Frying Pan Valley

Frying Pan Valley

The Frying Pan Valley is the sleeper climbing zone of the area. There are numerous opportunities here, from multipitch granite to sandstone sport climbs. If you’re an angler, be sure to bring your rod so when your tips are fried you can try catching one of the legendary pigs that lurk below the dam.

Hagerman Pass is a great summer spot located at 9000′. The granite here for the most part is excellent, and you’ll find everything from short, hard cracks to long cruiser slabs, trad and sport. There are a lot of boulders in this area, including the infamous Best Boulder Problem in Colorado (see the 2006 Climbing Mag desk calenar for a pic). Unfortunately most of the blocks seem to be rather devoid of holds. Still, who knows, maybe just around the next bend…

Lime Park is a beautiful canyon between Basalt and Eagle. This place is starting to see more attention, but there are still not many climbs considering how much rock is there. Please tread lighlty in this special place.

The F-Pan is the crown jewel of the valley, offering powerful, techy climbing on brilliantly colored sandstone. The Skillet is covered in detailed in the new guidebook, while the upper crags of the Outpost and Mental Block also offer excellent routes.

New Routes at the Upper F-Pan

Yonder Area

This area is located at the very top of the crag, about an hour from the car. The exceptional, steep rock, great climbing and comfortable hang that stays dry in the rain makes visiting here worth the effort. You can also approach this area by hiking the popular Ruedi Overlook trail. Park about two miles higher up at the pullout by the campgrounds entrance. Cross the road and find the trailhead. Switchback up through pines and aspens for about 50 minutes until you reach some powerlines that cross the trail. Head left (downhill) following the power lines to the edge of the cliff by an old shack. Go left along the edge of the cliff till you spot an easy scramble that takes you to the base. When approaching this way, the first route you’ll encounter will be Gone Beyonder (see below). This hike takes longer, but is significantly less steep, and much shadier.

1. The Strang 5.12b (s)
Walk almost to the top of the crag and climb this sculptural testpiece. Perfect rock, great moves. One of the best lines at the crag. In memory of Lathrop Strang.

2. Cinco de Mayo 5.12b/c (m)
Climb the bolt line just right of The Strang. A 2 inch cam protects a runout to the last bolt.

3. Chickenheads (s) (5.11a)
Climb the incipient cracks right of the Strang and exit through the chickenheads. Bolts.

4. Lightning Shack 5.10+ (s)
Climb the bolt line right of Chickenheads. An optional medium nut protects the 5.8 runout to the first bolt.

5. Shiva Skunk #9 5.12c (m)
Start in the dihedral around the corner and right of Lightning Shack. Need a green C3 to start, then 5 bolts.

6. The Majigger 5.13 (m)
Two bolts through the thin seam. Turn the roof, then climb the V8 headwall.

7. The White Tornado 5.11b (m)
Climbs the splitter roof crack at the top of the crag. Three bolts protect the start, and one protects the top out. Best steep crack at the Pan. Cams to #2. Two .5s helpful.

8. Arete Project 5.13+? (s) Open Project
Steep, green arête right of White Tornado.

9. Gone Beyonder 5.12a (m)
Climb the right-angling bolt line with a crux by the first bolt. Eases way off after the crux. Fun and steep. A #3 Camalot protects the start, then 5 bolts.

10. Party Hat 5.10+ (s)
Last route (or first route if you approach via the Ruedi Overlook trail). Great warmup.

Locals Corner

Bulldog Creek Dog Walk (IV WI 4+)

Hayden Carpenter and Tom Bohanon recently repeated an obscure ice climb on the south side of Mt Sopris. Given a brief mention in Jack Robert’s ice guide, Bulldog Creek Walk is described as being 100 meters of WI 4. What they found was seven pitches of ice in a remote setting that makes for one […]

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