Overview:

Eldorado Canyon, also known as “Eldo”, is loaded with classic climbing. Just minutes from Denver and featuring routes over 600 feet tall, Eldo is a playground for climbers of all abilities. Once deep in the canyon and high off the ground, it’s easy to see why climbers celebrate these multi-colored, angular sandstone walls. Since the early days of American rock climbing, Eldorado Canyon has been at the forefront.  Eldo packs as much beauty and adventure into an easily accessible canyon as any place imaginable.

Affectionately known as “Eldo” by local climbers, the towering sandstone cliffs of Eldorado Canyon State Park is steeped in climbing history.  These walls were the site of the traditional climbing revolution of the 1970s, and to this day Eldo provides a challenging arena in which to develop one’s “trad” skills and climbing abilities.  With upwards of 600 climbs and walls up to 700 feet high wall, Eldo offers some of the best rock climbing in North America.  The five-pitch Bastille Crack, a mega-classic, is probably the most frequently climbed route in Colorado.  A sampling of other fantastic routes includes Wind Ridge, Ruper, Rewritten, Green Spur, Yellow Spur and the Naked Edge.  Short approach hikes make it possible for the average party to climb 10 pitches a day, and with a variety of aspects throughout the canyon, climbers ascend the walls year-round.

The climbing, sometimes described as tricky and technical, requires thought, delicate footwork and gymnastic body positioning. In Eldo, it doesn’t work to simply charge ahead mindlessly.  You’ll find very few “soft” grades in Eldo, so pick your routes accordingly and bring a full bag of tricks.  Protection can be difficult to find, and without open eyes looking in all directions, so can the holds. But hidden edges and seemingly magical sequences unlock themselves for the climber flexible in mind and body. Such movement, combined with striking natural beauty and the knowledge that you’re following in the footsteps of climbing’s legends, makes climbing in Eldo an experience not soon forgotten.

Join Colorado Mountain School and follow in the footsteps (and handholds) of climbing legends like Layton Kor, Jim Erickson and Roger Briggs as you venture up anything from a multi-pitch moderate on the Wind Tower, to a more adventurous excursion on Redgarden Wall. Our guides are intimately familiar with the canyon (CMS Guide Steve Levin authored the acclaimed guidebook, “Eldorado Canyon: A Climbing Guide”), and frequently lead climbers up classics like Rewritten, The Yellow Spur, Ruper, or The Naked Edge. Choose between a personally-tailored Custom Guided day or a discounted Eldorado Canyon Classic Climb. Whichever way you chose to climb with us, it will be an experience that you won’t soon forget!

Meeting location:

Colorado Mountain School
633 S. Broadway St.
Boulder, CO 80305

Details:

Swanson Arete: Rated 5.6, 4 pitches:
One of the best moderate routes in Eldorado, you’ll begin up a chimney on the West Face of Redgarden Wall to access the exposed upper arete pitches. Several variations on the arete offer a range of challenge before the beautiful summit of Lumpe Tower is reached.

Calypso: Rated 5.6, 3 or 4 pitches:
This is an excellent introduction to Eldorado climbing, combining balancy face and crack climbing up a beautiful corner, and a challenging bulge on pitch two. Calypso is also a perfect intro to multi-pitch, with an optional summit and technical descent making for a complete climbing experience.

The Bastille Crack: Rated 5.7++, 5 pitches:
100-feet from the parking lot, this is the most visible, historic and popular route in Eldorado (and maybe Colorado!). An exposed journey up steep jam cracks and corners, the Bastille Crack exemplifies Eldo’s stiff technical grades and thought-provoking climbing.

Rewritten: Rated 5.7 (with the 5.8 Great Zot start), 6 pitches:
Many climbers consider this the quintessential Eldo tour, and our guides agree! Pitch after varied pitch lead upwards to the spectacularly exposed Rebauffat’s Arete, hundreds of feet off the deck. Hand and finger cracks, delicate traversing, chimneys- Rewritten has it all!

Gambit: Rated 5.8, 4 pitches:
High on the flanks of Shirt Tail Peak, Gambit offers exposed and sustained crack and face climbing in a more “alpine” setting- the topout is the highpoint of Eldorado Canyon State Park and has the best views in the area.

Ruper: Rated 5.8+, 6 pitches:
Yet another Eldo ultra-classic, and one on many climber’s bucket list. After an intricate, technical approach, Ruper climbs a pitch to the infamous Ruper Crack, a steep wide crack and corner with a lot of air underfoot. Next is the notoriously exposed Ruper Traverse, which leads to Redgarden’s Upper Ramp. Now only three more pitches of some of the best climbing of the grade anywhere!

The Yellow Spur: Rated 5.9+ or 5.10 (depending on finish), 6 pitches:
This is the one Eldo climb that most visiting climbers who climb the grade want to tick, and for good reason. Pitch after pitch of exposed and varied climbing lead to the delicate crux “pin ladder” pitch, with 400 feet of air beneath your climbing shoes. Our guides agree: the Yellow Spur is a “Top Ten” climb on the lifetime list!

Outer Space: Rated 5.10, 4 pitches (including the Bastille Crack start):
Appropriately named, Outer Space blasts off from the Bastille Crack into dead-vertical terrain, climbing a technical dihedral on pitch one, and the Bastille’s headwall on the second pitch. This is about as good as 5.10 rock climbing gets!

The Naked Edge: Rated 5.11, 5 pitches:
A contender for the most-famous “hard-person” route in the United States, the “Edge” takes on the soaring, knife-edge prow of Redgarden’s Tower Two. Every pitch is airy, complex, and challenging. The final two pitches are some of the most spectacular climbing imaginable, and feature a “bombay” chimney and a very strenuous boulder problem and overhanging hand crack. A must-do!

Eldorado Canyon State Park Authorized Climbing Guide Service

Lodging:

With a sixteen-bed lodge available exclusively to Colorado Mountain School students, course participants are welcome to reserve a bed, but should be aware that there course meets each morning in Boulder or Denver – approximately a 50 -70 minute drive from our lodge.  Our lodge is located in downtown Estes Park with a full kitchen, WiFi and hot showers. Lodging must be booked separately for $44.22/night (tax included).  Please call our office for reservations.

Notes:

All of our courses can be run as private outings.  If you’re interested in a course, but it doesn’t fit into your schedule, please check out our private guiding options.

All Upcoming Dates and Locations:

    Prerequisites:

    5.6 climber with multi-pitch experience. For those without experience climbing multi-pitch terrain, a Multi-Pitch Rock Climbing course or Custom Instruction is required.

    Time:

    8:00am - 4:00pm

    Duration:

    8 hours

    Maximum Ratio:

    3:1

    Minimum Age:

    Please call to register participants under 18

    Includes:

    • Trained and/or certified guide
    • Group climbing gear
      • Technical hardware – climbing protection, carabiners,etc
      • Ropes
      • Technical softgoods – slings, cordellette, etc
    • Personal climbing gear
      • Harness
      • Helmet
      • Rock shoes

    Excludes:

    • Food
    • Transportation
    • Lodging
    • Clothing, backpack and non-technical personal items
    • Park Entrance Fee
    • Rescue Insurance
    • Trip Insurance
    • Gratuity
    • Expenses due to unforeseen circumstances beyond the control of Colorado Mountain School
    Item Description Quantity Example Purchase At Rent At Equipment Type
    Approach Shoes

    These are “hiking” shoes specifically made for approaching and descending from a climbing venue where scrambling is necessary, or even for climbing an entire route. They have sticky climbing rubber on the bottom and a formed fit to influence better climbing abilities while scrambling. Consider high-tops for additional ankles support if needed. Regular hiking boots or athletic shoes may be acceptable for many climbs.

    1

    Men: La Sportiva TX3 Men
    Women: La Sportiva TX3 Wmn

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Athletic Tape

    Roll of 1.5-2” tape; These are best found at rock climbing gyms or shops such as Neptune Mountaineering. Not all tape works well for climbing - gear shops have usually identified a brand that works well - the local pharmacy has not.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

     

     

    Optional
    Backpack: 18-25 liter

    This small pack is carries one’s approach shoes, water, food, extra layers, and toilet kit on the route. This pack should close completely so that no items can fall out.

    1

    CAMP M2 20L

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Belay and Rappel Device

    Plaquette style devices with auto-block mode are ideal.

    1

    CAMP Piu 2

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Belay Gloves

    Leather gloves, either full fingered or fingerless. These protect your hands from rope wear when belaying or rappelling and keep your hands warm at belays.

    1

    CAMP Axion

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Chalk Bag

    Holds climbing chalk, which is usually made from Magnesium Carbonate. This is the same compound that gymnasts, weightlifters, and other athletes will put on their hands in order to improve friction and grip.

    1

    CAMP Patabang

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Climbing Harness

    UIAA or CE approved; With belay loop and gear loops. The waist belt should fit over multiple layers of clothing.

    1

    CAMP Laser CR

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Climbing Pants, Shorts or Capris

    For all seasons, cotton, loose-fitting (or tight, stretchy) pants are usually acceptable for rock climbing. Shorts are acceptable during the summer - though shorts expose the knees and shins to abrasions. New climbers are encouraged to wear pants or capris. A synthetic material (like in softshell pants) may be required by your guide due to potential rain storms.

    1

    Men: Rab Vapour Rise
    Women: Rab womens Vapour-rise pants

    Rab Stores

    Clothing
    Cotton Socks

    Cotton Socks are acceptable for most rock climbing days. Synthetic and merino wool socks tend to be too hot and make climber’s feet sweat excessively.

    1

    Point 6 Socks

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Food

    Proper lunches that are prepared ahead of time are recommended (sandwich, burrito, leftover pizza, etc), along with an assortment of snack bars, gels, or trail mixes. Feeze-dried meals are acceptable on overnight trips, but not day trips.

    1

    Made in Nature, Thrive Tribe

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Lightweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Worn against the skin and is considered a "wicking" layer that facilitates the movement of moisture away from the skin and through the layers. Hooded base layers add extra versatility.

    2

    Men: Rab Forge LS Tee
    Women: Rab Force LS Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Lip ScreenSPF 15 or higher.

    Non-SPF rated lip balms can actually increase your chances of getting burned.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen Lip Balm

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Optional
    Long and Short Sleeve T-shirt

    Cotton or Synthetic and Merino Wool; Bring a variety of short-sleeve or tank tops, and a few long-sleeve. Long sleeve cotton t-shirts can be nice for the crack climbing days. Synthetic shirts are not required for rock climbing, but some may prefer the feel and quick-dry performance.

    1

    Rab Stance Tee

    Rab Store

    Clothing
    Midweight Baselayer Top

    Synthetic or Merino Wool; Adds extra warmth and protection from the cold and wind without creating a moisture barrier as a jacket would. Having at least one base layer that is hooded adds versatility, protecting the neck and ears from cold winds.

    1

    Men: Rab Nucleus Hoody
    Women: Rab Nucleus Hoody

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Rock Climbing Helmet

    UIAA/CE approved; Should be large enough to fit over a beanie. Plastic helmets are more durable, but heavier. Foam helmets are lighter, but more easily damaged when carried in a pack.

    1

    CAMP Titan

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School

    Equipment
    Rock Climbing Shoes

    Technical rock shoes are required. For beginning climbers, having a looser fit is advisable. In this case, loose means that toes are touching the front of the shoes when standing, but are not forced against the front of the shoe. In colder weather, thin socks inside climbing shoes are a great option. On long routes, rock shoes should be comfortable enough to wear for day.

    1

    La Sportiva TC Pro

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Colorado Mountain School; Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Smartphone

    Great for taking photos and videos. Smartphone batteries tend to shut down in freezing temps - keep your phone in a warm inner layer. A tether is ideal in the mountains to protet against dropping your phone.

    1 Optional
    Softshell and Fleece Jacket

    Water-resistant, windproof, yet it "breaths," which means it allows moisture to move through. Hoods are ideal. There are multiple thicknesses of Softshell jackets. A lightweight or medium-weight jacket is preferred. Fleece jackets are acceptable.

    1

    Men: Rab Salvo Jacket
    Women: Rab Salvo Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sports Bra

    Provides support and allows for full range of motion

    1

    North Face Beyond the Wall

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sun Hat

    A billed hat to keep the sun at bay during the approach and descent.

    1

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing
    Sunglasses

    "Wrap-Around" style sunglasses with 100% UV Protection.

    1

    Julbo Shield

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    SunscreenSPF 30 or higher.

    Travel size.

    1

    Rocky Mountain Sunscreen SPF 50

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Water Bottles

    1 liter bottles are the standard. Bladders such as Camelbacks and Platypus are acceptable for above freezing temps, but only in conjunction with another bottle. Bladders are not acceptable during sub freezing temps. Sports drinks are also acceptable.

    2

    Nalgene, Hydro Flask

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Equipment
    Waterproof Shell Jacket

    Non-insulated, Gore-Tex, Dermizax, Event, or other waterproofing system is required. Mostly, this jacket sits in the bottom of your pack and comes out when the weather gets nasty with precipitation. This jacket should fit over all other layers.

    1

    Men: RAB Ladakh GTX Jacket
    Women: RAB Women's Kangri GRX Jacket

    Neptune Mountaineering

    Clothing

    Reviews

    There are no reviews yet.

    Only logged in customers who have purchased this product may leave a review.

    You may also like…