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Dragon's Den, Big Elk Meadows
Dragon's Den Overview The Cave The Y-Boulder The HorseFly The HighBall Wall The Choss Roof The DragonFire The ShipWreck The Matterhorn The Gill Slab and Slab Wall The HighBall Wall
MouseOver then click on the map to jump to the rocks
Then click the << to jump back to top of the page











The Dragon's Den is a new area at Big Elk Meadows between Lyons and Estes Park. The boulders are nestled in a pleasant draw at the base of Kenny Mountain. These boulders make a nice addition to the existing boulders at Big Elk.

Getting There:

Kathy Lantz on Leprechaun V1, HighBall Wall
Kathy Lantz on Leprechaun V1

Take Highway 36 northwest from Lyons towards Estes Park for approximately 10 miles. Once through Pinewood Springs ( about 1 mile) turn left onto County Road #47 (Big Elk Meadows). Follow the newly paved CR #47 west for about 2.2 miles to a comparatively small dirt pullout on the right side of the road. The Dragon's Den is found after a short 15 minute hike along a pleasant stream, and up a draw at the base of Kenny Mountain.

Two boulders can be seen from the parking area (east side of the road), this is the Warm Up Boulder. The Dragon's Den trail heads downhill from the parking lot west to a gully. Follow a pleasant trail up and over a small hill into a small creek bed. The trail continues along the creek for a few minutes. Cross the creekbed at a cairn where a re-bar sticks out of a rock in the creek. Find the trail on the other side and continue on for about 100 yards to a cairn. From the cairn follow a faint trail uphill for less than 5 minutes. The Dragon's Den will appear on the left and right of the trail.

The Climbing
Jason B. sends Swing Problem V2, Gill Slab, Dragon's Den, Big Elk Meadows
Jason sends Swing Problem V2, Gill Slab

The boulders are of varied quality granite with edges and cracks. You will find big and small boulders for all abilities clustered together. Many more problems have been done but omitted due to quality of rock or landings. The area is very new so some of problems can be a little dirty and fragile. Most of the problems have only seen a few accents, so be careful and enjoy.

The Matterhorn   <<
Matterhorn Block
The first boulder you come to when
you enter the Dragon's Den.
Many variations exist.
  1. UnNamed V4, sds, Up left arete on slopers and long reaches. Then pull left around the arete to finish.
  2. UnNamed V5, Start sds at #1. Traverse right across face to jugs, then a long throw out left to lip. Pull left around arete to finish.
  3. UnNamed V4, sds, Start at jugs in middle of wall. Move left to arete and finish up #1.
Jason B. sends UnNamed V5

The ShipWreck   <<
The ShipWreck Rock
This is the big boulder below the Matterhorn. Many fun straight up problems cab be done here as well as a pumpy traverse.

   4. Traverse V4, Traverse from left to right. Start
       on jugs and ending with mantel-like finish.

   5. Project V?, sds, Low under roof. Traverse
       along lip of roof and up arete/prow to top.

Choss Roof Arete V5
Bart Strege sends Choss Roof Arete V5

Choss Roof topo
Choss Roof boulder topo

Choss Roof Boulder   <<
Although short, this rocks yields fun problems with lots of moves. Some holds are loose.

6. UnNamed V6/7, sds, Climb out roof
    on crack holds, stemming off the Choss     Roof. Finish # 8.

7. Arete V5, sds, On right side of arete.     Climb the arete and finish #8.

8. UnNamed V3, sds, On crack in middle of     face. Throw to good hold out right and
    finish straight up.

9. UnNamed V1, sds, On crack. Up jugs to
    left and finish #8

Todd Ballard on Dragon Fire V7, as Elvis the over-priced dog, looks on in incredulity
Todd Ballard on Dragon Fire V7

Dragon Fire topo
Dragon Fire topo

The Dragon Fire Block   <<
Cool boulder with cracks on one side and many slab problems on the other. The overhang on the end has a couple of cool variations and Dragon Fire V7.

10. Warm Up Crack V0, Up giant crack
       on left.

11. Jump crack Mantel V4?, Jump start
       to crack, mantel. Then use thin seam
       to reach slopey topout

12. Dragon Fire V7, Match on undercling.
       Move up into crack, then out right to

13. Arete V4/5, sds, Up arete.

  The Gill Slab   <<
Gill Slab and Slab Wall

               Gill Slab and Slab Wall topo
A cool slab of granite with a swing problem similar to Gill Swing on FlagStaff.

14. Swing Problem V2, From good left
       hand sidepull/undercling. Swing to lip
       and over.

15. Throw Problem V3, From crimp
       jump-start to tiny lip edge, then over.

The SlabRon Larsen sends UnNamed V0 on The Slab 16. UnNamed V0, Follow crack up slab,
       then use edges to top. Bust left to
       arete for an easier finish.

17. Arete V0 Start low, up arete.

18. Slab Problem V2

       Jason on Roll The Troll V5, Highball Wall
       Jason on Roll The Troll V5
   Highball Wall   <<
This is tallest boulder at the Dragon's Den and sports the classic, Roll The Troll V5; and excellent highball on crimps and edges.

19. UnNamed V6, Up double left-facing
      dihedrals. 15 feet left of #20.
20. The Leprechaun V1, Up dihedrals on
       good holds to high ramp then over.
21. Roll The Troll V5, Up face right of #20.
       Pull right around arete to finish. A low
       start has been done.

The Cave area
The Cave area
   The Cave   <<
22. Whale Bitch V4/5, Match on undercling and
       slap up slopers and bulges. Avoid good edge
       on lip out left.
23. Dungeon Bitch V5/6, Start at #22, traverse
      right to dihedral. Up underclings to top.
24. The Dungeon V5, Start with bad right
      undercling and good left. Pop to jug, up slab.
25. Rocken Bones V1, Low start. Move right then
      up to arete. Traverse left along arete to top.


Ron Larsen sends Slab Problem V1/2, Slab Wall
Ron L. sends #26, SlabWall

Slab Wall   <<
This wall is still a little dirty. But a couple of cool slab problems have been done here. You will find it directly behind the Gill Slab.

26. Slab Problem V1/2, Up slab to cool horn,
      then out left to jug. Thin feet.

27. UnNamed V0, 15 feet right of #26. Low
     start on flakes. Up to jugs and over.

   The Y- Boulder   <<
The boulder with a giant Y in the middle of the south face.

28. Y- Arete V2, Low start, Up arete.
29. Whiner V0, sds, Up crack to right.
       Easy topout.

30. Why Bother V0, sds, Up crack to left.
       Pull over bulges

31. Why Me V0, Low start on ledge.

The Y - Boulder topo
The Y-Boulder topo

HorseFly Block   <<
The HorseFly Boulder topo
32. The FlySwatter V1, sds at crack. Use
       arete and crack. Move right at top

33. The HorseFly V3, Start low crack and
       sidepull. Up to crimp, good holds to top
34. HorseFly Arete V2, sds, sidepulls and
       edges to top of #33.
35. Project, Low start, up face.
36. UnNamed V3, Height dependent. Start
       high in crack hold. Slap to good edge
       and over.
37. Project, Use crystals to start. Long
       moves to more crystals.

This area was first discovered by Jason Beausoleil in mid June of 2001. After a 15 minute hike in the Roosevelt National Forest you'll find multiple problems with mostly good landings. The granite boulders are concentrated together in a quiet, isolated setting. There are other areas being developed nearby. Stay tuned to FRB for more new areas in Big Elk Meadows.
This area is very new so some of the holds are loose and flaky with lichen still on them. There aren't any super hard test pieces. Most of the established problems are in the V1 to V3 range. Even though the area is at 8000 feet elevation it can be hot in the summer and weather moves in fast off the Continental Divide. The rock is harsh on the finger tips. Some of the problems are high and dangerous, don't forget to bring pads and spotters.

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