Monday, May 11, 2009

West Bluff - 45 Degree Boulder

I want to start out the posts with one of the better boulders in the West Bluff Talus fields. The 45 degree boulder is somewhat of an anomaly for Devil's Lake. It holds steep, fun and dynamic climbing and 3 distinct lines up its face. The landing is built up well and the topouts are nice and safe. I really wish there was more like it at DL!! Who knows, maybe there is...

As for FA's I really have no clue. I'm going to assume Paul J, Eric B, or Eric Z. Someone in that crew more than likely did it years ago and I want to thank whoever flattened out the landing.

Starting from the Ski Hi Apple Orchard go right out of the parking lot and drive to the "T" intersection. Take a left and drive about a half mile looking on the right for this:

Drive past the gate until you can park on the right side of the road, maybe 50-60 feet past the gate. Rangers can, and will, check for park stickers here so make sure you have one on your car!! Walk back up the road and hike up the fire road until you hit the West Bluff asphalt trail. Along the way you'll actually pass about 10 areas on either side of the fire road in the woods. You'll only be able to see one of them though, on the right. I'll have more on that soon but that boulder is a great way to warm up and the area is fantastic if you just want to search around for a while.

After about 10 minutes you'll be on the top of the west bluff. Go right past the lookouts and walk for maybe a minute or two. Keep a lookout on the left side for a trail that will break off to the left and go down into the talus. I believe it's around some stairs. I unfortunately forgot to take a pic of it when I was there last. I'll try to update after I go again.

After you get on that trail follow the cliff line as you descend into the talus a bit. After another minute or two the boulder will be on your right in the talus field. Keep an eye out because from above the boulder doesn't look like much. It's definitely worth it once you get there though.

There are three distinct lines on the boulder as of right now, as well as many variations and eliminates, I'm sure. On the left side is a nice V4. We call it 45 Degree Left:

Right up the middle is a nice line, 45 Degree Center, that clocks in at V5. It's got a nice sloper right in the middle and starts as a crouch start on good underclings in the crack.

There is also a line that could start on the far right side of the face and go up the right hand arete. I haven't tried this one so I can't really talk about it too well.

There you have it, the mini guide for the 45 Degree Boulder. Please let me know if there is more that you guys want to see in these posts, whether it be pictures or directions or whatever. This is a work in progress and I hope you guys find it helpful!


  1. Helpful indeed. If you don't have a park sticker, you can park at the intersection of Ski Hi and South Shore Rd and walk up the road. But you should support the park and pay for the pass, of course! CE

  2. Hey Steve,

    I'm doing the same thing in my home town. I'm pretty stoked to get to share the areas that I've found with other people in the community. I'll be checking into your site regularly for ideas and check out the problems you post. Mine is at if you are interested. Also, I'm curious where you got the purple shirt...and more curious where you came across the shoes - looks like an inside job! How do you like them?


  3. Hey Brandon, thanks for dropping by! I'm really interested to see where this is going to go. Hopefully it turns into a nice resource for the area.

  4. Super fun! Not recommended but if you walk straight west up the talus from Anchorpoint you should be right around the 45 degree boulder. ce

  5. I sat started the right line and stuck only to that face/prow, worked up the right arete to the bulgy topout. Best line of the 3 IMHO, I'm sure it's been done before. Felt harder than the other 2 but it was the end of the day... ce