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Surprising Crag

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South Face 
West Face 

Surprising Crag Rock Climbing 

Photos:  Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 8,000'
Location: 39.973, -105.4634 View Map  Incorrect?
Page Views: 132,450
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman (sitewide)
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Mar 31, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: Routes on the left side of the south face of Surpr...

Seasonal Raptor Closure - Lifted MORE INFO >>>


Surprising Crag is the most popular area at the Sport Park. The South Face has many moderate, well-bolted sport routes and sees crowds of climbers; this is the place to hang out and socialize. The West Face has challenging sport and trad routes, and sees much less traffic.

Getting There 

From the aqueduct trail, take a left. The first crag you'll see is Owl Prow. Head uphill around the right side of Owl Prow and you'll get to the South Face of Surprising Crag near the route Monkey Bob.

Climbing Season

Weather station 2.1 miles from here

26 Total Climbing Routes

['4 Stars',0],['3 Stars',5],['2 Stars',20],['1 Star',1],['Bomb',0]

Classic Climbing Routes in Surprising Crag

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Surprising Crag:
The Touch   5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch   South Face
The Fix   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   South Face
The Other One   5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   West Face
Killer Fish Taco   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch   South Face
Space Goats   5.11c/d 7a 24 VIII 25 E4 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   West Face
Furious Howard Brown   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   West Face
Mercy Drilling   5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a     Trad, Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   West Face
Curve of Binding Energy   5.12a/b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch   West Face
American Beauty   5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   West Face
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Surprising Crag

Featured Route For Surprising Crag
Rock Climbing Photo: Double Down.  The 10a crux is a thin face move pas...

Double Down 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a  CO : Boulder Canyon : ... : South Face
Double Down is on the right side of south face of Surprising Crag, just left of Frictionary.Climb a steep face past two bolts to a ledge. Angle up right to a second steep face, which can be climbed either left (5.9) or right (5.7) of the bolt line.The crux is a thin face move past the first bolt; easier if you're tall. This move can be bypassed by climbing the corner to the right then stepping back left at the second bolt.The entire route can be done as a 5.7 by climbing the corner r...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Surprising Crag
Photos of Surprising Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Rock Climbing Photo: The west-facing wall on the South Face of Surprisi...
BETA PHOTO: The west-facing wall on the South Face of Surprisi...
Rock Climbing Photo: Climber on Surprising Crag, enjoying the view.
Climber on Surprising Crag, enjoying the view.
Rock Climbing Photo: A typical day at the crag...
A typical day at the crag...

Comments on Surprising Crag Add Comment
Show which comments
By joshf
From: missoula, mt
Mar 10, 2008
I'm a little confused about the bolted cracks here. Is the rock soft or is there just a lax ethic at this area? From the pictures, it seems as though there are a lot of lines that are at least partially proctectable with gear, yet there are bolts everywhere. If anyone wants to clue me in, go for it....
By Chris Cavallaro
Mar 11, 2008
Must be a troll....
By Alex A
May 16, 2009
I think it's SB as well, to bolt a crack. Sorry, but they're morons, to bring crack climbs to down to the sport climber's level. Have some balls and learn how to place gear. In a lot of places these would be chopped, along with the heads you the bolters. Bolts are fine wgere there is no pro.
By Rob Davies UK
From: Cheshire, UK
Oct 28, 2009
The grades here seem very soft compared to the rest of the Canyon. Presumably bolted for the convenience of visiting climbers who can't climb cracks.
By Chelsea Cook
Aug 15, 2012
If anyone at/around this crag left some gloves and a visor behind last weekend, message me and I'll get it back to you.
By Peter J. Beyel
From: Glenwood Springs
May 12, 2013
I lost my wallet at Sport Park today and climbed only at Surprising Crag and Owl Prow. I would be extremely appreciative if you would email me at if you happen to find it and pack it out. Thank you!
By Shane Sapp
Jul 21, 2013
I left my rope hanging at the Surprising Crag at the Sport Park on this evening (July 20). It was my fault. I didn't double check that my partner completely untied the 8 before I tried to pull it through the anchors. I believe the climb is the 5.8 called "Choss Temple Pilates." I can't get it on July 21, but I will try on Monday, July 22. If anyone happens to climb the route and retrieve the rope before Monday, please email me at Otherwise, I will get it on Monday morning. Thanks.

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