Wild Iowa is the main place to go locally for good limestone sport routes.
I've been there about 4 times so far and this was my first outdoor climbing
spot. There is a whole other area across the river that we've still never
Drapers Bluffs, Southern Illinois
Drapers Bluff is in a very awesome area of Southern Illinois that in general has
some of the best sanstone bouldering in the midwest (some say the US).
Drapers specifically is privately owned by a climber who allows climbing there -
how cool is that?!?! I've been there once with a couple of college
buddies, Matt and Casey. What a fun trip, lead my first trad route and did
my first mutipitch (also all trad) with 3 other climbers, topping out at around
100' to overlook a huge valley. Really neat trip, can't wait to return.
Near Vail, Colorado
This area was discovered on a Mary Kay retreat in Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Lance, Tony, Brian and I headed out and found tons of really challenging (lowest
was 5.9 if I remember) sport climbs. Nearly spent all the energy I had on
the first route, the third thumb above which started with a crux getting over a
large overhang with a bad fall below and not much protection until you get over
the lip. Fun trip, high altitude, and beautiful scenery made this a trip
Palisades Park, South Dakota
Quartzite!!! This trip was set up by a friend in South Dakota
who climbs here all the time. It is really a gem of a park that I can't
wait to go back to, if even just to camp. This trip made me realize how
much I need to explore South Dakota. Tony, Neal, and his son climbed all
day, then took a swim in the river. Pretty challenging sport routes with
so many routes we had to leave unclimbed (for now!).