BETA PHOTO: Stewardess Convention Crag from the pullout.
A scruffy and lonely north-facing rock, this crag has some great climbing, but its character is dominated by lichen, loose blocks, and run-outs. Despite that, there are great, crisp edges and wonderfully sticky feet... between those loose sections. If old-school alpine-style climbing is your thing and you don't mind avoiding the blocks, then add a star to each assigned grade, since one was subtracted for "aesthetics" as they stand. The lines may be of 'moderate' difficulty, but are for the advanced leader ready to pull out all the tricks, not for the neophyte trad leader.
All four climbs there can be done in a matter of few hours or less, so it is a great before/after work crag. The climbing here could be combined with the dozen or so more routes on Pilot Knob to make a full days worth of climbing, all within 5 minutes of the car. Despite the proximity to the river, we didn't encounter mosquitoes at either crag.
Drive 7.3 miles up canyon to mile 25.8. You will have just passed a left bend in the road with a stubby tower across the river, called Pilot Knob. 200 yards later you pull across the road to the left side and park in a long paved pullout. Look directly across the river to see the 'Stewardess Convention Crag.'
While the traditional approach is to wade the stream below 'Stewardess' or to rock-hop in very low water conditions, presently there is a very large tree that has fallen across the stream and one can climb into its end, then walk "down" the tree to cross the creek completely dry. From there, it is a 1 minute walk to the base of the crag.
If some loose blocks bother you, then this climb should not get a star at all. Then again, if loose blocks bother you, why are you at this crag? This particular climb is the loosest of them, however, and is a borderline bomb. Gillett even refers to a portion of this route as a 'talus hopping groove' and fails to even mention the pile encountered topping out which must be negotiated to get to the belay tree. It can be safe, and nothing was eminently loose, but this is no route for inexperienc...[more]Browse More Classics in CO