Cragies and Snackies

Kansas is yet another spot not known…for its rock climbing, but as we’ve learned with places like Florida, that doesn’t mean there isn’t any climbing to be had.  The State of Kansas has just over 200 noted routes.  Most of them are bouldering routes, as Kansas is home to over 500 caves (although most are inaccessible).  There are, however, a few crags with sport climbing. 

To get you hyped about the potential to go climbing in Kansas, I thought it would be helpful to get you hyped about Kansas.  Of course you already know that Kansas is the home to fictional Wizard of Oz character Dorothy Gale, but did you know that you can tour the “official” Dorothy Gale house in Liberal Kansas for just $7?  Just be warned that it isn’t her actual house, since of course she wasn’t an actual person.  Another interesting point is that Kansas is the geographical center of the contiguous 48 states (not so cool now are you Missouri).  Kansas is also known for wheat.

So, now that you are super-hyped about Kansas, let’s get you hyped about climbing in Kansas, specifically Elk City, Kansas.  The Elk City climbing area surrounds beautiful Elk City Lake. Here, you’ll find 38 routes including both bouldering and sport climbing.  It’s a pristine area with most routes offering lovely views of the lake.  The sport climbing can be found on Memorial Wall which is a five-minute walk from the parking area.  Memorial Wall is composed of eleven routes ranging from 5.5 – 5.12.  My favorite route names are a 5.8 called Unknown 4 bolt Sport Route, and a 5.5 called Secret Entrance to the Lollipop Guild.

One of the best things about Elk City climbing is the potential for route development, and I think someone could really make up for a missed opportunity if they want to put in the work.  There should/could be a wall in which every route is named according to a Wizard of Oz trope.  With options like Ruby Slippers, Flying Monkey’s, The Wicked Witch, The Cowardly Lion, it would have so much potential.  Maybe in due time?  But with 38 routes and views to go around, after a day of climbing in Elk City, you are going to be famished!

Just six miles away is Ane Mae’s Coffee and Sandwich Shop.  Ane Mae’s is the quintessential small town café.  Warm and friendly, with good food and drinks at outstanding prices.  Climbers sometimes live up to their reputation of being poor or cheap, but no matter the budget, Ane Mae’s has you covered. 

Take a guess how much a sandwich, wrap, or panini cost at Ane Mae’s?  Go ahead, I’ll wait…

$6.95…AND that includes chips and a drink.  You can get a slice of quiche for three dollars and twenty-five cents.  They have veggie options, kid friendly options, salads, breakfast, combos, baked goods, and smoothies.  All this in addition to their full café and drink menu including my favorite Chai Latte which is only $3.25 for a large.

There aren’t many things that can match the comforting smell of a warm café on a cold day, and Ane Mae’s delivers the goods at prices that all climbers would welcome. 

Ane Mae’s is the idyllic small town café where everyone feels at home, and as our local, yet imaginary hero once stated…there’s no place like home!

Location: Independence, Kansas “Ad astra per aspera (to the stars through difficulties)”

Crag: Elk City Climbing Area

Restaurant: Ane Mae’s Coffee and Sandwich Shop

Distance: 6.4 Miles

11 Replies to “Cragies and Snackies”

      1. I just looked up Colorado’s. I don’t like it. Nil sine numine but it kind of fits a state that was based on the random discovery of precious metals. Kind of a fancy way to say, “get lucky.”

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was kind of sleepy eyed when I looked this up and thought is said “nothing without the devil”, and thought that Colorado took a pretty big risk with that one. You’re right though, it’s not that impressive, but pretty fitting for the time. I may need to look them all up and rank them. That sounds like a fun future project!


  1. Love these ‘food after climbing’ reviews in your posts. I’ve picked up on two so far. I have no idea why, but every time the food and drinks are mentioned I get a ‘Pottersville’ vibe. The Yeti based ‘Christmastime’ film. Not the ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ based film. I know a food cafe and general store have a different ambience. I suppose it’s the idea of collective community camaraderie. It’s the same in our Welsh local town of Machynlleth. A community gathering in an artisan cafe or my wife’s Wholefood shop creating amazing conversations, new friendship’s and energy. Great post again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just looked up that movie, it sounds really funny! It took me some time to recognize how important the community aspect of climbing is. I went out on Friday and maybe climbed three routes, but I was able to just sit back and enjoy how encouraging, friendly, and fun all the personal interactions were. I think going out to eat offers a similar experience. It’s about the food, but even more than the food is the people who share it.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True. Locally? Community interactions and the variety of activities organised is a strong force. They all look out for each other too. All the best with future aims, ambitions and blogs. Keep them coming. Cheers.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m always so impressed with where these climbing areas developed. I think it would make for a pretty interesting book to find out the history of some of these smaller areas. The history of Yosemite and places like that is so well known, but I’m sure there are amazing stories in these smaller rock walls. Maybe a fun project over the coming years?


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