the Peaceful Warriors. Daisy WIllis (in tree), (L-R) Jack Startkebaum, coach Alec Solimeo, Caleb Justice and Sebastain Infantes on Solimeo's shoulders. Photo from bouldering nationals at The Spot in Boulder.
Some members of Gunnison's youth climbing team, th...
Chad Jukes, amputee climber, at Hartmans for 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory.
Chad Jukes, amputee climber, at Hartmans for 24 Ho...
Crawford Needle driving from the Black Canyon.
Crawford Needle driving from the Black Canyon.

Show All 32 Photos

Only the first 24 are shown above.

Comments on Gunnison Add Comment
Show which comments
Comments displayed oldest to newestSkip Ahead to the Most Recent Dated Aug 14, 2013
By Joseph Stover
From: Batesville, AR
May 4, 2006
Are there any guidebooks with information about sport climbing and/or bouldering near Gunnison and Crested Butte? Where is the nearest limestone with lots in the 5.8-5.11, V0-V6 range? I was looking at the crags near Canon City and they look nice, is that a reasonable drive from Gunnison?

Any info is greatly appreciated.
By ropeless420
From: evergreen , co.
May 6, 2006
Hey Joe, Gunnison is a great place to climb. There are a couple of guides out, bouldering the G spot and unknown are both great. If you need a little help, go see Andy at All Sports Replay, he's a good guy and he knows the area. Sorry but gunny doesn't have any limestone, Shelf Road is the closest. Good luck.
By aaron voreis
Apr 12, 2007
Rock n Roll Sports in Gunnison (970-641-9150) has FREE climbing guides for most of the local areas including the Ultra Sick God's Crag which features stellar bolt clipping on pocketed tuff from 5.9-5.13+. Rock n Roll also has super beta on the Black Canyon, Taylor, The Point, Spring Creek, tons of Bouldering areas, etc...

Gunnison is the most under-rated climbing area in all of Colorado.
By John Peterson
Apr 13, 2007
> Gunnison is the most under-rated climbing area in all of Colorado.

You mean all the routes are super-sandbagged? :-)

Tell Sharp End to get off their ass and print up Leo's book!
By John Peterson
Sep 21, 2007
It's finally out. Hundreds of new routes on my todo list now. Congrats to Leo on finally getting the guidebook published!

The book includes all those hardcore sport routes up at God's Crag along with tons of stuff in Taylor and Spring Creek canyons.
By phil broscovak
Oct 2, 2007
OK, about time now where do I get a copy here in the backwoods of Boulder?????
By Ben Kiessel
Oct 29, 2007
Here you go Phil:
sharpendbooks.com/cgi-bin/stor...
By Lee Jenkins
From: Buena Vista, Colorado
Aug 17, 2008
I climbed at "The Point" near Powderhorn over the weekend and am looking for some beta. There is a new route on the east end of the south face that climbs a roof (1st route you come to). Anyone know what the rating is? I thought it was .10a but it felt way harder!

I was sorry to see that this little Crag was left out of Leo's book (which I own) but can understand that he was busy getting the damn thing published. Thanks Leo for a job well done!

-Lee
By Luke Mehall
From: Durango, Colorado
May 12, 2009
Hey everyone,

I'd like to extend an invitation for everyone to check out 24 Hours of Gunnison Glory, the first 24 hour climbing festival in the west. It will be at Hartmans on the 27th and 28th of June.

Also this same weekend is the Gunnison Loco Motive, Adventure Sport race: 5 miles of kayaking, 26 miles of mountain biking at Hartmans, and a 10k run. (or half that). This is all held in conjunction with the Gunnison River Festival.

Check our website(s) at:

gunnisonriverfestival.com/glor...

and

gunnisonriverfestival.com/loco...

or give me (Luke) a call 970-943-7053 or email: lmehall@western.edu
By Allen Hill
From: FIve Points, Colorado and Pine
Jun 11, 2010
I'm going climbing Taylor Canyon next week! It's been twenty years... so fired up! (as Doug would say)
By YDPL8S
From: Santa Monica, Ca.
Jun 12, 2010
I'm really jealous, take a run up Dunn's and Left Hand for me.
By dan humphrey
Sep 10, 2010
I will be in Gunnison this weekend Sep 11. Anyone around for climbing at Hartman's? Dan (415) 845-7363.
By phil broscovak
May 18, 2011
Hey, all you Gunnystoners and Crusted Buteations, HEADS UP! Two remarkable shows at Neptune's. Thur. 5/19 8p Jorge & Joanne Urioste on the Early Days of climbing at Red Rock Nevada AND Fri. 5/20 7p A Tribute to Gunnison's own John (the Gambler) Rosholt.

If you can, try to be there. Check the News or Neptune's site for more info.
By phil broscovak
Aug 14, 2013
Hey Gunnistoners & Crusted Butteations, I'm going to be in the area (camping at Granite campground by the 1st buttress) for the next few days. Head up and say hi, and perhaps tie in.