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Routes in North Face / North End

Anaconda T,S 5.11c 6c+ 24 VIII- 24 E4 6a
Inferno, The 5.8 5b 16 VI- 15 HVS 4c C3
North End Chimney T 5.7 5a 15 V+ 13 MVS 4b R
Ryan's Inferno S 5.13a 7c+ 29 IX+ 29 E6 6c
Triple Exposure T,S 5.12c/d 7c 28 IX 28 E6 6b C1
Type: Trad, Sport, Aid, 4 pitches, Grade II
FA: FFA: Richard Aschert and Dave Dangle
Page Views: 5,379 total, 27/month
Shared By: Dan Russell on Oct 17, 2001
Admins: Leo Paik, John McNamee, Frances Fierst, Monty, Monomaniac

You & This Route

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


From the main parking lot, the North End Towers rise directly above. Triple Exposure splits the main tower's north face, mostly just left of center. Scramble up the first 30-40 feet to the beginning of a bolt ladder. Don't clip all of them if freeing it, it will cause way too much rope drag. This pitch goes at 5.11d. The thin crack of the second pitch goes at 5.12c/d. The third pitch traverses left, then up through the small, muddy chimney if aiding on bolts/drilled pins. If freeing the third pitch, follow the dihedral (5.10d) straight up, then traverse left (5.11b) when it ends. From here, you can either make an anchor or run it to the summit. Go up a few bolts, then traverse right (5.11c), then climb up through the prominent notch to the summit anchor. Two double-rope rappels land you on the ground.


Done as a purely aid route, it goes clean clipping many bolts/drilled pins, plus a #1 Tricam placement on the first pitch and several small nuts/RPs on the second. It can be done free with the drilled pins, no pro necessary. When aiding, run the first two pitches together, ending at the top of the obvious thin crack at a good 4-point anchor. When freeing, divide the route into 3, possibly 4 pitches. There are enough drilled pins to make an anchor at several places on the upper part of the route, or run it right to the top.
Boulder, CO
tim   Boulder, CO
Not allowed to solo aid in the park, I was sent away by the local "authority". This particular route now has some type of pigeon closure for over half the year. Mar 5, 2014
Ryan Chelstowski
Colorado Springs, CO
Ryan Chelstowski   Colorado Springs, CO
Brian C:
I aid soloed it in January and completely agree with your rating. Back in the day, a bunch of peeps would take the angle iron from a bed frame, cut it up into pieces, and bolt them has hangers. Climbing has changed. Nice pics! Mar 15, 2013
Brian C.
Longmont, CO
  5.4 C2 R
Brian C.   Longmont, CO
  5.4 C2 R
If doing the 2nd pitch (combining pitches), make sure to bring enough gear to move between pins. A #4 and #3 are pretty important. Also, many of the pins are looking pretty sad, much rougher than on P1. I gave it a C2 simply because a fall on the upper pitch would likely result in pulled pins and an R for the large runout to the first pin on P1. I wouldn't be surprised if some go missing in the future. Very cool route though, with a very different feel than many other Front Range aid outings. Mar 9, 2013
Boulder, CO
Nickerson   Boulder, CO
As I understand it, Dale Goddard freed this route in 1984 while he was still at Colorado College.
I did the first two pitches together in 1996, in part to avoid falling onto my belayer on the second pitch. I don't think it made the route harder, and might have even made it easier. There is a shallow, diagonal offwidth near the first belay station. I recall jamming an arm, a leg, and sometimes half of my body to get an awkward rest. While it was not a full-body rest, it definitely allowed me to get weight off my fingers for 5 or 10 minutes so I could be nearly fresh for the crack. Then, since I had 100 feet of rope out and a clean fall into air, I didn't need to mess around with nuts and even felt comfortable skipping some clips -- especially the bent, halfway-out piton that was hard to clip anyway.
To me, the combined pitch felt about as hard as Vedauwoo's I'd Rather Be In Philadelphia (12b), a little harder than Vedauwoo's 4th of July Crack (12a), and easier than Turkey's Sheer Shark Attack (12b). Apr 18, 2012
...I have solo aided the route to the top of the formation (4hrs), it is a great outing. Not sure if I was the first...? Oct 10, 2009
Cody Cook
Colorado Springs, CO
Cody Cook   Colorado Springs, CO
Probably many solo aid ascents. I've aid-soloed the first half of the route myself, and I know some old-schoolers that have done the whole thing. Springs climbers gotta have something to practice on before taking their solo-aid to bigger walls. Not much different than doing it with a partner, just a lot more grunting. Aug 24, 2009
Allegedly this route has a solo aid ascent. Aug 23, 2009
Cody Cook
Colorado Springs, CO
Cody Cook   Colorado Springs, CO
What up, Darren?

Free it? Are you nuts? You must have me confused with someone that can actually climb. I'm sending hard-11 on my best days. I'm not man enough to go after that 12d finger crack. Just a chump standing in aiders on this thing. The job and the kids are holding me back bro.

Had beers with Pete G. last week. Your name came up. Something about me giving him a hard time because it might not be possible to claim "dirtbag" status and drive an Audi too.

We should hang some time. Myself, Pete and Stew Green get together pretty regularly so I can buy them beers and they can tell some crazy BS stories. Come on down, man. Jul 27, 2009
Darren Mabe
Flagstaff, AZ
Darren Mabe   Flagstaff, AZ
Cody, you're the man! were you sussing it to go back and free it?!
Looks like a sketchy endeavor.

Oh yeah, falcons schmalcons. ;) Jul 27, 2009
Cody Cook
Colorado Springs, CO
Cody Cook   Colorado Springs, CO
Did this yesterday with Josh Koenig. As everyone has said, the rock quality is not inspiring (especially the upper pitch), but it's good for aid practice and provides some excellent exposure. The lower pitch only requires gear placements in the finger crack (nuts/small friends), but the upper pitch requires multiple gear placements between pins, ranging from nuts to a #3 Camalot. As previously stated, the anchor setup at the top is a combination of 2 old pins (both looked good) and a beefy, new 1/2 inch stainless bolt. These were equalized with a cordelette, but I backed these up with my own slings for added safety. Saw no flexing as partner jugged the pitch.

For descent we rapped down into Hidden Valley and then did the Hidden Valley raps down the east face of North Gateway. Not sure if it's possible to rap back down route from the summit (but that would be one airy rap to try).

Note - was stopped by a Park ranger upon rapping down. She cordialling informed us that this area of North Gateway was actually closed right now for the annual falcon nesting. She inquired if we saw any falcon activity up top, which we did not, and she dismissed it as no big deal. Just a heads up for anyone considering topping out any time soon. Jul 27, 2009
I wouldn't describe this as a good climb, but it was a good doable challenge for fledgling aid climbers like myself and Phil. Rock quality isn't awe inspiring.

Anchor update:
Sal's anchor seems to still be right below the thin crack and in decent condition.

A chain anchor from a good bolt and 2 decent pins make the anchor above the thin crack. Also, 2 other pins make organizing the belay nice.

When I arrived at the top anchors, I found what looked to have been a 4 point anchor where one piece pulled. 3 pieces were still present and psuedo-equalized (2 half driven pins and a good bolt). I found a rap link and an extra ray of the anchor loose. I re-equalized the remaining pins and bolt with a new cordalette, but hindsight says I should have tied off the pins short to reduce leverage. Please fix this if you're the next one up there. Feb 24, 2009
Phill T
Phill T  
Aided this chosspile yesterday. Loose crumbly rock, every cam placement felt like it was going to rip right out after watching it compress/destroy the rock around it as I weighted it. Lots of pins/pitons/bolts to clip, hard to trust them in this rock. We replaced the webbing at the top anchor, the pitons were noticed to flex on jugging/rappel. Did not need the famed pink tricam on the first pitch, not sure where it was supposed to go. If I was doing it again I would take a full set of nuts, doubles on the small guys, larger offset nuts, single set of cams from C3 00-C4 #3. Oh and around 25 quickdraws/trad draws to link pitches.

For the approach scramble, a good nut can be placed about halfway up to protect the devastating fall, but it makes following/jugging interesting as it creates a huge pendulum from that piece to the first bolt. Easy terrain, but it's interesting in hiking boots nonetheless. Feb 23, 2009
SAL   broomdigiddy
Yesterday I left some gear on what is considered the first free belay. Just below where the finger crack starts. There was not much there to rap off of nor belay. A manky pin and a bolt. Probably wont make it long but I thought I would post it up in case anyone wanted to try to give this a go. Makes a bail a bit easier. Also could make rapping the first 2 pitches with one rope to avoid tagging one.
I have not be above that, so if it could be done with one rope I am not 100%. Feb 1, 2009
Mike Anderson
Colorado Springs, CO
Mike Anderson   Colorado Springs, CO
The first (11d) pitch of this route has some of the worst rock I've ever encountered at the Garden. At multiple points, I would find myself in a position where every hand and foothold connecting me to the rock was sandy. I'm not sure how I didn't fall. However, the second, crux pitch is surprisingly good. I tried to find a free rest stance in between the first two pitches, but all I could get was an awkward, tiring stem. This thing needs to be properly free climbed! I'll get to work on it.... May 16, 2005
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
Hey. Just kidding! Drove by the other day and it looks like the nest is gone. If someone spoke up to the Garden people, thanks! Good luck! May 29, 2004
David Danforth
David Danforth   California/Colorado
Don't get your hopes up if you got your sights set on tripple exposure this summer. My partner and i walked over yesterday afternoon to check it out. About 15 feet up there is a HUGE bee hive about 2 ft across right in the middle of the route. We looked at it and there is like no way you can get around this thing. I had disturbing images of a leader draggint the rope right through the middle of it while their belayer stands at the bottom shaking in fear.... May 9, 2004
Out of curiosity, has anyone freed the first two pitches together (the 11d and 12c/d) into a single 120ft pitch? It seems like the next logical step since there's not really a ledge, or even a stance, or even a good hold, for that matter. Mar 29, 2004
Aid Beta: Small to medium stoppers and RP/HB Offsets and #1 Tricam. Singles from blue Alien to #3 Camalot useful, but it's not mandatory. Rivet hanger (or use small stopper cable) useful on 1/4" bolt studs. A couple of 1/4" hex nuts just in case (we replaced one). Small hook useful for long reaches between bolts on traverses but not mandatory. Top anchor consists of two partially driven old ring angles tied off and equalized with webbing. Can back up until ready to rap with red Alien (or tricam maybe) about 15 feet away in a horizontal slot. The position of the angles gives maximum strength, and no flexing/movement was observed, but a new bolt for this anchor wouldn't be unreasonable given the apparent age of the existing pins. Two double rope raps to ground. Getting to the first pin on pitch one is more serious than a scramble. A few easy 5th class moves on sparse and dubious protection is required, and a fall here would be devastating. Oct 6, 2003
Bring some very small stoppers for the 5.12 crack. You don't really need a lot of gear, but the route isn't totally bolted so be prepared. Sep 24, 2003