Rock climbing is a sport that challenges the mind and spirit as much as it challenges the body. It is a slow, intense sport that requires a keen eye and technical skill. Summit County is one of the best places in the country to do rock and ice climbing, as well as mountaineering. Rock climbing in Summit County varies in difficulty, but is usually very easily accessed. There are both indoor and outdoor climbing spots throughout Keystone and Summit County that offer everything from beginner to expert courses. Not only is the climbing great, but the views are stunning and spectacular. The high mountain air is sure to be uplifting and refreshing for your nature climbs in the Rockies.
Climbing can be dangerous if you are unfamiliar with the sport. There are numerous pieces of equipment and a number of techniques to know before you can effectively climb. If you are climbing for the first time, I would highly recommend hiring a guide, taking lessons, or at least go to an indoor climbing wall where everything is monitored. Rentals, lessons and guides are available in multiple shops, recreation centers and resorts through Keystone and Summit County and climbing is a year-round activity! You can go rock climbing in the warmer months or ice climbing in the dead of winter and you can even try to climb up a frozen waterfall!
There are many rock and ice climbing areas in Summit County. Each climber should have a guide to the area or prior experience, especially with lead climbing in both sport and traditional climbing disciplines. If you would like to learn in depth about the many climbs in the Summit County area you can obtain a copy of Summit Climbing Guide which can be purchased from writers and avid climbers Rick and Laura Karden or at many of the local sport shops around Summit County.
If you are traveling to Summit County with young kids, you might be surprised at how easily they pick up the sport of climbing. Kids as young as 2-3 years old really enjoy spending an hour or two at an indoor climbing gym. Climbing is actually safe (when under supervision), and it is a great confidence booster. Oftentimes children will be able to reach the top of a route without even realizing how difficult it was!
There are multiple spots in Keystone for both indoor and outdoor climbing, as well as many different outfitters and companies willing to teach you how to climb effectively. Many of the White Water Rafting companies in the area also offer lessons and clinics with experienced climbers and offer multi-day excursions with a mixture of climbing and rafting. Otherwise, check out one of the local specialty operators, outfitters, or recreation centers or resorts with indoor and outdoor climbing walls. If you are an experienced climber looking for some challenges, I would recommend stopping in at one of the sports equipment shops or local restaurants and ask for recommendations from the locals for the best places to climb and the difficulty of those climbs.
Here are some great places around Keystone and Summit County to do it all, rock climbing, wall climbing (indoor and outdoor) and all the other thrills associated with rock climbing fun for the whole family. Keystone specifically offers a great outdoor climbing wall near their miniature golf course and amongst other attractions to help you have fun all day long!