Type: Trad, 3 pitches
FA: Skip Hamilton & Steve Cheyney, early 1970s (from CGNA)?
Page Views: 18,768 total · 89/month
Shared By: Michael Walker on Oct 13, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

214 Opinions

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A varied climb of superb quality found on Turkey Rock's South Face. A fine introduction to South Platte offerings. From the Pass between Turkey Rocks and Turkey Perch, drop down and to the right, following the base of Turkey Rocks. The route starts on the West side of the South Face.

P1: The traditional start is in a dark chimney on the West side (5.7) just past the lowest point of the face, but this chimney is better used to identify a hand crack variation just to the right (very recommended). Begin with a small crack that angles right, leading to a bomber hand crack (5.8) charging straight up to a roof. The crack widens before reaching the roof (your big piece in the small pod) and get ready for the crux. Reach up to a jam above the small pod (5.9) and work via hand traverse left and escape from under the roof to another hand crack. The crack eases back and cruise to a good ledge.

P2: The first pitch was a satisfying hand crack, the second a delicate finger crack. From the ledge follow the cracks straight up the steep, open face above (5.9). The beginning of this pitch is fine climbing; tricky stems and thoughful, exposed progress leads back and forth up the dual cracks. Work around a small roof on the left, 5.6s on the face or tricky 5.8 along the crack. Belay up on the left on an exposed, delightful, small shelf.

P3: Climb the crack above the belay, following easier climbing along a left facing dihedral (5.7). Finish smartly with a small sampling of easy slab. Follow the line of least resistance to the right into a huge slot that leads to the summit.

Walk off to the East toward the pass between Turkey Rocks and Turkey Perch.


A standard rack to a #4.
Dan St. John
Castle Rock
Dan St. John   Castle Rock
This climb is a definit must. Pitch two was the best! There are several possiblities for pitch two. Down and left is a striking finger crack, this is the recomended start. The finger crack is superb 5.9 that proptects easily. About 40-50 ft up one can cross into a crack to the right with some hands. Another 20ft or some bring you to a fork under a flake/roof. I whent right up a wide crack, which I estimate as 5.8, that ends up in a nice caviish ledge. If you go right I hear you end up an a slaby 5.7s, but I really would_ent know. Oct 22, 2001
This is a classic for sure! I can't remember how many times I've done it. If you want to add some more great climbing, there is a way to TR the superb 5.9X Messner's Delight while on this route. At the top of the second pitch, you can easily traverse left to Messner's anchors (two old bolts, backed up with a good cam(s), if I recall correctly -- it's been a while). From there, rap or lower (60m rope mandatory, just barely reaches) to the huge ledge at the top of Gobbler's 1st pitch. TR it and then move your belay back to Gobbler's and finish with that climb's third pitch. Messner's is a thin crack that peters out, leaving you to wander up the face on knobs and edges. You can see it in the picture below that shows a variation start and the upper part of Gobbler's Grunt Apr 22, 2003
Matt Juth
Matt Juth   Evergreen
It is possible to downclimb left off the top of the first pitch if that is all you want to do. About 20 feet, maybe 5.7. It would be a pity to miss P2 though! Oct 14, 2003
After the first pitch, walk left and you'll see slings and rap rings for your descending pleasure May 16, 2004
Possibly as good as it gets for the grade. You can combine the 2nd and 3rd pitches, but a 60M will leave you just short of the top. A 70 would get you there fine. Fabulous varied climbing. Jul 19, 2004
This is really one of the best multi-pitch climbs I have done anywhere. The variation on the first pitch is awesome-five stars. The second pitch is also of the highest quality . The belay ledge after pitch two is really nice and shady (b/c it is in a sort of cave). Anyway on to why I am posting a comment. I did not consult this site before going out and doing this climb. Instead I relied on the guide book-this was a mistake. In the guide book it shows a walk off to the west. I attempted this, and found out (unless I was totally off route) there is no walk-off. Instead I ended up leaving some cord and a locking biner to rappel down to another previously left rappel station. So as of 5/23/05 there are two solid rap stations going off to the west, total rap length is 120 meters, this will put you on the ground. Enjoy!! May 23, 2005
Stefanie Van Wychen
Denver, CO
Stefanie Van Wychen   Denver, CO
I thought this was an awesome route. Very sustained the whole way, with a little bit of offwidth thrown in. If you're confused about where the belay ledge is between the 2nd and 3rd pitches, just ask Guadalupe, he's the brown and white pigeon that kept me company, don't worry he doesn't bite. May I also add that as a second, it was nerve-racking to watch my leader suspended in mid-air outside of the cave (2nd belay ledge). May 23, 2005
Matt Chan
Matt Chan   Denver
As stated above, the hand crack variation to P1 is of the highest quality and adds to the pleasure of the route as a whole. I didn't get on this route until recently because of the 5.7s finish on P3 that (I think) Stewart Green describes in his book (though it may have been Hubbel's). Not so! In fact, looking up at the slab I expected to run it out to the overlap, but encountered gear placements every 5 to 10 feet making it very safe. Also, with a couple of RPs, the 5.6s face on the second pitch felt well protected. Jul 7, 2005
Tim Stich
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Tim Stich   Colorado Springs, Colorado
Thousands upon thousands of winged black ants were on the summit today, swarming as I tried to find an insect free crack to build an anchor. I've never seen so many flying ants in one place. Nasty. Aug 20, 2008
On P2 I took the variation at the top that goes right thru a widish section. It was about 5.8 and protected nicely with 2 #3s. I placed a #3 at the end of the hand crack, heel toed and chicken winged a couple of moves, and place another #3 higher up. Fun little variation. Oct 21, 2008
Meredith DB
Boulder, CO
Meredith DB   Boulder, CO
This route is brilliant with the handcrack variation to the first pitch - thanks to everyone here for recommending it. Every pitch on this climb is super fun. The gear is excellent as well.

A comment on this first pitch: to me, the roof did not feel like the crux; I was surprised that it felt relatively easy. I thought that the wide parts of the crack down low (before the roof) and above the roof felt harder. I have small hands, and sections of these cracks were wider than fist for me.

On the second pitch, we went with the 5.6s face section. If you want to go this way, you should know that you can step high in the crack and place a great nut, then step back down to traverse out onto the face. The initial traverse onto the face is by far the hardest part: the climbing gets easier and easier as you go up on the face. So if you use a high piece, you'll be well protected for the actual 5.6 move and then only have to run it out on a 5.4 (or so) section. If you have long slings, you can even protect this section by girth hitching the chickenheads.

As Matt Chan said, the so-called 7R last pitch is actually quite well protected.

Overall, a great route! Jun 5, 2009
Boulder, CO
claytown   Boulder, CO
Should have read the route description better. One the second pitch, I finished in a cave. Then from there went to the top in a chimney (through the cave). All was still great climbing and nothing harder than 5.9 but didn't realize I was supposed to stay left on the face on P2. Handcrack variation to the first pitch was the best pitch of the climb. May 12, 2013
Rob Davies UK
Cheshire, UK
Rob Davies UK   Cheshire, UK
Classic. No really hard move but lots of it: UK pitch grades 5a, 5a, 4c. Worth good E1, I thought, as it's like doing 5 Hen Cloud HVSs stacked on top of each other. If you go straight up at the flake roof on P2, instead of stepping left, you get involved with a 5.8+ offwidth (and then move across left to the usual sloping ledge stance) which adds to the fun. Oct 16, 2013
Jean Spencer
Squamish, CA
Jean Spencer   Squamish, CA
@claramie, I also went through the cave for P3. Fun, exposed climbing through a stemming chimney. Apr 27, 2014
Conor Felletter
Boulder, CO
Conor Felletter   Boulder, CO
DO THIS CLIMB! P2 was pretty easy in terms of run outs especially if you climb high beyond the roof and place that nut or small cam (0.2) before traversing. I found another small nut in one of the initial chickenheads. You can link P2 & P3 if you have a lot of gear and a 70m. Just place some good runners. Shoes would be nice if you plan on walking off to the right (towards the saddle). This was one of my favorite multi-pitches I've ever done. Apr 10, 2016
Nick Crews
Colorado Springs
Nick Crews   Colorado Springs
As Claramie did, on my second time we went through the cave and up the twin cracks in the stem chimney. Great gear, cool movement, probably around 5.7. After that steep section, you scramble up to a squeeze chimney which pops you out almost on the summit. Recommended, this is probably the way I'm going to finish this route from now on! Jun 18, 2016
Salt Lake City, UT
M.Ish   Salt Lake City, UT
Made a route finding mistake on the second pitch by going left of the little roof. It turned out to be a stellar face variation (maybe mentioned above or in the guide book, I didn't read through all the comments and don't own the book). If you make the same mistake, enjoy the airy step out onto the face, and run it 10 or 15 feet up before stepping back over to get a final piece in before the belay. Great climb! Jun 5, 2017
Marjorie Veilleux
Rimouski, QC
Marjorie Veilleux   Rimouski, QC
Disappointed by the lack of fixed anchors/rap ring at the very top, to preserve the feeling of “adventure”. The so called “walk-off” is a 5th Class scramble where you have to downclimb or jump above gullies 5 to 20m deep. Also I found the runout section on the 2nd pitch, described as 5.4 R in the guidebook, felt more like a 5.7 X (in comparison with 5.7 R of City of Rocks; X because of the large ledge below). So the guidebook underestimates those risks. Hopefully, there are rap rings at the end of the 2nd pitch, 10m left of a small cave. I don’t think the last pitch is worth it, so I would suggest rapping down the 2nd pitch. Oct 22, 2018

The general configuration of the cracks at Turkey Rock make it impractical to rap back down from the top of most routes. There are just so many deep cracks and ledges that for most routes it would be a rope eating nigthmare. I don't remember the walkoff being that bad, maybe something changed (?). Oct 22, 2018