Unaweep Canyon – Rock Climbing

Unaweep Canyon is a geologically unique canyon situated  in western Colorado. It is unique because two creeks, East Creek and West Creek, flow out of opposite ends of the canyon, separated by the almost imperceptible Unaweep Divide.  Unaweep canyon is a place of pristine beauty and one of the most spectacular but least known rock climbing areas in the Western United States.

Unaweep is a Ute Indian name that translates into “canyon with two mouth”. Unaweep is the only canyon in the world with a divide in the middle and streams running out of both ends.

Cattle ranching and farming continue to be the main livelihood in Unaweep Canyon.  Almost the entire canyon bottom is privately owned by a combination of a few large ranching families and private residences on 10 to 40 acre parcels.

In 2005 I spent 4 glorious days camping on the walls of Unaweep Canyon while climbing beautiful  metamorphic granite/gniess canyon walls all day.  The rock had so much friction it wore my hands out at the end of the 4 days!  We saw no other climbers in the entire time I was there.  I cannot remember the names of the routes we climbed. The hardest was a 5.9 three pitch route.  We climbed a few single pitch routes and a few longer 4 – 5 pitch routes which were brilliant fun.  The views up and down the valley are phenomenal.  Attached is some photo’s.

Looking up the Canyon, Most of the routes we climbed were on the left side canyon walls

Its very peaceful with mainly farmhouses on the floor of the canyon

Wild camping on the top of the canyon

Few beers around the fire every night

So many routes - and potential for new routes

On the lead

Working my up a corner

The rock has excellent friction - maybe too good!

You can just see my head below about 40m belaying

Traversing around to the base of another climb

Rappelling down after another nice route

Finishing a climb in the last few minutes of daylight is always a nice relief. It's nice to know you have got maximum benefit from the day!

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