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V-Mountain aka V Rock

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V-Mountain aka V Rock 

Photos: Recent | Best | Popular
Elevation: 10,744'
Lat, Long: 37.1248, -106.7909 Map Incorrect?
Page Views: 2,918
Administrators: Ben Mottinger, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monomaniac, Kristine Hoffman
Submitted By: Jaaron Mankins on Aug 4, 2008
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BETA PHOTO: Behold, V Rock.


A really cool, volcanic basalt conglomerate? Can be splitter or really shattered-choose your line wisely. Remote and extremely zen-like with lots of evidence of climbing, but no climbers. The ravens seem to like the top of the cliff. Many routes exist here up to 400 feet. Don't forget your hunter's orange during hunting season partner!

Getting There 

Head south out of Pagosa on Hwy 84. Turn left on Buckles Lake Road (FR663) and drive up to trailhead near V-Rock. Hike up trail to approximately 9800', leave trail on right, and traverse down and left to cliff. One hour approach.

5 Total Routes

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

Featured Route For V-Mountain aka V Rock
Rapping the route.  The route follows the obvious wide hands to offwidth crack left of the rap line and uses the obtuse dihedral to the right of the climb for feet and the occasional hand hold.  You switch cracks completely for the last bit to a large ledge then climb a lichen covered dihedral to the fixed anchor which is just above me in this picture.

Uncertainty 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b  CO : Pagosa Springs : V-Mountain aka V Rock
I *think* this might be an FA based on the lack of fixed anchors where you would likely place them and the vegetation I had to excavate from the lichen covered dihedral on the finish. However, it is hard to be sure. It's possible we just did a different variation of a previously climbed route. Let me know if I'm wrong, and I'm happy to change the info.The climb is a fun, cruxy route with good rests in between the hard stuff. We climbed the straight in crack using the obtuse dihedral on the r...[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Photos of V-Mountain aka V Rock Slideshow Add Photo
Obscure crag?  Come on, even Princess Barbie climbs at V Rock....
Obscure crag? Come on, even Princess Barbie climb...
Where the heck am I?
Where the heck am I?
This shows the 2 routes Manky posted, the 5.9 on the left with a belayer at the first belay and the 5.10 on the right with belayer at the first belay and climber on P2.  The pitches look longer than they are, because the photo was taken from back down the boulderfield from the direction of the approach.
This shows the 2 routes Manky posted, the 5.9 on t...
This is the "Unknown 5.10" Manky posted.  You can see the belayer, Matt, at the top of the 60 foot initial pitch and me in the sweet hand crack above.  The shade of the nearby big fir tree which is the landmark is also apparent.
This is the "Unknown 5.10" Manky posted. You can ...
If the approach looks like this, it will still be amazing weather at V Rock!  The Buckles Lake Road stays open at least through rifle hunting seasons.  Just wear bright clothing on the approach.
If the approach looks like this, it will still be ...
Comments on V-Mountain aka V Rock Add Comment
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By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Aug 28, 2008

Also known as V Rock, its name on the USGS maps. The mountain it's on is V Mountain (also on USGS). A beautiful place for sure and the best concentration of stone in the county. I've heard that climbers have been visiting here since the '70s and routes go up to 5.12. Water is intermittent and the approach can take from 1-2 hrs. You can see it from US 84 in the big curve South of the Buckles Lake Rd. A real adventure destination.

It has been the scene of at least one death, so be careful!

By Jaaron Mankins
From: Bayfield, CO
Sep 19, 2008

I believe it is also a poplular site for suicide-burly! I'll stick with the climbing thanks.

By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Aug 13, 2012

After a few hikes in here, I feel these GPS coords plot the best 2 approaches. Each takes just under an hour and involves very little bush whacking, mainly strolling through meadows.

1. Common in & out
-Follow V Rock trail up hill for about 30 minutes until you reach 0340435 4111329.
-Break off the trail to your right and you will find yourself in a long narrow meadow. Follow the game trail to the back where it disappears into trees at 0340368 4111078.
-Follow the trail into trees and through another clearing of so to the end of a clearing at 0340399 4110645.

2. The "contour" approach - you arrive further up the talus but have to bushwhack a touch
-From the end of #1 above...
-head left/East to 0340463 4110616.
-Contour with a slight drop in elevation to 034063 4110447.
-Follow the clear cut left towards the rock and work your way down and over to where the trees give way to the boulderfield.

EDIT - the contour approach continues to get upgrades. Slowly but surely its becoming more obvious with carins and such.

3. The "meadow" approach - possibly less bushwhacking, ends in a nice camping meadow with what appears to be a year round small stream, but it is further down the boulder field so more slogging to the climbs.
-From the end of #1 above...
-follow the game trail down through the end of the clearing. It looks like it's full of downed trees, don't panic. Instead, follow game trails towards 0340367 4110554, then 0340323 4110464, and finally the meadow at 0340338 4110267. There are good to faint game trails the whole way more or less.
-From the meadow, head East through a little draw with a small stream just before it to the boulderfield.

By Jesse Morehouse
From: CO
Aug 13, 2012

I have heard second hand that some of the lines you will see were established as aid lines and the free routes range from 9ish to 12ish. YMMV, this is just what I was told. There are many lines with no anchors and there is definitely potential for more FAs both in the cracks (mainly trad) and on the aretes (mainly bolted). If you wander around, the number of top anchors seems sparse compared to the potential. Some stone seems poor or broken, but some is definitely awesome. The best stone in the county by a long shot, not that that says much. All I know is the place has me psyched to go back!

A standard rack might consist of nuts and even some mid-sized hexes, a rack of cams from black Alien to #5 Camalot with doubles from yellow Alien to #3 Camalot, a few slings and a few double slings. You must bring double 60m ropes to rap. Some routes might require more gear of a particular size as the cracks can be of uniform width.

By mat degraaf
Aug 14, 2012

To piggyback on Jesse's approach details, I thought I'd add a thought or two for all the brothers and sisters that don't own or use a GPS.
Drive Buckles Lake Road to its terminus. Hike up the V Rock trail for approx. 30 minutes until the thigh-burning steeps plane off at a beautiful meadow. Perhaps 50 yards into the meadow, there is an obvious clearing on a small grassy hill on your right. Leave the main trail and walk up this knoll and straight into the long and narrow meadow behind it. Stay in this meadow until it ends then bear left (south-ish). Continue on this bearing until you see the talus.
The approach is pretty simple and straightforward. The worse thing you could do is go too far downhill which will spit you out at the very bottom of the steep talus field.
Additionally, I felt the rock and routes were nothing short of spectacular. Perhaps the horror stories I'd heard about the approach and the rock quality were all a ruse to keep me away from this gem.