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Areas in Monitor Rock

1. Butt Wall 2 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 7
2. The Bird's Nest 5 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
3. Trailhead Wall 5 / 11 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
4. Boulder Wall 1 / 3 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 4
4b. Iron Stone Wall 0 / 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
5. Iron Side Wall 0 / 12 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 12
5b. Summit Dome 5 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5
6. Endless Wall 1 / 7 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
6b. Space Your Face Wall 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
7. F.Y. (Forever Young) Wall 5 / 5 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 5 / 5
8. Tombstone 2 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 2
Below Monitor Rock 0 / 0 / 0 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 1
East Face aka Clairabell Mine Wall 0 / 8 / 1 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 0 / 8
Elevation: 10,191 ft
GPS: 39.073, -106.451 Google Map · Climbing Map
Page Views: 77,236 total, 400/month
Shared By: Richard M. Wright on Jan 31, 2002
Admins: Alvaro Arnal, Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
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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.

72 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
The Nose
Trad 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
Trooper Traverse
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
Little Flatulence
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
One Stick or Two?
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
Going Greek
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Squid Kid
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
Prospector
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Wild Flower
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
Master Blaster
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Mother Lode
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Slip...Not!
Sport
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
Brother Toad
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
Meltdown
Sport 5 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Transformation
Sport 4 pitches
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Rad Lad
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Nose 1. Butt Wall 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
Trooper Traverse 3. Trailhead Wall 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 4 pitches
Little Flatulence 1. Butt Wall 5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
One Stick or Two? E Face aka Clairabell Mine Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Going Greek 1. Butt Wall 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Squid Kid 3. Trailhead Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Prospector 5. Iron Side Wall 5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Wild Flower 6. Endless Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Master Blaster E Face aka Clairabell Mine Wall 5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Mother Lode 3. Trailhead Wall 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Slip...Not! 4. Boulder Wall 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Brother Toad 3. Trailhead Wall 5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Meltdown 3. Trailhead Wall 5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport 5 pitches
Transformation 6. Endless Wall 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport 4 pitches
Rad Lad 3. Trailhead Wall 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport
More Classic Climbs in Monitor Rock »

Weather Averages

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Prime Climbing Season
J F M A M J J A S O N D
J F M A M J J A S O N D
Cody Goldberg
Lakewood, Colorado
Cody Goldberg   Lakewood, Colorado
Unfortunately, the German restaurant listed in the Getting There section is now the Twin Lakes Inn. They serve food and beer aber es gibt nur ein deutches Bier. Schade.... Jul 8, 2017
D. Scott Clark
Boulder
D. Scott Clark   Boulder
Administrators, please add numbers to the beginning of each area name so they can be viewed in order. For example

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.
6b. Summit Dome (above Ironside Wall).
7. Endless Wall.
8. Forever Young.
9. Tombstone. Jun 12, 2017
Found a white Mammut helmet at the trailhead wall on 7/10/16. Let me know if it's yours. Jul 11, 2016
Bruce H
Boulder, CO
Bruce H   Boulder, CO
I found a Red Chili Size 39 Right Shoe like new on the east side trail. Msg me if it is yours. Jun 28, 2016
Michael Schneiter
Glenwood Springs, CO
Michael Schneiter   Glenwood Springs, CO
Yes, there are a few USFS campgrounds close by. Twin Peaks and Parry Peak are east of Monitor and within a few miles. Sep 29, 2014
Any camping options nearby? Sep 26, 2014
Don Nguyen
Ellensburg, WA
Don Nguyen   Ellensburg, WA
Lost a pair of glacier goggles and all my cards on a fall over the Trooper Traverse. If you see anything, please turn it into Leadville Outdoors shop. Thanks. Sep 8, 2014
Hearne  
New route info: Rimpelstiltskin is the bolted face route located on the large, left-facing dihedral between Iron Side Wall and Endless Wall; left of Climax and right of Dihedral Crack. FA: Nicole Rimpel, Chris Martinez, Dean Morgan. 11a/b if you stay on the face. 13 bolts, chain anchors, 105 feet. Apr 28, 2014
BJ Sbarra
Carbondale, CO
BJ Sbarra   Carbondale, CO
Thanks for all the hard work, great to see so many new climbs! Sep 12, 2012
Drew Spaulding
Boulder, CO
Drew Spaulding   Boulder, CO
With the help of multiple friends, since 2006, we've established 32 new pitches on MONITOR ROCK so far. Notably, six new 3-pitch routes have been added to the already plethora of climbs. Nearly all new pitches require some natural gear placements... I will soon be posting some of the latest works.... on The FY Wall! Sep 12, 2012
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
The new edition of the Stewart Green Colorado guide includes Monitor Rock. Oct 16, 2010
Brandon Schirm
colorado springs, co
Brandon Schirm   colorado springs, co
What are the routes on the overhanging wall? About 500 ft to the left of Squid Kid. A lot of chalk and a bulge at the top? Jun 27, 2010
Cool cliff with a ton of sport climbing! Wish the rain hadn't been so persistent and the fishing so good. I would have liked to do more climbs. Love the rock texture and the easy approach. Jun 30, 2009
Found: watch at the base of the Nose. Drop me an email if it's yours. jpeterson@western.edu Jul 11, 2007
Ben Bruestle
Pueblo, CO
Ben Bruestle   Pueblo, CO
Spotted a few mountain goats on the southeast face a couple weeks ago showing the humans how it's done. May 3, 2006
Wendie  
Great area, with something for everyone - sport, trad, beginners, etc. Don't forget to do the Butt Wall (no routes described here) - around the right prow. There are great warm-ups there or routes for beginning leaders. Most of them have a 2nd trad pitch, though the first pitches are all sport. Easy to get to & all routes are well bolted! Jul 1, 2002
IMHO a worthy rock for sport climbing. The rock is solid and finger friendly. Aspen Climbing Guides LLC publishes a 1-page guide which has all the current routes listed. Apr 8, 2002

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