Type: Trad, 45 ft
FA: Harvey Carter
Page Views: 6,013 total · 28/month
Shared By: Andrew Gram on Aug 29, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details


Climb the South Ridge of the White Twin Spire. This is very fun and a popular route on decent rock.


Fixed pins, stoppers, and a few medium cams sew it up. There are bomber eyebolts on top.
This is a good beginner route and has a few good moves on it. The best is a big step up over a slight overhang that is well-protected by the second and last pin. The first pin is hidden in a pocket about 18ft up, so it is hard to see from the ground, but it is there. A small cam or stopper will provide psychological protection if placed in one of the multiple small cracks and pockets that get you up to the first pin. This is a tourist climb, which means you will be the center of attention of the throngs of tourists who walk through the inner Garden and love to talk to your belayer as you climb since this climb is on the main pathway. Oct 26, 2001
Nice view of the park from the summit. I've found a #2 Camalot can be creatively placed down low - in the top of the crack right after the first few moves. Then I usually place one more piece before the first pin. I know. I'm a wuss. On the other hand, those pins look to be older than I am. Feb 11, 2002
They say the crux is getting off the sidewalk. I say the crux is the last move before the top of the tower. I've been told it's better to go left, but I (and everyone I've seen) always go right (there's a short, offwidth crack type move that goes through and over the little overhang at the top - that's the move that Barrett was describing). Yes, the tourists WILL gather around, and they will undoubtedly give your second way more applause than you, but such is life in The Garden. Mar 6, 2002
It was suggested to me that the easier way to go is over the left side of the bulge above the second pin. I tried it yesterday, and it is a lot easier. Thanks for the beta, Sean. Apr 23, 2002
Crux move is getting off ground. Some go up the squeeze crack with slippery left foot smear, others start on West face far right, traverse some feet up and move right back into crack. Cams can go in pockets or cracks prior to first fixed clip. Moving left undercling at last pin under bulge is definitely "easier" than offwidth overhang with little finger grip to right. Either way, a very fun climb! Sep 22, 2002
FYI - there's no need - in my opinion, anyway - to shy away from this one if you don't have trad gear. I've probably led this one half a dozen times or so with various parties and have yet to place a supplemental piece. Yes, the first piton is basically half way up the rock - however, the only 5.6 level move getting there is right off the deck - where your only pro is a spotter anyway. The rest of the terrain getting to the first pin is considerably easier (5.4, 5.3, even?). The second pin protects the other 5.6 move - at the upper overhang. Obviously, you should use your own judgment about attempting it without trad gear, but it is doable :) Nov 21, 2002
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
Agreed about bringing TRAD gear for the route. It's one of those things that if you think about it, you will probably want some gear, but if you just climb it, you'll be fine. I've done it many times, and I've placed gear a few times. The two difficult moves, like Sean said, are both near protection, so there's not much to worry about. The only worry is the dozens of tourists who will probably be watching you from below, so try and give them a good show. Cheers. Jan 13, 2003
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
The last time I climbed the South Ridge I got up just above the second bolt where you have to step around to the left and kinda make that balance move where ya slide your right foot up very high and stand up on that little table top ledge just below the summit. For me, that was the "challenging" move of the route, thus exciting. However, the last time I climbed it, I noticed the move being substantially easier and that somebody had chopped a little foothold into the side of the rock taking away the fun of that one particular move. Chopping on the Tourist Gully or the approach to the practice slab is one thing, but starting to destroy the already frail, classic, unique climbs in this area is (or any area) pretty f-ed up. Ya know, don't do that crap. It ain't cool. If ya see it, stop it. Stuff like that. Let's not destory what we have, 'cause this beauty isn't always gonna be here, and we need to respect the gifts that are given to us. Keep it real. -Cheers- Jul 13, 2003
Larry Shaw  
You can place a number 1 cam in any of the pockets along the route if needed. I like the coarseness of the white rock, it's not as gritty and brittle as the red. Nov 17, 2003
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
A not-so-creative #3 or 3.5 Camalot protects the start for free or aid (witnessed yesterday) ascent. You can use lots o' trad gear in the cracks if you don't trust dem 2 ole pins. Dec 7, 2003
Aid climbing White Spire, huh? Yep, it's official...there are now officially too many yuppies in this sport. Mar 30, 2004
This is my all time favorite climb in The Garden. I'm not really sure why, there is so much great climbing around, but there's something really cool about this climb. It is one of the least sustained, least aesthetic climbs around, but that only adds to the fun. Almost any time I'm in the central Garden and have 10 minutes to spare, I seem to wind up on the neat little summit.

I'm not too sure about the chopping you mention. I've been climbing this often since 1998, I'd guess, and noticed almost no change, certainly not anything as dramatic as a chopped step.

Oh, and ditto on the lack of trad gear. When I first lead this climb, I was 12, so I sewed it up with really shaky gear, and probably took 20 minute to lead it. Now it just feels like a waste of time to take anything but a couple of draws. All about what ever you are comfortable with.

And to the people who place the bolt on Potholes: PLEASE LEAVE THIS CLIMB ALONE! Aug 16, 2004
Pancho- I'm with you all the way. This is one of the best climbs in the Garden. Though not specifically challenging, it is a great test piece for leaders. long, exposed start...Gorgeous! However, I am sad to say that I believe there is some chipping going on (besides the "foot ladders" carved in by the Rangers on routes like this and on Montezuma's Tower). A classic right-hand pinch that forced the weight over to the right side of the ridge just below the second bolt was chipped (I believe) to create a hold so big and flat it could be used as a geriatric rail. I love the GOG, and I plead with the climbing community to respect this incredible place! Here, perhaps more than any other place in Colorado, are in close proximity to the viewing public, who, while they may ask annoying questions, are ASKING BECAUSE THEY ARE FASCINATED! Please, climbers, if for no other reason than for the positive public image of climbers, please don't chip! Be nice to the tourists! Find a local bar or coffee shop and throw some bucks their way! Thanks for your time. Kevin Sep 27, 2004
England   ?
Two pin rings near the top of the climb (the first is hard to see until you're on route). The lower portion lends itself to many placements. I used Friends #2 through #4, and a #0.5 Camalot. I also found a couple of places for some medium size hexes. Fun route to practice placing gear. Good ledges to stand on throughout. Sep 17, 2008
Michael Lucky
Charleston, SC
Michael Lucky   Charleston, SC
This is a real fun lead, the best part about the climb is all the comments from the kids and parents, it makes you feel like your getting paid to climb for their amusement :) Jun 4, 2012
Colorado Springs
iceman777   Colorado Springs
Don't you know?

If you climb any thing in The Garden, it's mostly for the entertainment of the tourons.

Seriously, not a bad route to practice placing gear for a first time tradster. It's a nice way to set up a TR for the other fun climbs on that spire. Sep 9, 2012
Tim Kessel
Fort Collins
Tim Kessel   Fort Collins
Super fun romp up a cool feature, protects well with a few pieces of gear. Jan 30, 2017