(SHORT REPORTS)
 
2018
 
Category:  Colorado
Rock Type: Granite 
Elev: ~9000 ft

LUMPY RIDGE Climbing


Lumpy Ridge, lying in the northeastern sector of Rocky Mountain National Park, is an area of 500-foot tall lumps of granite. Over 500 routes ascend the lumps, on excellent compact crystal-studded stone. The compact granite is ideal for face climbing with incut edges, knobs, and crystals, and cracks also split the face allowing for excellent protection. The faces are about 70°, so climbing often involves burning calves and trusting the feet on smears. Lumpy Ridge is south-facing (so a bit hot) but tends to get better weather than the central RMNP, so it can be a good option when the weather is a bit iffy for a committing climb in the central region of the Park.

Lumpy Ridge from Estes Park.

The following page features some "short reports" from some climbs I've done at Lumpy Ridge (just one trip so far, in July 2018, but I will be back!). These reports do not give as much written detail as most of the trip reports on my website, but they do provide some great photos and a bit of route beta and usually a nice route overlay. 



ON THIS PAGE:

ROUTE/LINK DIFFICULTY DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
The Book
The Book, George's Tree  5.9, 5p
JULY
12
2018

The Book, J-Crack  5.9 C1, 3-4p
JULY
22
2018

The Book, Loose Ends + Cheap Date + Outlander  5.9, 4p +
10b, 1p +
10c, 1p
JULY
11
2018

Sundance Buttress
Sundance Buttress, Mainliner  5.9, 5p
JULY
21
2018

The Bookmark (someday I will climb here)
Twin Owls (someday I will climb here)
Batman Rock (someday I will climb here)
The Pear (someday I will climb here)

SEASONAL RAPTOR CLOSURES:

Seasonal raptor closures are in effect here, usually March 1 to July 31, although sometimes the closure is lifted early if no raptors are detected nesting on the walls. 




    ORIGINAL INTRO FROM MY FIRST TRIP TO LUMPY (JULY 2018)

     
    <-- Map of summer 2018
         climbing roadtrip 
         (click to enlarge)

    In July 2018, I climbed in the Rocky Mountain National Park area for a couple of weeks. During this time, I climbed for four mornings at Lumpy Ridge (all of these days were "60% thundershowers after 1pm" or worse kind of days). The first two Lumpy days of my trip were with George Foster, the second two Lumpy days were with Dow Williams.

    When George and I climbed at Lumpy, seasonal raptor closures were in effect, and popular walls such as Sundance Buttress and Twin Owls were off-limits. So George and I decided to check out The Book, supposedly one of the finest lumps at Lumpy. Many long, striking crack and dihedral lines ascend the 500-foot tall lump. The first morning at Lumpy, we climbed a popular 6-pitch link-up to the top: Loose Ends (5.9, 4p) + Cheap Date (10b, 1p) + Outlander (10c, 1p)The second morning at Lumpy, we climbed George's Tree (5.9, 5p) (George was sad to find that his tree—once alive and located about 20 feet up Pitch 1—was now a dead snag). Both were excellent routes.

    A week later, the raptor closure was lifted on Sundance Buttress. Sundance Buttress is the tallest and most remote of the lumps at Lumpy, and home to some of Lumpy's best granite and best long routes. So naturally I wanted to check it out. Dow and I climbed
    Mainliner (5.9 5p), a Lumpy classic. It was a fun route, but a tad easy (it's not very sustained at the 5.9 grade); given how great the rock was at Sundance, I made a note to return and climb a harder route on the buttress. The offwidth crack splitting the roof on Turnkorner buttress was pretty compelling..... The next morning, Dow and I squeezed in J-Crack (5.9 C1, 3-4p) before the thundershowers hit; according to our guidebook, J-Crack is Lumpy's most famous climb, whose second pitch climbs a backwards J that can be seen from the approach. Indeed, the second pitch was a gem.

    This page gives photos from my four days of climbing at Lumpy Ridge. Fun stuff!



    The Book

    Route: GEORGE'S TREE (5.9, 5p)  The Book

    Date: July 12, 2018      Partner: George Foster
    Trip Report #: 296

    An adventurous route following flared cracks all the way to the top. Gear is plentiful and climbing is sustained at 5.9.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour on trail from parking lot to base of The Book.
    1.    
     
      
       
       
      
    1. View towards central RMNP from Lumpy. A nice morning. But a few more clouds than yesterday....


    Pitch 
    1
    5.9. Flared finger and hand crack with a dead tree 20 feet up.
    2.    
    3.    
    4.   
    2. Looking up Pitch 1. You can see the snag in the crack about 20 feet up.  (George was sad to find that his tree—once alive and located about 20 feet up Pitch 1—was now a dead snag. Apparently the tree that used to be there died in 2014.)
    3. The upper half of the pitch. Although flared, it takes good gear.
    4. George following the pitch with his dead snag just below him.

    Pitch 
    2
    5.8 or 10c. Step right to a 10c offwidth or step left and climb flakes to a 5.8 crack.
    5.    
    6.   
    7.    
    5. The 10c option for Pitch 2.
    6. The 5.8 option for Pitch 2. This follows the route Osiris for 50 feet then goes right up a 5.8 crack.
    7. Clouds developing above.
    Pitch 
    3
    5.9. Hand crack over a head-wall to Fang Ledge.
    8.    
    9.  
    8. Fun crack climbing on Pitch 3.
    9. As we were climbing, a helicopter was flying back and forth across the ridge carrying loads of water to try to control/put out a small fire on the other side of the ridge.


    Pitch 
    4
    5.9. Hand crack to a ledge. Or continue on to link with Pitch 5.
    10.    
    11.    
    10. George starting up Pitch 4.
    11. Pitch 4 climbs to the base of the final headwall. Pitch 5 is a short pitch to the top. These are easily linked.
    Pitch 
    5
    5.7. Left-facing corner to the top.
    12. 
    12. The final corner to the top.

    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble east from the summit and follow a climbers path (3rd/4th) down and around to the base.
    13.    
    14.    
    15.  
    13. Looking towards Longs Peak. We made it off the summit just as it began to rain. Wouldn't want to be on Longs right now....
    14. Elk beside the trail.
    15. Flowers beside the trail.



    Route: J-CRACK (5.9 C1, 3-4p)  The Book

    Date: July 22, 2018      Partner: Dow Williams
    Trip Report #: 305

    One of Lumpy's most popular climbs, whose second pitch climbs an awesome 200-foot finger and hand crack in the shape of a backwards J.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour on trail from parking lot to base of The Book.
       
      
     

    Pitch 
    1
    5.7. Easy corner to a nice ledge.
    1.   
    1. Looking up Pitch 1.
    Pitch 
    2
    (guidebook lists as 2 pitches)
    5.9 C1. Traverse left into the J, and climb up the awesome finger and hand crack. For the last 20-30 feet, the crack steepens. Here there are 3 options:
    (1) Climb straight up, 11c or 5.9 C1 on good gear.
    (2) Set a piece in the crack, downclimb a bit, and face climb right (10a) into an easy groove which you can climb to the top of the crack
    (3) Face climb left (5.9) to the crack of Visual Aids.
    We went straight up (Option 1). The guidebook lists this as two pitches. Done as a single pitch, it is an amazing 215 foot lead and avoids a hanging belay.
    2.    
    3.    
    4.    
    5.    
    6.    
    7.      
    2. Dow starting off Pitch 2. The traverse over is fairly easy on a foot ledge level with the belay.
    3. Dow cruising up the crack.
    4. The crack.
    5. The crack. The guidebook calls it a "finger crack" but I would call it a "finger and hand crack" since I feel like I did just about as many hand jams as finger jams.
    6. The crack continues up the steepening headwall. Here you can choose to continue straight up (5.11c or 5.9 C1) or se a high piece and traverse right or left. 
    7. Just a minor scrape, says Dow. Doesn't even hurt.
    Pitch 
    3
    5.7. Here you have options as well:
    (1) Climb up and right to a break in the overhang and climb through to easy ground (5.7).
    (2)
    Climb up and left to the Cave (5.easy). Exit the Cave in some way:
        (a) Hurley Traverse (5.7) which hand traverses rightward out of the cave.
        (b) The Cave Exit (5.8) which climbs straight and exits via weird stems and twists.
        (c) Continue left onto Cheap Date (10b) + Outlander (10c) for a nice linkup.
    We chose the Hurley Traverse option, which was a fun choice.
    8.    
    9.    
    10.    
    11.   
    8. Above the J Crack pitch, continue easily up to base of cave (or climb right and up).
    9. Looking up at the Cave. Cave Exit goes up the V while Hurly Traverse traverses right on a hand rail.
    10. Hurley Traverse.
    11. Dow following the Hurley Traverse.
    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble east from the top of the Cave and follow a climbers path (3rd/4th) down and around to the base.
      



    Route: LOOSE ENDS (5.9, 4p) + CHEAP DATE (10b, 1p)  +  OUTLANDER (10c, 1p)  The Book

    Date: July 11, 2018      Partner: George Foster
    Trip Report #: 295

    An excellent 6-pitch link-up to the top involving lots of fingercracks and laybacking.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour on trail from parking lot to base of The Book.
    1.   
    2.    
    1. The turnoff to The Book. The trail is very nice and clearly marked.
    2. The Book. (This photo was taken as we hiked out. The sun hit the walls around 11am. We climbed in the early morning since it can be quite hot in the sun at Lumpy.)

    Pitch 
    1
    LOOSE ENDS 5.9. Thin layback corner.
     
    3.    
    4.    
    5.    
    3. Looking up Pitch 1, which starts with a pumpy layback corner with good finger locks and calf pump. (This photo was taken after we climbed the route, when the sun had hit the wall.)
    4. Upper part of Pitch 1.
    5. George following Pitch 1.

    Pitch 
    2
    LOOSE ENDS 5.9. Thin crack up face with insecure jams at the short crux.
    6.    
    7.    

    6. George starting off Pitch 2. He's at the crux on insecure finger locks; after the short crux, the crack is cruiser and fun.
    7. Looking down the Pitch 2 crack.


    Pitch 
    3
    LOOSE ENDS 5.9. Layback the dihedral.
    8.    
    9.    
     
       
      
      

    8. Pitch 3, fun laybacking.
    9. Looking down Pitch 3.


    Pitch 
    4
    LOOSE ENDS 5.easy. Easy climbing to the Cave.
    10.  10. Pitch 4 is 5.easy to the base of the Cave. From here you have several options: climb out of the Cave by one of a few routes or climb Cheap Date + Outlander. We chose the latter since it meant two more pitches of great climbing, at a slightly harder grade than Loose Ends.


    Pitch 
    5
    CHEAP DATE 5.10b. Left leaning finger-crack with slabby feet.
    11.    
    12.  
    11. Cheap Date is a left leaning fingercrack with great finger locks to hang out on as you fiddle around to try to set gear in a sideways position.
    12. The upper crack on Cheap Date. Sewed it up with yellow aliens, grey C4s, and purple-grey and grey-blue offsets.


    Pitch 
    6
    OUTLANDER 5.10c. Pumpy moves through a steep pod and crack.
    13.    
    14.  
    13. George just below the pumpy crux of Outlander.
    14. Outlander.

    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble east from the summit and follow a climbers path (3rd/4th) down and around to the base.
    15.    
    16.    
    17.    
    15. The view looking towards the heart of RMNP (Longs Peak, etc.)
    16. Looking west along Lumpy Ridge. Sundance Buttress is at the far end.
    17. Horsemint on the trail.




    Sundance Buttress

    Route: MAINLINER (5.9, 5p)  Sundance Buttress

    Date: July 21, 2018      Partner: Dow Williams
    Trip Report #: 304

    One of Lumpy's best and most popular moderate long routes with exposure, fun climbing and short cruxes. The route ascends the tallest and most remote crag at Lumpy.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour 20 minutes on trail from parking lot to base of Sundance Buttress.
    1.    
    2.    

      
      
     
      
     
    1. Sundance Buttress is the furthest west of the crags at Lumpy Ridge. It is also the largest.
    2. The turnoff to begin hiking up to Sundance is clearly marked.


    Pitch 
    1
    5.7. Climb up cracks in the dihedral, ending at a ledge.
    3.    
    4.    
    5.      
    3. Looking up from the base of the route. Pitch 1 follows the crack systems.
    4. Climbing on Pitch 1.
    5. Looking down from the belay. In this photo, Dow is about at the ledge that marks the typical end of Pitch 1. I had started to set up a belay here, but then I looked up and spotted a .2 X4 sticking out of the crack 30 feet up, so decided to climb to the X4 and see if  could clean it while Dow seconded the pitch....

    Pitch 
    2
    5.8. Climb a corner, then face climb up featured rock, and pull a roof, ending at a nice ledge.
    6.     
    6. Dow starting up the featured face section on Pitch 2. Normally this would be about 50 feet into the pitch, but I had set a high belay for Pitch 1.
    Pitch 
    3
    5.9. Climb up a groove, then stem the corners to a ledge, then climb up a pod and finger crack over a bulge, then a good crack that ends at a nice ledge.
    7.    
    8.    
    9.    
    7. The 5.9 stem section. Dow linked this with his pitch, so this was the 2nd pitch of the route for us.
    8. The 5.9 pod and crack over a bulge section. This was the start of our third pitch, but is typically the second half of Pitch 3.
    9. Looking down at the 5.9 pod and crack over bulge section.

    Pitch 
    4
    5.8. Climb up the dihedral, exiting left to a large belay ledge.
    10.     
    10. The dihedral.
    Pitch 
    5
    5.7. Climb the chimney slot, exiting right to the terrace.
    11.   11. Dow nearing the top of the chimney slot, having too much fun to set pro.

    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble to notch between Guillotine Wall and Turnkorner Buttress, downclimb or rappel about 300 feet of 4th class to gully below, and scramble down the gully and back around to the base.
    12.    
    13.    
    14.    
    15.    
    16.    
    12. Looking up from the top of the route. The route does not end at the summit of Sundance, but you could easily continue on 5.easy terrain. Thundershowers were threatening so we opted to begin the descent.
    13. A cool tree high on Sundance.
    14. Scrambling down into the gully. This is 4th class, and there are options to rappel if you want.
    15. The Bookend. Looks like some interesting chimney routes.
    16. Twin Owls on the pastoral hike. I'd like to climb on Twin Owls someday, when raptor closures are lifted.