Elevation: 10,191 ft
GPS: 39.073, -106.451 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 177,597 total · 778/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Jan 31, 2002
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description

Monitor is nice granite rock with virtually no approach and a good West face where most of the climbing can be found. Certainly by now there are close to 60 routes to choose from, sport and trad. Many are one pitch, some are several. While situated in an alpine setting, the granite is still excellent and the climbing interesting. Worth a day shot if you are heading to Independence Pass for several days. Importantly, since Monitor Rock is at lower elevation than Independence Pass, it is possible to extend the climbing season by a month or so. To keep things organized, the numbering of routes will start on the right and proceed uphill with increasing number. By this scheme, where the approach trail meets the rock, the sport route "Rad Lad" will be # 31. Presently, the only published data that I have found is Lance Hadfield's mini-guide in Rock & Ice (#74, August 1996, pp 102-105), and I will follow his numbering as much as possible allowing for new routes where this seems obvious. You will find routes from 5.7 trad to moderate 5.12 sport with numerous 5.10 and 5.11 to be had. The sun exposure is usually excellent.

The subareas:

East Face aka Clairabell Mine Wall - East of Monitor.

1. Butt Wall.
2. Bird's Nest.
3. Trailhead Wall.
3b. Nose Wall (above the trailhead).
4. Ironclad Wall.
5. Boulder Wall.
6. Ironside Wall.
above 6. Summit Dome (above Ironside Wall).
7. Endless Wall.
8. Forever Young.
9. Tombstone.

Below Monitor Rock

Getting There

From most points East you will be taking Colo 82 (off US 24 and between Leadville and Buena Vista) West past Twin Lakes and the reservoir. Several miles further you will come the Mount Elbert Lodge and B&B which can offer great lodgings for those in need and with the foresight to reserve a room. Monitor Rock is several hundred feet West of the lodge and on the right. Parking is just off the shoulder. For those in need, there is a great German restaurant in Twin Lakes (now called Twin Lakes Inn) that serves loads of imported German beers and terrific bratwurst.

More Info

Eds. In addition to Lance Hadfield's Rock & Ice mini-guide (#74, August 1996, pp 102-105), there is a guidebook, Independence Pass Rock II $32.99, on the Aspen area climbs by Tom Perkins which includes Monitor Rock. It is available in the bookstore in Leadville. There was a paper guide published through the Aspen Climibing Guides. Aspenclimbingguides.com may also provide more information.

Miscellaneous

Eds. If you are coming from the Leadville side & need coffee, bakery goods, or wireless internet, the Provin' Grounds Coffee Shop (508 Main St.) may have what you need.

The bookstore just north has guidebooks to the area & the Arkansas Valley.

86 Total Climbs

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Classic Climbing Routes at Monitor Rock

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 109
The Nose
Trad 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 71
Trooper Traverse
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 67
Little Flatulence
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 54
One Stick or Two?
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 44
Left Cheek
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 45
Going Greek
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 177
Squid Kid
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 82
Prospector
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 75
Twin Flakes
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 57
Master Blaster
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 30
Mother Lode
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 42
Slip...Not!
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 31
Last Chance
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 31
Transformation
Sport 4 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 29
Rad Lad
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Nose 1. Butt Wall
 109
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
Trooper Traverse 3. Trailhead Wall
 71
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 4 pitches
Little Flatulence 1. Butt Wall
 67
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
One Stick or Two? E Face aka Clairabell…
 54
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Left Cheek 1. Butt Wall
 44
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Going Greek 1. Butt Wall
 45
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Squid Kid 3. Trailhead Wall
 177
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Prospector 5. Iron Side Wall
 82
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Twin Flakes 5. Iron Side Wall
 75
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Master Blaster E Face aka Clairabell…
 57
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Mother Lode 3. Trailhead Wall
 30
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Slip...Not! 4. Boulder Wall
 42
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Last Chance 5. Iron Side Wall
 31
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Transformation 6. Endless Wall
 31
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport 4 pitches
Rad Lad 3. Trailhead Wall
 29
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Monitor Rock »

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