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The Pool Wall

Routes Sorted
L to R R to L Alpha
5.8 Route 
Bathing With Jesus 
Bay of Pigs 
Be Sharp 
Bel-Loch Diner 
Bell Curve A.K.A. Silent But Deadly 
Black Planet 
Block Party 
Breaking the Waves 
California Stars 
Castro, The 
Chip Shot / Cheap Shot 
Dark Continent 
Deep End, The 
Fact Check 
First Time Out 
Front Nine, The 
Gay Bay 
Gay Rodeo 
Groove Is In The Heart 
Groove Tube 
Improbability Drive 
Keep On Keepin' On 
Look Sharp 
Lunch Bucket A.K.A. Romper Room 
Lunch Bucket? (dubbed No Se) 
Marital Diss 
Mission Accomplished 
Past Tense 
Pub Rats 
Rain of Terror 
Short One, The 
Squeeze Job 
Taliban Tea Party 
Test Drive 
Tropical Depression  
Viper Room 
Ze Boom Boom Room 

The Pool Wall 

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Elevation: 8,000'
Page Views: 15,003
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Jason Nelson on May 22, 2007
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BETA PHOTO: The Pool Wall viewed from the Ouray Hot Springs po...


The Pool Wall has Ouray's highest quantity of routes (over 70) and the shortest approach. The rock is a type of sandstone, something like that of Eldorado Canyon but blonde in color. That said, don't go expecting Eldorado Canyon like climbing. In some areas, the bands of sandstone are separated by bands of shale (choss).

The climbing is generally technical in nature on small edges with the occasional pocket. A rack of sport draws and a 60m rope will get you up most of the climbs, but there are a few trad climbs and a few mixed bolt/trad ones.

Routes range from 5.5 to 5.13+ and it's difficult to tell which is which without the guidebook (available at Ouray Mtn Sports). Well, you probably won't mistake the 5.13+ for a 5.5, but you know what I mean. I would say the best routes are in the 5.11 and 5.12 range, but there should be enough to entertain anyone for at least an afternoon, if not longer.

The Pool Wall gets shade in the morning and sun around noon.

Getting There 

Just North of Ouray across from the Hot Springs Pool, park at the Pool (not the miniature golf center), and walk up the drainage across the street to the left of the miniature golf center. There will be a gate and a NO TRESPASSING sign. Currently the landowner is allowing us to climb, and the No Trespassing sign is for hikers on the Horsethief Trail. The land from the approach gully to the Two Kids Mine is all on private property.

Walking straight up the gully into the canyon will take you to The Alcove. The Alcove has the highest selection of easy routes and a couple hard ones.

Take the trail going right out of the drainage to get to the rest of the climbs. Please stay on the trails, as the terrain is steep and loose. Trails access every part of this cliff, so there's no reason to go wandering around. Many of the trails cut back left from the main trail to the climbing areas.

Please do not try to hike around to the top of the climbs to set up top ropes. It's not pleasant (or safe) and you have a high likelihood of knocking rocks down.

1st attempt at Organization 

Alcove area:
A. New Arete aka Entrance Exam, 6, 1p, bolts.
B. Butter Face, 11, 1p, TR.
C. Rain of Terror, 9+, 1p, 60', bolts.
D. Groove in the Heart, 10, 1p, 35', bolts.
E. Groove Tube, 9, 1p, 90', bolts.
F. Past Tense, 9, 1p, 40', bolts.
G. Test Drive, 8-, 1p, 90', bolts.
H. First Time Out, 6, 1p, 25', bolts.
I. Burger, 8, 1p.
J. Keep On Keepin' On, 8, 1p, 25', bolts.
K. Unknown, 8, 1p.
L. California Stars aka Center Pocket, 10-, 1p, 25', bolts.
M. No Se, 10, 1p, 30', bolts.
N. Romper Room, 11, 1p, 30', bolts.
O. Mullet Days, 11, 1p.
P. The Viper Room, 13, 1p, 50', bolts.
Q. Ze Boom Boom Room, 11, 1p, 70', bolts.
R. Tropical Depression , 11+, 1p, 75', bolts.
S. Dirty, Rotten Scoundrel, 11- or 11, 1p, bolts.
T. Silent but Deadly, 13, 1p, 60', bolts.
U. Unknown, 11, 1p.
V. Via Ferrata, 11, 1p.

Bay Of Pigs:
A. Two Buck Chuck, 11, 1p.
B1. Cable Crack Left, gear.
B2. Cable Crack Right, gear.
C. Open Project, 13+?, 1p.
D. Choss Factor, 11-, 1p.
E. Bitch Slap, 11, 1p.
F. Empire of Dirt, 10+, 1p.
G. Squeeze Job, 10+, 1p, 80', bolts.
H. 8,9,10, 10-, 1p, 80', bolts.
H12. Marital Diss, 11, 1p, bolts.
I. Downward Spiral, 11+, 1p.

J1? Bay of Pigs, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
J2? The Castro, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
K1J1? Gay Bay, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
K2. Gay Rodeo, 12-, 1p, 80', bolts.
L. Breaking the Waves, 13-, 1p, 80', bolts.
M. Putting From The Rough, 12, 1p.
N1. Look Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Left, 11-, 1p, 70', bolts.
N2. Ginsu Arete Original, 11-, 1p, bolts.
O. Be Sharp aka Ginsu Arete Right, 11+, 1p, 70', bolts.

Upper Wall - above Bay Of Pigs:

Above the Garibotti Traverse
A. Love Tap, 12-.
B. Wanna Ride On My Disco Stick?, 12.
C. Project.

D. Romnesia, 10, 1p, 65', bolts.
E. Jay's Upper Route, 11-, bolts.
F. Taliban Tea Party, 8+, 1p, 70', bolts & gear.
G. Fact Check, 10, 1p, 55', bolts.
H. Crack, 8-9, 1p, gear.
I. 5.8 Route, 8+, 1p, gear.
J. Bel-Loch Diner, 12-, 2p, 100', bolts & gear.
K1. Pub Rats, 10, 1p, 75', bolts & gear.
K2. Welcome to Ouray, 11+.
L. Fine Line, 12.
M. Under The Wire, 11, gear.
N. 5.10a, 11-, gear.
O. Too Close For Comfort, 12-.
P. Finland, 11+, bolts.
Q. The Back Nine, 9, gear.
R. Drop Zone, 11-, bolts.
S. Gingaplut, 10-, bolts.

Wading Pool:
A. The Front Nine, 9, 1p, 70', gear.
B. Desolation Row, 11, gear & bolts.
C. Chief's Face, 11, bolts & gear.
D. Guillotine, 9, gear.
E. The Cig Arete, 11.
F. Annie's Arete, 11.
G. Annie's Corner, 11.
H. Victimless Crime, 10.
I. Para Mi Mujer, 9.
J. Slabhappy, 10.
K. Talent Pool, 11+/12-.
L. Get On The Mike, 12.
M. Bottom Feeder, 10+.
N. Fear Of Farting, 13, bolts.

Two Kids Mine:

The Deep End:
A1. Chip Shot, 11-, 1p, 80', bolts.
A2. Cheap Shot, 10, bolts.
B. Par For The Course, 11+, bolts.
C. The Deep End, 11, 1p, 90', bolts.
D. My Left Foot, 11-.
E. Improbability Drive, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
F. Keith's Route, 11+, 2p.
G. Metal Heart, 12-.
H. Bathing With Jesus, 11+, 1p, 80', bolts.
I. Mission Accomplished, 11, 1p, 80', bolts.
J. Block Party, 12-, 1p, 70', bolts.
K. Swims With Fishes, 12-.
L. High Dive, 12-.
M. The Short One, 12-, 1p, 50', bolts.
O. Pool Party, 11, gear.
P. Svengali, 11+, 1p, 120', bolts.
Q. Hollow Victory, 11+.
R. Physical Therapy, 11.
S. Single Minded, 12-.
T. Separation Anxiety, 12-, bolts.
U. Dirty Sanchez, 11-.
V. Unknown, 10+.
W. The Slab Route, 6.

The Backyard:
A. Know Your Enemy, 11+.
B. Know Yourself, 11+.
C. Project, 12.
D. The Reach Around, 11-.
E. Black Planet, 11+, 1p.
F. The Dark Continent, 12, 1p, 80', bolts.
G. Land Of Sunshine, project.
H. Den Of Thieves, 11+.

I. The Visor, 12-.
J. Crystal Blue Persuasion, 10, gear.

The Visor:

41 Total Routes

['4 Stars',1],['3 Stars',26],['2 Stars',12],['1 Star',2],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for The Pool Wall:
First Time Out   5.5 4b 13 IV+ MS 4a     Sport, 1 pitch, 25'   
Groove Tube   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
Past Tense   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
The Front Nine   5.9 5c 17 VI HVS 5a     Trad, 1 pitch, 70'   
Rain of Terror   5.9+ 5c 17 VI E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 90'   
8,9,10   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
California Stars   5.10a 6a 18 VI+ E1 5a     Sport, 1 pitch, 25'   
Chip Shot / Cheap Shot   5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- E2 5b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Lunch Bucket A.K.A. Romper Room   5.11b 6c 23 VIII- E3 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 40'   
Ze Boom Boom Room   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- E4 5c     Sport, 1 pitch, 70'   
Svengali   5.11d 7a 24 VIII E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 120'   
Gay Rodeo   5.12- 7a+ 25 VIII+ E5 6a     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Dark Continent   5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ E5 6b     Sport, 1 pitch, 80'   
Bell Curve A.K.A. Silent But Deadly   5.13b 8a 29 IX+ E7 6c     Sport, 1 pitch, 60'   
Browse More Classics in The Pool Wall

Featured Route For The Pool Wall
Breaking the Waves is in the center of photo. If you zoom-in you can see draws.

Breaking the Waves 5.13- 7c+ 29 IX+ E7 6c  CO : Ouray vicinity (rock) : The Pool Wall
This is a great route with a funky, stand-up crux sequence. Get into the underclings and grab some grips then huck to a jug. Crimpy climbing leads up for 5 or so more bolts. ...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of The Pool Wall Slideshow Add Photo
The Pool Wall with the areas and trails listed.
BETA PHOTO: The Pool Wall with the areas and trails listed.
Full Pool Wall Panoramic photo taken from the Pool parking lot.
BETA PHOTO: Full Pool Wall Panoramic photo taken from the Pool...
Comments on The Pool Wall Add Comment
Show which comments
By Nolan Robertson
Jun 20, 2013

Above the Alcove there is some really steep rock, I have seen at least 1 route up there that looks really cool and was interested in beta on that route.

By Jason Nelson 1
From: Salt Lake City, Utah
Mar 7, 2014

The steep ones above the Alcove are in the 5.12 range and are in the guidebook.