Multi Day Climbing Trips in Utah and Colorado

LOCATION:

Colorado, Utah, USA

DATES:

Custom Dates Upon Request

DAILY FEE:

1:1   $ 600 p.p.
2:1   $420 p.p.

Climbing desert towers has it’s own special kind of magic and those who seek to summit these strange formations have their own special cult among the ranks of rock climbers. People come from all around the globe seeking out these unique and inaccessible summits. The stark desert beauty and tranquility combined with the demanding and special toughness it takes to climb sandstone cracks and chimneys make summiting any of the desert towers a truly rewarding and memorable experience.

Day one begins on one of the “easiest” of the true desert spires, Independence Monument in the Colorado National Monument Park. There are two short 5.9 sections, the last of which surmounts the slightly overhanging and tremendously exposed summit capstone. The rest of the climb, though, is very moderate and fun; mostly 5.5-5.6, and ascends many of the foot and hand holds carved out of the rock in 1911 by the route pioneer, John Otto, an immigrant from Germany. Though not condoned today, this Otto created this route knowing very little about how to climb vertical sandstone, which was made especially hard given the fact that he liked to wear Cowboy boots! He had very little in the way of protection by modern standards and through his handiwork, made what must have been one of the most difficult rock climbing in the country at that time.

Ancient Art, in the Fisher Towers area not far from Castleton, is likely one of the most surreal summits anywhere! Though, still on sandstone, this climb is of a completely different nature than those on the previous two days. The cruxes of this route, rated 5.10, are on pebble and pocket strewn faces, not in cracks. They are short and well protected and for that reason, most people find this tower easier to climb than either of the other two. However, there is a sting in the tail and a 2 foot wide “sidewalk” must be crossed (or crawled!) to get onto the final 5.9 summit block. Though easy, this section is airy and exciting! The summit on this one is tiny and there is only room for one person at a time!

Castleton tower alone is one of the most iconic rock features in North America and is rightly considered one of the “Fifty Classic Climbs” on the continent. The climb is fantastic and follows a chimney and crack system first climbed by the prolific Layton Kor and Huntley Ingals in 1961; also an incredible feat for the time. You will marvel at Kor’s resolve when climbing the crux 5.9 squeeze chimney. There are two sustained sections of 5.9 climbing on this route with several other sections of 5.7-5.8. The summit is spectacular!

On this three-day course you will climb three of the most sought after and iconic summits in the Desert Southwest: Independence Monument, Ancient Art and Castleton Tower.

Day one: Independence Monument, Otto’s Route (5.9-)

Day two: Ancient Art, Stolen Chimney (5.10). Extra credit: Lizard Rock (5.10a)

Day three: Castleton Tower, Kor/Ingals Route (5.10a)

Participant requirement: Must have previous crack climbing experience and be able to climb 5.10.

We offer guided ascents of these towers, weather and availability permitting throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

The Black Canyon is Colorado’s premier rock climbing crag and one of the finest climbing venues in North America. Though it has garnered a reputation for being bold, scary and hard, there are numerous classic climbs there on well protected, bullet proof rock at grades below 5.10. The scenery and setting in The Black are beyond comparison. As you view the Gunnison River roaring several thousand feet below you and look upon larger birds from above you begin to realize the immensity of the scale and depth of this amazing place. While awe inspiring, this  can also be quite intimidating to experiencing this place for the first time. Let one of our experienced guides help show you the magic and incredible climbing found there in a safe and instructional setting.
Climbs like Escape Artist, climb from part way down the canyon back to the rim in 7-10 pitches up to 5.10a, every one a multi-star classic pitch in its own right. Lauren’s Arete climbs a striking 5.8 and easier alpine like ridge front the near the bottom of the canyon between several of the major walls. Maiden Voyage is THE classic intro route in the Canyon, commonly climbed in four or five moderate pithes, with a short, 5.9- crux low on the route. If Maiden feels easy, you can finish up with three more fantastic, slightly harder pitches on King Me to make for a modern 8 pitch 5.9+. Perhaps one of the most unique moderate outings in the Black is the 1,300 foot Ground Control To Major Tom, ascending the South Rim in 10-12 pitches up to 5.8. There are numerous others and often the temperatures dictate whether we are seeking sun or shade. Climbing in the Black Canyon is good from spring through autumn.

Routes will be discussed and chosen according to technical ability and interest.

We offer guided ascents of these towers, weather and availability permitting throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Climbing desert sandstone can be an incredibly rewarding experience. The smooth and sometimes soft rock requires skills and patience much different from that in climbing more featured rock like granite or limestone. Often, cracks offer the only features with which to use. Though not intuitive, the technique used in climbing cracks is not tough to learn and will open up a whole new world of climbing options on any type of rock. Sandstone crack climbing is the perfect way to learn good crack climbing technique.

This three-day course is designed for those looking to become desert crack masters.
The unique red sandstone found in Colorado and Utah offers the unsurpassed crack
climbing, free standing towers and stunning scenic beauty.

Day one: Crack climbing school

Day two: Mutli-pitch essentials

Day three: Climb Independence Monument, a 500-foot free standing tower

We offer guided ascents of these towers, weather and availability permitting throughout the Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Participant prerequisites

Participants must have prior rock climbing experience, be familiar with basic knots, belaying a leader, and able to follow or top-rope rock to 5.9. They should also be fit enough to carry a 25 pound pack uphill for an hour at a steady pace and still have energy left for climbing.

Booking & Information

Do you have questions? Please don’t hesitate to give us a call. If we are not immediately available, we are outside climbing, skiing or exploring the wilderness. Leave us a message and we will call you back.

Call us

970.325.3305