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Routes in The Hand

Back in Slacks S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Back in Yaks T,TR 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Cardboard Cowboy S 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
East Face/Hand T 5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
Father on Fire T,S 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Handy Warm Up, The S 5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Lackin' Slacks (aka The Full Monty) T 5.11a 6c 22 VII+ 22 E3 5c R
New Saigon S 5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Perfect Kiss (P1 of Rock Atrocity), The S 5.11d 7a 24 VIII 25 E5 6a
Power Bulge S 5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Quest for Balance S,TR 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Rock Atrocity S 5.13+ 8b 30 X- 31 E7 7a
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Access Issue: Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


The Hand, so named for its resemblance to a mitten, is home to a "handful" of difficult sport lines. The steep lines on this formation are comprised of hard crimps and flakes on the upper sections of the wall, and gentle huecos at the bottom. Routes ascend the south and west faces of the formation and receive sun from late-morning to mid-afternoon. All the best lines finish at two bolt anchors for easy lowering off. The classic line Power Bulge (5.12c) takes a line up the steep south face of the formation, and the ever impressive Rock Atrocity (5.13d) takes the severely overhanging blank face high on the formations southwest corner. The south face is closed seasonally for bird nesting, but the west face remains open all year round.

Update from Carl Schaefer
: The upper routes (from the left end to Cardboard Cowboy) are at the top of a slab that's best climbed by hugging the face and using the gritty but positive pocket handholds where the slab meets the wall. The slab feels to me like awkward 5.6 R, especially with a pack on.


A. Quest for Balance, 11, 1p, 60', bolts.

B. The Handy Warm Up, 10-, 1p, 60', bolts.
C. New Saigon, 11- R, 1p, 60', bolts.
D. Cardboard Cowboy, 11, 1p, 45', bolts.
E. Father on Fire, 10+, 1p, 50', bolts & gear.
F. The Perfect Kiss (P1 of Rock Atrocity), 11+, 1p, 60', bolts.
above F. Rock Atrocity, 13+, 1p, 50', bolts.
G. Lackin' Slacks (aka The Full Monty), 11- R, 1p, 65', gear.
H. Power Bulge, 12, 1p, 70', bolts.
I. Back in Slacks, 11, 1p, 50', bolts & missing pin.
J. Back in Yaks, 9 R, 1p, 55', gear.

K. East Face/Hand, 4, 3p, gear.

Getting There

Park at NCAR Mesa and hike the Mallory Cave trail uphill for approximately 30-40 minutes. After passing the Der Zerkle formation, there is a faint climber's trail that skirts up the left side of The Hand's east face (slabby) into a rocky and wooded gully (if you find yourself at Mallory Cave you've gone a little bit too far). Continue up the gully, The Hand's south face should become aparant on the north side of the gully after several hundred feet. It is recognized by two sport lines that start on fifteen feet of enormous huecos. The west face routes can be found on the backside of the formation just uphill from the west face. Across the gully is Frankenstein's tower and Der Freischutz.

12 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Hand

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c
East Face/Hand
Trad 3 pitches
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
New Saigon
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Cardboard Cowboy
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Back in Slacks
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b
Power Bulge
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
East Face/Hand
5.4 4a 12 IV 10 VD 3c Trad 3 pitches
New Saigon
5.11a/b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Cardboard Cowboy
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Back in Slacks
5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
Power Bulge
5.12c 7b+ 27 IX- 27 E6 6b Sport
More Classic Climbs in The Hand »

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Prime Climbing Season


doug rouse
Denver, CO.
doug rouse   Denver, CO.
Greetings, wasn't there a route on the south-west corner called "The perfect Kiss"?? Is it still there? I remember it being a pretty fine line..back in '89.... Jun 24, 2008
Doug, yes the route Perfect Kiss is an 11d that leads up to Rock Atrocity. The route is a little sharp and has some epoxy on some of the more fragile flakes. Jun 24, 2008
doug rouse
Denver, CO.
doug rouse   Denver, CO.
Right on. Thanks for the prompt response. Rock Atrocity...another route not listed? Not that I am trying to complain or anything, I think you guys do a really good job with the website. Funny how much Yapping goes on though! Jun 24, 2008
Two new applications have come in so far for the September 15 cycle (close of the deadline) for the Flatirons Fixed Hardware Review Committee; one is on the Hand. Others might come along in the next month or two, as well.

Please go here to leave comments: flatironsclimbingcouncil.wo…

Date of the public meeting/vote to be announced in September. Jul 24, 2010

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