Type: Trad, 2 pitches
FA: Layton Kor & Gary Ziegler, 1965. FFA: Earl Wiggins, Jim Dunn & John Sherwood, April 1975
Page Views: 12,032 total · 57/month
Shared By: Dave Chenault on Oct 8, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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Access Issue: 2015 Seasonal falcon nesting closures - reduced Details
Access Issue: 2017 Seasonal Closures - Partial Closure Lifting Details


This routes climbs the obvious crack system in a vague corner on the NNW end. Most parties climb the first 60 feet at easy 5.10, but the 20 foot extension is excellent climbing. Fixed anchors for both. The second pitch looks heinous, a pigeon-shit encrusted slot with good cracks in the back.


Many drilled pins are present, which should be supplemented/backed up with mid-sized nuts and small cams.

Per Rope Byrne, many of the pins have fallen out.
Matt Juth
Matt Juth   Evergreen
The extension is excellent. The second pitch is definitely adventurous, and dirty as stated. I guess it is par for the course as most deep Garden cracks go. The drilled angles are not inspiring. Apr 28, 2004
Larry Shaw  
The first part of the first pitch eats up small hexes. Pins after that to the anchors. Nice climbing. Jun 2, 2004
This climb is awesome, far more fun on lead. When going for the cross over, climb up and clip the pin, then downclimb a couple feet and cross over, this way you can protect the moves, and get in a coule extra moves. I found that just a little trad gear makes the climb a little more enjoyable and less frightining, a #7 BD nut for the runout to the first pin, 3.5 to cover just above the last pin, as it is hanging out there a bit. May 8, 2005
Boulder, CO
Lordsokol   Boulder, CO
This is easily the best climb in the Garden and rivals most in the state. It is sustained and smooth. You'll forget you are climbing on the Garden's normally rotten rock. The first part of the first pitch can be a little pumpy on lead, so save your energy for the upper part of the route and blast through this part quickly if you can. Apr 20, 2006
Anaconda now has new stainless anchors at both the lower and upper stations on the first pitch. Thanks to Brad Saren and Brian Shelton for jumaring up and replacing the old gear. The upper anchor has two bolts and one of the original pitons. The lower anchor is the same. Thanks to Climbing Mag and Petzl for donating the gear. May 11, 2006
Right Pete, we were certainly "scaring" the rock when those old pitons were removed. Ha. Good one. The rock was sooooo scared. Yep, Brian and Brad crowbarred them out. Now there are good safe anchors at both of Anaconda's belays, and climbers can breathe more easily up there...

Have you ever removed an old piton from sandstone? Have you been going out and replacing all those old dangerous anchors at the Garden of the Gods with brand new stainless-steel state-of-the-art 1/2" bolt anchors? Hmmmm I didn't think so.

As I wrote under your Crescent Corner post the other week, it's best to put up or shut up. I invited you then to be a part of the effort to update the GofG anchors but you, like everyone else on the sidelines who doesn't want to get involved, is willing to bitch and whine and moan and criticize rather than do something constructive.

As far as the Anaconda anchors, they needed replacement. The scarring will disappear within a month or so through an on-going geologic process called EROSION.

Many climbers have told me that those anchors needed replacement. Notably my long-time friend and great climber Jimmy Dunn, who just last week said, "Good, it's about time those anchors were replaced. You should also pull all the pitons too and replace those with bomber half-inchers. I get scared up there when I'm leading that thing and only clipped into 3 or 4 of the pins. I would come out and help you guys but it's my son's birthday that day so I can't." Now I certainly give a lot more credence to Jimmy's ideas about Anaconda's anchors than you or anyone else. I asked him how many times he's climbed it and he said, "Thousands. I've done it thousands of times." And he has, including the first free ascent of it with Earl Wiggins and John Sherwood.

So as I wrote in Crescent Corner, if you want to fill the holes, if you want to be part of the effort, if you want to stop bitching and whining, then let us know that you want to work in a constructive and positive way to ensure that this fabulous local climbing area stays open in the future and that future climbers can safely climb, lower, and rappel from the fixed gear.

If you want to fill in all the old piton holes in the Garden, then go for it. As of right now, I haven't come up with the right mixture to fill the holes or that has been approved by the COS Parks Department. Any kind of cement product or epoxy sets up too hard in the soft sandstone, so the plug is left sticking out as the surrounding sandstone erodes. Caulk and varies kinds of oil-based products are also inadequate. If you have suggestions, then by all means put them forward and we can test them and present them to the city as a viable way to fill the hundreds of holes. And you can certainly be at the forefront of that effort but starting with the 20+ holes on the first pitch of Angle Tangle's bolt ladder.

Thanks again for Brian and Brad for getting out there and replacing those old anchors and for caring about the Garden of the Gods climbing experience and for doing something constructive. Kudos guys!! May 15, 2006
Boulder, CO
Lordsokol   Boulder, CO
I for one appreciate the efforts. The new anchors are great and much needed. I climbed the route again yesterday and the difference is huge. I think those "scars" will be gone by the end of next month at the rate that the Garden erodes, so I'm not too worried. Plus you can't even see the scars until you are right up on them. Thanks again, guys. May 17, 2006
Phil Lauffen
Innsbruck, AT
Phil Lauffen   Innsbruck, AT  
Sweet climb. I submit that this is one of the best in The Garden. Solid rock, good gear placements, good movement and position... why go to Moab? And no rock scars that I could see. Thanks for those new anchors at the 60' mark. I know I couldn't have done the 11 extension, and appreciate having new, shiny objects to climb towards. Jul 14, 2009
Colorado Springs
mountainmicah83   Colorado Springs
Climbed on 9/30 The right anchor is missing. The left anchor is still solid, and then there is a bolt with no hanger up there with a nut, washer, and chock there. Someone really needs to put a hanger on the right. Great route for my first 5.10 trad lead though. Oct 4, 2010
Ryan Sanders
C Springs
Ryan Sanders   C Springs
The lower anchor now has a cold shut on the right bolt, thanks to whoever put it up. It is hard to see from the ground, but it is there. Mar 16, 2011
Drew Thayer
Denver, CO
Drew Thayer   Denver, CO
2nd pitch is well worth the adventure, especially the left variation (main offwidth crack). You can climb this route with one 70m rope if you rap E off the summit into the notch and then rap off a hearty bush on the E side of the notch towards the main parking lot. May 17, 2011
"The lower anchor now has a cold shut on the right bolt, thanks to whoever put it up. It is hard to see from the ground, but it is there."

You're welcome. But that probably wasn't the smartest decision. Our idea was to have all three pieces in the system - solid pin on the right, good bolt on the left, and the manky loose bolt below that we put the shut on. We put a new sling and quicklink on the right pin, so thus had all three equalized.

Unfortunately, someone felt the need to remove the sling and quicklink, taking the solid pin out of the system, leaving only one solid bolt, and one crappy bolt, which is the way it was as of two weeks ago.

What needs to happen, at minimum, in my opinion, is to install a chain and quicklink on the solid pin on the right to equalize with the solid bolt on the left. The loose bolt below (that now has the shut on it) probably needs to be removed and patched. I just have no idea what was behind pulling the new rust-colored sling and QL that put the pin into the system. Someone thinking they were helping? Outright theft? No idea, but the pin is solid and is not currently part of the anchor and should be, whereas the cold shut really should not be. Jul 25, 2011
Ryan Chelstowski
Colorado Springs, CO
Ryan Chelstowski   Colorado Springs, CO
Anchor update: I aid rope-soloed it this week, and the lower anchor is good w/ 2 newer bolts and a pin up right. Also the second anchor has 2 good newer bolts. Jan 10, 2013
Sometime in the last couple months this climb lost its top piton leading to a pretty sizable runout to the anchor. A #0.75 C4 worked for the crack next to where it had been. It is a good reminder to take a few pieces to back up those old drilled angles.

Awesome climb, one of my three favorites (along with New Era and Montezuma's) in the park. Mar 31, 2013
I heard Anaconda will be closed soon, till September. Anyone know when? Is it still currently open?

Thanks. Apr 24, 2013
Leo Paik
Westminster, Colorado
Leo Paik   Westminster, Colorado  
Dancesatmoonrise, calling 719.634.6666, they said North Gateway on the West side, Tourist Gully is closed up on the top and access to the top of North Gateway is closed. The East face is closed. The Tower of Babel of closed. Some routes on the low west side are open, like Cowboy Boot Crack. Anaconda is closed. There is posted signage. Hope that helps! Apr 24, 2013
Hey, Leo, thanks. May 5, 2013
Roger K
Colorado Springs
Roger K   Colorado Springs
We were up climbing Anaconda Thursday, and a ranger stopped by and told us Anaconda was off limits. He said that in years past the North and NW wasn't really enforced so wasn't bent out of shape, just told us to move when done. He said that it would probably open up in September but didn't have an exact date.

Roger Aug 26, 2013
Current access information (as of 11/27/2017) shows that this route is closed. I contacted GoG staff via email, and they let me know that the person responsible for posting closure information to MP no longer works there. Most importantly, there are no closures on North Gateway as of 2017-11-27. Nov 27, 2017
Also, most of the drilled angles that were down low are gone now (right around the crux). The info ought to be updated to reflect that this is more trad than sport now. Bring a #2 (C4) for the crux area and a #1 (C4) for a backup. Some small cams also are helpful on the top where you'll need to find some creative placements. X4s or C3s are probably good to bring up. It's a short climb, but you don't want to go unprepared (those drilled angles didn't just fall out...). Dec 1, 2017
Mark Rolofson
Boulder, CO
Mark Rolofson   Boulder, CO
Correction: the first ascent is incomplete. First ascent: Layton Kor & Gary Ziegler in 1965. First free ascent: Earl Wiggens, Jim Dunn & John Sherwood in April 1975. The route was originally freed with a hanging belay at the anchor below the crux section. Definitely this is A0, but in 1975, this ascent was a huge jump in standards in the Garden. In January 1976, Earl Wiggens & Jim Dunn freed the climb without the hanging belay making the first all free ascent. Very possibly it is Jim Dunn & not Earl Wiggens who led this ascent. Jan 5, 2019