The Monastery Rock Climbing
|GPS:||40.453, -105.369 Google Map · Climbing Area Map|
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|Shared By:||Richard M. Wright on Sep 22, 2005|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC|
I worked this issue with Eric Murdock at the AF, and it looks like the Forest Service picked Devil's Gulch Road as the southern boundary even though all the climbing areas on MP.com were not burned.
Per Julie Nelson: the forest is closed due to after fire concerns in this area until June 30, 2021. There is a sign at the trailhead about the closure. See the US Forest Service website for further updates.
Previously: per Bruce Hildenbrand: Storm Mountain Road is open to all.
Per Hank C: the Storm Mt./Cedar Park area is closed to locals-only traffic for the time being due to wildfire concerns. We were turned away by a park ranger this morning (9/12/2020).
Climbing at The Monastery is on igneous granitic pegmatite and some schist and gneiss. It is steep and edgy or slabby and on great friction. Alligator skin is common on the steeper walls. Many of the dozen or so crags have excellent South faces that remain dry for a large part of the year; however, they are located at 8,000+ feet and can get cold on a cloudy day, or snowed in in mid-winter. As probably everyone in Colorado knows, most the routes were established by Mike and Tommy Caldwell, so you can expect some hard climbing. Don't be put off by the bulk of difficult routes; plenty of excellent bolt-protected 5.9s and 5.10s exist.
The routes here are documented in Bernard Gillett's Estes Park Valley guidebook.
Joell's excellent aerial photo does help with the general layout. Gillett's fine guidebook to the area does choose single names for the crags & landmarks here. For the purpose of clarity, we'll use these names.
The general organization of the area could be split into 3 rows/areas of crags with 2 approx NE-SW corridors (The Vestibule (southern) & The Catacomb (northern) separating these. The southern edge of the crags here is called the Outer Gates. In addition there are narrow subcorridors, with routes inside, separating some of these southern-most crags, some of which have separate names. These subcorridors are: unnamed, unnamed, The Balcony, Hallowed Hall, & Inner Sanctum. For the purposes of organization, routes within this subcorridors will be organized in the The Vestibule section. Note, routes on a formation can be located in different subareas in this database depending upon which face they lie.
The southern-most row of crags are: (NE-SW) The Den, Not So Hairy Pin, The Guardian, perhaps Tower of Evolution?, The Abbey, The Chapel, Magical Mystery Tower, The Steeple, The Vestry, The Whine Cellar. Note, SE of these are the Basilica & Belfry. Also, The Den, Not So Hairy Pin, Basilica, & Belfry are lumped together as Bear's Lair.
Somewhere in here is the Tower of Evolution.
The middle row of these crags are: (NE-SW) unnamed, unnamed, The Boneyard, with the obvious free-standing plate/pillar The Altar, and unnamed.
The northern-most row/collection are: (southern-most) The Sepulcher, The Nursery, Lion's Den, Wedding Rock, & Barnacle Rock. This area has likely the most room for development.
You will be near the Hyatt mine. The trail head runs left of the road and will take 45 minutes to one hour to hike, go left at the fork in the trail. The trail has a steep downhill section at the start and a steep uphill section afterward. Be prepared for the hike out; it's as difficult as the hike in, and takes just about as long.
The first major formation you come to is The Guardian.
Classic Climbing Routes at The Monastery
Days w Precip