Learning to climb at the Garden of the Gods
Rane Dunn leading Chatters (5.9), a classic 5.9 face route on the Finger Face, in 1995.
I learned to climb on the soft sandstone at the Garden of the Gods, a city park on the west side of Colorado Springs. The first route I ever did there was with Jimmie Dunn in the summer of 1969, a stiff, steep 5.8 up the West Face of White Twin Spire. Jim led and I followed, getting stuck at a short traverse with good footholds but only one handhold, a shallow one-finger pocket. We sat on the tiny summit above the crowds of tourists, pot-smoking hippies, and traffic bumping through the Gateway on the park road. I was hooked on Garden climbing after that. The Garden of the Gods, ranked the number 1 city park in the USA by TripAdvisor and number 2 in the world, is a special and spectacular place to climb, hike, and visit. While the Garden is a tough place to visit in summer with throngs of visitors, the off-season is quieter and the cliffs are empty. While the Garden's climbing is hardly world class, there isn't a more scenic and beautiful place to climb next to a major city anywhere. If you want to get out for a climb or hike, give us a call at Front Range Climbing Company and Hiking Colorado Springs and I'll take care of you!