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Areas in Doorway Rocks - Major Mass

Hammer Wall & The Keyhole 11 / 0 / 10 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 15
Lower Major Mass 32 / 0 / 34 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 36
Upper Major Mass & Jungle Gym Tower 19 / 0 / 17 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 20


Major Mass is located near the top of the Potholes trail to the west of Red Rocks and just to the west of Minor Mass. The formation contains a good range of climbs with good exposure and length (80-100 feet).

The area lends itself to "multi-pitch" climbing (Midwest style), allowing up to four pitches of climbing from the base of the Red Slab to Jungle Gym Tower and the top of Devil's Doorway.

The area could be climbed and explored during any summer weekend without running into more than a handful of people. The quality of the climbs here is on par with those found at the most popular spots in the park.

Getting There

To access Major Mass, park at the South Shore parking lot. Take the paved trail north across the railroad tracks until you reach the junction of the Balanced Rock Trail and the Grottos Trail. From here you have two options.

Option 1) Turn left at the junction and hike to the top of the bluff via the Balanced Rock Trail. At the top turn right and follow the Devil's Doorway Trail about 1/4 mile. You will go down a set of about 5 rock steps and to your right you will see a gully with vertical walls on either side (Ramsay's Pinnacle area). Take this fourth-class gully down the west side of the Major Mass. You can walk to the base of the Major Mass, or cut in left onto one of its handful of terraces.

Option 2) Turn right at the junction and walk along the Grottos Trail. Looking up to your left you will see the Devil's Doorway formation. If you're really burly you could cut up through the talus slope from here. If not, continue to the Potholes Trail, a trail of rock steps that skirts the east side of the greater Doorway Rocks formation. About 3/4 up the bluff, about 50 yards below the Red Rocks formation, you can cut west across the boulder field to the base of Minor Mass and continue on until you reach Major Mass (look for the large gully that separates the Major and Minor Mass, and also look for the "Keyhole").

Alternatively, you could hike to the top of the bluff via the Potholes Trail and go around the top of Minor Mass on the Devil's Doorway Trail and find the gully that separates Major and Minor Mass (the top of this gully is near the east end of the Devil's Doorway side trail). Descend this gully with Major Mass on your right.

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Major Mass provides some of the best climbgs in the park. Routes with easy anchoring spots include Split Decision, Mary Jane and Jolly Roger. Mar 27, 2004

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