Elevation: 7,607 ft
GPS: 40.437, -105.317 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 15,966 total · 125/month
Shared By: s.kimball on Mar 10, 2010
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac, Tyler KC

Description

This prominent 250 foot spire on the west flank of the Palisades can be seen for miles from Drake and the eastern plains. It is quite an adventure just to arrive at its base. Best approach is from Cedar Park. Take FR128 past Combat Rock into Cedar Park proper, eventually making 2 rights onto Snowtop Dr. Park at an end pullout across from a Forest Service access with views of Cedar Park Slab to the north and within a few steps to the south, a stunning panorama of both the Front Range and the Big Thomson Canyon below.

Getting There

Get you bearings, where from the plateau top you can see the pyramidal Horseshead due east. No trail exists and it is very rugged, but one must walk east across the plateau, cross a deep draw (drop down) then negotiate a barrier of rock walls (some 4th class) before thromping up a steep gully that leads to a ramp at the west toe of the Horseshead. Allow 1 hour if the path of least resistance is followed.

Per climber76: Take Storm Mountain past past Combat Rock until the "T". Take a right. Drive about 1/4 mile, passing 2 bear statues on pedestals. Take a right on Snowtop Drive. On my odometer, I went between 1.0 and 1.1 miles to a left turnoff. It is marked by a prominent "No Trespassing" sign (every part of the road, parking, approach, and climb is unequivocally on public land). Drive up about 50 yards to the forest service entrance. Walk straight down the double track for perhaps 1/4 mile. Shortly after passing a 6 foot diameter boulder in the middle of the road, you will note a sapling with a large cairn. Walk straight east on a faint trail. The route finding crux is staying on the contour on slightly rocky ground. At the ridge, trend left on some rocky ground as you drop down the dirty hillside. Watch for cairns, and head somewhat left at the bottom before crossing the talus. Cross the talus, and find more cairns before proceeding across another patch of forest and rock rib. Head up the next gully. It is all marked by cairns. Any deviation from the trail will put you in 4th class hell. The elevation gain and loss is the same coming and going.

With the trail improvements, the approach may take as little as 30 minutes.

Per Nat T.: when you get to the little sapling that has a big cairn in front of it, go right down the hill in between two pine trees. DO NOT continue on the trail up the hill to your left. The trail is faint at times but is pretty well-marked with cairns

21 Total Climbs

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Location: Horseshead Change
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Classic Climbing Routes at Horseshead

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
 3
Charlie Horse
Trad
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b
 8
De-Virginizing Stud Pony
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 14
Glue Factory
Trad
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c
 3
Ponyboy Arete
Trad
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c
 3
Playing Timmy Sticks
Trad 2 pitches
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a
 4
Sea Biscuit
Trad
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 20
Neighsayer
Trad 2 pitches
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b
 8
Goverment Mule
Trad
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
 10
Kentucky Derby
Trad
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
 5
Eagle's Beak
Trad 4 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13
 6
Breeder's Cup
Trad 2 pitches
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b
 3
Oh Wilbur
Trad
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b
 3
Funky Gold Patina
Trad, Sport 2 pitches
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c
 7
Tijuana Donkey Show
Trad
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a
 3
Pokey's Arete
Trad
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Charlie Horse
 3
5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b Trad
De-Virginizing Stud Pony
 8
5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b Trad
Glue Factory
 14
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Ponyboy Arete
 3
5.8- 5b 16 VI- 14 VS 4c Trad
Playing Timmy Sticks
 3
5.9- 5c 17 VI 16 HVS 4c Trad 2 pitches
Sea Biscuit
 4
5.10- 6a 18 VI+ 18 E1 5a Trad
Neighsayer
 20
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad 2 pitches
Goverment Mule
 8
5.10a/b 6a+ 19 VI+ 19 E2 5b Trad
Kentucky Derby
 10
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b Trad
Eagle's Beak
 5
5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b Trad 4 pitches
Breeder's Cup
 6
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b PG13 Trad 2 pitches
Oh Wilbur
 3
5.10+ 6b+ 21 VII+ 20 E3 5b Trad
Funky Gold Patina
 3
5.10d 6b+ 21 VII+ 21 E3 5b Trad, Sport 2 pitches
Tijuana Donkey Show
 7
5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c Trad
Pokey's Arete
 3
5.11+ 7a 24 VIII 24 E4 6a Trad
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