Old Stage Road Rock Climbing
|GPS:||38.772, -104.879 Google Map · Climbing Map|
|Shared By:||montay on Jun 10, 2002|
|Admins:||Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac|
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DescriptionThe Old Stage Road, connecting Colorado Springs to Cripple Creek, traverses the canyons, valleys, and ridges formed by the lower southern flanks of Pikes Peak. This seldom climbed area offers great climbing, solitude, and a sense of adventure to those willing to put forth the effort. If you require a two lane paved trail, accurate "beta intensive" topos, stainless every six feet, and a reassuring set of lowering chains then this is probably not the place for you. However, if you don't mind some bushwhacking, vague topos, looking up at a line and saying "yeah, I think we can do it", rapping off of webbing slung around a block, hairy downclimbing/scrambling descents, and other pastimes of that sort this might be your kind of place. The rock quality at St. Peters and in the Mount Big Chief area is very good to superb. The rock in the Cathedral Park/ Ambigously Uncertain Crag area is rumored to be grainy and loose.
The most well known crags on the Old Stage Road are found near the St. Peter's Dome overlook pullout. This area is host two testpieces from the early 1960's. The Martyr (5.9+) and Pearly Gates (5.10-) were put up by Steve Cheyney, Peter Croff, and Bob Stauch, and while moderate by today's standards, were pretty burly back in the day. The Martyr is on the Aiguille de St. Peter and consists of steep finger/thin hands/hands crack climbing on beautiful rock with sweet exposure. Pearly Gates lies on a separate steep slab (formation name is also The Pearly gates) several hundred feet to the west and consists of a thin finger crack running up the left side of the slab. There are also several bolted routes put up by Mark van Horn that range from 5.9 slab to 5.12- arête climbing, as well as gorgeous steep cracks with old ring pitons. Directly above and to the south/southeast of these two rocks lies the Sanctum, host to numerous cracks that were climbed in the 1970's by Stewart Green, Billy Westbay, Dan McClure, and Doug Snively.
Further West along the Old Stage Road, lying above Rosemont Reservoir, is a valley which contains a sizable formation of beautiful granite. I believe that this valley lies between Mount Rosa and Mount Big Chief, perhaps somebody might be able to verify/correct this statement. For those who aren't afraid of an approach, there are some spectacular looking lines here. These include a very tall acute dihedral with a great looking hand crack in the back, a lazer cut dual finger crack system up vertical bliss, some crazy looking stuff that tunnels behind an enormous obelisk/chockstone, a thin seam up a flawless slab, and a lot more. I am definitely going back as soon as I can find another partner to dupe.... I think that a lot of people hike up to this thinking it is St. Peter's due to the fact that it is approximately 18 miles from the Broadmoor Hotel (this is the mileage given for St. Peter's in Bob D'Antonio's Classic Rock Volume #4).
Approximately [?] mile further west lies a miniature variation of the third flatiron on the hillside above the north side of the road. This formation has a prominent long offwidth crack up the face just to the right of center. On the upper tier of this formation is an excellent finger crack in a small corner. Once again there are some pitons here that hint of adventures many moons ago.
Several miles to the west of the last formation is Cathedral Park/Ambiguously Uncertain Crags. This is an amazing collection of granite spires and domes, and is home to a modern day scarefest put up by Darin Lang and Kreighton Bieger. I believe the name of this route is "Where's Bob?" and can be found on this website.
These are just a few of many sizable formations on the south side of Pikes Peak. This area holds a vast collection of probable first ascents and possible epics. To those that check it out, have fun and let us know how it treated you. Good apres climb necessities (food and beer) can be found at a number of places in Colorado Springs. These include Phantom Canyon Brewery, Chipotle, La Casita, etc.
Getting ThereTo get to the Old Stage Road, drive to the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs via the following:
From Denver, take I25 to Colorado Springs, exit on Tejon and take the obtuse left at the T, straight ahead 2 blocks to Nevada, Right on Nevada for several miles to Cheyenne Road, Right on Cheyenne Road, Left on Cresta, Right on Mesa, follow this around approximately 2 long blocks and it will intersect with the Old Stage Road. Take a right on the Old Stage Road and note your odometer.
From the south, do whatever it takes to get to the intersection of Cheyenne Road and Nevada Avenue/Highway 115. Then follow the remaining instructions given above.
Classic Climbing Routes at Old Stage Road
Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
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