Thoughts on Lizard Head

Page Type Page Type: Trip Report
Location Lat/Lon: 37.83600°N / 107.95°W
Date Date Climbed/Hiked: Aug 1, 2002
We climbed what some people refer to as the "South Crack Route". I would guess we took around 7 hours round trip with 4 or 5 hours of that hiking, the rest doing the roped portion. and the guidebook Telluride Rocks provide good descriptions of this climb. That said, I would add: Despite hearing things like "vertical scree" or "climb it while its still there" this is a pretty good climb. There is protection to be found and the harder sections are fairly short. You are really talking about one big pitch, 140' or so, (or 2 smaller if you break it up) followed by a loose scramble, and then a 15' section of steep but well protected 5.8 and then more scrambling to the summit. This is a reasonable climb for those who are comfortable climbing trad routes that are somewhat runout. You should probably have done some 5.7R (or 5.7S) climbs before going to Lizard Head. If 5.7-5.8 is your trad leading max this might seem fairly hard/scary. Things to look out for - 1. The formation is a lightning rod, get out early and allow plenty of time for the roped portions. 2. When you do the scramble between the two roped pitches anything you knock off will fall down to the area you started belaying from. DO NOT LEAVE YOUR FRIENDS OR DOGS (or packs for that matter) AT THE SPOT YOU STARTED BELAYING. Leave valuables around the corner to the east or west. How dangerous is this really? In the Telluride climbing community I would guess that 40 or 50 people have climbed the formation in the last 10 years along with many more visiting climbers. I've never heard of a fall or an injury. However, I also don't know more than a couple people who've climbed it more than once!!


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Liba Kopeckova

Liba Kopeckova - Mar 25, 2010 10:07 am - Voted 10/10


it is nice to hear about people climbing it... it is pretty scary looking, but so attractive...I am planning to try this summer.

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