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Karli Watson braving the snowy chill just off the ...
Pitch 1: Start out around left corner of the tower (northwest) and go up awkward an awkward flake with good pro. This is the 5.8 start. Head right onto west face and follow this crack and nice holds straight up the face to big ledge and belay. Alternate start: go up left of flake for 20 feet and traverse onto face.
Pitch 2: Go right on small ledge to larger crack with a powerful crank to get into the crack and follow it as it zig-zags and gets thinner then much wider...then to off-width section ... and up to big ledge with small cave for belay (pro in small cave for belay). You can traverse off here leftward on 4th class terrain.
Pitch 3: Surmount an amazing roof but various contortions to get situated on a flake. Aliens are helpful here. Proceed up on slightly loose rock to a tree above another bulge. Belay here. Caution: lots of loose rocks here.
Pitch 4: Traverse leftward on an amazing but easy walkway. Angle down to a notch, 80 feet. Long slings useful. Find a 2 bolt rappel station, rappel. Scramble back to the base.
BETA PHOTO: The Southwest face of the Wind Tower, showing the ...
Amanda on the Classic West Ridge, with the Bastile...
Kurt Komarnitsky catches some rays on the belay le...
Weird butt-rest on pitch 3.
November 01, '02.
Mike climbing out of the depths on January 8, 2003...
Peter about to finish pitch 1, right before him an...
Matt seconding Wind Ridge.
Climber on Wind Ridge.
Pulling through the roof on pitch 3. Good view of...
Yvonne D'Andrea leading the second pitch.
BETA PHOTO: Wind Ridge with the flake start. The first two pi...
The 5.8 start.
BETA PHOTO: Breezy and Wind Ridge. Walk off after two pitches...
Noah learning the art.
Awkward move off of belay ledge at start of 3rd pi...
Jason Deugan at the first belay of Wind Ridge.
Looking down the second pitch of Wind Ridge.
Brandon flaking up the start.
Brandon turning onto the face on P1.
Wind Ridge, climber just before the 1st belay ledg...
Matt crackin' up.
Carl placing the first piece on the start of Wind ...
2nd pitch of Wind Ridge, Eldorado Canyon. Just of...
BETA PHOTO: Another shot of the 5.8 start. A one-move wonder,...
Mike Harris and company at P2 belay station for Wi...
Off the ledge.
Cheryl leading the 5.8 variation.
The odd cruxy boulder-like butt-rest. This actual...
BETA PHOTO: The opening sequence. Follow the chalk :-)
Another shot of the start.
Wind Ridge from the bottom.
Silhouetted on a warm March day.
Left skyline is the ridge proper.
Looking down the route on P1.
Unknown climber on Wind Ridge (taken from The Bulg...
|By Michael Komarnitsky|
From: Seattle, WA
Jan 1, 2001
A FANTASTIC route! I especially recommend taking the direct line from the start (moving up, then directly out right). I think the third pitch is a fun finish, though lots of people walk off after two. Power up, behind, and through the massive flake and over the roof. Plus you get a beautiful view of the plains when you finish.
|By Barry Gereb|
Jun 29, 2001
If you are willing to give up the luxury of the huge belay ledge, you can get a much better belay anchor after P1. Traverse right about 6 feet as you approach the ledge and set your anchor in the hand/fist crack. There is a generous ledge to stand on and a great place to stack the rope at your feet.
|By Brice W|
Jul 31, 2001
I tried the alternate belay after the first pitch, and it does offer much better pro than the traditional large ledge with the piton-scarred crack. I think you could also run the first two pitches together with a 60M rope as long as your belayer wasn't too far from the bottom of the first pitch. The third pitch is a fun way to finish the climb, but the start always feels way more strenuous than 5.6 to me. Of course, that may have more to do with my lack of finesse or grace than actual difficulty.
|By Tony B|
From: Around Boulder, CO
Aug 8, 2001
This route is clean, solid, and generally safe- to this day it is my favorite solo in Eldo.
The first pitch starts out with a few nice body-english moves that are easy for andvanced climbers, but harder for novices. The first-pitch crux comes at a 1.5" cam and a big move to a solid flake. Shorter people will find this 5.8 or harder. Tall people will say 5.7. The rest of the pitch is straight forward climbing to a ledge. From the ledge, walk out to the right and climb a short handcrack section. This can be a second crux for some people, but only until you step off of the shelf one move, then the climbing eases up again, and goes up to the next big ledge. Beginners should walk off here, as the rest of the climbing and protection becomes difficult and the rock deteriorates. The descent from the 3rd pitch also is more problematic. If you want to complete the climb (5.8) do the third pitch by pulling up and into one of the biggest hanging flakes in Eldo. Place a cam of tricam in the slightly rounded crack and move upwards. This move can be harder for large people who can not stuff themselves in behind the flake.
|By Matt White|
Mar 24, 2002
The flake-roof thing on pitch three is bizarre. Difficulty is definitely body-size dependent. I'm big, and that made it much harder than 5.6. There is a bombproof nut in the crack just above and behind the flake, and the moves up out of the flake are made easier by a good fingerlock and small incut holds above the roof. There is no pro for 10 feet or so once you've turned the roof. Don't fall here, or you'll hit the big ledge. Beginners should probably walk off.
|By Leo Paik|
From: Westminster, Colorado
Mar 26, 2002
There are multiple ways to do the roof on P3. You can move up and squeeze behind the flake with your back and then your butt. You can crank the flake and reach right into the crack and sit your butt on the flake. You can face climb the flake and heel hook it and straddle the bugger. I'm sure there are other ways. About 6 ft right is a 5.8s roof and about 12 ft right is a 5.5 sort-of crack/corner above the direct finish to Tigger. Lots of options. The traverse off (P4) to the notch is airy 4th class.
|By Zachary Markis|
Apr 3, 2002
Best route of the Wind Tower! I love the exposure on the second pitch! Belays are perfect, nice rock and beautiful views! The third pitch does have kind of a tricky start--you have to pull up into this big bowl...but, worth it!
|By Scott Thompson|
Apr 17, 2002
Superb route!! [Can't] say enough good about it. bring up to a 3.5 friend or equivalent for the fist crack (albeit short) section on the second pitch.
|By Anonymous Coward|
May 23, 2002
I did this route several months ago and I distinctly remember the "Circus Move" (only way to describe it) that starts the third pitch off. I'm pretty small and it was still awkward to fit behind the little flake, hook a leg, and get up. It has to be harder than 5.6. I used a black Metolius cam in a crack as far as I could reach up and to the right. It seemed pretty bomber but I still think there's a chance of bottoming out if you fall while you're pulling over the hump(...especially if your belayer is enjoying the weather).
I made the mistake of looking for a descent on the other side of the route. BAD IDEA! My partner wanted to rap off some sling around a tree that was gonna take some (probably) 5.4 traversing over about a hundred foot drop into the little stream. I wasn't beat for that so I looked around and found two shiny bolts 30 feet straight to the left from the top. These drop you off on a nice path back to the first pitch. I'm glad I found these. Keep an eye out.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jul 16, 2002
Did this yesterday, just hours before a wedding we had to go to. The flake is the [highlight] - it's a real gem of a problem. The pro goes in a great jam spot, so you need to get creative about how you hold on. I had a pack on and still managed to get my butt cheek on the flake; results may vary, as somone mentioned. Great exposure, rests and belay spots are luxurious. The rock features are interesting and fun. The bolts to rappel down cannot be seen from the summit - you have to follow the ridge behind the climb and to the left to find them, but they're in great shape.
|By David Warriner|
Aug 13, 2002
Did this on 8/9/2002. Great route lots of fun. We thought the 5.8 version was much easier than the "5.7" that is The Bastille Crack. Loved the third pitch in particular.
|By shad O'Neel|
Sep 19, 2002
This route is really great- awesome position and exposure with easy climbing. The 5.8 start is much easier than the [Bastille]. The flake thing on the third pitch is harder to get out of than it is to get into, so make sure you protect (yellow alien worked well) it while chillin and gigglin on the flake. You can lock your legs behind it and flip upside down to wave at your belayer- so much fun.
|By Chris Fisher|
Oct 19, 2002
I did this route a few days ago and also found the 5.8 start to be a bit easy. The rest of the route made for a very moderate tour of the ridge. All the placements were there for a nice long pitch.
|By Jay Hippel|
From: Denver, CO
May 23, 2003
Great climb, ran 1st 2 pitches into 1 with ease. 5.8 start is a piece of cake and the better start. This route takes as many small nuts as you can carry. Good stuff all around.
|By William McGehee|
From: Choctaw, OK
Sep 12, 2003
To clarify AC's remark about the rappel, I THINK he/she meant to say the bolts are 300' to the North, not 30... Make a correction on that one however. Get on the east side of the ridge heading North from the summit, traverse/scramble about 200' North to a 20' wide gap in the ridge running E-W. The bolts are North facing in the gap. Another thing to consider is the downclimb from the bolts. Look for a small, dark "mail-slot" for your left hand on the way down, but other than that, it's 2 15' sections at about 5.5. Hope this keeps everyone else from being goobers like me and scrambling all over the Tower for 45 minutes looking for the rap!
From: Englewood, CO
Jan 26, 2004
Great climb for begining leaders. Good pro the whole way and solid stances to place gear. Only did the 1st pitch cause of fading daylight. Was able to top rope this from the huge belay ledge for my sister in law. You can scramble around up the trail to get your gear off. Not recommended to top rope during the busy time of day as this will clog the route for others. Can't wait to go back to tag the summit. I also agree that the 5.8 start is a much better alternative.
|By Matthew Brejcha|
Mar 26, 2004
This is my favorite climb in [Eldo], a crusier, but it still makes me think a little.
|By Legs Magillicutty|
Apr 21, 2004
Cruised this route last night after work in the blazing wind! The most difficult part of the entire climb was locating the rap and that wasn't even that hard. The flake on P1, totally not 5.8, not by Eldo standards anyway. More like 5.7-. P2, the offwidth section mentioned below the thin crack felt more like a chimney to me. That thing swallowed me whole. I didn't see any pro but protected it just below. P3, beginner or not, go for it. 1-2 moves and it's over. Use what your mamma gave you and go for the butt smear. The exposure on the entire climb was more like a nice view. I don't recall ever getting that feeling of being overly exposed but it was very nice nonetheless! Super nice Eldo moderate, well deserving of all 3 stars.
Apr 29, 2004
I climbed Wind Ridge yesterday, and with a 60 m rope was easily able to combine the first two pitches into one great, varied, protectable, quality pitch (I did use a fair number of runners). I'd always stopped at the big belay ledge before, but linking the pitchs is a great way to end the day when you're climbing with experienced folks.
|By tim naylor|
May 10, 2004
Chossy getting onto arete after the flake at the start and a few loose flakes higher up. Good to do first 2 pitches as 1 with 60m rope. Bring radios if you like to hear each other.
|By Michael Kullman|
Jun 1, 2004
Super fun route. Other than the start of p1 and p3 the climbing is very easy. Almost not worth doing p3 because the rock is somewhat loose and chossy at that point and the descent is more of a pain. Still, the opening moves on p3 make it worth doing once, bizzare but fun.
|By Joseph Proulx|
Jun 1, 2004
Pitch 1 is quite fun. The start seems easier than 5.8 to me; the face above it seems hard for a 5.6. Pitch 2 has some pretty good climbing, but a lot of scrambing. I didn't do the third pitch. It's possible my impression of the route was diminished by the wind on Sunday.
I left behind a nut on pitch 2. I was too lazy to sling the fixed tricam near it, and I thought the placement would come out with no trouble. I suppose could have gotten wedged as the rock cooled (or the nut warmed?) and changed dimensions slightly. Anyway, my partner couldn't get it out. If you can extract it, keep it. It's fairly new, and it's never taken a fall. Or I'll give you $5 for it if you don't want it - email me.
|By Anonymous Coward|
Jun 12, 2004
Everone loves this climb, even though it is crowded it can be worth it or if you haven't done it in a few years. I'm amazed it is still rated anywhere from .6 to .8 but since there are a few variations to the first pitch, I will offer a 5.7 for the traditional route (getting onto the face of the 'ridge' after a few upward moves on the left side). At one time this was said to be the most travelled route in the state. Can anyone comment on this?
|By Larry Shaw|
Jul 5, 2004
The first two pitches were straight forward and easy..the roof on the last pitch was very [weird]. I would give the roof a .7 or .8...first two pitches are easily made into one pitch.
From: Boulder, CO
Sep 17, 2004
Did this route again yesterday after work. It's ultra-fun and a nice chill route to take you out of the workday. I have done the (8?) start both times and find it VERY easy. The butt flake on the last pitch is a must do. Once.
|By Gary Schmidt|
From: Boulder, CO
Oct 29, 2004
I have heard that there is a third option to the start that goes at 5.7 by traversing under the flake around to the face. I gave it a shot, but it looked pretty dubious to me around the corner, so I backed off. Decided to head up the ramp to the left (which though rated easier is maybe just as tricky as the 5.8 flake probably depending on your stature) and found it to be a bit hard to protect. But after one committing move, you are home free. You can easily protect the traverse back over the flake by hitching a sling over an obvious horn. From then on, the climbing is just pure fun.
|By Gary Schmidt|
From: Boulder, CO
Dec 1, 2004
Did this climb again today. This time added on pitch three, but avoided the roof start by climbing a 5.8 little dihedral about 8 ft to the south of the roof. There is loose rock on the third pitch so be extra careful if you know there are people below, which there almost always is on this popular route. Personally, in MHO after doing it, i don't think you are missing much by bailing after pitch 2.
|By Guy H.|
From: Fort Collins CO
Dec 29, 2004
With a 70m rope you can combine all three pitches into one great lead. With a 60m rope, you will need to simul-climb the last 15-20ft to the summit.
|By Cody Munger|
From: Carson City, NV
May 10, 2005
Overall, this is a fun one to drag a beginner up. The big flake on the third pitch was vaguely hard due to the lack of bomber hand holds. At least until I figured out that I need to stand on the flake.
After pulling the overhang I decided the standard finish up to the tree looked too easy, so I picked a line that goes to the right. The rock here is extremely loose, most of the holds grate when you grab them, the rocks are covered with lichen, the pro would hold as long as the rock didn't pop off when you fell on it. Do not go that way unless you like dropping rocks on your partners and hikers below.
|By Jo Holloway|
Apr 24, 2006
Lovely route. The climbing is mostly 5.6/7, with fun little cruxes (5.8) to start pitches two and three. Don't bail on the third pitch if the weather permits. The flake moves really brings together the whole experience of this route. Be the flake!
|By Buff Johnson|
Jun 5, 2006
P1- Used orange Alien, medium hex/large nut for the flake, then small nuts for the rest of the first pitch; or purple Alien for the 5.6 move (I thought the harder variant was more secure). Used a variety on the second pitch, up to 2" seemed ok, don't need a full rack for this route. Cordalette for the belay at top of P2 slung around a boulder seems all that would be solid. Fun route.
From: Golden, CO
Jul 25, 2006
Make sure you combine pitches one and two all the way to the big ledge. There is a nice hole in the overhang for a #2/#3 Camalot if you want something besides slinging horns for a belay.
When pulling through the little roof section, make sure you get your right hip on the huge horn, and then look for feet out right. Climb all the way to the top for the belay…past the tree and blocks, through the notch, and enjoy the view.
Nov 14, 2006
Look for a crack in the back-right side of the cave to belay from for third pitch. Also, it's easier to go left about two feet and climb "over" the weirdness instead of wedging yourself in at the beginning of the third pitch.
From: Grand Junction
Mar 21, 2007
I've lead the 5.8 variation 3 times and followed it once. It runs somewhere in between Reggae and Mescaline for the couple moves up and over the flake so call it a 5.7+,5.8-? The rest of the route is 5.6 except for the two roofy variations after the second belay which are hard for me to rate. Except for the move out of the belay, I generally hate the third pitch and have walked off twice. Too much loose rock up higher on the Wind Tower to be much fun.
From: Goretex-Vortex, CO
Sep 21, 2007
Climbed this yesterday (9/20/07). The Flake at the start of pitch one made some awful creaking noises, and I am not a big person by any means... use caution. Then again, maybe it was just a hungry chipmunk hiding in the crack. The rest of the route is great, solid. We combined most of p2 into the first and belayed just below the ledge with the hanging flake at a short hand crack that has an old bong. If you're doing the final pitch this makes it a little longer, more enjoyable.
|By Scott Rogers|
From: Moab, UT
Feb 28, 2008
Linked up this route in 2 pitches. It is possible with a 60m or a 70m rope and some longer runners instead of the normal draws. Fun route though. The crux was easy and well protected. The rest of the route was fun and beautiful. Highly recommended.
From: Fort Collins, CO
May 19, 2008
One of the most enjoyable climbs I've done at Eldo. Very secure, pro everywhere, and just plain fun. I will definitely go back to climb it again. The bulge off the ledge is a blast!!
Sep 24, 2008
rating: 5.8- PG13
Did the 5.8 variation at the start. All three pitches makes this worthwhile.
|By Phil Lauffen|
Feb 1, 2009
The 5.8 start is pretty soft for the grade. Do the roof to the right off the second belay pitch for some added spice on two finger pockets and no pro. This way is more difficult than the large jug to the left.
|By patrick morrow|
Jun 2, 2009
There is a big stinky cheese husky sitting atop the 2nd pitch. Bring your nose plugs and fly swatter.
|By Jake Kay|
From: Jackson WY
Jun 17, 2009
Enjoyed the whole route. Lead the third pitch, which has a very awkward but sweet roof move. Once you get it, you can wedge yourself in there an relax with your back on the flake. 5.7
|By Evan S|
From: Erie, CO
Sep 3, 2009
Compared to other ratings in the canyon, this seemed like 5.6 or easy .7 to me. It was one of my earliest trad leads and I was never sketched, but I'm 6'2" and have a big reach, so I'm sure that factors in a lot. My dad's been climbing in Eldo since the '70s and told me they always called it 5.6, for what it's worth.
|By S. F. Pitman|
From: Boulder, CO
Jan 19, 2010
I took some friends from Florida on their first outdoor climbing excursion up this route last Saturday. One of them had zero climbing experience. The initial moves were a little sporty, but all of them wound up sending them clean. I have a hard time giving this anything more than 5.7. Maybe I'm thinking in the context of the whole route (which I don't think ever gets harder than 5.6 after that first flake) it seems strange to call this 5.8 (at least by Eldo standards), which I guess isn't necessarily fair.
Anyway, this was a great climb: aesthetic, provides some good training opportunities for things like anchor building and proper gear placement, as well as diverse climbing (gotta love those 5 foot Eldorado hand cracks :) ). I'd recommend it to folks who lead well above the grade, even just as a cooldown, because it was plain fun.
|By SW Marlatt|
From: Arvada, CO
Mar 12, 2010
Erickson's original guide called it 5.6 - which maybe seems a little soft, if Calypso is also .6, but it certainly isn't any 5.8. Fun route.
|By George K. Watson|
From: Nederland, CO
Aug 15, 2010
Did this today for the first time in years. The start is probably not as hard as rated though it is a bit awkward. The second pitch has a bunch of useless fixed gear in it that probably should be pounded out. I almost lost a #1 Camalot on the first pitch when the trigger wires all pulled! I was able to get it after we finished using a nut tool to work the cams.
|By Brown Guy|
From: Lafayette, CO
Oct 21, 2010
Great route. 5.8 alternative start felt more like stiff 5.6 or 5.7 (my height - 5'11" and reach helped). The 3rd pitch is real easy once you surmount the roof, and I'll probably avoid that part if I climb this route again. My experience level: 15-20 trad leads at the 5.5 - 5.8 level to date.
|By Robert Buswold|
From: Longmont, CO
Oct 31, 2010
Had a good time on this route. That roof is fun, but gotta get set up right the first time! I screwed up and ended up straddling the flake. Once I got my feet right, it wasn't too hard. The only pro I could find here was a nut placement to the right.
|By Ryan Day Thompson|
From: Denver, CO
Nov 24, 2010
Is it just me or is that opening flake super hollow sounding? As lovely as it looked we went around it. Just seems sketch....
|By Rodger Raubach|
Mar 12, 2011
After all the years, there are still loose rocks on the Wind Tower! This is a classic easy route that waylays many many Noobs. It's probably an "Eldorado Sandbag." I've lost count of how many times I climbed this route.
|By Robbie Flick|
From: Denver, CO
May 21, 2011
What a fun route...the direct start is fantastic, a little harder but secure the whole way through. I found the beginning of P3 (big bucket flake) to be disproportionately difficult compared to the rest of the route; flopped myself in there a few times before hauling a leg over and getting a quasi-"rest".
From: Westminster, CO
Jun 14, 2011
Pitch 2 is awesome! Pitch 3 start is fun then loose rock at the top. thought the route as a whole was easier than Calypso, definitely not 5.8 (doesn't even come close to the Ruper). This was also my first climb in Eldo.
Jun 28, 2011
The first 30ft was the hardest part. The rest was a very enjoyable cruise. Set a belay at the top of P1 in the fist crack about 8ft right of the standard ledge - much better placements. Lots of ancient, destroyed gear on P2. On P3 I did a pull up, heel hooked the flake, and humped my way onto it. My follower cleaned my cam above it, finger jammed, and sat his butt up onto it. The rest of P3 is chossy and run-out, but easy. The views make it worth it, but watch out for sap on that tree just short of the summit. 5.6.
Aug 2, 2011
The fourth pitch is the best. It has this huge hueco hold that you can sit in!
|By Austin Cooner|
Jan 27, 2013
Great climb! Definitely not 5.8, 7+ at most. Stellar climb to pull a beginner up. Summit pitch is not bad, although it does have some loose rock. The best descent from the summit is to downclimb or rap off a tree at the northeast corner of the tower before you get to the ridge, then walk north parallel to the steel cable to get to the rings in a notch.