Rock Climbing Guided Trips and Lessons and Guides at the Estes Park Mountain Shop image

Climbing in the Estes Park
& Rocky Mountain National Park Area
We are extremely lucky to live and work in an area famous for rock climbing. We can give you tips on the best areas to climb for your particular skill levels. 

The following is a collection of our favorite routes and problems all of which are varying in difficulty.   

TRAD ROUTES:

The following routes are all located on Lumpy Ridge:

WHITE WHALE  5.7 – This is one of Zack’s favorite routes and he believes it is one of the most quality moderate routes in the park!  He likes the route so much he runs out there at least twice a week before work to get in a few pitches.  This is a three pitch route but you can skip the third and walk off to the left after the second.  Look for the tree, this will be your first belay station.  The route is on the Left Book accessed from the Lumpy Ridge Trail.

KOR’S FLAKE  5.7+ - This is one of Ryan’s favorite routes and he believes its one of the best all around routes in the park.  The route utilizes various forms of climbing and can help you overcome some exposure issues if you know what we mean.  This is a five pitch route that starts in a small chimney, goes to a left leaning ramp, and finally going left at the roof.  The route is on Sundance, so it is a little hike to get there, accessed from the Lumpy Ridge Trail.

THE J-CRACK 5-9-5.11c - Possibly the most climbed route on Lumpy Ridge, the J-Crack is one of Stephan’s favorite climbs.  This obvious, left facing J can be seen from the trail as you turn-up and approach “the Book”.  Start 100 feet up, on the Femp ledge.  Step left to gain the beginning of the “J”.  150 feet of steep, continues crack climbing takes you to the first belay.  From here you can continue through the steep headwall (5.11c) or traverse right, below the headwall (5.10a).  This traverse cannot be protected, and a fall at the crux (the end of the traverse) results in an exciting pendulum that has seen few injuries.  This route isn’t over yet, as climbers have many choices on how to summit from the end of the second pitch.

FAT CITY  5.10C – Fat City is one of the classic 5.10’s at Lumpy Ridge and one of Ryan’s favorite routes.  During Ryan’s first go at this route he left a part of himself there, ask him about it if you want to know more.  This is a three pitch route that starts with the left leaning crack to a two bolt belay, from there work your way into the left corner, then to the roof (crux), and finish off with a right leaning layback crack.  The route is on the Book accessed from the Lumpy Ridge Trail.  

THE NOSE 5.10b R - While Stephan was serving with the Army, he came to Estes Park on a thirty day leave to visit his old climbing friends. While sitting on the summit of Sundance Buttress after climbing the Nose, Stephan decided he had just about enough of army life, and that he would rather be a climbing bum.  It took Stephan just thirty two days to convince the army that they were better off without him, and discharge in hand, he was back in Estes Park for good. This seven pitch classic follows a line up the right edge of Sundance’s Turnkorner Butress.  Pitch three takes you to the edge of the huge roof that cuts Sundance in half.  Continue climbing to the left and make exciting face moves to a small, exposed belay stance.

SPORT CLIMBING

THE MONASTERY - World class granite sport climbing is just a twenty minute drive from Estes Park.  These granite spires are home to over one hundred bolt protected, sport climbs, ranging in difficulty from 5.6 to 5.14.  Local climbing legend and General Manager of the Estes Park Mountain Shop, Dave Watosky was instrumental in the early development of this climbing area.  Because of its remote location, the Monastary remains one of the best kept secrets of the western United States.

JURASSIC PARK - Head up above Lily Lake for a collection of slabby, moderate sport climbs with great views of The Diamond and Estes Valley. Soak up the sunshine on the west facing rock and make sure to send the area classic: Edge of Time - you'll recognize it from the front of Gillett's Estes Valley climbing guide!

BOULDERING

CHAOS CANYON – Located high in the mountains of the Rocky Mountain National Park, Chaos Canyon has seen an explosion of development in the past few years.  Lake Haiyaha, just 2.1 miles from the Bear Lake parking lot is surrounded by boulders of all shapes and sizes, with almost limitless bouldering possibilities. Beware, many of the top-outs are considered high-ball by even the most experienced climbers, and the landings can be sketchy.  Bring plenty of bouldering pads and attentive spotters!

LUMPY RIDGE - A destination for boulders since John Gill first started seeking out this collection of rounded granite boulders in the 1960’s.  To this day local climbers can be found searching for another undiscovered gem!  Test-pieces include such classics as Sap (V10), Angry Man (V7 or V10), and Hungry Man (V4).  Not always easy to find, stop by the Estes Park Mountain Shop and ask Stephan for the latest info and directions!