Bouldering at West Elden in the old days: Jim Doni...
The West Elden climbing area is made up of a 80' tall Dacite cliff which hosts a large number of traditional routes. This climbing expanse houses excellent crack, slab and face climbs of all grades. West Elden has morning shade and afternoon sun. The crag also sits at about 7000' making it a great summertime get away. It is climbable in the fall and spring, but don't' count on it as weather in Flagstaff is difficult to predict.
In his excellent and comprehensive book, A Cheap Way to Fly, Tim Toula breaks West Elden into Uptown, which is north of the fence, and Downtown, which is south of the fence. To aid in the use of his guide I have kept the same labels here.
Drive north out of Flagstaff on Highway 180 for about three miles. After passing the Museum of Northern Arizona (which is on the left) look for a right hand turn on to Shultz Pass Road. Take this turn and drive about 1/4 mile to a fork in the road. The left fork continues on Shultz Pass Road while the right is Mount Elden Lookout Road. Take the right fork and drive about three and a half miles to the parking area. Approximately two miles of this drive is on pavement and one and a half miles on a well maintained dirt road. The parking for West Elden is in two pullouts on the right hand side of the road. There is a small kiosk at the first pullout.
Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for West Elden:
Start ten feet right of the initially dirty, mossy crack system, on a flake jug on the face. Climb good, slabby features left and up to the crack system previously mentioned. Climb a few moves up the low angle wide crack(beware of your rope falling into a slot just above), then angle slightly left up the slabby dihedral with a seam that offers some protection just before a ledge is encountered on your left. Use the ledge, or not, and continue up the crack line that leads to the steep, striking p...[more]Browse More Classics in AZ
About 10 years ago, on lead with hooks and a hand drill I bolted an arete to the left of the Grass Crack which is left of the Flameout. I spoke with Baxter and he did not believe that it had been done. This route was chopped, which kind of bummed me out. Does anyone know any history behind this arete- If I stepped on toes I want to apologize but I am unsure. I would like to re bolt this route because it is good.