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Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
Ariel T 
Armed Forces S 
Arms Reduction T 
Army T 
Better Than Better Than Love T 
Better than Love T 
Casual Slabs T 
Forget Me Not T 
Guardian, The S 
Gunky T 
Inscrutable T 
Like Hell It Is T 
Love T 
Seeker, The T 
Stairway to Heaven T 
Wanderer, The T 
What, What? TR 
Who, Who? T 

Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven 


Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 6,760'
Location: 39.979, -105.29 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 23,860
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Mark Oveson on Apr 18, 2005
Forecast:
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Heaven from the SW (I think).
  • Some crags in this area are closed 1 February to 31 July: MORE INFO >>>
  • Climbing areas reopened after flood MORE INFO >>>

  • Description 

    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.


    Getting There 

    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).


    18 Total Routes


    ['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',6],['1 Star',7],['Bomb',0]
    ['<=5.6',6],['5.7',4],['5.8',1],['5.9',0],['5.10',3],['5.11',3],['5.12',1],['5.13',0],['>=5.14',0],['',0],['<=V1',0],['V2-3',0],['V4-5',0],['V6-7',0],['V8-9',0],['V10-11',0],['V12-13',0],['>=V14',0]

    The Classics

    Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven:
    Stairway to Heaven   5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a     Trad, 6 pitches   
    Love   5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c     Trad, 3 pitches   
    Armed Forces   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
    The Guardian   5.12d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 50'   
    Browse More Classics in Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven

    Featured Route For Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
    George Bell, Kreighton Bieger, and Warren Teissier just above the crux on a foggy morning.

    Stairway to Heaven 5.3 3+ 10 III 9 VD 3a  CO : Flatirons : ... : Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Hea...
    Per Tom Wilson: This route is not subject to seasonal bird closures. Eds. this is a clarification due to the limitations from the website....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

    Local Information for Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven
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    Photos of Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven Slideshow Add Photo
    Looking back at the route from the summit pinnacle of Like Heaven (top of Love route).
    BETA PHOTO: Looking back at the route from the summit pinnacle...
    This rock is the last pitch (full length pitch).  The route runs right along the left hand side of the exposed ridge.
    BETA PHOTO: This rock is the last pitch (full length pitch). ...
    Typical climbing on Ridge One (Stairway To Heaven).
    Typical climbing on Ridge One (Stairway To Heaven)...
    The start of In God We Trust, 10 X.
    The start of In God We Trust, 10 X.
    Comments on Ridge 1 aka Stairway to Heaven Add Comment
    Show which comments
    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!