The following crags are typically closed 1 February to 31 July:
The Goose Goose Eggs East Ridge Mars Block Nebel Horn Tower of the Moon Jamcrack Spire The Pyramid Incognito Crag Devil's Thumb Shadow Fax Isolation Rock Sunset Wall Devil's Wing (W. Face) The Matron Lost & Found The Sibling Toddler Rock Sphinx Medusa
The Matron is a tall spire that sits along the ridge above Shadow Canyon.
It's easy to reach by parking at the South Mesa Trailhead near Eldorado and hiking the South Mesa Trail to the Shadow Canyon trail. Follow the Shadow canyon trail around some switchbacks until the tall and proud Matron is obvious on the ridge above you. A climbers trail leaves the main trail and ascends to the Matrons South Side. To descend, there are bolted rap anchors on the summit.
This is an excellent route but unfortunately bears the scars of one of Boulder's first bolt wars. It is also closed from Feb 1 to July 31 due to raptor nesting. The protection on the first pitch consists of three bolts with nuts only (no hangars) and a few stopper, RP, or tiny cam placements on the upper half of the pitch. I am not sure if the nuts on these bolts can be unscrewed, but if so, it would be great to put hangars on these bolts (or much better, replace them entirely).The route begi...[more]Browse More Classics in CO
My buddy who lives in Golden and (correctly) assumes I am a gumby because I live in the flatlands of Texas, took me up the Matron in early November. This is definitely a "take the wife and kids" route and was easy, airy and beautiful. The highlight was a closeup fly-by of a Peregrine Falcon.
The fastest approach to the Matron is actually to park in Eldo and hike up the "Old Mesa Trail", which joins the Shadow Canyon Trail (Road) on the hill before the Matron. The Old Mesa Trail is not marked and is difficult to find going up, your best bet is to take somebody who knows where it is, or try navigating it down (north) the first time.
Now that the raptor closure season is over, the friendly folks at OSMP have attempted to obscure the start of the climbers' access trail by cutting down some branches and dragging them across the trail. Exactly what this is meant to achieve escapes me.
BITD (1960s) the Matron was frequently visited by rock schools for graduation climbs. The East Ridge for the gumbies, and for the more talented, North Face. I myself once led a 24 climber conga-line up (UCHC) the East Ridge. After finishing the route, I also did the South Face and still was able to watch climbers still starting!
I agree wih George that the "old Mesa Trail" is the faster (and better) way to access the Matron. You don't need to have someone who knows the location, since it's easy to see from a satellite view in Google maps. It begins in Eldorado off the most northern bend of Baldwin Circle. Then it cruises straight to the Shadow Canyon trail/road just a few hundred yards east of the access trail to the rock. Hiking the Mesa trail is slow and annoying due to recent closures of sections of the Towhee Trail that had been the most direct way when taking the usual approach.