Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
Heaven from the SW (I think).
This is the first major ridge ascending out of Skunk Canyon on the right (north) side. Quality of the rock is very good--perhaps slightly better than "average" Flatiron rock. Routes range from the classic 1000'+ slab and ridge climb called Stairway to Heaven (5.2-ish, but mostly 3rd/4th class) to the enjoyable Love (5.4) and Better Than Love (5.5) on the west side of the rock, to the massively overhanging Guardian (5.12).
The rock gets few visitors, but the Colorado Mountain Club occasionally climbs Stairway to Heaven with groups of 10 climbers or more. Other than those times, it is a quiet and beautiful place to climb. Views of Satan's Slab [on Ridge Two] to the west, particularly from Better Than Love, are stunning.
[Ridge One] is notable in that it is the only ridge in Skunk Canyon that DOES NOT close for raptor nesting.
From the NCAR trailhead, hike to the Mesa Trail, go north, and cross the Skunk Canyon creek. Continue steeply up a few switchbacks until you can see a faint trail heading into the canyon. You may have to climb over or around a log fence to reach the trail. If you reach the point where the Mesa Trail flattens out and heads east out of the canyon, you went too far (but not by much).
19 Total Routes
['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',7],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
Browse More Classics in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven:
Love 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad, 3 pitches
Featured Route For Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
The Guardian 5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b CO
: ... : Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Hea...
The name is perfect. Imagine a burly, tough SOB standing over the trail at the mouth of the canyon, guarding the entrance to the whole Skunk canyon area. As you come out of the creekbed trail, the base of Ridge One is the first rock you encounter. Its lowest downhill face is a 40 feet, severely overhung face covered with honeycombed pockets and pierced by bolts up the line of least resistance.Negotiate some low angle, suspect, slab to the base of the overhang, clip an upward driven piton, (po...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
Local Information for Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
Latest Regional Forum Messages
BETA PHOTO: Looking back at the route from the summit pinnacle...
BETA PHOTO: This rock is the last pitch (full length pitch). ...
Typical climbing on Ridge One (Stairway To Heaven)...
The start of In God We Trust, 10 X.
By Jeremy Hakes
From: Golden, Colorado
Oct 15, 2006
A good, clean & fun climb. Decent pro. We watched a bear move around with some deer remains from the summit - evidently the "Bear Area" signs are accurate. We exited to the east of the ridge, hiked down and slightly east and found a decent climbers trail to hike out on.
By George Bell
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 12, 2011
We were visited by a mountain lion yesterday while packing up at the base of Stairway to Heaven. Although it is only a few hundred yards off the Mesa Trail, the base of this climb seems remote and seldom visited. I'm sure the healthy crop of poison ivy keeps people out. The poison ivy in Skunk Canyon is really bad right now!