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MysticNacho

Dammit! I just moved to Colorado...

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I moved out here because the wife and I didn't want to live in Washington my whole life, and I'd always heard that climbing in Colorado was amazing. So I've been here for 2 months now, and spent a good many hours reviewing guidebooks of the state, and I'm not impressed. So far I've only come across one area I'm dying to check out, which is Long's peak. It seems to me that the rest of Colorado mountaineering sucks ass. Sure, Colorado has good elevation, but who gives a shit? I want good climbing!

 

I'm starting to think that its the rock climbing that people rave about, but even that is just ok. Seattle has how many amazing granite crags within 3 hours drive? Index, static point, darrington, leavenworth, squamish.... not to mention any other non granite area thats close by. Seems like all of Colorado's crags are evenly distributed across the state. I can't decide which one to trek to first because I'm equally non-impressed with all of them based on my hours spent in the guidebooks. Of the ones I have visited, so far I've only been moderately impressed with Eldorado Canyon, which seems to be like Smith Rock (in terms of rock quality and crowds) with some better cracks.

 

Now, my opinion isn't set in stone. (har har, I crack myself up. Ohhhh! I'm on a roll! :grin: ) I've only just moved here and haven't visited a lot of places yet. Has anybody lived in both Colorado & Washington, and can confirm or deny my suspicions? What is the consensus on the comparison between these two states?

 

Discuss.

:poke::battlecage:

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If you put the guidebooks down, get off the crapper and actually go climbing on one of those 300 sunny days a year I'm sure you will find something to satisfy your needs. Try Loose Ends at Lumpy Ridge. It's reminisent of L-town with about x100 the density of climbs. If that doesn't do it for you the hypoxia must be affecting your brain.

 

Petit Grepon and Notchtop don't suck either.

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yeah...but just think...everytime you introduce yourself, you get to mention that "I'm from colorado"...

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Yeah I thought the same thing for a couple years. The only thing I thought about was going back to Index and the Cascades. Then when I was in Washington the only thing I thought about was going back to Spain. Last summer climbing in the Cascades was great for the entire two hours the sun shined. Then it occurred to me that I love the Cascades, Washington and the PNW in general, but I also have it pretty friggin good were I'm at. There is nothing like the alpine in the Cascades. The type of wild and scenic climbing you can do in the Cascades is amazing. Here, my guess kinda like Colorado, I have good weather and I actually have to take time off from climbing because I end up climbing too much. Now it's not the same as the Cascades, but it pretty dam good in it's own way. Now, I go on vacation and I climb in the Cascades in the summer and take advantage of the good weather and I still get about as many routes in as when I lived there. I just spend my time else where waiting for the good weather.

 

You probably also need to get out and meet some climbers who are interested in doing the same thing that you like to do and it can be tough meeting new people. Focus on having fun with what you have, versus with what you don't have. You might move back to the PNW and so might I some day, but use this as a chance to check out new areas and adventure a little.

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Check out Vedauvoo. Also, most everything in UT is a weekend away. There are some nice alpine routes in RMNP, but yes, all in all, after the Cascades, you are going to be disappointed. "You call that speck of a snowfield a *glacier* ?" hahahahaha!

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The thing about the Cascades is I find is that I walk more and climb less. Bu, it's a dam pretty walk.

Edited by TimL

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Yeah I thought the same thing for a couple years. The only thing I thought about was going back to Index and the Cascades. Then when I was in Washington the only thing I thought about was going back to Spain. Last summer climbing in the Cascades was great for the entire two hours the sun shined. Then it occurred to me that I love the Cascades, Washington and the PNW in general, but I also have it pretty friggin good were I'm at. There is nothing like the alpine in the Cascades. The type of wild and scenic climbing you can do in the Cascades is amazing. Here, my guess kinda like Colorado, I have good weather and I actually have to take time off from climbing because I end up climbing too much. Now it's not the same as the Cascades, but it pretty dam good in it's own way. Now, I go on vacation and I climb in the Cascades in the summer and take advantage of the good weather and I still get about as many routes in as when I lived there. I just spend my time else where waiting for the good weather.

 

You probably also need to get out and meet some climbers who are interested in doing the same thing that you like to do and it can be tough meeting new people. Focus on having fun with what you have, versus with what you don't have. You might move back to the PNW and so might I some day, but use this as a chance to check out new areas and adventure a little.

 

hey tim, you got some sofa room for me and drewster this summer??

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What kind of climbing are you looking to do? The alpine climbing in CO gets a bad rap because there are so many walk-up summits. (drive-up maybe? ) If you start looking at some of the lower peaks you'll find some steeper stuff. Take a tour into the San Juan and be prepared to crash your car as you drive around looking at all of the peaks.

 

I would agree that some of the climbing in CO is spread out and takes a lot of driving between areas. However the big plus is that every style of climbing you can think of can be done in CO, and at a very high level. There's some fun granite in the NW, but comparing any of those places to the best crags in CO is total stretch. I mean really, low angle wet slab climbing that is climbable 10 days out of the year (Darrington) compared to the Diamond? Get a partner and get out there and report back.

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eldo is cool if u have a good head and have i high tolerance for libtards...

 

 

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and not to mention you'll hear ur NW buddies mention the word dry rock in the winter and you'll be swimmin in it....

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You're an idiot. Why would you move halfway across the country without checking it out first?

 

seems a perfect fit for Colorado

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just think how rad of a CLIMBER tommy caldwell would be if he was born in seattle :rolleyes:

 

get an imagination dude.....

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Insert "Whaa!" bulance photo

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Lets see CO fun stuff reasonably close to Denver.

 

Eldorado Canyon, Lumpy Ridge, South Platte, Vedauwoo, and RMNP. All of these have some good rock. Please note I said rock not mountaineering.

 

The first few weeks I was there I went out with this fellow near the Petit Grepon to check out what he told me were, "glaciers." :lmao::lmao:

 

In winter there is some ice, but the big thing they love to push is the fantastic snow. Yes they do get some light fluffy stuff, and it is typically drier than PNW snow. The problem is snow base is almost nonexistent. You also get some nonstop thumping winds in Dec/Jan. This builds up big snow slabs, and leads to some really sketchy avy conditions. In winter you'd be 1000 times better off to live in a reasonable drive time from say the Selkirks (Central BC). Oh yeah they have ice in the Canadian Rockies.

 

It's an interesting place, and worthy of an extended vacation but...

 

Have fun, but move back when you can.

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I lived and climbed a lot in Washington for 5 years, then 3 years in Salt Lake City then the last 4 years in Colorado. They are all good places for climbing but each took a while to figure out.

 

Yes, the alpine climbing in Washington is amazing. I've done several climbing trips to Bolivia and never felt intimidated by any glacier or verglas covered slab I came across. I've also spent way too much time driving to Vantage to get some sun and touch some dry rock for months at a time. The summers in the North Cascades are amazing but I got tired of such a short season.

 

This isn't about Salt Lake City, but all I can say is that 15-20 minute drives up LCC and BCC are pretty awesome, but didn't make up for the obvious disadvantages (in my opinion) of living there. I guess that makes me a "libtard" or something.

 

Colorado took more time to get used to than either other place. I feel like I'm only getting somewhat of a handle on it now. Here's my take:

 

Lumpy Ridge has incredible granite and feels a lot like Index. Unlike index, there is a wider variety of offerings. There are lots of stellar 5.8's as well as 5.11's and up to choose from.

 

RMNP has a wide variety of things from big faces to tiny spires. Now that I've done some exploring, it does feel a lot like the North Cascades but without glaciers. Most outings can be done as long car-to-car days rather than spending 1-2 days on the approach and descent, as well. I admit it's not as scenic or isolated, though.

 

Eldo is WAY better than Smith Rock by miles. For one thing, it's much more trad than sport. There are many long routes of various grades that allow you to get used to the funky sandstone and then progress. For example, start with the Yellow Spur before attempting the Naked Edge.

 

Ice climbing is a little tricky. The stuff up near Vail is easy to approach but the best stuff is a long days' trek into RMNP or a long drive to Telluride or Ouray.

 

From Fort Collins it's about 5-6 hours to Devil's Tower but only about an hour to Vedauwoo (bring your double thick Carhartts and leave your shorts at how).

 

Don't be discouraged (unless all you live for is alpine climbing). There is a lot here and the season is much longer than it is in the PNW. Where do you live? Maybe we could get out sometime. Drop me a line at: neaglemark@hotmail.com

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If you put the guidebooks down, get off the crapper and actually go climbing on one of those 300 sunny days a year I'm sure you will find something to satisfy your needs. Try Loose Ends at Lumpy Ridge. It's reminisent of L-town with about x100 the density of climbs. If that doesn't do it for you the hypoxia must be affecting your brain.

 

Petit Grepon and Notchtop don't suck either.

 

But this armchair is so freaking comfortable.... plush cushions, a tasty beverage in my hand... the real tragedy about colorado is the lack of a starbucks on every corner!

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There is more climbing in the South Platte than you could finish in a lifetime. All of it amazing granite. This is the unheralded gem of Colorado climbing.

 

RMNP has fantastic alpine rock climbing and some of the best trad ice/mixed climbing in the states. There is a lot of ice climbing that isn't that far of walk (1-2 hours) in RMNP. Lumpy Ridge is a fantastic place that has an alpine feel for a small buy in (30-45 min approach).

 

The Indian Peaks is an untapped resources for big alpine faces in the spring/fall which have awesome alpine climbing. Mt. Evans has the Black Wall which you can drive to the top of, rap in, and climb 5-7 pitch crack routes back to your car!

 

Boulder has the Flatirons, Eldo, and Boulder Canyon. You can find any kind of climbing you want here.

 

The St. Vrain canyons are full of awesome rock climbing (and ice/mixed in the winter if you look hard) and relativity unknown to climbers.

 

Clear Creek Canyon is fun sport climbing on good rock. There is a great hard trad crack crag near Golden as well.

 

Then there is Vedauwoo, Shelf Road, the Black, Rifle, Vail, the list goes on and on. Desert climbing can be had in 5 hours, as well as the whole San Juan range which is some of best ice climbing in the lower 48 as well as great back-country skiing and alpine climbing.

 

Man, if you can't find stuff to do in Colorado, I don't know what to tell you.

 

The alpine climbing is not as full on as the Cascades, the amount of giant granite crags is lower, and you aren't as close to Canada for ice/mixed climbing. The snow pack here is fluffy, but pretty reactive. Hard to ski a lot of stuff during the winter. Like somebody said above, unless you live for alpine climbing you should be just fine in Colorado.

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Drop me a line at: neaglemark@hotmail.com

 

Oh, you've punctured my bubble, all these years I've thought of you as Minnesota Eagle (you know, MN Eagle). :lmao:

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