Elevation: 7,314 ft
GPS: 39.934, -105.288 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 46,382 total · 202/month
Shared By: Michael Walker on Sep 6, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: COVID-19 Notice & Seasonal Closures Details
Access Issue: 2017 Raptor Closure Lifted Details

Description

Viewed from the southwest, the picturesque summit of Shirt Tail Peak rises over Eldo Canyon as the culmination of the Redgarden wall. Its flat summit commands 360 degree views of the plains to the East, the divide to the west and Eldorado Canyon State Park to the south. The peak's image cuts the skyline with sharp, serrated aretes falling steeply away on its south and west sides. The mountain has a high mountain feel to it, as if it should be 20 miles west on the Divide instead of rising above the plains.

Shirt Tail Peak's rock is variable with classic Eldo sandstone interspersed with loose rock. Take caution as the ledges contain a lot of loose rock.

To descend from the summit:

Option A - Scramble down and to the North 50 meters to a pine tree, which sits down below the ridge crest on the west. To get to the pine tree you will need to do an exposed downclimb that is mainly intimidating because of the threat of loose rocks. The dicey rappel off this tree may be compounded in that a retrieved rope may become stuck in cracks below the tree. Be careful when pulling the rope. Two more rappels are required, the last with a 60m rope will JUST make the shelf where you can scramble off to the gully between Shirt Tail and Rincon.

Option A1- Continue past the first rappel tree for another 100' or so. The slings on the alternate rappel tree are easy to spot, on a 10'-wide ledge about 10' down from the top of the ridge. The downclimb to the tree is a bit easier, too. The first rappel (85') drops you on a narrow dirt-covered shelf, where you pull the rope, and then walk climber's right about 15' and down 10' to the second rappel tree. Or you can rappel 100' to the anchor. The second rappel (95') leaves you on a big ledge. From here, scramble uphill a bit, then down to the main gully. A loose but easy descent leads back to the packs. Or you can rappel 60' from the 2nd rappel point to a tree with a sling and rap link. Then, a 100' rap puts you on the ground. It takes about a half hour to do this descent. This is probably the best descent option.

Option B - further north scramble down loose class 4 into the gully between Rincon and Shirt Tail.

Option C - if you have the choice, for safety and ease, take all your belongings with you up Shirt Tail and hike further north, descending to the north of the Rincon wall.

Getting There

The easiest approach is to use the Rincon cut-off trail off the Eldorado Canyon Trail. Once the trail has passed the boulder field and reaches the Rincon wall, near the Center Route, angle to the right along the base of the Rincon wall and find a very primitive (loose) trail climbing the steep gully between Rincon and the North Buttress of the West Ridge. The trail is steep, loose and undefined, but the route is obvious - Shirt Tail Peak will tower above the gully to the east.

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Classic Climbing Routes at Shirt Tail Peak

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