Elevation: 10,191 ft
GPS: 39.073, -106.451 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 158,166 total · 705/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.

84 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
 101
The Nose
Trad 5 pitches
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13
 69
Trooper Traverse
Trad 4 pitches
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c
 59
Little Flatulence
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 51
One Stick or Two?
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 42
Left Cheek
Sport
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a
 40
Going Greek
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 156
Squid Kid
Sport
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 74
Prospector
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 70
Twin Flakes
Sport
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b
 53
Master Blaster
Sport
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 28
Mother Lode
Trad, Sport 3 pitches
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 38
Slip...Not!
Sport
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c
 23
Last Chance
Sport
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
 28
Transformation
Sport 4 pitches
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a
 25
Rad Lad
Sport
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Nose 1. Butt Wall
 101
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad 5 pitches
Trooper Traverse 3. Trailhead Wall
 69
5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c PG13 Trad 4 pitches
Little Flatulence 1. Butt Wall
 59
5.8+ 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c Sport
One Stick or Two? E Face aka Clairabell…
 51
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Left Cheek 1. Butt Wall
 42
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Going Greek 1. Butt Wall
 40
5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a Sport
Squid Kid 3. Trailhead Wall
 156
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Prospector 5. Iron Side Wall
 74
5.10a 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Sport
Twin Flakes 5. Iron Side Wall
 70
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Master Blaster E Face aka Clairabell…
 53
5.10b 6a+ 19 VII- 19 E2 5b Sport
Mother Lode 3. Trailhead Wall
 28
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad, Sport 3 pitches
Slip...Not! 4. Boulder Wall
 38
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Sport
Last Chance 5. Iron Side Wall
 23
5.11b 6c 23 VIII- 23 E3 5c Sport
Transformation 6. Endless Wall
 28
5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c Sport 4 pitches
Rad Lad 3. Trailhead Wall
 25
5.11b/c 6c+ 23 VIII- 24 E4 6a Sport
More Classic Climbs in Monitor Rock »

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