Climbing in the Estes Valley and Surrounding Mountain Areas
Courtesy of the Estes Park Mountain Shop
Our area is rich in rock climbing history with an overabundance of climbing opportunities. Visitors from all over the world travel here to take advantage of the resources. Simple, short, fun routes on small cliffs dot the area. Some of the smaller areas are so close to the road, climbers do not leave sight of their vehicles.
The larger cliffs of Lumpy Ridge, northwest of downtown provide climbers with hundreds of routes, many being classics that are talked about in climbers magazines from all over the world. To approach Lumpy, there is a minimum of 1.5 mile hike in to as much as 4 miles. Hikers often use the Lumpy Ridge approach trail to observe climbers on the various cliffs.
The surrounding high peaks are home to hundreds of alpine routes. These require early starts, or hike in and camp the night before. Many of these are pure rock climbing routes. Others involve small sections of snow and ice that require more skill to get past these tricky sections. Other high routes involve pure snow or ice climbing. They share a lot of the basic climbing techniques, but involve using specialized tools such as axes and crampons and a working knowledge of this gear.
When visiting the area, use caution when thinking of scrambling or climbing. Proper instruction and equipment are essential for safety. Seasoned climbers go over a basic checklist of safety before attempting any climb. Qualified instruction is available in the Estes Park area and is recommended as a first step to enjoying the sport. Another safety issue to both hikers and climbers is afternoon thunderstorms. Early starts to any mountain outing helps protect against lightning. They occur on a regular basis, starting in mid spring and often lasting into fall.
For more information about Estes Park area climbs, equipment, & instruction: Contact the Estes Park Mountain Shop http://estesparkmountainshop.com