BETA PHOTO: View from the road (pre digital cameras).
Hmmm. This is an intriguing, little, granite spire in the higher parts of Golden Gate Canyon SP. As you drive along the road past Panorama Point toward the Lazy Squaw Ranch, this little spire will call out to you. It is obvious from the road. This is different in shape than your classic Castle Rock type spire. It appears contorted and resemble a corkscrew. You will just wonder whether it has been climbed before. Well...it has. By one of the early climbers based upon the fixed hardware on the rock. Perhaps Layton? Rap 80 feet from fixed gear on top.
From Golden, head North on CO Hwy 93, then West on Golden Gate Canyon Rd, perhaps 18 miles to the park, go to Kriley Pond, turn right and follow a switchbacked road to a gravel road. Follow the sign to Panorama Point. Continue briefly up this same gravel road. Crest a small saddle and find Lazy Squaw Ranch on your left. Park some place legal. The spire is obvious. Get a decent bearing since you will lose sight of the spire most of the time while in the forest. Hike up the hill (perhaps NW?, right angle from the road) 20 minutes or so. Definitely a micro-explore. You can go cross country from here to the 2nd buttress of Mt. Thorodin with perhaps an additional 30 minutes jaunt left. If you do this, follow the blunt crest back to the road and walk on the road to your car.
Get this figured out before you leave the car. Tickets will damper your mood if you don't.
Access through Harmsen Ranch (private) is not acceptable at this time. Please try to find legal access. Further directions from the Park may help elucidate this in the future.
An intriguing 80-foot, twisted, little, granite spire that invites you to check it out as you drive around the upper parts of Golden Gate Canyon SP. It seems fairly unique in Colorado in my wanderings. Done a long time ago based upon the ancient bolt on top. This is the obvious line but there are others if you linger. From Panorama Point continue on the dirt road to the Lazy Squaw Ranch. Find this obvious spire on the hill behind the Ranch. Get a bearing. Hike up through a forest 20-25 mi...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
Don't park here...even if you're not blocking the gate. There are no signs that say "NO Parking" but you will still get a ticket like I just did, $50 fucking dollars. Park at Panorama Point and then make the long hike in.
The comments about tickets got me paranoid about parking, even in the obvious pullouts near the ranch.
The mouth of the Aspen Meadow Campground has plenty of parking. If you follow the well marked and well described approach for The Grendel, you can hang a left a little before reaching The Grendel and sneak up on the back of the spire. That way you have legal parking and are on a good trail for most of the approach.
The bolts on this were not as modern as I had hoped. Especially the anchor! One rusty relic and one '80s bolt that unscrews in your hand. At least they are extended with an old, rusty chain. No way in hell I was rapping off that.... I backed it up with some cord through a thread. Bring some webbing in case my cord is eaten by rodents. Might be time to replace the anchor bolts??
First time I saw this thing, I knew I had to climb it.... The location is amazing. You can see Denver and Eldora from the top. The climbing was more fun and challenging than I expected. The main thing keeping this from being a classic is that every creature within a mile uses this thing as a toilet! It's hard not to let the bat guano, rodent and bird shit, and piss take away the enjoyment.... If I don't get the hantavirus, I might add another star.
By Leo Paik Administrator From: Westminster, Colorado Sep 3, 2012
One thing to know is that right now climbing has come under scrutiny at GGCSP. Please discuss any new bolting, including replacement of old hardware, with the GGCSP rangers. Crystal Dreiling is the one with whom to discuss this.