Adventure Projects is hiring a web engineer to join us in Boulder, CO
Mountain Project Logo

Routes in The Pope's Nose

Arkansas Route T 5.12 7b+ 27 VIII+ 26 E6 6b C2
Brain Damage T 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a
Central Buttress T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0+
Chalice Wall T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A2
Contraceptive Cracks T 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A3-
Lulu The Magical Mule S 5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b
Thunder Road T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a A3
Unsorted Routes:
Order Wrong? Sort Routes
Elevation: 10,649 ft
GPS: 37.57, -107.4 Google Map · Climbing Area Map
Page Views: 12,553 total · 134/month
Shared By: Ken Trout on Jan 16, 2011
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac
Getting weather forecast...

Colorado's Largest Granite Dome

The Pope's Nose is a bit bigger than either Sundance Buttress on Lumpy Ridge or Big Rock Candy Mountain in the South Platte. Unlike most of the San Juan Mountains, the rock is good.

Convincing anyone that the Pope's Nose is worth thirteen miles of hiking may be cruxy. My aim is to help convince your skeptical friends.

The Yosemite-like smoothness and difficulty of the Pope's Nose tends to surprise the few climbers who visit. It is still a place to bring aiders and maybe even a ledge with a rain-fly.

Kris French on the first ascent of Arkansas Route by Mountainproject contributor Eggman.

ROUTE SUMMARY IMAGES

Updated image from Southwest Rock by David Kozak, 1985. Insectophobia should be renamed Moldy Hobos and will be once I have time to redraw the routes.

Best estimates.

APPROACH
Flint Creek. Image by mountainproject. Contributor SamP.
From the Los Pinos River Trailhead, hike twelve miles up one of the longest, flattest, mountain-wilderness valleys in Colorado. A mile before Flint Creek the trail starts climbing. Soon after the left turn up Flint Creek the Pope's Nose can finally be seen (photo above). Less than two miles up the Flint Creek trail there is a nice campsite below the Pope's Nose. Finally, a steep aspen forest must be climbed and slippery slabs dodged on the way up to the base of the wall.

APPROACH MAP

Pope's Nose approach map.

DESCENT
First scramble off the summit. Then descend Fern Gully to the slippery aspen forest (climber's right of summit). One party reported finding a rappel anchor that they could not safely get too (near the bottom). There is some consensus that this descent is awful!

Photo by mountainproject contributor Gary N.

It might be longer, but descending the west side, climber's left, seems worth a try.

ANIMAL ALERTS
Moose and bears inhabit this wilderness. One textbook notes that the Wemminuche Wilderness is the southernmost pocket of grizzly bear habitat.

7 Total Climbs

Route Finder - Best Climbs for YOU!

Location: The Pope's Nose Change
Type:  to 
Quality:
Pitches:
Sort by:   then:
 

Classic Climbing Routes at The Pope's Nose

Mountain Project's determination of the classic, most popular, highest rated climbing routes in this area.
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0+
 8
Central Buttress
Trad, Aid 10 pitches
Route Name Location Star Rating Difficulty Date
Central Buttress
 8
5.10 6b 20 VII- 19 E2 5b A0+ Trad, Aid 10 pitches
More Classic Climbs in The Pope's Nose »

Sun & Shade

Weather Averages

High
 
Low
 
Precip
 
Days w Precip
 
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
Kevin Sainio
Durango, CO
Kevin Sainio   Durango, CO
Thanks, Ken, for offering info on this mythical formation. I have hiked by it several times, and every time I swear to come back and climb it. Thanks especially for sharing the photos. It is always great to see a glimpse of climbing history. Feb 10, 2011
We did the descent yesterday and were pleasantly surprised to find it easier than expected. We did no rappels and didn't downclimb anything harder than 5.0. It took 1 hour to get from the top all the way to Flint Creek. Jun 21, 2015

More About The Pope's Nose

Printer-Friendly
What's New
Guidebooks (9)

All Photos Within The Pope's Nose (48)

Most Popular · Newest · Random