If you climb at Main Elk you have probably looked across the river and up at the 200 foot amphitheater of inviting white and pink rock on the West side of the creek. This is The Chamber of Secrets (Keeping with Dave Pegg’s Harry Potter theme for the region) This area is incredible and was described by early explorer rock climbers as “futuristic.” Expect and adventurous hike in and not to see any other people, just big horn sheep, mountain lions and spectacular views. The area is east facing and covered with shade around 1 o’clock pm so offers good climbing temperature on hot days. (If you can survive the hike up). The climbs that have been established require a 70m rope for the most part and up to 20 draws! When you’re on the wall you feel like you are 1000 feet directly above the river. This is one of the most wild and scenic crags I have ever been too, right in our backyard.
Also in the area is The Troll Zone. This area is the western most pink rock you can see when you pull into the Main Elk parking. The stone is pretty darn good here. The hang is great as well. This zone is in the sun for most of the day and goes into the shade in the late afternoon. It offers great climbing in the fall and even warm winter days.
In both zones climbs are new and have seen few ascents so please wear a helmet and as also brushing key holds is much appreciated!
The hike in is not that bad but plan on the approach taking 35-45 minutes depending on how fast you walk up hill and know the approach route. I recommend bringing only essentials (one 70m rope, 1 set draws, and lots of water). There are several approaches but for now will just explain one. Hike as if you were going to Mutton wall at Main Elk from the parking. Instead of heading up to the pup tent drop down the trail to the creek. Once along the creek look for a massive tree to cross the creek on. (Not possible in high water.) Once across the creek you will be standing along the Olson’s irrigation ditch. Walk down stream about 100 feet to a large dried out wash on the right. Walk up the wash for about 5 minutes before coming to a trail that starts up the hill on the right. This hill side is baked in the sun! Follow switch backs and rock steps up the hill for about 10-15 minutes and you will eventually get to a 15 foot cliff band right in front of you.
To get to The Troll Zone take a left at the base of the cliff band. You will gain a little elevation but pretty much side traverse the hill side over to the climbs.
To get to The Chamber of Secrets continue up a little farther at the 15 foot cliff band to a 10 foot fixed line. Ascend the step and then follow the trail trending right to the obvious prow. At the prow slip into the conifers and follow a trail along the base of the cliff band. Watch your step!
Bob Olson owns the ranch that we walk along to approach the climbs. He is a very nice individual and supportive of climbing in the area so lets keep it that way. The approaches to the Troll zone and Chamber have been discussed with him in detail. Please be respectful of the trail along the irrigation ditch.