West Dihedral

Page Type
Colorado, United States, North America
Route Type:
Technical Rock Climb
Time Required:
Less than two hours

Route Quality: 3 Votes

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Created On: Dec 28, 2005
Last Edited On: Apr 14, 2006


Though this climb is very close to the trailhead, the approach requires a tricky climb and traverse in order to reach the large belay ledge at the base of the climb. From the parking area cross the bridge over the river and take the streamside canyon trail upstream. The trail passes under a large cave close to a huge concrete block along the edge of the stream.

Here leave the trail and hike up towards the cliffs overhead. The West dihedral should be clearly visible up and to the east. Climb towards the gully between the huge Redgarden Wall, and the Whale's tail, on which the Dihedral is located. This is where things start to get tricky and you might want to rope up.

Climb up the gully up to the second landing or ledge. From here a traversing ledge goes up and to the right. The climbing isn't difficult, it's just that the ground is so very far away. Traverse this ledge and climb the chimney at the end of it and it will put you right on the ledge. The approach is an exposed class 4.

Route Description

Though short, this climb can essentially be divided into three sections. The first part climbs up a series of short step like pitches each ending on a ledge. It is not vertical but rather slopes gently up at aroung sixty to seventy degrees. At this point the crack at the center of the dihedral is quite wide, but there are lots of smaller cracks in which to place pro. The holds are plentiful and this section of the climb is quite enjoyable.

The second part of the climb begins where the dihedral narrows and steepens to near vertical. The best way to make up this section is to jam with your feet and use the handholds on either face. There are a few places where its best to lieback and friction climb the face. There are lots of different options for how to climb this section. There are still lots of opportunities for placement of pro, but it is less obivous and abundant than on the first section.

The third part is the crux since you have to negotiate the large overhang at the top of the dihedral. Climb onto the face and to the left using the large flake as a hold. There are some smaller holds on the face, and under the flake as well. Pro is available under the flake. For all three sections, but especially the first and the last be sure to use runners of the proper size to minimize rope drag since the crack will just eat your rope up.

An anchor cable for a rappel is available at the top. One rope should be plenty long enough, but be sure to stop at the ledge and not rappel off the edge.

Essential Gear

Your rack should included small and medium chocks stoppers and hexes. you could this whole route with just passive protection, but cams are always nice. Bring lots of slings and runners to prevent rope drag. Also, be sure to bring a chock pick since the crack likes to keep the pro that's placed in it.