Guiding- Grand Ledge, MI
I have to be honest, I didn’t expect much of Grand Ledges in Grand Ledge, Michigan as a climbing destination upon reading the guidebook in preparation to guide there. Having been to world class climbing destinations I knew not to expect a whole lot. Going in with that expectation led to me thoroughly enjoying what Grand Ledges had to offer. It even evoked a bit of jealousy deep within me; jealousy that such a cool little crag could be hiding right in the back yard of this little town in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan.
Grand Ledges is not a world class crag, and it’s not one to add to your “must climb” list if you’re looking for a destination for a climbing road trip. It is however a worthy crag if you’re a climber living in the Midwest. There is no lead climbing and the cliffs are short; with the highest one only reaching about 40 feet. Top ropes are easily set up with easy access along the top. The crag is maintained by a small group of local climbers and they are proud and protective of their local crag. Erosion is an issue and it appears the locals take great care to do anything they can to take preserve this crag The scenery is wonderful and the short approach from the parking lot is definitely a bonus. Every climber we encountered was friendly and willing to share ropes/climbs and beta. My closest crag is 3 hours away so to see a beautifully set sandstone crag literally in someone’s backyard made me pine for something like that of my own. It must be a real treat to get off work and take a quick bike ride over to 40 foot cliffs of great sandstone climbs. The routes are challenging and sporty, and often contain a boulder problem within them. I wouldn’t hesitate to make the trip to guide there again, just to explore the crag a bit more. It’s a fun place to climb whether you’re cutting your teeth on your fist climb or are a competent 5.12 sport climber. Either way you’re in for a good time. Just go there with modest expectations and you’re sure to be pleased with what Grand Ledges will offer you.