RMNP does not make it easy for you. After cutting your teeth on some of the climbs in the park, you will come out a stronger and more seasoned climber, with newly honed skills and experiences to add to your climbing resume.
First thing you’ll learn is that the Rockies are known for afternoon thunderstorms meaning you might want to be on the rock at first light. However, you’ll also be dealing with long approaches meaning that you will need to be leaving the car sometimes around 3am. The bright side of this is that you will often see some spectacular sunrises. The climbing itself is adventurous, with at times loose rock and poor protection, all while dealing with a killer headache from the altitude.
Spend some time here, the scenery really is beautiful. The climbing days are so long and draining up in the Rockies that we would pretty much have a 1:1 climbing to rest day ratio. On days that have a gloomy forecast, Lumpy Ridge is a great place to climb with a much lower commitment level (quicker approach, shorter climbs).
- North Ridge of Spearhead 5.6
- Culp-Bossier 5.8
- The Casual Route 5.10a
- Pervertical Sanctuary 5.11a
Basing out of Estes Park is a good way to hit up RMNP as well as Lumpy Ridge. Sleeping in urban areas is never pleasant and always stressful. Please be respectful, if not invisible.
We spent a bunch of time at the Estes Park Library researching beta for climbs as well as filling up water (ok fine, and soaking up the AC).
There are like a million ice cream shops in Estes Park. There are also a bunch of nice areas with picnic tables to park and cook your own dinner.
We did not shower here unless getting soaked on every descent back to the car counts.
Estes Park Library is great for getting some work done.
There is also a very old movie theatre in town with a rustic vibe. We watched Dunkirk on a rest day.