|The famous lone tree across from the Prairie Walls. (Blue Mounds State Park)|
Most climbers, who have heard or been to Blue Mounds, know that it lies off County Road 20, just 4 miles outside of Luverne (a small town in the southwest corner of Minnesota). It is nothing but the 100 foot quartzite cliffs appear among the endless grass filled prairie, featuring 50-60 foot walls with over 200 climbs. Without any bolted routes, the crag hosts numerous of boulder problems, trad and TR climbing with various difficulty from 5.5 to 5.12. Camping, swimming, biking, birdwatching are also enjoyable after a sweaty 80-degree climbing day.
Leaving at 6 in the morning, our arrival 4 hours later was surprised by the empty crag. Not a single human here. This is the one time opportunity to set two TR anchors between 3-4 climbs without feeling guilty and unethical for hogging them all. The walls are pretty simple to find and easy to get around. We put 4 climbs in and took our sweet time gazing at a few shameless quarter-sized spiders within the cracks, while the blazing sun amongst the plains reflects against our skin. I made friends with the lovely cacti real quick afterwards. Nature is what makes climbing more exciting, right?
Four hours of driving distance between the Twin Cities to Luverne, it made more sense to us that spending the night here in BMSP for the convenience, and awesomeness. A few hours of climbing went by and still not a human in sight. Starving our faces off, we decided to go check out our camp site, set up some of our camping gear while enjoying the short lunch break. We came back out to the crag around 4 pm, set our anchor on a 5.9 wall, put 2-3 climbs in as the sun was setting behind the prairie, and called it the day.
There is nothing better than ending a hard climbing day by crawling into your sleeping bag after sharing and devouring several delicious beer brats on a camp fire.
|Prairie Wall @ Blue Mounds State Park.|
Now that you've been itching to have your hands all over the Mounds, go to the Summit Post and/or Mountain Project for information on how to get here. This Memorial weekend, our plan is to come back here for the 2nd visit, and it will be a bigger group of friends and climbers for 3 days of climbing and 3 nights of beer and brats. Hope to see you there.