(SHORT REPORTS)
Category:  Colorado
Elev: ~9000 ft
Rock Type: Granite
 
2018-2019
 

LUMPY RIDGE Climbing


Lumpy Ridge is a long spine of 500-foot tall lumps of granite, situated in a sublime setting in the northeastern sector of Rocky Mountain National Park on the outskirts of Estes Park. Hundreds of routes ascend the lumps, on excellent rock composed of incut edges, knobs, crystals, and cracks. The faces are about 70°, so climbing often involves trusting the feet just as much as the arms. The gear can be a bit thoughtful at times, so it is a good place to test your trad game. Lumpy Ridge is south-facing, making it a hot summer crag but perfect place to spend a sunny spring, fall, or even winter day. It is also a good option when the weather is a bit iffy for a committing climb in the central region of RMNP.

Lumpy Ridge from Estes Park.

The following page features some "short reports" from some climbs I've done at Lumpy Ridge. I highly enjoy the overall package of the climbing at Lumpy, and now that I live just 1 hour away from the Lumpy Ridge trailhead, I plan to fill out this page over the coming years. 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:
(Arranged West to East)

ROUTE/LINK DIFFICULTY DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
SUNDANCE Buttress
Sundance Buttress, Mainliner  5.9, 5p
JULY
21
2018

  TR #: 305
Sundance Buttress, Turnkorner  5.10b, 7p
AUG
3
2019

  TR #: 358
The BOOKMARK
The Bookmark, Romulan Territory 5.10b, 3p
NOV
10
2019

  TR #: 380
The BOOK
The Book, George's Tree  5.9, 5p
JULY
12
2018

  TR #: 297
The Book, Fat City 5.10c, 4p
NOV
10
2019

  TR #: 381
The Book, Loose Ends + Cheap Date + Outlander  5.9, 4p +
10b, 1p +
10c, 1p
JULY
11
2018

  TR #: 296
The Book, J-Crack  5.9 C1, 3-4p
JULY
22
2018

  TR #: 306
TWIN OWLS
Twin Owls, Cragging: Cackle Crack, Hagakure, Rooster Tail, Tighter Squeeze, East Ridge P2, The Bowels of the Owls, Yosemite Crack, Coyote, Tiger's Tooth P1 5.8-12b, 8p
SEPT
28
2019

  TR #: 369
BATMAN Rock (someday I will climb here)
The PEAR (someday I will climb here)
List of all climbs (single+multipitch) I've done at Lumpy Ridge

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. 


      SUNDANCE Buttress  

    Route: Mainliner (5.9, 5p)  SUNDANCE Buttress

    Date: July 21, 2018       Partner: Dow Williams

    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.



    Route: Turnkorner (5.10b, 7p)  SUNDANCE Buttress

    Date: August 3, 2019       Partner: Brad Mering

    This route is the quintessential 5.10 crack climbing test piece at Lumpy. The route climbs the longest section of the wall, following a long crack system up the middle of Turnkorner Buttress though the left end of a large roof band. The climbing is varied and strenuous.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour 20 minutes on trail from parking lot to base of Sundance Buttress. Begin at a right-facing dihedral just left of a flake boulder 100 feet left from where the access trail meets the cliff.
    1.      
      
     
      

      
      
     
      
     
    1. Turnkorner climbs through the obvious wide crack splitting the roof (photo taken in afternoon after finishing the climb). The climb went into the sun around 11am.
    Pitch 
    1
    5.9. Stem and jam the corner.
    2.    
    2. Pitch 1.

    Pitch 
    2
    5.9. Jam a handcrack to a flared crack to a belay on blocks on a ledge. 
    3.    
    3. Pitch 2.

    Pitch 
    3
    5.9. Face climb along a thin corner to a sloping ledge with an old bolt.
    4.    
    5.    
    6.    
     

      
    4. Pitch 3.
    5. I wouldn't trust this tat to hold a fall!
    6. Old bolt caked in bird poop. Sundance Buttress is closed due to seasonal raptor closures until July 31.

    Pitch 
    4
    5.10b. Climb an overhanging hand/fist crack followed by an off-width slot to a semihanging belay below the roof band.
    7.    
      
    7. Brad starting up Pitch 4. Nice lead Brad!

    Pitch 
    5
    5.10a. Climb up the strenuous off-width crack over an imposing roof, using some face features out right to get through it. Jam the long, steep flared chimney until it ends at a good stance.
    8.    
    9.    
    10.   
    8. Looking up at the imposing roof of Pitch 5. This pitch is 10a, but it felt harder and more sutained than Pitch 4 (10b).
    9. Long flaring corner. 
    10. Stemming the corner.


    Pitch 
    6
    5.6. Traverse right and jam a flared crack to a belay on a terrace.  
    11.     11. Pitch 6.
    Pitch 
    7
    5.9. Climb a crack and corner and up left in a left facing angling corner to a belay ledge. (Easier variation: 5.6. Angle up and left to a crack that leads to low-angled slabs).
    12.    12. Pitch 7, 5.9 option. Goes straight up from belay ledge at top of Pitch 6.
    Top & Descent
    From the top of Pitch 7, scramble up easy rock to The Saddle. To descend, downclimb or rappel about 300 feet of 4th class to gully below, and scramble down the gully and back around to the base.
    13.    
    14.    
     
    13. The final bit to the top. It started with a move or two of low 5th and then got really easy. Not really significant enough to count as a real pitch of climbing.
    14. The 4th class descent.


      The BOOKMARK  

    Route: Romulan Territory (5.10b, 3p)  The BOOKMARK

    Date: November 10, 2019      Partner: Nathan Arganbright

    An excellent route that climbs the major dihedral system in the center of the upper wall.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour on trail from parking lot to base of The Bookmark, which is just left of The Book.
    (no photos)   
     
      
       
       
      

    Pitch 
    1
    via Marginal Line
    5.9+. Select a pitch to Library Ledge. Several options. We chose Marginal Line, which has a bouldery crux start into a seam, and from there follows fun and moderate terrain to Library Ledge.
    1.    
     
    1. Marginal Line start. This route had only one star in the guidebook but I thought it was pretty fun.
    Pitch 
    2
    5.10b. Climb the corner. There is a steep crux bulge midway up. The gear is a bit tricky but its all there if you look for it. Excellent climbing that tests your trad game.
    2.    
    3.    
      
    2. Looking up Pitch 2.
    3. Midway up Pitch 2. The crux is at the bulge about 20 feet above me.
    Pitch 
    3
    5.9. Climb up into the dihedral proper and lieback to its top, then undercling right to a belay stance. More excellent climbing.
    4.    
    5.    
        
    4. Nate starting up Pitch 3.
    5. A view down Pitch 3. Excellent rock. 


    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble (4th) to the right and down to a slung horn. Make 1-2 raps depending on the length of your rope and your downclimbing comfort. We made a single rap with a 70m rope, bypassing an intermediate station along the way.
    6.  
    6. The view is hard to beat. That's Longs Peak in the distance.



      The BOOK  

    Route: George's Tree (5.9, 5p)  The BOOK

    Date: July 12, 2018       Partner: George Foster

    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.


    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: Fat City (5.10c, 4p)  The BOOK

    Date: November 10, 2019     Partner: Nathan Arganbright

    The classic 5.10 at the book that tackles the arching roof at its center.
    Route overlay:
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    Approach
    ~1 hour on trail from parking lot to base of The Book.
    (no photos)   

    Pitch 
    1
    (we linked P1+P2)
    5.8. Climb an obvious crack system in the center of the slab. End at a bolted anchor or easily link with Pitch 2.
    1.    
      
    1. Looking up Pitch 1.

    Pitch 
    2
    (we linked P1+P2)
    5.10c. The crux pitch that has a bit of everything. Delicate moves up a thin crack, an exciting hand traverse, a squeeze up a slot, and pulling over a roof. Awesome!
    2.    
    3.    
       
    2. The start of Pitch 2, as seen from bolted anchor at top of Pitch 1.
    3. Looking down from belay at top of Pitch 2. The belay is at a small foot stance not far above the roof. We linked Pitches 1 & 2 so Nate is still on Pitch 2 in the photo. 
    Pitch 
    3
    (we linked P3+P4)
    5.9. Lieback a leaning flake/seam, which leads to a ramp and then the Cave. 
    4.    
     
    4. Nate near the end of the fun leaning flake/seam on Pitch 3.


    4
    via Hurley Traverse

    (we linked P3+P4)
    5.7 or 5.9. There are several options for Pitch 4. We chose to do the Hurley Traverse (via 5.9 direct start) up and right, which is a fun pitch.
    5.    
    5. Hurley Traverse. Steep for 5.7!
    Top & Descent
    To descend, scramble east from the summit and follow a climbers path (3rd/4th) down and around to the base.
    (no photos) 



    Route: Loose Ends (5.9, 4p) + Cheap Date (10b, 1p) + Outlander (10c, 1p)  The BOOK

    Date: July 11, 2018       Partner: George Foster

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

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


    Pitch 
    4
    Loose Ends
    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
    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
    Out-lander
    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.




    Route: J-Crack (5.9 C1, 3-4p)  The BOOK

    Date: July 22, 2018       Partner: Dow Williams

    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
    via
    Hurley Traverse
    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.
      



      TWIN OWLS  

    Routes: Cragging: Cackle Crack (5.8, 1p), Hagakure (5.12a, 1p), Rooster Tail (5.9+, 1p), Tighter Squeeze (5.8-, 1p), East Ridge Pitch 2 (5.8, 1p), The Bowels of the Owls (5.0, descent solo), Yosemite Crack (5.9-, 1p), Coyote (5.12b, 1p), Tiger's Tooth Pitch 1 (5.9+, 1p)  TWIN OWLS

    Date: September 28, 2019       Partner: Nathan Arganbright

    What a great place to spend an early fall day.
    Twin Owls photo
    Photos:
    Photo descriptions:
    1.    
    2.    
    3.    
    4.    
    5.    
    6.    
    7.    
    8.    
    1. Cackle Crack (5.8, 1p, trad). Fun stuff.
    2. Tighter Squeeze (5.8-, 1p, trad). Yeah, a bit of a tight squeeze.
    3. Tighter Squeeze (5.8-, 1p, trad). Bring a #6!
    4. Yosemite Crack (5.9-, 1p, trad). Started pretty mellow but began to feel like Yosemite 5.9 about halfway up....no reason to bring anything but a #3 and #4's on this climb. I love this kind of burly crack climbing.
    5. Tiger's Tooth (5.9+) follows the corner. Coyote (12b sport) follows the arete.
    6. Twin Owls on the hike out.
    7. Flaming aspen. 
    8. Flaming aspen.




    (Still pretty short...)List of climbs I've done at Lumpy Ridge

    Since I've also done some single-pitch cragging that does not appear in the above trip reports, here is a complete list of climbs I've done at Lumpy Ridge, mainly just for my own records.

    (Alphabetical order)
    CLIMB DIFFICULTY

        =multi-pitch
    AREA

    Color-coded:
       =Sundance Buttress
       =The Bookmark
       =The Book
       =Twin Owls
    DATE CLIMBED
    Color-coded: 
    Spring
    Summer
    Fall
    Winter
    Mainliner 5.9, 5p Sundance Buttress July 21, 2018
    Turnkorner 5.10b, 7p Sundance Buttress Aug 3, 2018
    Marginal Line 5.9+, 1p The Bookmark Nov 10, 2019
    Romulan Territory 5.10b, 3p The Bookmark Nov 10, 2019
    Cheap Date 5.10b, 1p The Book July 11, 2018
    Fat City 5.10c, 4p The Book Nov 10, 2019
    George's Tree 5.9, 5p The Book July 12, 2018
    Hurley Traverse 5.7 or 5.9, 1p The Book July 22, 2018;
    Nov 10, 2019
    J-Crack 5.9, 3-4p The Book July 22, 2018
    Loose Ends 5.9, 4p The Book July 11, 2018
    Outlander 5.10c, 1p The Book July 11, 2018
    Bowels of the Owls, The 5.0, 1p, solo Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Cackle Crack 5.8, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Coyote 5.12b, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    East Ridge Pitch 2 5.8, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Hagakure 5.12a, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Rooster Tail 5.9+, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Tiger's Tooth Pitch 1 5.9+, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Tighter Squeeze 5.8-, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019
    Yosemite Crack 5.9-, 1p Twin Owls Sept 28, 2019