Table Mountain South, not to be confused with South Table Mountain in Golden, has a short mesa top composed of Dakota sandstone. This is a very fine grained sandstone with terrific features separated by blank, featureless surfaces. The crags are 35 to 50 ft in height, largely vertical, and tend toward the moderate grades (5.8 to 5.12-). A few trad routes have been established, but, most routes are well bolted with good lowering stations. The Mesa itself faces South and East and gets good sun until later in the evening. The setting is rather bucolic being so close to civilization. Presently, there are about 25 or so routes, with not much room for more. Further West around the mountain is a decent bouldering area. I thought that this was a nice area for a change in style and pace, and if you are looking for fun, safe moderates, it is worth a visit.
Table Mountain South lies between Colorado Springs and Canon City just off Highway 115. The following will work for all points North and South via Interstate 25. From I25 in CS, take exit 140 S/W. At Nevada Ave (highway 115), head South toward Canyon City. At Fort Carson the road narrows to two lanes; from here travel South/West for 15.5 miles. Following a long curve, a recently improved dirt road will take off to the right, through the fence, and head up-hill toward the mesa top that has been view for the last 2 -3 miles. At 1.8 miles, and nearing the top of the mesa, a meadow arises on the right. Park and follow some faint tire tracks toward the top. Across the meadow, a trail will appear that takes you up a small rise, another meadow, and a second short rise to the talus field below the crags. This amounts to about 15 minutes of hiking.
This area is and has been closed since at least 2005. Some rumors suggested that the rock has been quarried.
To the left of If It's Free and right off the trail is an overhang move to the blunt arete that forms the South edge of the main East-facing wall. This route is great. It starts with a 5.11 crux between bolts one and two, follows some good edge and arete climbing to a spot shortly below the anchors. A big reach on thin hands delivers a second crux, that is not without it's own spook factor. Stay cool and head for the anchor, this is a fine lesson in problem solving where all the edg...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
By Stich From: Colorado Springs, Colorado Aug 2, 2001
The rock is predominantly dark red with bright green patches of lichens. The hard nature of the stone leaves little in the way of eroded surface features, save those from fracturing. Since the outcrop is highly fractured, this makes it good for climbing. South Table is a very different type of rock from the Flatirons and North Table.
The last time I checked this area has been CLOSED. The mineral rights were leased to the gravel company by the state for eighty years. The gate has been replaced by a HEAVY duty gate so you can't get around it anymore. I have noticed a lot of really nice dark red gravel being used in construction sites around Colorado Springs. Not a joke.
Very true about Table South is the fact that it HAS BEEN BLOWN TO BITS! Growing up in C Springs this was me and my friends closest and dearest place to climb sport, often illegaly hiking in from the outskirts during the closed season (summer, who'da thunk it?). Then one day we did the tenuous hour trespass in to find the wall had receeded a few hundred yards and stood a meager ten-twenty feet tall, all bolts missing. At first it didn't make sense, so we asked some other locals to find that the red gravel did have its origin in our most beloved skill building place in all of Colorado. C'est la vie!
Good comments...don't waste your time coming here. In regard to the earlier comment about this rock vs. Golden Cliffs (North table Mountain in Golden)...that is aphanitic/porphyritic hornblende/basalt - aka granite, not sandstone. The areas are/were similar as they are way overbolted but still fun place to climb. I'd say both serve as a warning as to how to not bolt lines that overlap like gym routes.
So you fancy yourself a geologist, Mr. AC.Well, just so nobody gets misinformed I should clarify that basalt is not aka granite. Basalt and granite are two completely different things! Basalt is extruisive...meaning that it cooled at the surface of the earth (which is why it is fine-grained)...like the Golden Cliffs or Hawaii. Granite is an intrusive rock...meaning that it cooled below the surface of the earth, resulting in more coarse grained crystals...like Lumpy Ridge or Yosemite. Additionally, basalt is composed of more mafic minerals (giving it a dark color) and granite is composed of more felsic minerals (giving it a lighter color). As far as your technical description is concerned (which you obviously do not understand)...sure, maybe it is a porphritic hornblende basalt, but its been quite a while since I've been there so I couldn't say for sure. I'll be sure to bring magnifying glass to look for the hornblende crystals next time I go.
I would say it looks more like an andesite than a basalt, which would be in keeping with the fact that would have come from continental (rather than oceanic) crust. Definitely extrusive though. I wonder what the volcanoes looked like?
By Andrew Gram Administrator From: Salt Lake City, UT May 12, 2003
...what's up with all the bolted cracks? The place could be another Eldorado Canyon instead of a lame bolt every 5 feet mess.
If that's the case, we could use the Red Rock Canyon CLimbers Alliance/Pikes Peak Climbers Coalition as the group to sign off on an agreement. We're registered with The Access Fund. If you investigate again Ben, let me know and we could start the ball rolling. It would be great to get this little area reopened to climbing....
By Jared LaVacque Administrator From: Anchorage/Grand Junction Mar 21, 2009
Once again...knowing nothing but a feather in his cap and taking Geology 1001 at UCCS, Anonymous Coward spouts downward conversation sparked by the diametrically inspired oscar-the-grouch intellect (never knowing, nor inspiring his 100+ attempts at area "hard-man" routes) all over CO.(and then appending his unintelligible loci throughout most of Harvey Carter's lamest routes). Have fun jewel thief of the lowest demeanor. Anonymous Coward licks stones and has artificially manufactured (Use Your Imagination).
Is there any new developments on this? Me and my climbing partners loved this little area when it was open. If there is anything we can do to help move this forward let us know. I don't have any connections, but would be happy to help with any leg work. Thanks for the efforts... Please let it happen!!!