Scarpa North America Blog

Our 8 Favorite Summer Climbing Crags

Jul. 30th 2015

It’s hot out there people. The dog days of summer can put a drag on serious sending thanks to humidity and slick rock. But it’s a great time to hit those alpine boulders and crags. It’s also a great time to mellow out, climb with friends, and enjoy everything about summer cragging like nearby swimming holes, umbrella cocktails, and copious vitamin D. We asked eight of our athletes about there favorite summer climbing zones. Here are their greatest hits. Notice a few repeats. Of course you’ll need footwear for summer sessions. Look to the Booster S if you need stick on steep routes, the Vapor V for comfort and performance, or the Techno X for those multi-pitch trad missions.

Alli Rainey

On those toasty summer days when it’s too hot to climb even at the highest spots in Ten Sleep Canyon, escaping to higher-altitude crags in the Bighorn Mountains can provide a much-needed respite from the heat. Belaying in a down jacket on the hottest of summer days always brings a smile to my face, as long as it’s not so cold that my fingers are too numb to climb.

Summer Climbing in Bighorn Canyon

Alli Rainey in Bighorn Canyon using the new Vapor V

Cody Scarpella

When the heat of the summer is on, I chase the cooler temperatures to the high country. Alpine rock climbing has allowed me some of the most memorable and challenging days of climbing I can remember. Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park is a highlight, but it’s hard to pick a favorite.

Summer Climbing in Rocky Mountain National Park

Longs Peak in early morning light.

Joel Zerr

Favorite summer spot is Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. It’s an alpine area with many options for escaping the heat.  If the lower areas are warm I just hike higher up to get better temps. There’s lots of steep boulders which provide shade.  Plus there’s many days I’ve had in July where I needed long pants and a hoodie. RMNP can have some of the best conditions for bouldering of any summer area I’ve been to in the States.

Bouldering and Summer Climbing in RMNP

Joel Zerr sends Top Notch (V13) in RMNP

Mikey Williams

Ten Sleep, Wyoming, has quickly become one of America’s most popular summer destinations, but just a 30 minute drive higher into the Bighorn mountains are the secluded crags of Crazy Woman. It’s 10 degrees cooler up there, the approaches are less than a 5 minute hike, there are no bugs, and no people—just solitude, dolomite, elk, and antelope.

Summer Climbing at Crazy Woman

Possibilities at Crazy Woman.

Sam Elias

Maple Canyon is a conglomerate climbing area in the middle of the state of Utah between the small towns of Fountain Green and Moroni. Can’t beat shady crags and relatively close proximity to Salt Lake City.


Summer Climbing in Maple Canyon.

Sam Elias enjoys the steep shady routes of Maple Canyon.

Sarah Hueniken

One of my favorite summer places to climb  is Planet X in Cougar Creek in Bow Valley, Alberta. It is a solid hour and a bit hike up the cobbly creek bed, with some fun rock hopping if the creek is running.  The climbs stay in the shade all day and provide 35 meter long 5.12-5.14 routes…aka endless project zone! Five-star routes like Shooting Star (5.12d), Timber and Sticky Buns (5.13a), Shooting Packer (5.13b) and many more “way too hard for me” routes offer cool rock on a hot sunny day.

Summer Climbing at Cougar Creek.

Looking up Planet X.

Rob Pizem

I love the New River Gorge. The conditions may not be perfect for sending your hardest route but the climbing is varied and incredible as you move from crag to crag. Plus, throw in Summersville Lake and you will always have a fun time swimming and climbing.

Will Gadd

Canadian Rockies! Ideal temps, fun climbs, yeah!

Summer Climbing in the Candian Rockies

Winter during summer in the Canadian Rockies.


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