Eddie Kim picks his way across the rock face while bouldering on Flagstaff in Boulder last year.

Bouldering on the Front Range is blowing up.

To get in on the game — not The Game, the V16 Boulder Canyon problem local Daniel Woods sent last winter — in late summer, you just need to know where to go to escape the blazing sun until winter brings better bouldering weather.

Rent a pad

Don’t have room for a crash pad in your own pad? Boulder’s Neptune Mountaineering rents them for $15 for the first day, plus $5 for each day after that. Check it out: .

(Oh, and despite the dry climate, at this time of the year, you’ll also need a lot of chalk.)

Here are five bouldering haunts where you can beat the heat now:

1 Sanitas

Morning shade

Mount Sanitas

Most of the bouldering on Sanitas faces west, off the steep trail that heads straight up the mountain — perfect for a morning sesh. It’s also not a bad intro bouldering spot: the climbing trends easier, and the rock is less abusive (read: less fingertip shredding) than some of the other bouldering crags nearby.


2 The Dark Side

All-day shade

Flagstaff Mountain

V0 to V4 to V8-10

The Dark Side — a collection of boulders downhill from Cloud Shadow — stays true to its name, thanks to the dense evergreen forest overhead. An added summer-bouldering benefit: Many of the problems are north facing.

The problems here offer something for everyone, but those who boulder harder might find more to entertain in the long run.

It’s a quick walk to this area from Capstan Rock.


3 Morrison South

Afternoon shade


Morrison is a love-hate bouldering destination on the Front Range — as in, some love to hate on it.

For a love-fest experience instead, find a bouldering buddy who knows the area and can eliminate the route-finding frustration that might cause a lousy first impression.

The main bouldering area at Morrison is popular in the winter since it catches tons of sun. But across the road is a collection of shady routes from V1 to V8 that are less well-used (polished) than the main area.


4 Satellite Boulders

All-day shade


The Satellite Boulders are nestled in shady forest at the foot of the Second Flatiron. The area has a variety of problems — plenty of warm-ups (with safe landings for the chicken-hearted), and plenty of harder problems to work on through the fall.

The hike from Chautauqua is about 30 minutes.


5 Chaos Canyon

At altitude — cool temps

Rocky Mountain National Park

Chaos isn’t necessarily shady, but by climbing at altitude, you definitely get to escape the Front-Range heat.

But more than just checking it out because of the cooler temperatures, go to Chaos because it’s a premiere bouldering destination.

Climbing season in RMNP is short, so go now — the weather will probably only cooperate into October. Late summer can bring daily afternoon storms, so go early, too.


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