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Trip suggestions in CO
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By Stranger Than Iowa
From ia
Jul 26, 2012
A couple of Iowans get to leave our lush fertile farmlands for the towering peaks of the rockies for a week at then end of August. Looking for suggestions around the following criteria:

Sport climbing 10-11s range
Trad: Easy 5.7 and under, 2-4 pitches: bolted belays would be nice but not needed. Single pitch wouldn't be terrible either. My experience is all leading on Quartzite.
Good bouldering, 13/14ers nearby are tertiary preferences.

Doesn't need to be super classic, just good climbing. Thanks in advanced for any recs.

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By Ross Hokett
From Fort collins,Colorado
Jul 26, 2012
Super crack
the left book at lumpy ridge has many great moderates, 2-3 pitch routes on excellent granite. Hiautus and white whale are both 5.7's there are very fun climbs.
-Ross

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By Big Ears
Jul 26, 2012
Movement Climbing Gym in boulder. Most scenic area in the state.

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By Alvaro Arnal
Administrator
From Aspen, CO
Jul 26, 2012
Pup Tent OS
Check out Independence Pass near Aspen. Multiple camp spots near all the climbing, lots of good sport climbing in the range you're looking for, and great well-protected trad in the 5.7-5.8 range. Lots of 14ers nearby too: any of the Elk 14ers if you want Class 4 scrambling, or in the Sawatch if you want an easier Class 2 hike.

Independence Pass crags sit between 8,000 and 12,000 feet too so it'll stay cooler than most places in CO during that time of year.

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By Andy Librande
From Denver, CO
Jul 26, 2012
Me in the Buddha Cave at crumblewood a while ago.
Alvaro Arnal wrote:
Check out Independence Pass near Aspen. Multiple camp spots near all the climbing, lots of good sport climbing in the range you're looking for, and great well-protected trad in the 5.7-5.8 range. Lots of 14ers nearby too: any of the Elk 14ers if you want Class 4 scrambling, or in the Sawatch if you want an easier Class 2 hike. Independence Pass crags sit between 8,000 and 12,000 feet too so it'll stay cooler than most places in CO during that time of year.


+1, this place meets all of your criteria: sport, trad, bouldering, great camping, awesome rest day activities, really close to the city of Aspen. Just don't show-up mid-day on a saturday expecting to find a good free camping spot; any other day should be fine.

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By jnowis
From Laramie, Wyoming
Jul 26, 2012
Vedauwoo is about 10 hours west on I-80, literally 5 minutes off the interstate you can get free camping. So one full day of driving, getting some bouldering in at night at Vedauwoo right next to camp. The next morning get up early, pack up camp, and get on Ed's Crack, a nice 2 pitch 5.7. Maybe get another climb or two in on Fall Wall, then head out the back way through Laramie to Walden on 230, down highway 14, and eventually make it to Independence Pass near Aspen, and follow Alvaro's advice.

I'd then make my way out of the Rockies and hit up Boulder and the Flatirons, just to get a feel for the Front Range. Jump on I-76 and I-80 and plan your next outing.

This might also help you to avoid afternoon thunderstorms.

Justin
(Former Iowa resident)

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By Brent Apgar
From Out of the Loop
Jul 26, 2012
Me and Spearhead
I'd say pick one of your variables as the primary goal and then set up shop in one part of the state based on that.
Generally speaking there's always some of every type of climbing available (within reasonable driving distance) no matter where you are.
That way you'll get some really good climbing in doing what you want most and some good alternative options w/ out a lot of driving.
Just a thought.

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By Princess Mia
From Vail
Jul 26, 2012
Chillin' at City of Rocks
I agree with Independance Pass. Also Monitor Rock and the Buena Vista area. Great camping, climbing and hiking.

Have fun!

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By percious
From Bear Creek, CO
Jul 26, 2012
Hanging out with some scooter trash.
It's still pretty hot that time of year, Devil's head south of Denver offers numerous multi-pitch trad and sport outings in the ranges you describe. The lower west side crags in particular offer stellar views, short approaches and some of the best granite I've ever seen. Are you camping out? DH's got that covered too, but you gotta bring all of your own water, and right now fires are banned.

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By Stich
From Colorado Springs, Colorado
Jul 26, 2012
Coffee after freezing our asses off near James Peak.
Ditto on Independence Pass. It was pretty hot on our road trip to lower elevation destinations, but still good. We were thinking of changing to IP.

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By Stranger Than Iowa
From ia
Jul 26, 2012
Definitely camping. I would say sport is primary, but at least one day of getting up high on trad is my personal goal. I really appreciate all the advice.

Ind pass seems to be the place to go. How is estes park for sport, the recommended left book routes seem interesting.

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By Bryan Gall
From New Castle, CO
Jul 26, 2012
If your goal is primarily sport, Rifle mountain park is hard to beat. Great camping and climbing. You will spend more time climbing than hiking and trying to figure out where the routes are. You could still easily day trip from Rifle up to Indy pass to get a trad fix or even check out some closer trad in East elk or glenwood canyon. Still close enough to the Elk range to bag some peaks. Glenwood "fun city USA" springs is hard to beat for rest days. Most weekends it's a toss up between whether there is more front rangers or Aspenites in Rifle.

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By ErikaNW
Jul 26, 2012
Rapping off the Matron October, 2010
Depending on when you are coming, you might want to know that The US Pro Cycling Challenge goes over Independence Pass on Aug 22 (they finish in Aspen) and 23 (they start in Aspen) - that area is guaranteed to be a complete zoo over those couple of days. However if you enjoy watching bike racing you might have fun!

usaprocyclingchallenge.com/

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By chosspector
From San Juans, CO
Jul 26, 2012
San Juan's are a nice circuit. Between Durango, telluride, ouray and Silverton, you should find plenty to do with cool temps.

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By Old and Busted
From Centennial, CO
Jul 26, 2012
Stabby
Indy Pass, DH, and down in the San Juans are all good. Vedauwoo however is a feldspar crystal cheese-grating goddamn nightmare. Don't listen to tnose sadists

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By Rick Blair
From Denver
Jul 26, 2012
This is a novel auto blocking belay device.  I think it works quite well, depending on rope thickness and sheath quality, it belays very smooth.  Great to lower with.  You gotta love over engineering.  $3 at a gear swap!
If you are going to climb around Aspen, be sure to pack your Patagonia and Arcteryx, wear conspicuously.

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By Jon Lachelt
From Fort Collins, CO
Jul 26, 2012
If you decide you don't want to go so far west as Independence Pass you could hit these spots in the Estes Park area:

Sport:
Mary's Bust (mountainproject.com/v/marys-bu... in the Big Thompson Canyon on the way up to Estes Park has a sweet 6 pitch sport route - Brown Palace. Longest pure sport route in Colorado (400').

Mary's is good for a full day of single and multi pitch sport climbing... all well bolted. 5min approach, but still off the road so the road noise isn't offensive.

The Monastery (mountainproject.com/v/the-mona.... Lots of single pitch sport climbing. 45min hike in and out.

Trad:
The left book in Lumpy is a good suggestion.
mountainproject.com/v/left-boo...
This is in the RMNP boundary, but you don't have to pay any entrace fee for this area.

Bouldering:
Upper and Lower Chaos in the RMNP
mountainproject.com/v/rmnp-bou...
This will cost a week's pass for RMNP ($20).

Camping:
You can camp for free where people park for the hike into the Monastery.

I'm sure there are other camping places in the Estes area. And there are MANY other climbing options around Estes and less than one hr from Estes.

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By Stranger Than Iowa
From ia
Jul 26, 2012
Once again thank you all for the information, incredibly helpful for planning this trip. Normally I'd jump at the chance to watch some cycling I may have to avoid that area since it is during the same time we will be in co. If anybody decides Colorado is too much fun or just too high I can return the favor and offer Midwest climbing suggestions...

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By CBW
Jul 26, 2012
eleven mile canyon. Great camping, All you are asking for as a climber. Beautiful.

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