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Surprising Crag

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South Face 
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Surprising Crag 

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Elevation: 8,000'
Lat, Long: 39.973, -105.4634 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 106,126
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Ron Olsen on Mar 31, 2006
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BETA PHOTO: The west-facing wall on the South Face of Surprisi...
Flood damaged road reopens 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.

25 Total Routes

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

The Classics

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

Featured Route For Surprising Crag
Monkey Bob.  The crux is turning the roof between the first and second bolts.  Climb straight up to the second bolt for the hardest line; slide right for an easier variation.

Monkey Bob 5.8 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c  CO : Boulder Canyon : ... : South Face
Located on the south face of Surprising Crag, the 5th to the right of the obvious chimmney. This is most likely the first route you will see as you get to the wall from the approach trail. The route starts in a broken up ramp that leads to a roof. Traverse right under the roof or go straight over for a slightly harder variation. Finish with an easy low-angle lie back crack. In my opinion, this route deserves a 5.6 rating for being dead easy....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of Surprising Crag Slideshow Add Photo
Climber on Surprising Crag, enjoying the view.
Climber on Surprising Crag, enjoying the view.
Routes on the left side of the south face of Surprising Crag.  Choss Temple Pilots shares the first two bolts with Killer Fish Taco, then branches left. <br /> <br />The Fix tackles the overhang to the right.
BETA PHOTO: Routes on the left side of the south face of Surpr...
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: Boulder
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 pjbeyel@gmail.com 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 mtbrwillis@gmail.com. Otherwise, I will get it on Monday morning. Thanks.