(LIST OF CLIMBS + 2 "TRIP REPORTS")
Category: Colorado
Elev: ~7000 ft
Rock Type: Granite
 
2019
 

TURKEY ROCKS & THUNDER RIDGE 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. 

Both Turkey Rocks and Thunder Ridge primarily face 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.


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.

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.



ON THIS PAGE:

LINK
List of climbs I've done at Turkey Rocks
List of climbs I've done at Thunder Ridge
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

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



(Still quite short)List of climbs I've done at Turkey Rocks

(Alphabetical order)
CLIMB DIFFICULTY
    =multi-pitch
AREA

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

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 5.10d, 1p Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019
Gobbler's Grunt 5.9, 3p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019
Jump Start Pitch 1 5.9, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019
The Satyr Pitch 1 5.10a, 1p, toprope Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019
Second Helpings 5.10d, 1p, toprope Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019
Straw Turkey Pitch 1 5.10a, 1p Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019
Steppenwolf 5.9, 1p Turkey Perch South Face July 6, 2019
Turkey's Delight 5.8, 2p Turkey Tail South Face July 6, 2019
Vanishing Point 5.10d, 1p, toprope Turkey Rock South Face July 5, 2019


(Still quite short)List of climbs I've done at Thunder Ridge

(Alphabetical order)
CLIMB DIFFICULTY
    =multi-pitch
AREA

Color-coded:
    =ALLIGATOR LOUNGE
    =QUARRY WALL
DATE CLIMBED

Color-coded: 
Spring
Summer
Fall
Winter
5.8 My Ass 5.9, 1p, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
Evil Genius 5.10d, 2p, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Let's Do It Again Daddy 5.8, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Optical Illusion 5.11b, sport Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019
Piece of the Action 5.10c, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
Slippery Nipple 5.10d, mixed Quarry Wall Nov 3, 2019
Slot, The 5.9, trad Alligator Lounge Nov 3, 2019

Original trip report for 1st visit to Turkey Rocks....


July 2019 Trip Report to Turkey Rocks
2 Days: Cragging

Date: July 5-6, 2019
Partner: Doug Hutchinson

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

Intro

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.

Climbs / Photos
DAY 1 (July 5)
Routes: 5;
  
 
Total pitches climbed:
 
7.5
1. Gobbler's Grunt, Turkey Rock (5.9, 3p)
2. Jump Start Pitch 1, Turkey Rock (5.9, 1p)
3. Vanishing Point, Turkey Rock (5.10d, 1p, toprope)
4. Straw Turkey Pitch 1, Turkey Rock (5.10a, 1p)
5. The Satyr Pitch 1, Turkey Rock (5.10a, 1p, toprope)
(-). The Fiend, Turkey Rock (5.9, 1p, just Doug climbed, it started to rain as he got to the top)

DAY 2 (July 6)
Routes: 4;
  
 
Total pitches climbed:
5
6. Turkey's Delight, Turkey Tail (5.8, 2p)
7. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1, Turkey Tail (5.10d, 1p)
8. Second Helpings, Turkey Tail (5.10d, 1p, toprope)
9. Steppenwolf, Turkey Perch (5.9, 1p)

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Photo descriptions:
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 Turkey Rock, where we went on our first day. Splitter city!
5-10. Gobbler’s Grunt (5.9, 3p), our first route.
11. On top of Turkey Rock.
12. A nice racking up stump below Turkey Rock.
13. Jump Start Pitch 1 (5.9)
14-15. Vanishing Point (5.10d). We toproped this excellent climb after climbing Jump Start Pitch 1.
16. Straw Turkey Pitch 1 (5.10a).
17. The Satyr Pitch 1 (5.10a). We toproped this after climbing Straw Turkey Pitch 1.
18-21. The Fiend (5.9). 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. And Doug learned a lesson on wearing cotton pants during thundershower season in Colorado. Soaked! 

22. Pretty yellow flowers alongside the trail.
23-24. Drying out at camp. Also a rare sighting of some stylish red underwear.
25-27. Turkey's Delight (5.8, 2p), our first route the second day.
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.
30-34. Drumstick Direct Pitch 1 (5.10d). Gotta climb the guidebook cover route! Nice lead Doug!

35. Second Helpings (5.10d), another excellent route which we toproped from the anchor above Drumstick Direct Pitch 1.
36-37. Steppenwolf (5.9). We couldn't help but stop at Turkey Perch and climb one more route as we hiked out.
38. Hiking out. Afternoon thudershowers building to the west.

Some random photos from other days of cragging at Turkey Rocks.....

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











Original trip report for 1st visit to Thunder Ridge....


November 2019 Trip Report to Thunder Ridge
1 Day of Cragging

Date: November 3, 2019
Partner: Nathan Arganbright

Intro

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.

Climbs / Photos

1. Let's Do It Again Daddy, Alligator Lounge (5.8, trad)
2. Optical Illusion, Alligator Lounge (5.11b, sport)
3. The Slot, Alligator Lounge (5.9, trad)
4. Evil Genius, Alligator Lounge (5.10d, trad, 2p)
5. 5.8 My Ass, Quarry Wall (5.9, mixed)
6. Piece of the Action, Quarry Wall (5.10c, mixed)
7. Slippery Nipple, Quarry Wall (5.10d, mixed)

Photos:
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Photo descriptions:
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. 
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). Super fun featured rock and a great warmup climb for the area.
16. Optical Illusion (11b). 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). Fun, varied climbing.
19. Nate launching into the first pitch of Evil Genius (5.10d). More great climbing. 
20. First pitch of Evil Genius (5.10d).
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). 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. =)

Some random photos from other days of cragging at Thunder Ridge.....

Color coded by area:
    =ALLIGATOR LOUNGE           =QUARRY WALL