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The southern crags at North Lake offer a handful of short but quality trad and sport climbs between 5.6 and 5.10d. The developed routes are found on two main walls separated by a 5-10 minute walk. The Truckstop, with some of the best rock in the area, is on the western face of the Stonewall and is home to one sport route and three trad lines. The Ripplemark Wall is on the east side of the formation and has two moderate sport routes on rock reminiscent of limestone.
The main parking area for North Lake is located approx. .5 mile up Forest Service road 34 (or 345?); but a one to two car pullout a short way off the pavement on the left, just after a cattle guard, actually offers the most convenient approach to the southern crags. To reach the parking areas from the town of Stonewall (or the south) turn left off Highway 12 just before coming into view of the lake onto the Forest Service road (34 or 345) which leads to the Purgatorie Campground. From the first pullout, walk about 40 feet up the road and then head steeply up the hill to the right on a faint trail for about 10 minutes. Do not take the more obvious old road cut to the north. The Ripplemark Wall is reached by following the trail south upon reaching the rock, around the south end of the Stonewall with a little scrambling, and then heading north below the east side the wall through oak for about 200 feet. Two sport routes are on the tall grayish wall on the left, below a red colored, ripple marked wall. The Truckstop is reached by following the trail left upon reaching the rock and contouring up and north below shorter sections of the wall. The routes are located about 5 minutes past the fork on the right on the first obvious tall and clean section. One line of bolts heads up a clean wall with several cracks on both sides.
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Featured Route For North Lake South
Elephant Ears 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b CO : Spanish Peaks : ... : North Lake South
The line on the right side of the Ripplemark Wall that heads straight up steep but moderate rock on fun but spooky flakes and edges. Most of the dubious holds are probably gone but the belayer should be on the lookout and/or wear a helmet. At last visit the anchor only consisted of two hangers, one slightly suspect; rappel or down climb off the back....[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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