Pike's Peak Rock Climbing
Erik Wellborn on the ice crossover move.
Classic moderate mixed climbing and skiing can be had in the Bottomless Pit cirque below the north face of Pike's Peak. Take the toll road ($10 per person) to a flat area at around mile 14 where the road curves close to the eastern drop-off before heading around the west side of the final climb to the summit. Head from the car pretty much straight over (East) to the edge, scramble down and either traverse pretty much level to the South or descend any number of gullies to the bottom of the Bottomless Pit. Looking up at the N face, you will see a rock buttress forming the NE edge of the face. The couloir to the right is the Railroad couloir and to the right of that is the distinctive Y couloir. Further right is a pale buttress of rock with a deep gully on either side -this is the Corinthian column and the gullies ice up in fall to provide moderate mixed climbs. Beware of the necessity to be back at your car by 4pm or you will get a ticket and may be locked in when they close the gates at the bottom of the road. Also note that the road opens at 9am and is subject to partial closure, depending on plowing (call 719.385.PEAK for conditions).
At the moment, there are very similar entries here on the N. Face of Pike's Peak. One was located in the Alpine Rock section, but it was moved here, because it really wasn't rock climbing. These 2 sections will be combined after careful consideration.
From Colorado Springs, go west on US Highway 24 past Manitou Springs and through a narrow canyon. Just as the canyon opens up again, you will see signs for Pikes Peak and turn left at a light, then left again through an arch about a half-mile up. The entrance is another ~3/4 miles along.
The speed limit is 25 mph unless otherwise posted.
Points of Interest / Altitudes
MM 2: Camera Point: overlooks Ute Pass, US 24, and Cascade, 8220'.
MM 3: Crowe Gulch, 1st view of Pike's Peak, 8540'.
MM 3.5: Have you seen Bigfoot?
MM 6: Crystal Reservoir, 9160'.
MM 9.5: Halfway Picnic Ground, 9930'.
MM 10.5: Brown Bush: views of Tarryall Mtns., Mt. Princeton, Mt. Evans, 10,000'.
MM 11: views of N. Catamount, S. Catamount, & Crystal Reservoirs.
MM 11.5: Ski area, 10,600'.
MM 13: Glen Cove, 11,440'.
MM 14: Elk Park, 11,800'.
MM 16: Devil's Playground, views of "Switchbacks", Pikes Peak Reservoirs, Platte River Valley north to the Continental Divide, 12,780'.
MM 16.5: Bottomless Pit, view of Sangre De Cristos, Ghost Town Hollow Mine (~1500' below rock wall), 12,760'.
MM 18: Boulder Park, 13,380'.
MM 18.5: Sheep sign.
MM 19: Summit, view that inspired Katherine Lee Bates' "America the Beautiful" in 1893, 14,110'.
Weather station 3.3 miles from here
11 Total Climbing Routes
['4 Stars',3],['3 Stars',7],['2 Stars',1],['1 Star',0],['Bomb',0]
Classic Climbing Routes in Pike's Peak
Browse More Rock Climbing Classics in Pike's Peak
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes for Pike's Peak:
Featured Route For Pike's Peak
The Ole 6 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
WI3 M6+ CO
: CO Ice & Mixed
: ... : North Face of Pike's Peak
"We'll work up a number six on them." The #6 is a excellent mixed/drytool route located on the Corinthian Column of Pike's Peak. Steep and sustained, with a huge roof at the top, this route is not to be missed. P1) Start with a thin smear of ice up a gully to a nice ledge. 100 feet, WI3.P2) Climb up the detatched flake on the right side, continue up corner and belay on a sloping ledge. 100 feet, M5.P3) Ascend a weird, flare-y slot (#5 useful) and climb up easier terrain to belay in ...[more] Browse More Classics in CO
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 2, 2005
Was in the Bottomless Pit in December '04, fantastic AI3-4 sections of climbing and some snow sections for about 800' (guessing) could be more. Anyway, what a fun alpine adventure. Quick to get to when the road is open all the way to mile 14, head down the Rumdoodle Ridge and then south at the low point into the pit, the climb is to the right of the Corinthian Column. As described, pay attention to time to get back to the car.
By Anonymous Coward
Feb 2, 2005
That Corinthian Column is an incredible-looking piece of stone. How big is it? 600-800'? Are there good routes on that puppy? Would they be in the Hubbel (sp?) guide?