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Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Protecting the resources we love

Open Space and Mountain Parks is a popular destination for climbers and boulderers alike. The diversity of outcroppings and boulder fields allow explorers of any skill level a challenge. 

OSMP requests that climbing gear not be left unattended. Unattended gear and ropes may hinder other’s ability to climb or enjoy the natural scenery.

Help preserve this experience for all visitors by respecting seasonal raptor and bat closures and using designated trails when accessing your climb. Social trails can lead to fragmentation of wildlife corridors and indirectly affect wildlife behavior.

Please check for any trail and area closures before your visit. Permanent and seasonal bat roosting site closures and seasonal cliff-nesting raptor closures affect certain climbing areas.

Off-trail permits are required to access some climbing areas in Habitat Conservation Areas (HCAs).

Bolted Routes

Open Space and Mountain Parks provides hundreds of bolted and traditional climbing routes to climb and enjoy. 

To apply for a new route send an email to OSMPfixedhardwarepermits@bouldercolorado.gov and a copy to applications@flatironsclimbing.org with a description of the route that includes: brief route description with number of new bolts, area, cliff or rock face, first name, last name, phone number(s), and email address. Applicants will be required to fill out an Application for New Bolted Route pdf. The Fixed Hardware Review Committee (FHRC) makes application recommendations to OSMP. For more about the FHRC process, please visit the Flatirons Climbing Council Fixed Hardware Program. OSMP makes the decision on all applications.

It is illegal to place fixed protection without a permit.

Replacing an Unsafe Bolt

If you should come across what you determine to be an unsafe bolt and wish to replace it, please use the Application for Bolt Replacement Form pdf. Should your request be approved, we thank you for wishing to make climbing safer for everyone!

History of Climbing in Boulder

Boulder is the site of the earliest recorded climbing in Colorado. Since the turn of the 20th Century, the Flatirons have attracted world-renowned climbers.

Earl and Floyd Millard made the first known ascent of the infamous 3rd Flatiron in 1906. Some of the more notable ascents include Dale Johnson and Phil Robertson on roller skates (!), a blind man led by Ernest Greenman (who climbed it 101 times), Baker Armstrong without hands, and Baker again at age 60 in 16 minutes.

But don't let these feats cause you to lose your guard: in its long history, the 3rd has also brought many careless climbers to their deaths. It is a multiple-pitch climb that is difficult and time consuming to escape from in bad weather.

Long before bouldering was accepted as a sport distinct from climbing, some of the greatest climbers in history came to Boulder in search of problems. The result was standard-setting bouldering trends. 

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