Climb The Black Canyon
"Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison exposes you to some of the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky." [NPS]
Just a 2 hours country drive south of Aspen lies the north rim of the Black Canyon. The walls of the North Rim host some of the best moderate climbs in the Canyon. Accessed by steep gully descents, sometimes via rappels, climbing up and out of the Black Canyon with the Gunnison river roaring below is a wild and memorable experience.
Some of the classic climbs accessed via the North Rim are Maiden Voyage (5.9), Casual route (5.8), Casually off route (5.9), Leisure Route (5.9 R), Russian Arete IV (5.9), Escape Artist (5.10-), Comic Relief (5.10), Journey Home IV (5.9), and the ultra classic Scenic Cruise V (5.10).
The Black has long been a favorite venue for Aspen Expeditions guides' personal climbing adventures. We are very excited to recently add this amazing venue to our guided offerings, right out our back door.
Let us introduce you to the adventure of climbing in the Black!
Aspen Multi Pitch Climbing
Our Multi Pitch adventure day is the best option for those climbers who want to get off the ground and climb longer quality routes. During this day we will climb a minimum of 6 pitches and as many as you can handle in a 6-9 hr day. We will focus on transitions and moving efficiently through terrain with an appropriate progression suitable for your ability. We often can link up a number of 2-3 pitch walls like the “Grotto Wall Link”, where we climb all three Grotto Walls with routes from 3-4 pitches at a 5.9 or greater difficulty or longer single pitch routes like “El Diablo De Oro” 5.8+ difficulty in 7 pitches with amazing views of the Elk Mountains. This is a perfect way to train for larger adventures like the Black Canyon and beyond, or to just get some serious mileage on the rock with an AMGA Certified Rock Guide!
All necessary climbing gear is included (ropes, rock shoes, harness, helmet, pack). We can meet you at our shop at the Aspen Highlands Base Village or pick you up at your residence. The climbing areas are only around 15-25 minutes from downtown Aspen, offering amazing views of the surrounding peaks and the Roaring Fork River.
Duration: Full Day (+/- 6-7 hrs.)
Location: The guide will be in touch with you the day before to determine your meeting place and any miscellaneous details. Please call 970-925-7625 for any questions.
Maximum Guide Ratio: Up to 6:1
Fitness Level: All levels of fitness are welcome! Some previous climbing experience is helpful for this multi-pitch adventure.
Includes: AMGA trained/certified mountain guide, use of all technical equipment (helmet, harness, climbing equipment, ropes, packs, etc.), and a 3% USFS land use surcharge.
Not included: water, lunch/snack food, & a gratuity for your guide.
Your guide will contact you the day before at the voice number you give us to discuss an appropriate plan for you and to confirm a meeting place and start time. It is usually recommended to meet at Aspen Expeditions' shop at the base of Aspen Highlands, where we can fit you with climbing shoes and all other necessary climbing gear, including a helmet, harness, ropes, pack, etc. Your guide can also meet you at a pre-determined location as long as you let us know the shoe sizes. You and your guide will decide whether to carpool or drive separately to the climbing area, just 15 minutes outside of Aspen.
A typical full day of multi-pitch rock climbing is +/- 6 hours.
The following items are provided for your climbing day:
- Climbing Equipment
- Socks: thin hiking socks, wool or synthetic
- Bottoms: pants or shorts should be comfortable & allow the freedom of movement
- Top: synthetic or woolt-shirts, tank-tops or long sleeves - no cotton!
- Warm layer:nice to have along as the temperatures can vary with altitude and shade
- Rain Jacket: a waterproof jacket, in case of occasional afternoon rain showers
- Hat: to keep the sun off your face
- Water bottle
- Sunscreen and lip balm: water/sweat-proof
- Personal first-aid kit: for your personal meds/needs
- Camera or Smartphone
- Water, Lunch/Snack food
Summers in Aspen tend to be warm and mild, but temperatures can easily drop as you head up in elevation, for example on Independence Pass. Rain/thunderstorms occasionally occur, more often than not in the afternoon rather than mornings. Rain gear will be essential if necessary. Participants will travel in the backcountry and should be prepared for any or all weather conditions.
Booking/Cancellation policy: AE requires a full credit card or cash/check payment to hold your reservation. Cancellations made within 7 days of a scheduled private or course will be charged full price. Travel Guard insurance is available via aspenexpeditions.com website.
Please note: AEW's number one priority is your safety. Many conditions affect our guides' decisions in the mountains, including client fitness and comfort, weather conditions and route conditions. There are inherent hazards in mountain travel such as inclement weather, avalanches, rock fall, ice fall that our guides manage yet cannot eliminate. The combination of our guides' formal training and wealth of experience assures that their sound decision create an enjoyable and safe mountain experience.Aspen Expeditions reserves the right to turn around or change routes without refunds or credits under any conditions.
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