(LIST OF CLIMBS + 3 "TRIP REPORTS")
Category: Colorado
Elev: ~7000-8000 ft
Rock Type: Granite
 
2019, 2020
 

TURKEY ROCKS THUNDER RIDGE & SHEEP NOSE Climbing


Turkey Rocks and Thunder Ridge are two areas of granite cragging in the South Platte. I've put them both on this page, since they are in the same general vicinity, both accessed off of Stump Road/CR-68. 

Turkey Rocks has one of the finest concentrations of crack climbs in Colorado with a friendly southerly aspect and a quick approach. As the same suggests, Turkey Rocks is a collection of rocks, including popular rocks such as the Leftovers, Rightovers, Turkey Rock, The Turkey Perch, and Turkey Tail.

Thunder Ridge — located just north of Turkey Rocks — is a large outcrop of rocks composed of steep and highly-featured "alligator skin" granite. The climbing here is mostly single-pitch, and a mix of trad and sport. 

Sheep Nose (elev 8,832) is the obvious granite monolith located on the drive to Turkey Rocks or Thunder Ridge (just before the road turns off to head to Thunder Ridge). It is hard not to want to climb to the top. Sheep Nose is known for fine delicate face climbs and thin cracks of a non-strenuous nature. There are several routes, with a few of them being fun and popular classics.

Turkey Rocks, Thunder Ridge, and Sheep Nose all face primarily south, although there are some aspects that hold shade as well. For this reason, it is often possible to climb here during the winter, although a four wheel drive vehicle and spikes might be needed to negotiate the snow that is sometimes found on the road and the walk to the base of the crags. The areas are far enough removed from Boulder that they typically are not too crowded.


Guidebook photo of the south face of Turkey Rock. Granite crack climbing paradise!

Thunder Ridge. A sublime setting.
Sheep Nose. Begs to be summited.


The first time I climbed at Turkey Rocks was in July 2019, for two short days with a friend from Washington who was interested in a grand tour of some of the climbing areas in Colorado. I had just moved to Boulder and was eager to check out the area, so we included Turkey Rocks in our tour. The first time I climbed at Thunder Ridge was in November 2019, for a single day on a fall weekend trip to the South Platte. The first time I ticked off the summit of Sheep Nose was on a sunny day in January 2020.

Since I plan to return to Turkey Rocks and Thunder Ridge several times over the years, I just keep a list of the climbs I've done at the two locations (on this page). Below the lists, I've also included my original trip report from the first day I climbed at each of the locations (made to establish this page on my website), and below that I have photos from subsequent random days of cragging at Turkey Rocks and Thunder Ridge.



ON THIS PAGE:

LINK
List of climbs I've done at Turkey Rocks
2019 trip report (1st trip to Turkey Rocks: 2 days of cragging)
JULY
5-6
2019

  TR #: 349
Other random photos from cragging at Turkey Rocks               


LINK
List of climbs I've done at Thunder Ridge
2019 trip report (1st trip to Thunder Ridge: 1 day of cragging)
NOV
3
2019

  TR #: 379
Other random photos from cragging at Thunder Ridge     


LINK
List of climbs I've done at Sheep Nose
Lost in Space (5.9, 3-4p, to summit)
JAN
25
2020

  TR #: 391
Other random photos from cragging at Sheep Nose     


Turkey Rocks
List of climbs I've done at Turkey Rocks

(Alphabetical order)
CLIMB DIFFICULTY
    =multi-pitch
AREA

Color-coded:
    =THE LEFTOVERS
    =TURKEY ROCK
    =TURKEY PERCH 
    =TURKEY TAIL
DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Alive and Kicking 5.9+, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Captain Fist 5.8, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
I'm Telling Mom (w/ 5.9 variation) 5.7/5.9, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Mellow Yellow 5.8, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Temperature's Rising 5.9, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
The Throat 5.8, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Too Much Crack 5.10a, 2p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Unknown between Temperature's Rising and Alive and Kicking ~5.8, 1p The Leftovers Feb 1, 2020
Steppenwolf 5.9, 1p Turkey Perch South Face July 6, 2019
Brain Cramps 5.9, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Chopping Block (Pitch 1) 5.7, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Eastern Front, The 5.8, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Jan 26, 2020
Fiend, The 5.9, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Jan 26, 2020
Glenn's Pancake 5.8, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Gobbler's Grunt 5.9, 3p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019
Great White Crime, The 11a, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Jan 26, 2020;
Mar 14, 2020
Jump Start (Pitch 1) 5.9, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019;
Mar 14, 2020
Little Edward's Little Overhang 10b, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Feb 1, 2020
Nighttime Madness (Pitch 1) 5.7, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Satyr, The (Pitch 1) 10a, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019;
Mar 14, 2020
Southern Comfort 5.9, 2p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Straw Turkey (Pitch 1) 10a, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019;
Jan 26, 2020
Stewart's Crack (Pitch 1) 5.8, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Turkey Shoot 5.9, 3p Turkey Rock South Face Jan 26, 2020
Vanishing Point 10d, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019;
Mar 14, 2020
Where Turkey's Dare (Pitch 1) 5.9, 1p Turkey Rock South Face Mar 14, 2020
Drumstick Direct (Pitch 1) 10d, 1p Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019
Second Helpings 10d, 1p Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019
Turkey's Delight 5.8, 2p Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019


Photos

Color coded by area:
    =THE LEFTOVERS          =TURKEY ROCK           =TURKEY PERCH           =TURKEY TAIL

FIRST TRIP TO TURKEY ROCKS
JULY 5-6, 2019
w/ Doug Hutchinson
I had just moved to Boulder, and my friend Doug from Seattle took the opportunity of me being down in Colorado to plan a 10-day climbing trip to the area. This was a great opportunity for me to check out some of the climbing areas in my unfamiliar backyard with a familiar partner. Due to the unsettled forecast and Doug's desire to acclimatize a bit to the elevation, we started off the trip with a couple of days of cragging in Turkey Rocks. The following gives a list of what we climbed and some photos.

 
<-- Map of summer 2019
     climbing 
roadtrip 
     (click to enlarge)

1. Make sure turn left on 360B! We almost missed this turnoff.
2. Approach trail.
3. Property boundary sign. Turkey Rocks is on the boundary of private land.
4. Guidebook page for the south face of Turkey Rock, where we went on our first day. Splitter city!
5. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock, our first route.
6. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
7. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
8. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
9. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
10. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
11. On top of Turkey Rock.

12. A nice racking up stump below Turkey Rock.

13. Jump Start Pitch 1 (5.9) at Turkey Rock.

14. Vanishing Point (5.10d) at Turkey Rock. We toproped this excellent climb after climbing Jump Start Pitch 1.
15. Vanishing Point (5.10d) at Turkey Rock
16. Straw Turkey Pitch 1 (5.10a) at Turkey Rock.

17. The Satyr Pitch 1 (5.10a) at Turkey Rock. We toproped this after climbing Straw Turkey Pitch 1.
18. The Fiend (5.9) at Turkey Rock

19. We should have stopped climbing when we heard the thunder, but we thought we got greedy and tried to squeeze in one more pitch. The thundershower beat us to the top. 
20. Yep, its officially raining.
21. And Doug learned a lesson on wearing cotton pants during thundershower season in Colorado. Soaked! 
22. Pretty yellow flowers alongside the trail.
23. Drying out at camp. Also a rare sighting of some stylish red underwear.

24. Drying out at camp. Also a rare sighting of some stylish red underwear.
25. Turkey's Delight (5.8, 2p) at Turkey Tail, our first route the second day.
26. Turkey's Delight (5.8, 2p) at Turkey Tail.
27. Turkey's Delight (5.8, 2p) at Turkey Tail,.
28. View to the south. It's a pretty place.

29. Descent from Turkey Tail. The bolts at the top of Turkey's Delight had been chopped so we had to figure out a way off. We went west and downclimbed a short handcrack to a chimney slot which got us to easier terrain.
30. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d) at Turkey TailGotta climb the guidebook cover route! 

31. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d) at Turkey Tail. Nice lead Doug!
32. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d) at Turkey Tail.
33. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d) at Turkey Tail.
34. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d) at Turkey Tail.
35. Second Helpings (5.10d), another excellent route which we toproped from the anchor above Drumstick Direct Pitch 1.
36. Steppenwolf (5.9). We couldn't help but stop at Turkey Perch and climb one more route as we hiked out.
37. Steppenwolf (5.9) at Turkey Perch.
38. Hiking out. Afternoon thudershowers building to the west.
Color coded by area:
    =THE LEFTOVERS          =TURKEY ROCK           =TURKEY PERCH           =TURKEY TAIL
JANUARY 26, 2020
w/ JJ Calhoun
38. View
39. Granite awesomeness on the south face of Turkey Rock.
40. Pitch 1 of Turkey Shoot (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
41. Crack at end of Pitch 1 of Turkey Shoot (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
42. Pitch 2 of Turkey Shoot (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
43. Fun wide climbing on Pitch 3 of Turkey Shoot (5.9, 3p) at Turkey Rock.
44. More granite awesomeness on the south face of Turkey Rock.
45. JJ leading The Straw Turkey (5.10a) at Turkey Rock.
46. Typical chain-style anchor at Turkey Rock.
47. The fun corner of The Eastern Front (5.8) at Turkey Rock.
48. JJ leading The Fiend (5.9) at Turkey Rock.
49. JJ leading The Great White Crime (5.11a) at Turkey Rock.
FEBRUARY 1, 2020
w/ Jonathan Oulton
50. It can be nice to have an AWD or 4WD in the winter. 51. Winter on the north side, summer on the south side....
52. Okay, maybe a bit wintery at the base too.

53. But the rock is dry! Our first route of the day: Too Much Crack (5.10a), a great 200 foot pitch at The Leftovers.

54. Jon about to launch into the crux of Too Much Crack (5.10a) at The Leftovers.

55. More fun crack climbing (who would have guessed?) on Too Much Crack (5.10a) at The Leftovers.

56. Captain Fist (5.8) at The Leftovers.

57. Captain Fist (5.8) at The Leftovers.

58. The Throat (5.8), a fun chimney at The Leftovers.

59. The Throat (5.8), a fun chimney at The Leftovers.

60. Wide climbing on The Throat (5.8) at The Leftovers

61. Wintery view.

62. Wintery view.

63. The descents on the north side can be a bit adventurous in the winter.

64. More adventure during the descent.

65. Temperature's Rising (5.9) at The Leftovers.

66. Alive and Kicking (5.9+) at The Leftovers.

67. Mellow Yellow (5.8) at The Leftovers.

68. Little Edward's Little Overhang (5.10b) at Turkey Rock. This route is a lot of fun - better than it looks from below!

69. Chain anchor at top of Little Edward's Little Overhang (5.10b) at Turkey Rock.
MARCH 14, 2020
w/ Giles Eperon
70. Pitch 1 of Southern Comfort (5.9) at Turkey Rock.
71. Pitch 2 of Southern Comfort (5.9) at Turkey Rock.
72. On top of Turkey Rock.
73. Vanishing Point (5.10d) at Turkey Rock.
74. Chopping Block P1 (5.7) at Turkey Rock.
75. Stewart's Crack P1 (5.8) at Turkey Rock.
76. Great White Crime (5.11a) at Turkey Rock.
77. Nighttime Madness P1 (5.7) at Turkey Rock.
78. Brain Cramps (5.9) at Turkey Rock.

79. View from Turkey Rocks.

Thunder Ridge
List of climbs I've done at Thunder Ridge


(Alphabetical order)
CLIMB DIFFICULTY
    =multi-pitch
AREA

Color-coded:
    =ALLIGATOR LOUNGE
    =BROWN WALL
    =QUARRY WALL
    =WASP CANYON
DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Evil Genius 10d, 2p, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Let's Do It Again Daddy 5.8, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Optical Illusion 11b, sport Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Slot, The 5.9, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Bust'er Hyman 11c, mixed Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Gator Boy 11b, trad Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Reptile + Reptile Tears 10c + 10d, trad Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Schmausser Traverse, The 11a, mixed Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Stegamite 5.5, trad (solo) Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Stegosaur 10c, 1-2p, trad Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
Zorro 10d, trad Brown Wall Jan 19, 2020
5.8 My Ass 5.9, 1p, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
Piece of the Action 10c, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
Slippery Nipple 10d, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
W.A.S.P. 5.7, trad Wasp Canyon Jan 19, 2020
Wasp Me (w/ direct start) 5.8, trad (10a direct start) Wasp Canyon Jan 19, 2020


Photos

Color coded by area:
    =ALLIGATOR LOUNGE           =BROWN WALL            =QUARRY WALL           =WASP CANYON

FIRST TRIP TO THUNDER RIDGE
NOVEMBER 3, 2019
w/ Nate Arganbright
Climbed here for a single day on a fall weekend climbing trip to the South Platte. I found the climbing a bit reminiscent of City of Rocks climbing. Super fun and high quality stuff. I'll be back for more cragging.

1. We found a nice place to camp shortly up the road to Turkey Rocks. The trailhead for Thunder Ridge was perhaps a 20 minute drive from here.


2. Camp life. I brought my laptop and made an overlay for the day's climbs of Center Route and Wunsch's Dihedral at Cynical Pinnacle (located about an hour from Thunder Ridge area, also in the South Platte) and then got some math homework done as well. Nate had an awesome setup with a canvas tent, cot, and propane heater. I was jealous. But he had nothing on my down booties....

3. The parking area for Thunder Ridge.


4-12. The approach to Thunder Ridge involves walking along a private road. You will know you are on the right approach if you just follow the signs. 


5.

6.

7.

8.

9. 

10.

11.

12.

13. The turnoff to Thunder Ridge after the private road. Whew, we didn't get shot and we live to climb another day!


14. Alligator Lounge, our first destination.


15. Let's Do It Again Daddy (5.8) at Alligator Lounge. Super fun featured rock and a great warmup climb for the area.


16. Optical Illusion (11b) at Alligator Lounge. A good climb, but no longer a chill warm-up. Expect some spicy climbing and DFU terrain on this one.

17. The climbing on Optical Illusion was made even spicier by the bee's nest in the corner just left of it.

18. The Slot (5.9) at Alligator Lounge. Fun, varied climbing.


19. Nate launching into the first pitch of Evil Genius (5.10d) at Alligator Lounge. More great climbing. 


20. First pitch of Evil Genius (5.10d) at Alligator Lounge.

21. Second pitch of Evil Genius (5.10d). Definitely worth climbing this second pitch, which is excellent.

22. View out from Alligator Lounge.


23. View out from Alligator Lounge.


24. A cool "autolith" (definition of autolith: a fragment of a previously crystallized portion of rock enclosed in material from the same magma which solidified later).


25. Quarry Wall, where we climbed a few pitches before leaving to drive back to Boulder.

26. Nate starting up 5.8 My Ass (5.9) at Quarry Wall. Appropriately named!

27. Thunder Ridge photo, taken on the hike out.

28. Hiking out. I don't think you'll be shot by a sign-happy landowner if you stay on the road. =)
Color coded by area:
    =ALLIGATOR LOUNGE           =BROWN WALL            =QUARRY WALL           =WASP CANYON
JANUARY 19, 2020
w/ Nate Mankovitch 
29. Someone straightened all of the signs!
30. I like this one.
31. A nice morning stroll.
32. Our first climb of the day (January 19 with Nate Mankovitch): Reptile at Brown Wall. Tied with Zorro for my favorite route of the day (and at Thunder Ridge so far).
33. Reptile Tears, an awesome extra 30 feet of steep patina to tack onto the end of Reptile.  Brown Wall.
34. Nate Mankovitch leading up Zorro, a climb with great position along the edge of the patina on the arete. Tied with Reptile for my favorite route of the day (and at Thunder Ridge so far). Brown Wall.
35. We found a crack! On Stegosaur. Brown Wall.
36. Second pitch of Stegosaur. Brown Wall.
37. The start of The Schaumasser Traverse. Brown Wall.
38. To get an extra pitch and because patina jug hauling is a blast, I soloed up the 5.5 route Stegamite on the outside of this big boulder. Brown Wall.
39. I couldn't resist more patina jugs, so we stopped to climb W.A.S.P and Wasp Me on the hike out though Wasp Canyon.
40. Thunder Ridge glowing in the late afternoon sun.
41. Hiking out after a great day of climbing.
42. Who needs a spoon when you have a nut tool?


Sheep Nose
List of climbs I've done at Sheep Nose


(Alphabetical order)
CLIMB DIFFICULTY
    =multi-pitch
AREA


DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Chinook 5.9+, 1p, trad Sheep Nose SW side Jan 25, 2020
Evening Stroll 5.7, 1p, trad Sheep Nose SW side Jan 25, 2020
Lost in Space 5.9, 3-4p, trad Sheep Nose SE face Jan 25, 2020
Seamus 11a, 1p, toprope Sheep Nose SW side Jan 25, 2020
Ten Years After (Pitch 1) 5.8, 1p, trad Sheep Nose SW side Jan 25, 2020


Photos

Trip Reports for climbs to the summit....

Route: Lost in Space (5.9, 3-4p) 

Date: January 25, 2020     Partner: Natalie Huey

Lost in Space is of the most popular routes up Sheep Nose, climbing cracks and corners and knobs directly up the southeast buttress in 3 to 4 pitches of fun and moderate climbing on beautifully featured rock.
Route Overlay:
Photos:
Photo descriptions:

Approach 
Park directly in front of Sheep Nose. Hike climbers' trail to base of southeast face.
1.    
2.    
3.    
  
  
1. Sheep Nose and giant booger.
2. Sheep Nose.
3. Natalie on the pleasant approach to the base of the route.



Pitch 
1
5.8. Climb the slabby, right-angling open book crack to the obvious left-facing dihedral, and climb up that to its end and a decent gear belay. 
4.    
5.    
6.     
4. Looking up Pitch 1.
5. Corner on Pitch 1.
6. Natalie nearing the end of Pitch 1.




Pitch 
2
5.9. Climb up and to the right on a steep wall with good features. Climb featured rock on the outer edge of the arete up and around the left side of a roof, and then follow crack systems up to a nice big belay ledge. The crux occurs near the end of the pitch where the corner steepens and a few "slabby crack" moves must be executed.
7.    
8.    
9.     
7. Natalie starting up Pitch 2.
8. Featured rock on Pitch 2.
9. Corner on Pitch 2.




Pitch 
3
5.7. Head up the obvious chimney above the belay, make a few moves to the right, and follow the corner and crack system to another good belay ledge. Stop here or continue up Pitch 4 far enough to get past the 5th class.
10.    
11.    
12.    
10. Natalie at the belay at the top of Pitch 2. The start of Pitch 3 is above her.
11. Start of Pitch 3.
12. Pitch 3 climbs the corner on the right.

Pitch
4
(Linked with Pitch 3)
5.4. Climb over a few short walls and traverse to the left on a fourth-class slab all the way to the summit. The 5th class part of this pitch is easily linked with Pitch 3.
13.  
13. 5.easy climbing on Pitch 4. 



Top!
Enjoy the view!
14.        
14. The summit.

Descent
Two options: (1) Rappel. Walk a bit west and then SW and locate a pair of rap bolts.Two raps with a single rope lead you to a ramp. Hike down the ramp and curve around back to packs at base of route.
(2) Walk off to the west. We did not go this way but it looked pretty mellow. A short rap might help negotiate a steep section near the base of the formation.
15.    
16.       
15. The first rap bolts.
16. The second rap bolts.

Some random photos from some single-pitch cragging at Sheep Nose.....
JANUARY 25, 2020
w/ Natalie Huey

1. Ten Years After (5.8) climbs the obvious corner.
2. Looking up the corner of Ten Years After (5.8).
3. Natalie climbing the fun corner of Ten Years After (5.8).
4. Natalie climbing the fun corner of Ten Years After (5.8).
5. Toproping Seamus (11a) just right of the corner of Ten Years After (5.8).
6. Couldn't resist climbing up the handcrack of Evening Stroll (5.7).
7. Natalie climbing Chinook (5.9+) just to the left of the handcrack of Evening Stroll (5.7).
8. Yeah, we sort of asked for this....