Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: 1994 04 95, Tom Hanson & Scott Sills
Page Views: 12,437 total · 59/month
Shared By: Tom Hanson on Oct 9, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

60 Opinions

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Access Issue: Raptor Closures Details


This classic three pitch trad line represents the first excursion up the West face of The Headstone proper. Begin to the right of Topaz and climb to the top of a left-facing corner system and belay on a ledge. Step left to the face and beware a huge loose block (crux). Wander up the line of least resistance. The last pitch is short often climbing the wall right of the chimney.


Standard rack. Fixed anchors at belays.
Kyle P.
Lander, WY
Kyle P.   Lander, WY
Excellent climbing. Hail stricken after the first pitch though. I would like to go back and finish it next season. Nov 22, 2007
Sean Wolf
Denver, CO
Sean Wolf   Denver, CO
Is there a guidebook with this climb in it? Apr 13, 2011
You can find all of the routes in this area in the new Rampart Range Rocks guidebook available at REI, the local shops like Bent Gate/Wilderness Exchange/Neptune, & some local gyms, too. Apr 13, 2011
John Korfmacher
Fort Collins, CO
John Korfmacher   Fort Collins, CO
Fine climb. Second pitch looks kinda dirty and chossy from the bottom, but it's actually pretty funky--lots of wild, ass-hanging-out moves on big holds with solid pro. P3 is a little confusing at first, but stare at it a little while and you'll get it. Jun 1, 2011

Great route! P1 was a pretty straightforward, 5.7ish, corner climb. Good bolts at the comfortable first belay station. The first few moves onto P2 got my full attention! Tom got a large Friend stuck in a crack on the right as his first protection on P2. Neither of us could get it out even though I could get my fingers behind it. Lots of interesting, fun, and challenging climbing along P2. I don't recall one clearly 5.8 move, but the 5.7+/5.8- challenges came one after another. Another comfortable belay with good bolts at the top of P2. P3 is short. I must have made it harder than necessary as my P3 moves were as challenging as any on P2. All 3 pitches protected well. From the solid anchors on top, my 70m rope just got us down to the first belay station with not an inch of rope to spare. Nice shade all the way up. Beautiful area! Aug 7, 2011
Rich F.
Colorado Springs, CO
Rich F.   Colorado Springs, CO
Excellent climb -- I agree with Dave G.
Pretty consistent climbing on all three pitches, but the mental crux for me was the start of the second pitch with the short traverse left, and the first 20 feet of climbing above that. Pitch two was fantastic with the vertical face climbing to the right of the chimney on amazing (Chickenhead) holds and feet placements. Use lots of slings on pitch two to reduce rope drag. The third pitch was short and had three bolts on the right face to clip for protection -- though you could probably protect the crack in the chimney just fine. Descended with three raps down the route. Anchors were all very solid. Again a great route! Sep 11, 2011

This route is really fun and a lot better than it looks from the bottom. The second pitch is really cool, as the climbing is steep, but the chimney makes it secure. Aug 7, 2012
Hiro Protagonist
Hiro Protagonist   Colorado
P1 is an excellent beginner lead - gear placement options everywhere and easy climbing - all at the same time as being really fun.

P2 start is spicy like others mentioned - I almost decided to skip it because of the risk of the traverse right off the belay station. If you can step up on the shelf to the left of the belay ledge, you can reach up and place a microcam (I think I used a green C3).

GEAR - a Colorado SR seems fine, minus the #4. I did place two C3s because I had them, there are usually lots of options so you'll be fine without. Medium nuts are useful, I placed many. If you have new gear to play with, bring it along, you can probably find somewhere to put it! Oct 2, 2013
Jay Eggleston
Jay Eggleston   Denver
The third pitch is actually part of "Topaz". I did it as my third pitch, but it is not actually part of Chickenhead. I had to use the loose flake. It will be scary if it goes during a climb. It could make the route more difficult if it goes. Oct 7, 2013
The last pitch was completely bolted. Good climbing, kind of weird in spots though.

The view from the top is breathtaking, one of the best I've seen. Oct 14, 2013
Evan J  
Retrieved stuck BD cam - if it is yours and you would like it back, let me know. It is not in great shape. Jun 8, 2014
Matt Pierce
Denver, CO
Matt Pierce   Denver, CO
We felt the first pitch was no harder than 5.7. The big unattached flake is still there at the start of the second pitch and is probably more solid than it looks. If you do the third pitch it is short and has 5 bolts. The view from the top is worth the effort. Also - we were able to rap from the top all the way back to the first belay ledge with a 70M. Oct 26, 2014
Boulder, CO
Branty   Boulder, CO
Whoa, this route was really fun! I was a little apprehensive due to the vegetation on the first pitch, but everything turned out fine. The gigantic loose block at the beginning of pitch 2 is a bit spooky, though -- maybe clear your pals from the base if you decide to yard on it. The upper pitches are wild -- chimney options, offwidth options, chickenheads, you name it! What a treat! Sep 3, 2018
Jake Web
Denver, CO
Jake Web   Denver, CO
The start of pitch 2 bugged me out, don't think about going too far left, just go straight up the corner! A small nut and/or a 0.1 cam would protect it well. Don't put gear in the flake on the left, but it felt fine to touch gently!

5.7+ in Boulder Canyon is way harder than this! Sep 9, 2018