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Palisade Mountain

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Becker Wall 
East Buttress (God's Country Cowboy Church Cirque) 
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Unknown Crag at Palisade Mountain 

Palisade Mountain 

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Submitted By: allen simons on Jan 24, 2005
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Saddle Tower and Fairview Wall.


Palisade Mountain is the same mountain that Nancy's Rock (a.k.a. Rio Bravo and Cyclop's Slab), Becker Wall, and Skull Rock are located on. This is a huge mountain with some established routes and possibilities for 100s of other routes. Many slabs and crack systems exist. With the exception of Nancy's Rock, everything requires steep approaches and navigating through difficult rock bands, pine needles, and vegetation. The rock here is however very solid and potential for multi-pitch routes exist. There are some brief descriptions in the Estes Park Valley Guide by Bernard Gillett, but locating these routes is difficult in reality and even more difficult to explain.

Getting There 

Palisade Mountain is located on US Highway 34 west of Loveland. From the Beige Siphon tube in the Narrows it is 6 miles, just a mile short of the town of Drake. The mountain is the obvious rocky crag hundreds of feet up the north side of the road. Park in the paved lot at Nancy's Rock and start on that trail. After 100 feet break off right and trail blaze up and right. I recently discovered some quartz cairns midway marking a pseudo trail.

Poison Ivy Alert 

Eds. Note, there is much poison ivy for the sensitive.

70 Total Routes

['4 Stars',8],['3 Stars',20],['2 Stars',23],['1 Star',18],['Bomb',0]

The Classics

Mountain Project's determination of some of the classic, most popular, highest rated routes for Palisade Mountain:
Borachone   5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b     Sport, 1 pitch, 55'   Nancy's Rock
Chance   5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b     Trad, Sport, TR, 1 pitch, 55'   Nancy's Rock
Glue Factory   5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c     Trad, 1 pitch, 100'   Horseshead
Pearly Burly Brooke   5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Jewel of the Nile Wall
Neighsayer   5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b     Trad, 2 pitches, 225'   Horseshead
Kentucky Derby   5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Horseshead
Breeder's Cup   5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13     Trad, 2 pitches, 200'   Horseshead
Tijuana Donkey Show   5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 90'   Horseshead
Annie's Knotty Fingers   5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c     Trad, 1 pitch, 80'   Mikey's Island
Browse More Classics in Palisade Mountain

Featured Route For Palisade Mountain
M. Carnes hand drilling the bolt on the ground up first ascent.

Tijuana Donkey Show 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c  CO : Estes Park Valley : ... : Horseshead
Climb the wavy slot with one bolt at its top, clip the bolt, then fire overhead and left into the wide crack which tapers to hands and flaring fingers for 40' to the anchor just beneath the large roof....[more]   Browse More Classics in CO

Local Information for Palisade Mountain
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Jul 9 Access Fund is hiring in Boulder 0
Jun 11 New Women's Speed Record on the Nose   4
Jun 7 A Tribute to Jeff Lowe   4
May 15 MP Mobile App: Partnered with Black Diamond and now Free   4
May 12 New Feature: Improve This Page   3
May 1 New Yosemite Bigwall Printed Guide Book Now Available 0

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Photos of Palisade Mountain Slideshow Add Photo
Approach map for Becker, Ivy League Rocks, and Nancy's Rock.
Approach map for Becker, Ivy League Rocks, and Nan...
Palisade Mountain from the Round Mountain Summit Adventure Trail.
BETA PHOTO: Palisade Mountain from the Round Mountain Summit A...
Rocky Mt.
Rocky Mt.
Cat in the Hat, El Tigre, 5.11c PG-13.
Cat in the Hat, El Tigre, 5.11c PG-13.
Comments on Palisade Mountain Add Comment
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By Tom Griffiths
Apr 20, 2008

In 1965, Kenyon King and I climbed a distinctive ridge or arete from the road to the summit of Pallisade. We stayed on or near the arete as much as possible to make it interesting. I do remember having to get off the ridge a little and go up a chimney of sorts. At the time we graded it II 5.6. You can probably make it as easy or hard as you want. The rock wasn't bad.

Tom Griffiths
Kenai, Alaska

By denise 911
From: fort collins, co
Aug 15, 2008

Note 'vegetation' involves forests of poison ivy. Can't really speak for quality of rock towards the top, but we encountered a lot of loose rock and decomposing granite on the approach up from Idlewilde Dam (on Hwy 34).

By allen simons
Aug 19, 2008

Yes yes, there is poison ivy in the Big T. It is the Rocky Mountains. And, although there is loose rock, there is an abundance of solid rock.

By westy
From: Loveland, Co
Aug 29, 2008

Stay high (out of the valley) and it'll be alright. Denise is right with the poor quality of rock where we were. The actual location in reference to Palisade was the false summit face right of Palisade. We were there for a different type of climbing. From the dam, it's a long venture to get to the actual possibility of route climbing.
I agree Allen. There is an extreme amount of ivy in the Big T.

Climb fast, safe and Fun!