Climbing Independence Pass

Independence pass is located east of Aspen off the super-steep CO Highway 82. The area includes many crags between Aspen & Twin Lakes and includes not only sport climbs but trad climbs and bouldering as well. The rock is mostly granite but some areas have both compact granite and metamorphized gneiss. The rock is very featured and some areas are very overhanging. This is another area at high elevation (9,000+ feet) and therefore best during the summer (the road is actually closed from mid October through mid May.)

The beauty of climbing along Independence Pass lies in its variety of different crags, from those small in size and difficult, to those large in size with lots of variety in grades. The Grotto Wall offers the highest concentration of routes and my favorite wall is Monitor Rock which has virtually no approach and a good West face. The views at every crag are stunning, quaking aspen trees, beautiful wildflowers, a roaring creek, alpine tundra. This is the Colorado Rockies at its best. There is also ample camping in the area making this destination a great one for a full weekend outing.

Popular routes at Independence Pass (All on Monitor Rock):

Squid Kid 5.10a long (70 m rope needed), varied moves

Silver Dollar 5.10d enjoyable face climbing, crux at a steeper section near the top

Twin Flakes 5.10b/c Steep left angling dihedral

(Cryogenics 5.10a is the ultimate classic trad line on the Grotto Wall, just had to mention it too.)

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