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Routes in The Matron

East Ridge T 5.5 4b 13 IV+ 11 MS 4a
Father Knows Best T,S 5.11 6c+ 23 VIII- 23 E4 5c
Human Experiment, The T 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
North Crack T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
North Face T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
North Face Right T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b PG13
Pasta Man T 5.9 5c 17 VI 17 HVS 5a PG13
Quiche on a Leash T 5.10c 6b 20 VII 20 E2 5b
Real Men Don't Eat Quiche T 5.11- 6c 22 VIII+ 22 E3 5c PG13
Serpentine Dreams S 5.12b 7b 26 VIII+ 26 E5 6b
South Face T 5.6 4c 14 V 12 S 4b
Sunday Comix T,TR 5.9+ 5c 17 VI 17 E1 5a X
Warlocks T 5.12a 7a+ 25 VIII+ 25 E5 6a
West Face T,TR 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c R
Type: Trad
FA: Dale Johnson and Phil Robertson, 1952
Page Views: 1,133 total, 6/month
Shared By: George Bell on Aug 7, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Temporary Trail and Raptor Closures Details


This is a bizarre route whose end is about the same elevation as the start! It is a good winter route as it melts out quickly. Begin from the highest saddle to the west of the Matron (only about 30' from the base of the West Ridge). It is easier to reach this saddle from the north, but you can also approach from the south of the Matron (less snow in winter).

Hike down a chute of dirt and pine needles past trees to find a well defined ramp descending out onto the vertical south face. Climb down this ramp, which is quite easy, but there are pine needles and loose rock around, and a fall would be fatal, so it is a good idea to be roped up. This is the most unpleasant pitch of the route. It is also possible to begin right from the base of the west face, but this is more difficult and involves more loose and crumbly rock.

From here the route is obvious, you simply follow this ramp east as it goes down and then back up. There are several nice belays along the middle of this ledge, where it is 6' wide.

Eventually, as the ramp heads up, it shrinks down and steepens. Here you will find several fixed pins. Finally, the ledge runs out together, and the crux of the route is the remaining 10 feet or so to the East Ridge. There is an old bolt here to clip before the crux (traverse right from the bolt if you want to make it 5.6, straight up is harder).

Once you reach the east ridge, you will probably be experiencing major rope drag. The easiest option is to continue traversing until you reach a belay stance. You can also immediately head up the east ridge, in which case you will discover a foot wide chimney separates you from the rest of the east face. Continue up the face left of this chimney, and belay near its top. In either case, continue easily via the top pitch of the East Ridge.


Light rack with long sligs to reduce rope drag


Rodger Raubach
  5.7 PG13
Rodger Raubach  
  5.7 PG13
This is a strange climb, and a lot of devious climbing results in only one worthwhile pitch onto the East Ridge at what I thought was 5.7. I don't care to repeat this route any time in the near future. Only "one star." Jul 21, 2010
Tony B
Around Boulder, CO
Tony B   Around Boulder, CO
As of September '06, there is a wasps nest in the 5" crack leading down to the first ramp on the first pitch. Watch out for them! Secondly, the trash rock on the first two pitches is abundant enough to downgrade what is a classic climb after those to a mediocre 2-stars. Too bad. Sep 20, 2006
Chris Zeller
Boulder, CO
Chris Zeller   Boulder, CO
Despite what others have said, I think this is a fun route. The first pitch is a bit bizzare I'll give you but it features some excellent exposure for a 5.6 route.

The poison ivy on the 1st pitch was still there October 05, but it isn't that big of deal.

The second pitch is fun and leads up to a nice bolted belay. P2 swing out past a few pins and wow the exposure is great here. These are the crux moves and they are protected by fixed gear ([albeit] old fixed gear). Climb onto the ridge and belay. P3 is pure fun scrambling on the ridge. This is fast easy climbing with loads of holds and loads of possibilities on great rock (aka the 3rd Flatiron).

Just do it. Oct 27, 2005
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
Good point, Scott! Often with fixed pins, there may be no way to clip the biner without loading it over an edge. Then you need to girth hitch a sling through the eye (or ring) to be safe. Jun 5, 2003
Scott Conner
Lyons, CO
Scott Conner   Lyons, CO
The photo below with the ancient pin is a good example of how not to clip a 'biner to a piece; although the force generated by a fall with the biner clipped the other way could result in a snapped spine (biner AND climber). Not an ideal situation either way. Jun 5, 2003
George Bell
Boulder, CO
George Bell   Boulder, CO
I repeated this climb yesterday and the first pitch seemed grungier than I remembered. It's just plain unpleasant, with loose rock and bird poop. To make matters worse there is a thriving bush of poison ivy that your rope will drag through unless you are very careful. The final pitch to the East Ridge is much better, and contains many museum quality fixed pieces. Still, I no longer think this is a 2 star route.

Poison Ivy alert on pitch 1!

This route is not as good as the other 3 "compass routes" (E Face, N Face, W Face) Jun 5, 2003