Elevation: 10,447 ft
GPS: 40.304, -105.522 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 11,621 total · 57/month
Shared By: Leo Paik on Jul 5, 2004
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC
Access Issue: Area Closure ended but timed entry permits are REQUIRED Details


This is the highest of the commonly climbed rocks of the Crags lying on the W slopes of Twin Sisters just S of Estes Park. It is easily visible from many points in EP. A walk around Lily Lake or a drive on Hwy 7 draws your eye. This W-facing crag is a wide swath of rock of varying quality divided by a protruding pillar of stone. The routes here range from 300 to nearly 600 feet in length. The routes are generally trad but there is a new bolted line. Routes here include: Over Thirty Club, Old & Forgotten, High Clutch, A Few Moments of Pleasure, Sky King, Tom's Travesty, The Big Steep, Kor-Northcutt, Erac's Crack, Right Buttress, Southwest Face, Middle Buttress, Indian Peaks Arete, Gone So Long, Funky Island Traverse, & Hindenberg.

Getting There

There are 2 approaches to this crag. Neither was a trail. Expect an hour at least to approach. Get your bearings before heading into the trees. Both will require some reorientation once you clear the trees. The first starts from the Twin Sister's Trailhead off CO Hwy 7, past the Lily Lake Visitor Center, South of Estes Park, just across from Lily Lake. Hike along the trail for perhaps a half mile to the third switchback, then head up the hill. This is not very specific, but that is what it was. The other approach is signed as private property just past the Baldpate Inn, off CO Hwy 7, across from Lily Lake. There is a chained-off dirt road that indicates you can hike private property lines the road. At some point a short distance down the road, you can break off uphill from the dirt road, go up through the forest, and reorient when you clear the trees.

Per Kat A: The Upper Great Face is more easily approached now than several years ago, as there is a cairned trail to Wizard's Gate, which located on the right side of the Lower Great Face. From the Twin Sister's TH (across CO Hwy 7 from Lily Lake), veer off left at the 3rd switchback (count each turn on the main trail as a switchback - left, right, left then cut left off main trail). Once you're below Wizard's Gate, head climber's left, and drop below Castaway Crag. Then head uphill towards The Upper Great Face. Most routes are on the left side of the face. I estimate it is a 1.25 hour approach. Note on the way back to your car, you will veer downhill a bit skier's left - it's helpful to keep in mind if it's dark and/or you lose the cairned trail.

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Classic Climbing Routes at The Upper Great Face

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
The Golden Staircase, pitches 1…
Trad 3 pitches
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
The Big Steep
Trad 3 pitches
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R
The Golden Monkey
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
Wiffle Ball Bat
Sport 2 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
The Golden Staircase, pitc…
5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a Trad 3 pitches
The Big Steep
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad 3 pitches
The Golden Monkey
5.10b/c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b R Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Wiffle Ball Bat
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Sport 2 pitches
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