Kansas Adventure Athlete: Route 166 Boulder

What started out as another trip to Elk City Lake to explore the Table Mound for bouldering development put on a different path that lead us to this singular rock projecting out of the earth. We parked and checked it out. We couldn’t quite tell if it was natural or placed there as a monument of sorts. There was nothing else in the area but we tell that we had entered a sandstone region from the bluff and roadside cutouts. We left after a few minutes and finished what we set off to do. After walking a couple miles through beautiful but chossy limestone at Elk City Lake we decided to head back home with the knowledge that although there were a few rocks  worth projecting and cleaning up we didn’t have it in us to dedicate out time to it. At least on this trip or this season. Also, as a logistical note: From the Overlook region above the dam we could see that all of the North shore boulder were underwater. The current water level is up about 10 additional feet since we did that development blitz in November.  The details and maps are on a previous blog.

We decided to make our way back to this statuesque sandstone rock that is probably 15-20 feet tall and about 4 feet thick. There is an east and west side including a south facing down climb as you can see in the picture. On the north end is an overhanging bulge with at least one unsent route on it. The east and west side textures are demonstrably different. The east side is typical course sandstone with small to medium sized ledges and even a few huecos. The west side has a much smoother texture with patina and evidence of iron staining  with knobby features. All routes top out on to a safe platform and down climbs like a ladder.  Access issues are still being figured out but it sounds like it’s open but I must say a few things as a reminder to protect this area.  This area is very exposed to traffic and is seen by hundreds of drivers every day. It absolutely is a beautiful structure that MUST be preserved and not altered. It would not be appropriate to leave any trash behind or tear up the ground getting to it so for now parking on the shoulder is recommended unless it is determined that we shouldn’t. Also, I think for now chalk should not be used on this rock. One, it is not needed because of the texture and Two, it will look bad on this communities landmark as they drive by it every day. As a general rule I think it is always best  to not make it obvious we have been there. Currently, we are still developing a few more routes on it and then will make a few final attempts at a couple projects we started and want to try and finish over the next couple weeks.  We will post a map in the near future so keep checking back here for updates.

East Side

East Side

Blue: Farmer’s Daughters V3: FA Jason Kruse (Far left sit start and follows visible trough in rock and finishes on first peak)

Red: Rosco P Coltrane V3: FA Jason Kruse. Finishes on first peak

Yellow: Boss Hog V3: FA Jason Kruse.  SDS with staggered hands follows a line up through the 2 huecos.


West Side

West side

Blue: T-bone Tango: V3+: FA Jason Kruse

Yellow: Cheesy Toenail V2: FA: Christopher Edwards. (Undercling start , move to left small crimp then top out to first peak.)

Green: Dirty Ore v3: FA Jason Kruse

Red: Escape Artist V2+: FA Christopher Edwards (Stay low under arete)

White: Downclimb


There are 3 projects and  likely 5 more routes that can be developed on this rock. This will likely be our return spot for a few weeks so stay tuned for more info.