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Routes : North America : United States : Colorado : Northern Colorado : RMNP - Alpine Bouldering (Chaos-Emerald)

RMNP - Alpine Bouldering (Chaos-Emerald)

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About RMNP - Alpine Bouldering (Chaos-Emerald):

NOTE: you will be bouldering in a National Park in an alpine setting. Be careful to avoid damaging plants as the growing season is very short here. Luckily most of the bouldering has landings that consist of talus so many problems are not subject to erosion. You will be fine as long as you have a few pads.

This area has fantastic bouldering opportunities, literally any road through the area you will be able to find a boulder within a couple hundred yards. If you plan on hitting this area come on out in the summmer or fall because winter is devilishly cold (think 3 feet of snow at the base of all the problems) and snow lasts well into the spring. June is often the first month that is fairly snow-free. Be prepared for the altitude most of the areas are at least above 8,000 feet with Chaos Canyon being more like 10,500-11,000 feet.

The bouldering is on high quality schist. The problems tend to be hard and long, and can feel even harder if you're not acclimated. There are some bouldering opportunities at V5 and under BUT the majority of problems tend to be near the high end of difficulty (V9-V14). There are probably no more than 50-75 problems here. But they are usually so difficult that most mortals will take a lifetime to send everything.

Nearest town or city: Estes Park
Directions: Both Emerald Lake and Chaos bouldering are very easy to find. Simply head to the main entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP or "The Park") and drive to the Bear Lake Trailhead. It's quite a large popular trailhead thriving with tourists. For 2004 you will still need to take a shuttle to get here but I think most road construction will be done post 2005. Check at the Park entrance.

From Bear Lake Trailhead, look for obvious signs to Emerald Lake or Lake Hiyaha. The Emerald Lake bouldering is about 100-200 yards below Emerald Lake while Chaos Canyon Bouldering is below Lake Hiyaha. A third bouldering field lies above Lake Hiyaha and is known as Upper Chaos. Hiking is on well groomed tourist trails except for the portion between Chaos and Upper Chaos. Expect hiking times of 40 minutes for Emerald or Chaos. Hiking to Upper Chaos can take 1.5 to 2 hours.

Latitude, Longitude:
Access Issues:
Camping: Yes
When to Climb:
Quantity of Climbs: Lifetime

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Forum Discussions (3 posts)

  Subject Author Replies Last Post
No Replies Colorado/RMNP database ambler 0 Feb 25 2004, 12:03 PM
With Replies Camping in or near Estes Park ajaxjv 1 Jul 07 2003, 6:27 PM
No Replies partner for the diamond? wigglestick 0 Jul 02 2002, 6:44 AM