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Observatory Dome is the next major rock uphill and slightly west of the Pear (apart from the obscure and lower Sunshine Buttress), so named because of the huge, right-facing dihedral located smack dab in the middle of its rounded south face, lending a striking resemblance to its namesake. It's one of Lumpy's least-climbed crags, due in part to its steep bushwhacking approach and lack of routes, quality or otherwise. As of Bernard Gillett's 2001 guidebook (currently the most up-to-date) there were only four routes gracing its rough, slabby, lichen-covered walls, and I haven't heard of anyone scheming for a first ascent lately. Despite this, it might not be a bad place to go if you're looking for a 5.6 or 5.7 on a busy day (when ISN'T White Whale or Chrome-Plated busy?). You're guaranteed to have it all to yourself, even on a July weekend.
Take the trail to the base of the Pear and bushwhack uphill and to the left until you find the base. Use the prominent, central dihedral as a landmark for finding most of the routes. The main descent is to the west, but you can descend east as well.
With confirmation with RMNP, this rock is not subject to raptor closures.
5 Total Routes
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Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Observatory Dome:
Looks Can Be Deceiving 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13 Trad, 2 pitches, 300'
Ryan's Song 5.10 6b 20 VII- E2 5b Trad, TR, 1 pitch, 60'
Featured Route For Observatory Dome
Looks Can Be Deceiving 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- HVS 4c PG13 CO : Lumpy Ridge : Observatory Dome
The approach is best as a traverse from the top of the Citidel. It is maybe a 10 minute walk.There is a huge, healthy ponderosa located just left of the start.P1 - begin in a right-facing dihedral with a mossy bush about 15' up. Stem the 5.8 tricky start and go left around the bush to a huge chickenhead. Follow the remaining 5.6 crack for 140'. Belay comfortably to the right of 2 tiny ponderosa/bonsai trees.P2 - follow an incredibly delightful, 5.6, finger tip crack along a rising ramp. It takes...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
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